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Dave Parker
Dave Parker

Startup veteran Dave Parker is taking the reins of Code Fellows, the Seattle-based educational organization that teaches folks to code.

Parker, who most recently worked as a vice president of UP Global, will replace former Amazon.com employee Kristin Smith who is leaving the organization for personal reasons after 13 months on the job. Smith will remain as an advisor.

“Code Fellows has a great mission, to help people change their lives,” said Parker in a release. “At this point in my career, I want to help build something that’s about more than just financial return. While Code Fellows has tremendous potential, what’s especially exciting is growing the company and impacting more lives.”

Prior to UP Global — which earlier today sold to TechstarsParker worked as an executive of a number of Seattle area tech companies.

Last month, Code Fellows announced that it planned to give away $250,000 in scholarships to women, minorities and veterans. The organization also recently expanded to Chicago and Portland.

As of March, the company had graduated 340 people from its Development Accelerator, with an average starting salary of $75,600 per year. The top starting salary was $155,000.

The 8-week program teaches students in Full-Stack JavaScript, iOS Development, Ruby on Rails, Python and Front-End Development.

“The stars really aligned for us,” said Code Fellows co-founder and chairman Andy Sack. “I’ve known and admired Dave for 10 years and thought of him immediately when Kristin and I agreed she would step back. The timing was perfect because he had just completed the UP Global/Techstars deal and was starting to look for a new challenge.”

Previously on GeekWire: The exploding demand for computer science education, and why America needs to keep up

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