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Indiana, The New Mini Tech Capital of America

In the past, CEO Steve Hershberger hired from big universities near Silicon Valley. Now, he needs coders to work on the connection between beer kegs to his iKeg app, and he is choosing interns from Kenzie because of the quality he sees in the candidates.

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Masters candidate Diego Garcia said when he thinks of high tech, he thinks of
representational image, pixabay

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA —

Kavitha Kamalbabu needed a break. She had raised her two children and the youngest was now in kindergarten. It was time to turn attention to her career. The 36-year-old wanted to code. The mecca of high tech — Silicon Valley — wasn’t an option because she needed to stay close to home and family in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“I chose Kenzie Academy because of its life project-based learning,” she said.

Kamalbabu is now at the top of her class, getting a two-year degree as a software developer. Kenzie, based in Indianapolis, was established to keep talent in Middle America and to create a mini tech capital.

“Our point is to bring people from Indianapolis to stay in Indianapolis,” said founder Courtney Spence. To do that, they place students in local companies as quickly as possible after their enrollment.

For one class, Kamalbabu, originally from India, found herself asking questions about measuring beer and learning how data increases profit. The class was taking a tour of Steady Serve — a local beer management system that invented a device to measure the content of kegs to reduce waste and fraud.

“It’s on the cusp of what we are seeing as being a tech boom,” Spence said.
Students tour Steady Serve, VOA

In the past, CEO Steve Hershberger hired from big universities near Silicon Valley. Now, he needs coders to work on the connection between beer kegs to his iKeg app, and he is choosing interns from Kenzie because of the quality he sees in the candidates.

“It’s like they folded the country and brought San Jose [the heart of Silicon Valley] into Indianapolis.”

By the numbers

Indianapolis is Middle America. Located in the Corn Belt, Indiana is known for its farms — the state’s model is “The Crossroads of America.” City leaders said that perception is changing. Indianapolis deputy mayor of economic development Angela Smith Jones calls Indianapolis “Western Silicon Valley” with a “great startup culture.”

Last year, technology companies in Indianapolis contributed $7.7 billion into the city’s economy and employed 75,000 people.

Job postings for emerging tech are up 40 percent over last year, and the city’s unemployment rate is currently 3 percent, which is lower than the national average.

The average tech industry wage in Indiana is $76,860.

“It’s on the cusp of what we are seeing as being a tech boom,” Spence said.

Masters candidate Diego Garcia said when he thinks of high tech, he thinks of "California or New York, not Indianapolis."
Kenzie Student, VOA

Not so fast

But students majoring in tech at Stanford University — a research school located in the heart of Silicon Valley — were unimpressed. Freshman Max Comolli said he wouldn’t be enticed to leave California for Indianapolis because of the opportunities and “such a great tech scene already established.”

Masters candidate Diego Garcia said when he thinks of high tech, he thinks of “California or New York, not Indianapolis.” But freshman Alexa White from Detroit, Michigan, thinks a tech capital in the Midwest would “benefit the field” and create diversity.

The gender diversity hasn’t reached Kenzie, although school officials said they actively recruit females. The next class of 18 students starting later this year will have three women. Of the current class, only Kamalbabu and an African American are female.

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Statistically, women — and especially women of color — make up a small percentage of the tech field. But 24-year-old Mya Williams called it a “pleasant surprise” when she saw Kamalbabu on the first day of class because she thought she would be the only female. Williams said young girls aren’t encouraged to concentrate in math and science. “They get looked over when it comes to software,” she said.

To Asia and beyond

Kenzie officials plan to duplicate the academy model, starting in Malaysia. Spence goes a step further. “We have a commitment to replicate it around the world,” she said. (VOA)

Next Story

Apple Leaves iTunes Behind as it Harmonizes Software

With macOS Catalina, Apple is replacing iTunes with its popular entertainment apps

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Apple, iTunes, Software
iTunes was formally launched in 2001 and its music store was launched two years later. Pixabay

As the music streaming industry gets bigger with more global players joining the fray, Apple has finally announced to phase out iTunes with its three modern standalone music services.

Apple on Monday previewed “macOS Catalina” which is the latest version of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, packed with new features, fresh new apps and powerful new technology for developers.

“With macOS Catalina, Apple is replacing iTunes with its popular entertainment apps — Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app,” said the company during its developers’ conference “WWDC 2019” here.

macOS Catalina replaces iTunes with these three modern apps that simplify and improve the way Mac users discover and enjoy their favourite music, TV shows, movies and podcasts.

Apple, iTunes, Software
As the music streaming industry gets bigger with more global players joining the fray, Apple has finally announced to phase out iTunes. Pixabay

The move to phase out iTunes didn’t come as a shock as the tech giant has been pushing users toward its music subscription service.

“With macOS Catalina, we’re bringing fresh new apps to the Mac, starting with new standalone versions of Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

iTunes was formally launched in 2001 and its music store was launched two years later.

Apple Music will help users discover great new music with over 50 million songs, playlists and music videos, said the company.

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The users will have access to their entire music library, whether they downloaded the songs, purchased them or ripped them from a CD.

For users who sync their media to their devices using a cable, they can quickly and easily do so in the new entertainment apps. And when users connect a device to their Mac, it will immediately show up in the sidebar of Finder, enabling them to backup, update or restore their device.

The developer preview of macOS Catalina is available to Apple Developer Programme members. (IANS)