Bay Valley Tech of Modesto is signing up people for its next round of free online classes in software code writing.

Because of the coronavirus, the demand could be as great as ever. The state’s stay-home order has left many people with time on their hands. And if a recession is indeed ahead, a new set of career skills could come in handy.

The next Code Academy will start July 6 and last seven months. Students will learn independently for about 20 hours per week and interact in a weekly online meeting. Another version, for people working full-time, requires 10 hours per week over 14 months.

Bay Valley Tech can offer all this for free thanks to funding from the Stanislaus County Office of Education and local business sponsors. They hope to build the ranks of workers who can develop software for these and other employers. And to reduce the need for daily commutes to Silicon Valley.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to pivot their careers and get into tech, and get into something that pays better,” said Phillip Lan, president of Bay Valley Tech, in a phone interview.

$15,000-plus elsewhere

Bay Valley Tech launched in 2018 and has trained about 100 people so far. The course prepares each student for an internship or entry-level job. Similar training programs in the Bay Area can cost upward of $15,000, Lan said.

Some graduates go to work for other tech companies, such as Novo Technologies of Modesto and the local office of Texas-based Tyler Technologies. Lan said the Modesto area’s food and beverage industry also needs software developers. This includes companies such as E.&J. Gallo WineryFoster Farms and Blue Diamond Growers.


All online for now

The Code Academy usually has weekly in-person meetings. They have shifted to online during the stay-home order.

Also during normal times, the students take part in hackathons and other events aimed at generating interest in these careers. They also develop software for local nonprofits and tutor classmates who are behind.

Bay Valley Tech has a staff of eight. It also works with technology companies in the East Bay.

The deadline to register for the next academy is April 30. Information is at


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