Elaine Queathem: Co-Founder & CEO, Savvy Coders

Elaine Queathem has been involved with technology her entire life, but when working for a small software technology company in 2009, she became acutely aware of the shortage of qualified programming resources which were essential for a small company to grow and thrive. Now, several years later, she is in a position to begin to help people develop those important and sought after skills. That’s why she founded Savvy Coders.

How did you get into the industry?

I saw a need to educate people to become software developers in a manner different than the status quo.  At the time I was in sales and we couldn’t get code written fast enough to meet release dates that offered new functionality.

Any emerging industry trends?

I am seeing a trend with employers who are more willing now than ever to consider filling their talent pipeline with apprenticeship type programs and not depending on attracting only senior level development talent.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Bootcamps as a source of training for software developers is definitely becoming more desirable as complications with H2B1 visas arise.  Companies are beginning to consider this in a serious way to alternatives of sourcing tech talent.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

My inspiration comes from providing coding skills to folks who would otherwise not have this opportunity - they did not have a chance to get a “formal” education, but they do have the ability to be great software developers.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Savvy Coders will be introducing our grant funded classes to our other markets, Nashville and Chattanooga in 2019 and we will be adding to our staff to accomplish that.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Continued partnership with government and non-profits who wish to provide tech skills to the populations they serve.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

I had to keep pushing forward even though I was not receiving a paycheck.  The first 18 months we were all about investing in the company without any financial reward.  Had I known this on day 1, I would have been more patient and I would have better adjusted my expectations.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

Our ideal client will be at a point where they know just enough to have a passion for learning on how to become a software developer, and have the ability to fully commit to 10 intensive weeks of learning. This will help them improve their current job situation, learn a practical must-have for the marketplace of the future or help them embark on a whole new career as a software/web developer.

How do you motivate others?

I lead by example and try to paint the picture of what could be.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Learn to code and continuously learn more and share your knowledge.