Jeffrey Cohen
Jeffrey Cohen

Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Print Overview

Jeffrey Cohen is an independent software engineer and entrepreneur, exploring the art and science of beginner-focused technical education. His primary interest is in the intersection of business development with computer programming.  Jeffrey developed the curriculum and materials for the web development courses at Kellogg (KIEI-924 and KIEI-925) and won a Faculty Impact award for Spring Quarter, 2016.

Jeffrey is the cofounder of Go Learn To Code, and was previously the Founding Instructor of The Starter League in Chicago. He is also a Lecturer at the University of Chicago in the Masters Program in Computer Science.  Jeffrey co-authored the book Ruby on Rails for .NET Developers published by Pragmatic Press in 2008. He likes to speak at a variety of technical conferences throughout the year.  Jeffrey has worked with object-oriented programming languages and application frameworks for more than 20 years. In 2008, he started Purple Workshops, conducting beginner-level workshops in Ruby, Rails, and agile software techniques.

Finally, Jeffrey believes in the business value of agile software strategies, project-based learning, and opening the world of computer programming to folks from all walks of life, by curating an inclusive, beginner friendly classroom culture and curriculum.

Print Vita
Bachelor of Science, 1992, School of Speech, Northwestern University

Academic Positions
Lecturer, Computer Science, The University of Chicago, 2013-present

Other Professional Experience
Chief Instructor, The Starter League, 2011-2014
Sr. Software Engineer and Lead Developer, Leapfrog Online, 2006-2011
Lead Developer, Crate&Barrel, 2003-2006
Sr. Software Developer, InstallShield Software, 1998-2003
Lead Developer, SSIS, 1997-1998
Software Developer, Med-E Systems, 1995-1997
Software Developer, IRI, 1994-1995
Software Developer, American Theological Library Association, 1992-1994

Print Research
Cohen, Jeffrey. "Open Source Community Values." PragPub Magazine, September.
Cohen, Jeffrey and Brian Eng. 2008. Rails for .NET Developers. Pragmatic Bookshelf.

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Introduction to Software Development (KIEI-924-0)
This course was formerly known as KIEI 924-A/KIEI 924-B
This course is geared to provide technical literacy for non-programmers who will be founders, employees, or consultants to "tech-enabled" organizations. This is a survey-style course that is very hands-on – students will learn the essentials of coding by creating websites and basic software applications that manipulate data and work across today’s platforms and devices.
Students will: • Build their own website and deploy it on a variety of platforms, including tablets and mobile devices, using modern web development tools and techniques • Achieve technical literacy with the JavaScript programming language and related open-source technologies, using it to build simple web and mobile applications • Gain exposure to open-source business initiatives from Facebook, Google, and other major contributors to the languages and frameworks shaping modern software development • Learn to manipulate and consume data with SQL and open-source data visualization libraries • Use both software and hardware APIs to integrate with commercial and open datasets, and to understand the current Internet of Things (IoT) landscape
Students should expect to spend 6-8 hours a week on assignments. All students must have a modern Mac or Windows computer for completing homework and in-class projects. Detailed instructions on setup will be provided prior to the first day of class.

Startup Programming and Management (KIEI-925-0)
NOTE: KIEI-924 or equivalent programming experience is expected.

This course is geared for entrepreneurs and non-programmers who want to build their own web applications and/or manage a software product lifecycle. Students will use HTML, CSS, and the Ruby programming language to build an online product, learning the fundamentals of computer programming and modern web application development along the way.

This class is recommended for students who plan to start their own businesses and want to understand what goes into developing live prototypes and initial versions of their software. By the end of the course, students will be able to build a functional prototype of a typical database-backed web application and deploy it to a production server.

Perhaps more importantly, students will gain an advanced literacy surrounding the ideas that go into building an online product or service, which will allow them to ideate more constructively, converse more effectively with developers, and manage teams more efficiently.

Also covered are agile project management techniques, recommended online management tools, hiring practices, in-house-vs-offshore decisions, and more.

Students will be expected to have Mac, Windows, or Linux computers that they can complete homework and projects on (detailed instructions on setup will be provided to registered students prior to the first day of class).

NOTE: This course overlaps with DSGN 425 and is NOT RECOMMENDED FOR MMM STUDENTS.