News & Events

New Web Development Training Programs Available

In an effort to deepen the pool of IT and web development workers in the state, the University of Iowa has developed a series of workshops and boot camps to help develop Iowa’s workforce in cutting-edge technologies.

The first of these workshops include Agile Development, Python, and Ruby (on Rails). The workshops are being piloted in Iowa’s Creative Corridor through a partnership with Kirkwood Community College, and they may expand to other areas of the state early next year.

“The University of Iowa is pleased to be partnering with Kirkwood Community College to deliver these programs regionally,” says David Hensley, the UI’s interim associate vice president for economic development. “Ultimately, our goal is to reach out across the state to deliver hands-on training to Iowans seeking to develop new skills and enhance existing capabilities in order to foster existing business expansion and new company formation.”

The workshops are part of a targeted effort to support employers who struggle to recruit and hire talented computer programmers, IT support, and web developers.

"Employers throughout the corridor are looking for people who are passionate about continuous learning," says Mark Nolte, president of the Iowa City Area Development Group. "These workshops offer an opportunity to quickly gain proficiency in new skill sets to become more valuable in the market."

According to Kim Johnson, vice president of Kirkwood’s Continuing Education and Training Services division, “Demand definitely isn’t going down for software and information technology employment.”

The workshops target entry-level students and give them a foundational knowledge in web development from which they can build upon. By the end of the class, students will have a fundamental knowledge of object-oriented programming, as well as the ability to build and customize their own dynamic web application.

In addition to the workshops, a nine-week Boot Camp will be rolled out in January 2014. The web development Boot Camp will deliver a more rigorous, in-depth curriculum that will take participants from beginner to entry-level, full-stack developer.

Both the workshops and Boot Camp are part of the vision of Dan Reed, vice president for research and economic development, to spur Iowa’s economy by creating a well-trained IT workforce. Reed witnessed the fierce competition for employees with technology skills during his tenure at Microsoft.

“Everyone was looking for talent,” he says, “and it’s not just large companies. Small Iowa companies that want to tap global markets are equally reliant on their IT infrastructure to plug into the international supply chain and market directly to consumers.”

Agile Development, Python, and Ruby (on Rails) offer scholarships to current UI and Kirkwood students, veterans, and individuals currently seeking employment. For more information on registration and cost, contact Jennifer Ott at 319-353-2791 or

These programs are offered by the IOWA Centers for Enterprise and delivered throughout the state via regional partnerships. The IOWA Centers for Enterprise is made up of the organizations at the UI focused on economic development, including the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, the UI Small Business Development Center, the UI Research Foundation, and the UI Research Park.

Return to top of page