Brian talks with Justin Hall (@jhalljhall, President of @BitSourceKY) and Payton May (Creative Director of @BitSourceKY) about how they are using developer skills to help rebuild a region that has been impacted by the decline in the coal mining industry. We discuss how they training former coal miners, how they are building apps to address serious issues in their community, and recent media highlighting their efforts and projects.
- Topic 1 - Welcome to the show. Tell us about your background (both in technology and elsewhere) as well as some of the areas where BitSource is focused?
- Topic 2 - Tell us about Pikeville, Kentucky and why it’s not like Silicon Valley.
- Topic 3 - BitSource Founder Rusty Justice - “He cofounded Bit Source, a code shop that builds its workforce by retraining coal miners as programmers. Enthusiasm is sky high: Justice got 950 applications for his first 11 positions. Miners, it turns out, are accustomed to deep focus, team play, and working with complex engineering tech. “Coal miners are really technology workers who get dirty,” Justice says.”
- Topic 3a - Tell us about the process you used to train these former coal miners? What tools or trainings did you use? How did you prioritize the types of projects to take on, that matched the skills you had available? [Did they have any existing technical skills?]
- Topic 4 - When we spoke earlier, you mentioned that BitSource was working on an “Uber” like project, but with a much different goal of ride sharing. Tell us more about this project.
- Topic 6 - How can we help you tap into a broader technical community?