Why bootcamps may not be the talent solution we need, and more tech news

The best stuff we’ve read, watched or listened to over the past month

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Jul 21, 2017, 10:52 AM

Each month we’re sharing the latest topics on talent, location selection, office design and construction, and other real estate-ish topics that can help you make smart decisions for your business, your space and your people. Without further ado, your July edition.

Dev Bootcamp shuttering shows challenges of teaching coal miners to code

The first coding bootcamp is closing its doors in December, citing an inability to find a long-term business strategy. The idea that coders are the next blue collar worker is widely circulated, but according to Sylvain Kalache of VentureBeat, it fails to consider demand.

We've been told there's a shortage of tech talent, but Kalache says we're short on opportunities, too.

First, there's oversaturation of junior level talent (which is predominantly what bootcamps pump out), plus fewer of those jobs to fill outside traditional tech hubs. What's the talent solution? We need more skills- and project-based education over knowledge learning—whether that's at a university or 11-week course.

Do or die: Cities face falling behind if they don't implement digital infrastructure

An LED street lamp that sends a notification when the bulb is out. An interactive kiosk to charge your phone. Public WiFi. This is the future of digital infrastructure, and cities that implement the technology before they're mandated "will really reap dramatic benefits," reports Bisnow.

Chicago, New York City, San Jose, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington DC (among others) are all actively working toward becoming smart cities, though the U.S. is slightly behind global front runners like Singapore, Spain and Dubai.

How innovative companies are creating the campus feel for offices in dense cities

Community campuses are great for collaboration and idea-sharing—if you have the space. However, in dense cities like Singapore the only direction you can go is up. As a result, companies are feeling the pains of elevator etiquette where people are used to being quiet.

To encourage conversation in tall-stack offices, some companies are "puncturing" floors with stairs in an effort to open up. This allows for a friendly walk-and-talk, although it bears noting that people won't walk beyond four stories. For new developments, larger floor plates might be the answer.

In blow to tech industry, Trump shelves startup immigrant rule

Last week the Trump administration delayed a ruling that would allow foreign entrepreneurs to secure visas to start businesses in the U.S. At the same time, countries like Canada and France are enticing entrepreneurs to come create jobs.

Many of the world's largest tech titans have at least one immigrant founder, whose companies have generated thousands upon thousands of American jobs. This raises the question: what will happen to the already-tight talent pool?

Don’t worry, it's not all bad: We identified 10 surprising corners of the U.S. where you can find software developers and computer programmers.

Women and minorities shatter records as thousands take AP computer science exam

The nationwide AP exam run by College Board saw a steep rise in female and minority test takers in 2017. The number of women who took computer science tests rose by 135% and participation by underrepresented minorities rose by 170%.

There's still work to be done, but is a strong predictor that students in currently underrepresented populations in tech will pursue STEM degrees—an encouraging sign for future diversity.

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Author: Lillian Veley