I-Stem Advanced Technical Training Program

Registration for the fall 2018 course now closed

About the program

I-Stem Advanced Technical Training program is a 16-week virtual accelerated and thorough computer science training program for those who already have basic programming skills such as through VisionAid's Python Programming Course or college computer science classes. The program attempts to prepare candidates for the software industry and covers solid software engineering principles and practices, data structures and algorithms. The program ends with an introduction to web development and machine learning-fields that are very sought after in today's corporate world. The hope is to arm students with an in-depth understanding of core computer science concepts so that they are able to compete for technical positions or are prepared to take other more advanced classes that may be of interest to them. To do this, the program has several components.

  • Career coaching and consulting: All students receive individualized coaching to determine what skills they need to develop to be successful in the industry. Post this, an individualized plan is developed to help these students achieve these objectives.
  • Training: the course content has been integrated with leading moocs. I-Stem facilitates students to complete these courses by providing support, mentorship and a community of other students taking the same courses at the same time. The group also provides supplementary material wherever these moocs are inaccessible. By completing these courses, students get certificates from some of the best universities and companies in the world such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Microsoft, among others at no cost to them contingent on getting at least a B grade in the course.
  • Technical coach: Every two students are assigned a coach who is either a student at a top technical university or a professional in the tech industry. This coach helps these students understand the concepts presented in the moocs, answers any questions and provides guidance.
  • Community mentorship: Students join the I-Stem community which is already 90 members strong. As part of the community, there are several opportunities to network with other members, some of whom are successful professionals in the industry.
  • Interview preparation: I-Stem provides an interview preparation package to help students prepare for technical interviews and also conducts mock interviews to give them a feel for the actual interviews.
  • Hackathon: I-Stem's annual flagship event is the Inclusive Stem hackathon. The hackathon brings together blind developers, tech professionals from various corporates and sighted computer science students. The first hackathon was organized in Bangalore in January 2018, and saw the participation of 11 companies. On successful completion of the I-Stem Advanced Technical Training Program, students are automatically eligible to participate in the hackathon which provides for a great opportunity to network with other blind developers and sighted technology professionals from across the country.
  • Connections with company partners: I-Stem works closely with several corporate partners, and while it is impossible to guarantee placement on the completion of the program, the group strives to facilitate introductions.
  • Internship opportunities with I-Stem: During and after the course, students will be eligible to work closely with the core I-Stem team and our community on some very interesting technical projects depending on an appropriate skill match.

Who is eligible?

Anyone who has some experience programming is eligible for the course. In particular, we expect the students to be comfortable with such concepts as branching, loops, functions or methods and basic data structures such as lists and maps. If any of this sounds remote to you, you may want to first complete a basic computer science programming course, such as Vvision-Aid's Python Programming course. Further, this course is intense and requires at least 8 Hrs. effort/week. You should only take this course if you can commit to spending this much time every week for the next four months.

Course format

The course uses a flipped classroom model. This means that students spend some time reviewing mooc videos ahead of their meeting with their technical coach and use the meeting to ask any questions, clarify doubts and work on hands-on examples. They work on mooc assignments (unless I-Stem replaces an assignment), and get certificates from the world's leading universities and companies if they are able to get at least a B grade in the course.

Selection process

The selection process consists of a basic written application and an interview to assess your suitability for the program. Registrations for the fall 2018 course are now closed. Check back in December 2018 for the winter term applications.

Schedule

The first cohort starts September1 and will approximately end December31. Following is a rough outline of how we will spend the four months.

Custom versions of the course

If after reviewing the above schedule, you feel that you are comfortable in a particular area being covered, or want more in-depth understanding of an aspect being covered (such as web development or machine learning), please email us at info@inclusivestem.org. We may be able to provide custom programs (e.g. deep learning for 16 weeks etc) based on interest and availability of our technical coaches.