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COMMERCE STREET: Tech Leaders of Tomorrow

"If you are hiring data scientist now, that is something you needed a year ago."
Credit: KENS 5

SAN ANTONIO — "If you are hiring data scientist now, that is something you needed a year ago."

The rising tech industry in San Antonio demands the best training programs breed the tech leaders of tomorrow. In the latest episode of Commerce Street, we explore two programs, each with a different demographic, but both with the same mission of supplying local industries with top talent.

CAST Tech High is a first-of-its-kind breeding ground for the next generation, while boot camp training program, Codeup, recruits people looking to transition to a second career.

"We are hyper focused on jobs. The way that it was built was to solve the problem of hiring developers," says Codeup "Chief Evangelist" Phillip Hernandez. "Because we've built our curriculum based on our employers, based on the job market and the recent changes, because our employers come in and inform how we should change it, because of that, we are seeing our data science and web developers get hired outside of Codeup. 100% of our web developers have been hired."

Recent graduate Kathryn Salts says she was working in a lab when she realized she was in the wrong career. Looking for a change, she liked the idea of a challenge at Codeup.

"Every week we had a different project that we worked on. We would be given this project and we only had the weekends and it seemed like it was impossible," Salts said. "But you could really surprise yourself. You had to present each project each week and you could see everyone getting better and better and better."

While Codeup is supplying industries with tech professionals in transition or looking for a second career, CAST Tech is grabbing them from the ground up.

CAST, or Centers for Applied Science and Technology, is the groundbreaking high school that prepares students for science, business and tech careers.

“The key there is that it is applied learning," says Amir Samandi, Mentorship Coordinator at CAST. "So, I have never heard a kid at this school say, 'when will I ever use this?' Because what they are learning in the classroom is what they are using in the real world.”

We met rising junior, Kahlil Davis, who is so passionate about what he is learning, he spent his summer interning with staff at the school.

“My first day, I thought I might actually like it here. So I kind of just like threw out my old thoughts and started focusing on my future and my career,” Davis said.

Hear much more from our intrepid future tech leaders and more about these groundbreaking program on the latest episode of Commerce Street: A podcast from KENS 5.

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