“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.”
Operation Code's founder - retired U.S. Army Captain, David Molina - attended his first hackathon in New York City. After a weekend learning to code at AngelHack,Opens in new window he was inspired to pursue software engineering as a post-military occupation. He submitted an application to The Flatiron School while on active-duty, only to discover that the program did not accept the "Post-9/11 GI Bill" as payment.
One Month's Rails
Molina exited military service and began to self-teach Ruby on Rails, a full-stack web development platform for building comprehensive web applications. He also started attending meetups with "Bmore on Rails"Opens in new window while finishing One Month's RailsOpens in new window online course. After meeting Rubyists from around the world, he was introduced to the Portland, Oregon Ruby group. Inspired, Molina joined Techstars' Patriot Boot CampOpens in new window(PBC) at George Washington University.
During this time, Molina met with Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, to speak about the inability to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill for coding bootcamps. Before departing D.C., Molina received advice from U.S. Army Congressional Fellow Ben Culver, on gathering data to address the problem. This was the beginning efforts for the current VET TEC pilot program under the Forever G.I. Bill.
Operation Code's First Draft
Molina’s next step was to purchase the domain opcod3.us and work with fellow Army veteran and software developer, Don Livanec to finish the first live webpage in 2013.
At Cascadia Ruby,Opens in new window Molina received encouragement from fellow Rubyist, Whitney Rose, to launch Operation Code's petition using "Launchrock". After lengthy discussions with Kristin Smith, Adam Enbar (representing The Flatiron School), and Code Fellows,Opens in new window the first line of code is committed to GitHubOpens in new window .
Our Official Domain and Brand is Born
Later that same year, web developer, teacher, entrepreneur and co-founder of Code Fellows,Opens in new window Ivan Storck, purchased the domain 'operationcode.org' and became our first donor in the process. To round out 2014, HackHands co-founders Forest Good and Geraldo Ramos joined Operation Code, designing our logo and providing veterans free access to hack.summit,Opens in new window a virtual conference to learn from the world's most renowned programmers.
501(c)(3) Official Status
Operation Code formally launched as a nonprofit, led by David Molina. The kickoff event hosted dozens of veterans, software developers, media representatives, and staff members from Senator Ron Wyden and Congressman Earl Blumenauer's offices.
April 2019 Congress Passes VET TEC Program
As a direct result of the lobbying and work of Operation Code, VET TECOpens in new window was launched. Under the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act (also known as the Forever G.I. Bill), the VET TECOpens in new window program received $15 million per annual budget to assist students in the areas of: information science, software, computer programming, data processing and media application. This program does not utilize the entitlement and remaining months of the G.I. Bill, but requires candidates to have at least one day of remaining entitlement remaining. Students receive a housing stipend similar to the G.I. Bill at the E-5 with dependents rate.
February 2021 Guidestar Gold
Operation Code receives the Gold Seal of Transparency from Guidestar.org,Opens in new window the independent data analysis for non-profit certification of approval.
March 2021 Operation Code Exceeds 8000 Members
Today, Operation Code continues our advocacy efforts and strategic alliances, builds on our supportive online community, local chapter and online meetups, mentorship, career networking, free learning resources, access to code school scholarships, and continues to advocate for veteran and military family access to code schools and careers in the tech industry.