Citizens Corner: Jonathan Payne



“We’re looking for anyone with an entrepreneur mentality or who is interested in using tech and innovation to problem-solve within our local communities...all backgrounds are welcome to participate.” - Jonathan Payne, Software Developer and Co-Organizer of Code For Connecticut


When Jonathan Payne first came to Upward in September 2018, he had a precise goal in mind: to become a software developer. Upon meeting the co-founders of Burlington Code Academy (BCA) at an Upward meetup, Jonathan quickly enrolled in a 12-week Javascript training session via BCA, then, advanced into another 12 weeks of mastering front- and back-end Java frameworks via Upward’s in-house coding bootcamp: Tech Talent South. Upon completion of the inaugural Tech Talent South program, Jonathan was handpicked for Tech Talent Select, a strategic bootcamp designed to train hires matching the needs of a local corporate sponsor. 


Nearly a year and a half after his first interaction with the Upward community, Jonathan is now a full-stack Associate Application Developer at The Hartford AND one of the co-founders and organizers of a local chapter of Code For America: Code For Connecticut.


During his studies at BCA, Jonathan discovered Burlington, Vermont’s local brigade - Code For BTV - which sparked his interest in bringing this civic coding initiative home to Connecticut. Upon officially joining the Upward community, Jonathan connected with Upward Citizens Ellen Last (entrepreneur, Experience Design Consultant at Slalom, and former Community Organizer of Tech Talent South) and José Padilla (Software Engineer, entrepreneur, and organizer of the Greater Hartford Python monthly meetup) to breathe life into Code For Connecticut. 




Code For Connecticut, a “brigade” of Code For America, is a volunteer organization where techies and non-techies alike come together to provide technological assistance to civic projects or initiatives. “You can forge your own path within a brigade, sourcing local projects that are meaningful to its volunteers,” says Jonathan. “There are endless possibilities and ways to get involved - whether you want to code or not, this is one of the best opportunities to learn and prove yourself: some members will focus completely on data, some software, often times a hybrid of the two…but you absolutely do not need a technology background to participate.”


Having just launched their monthly member meetings this November, this young local brigade is actively recruiting volunteers with experience or interest in software development, project management, social media, and community engagement. “We’re looking for anyone with an entrepreneur mentality or who is interested in using tech and innovation to problem-solve within our local communities,” says Jonathan. “All backgrounds are welcome to participate.”


To learn more about Code For Connecticut and different opportunities for involvement, visit CTCode.org, and RSVP for the group’s first meeting of the New Year on Tuesday, January 21st, at Upward via Meetup