Dev Catalyst began in 2013 with the mission of improving technology education and growing tech talent among West Tennessee students. Dev Catalyst has expanded since it’s origins and provides online and industry-current coding education to build our nation’s tech talent pipeline in the areas of web development, physical computing, UX and data management. Over eight hundred students representing twenty-three schools and homeschoolers from across Tennessee and Iowa participated in Dev Catalyst this year.

The program is rooted in developing student coders who are marketable in today’s workforce and offers three high school competition categories: Hardware Development, Novice Web Development, and Data Development. Over two hundred students submitted competition entries this year alone. Eighty of those students were named code leaders and invited to celebrate at Awardaganza hosted at theCO.

Dev Catalyst Code Leaders had the treat of hearing Chester County native Brad Montague speak at Awardaganza. Brad is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning writer and director making things for kids and former kids. He is the creator of ‘Kid President’, the popular web series featured on Rainn Wilson’s Soulpancake YouTube channel. His work has garnered more than 700 million views, been translated into countless languages, and caught the attention of people like Beyonce and Tom Hanks and even the Obama White House. He and his wife run Montague Workshop a creative agency working to reimagine the future through the stories we tell and the ways we tell them in Henderson, Tennessee.

Twenty-one students were awarded an all expenses paid Tech Tour of San Francisco. Dev Catalyst Code Champions included: Trinity Christian Academy’s Steven Dew. Madison Acedemic’s Nicholas Campbell, Hiba Kader, Maya Smith, and Jackey Yang. North Side High School’s Zachariah Cunningham and Jacob Yarbrough. Jackson Christian School’s Connor Richardson and Zach Simpson. Chester County High School’s Tori Catlett, Riley Haltom, Rachel Hibbett, Luke Hunt, Solomon Smith, and Annabelle Tomlinson. Lexington High School’s Houston Hayes. Gibson County High School’s Hayley Stephenson and Micaiah Rogers. McNairy Central High School’s Landon Bolton. Early College High’s Dallas Jones and Iowa Homeschooler Joshua Ness.

Chester County High School was awarded Dev Catalyst’s 2018-2019 Top Coding School, and Trinity Christian Academy’s Michael Mancini was presented The Rhodes Barnette Educator Award.

This program and trip to San Francisco would not be possible without our generous sponsors. We would like to thank Launch TN, First Tennessee Bank, Jackson Chamber, 1Tennessee Broadband, Alexander & Thompson Arnold CPAs, Jackson Energy Authority, Murray Guard, and Personnel Placements LLC for making this possible. Learn more about Dev Catalyst at