The CodeSquad Story
The CodeSquad story
Building a new pipeline of technology talent

We see two challenges

CodeSquad was created to address two challenges: the need for good jobs and the need for good programmers. The need for good jobs is well-established, with a recent report telling us that half of Boston lives on less than $35,000 per year, and unemployment is stuck around 12% in neighborhoods like Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, despite improvements in the wider economy.

But there is another problem: companies around Boston, and across the United States, need more programmers. In an influential 2011 Wall Street Journal editorial, Netscape's Marc Andreessen said "software is eating the world." More and more businesses are being run on software and delivered as online services, from movies to agriculture to national defense. And as businesses use more and more software, they need more and more programmers to write, test and maintain those applications.

But they are running out of talent. A July 2017 report from Skill-Works and The Boston Foundation found that in Greater Boston, for every 17 job openings in IT, there was only 1 qualified applicant. Not just technology companies, but health care providers, manufacturers and financial services firms are all desperate for more software talent.

CodeSquad seeks to balance this equation by providing full-stack web development training to talented adults from low-income families in Greater Boston, and work to place them in software internships.

CodeSquad training

Who we are

Andrew Ott
Executive Director

Andrew is a business and nonprofit leader with over 15 years experience in website architecture, business development and social entrepreneurship. He has built websites that showcase deep video content, drive new revenue and solidify brands. In 2009, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a website built for PBS Frontline. Andrew has a master's in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

Ben Livermore
Technical Director

Ben has been a software engineer for 15 years, and has led teams of web developers for large 5000-person corporations and for tiny four-person startups. He has his master's in education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and has taught classes on test-driven development, pair programming, Agile management and best practices in web development.

Leslie Swanson
Board Member

Leslie Swanson is President and CEO of eXalt Solutions, a leading cloud platform for B2B sales. She has founded three startups: Vigilant Networks, a network monitoring company sold to Gen-Tek; Expert Views, a CAE/CAD/CAM database company sold to RR Donnelley; and eXalt Solutions. Leslie has a passion for metadata and rules-based software and has won numerous patents

in network monitoring and data management. One of the earliest adopters of outsourcing for business processes (BPO), Leslie is excited about the future of robotic process automation and artificial intelligence within the enterprise. After 30 years in technology, Leslie is committed to growing diversity in the tech sector. Her favorite charity is CodeSquad.
Steve Gluckman
Board Member

Steve has worked in technology and online learning for more than 20 years, and built and sold companies in the federal government, legal and professional services markets. Currently CEO of online learning firm LearnVibe, Steve also wrote a popular book on the subject and is a regular speaker at e-learning conferences and meetings. Early in his career, Steve created a successful

educational coding project in the Washington, DC area. He now serves on the advisory boards of multiple for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
Luis Castro
Board Member

Luis has 15 years of experience in media and entertainment, with a focus on cultivating diverse creative talent and executives. He most recently served as Acting Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment, where he oversaw a $30 million agency responsible for promoting film, television and theatre production in New York. Prior to that he ran major talent and artist-support

initiatives for HBO in Los Angeles and Time Warner in New York. Earlier in his career, working at the NYC Partnership, he built public-private alliances between leading New York corporations, the public school system, and community groups.
Jonathan Schwartz
Technical Advisor

Jonathan is a business-minded web application and database architect with over 17 years experience building customer-facing, cloud-based solutions. With a background in email marketing technology, Jonathan has spent the last 8 years contributing to the e-commerce world where he implements advanced integrations across all areas of the Shopify platform. A registered Shopify expert

through his personal consulting company, JAS Technology, Jonathan works alongsidea variety of small businesses as their technology partner. Jonathan received a BA in Computer Science from Hamilton College... and jumped into the industry 72 hours later!