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Launchcode looking for computer programmers

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(KTVI)--  Jim McKelvey wants to launch some careers with latest project, Launchcode.

"So you've got 100 companies all giving one spot each to sit next to their experienced developers," says Jim McKelvey.

Tuesday, the Square co-founder announced his new initiative to help retain qualified jobs and job seekers in the St. Louis region.

From fortune 500 companies to two person start-ups, McKelvey's idea snags a page from Silicon Valley's playbook.

"Paired programming which is two people sitting next to one another, one computer and they're working on the same line of code at the same time," explains McKelvey.

McKelvey's idea is essentially a placement program with 100 local companies that puts computer programmers in jobs around the region.

He estimates St. Louis could stop losing it talent to other cities and actually become a hub for programmers.

"It's how we develop our best programmers at Square," says McKelvey.  "It's a fantastic way of developing just good quality code and it also trains people up very quickly."

Quick is what McKelvey understands.

He came up with the experimental idea and got the 100 local companies on-board in just 28 days.

"The company pays 15 dollars an hour, not much," says McKelvey.  "But remember there's an average 90-thousand dollar job waiting down the line after that."

And a world of opportunities thanks to being paired with the right partner.

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