For the Community

In the Community

Tony Sheppard
Founder, Can Code Cube

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AlbanyCanCode?

We are a not-for-profit organization founded in June 2016, dedicated to the vision of a talent-fueled pipeline for our region’s software sector. To build this pipeline, we work with employers, educators, and community organizations to identify, train, and advocate employment of people with the skills to work in software and IT jobs.

The goal is to remove the economic and cultural barriers to working in technology. We want our region to have an inclusive, vibrant, and expert pipeline of technologists. Part of that mission involves changing mindset in our region about who can be a technologist, and how to evaluate candidates for technology jobs.

How does Albany Can Code integrate community into its mission?

The goal is to remove the economic and cultural barriers to working in technology. We want our region to have an inclusive, vibrant, and expert pipeline of technologists.

Workforce courses are designed to spot and skill up non-traditional talent for careers in software, data, IT , interactive marketing, and technology in general. Because in our region, a ‘traditional’ candidate has a computer science degree, we strive to place folks without that degree – or any degree – into the tech businesses that are growing our region.

Do the students do projects for community organizations?

In Spring 2017 we began a practice of having students in two courses – Front End Web Development and Back End Web Development – work together to create websites and web apps for local initiatives. The PinDrop Project, with project sponsor Leet Cyber Security, was the first: a fully searchable map-based web interface to find cybersecurity events all across the northeast united states.

The Fall 2017 students are working on four projects:

  • a mobile interface and website for Jazzy Sun Birthdays, an all-volunteer project run by Fazana Saleem-Ismail  has been bringing birthday parties to kids in homeless shelters since 2011. Jazzy Sun not only treats the underprivileged celebrants to a real celebration, but builds connections between kids from diverse economic backgrounds;
  • a more robust website, with content management, for 4th Family, an Albany-based non-profit run by Jahkeen Hoke that uses youth interest in basketball, football, and environmental issues to engage inner city high schoolers in STEM research and development projects with RPI students and faculty;
  • a demo site for a searchable app – brainchild of Army veteran and RPI MBA student Jason leBrecht – that lets veterans find local businesses offering discounts to them, as a way to thank them for their service; and
  • a starter website for CyberHub, a peer learning and community outreach project of Leet Cyber Security founder Tyler Wrightson, which will invite local youth to get involved in developing cyber security skills.

Thes portfolio projects not only give our non-traditional students hands-on, practical experience, but align with our mission of building bridges, and raising tech IQ, across all social and economic classes in our region.

What is MomUp?

MomUp! is the pet project of  Albany Can Code co-founder and Executive Director Janet Carmosky. When Janet first moved to the Cap Region, she was a single mother of two kids, who knew nobody in the area except the person who has hired and relocated her from another country.  As her two kids emerged from high school passionate about environmental issues and art respectively, she thought about how to help them to economic independence, without giving up their passions. Now 24 and 19, her kids are in fields that are meaningful to them – and they use SQL, R, HTML, CSS, jQuery and other tools every day in the work they do.

MomUp! is Janet’s way of giving every Cap Region mother the mindset and vocabulary to empower the children they love to develop the skills that 21st century jobs require. It’s a 2-hour workshop to map the universe of computing and careers that reward coding skills; moms also get hands-on experience with free resources to get themselves and their kids into the mindset and habits that all coders need.

What is Can Code Cube?

Can Code Cube, founded January 2018 by SUNY ITS employee and lifelong instructor and mentor Tony Sheppard, does  paid app dev project work for small, local organizations. Teams are comprised mainly of Albany Can Code graduates.  The coders have a vehicle for ongoing portfolio building and team experience on a part-time basis; other Albany Can Code graduates sharpen their project management skills related to software development projects.

Key current projects of “the Cube” include development of the STEM Xplor app for client The Schenectady Foundation; and a data management and UI applet designed for food co-ops, for client Capital Bookkeeping Cooperative.


We’re changing mindset about who can be a technologist, and creating pathways to connect locat talent to local jobs. Your donation can help.