BOISE -- Boise's 8th annual Code Camp wrapped up this weekend. What's Code Camp? It's a chance for computer programmers to learn the latest trends. And, one of the trends is Boise's growth as a hot spot for programmers.
Code Camp featured 67 speakers converging on Boise State to talk about the latest in programming.
Every 18 months to 24 months, you got new languages, new platforms, the hardware revolutions that you see with the mobile revolution. It's crazy, said camp director Scott Nichols. So, it's a really dynamic field, and events like this are really important for the community, because it keeps them abreast on what's changing.
And that community in Boise is growing. About 700 people attended the camp, that's about 200 more than showed up to a similar event in Chicago.
Boise is just a very vibrant technology community, said Nichols. There's over 400 technology companies in the valley, from three people startups to the multi-billion dollar international companies like HP, MK, URS, Micron.
Also, Nichols says, many new tech companies continue to open satellite offices here in Boise, because of the great quality of life, and lower (but not low) cost of hiring programmers.
When people want to look for good people, they know Boise is the place to come.
Marianna Budnikova is one of those good people.
When people think about computer science, they think about the geeks in their basement trying to code away, Budnikova said. And, actually, computer science is a really social field.
She's a BSU graduate student who's received numerous prestigious scholarships, is a rising star in computer science, and despite receiving internship offers from Silicon Valley, is doing that work here, because she wants to start her career here.
I'm hoping to stay in Boise and promote the technology here, because it's such a wonderful place to be.
If you want to work in software here, there are apparently plenty of opportunities.
All the people that I know of got an internship or a job by the time they graduated, said Budnikova. So, there is definitely not the unemployment problem right now for computer science students.
While the Treasure Valley is not the Silicon Valley, programming and software certainly seems to be a growing driver of this community's economy.
There is a worldwide shortage of technology professionals, says Nichols. So, if we don't fill that gap, it will be filled elsewhere.
The Code Camp also featured a Kid Camp, with about 150 youngsters learning the basics of programming so they might one day have a career in this quickly-growing field.