Empower 2.0 with SightSource

Since 2009, Sightsource has been providing businesses (from start-ups to large enterprises) with custom software development services, including web and mobile applications. Based in Winston-Salem, Sightsource offers innovative technology solutions that can be customized and tailored based on a business’ needs.

In 2018, Sightsource took on the unique challenge of offering a free coding academy, Empower, to 44 interested individuals. Balint Gaspar, the CFO of Sightsource, shared, “Offering this course for free was a bit unorthodox, but we had a strategic, three-fold purpose. First, we were looking for talent for our company. Second, we wanted to offer a pay-it-forward opportunity for those who don’t have the $10K+ for a traditional boot camp or 2-4 years for a CS degree. And third, we wanted to make sure that there are strong technical skills in the Triad as a way to keep tech startups and thereby jobs in our community.

“Our gamble paid off, and ultimately, we were able to hire approximately 25% of the class — either as employees or contractors. Plus, those who participated were surveyed. 95% stated that they would recommend Empower to others. So after being derailed by the pandemic last year, in 2021, we’re excited to offer Empower 2.0!”

Balint continued, “Empower 2.0 will be open to 40-60 people in Winston-Salem. We are proud to offer this program again, this time as more of a community-wide effort with generous support from local organizations and companies, as well as partnerships with Winston Starts and Forsyth Technical Community College. Those who are interested should look for updates on the Sightsource LinkedIn page. We’ll announce the dates of the program soon and post our application.

“Applicant requirements are pretty simple,” said Balint. We’re looking for men and women who are at least 18 years old who have finished high school or completed a GED. Those two criteria, along with a drive to becoming software developers, is it!”

Upon reflecting on the applicants from 2018, Balint shared, “We learned from the first class that applicants broke the stereotypes. We found that everyone can see the possibilities when obstacles to learning this kind of technology are removed. And our in-person instruction makes the difference. This stuff isn’t proprietary, but we’ve managed to organize it into a very aggressive program complete with a lot of support and help. Since there are no prerequisites, we start with the basics – understanding a computer, the Internet, then we get into coding. The goal is to help those who join the class to be comfortable with all aspects of a project… We want them to have the skills to go from concept and specifications, through design and development, to deployment. Technology changes rapidly, so we teach them to be ongoing learners and work to foster that creative curiosity that is such an important part of our business.”

Sightsource has been a Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber member since 2015! Visit www.Sightsource.net or call 888.207.3027.  If you are interested in joining the Empower 2.0 class, be sure to look for announcements on LinkedIn.