Former W. Virginian Students Suing Outfit That Promised To “Teach Them To Code”

A non-profit created to help hard hit residents of Appalachia get dream jobs in “the technology industry” turned out to be a nightmare for those who trusted the outfit with their time and money.

Mined Minds’  stated goal was to create “new pools of software developers in low-cost areas” that would attract tech industry employers interested having an “onshore workforce, and local communities” that would “increase the diversification of their economies.”

They had the endorsement of Senator Joe Manchin III (D-WV), an agreement to teach the state national guard and the help of local commissioners. Mined Minds also received a share of a $1.5 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Now, “Over two dozen former students” have filed lawsuits against the organization charging  Mined Minds with being a fraud that failed to deliver on its promises. More

10 Comments on Former W. Virginian Students Suing Outfit That Promised To “Teach Them To Code”

  1. What the fuck! I thought Joe Biden thought them the code, the ladies of color? 52 of them. Someone is lying to me or jerking me off. Don’t know which.

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  2. Can’t wait to see the lawsuits clogging the courts for those who claim they were failed by Artificial Intelligence. More so, can’t wait to see the lawyers who represent them. 😂

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  3. As someone who has worked as a programmer for 30+ years, I am fascinated by this new “learn to code” phenomenon. It comes off like a scam to me, because I know for a fact that being a good programmer is like being a good mechanic or electrician or welder or carpenter. It’s not just something you acquire skills for in a month long course. You gotta practice practice practice. There will be a lot of trial and error and humiliating failure before you learn the ins and outs of being a programmer. And just like those other professions, there are specialties. There are numerous languages, numerous types of data, and numerous operating systems, and they play a major role in what you do.

    And if you think being a programmer for a living means someone tells you what they want and then you flip your hands along the keyboard for a few hours like some goofball character in a movie and you’ve built the product, then you have no clue what you’re in for. If you need to make a good living at being a programmer, you’re going to have to go into situations where nobody has a fucking clue what they want nor any adequate means to get it. You’re gonna have to have an entire toolset of tricks at your disposal. You’re gonna have to know the rules of inference like the back of your hand. You’re gonna have to know how to draw out of people what they want even when they have shitty communications skills and, sometimes, are complete morons. You’re gonna have to deal with fucked up politics and idiotic processes and systems, and you’re gonna have to know how to use them better than your colleagues if you don’t want to get replaced by some cut rate putz from Hyderabad.

    And, believe me, there is no shittier job on Earth than being a programmer who is in over their head on a project. There is no paycheck in the world that will make up for that kind of misery, drudgery, and humiliation. I’ve seen people lose their fucking minds because they weren’t smart enough to meet their project goals. They weren’t even smart enough to understand me when I told them exactly how to solve their problems.

    So, if you think that “coding” is your ticket to easy street, then you haven’t got a fucking clue what you’re talking about.

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  4. TheMule, in the mid 90s, while getting my Computer Networking degree, I had to take some programming classes. That was the hardest I’ve ever worked for classes in my life. Decided that I don’t have the kind of brain for that work.

    Writing hundreds to thousands of lines of code before you even get to compile it to see if it works … just couldn’t do it. My brain is too free-form for that. Imagine my joy when I found HTML! I never called myself a programmer, though. That would be cheating! Eight years in Web Development and Design. Loved it.

    But C+? Like trying to learn Greek! I bow to your ability!

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  5. I was a telephone switch programmer, but that’s not the same as a real programmer. I was simply manipulating old switches with old languages — or even new switches with old languages.

    But, like TheMule stated, quite a bit of the problem with the job is trying to figure out what the hell the customer wants and being able to state, “Fuck off, it can’t be done”, or, “Will THIS get the output you can deal with?”

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  6. @Mule, spot on. As another 30+er in the software industry, I’ll second everything you wrote. “Coding” is to writing software as typing is to writing great novels. Constructing source code in some language is the baseline from which learning starts, not where it ends. Fred Brooks in the classic “Mythical Man Month” wrote, “software systems are perhaps the most intricate and complex of man’s handiworks,” and it’s hard to say he’s wrong. Programming is not easy; not everyone can do it, and fewer can do it well. One of the biggest hurdles in becoming a programmer is getting past the winnowing process where those who don’t have the aptitude or the inclination for it leave for other pursuits. I would argue that producing a given number of effective programmers is at least as much a process of selection as of education. I doubt that anyone can take a random group of people and “teach them to code” in any but the most rudimentary sense.

    I didn’t read the article, but it is entirely possible the “scammers” really thought they could do what they promised. If it’s as simple as people like to imply to “learn to code” how hard could it be to teach others to do it? There are YouTube videos, right?

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  7. I think Mule is probably right. I think that’s where Boeing went off the rails with the latest 737. But then again, I know nothing about writing code; that’s what I.T. Departments are for.

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