Yukoners brave intense eight-week 'coding camp'

Students in Whitehorse are learning the basics of computer programming, thanks to an intense eight-week course. It's the first time the 'coding camp' is being held in Yukon.

Course teaches skills to design apps, websites and understand digital interfaces

The boisterous class in Whitehorse is abuzz with talk of apps, coding, user interface and other words of the trade. (Mike Rudyk)

Students in Whitehorse are learning the basics of computer programming with an intense eight-week course. 

It's the first time the web-development "coding camp" has been offered in Yukon.

Vancouver-based Light House Labs began offering the program in 2013 to train the next generation of web developers. Much of the program is carried out online using live interactive video as well hands-on classroom work.

Instructor Don Burks says there's a lot of material to cover. 

"It's a full-time immersive boot camp," he says.

"Students are typically doing anywhere from eight to 12 hours a day of lab work to build up those practical skills. [They're] going through and learning a lot of the modern web technology so they are ready to break into the job market at the end of the boot camp."     

Ben Sanders, one of the students, is an engineer with experience working with BlackBerry and the Canadarm. He says the course is a humbling experience. 

"You start to realize all this beautiful magic you see ​when you experience a website — there is a lot of hard work that goes into making it," he says. 

Students pay $8,000 for the session and must pass an interview to be admitted. 

Students in Whitehorse have already built applications for mobile phones and developed software for interactive podcasts.  By the end of their training they will know how to create websites as well.