Computer programming jobs are hot: Coding gigs will grow 12% this decade, making it a popular choice for a mid-career switch. What’s not hot enough: clever ways for people to pull off the transition. Michelle Rowley is tackling this problem not with another solitary web-based course but with what the self-taught programmer calls "a community of learners." Starting in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, Rowley’s Code Scouts gives members access to a flexible structure of monthly "troop meetings," professional mentoring, advice on the best courses to take, and a closed online social network. She plans to expand her Scout troops to other cities, too.
[Portrait illustration by Denise Nestor]