Local start-up seeks to build ‘momentum’ with Durham Tech

(L to R) Samantha Stolte, Nicole Benham, Clinton Dreisbach, Jessica Mitsch

Jessica Mitsch and Clinton Dreisbach have a passion for coding. While they speak fluent tech, they understand that computer code is a foreign language to many. As co-founders of Momentum Learning, a coding school in Durham, this dynamic duo is on a mission to meet the need for coders and contribute to the ever growing technology industry.

One of their first stops – Durham Technical Community College.

By partnering with Durham Tech, Momentum said it can offer an affordable intro class for students interested in the coding world. Momentum will offer its first Code Basics course starting March 15.

“The technology field is the fastest growing in our job market today and this particular class is cool because it gives people a taste of what working with code is like,” Dreisbach said. “It’s not a class that you take for two weeks and then become a full-time software developer. That’s not the point. The point is you come in and understand that world a little bit more, you understand the terminology and you walk out knowing if this is something you want to pursue further.”

The 10-hour course will be offered in five, two-hour sessions at Momentum’s headquarters at American Underground on the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham.

The course will teach coding beginners how to build an interactive website from scratch all while building a functional, foundational understanding of how the web works.

“You see a program like this existing because we’re super agile and technology changes very quickly. This type of talent is in high demand,” Mitsch said. “The audience for this course is pretty broad. We think everyone can benefit from it.”

Individuals who become fluent in code can pursue careers as software or web developers.

“This area has a lot of coding opportunities so we want to provide people with exposure to that,” Mitsch said. “We had students complete one of our other courses recently and told us they didn’t even know this was a career option.”

According to Glassdoor.com, software or web developers in the Raleigh-Durham region pay between $50,000 and $60,000 annually.

“Code Basics is a chance to learn enough about programming to be able to communicate with other people and know if it’s a career for you,” Dreisbach said. “Students can come in for two weeks, learn quite a bit and figure out where they want to go next.”

Momentum is comprised of nine staff members, 14 volunteer ambassadors, and an 18-member employee advisory board, which provides invaluable networking opportunities.

“We have the ability to listen to employers in the area who say they’re going to start using new technology and need 20 people in the next six months,” Mitsch said. “So we look at that information and can put classes together quickly to give the employer audience exactly what they need from a talent perspective and ensure our students are getting very relative training and are highly employable.”

The Code Basics course can take up to 20 students and costs $398, a steep discount compared to a similar 14-hour course offered through Momentum, which costs $900.

“Because of the partnership with Durham Tech, we’re able to offer this course at a really affordable price,” Mitsch said. “The hope is that we can get the price down even more as we get more students interested.”

Those interested in the course, should register here.

“We are fortunate to live in the Raleigh-Durham area with a robust educational system,” Mitsch said. “One of our goals is to make sure that we have deep roots in the local ecosystem so Durham Tech is an amazing partnership to establish that.”

For additional information or questions, please contact Durham Tech Corporate Education Director Doug Aitkin at 919-536-7200 ext. 4303.