Carolina Code School field trip: Kopis
Our first cohort of students recently met with KOPIS President and CEO Andrew Kurtz to talk about software development and job prospects. KOPIS has been in business for almost 20 years, focusing on services like business intelligence, mobile app development and custom software development. It was clear from our conversation that Andrew loves what he does--he talked extensively about his team, leadership, new technology and the big ideas behind what drives companies to build software.
Andrew is passionate about supporting entrepreneurs and startup tech companies in the Upstate. He is one of the original founding CEOs of NEXT, which seeks to expand the tech industry and support entrepreneurism in the Greenville area. The NEXT initiative led to the launch of the NEXT Innovation Center, the home of our campus and KOPIS headquarters. Our location gives Carolina Code School great access to networking opportunities and collaboration with startups and established businesses alike.
When looking for a technical hire, Andrew says he uses a basic litmus test--will they enhance the culture? Are they self-motivated? Most importantly, he looks for a hire that can think beyond the 0’s and 1’s, to understand not only what the client is trying to achieve, but why.
With so many languages and solutions available to developers, Andrew emphasized that good programming paradigms apply across languages. Learn one and the rest will follow. He suggests finding a real-world problem to solve through software and then playing and tinkering with that software to learn more--build, refine, build again.
The main takeaway from our students: “Soft skills are equally as important as technical skills,” says Zach Thigpen. “The ability to learn on the job can overcome a lack of technical skills coming in. If you don't know a language or technology, it's not going to keep you from getting that job as long as you show the ability and desire to learn and grow. We shouldn't limit ourselves as junior programmers to just the languages we've learned in the classroom.”
Find out more about KOPIS as KOPISUSA.com.