BDPA Detroit Chapter

From the Clasroom to the Boardroom

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High School Computer Competition

Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) & National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Programs

Throughout the year, local chapters conduct SITES training programs for the youth in their communities. These programsHSCC are designed to expose our youth to the concepts of computers and give them the expertise to develop web applications. Some chapters will participate in regional competitions throughout the country to further prepare their students. Each BDPA chapter is able to send one team of 3 to 5 students to the National Conference to compete against teams from chapters all over the country.

The BDPA National High School Computer Competition, (HSCC), was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jesse Bemley, of Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Ga. has grown to over 20 teams of various high school students from chapters throughout the nation. It's all designed to introduce our Youth to the field of Information Technology, encourage them to seek higher levels of education, and groom many of them to become our next generation of IT professionals.

Once at the National Conference, students will be able to attend Workshops and Seminars covering topics related to Personal Development, Academic Development, Youth Entrepreneurship and Information Technology. They will be able to participate in activities including, Corporate Sponsored luncheons and receptions, visits to educational attractions in the hosting city (i.e. museums and college tours), and networking evenings with IT professionals and students from around the country. On top of all this, they get to showcase their talents in the National Competition which consists of a timed computerized written exam, oral questions and the development of a web application. If they feel creative, they can also participate in a T-Shirt Design Competition.

      This course is designed to be an introduction to open-source web application development and engineering in general. Students will learn how to design the user interface of web applications using mobile-responsive techniques and also learn how to display and store information from a database within the application using server-side programming.  This will give students the opportunity to gain a 360-degree view of how a web application functions. 

 The PMI Great Lakes Chapter has partnered with BDPA-Detroit to enhance the HSCC curriculum with a course called: ‘Project Management 101 Skills for Life’. This short course will provide students with tools and techniques to help them work effectively as a team.


Student Eligibility

Students who will be entering the 9th through 12th grade during August or September or graduating from high school the year of the competition are eligible to participate. They must also be a member of BDPA and sponsored by a local chapter.  

HISTORY: HSCC National Champions

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HISTORY: HSCC National Champions

2014 - Washington DC
2013 - So Minnesota
2012 - Atlanta
2011 - So Minnesota
2010 - So Minnesota
2009 - So Minnesota
2008 - So Minnesota
2007 - So Minnesota
2006 - Chicago
2005 - So Minnesota
2004 - Memphis
2003 - Memphis
2002 - Memphis
2001 - Memphis
2000 - Detroit
1999 - New York
1998 - Detroit
1997 - Hartford
1996 - Detroit
1995 - Detroit
1994 - Chicago
1993 - Detroit
1992 - New York
1991 - Detroit
1990 - Washington DC
1989 - New York
1988 - New York
1987 - New Orleans
1986 - Washington DC

10 Organizations for Learning to Code

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10 Organizations for Learning to Code



Colleges no longer have a monopoly on education, and programming is no exception. These 10 organizations can teach you to program just the way you like it: free or paid, online or offline, hands-on or hands-off. Rather than threaten you with a bad grade, they entice passionate students with the promise of a new skill, a new community, and maybe some cute badges.


  • Codecademy: An online platform with free courses in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, and jQuery. Plus, anyone can create a course and share it with aspiring programmers. They also organized Code Year, an initiative to teach more people to code in 2012, and Code Summer+, which teaches programming to disadvantaged youth.
  • Code School: Online coding education for just $25/month. If you prefer to pick and choose, you can buy any of their grab-bag of courses individually. They also created Try Ruby, a basic tutorial that lets you play around with the language.
  • Treehouse: An online library with over 750 training videos. A lot of the content is free, but you can subscribe monthly to get access to their whole collection.
  • Google Code University: For a more self-directed experience, browse Google’s library of courses and videos – particularly tutorials and introductions for beginners. You can also check out the Python and C++ classes taught at Google itself.
  • MIT Open Courseware: The most popular course among all MIT’s free course materials is Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. You get handouts, homework, and quizzes – just like MIT, but without the big price tag.

In Person

  • Hacker School: A free, 3-month program in New York City with a few lectures and speakers, but mostly heads-down programming. It’s aimed at hackers who already love coding, who want to write free and open source software, and whose goal is to learn (not build a product or startup). The summer 2012 session of Hacker School is in full swing at Etsy, which provided $5,000 grants to female students.
  • Code Academy: Paid, 3-month classes in web development, user experience, or HTML and CSS. Code Academy is based in Chicago at the 1871 incubator. Applications for the fall program close on August 12.

