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The Academy at Suncoast Developer’s Guild pivots online through COVID-19 and beyond

Megan Holmes



The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights. Click the play arrow above to watch the full video.

On this episode, Jason Perry, CEO of Suncoast Developers Guild, joins Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, and Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst.

As usual, Steinocher takes listeners through the Florida Chamber Scorecard for Pinellas County, which he says is continuing to improve despite slight increases in daily percent positive cases, as reopening moves forward.

The Academy at Suncoast Developers’ Guild, located in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District, is an immersive coding school. When COVID-19 hit, Suncoast Developer’s Guild was in the middle of a cohort. With 17-18 students in the middle of their three-month immersive program, the Academy at Suncoast Developer’s Guild got to work, turning classes online through Zoom and Remo. Remo is a program that allows video conferencing with different groups, so instructors and students can move around the virtual “room,” work on projects together, ask questions and keep the  culture built in person going.

The Academy plans to keep online classrooms going, but will need to seek online certification through the Florida Department of Education. Perry says that the Academy expects to see an uptick of students who will need to “upskill” after losing their jobs due to COVID-19.

The Academy also plans to host its very first semi-annual “hack-a-thon,” in which developers get together to team up and solve problems. This hack-a-thon will be around three themes: pandemic preparedness; inclusion, diversion and intersectionality; and smart cities. There will be nine major cash prizes for the event. It’s set to take place over the longest day of the year, summer solstice on June 20.

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