UTRGV to host first Coder Summit

EDINBURG – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and the U.S. Army are holding the first Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) Coder Summit, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The event will be held at the Community Engagement and Student Success (CESS) building, 1407 E. Freddy Gonzalez Drive in Edinburg.

Hundreds of Latino programmers – students majoring in computer science, and professionals – are registered to attend the Summit, which will feature back-to-back workshops on coding-languages, career paths, tech interview process roleplay; start-up roadmap; interactive discussions with experts; and opportunities to expand networks in tech space, as well as share in cultural pride.

Previous Coder Summits have been held in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York and Austin, and additional cities will be added in 2017, attracting thousands of Latino programmers to join the LOFT Network. Use the hashtag #LOFTCoders.

“The UTRGV Office of Community Relations is pleased to support the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the U.S. Army with this LOFT Coder Summit,” said Velinda Reyes, assistant vice president for Community Programs and Operations at UTRGV. “Partnering to bring national programs to the region is important to us as we expand educational opportunities for students and empower leaders.”

The LOFT Coder Summits (LCS) are part of HHF’s larger Code as a Second Language (CSL) initiative, which includes HHF teaching computer coding to middle and high schools in more than 20 regions across the country, video game and app challenges, hackathons and other activities. HHF also connects Latino programmers through the LOFT Network for mentoring, sharing of ideas, building community and accessing resources to move forward in the tech space.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Army to identify, prepare and position Latino programmers for maximum impact in their careers, as innovators and a source of inspiration to others,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “We are at the intersection of a nation in need of tech workers and a talent-rich Latino community. We want to continue to shatter stereotypes and redefine the landscape of technology by tapping Latino coders across the country from the Rio Grande Valley to Silicon Valley.”

Lt. Col. Michelle Nhambure, Army Marketing and Research Group, said the Army is deeply committed to helping develop the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math.

“Through important partnerships with organizations like HHF, we’re able to educate students, teachers and counselors of the significant educational resources, training and career opportunities the Army offers in these high-demand fields. We encourage people to visit goarmy.com for more information.”