The U.S. tech industry is booming, but there’s a shortage of skilled talent to match all the new positions being created. The Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics have estimated there will be 1.4 million open computer science jobs in 2020 and only 400,000 computer science graduates to fill them. That means anyone with tech skills such as coding will be in great demand for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately, there are many ways to learn these skills besides the traditional path of a college degree. Our two guests today are huge advocates of one popular alternative: coding schools and bootcamps. Ruben Harris, co-host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, is also the CEO of Career Karma, an organization that matches people who want to learn to code with the right support circle and coding bootcamp for their needs. And Chok Ooi, who serves as chairman for his startup AgilityIO, also runs Kenzie Academy in Indianapolis, a coding school that focuses on helping students without a prior technical background break into the industry.

In this episode originally broadcast live from the Powderkeg offices at Industrious Indianapolis, Ruben and Chok discuss how learning to code can ignite your career in tech. Drawing from their insider perspectives, they explain how to begin charting your career path, how to find the coding school that’s right for you, and why coding school models devoted to diversity and inclusion will be instrumental in closing the widening tech talent gap.

In this episode with Ruben Harris and Chok Ooi, you’ll learn:

  • Tips for charting your career path and telling your personal story.
  • How to connect with people who can help you advance your career.
  • Why nontraditional education is needed to close the tech talent gap.
  • What to look for when choosing a coding school.
  • The clear benefits of diversity and inclusion for tech talent pipelines.
  • Ruben’s and Chok’s best advice for people who want to break into tech.

Please enjoy this conversation with Ruben Harris and Chok Ooi!

If you like this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on iTunes. You can also follow us on Soundcloud or Stitcher. We have an incredible lineup of interviews we’ll be releasing every Tuesday here on the Powderkeg Podcast.

Ruben Harris and Chok Ooi quotes from this episode of Igniting Startups:

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Companies and organizations:

Coding schools and programs:

Job search marketplaces:


Books and publications:




Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Ruben Harris and Chok Ooi on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Ruben and Chok know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

Click here to say hi and thank Ruben on Twitter!

Click here to say hi and thank Chok on Twitter!


What stood out most to you about what Ruben and Chok share in this podcast?

For me, it’s why nontraditional education is needed to close the tech talent gap.

You? Leave a comment below.


To subscribe to the podcast, please use the links below:

Click Here to Subscribe via iTunes
Click Here to Subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

If you have a chance, please leave me an honest rating and review on iTunes by clicking here. It will help the show and its ranking in iTunes incredibly! Thank you so much!