Spanish speakers in Montgomery County now have courses they can take for free—and in their language—at ignITe Hub. The hub is a physical and virtual space on the Rockville Campus where students, lifelong learners, faculty, local business owners, and community members can grow their technology and coding skills, learn to create apps, collaborate to solve problems, and create or improve existing products and services.
This fall, ignITeHub offered part one of a technology bootcamp in Spanish focusing on coding. In January, it will offer the second part, complementary but independent from the first, in which participants will learn how to design applications. The bootcamp will take place January 29 through February 1, 2024, from 6 to 8 p.m. at ignITe Hub. No coding experience is necessary and it will be free and open to Spanish-speaking adults living in Montgomery County.
“This bootcamp is open to the community, and I think it would be great for entrepreneurs or people who want to incorporate apps into their business. Those who want to learn how to design an app will get hands-on experience,” said Kimberly Bloch-Rincan, director of ignITe Hub.
Eduardo Noboa, technical training and development coordinator at ignITe Hub, said the focus will be designing the app, including determining the target audience, building a prototype, presenting it and pitching it. “It will help participants think about the architecture of the app, which is different than coding it,” said Noboa, who is also the instructor. Coding experience is not necessary as they could commission someone else to code, it but the concept would come from the participant.
Participants in the first bootcamp came from different backgrounds and ages. “For those who come from the IT field, it’s a way to validate what they already know. For others, it’s a way to get into the field, giving them an opportunity to explore free of cost and free of judgement.”
Since it opened in May of 2022, ignITe Hub has offered free technology courses and events for the community in English. These bootcamps are the first offerings in another language.
“We want to break down that barrier and make sure we’re reaching our entire community,” said Bloch-Rincan. “We want more people to have access, to have awareness, and to have hands-on experience. We also want to make sure we’re providing an experience for people in a language they feel comfortable with. Even if participants speak English, learning in their native language adds another layer of comfort.”
For now, ignITe Hub officials are testing these offerings in Spanish. “If it draws a lot of interest, hopefully we can expand it to other languages,” Bloch-Rincan said.
The ignITe Hub is a partnership with Montgomery County government, Montgomery College, MCPS, the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, and Apple.