Devdev was Chattanooga’s first code camp for teens, made possible by a grant from the Benwood Foundation. Over the course of four weeks, fifty teens gathered on the 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Downtown Library to learn all about HTML, CSS, Python, and robotics. I’m particularly proud of this collaboration because it was the first time the Chattanooga Public Library was able to partner our partners, thus making them stronger together. The AIGA is a professional association for designers and design experts. Engage3D is an educational startup that is particularly strong in computer science and STEM curriculum. Both had partnered with the library previously, but only now with devdev did the two groups come together and shine in an entirely different way.
This was also very important for the library as we are undergoing a transformation in how we deliver youth services. At the time of the devdev codecamp, newly hired teen librarian Justin Hoenke was able to get involved and use his enthusiasm and expertise to capture the attention and excitement of these fifty teenagers. Currently, plans are underway to extend devdev beyond the library setting and beyond the confines of the 2nd Floor. A hackathon in November 2013 showed sustained interest from the participants. Most importantly, even as this important educational initiative moves beyond the library’s walls, Justin is still viewed by the other partners as a critical component to their ongoing success. This pattern of collaboration is one we seek to replicate in all of our partnerships, and devdev has proven to be an exceptional archetype.