Is it Possible for Miami to Grow Its Own Tech Talent?

Miami has often been touted as one of the regions in South Florida set to become “the next Silicon Valley” or at the very least a tech powerhouse in its own right. Nonetheless, there has been a couple of obstacles that have delayed that achievement the most significant being the shortage of tech talent to provide the necessary skills to fuel startups or established IT companies.

The biggest question then becomes, is it that there is no IT talent in Miami or hiring companies look for a long list academic qualifications and possibly bypassing talent?

According to Johanna Mikkola, the co-founder of Wyncode Academy if companies want exploit the IT talent in Miami, they should get more comfortable hiring junior developers. Mikkola was speaking at a conference organized by Great Miami Chamber of Commerce that brought together tech employers and educators to discuss the shortage of IT skills in Miami and how to address it.

Mikkola says technologists who come to work in Miami from other areas don’t stay for long, and it is essential that the city grows its own talent and nurture it from the ground up.

Wyncode is a privately owned Miami code school that offers comprehensive 9-week programs in specific trending software developer skills as opposed to covering the traditional academic grounding in computer science. For instance, Wyncode is currently providing a programming skill known as node.js, a rare but valuable skill used in programming the server side of the web and mobile apps that are highly responsive such as chat apps.

Mikkola argues that most programming tasks are not as complex as they are deemed to be and don’t have to be handled by a team of senior developers. She adds that most tech companies refuse to accept this logic and will only hire a freshly graduated developer “out of desperation.”

Yvette Brown, the Vice President of Technology and CIO at Barry University also speaking at the conference said she often hires fresh graduates, partially because she can bring them onboard relatively inexpensively. She adds that the only problem is that they only work on few projects before they are out to seek something better. Brown agrees that part of the reason Miami cannot maintain its IT talent is because of poor pay, but she quick to mention that she does the best she can within her budget.

All in all, if Miami is to become the next Silicon Valley, IT companies have to offer competitive salaries to fresh graduates and give them a chance to grow their talent.

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