Savvy Coders, which teaches computer programming coding at Chattanooga's Edney Innovation Center, has won a state designation which officials say should boost interest in classes.

"The biggest thing is that it gives us a perception from potential students of legitimacy and they'll feel secure and know we're not a fly-by-night operation," said Doug Tull, the St. Louis-based company's marketing director.

Tull said Savvy Coders received approval as a post-secondary educational institution from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. THEC vets and selects institutions and classes that teach skills to Tennessee's workforce. Tull said the THEC designation means that Savvy Coders "adheres to professional and ethical standards."

Savvy Coders has offered coding classes in Chattanooga for three years, though they haven't been as well attended as those in Nashville and St. Louis, Tull said.

"This move should up [enrollment in] Chattanooga," he said.

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Deb Socia is the president and CEO of The Enterprise Center located in the Edney Building in downtown Chattanooga.

Deb Socia, president and CEO of The Enterprise Center in Chattanooga, said it's a win when Chattanooga's stature grows as a place for tech innovation.

"Savvy Coders, The Enterprise Center, and THEC are all dedicated to training Chattanooga's workforce ... ," she said.

Almost 1.4 million software development jobs go unfilled every year, according to Savvy Coders. In Chattanooga, the average salary of such jobs is more than $55,000 a year, Tull said.

He said pay also varies nationally by market, experience and a college degree. But, he said, Facebook and Google no longer require a college diploma as the skills for coders are in high demand.

"It's a high-growth area that's somewhat recession proof," Tull said.

Savvy Coders says its aim is to deliver industry-specific and in-demand, full-stack software development skills, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Agile.

"People come to us with different skill levels," Tull said. "Some have limited experience in coding, some have tried to learn on their own. For most people to really learn it, they need structure and curriculum."

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.