Commerce Department creates in-house coding classes for employees

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Commerce employees can view course offerings, register for classes, and listen to previous classes through the academy’s website. (Commerce Department)

The data team inside the Commerce Department has created an in-house, online training portal for employees interested in data science and web development.

The Commerce Data Academy was created by the Commerce Data Service, a group housed inside the Commerce Department that helps the various agencies in the department rapidly create and develop projects.

The academy launched Thursday with a number of courses aimed at data science, including “Intro to R,” a statistical computing programming language, and “Data Wrangling with Pandas,” a course concentrating on the software library written for the Python programming language.

The idea for the courses came after the data service launched a pilot program with the help of code school General Assembly, the Commerce Research Library and the Leadership & Innovation Network in Commerce, to offer classes in Agile development, HTML & CSS, and Microsoft Excel. The class registrations were more than triple what the service expected; with a total of 422 registrations and a nearly ninety percent attendance rate.

On the success of those classes, the program expanded to two data bootcamps and 14 new data courses.

Additionally, the data service issued 15 scholarships to a select group of employees where the office agreed to pay for their course tuition if they agreed to do a three-month detail with the CDS team where they would work on a project for their home bureau.

Commerce employees can view course offerings, register for classes, and listen to previous classes through the academy’s website. All courses are available and recorded through Web-Ex, so employees can virtually attend classes.

“Through individual education and empowerment, we can help make Commerce an innovative and stronger data-driven agency,” the data service wrote in a blog post.

Contact the reporter on this story via email at greg.otto@fedscoop.com, or follow him on Twitter at @gregotto. His OTR and PGP info can be found hereSubscribe to the Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox every morning by signing up here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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Commerce Department, Departments
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