For the Ladies

  • Girl Develop It: Technical workshops for female programmers held around the United States, as well as in Canada and Australia. They aim to create a supportive environment where women can join the discussion and show off their skills. Courses are also available online.
  • Hackbright Academy: A 10-week training program for women in San Francisco – half learning, half doing. Applications for the fall program are due in August, and it costs $6,000.
  • Girls Who Code: An 8-week summer class teaching programming to high school girls in New York City, which began this Monday. They will take trips to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare and work on a final project that tackles a challenge in their community, like recycling.

Programming isn’t for everyone, sure. But if it is for you, you’ll find tons of resources to help along the way.

Update: Also check out Dev Bootcamp (a 10-week program in San Francisco to learn Ruby on Rails) and Web Start Women (courses in web design and development for women in Boston).

HSCC Testimonial: Jamarr Hill (BDPA Detroit, 2003-2004)

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HSCC Testimonial: Jamarr Hill (BDPA Detroit, 2003-2004)

Jamarr Hill was a member of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Detroit chapter to compete in the National BDPA HSCC championships held in Philadelphia (2003) and Dallas (2004). He graduated from Martin Luther King High School before studying for a marketing degree at Wayne State University. Jamarr is the owner and chief executive officer of his own company, Balla-Status, Inc.

I would like to thank Mr. Wayne Hicks for the opportunity to share some experiences that I had as a proud alumni of BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC). From the moment we tested to see where our skills were, I knew that I would love my journey. I was blessed to have wonderful teachers and excellent sponsors. I learned Java (the best programming language to date) and was able to piece together something that made me feel empowered, creative and cutting-edge. I don't know if BDPA knew it, but they were really preparing me for the future as web applications and design was in its infancy at that time.

After learning a new language and then learning to play a role. We were introduced to an environment that made the inner geek in me smile from ear-to-ear. We traveled to Philadelphia for the 2003 national HSCC championship. There seemed to be thousands of high school aged pioneers at the hotel. We were all there, not just to win, but to learn and grow.

Looking back on those years allowed me to see that I was being steered in a direction that affected my college choices, career choice and life choice. Thank you BDPA. I owe you all my happiness.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is proud to be able to share these HSCC testimonials for posterity. We appreciate Jamarr and the hundreds of other young men and women who have participated in almost 30 years of HSCC championships! We can use your help with funding college scholarships for young people like Jamarr.

BDPA Detroit Team Finishes in Top 10 in National Competition

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BDPA Detroit Team Finishes in Top 10 in National Competition

It wasn’t easy, but they did it — with skill, hard work and determination.

Left to right: Charles McIntosh Jr., Cameron Hughes and Austin Little work diligently on their project.

The Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) Detroit team built an application from scratch, finishing in the top 10 in the National High School Computer Competition, Aug. 2-4 in Baltimore.

Team members Austin Little, Charles McIntosh Jr. and Cameron Hughes were upbeat about the experience.

Little, 17, of the University High School Academy in Southfield, was a second time participant in the competition.  While he lamented spending lots of time fixing things as they built the application, he was positive about competing: “We learned a lot, and it will benefit us in the future,” he said.

Learning skills in execution was beneficial to McIntosh, 15, of Cass Technical High School in Detroit. “Seven hours is not a lot of time to build an application.” he said. “The competition taught me how to manage my time wisely and how to organize things.”

Perhaps the most philosophical comment came from Cameron Hughes, 16, of University of Detroit Jesuit High School.

“Even if we don’t do as well as we had hoped, it was a good learning experience and a personal victory,” he said.  “We learned a lot about how to manage our time.  The last five minutes were by far the most productive.”

Knowing their hard work and tenacity, Compuware Quality Assurance Analyst Daisha Herring was proud of their ninth place rating out of 18 competing teams. “If they keep at it, they will probably win a place in the top 5 next year,” she said.

For the past 16 years, Compuware has sponsored the BDPA Detroit team to the national competition. During this time, the Detroit team has won five national competitions.  Last year the team came in second, as it did in 2009.

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