The story of New Orleans and General Electric’s unlikely partnership and the rebuilding city’s efforts to turn itself into a tech hub are featured in Forbes magazine’s Sept. 29 issue.
Forbes credits GE’s Mike DeBoer, who heads GE Capital’s 225-person software engineering center in New Orleans, as well as local and state efforts, for helping make the city a popular career spot for computer programmers.
New Orleans’ pitch to GE included training subsidies and great leases, not to mention the willingness of the University of New Orleans Computer Science Department to reshape its curriculum to better serve software engineering firms’ needs. For example, UNO added a database class and web-design, while emphasizing team projects since that’s how software engineers work on projects. The college also made the curriculum less math-heavy, dropping a differential equations class to fit in the database course.
GE Capital now hires a dozen UNO juniors and seniors each year as part-time apprentices, allowing them to shadow experienced engineers and do a little coding themselves.