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Corgibytes proves you can teach an old code new tricks

Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 11:02 am

By NATALIE MILLER

H-P Reporter

“Old code, new tricks” is the name of the game for Corgibytes, a company whose employees maintain old code. Patrick Henry High School graduates Andrea Goulet and Scott Ford have turned their small-town roots into an international business thanks to a passion for communication and mending legacy code.

Goulet, Corgibytes co-founder and CEO, began her career on an entirely different path after graduating from Patrick Henry High School in 1999. After studying at VCU and working in Washington, D.C. Goulet made the jump to running a legacy code business when she met up with an old friend.

Goulet was working at Capital One when she reconnected with her high school friend Scott Ford, who had started the Corgibytes business.

“I just had very vivid memories of the Patrick Henry lunch room and me and Scott having these good conversations and hanging out in the band hall,” Goulet said.

Ford asked Goulet to take a leadership position at the Richmond-based Corgibytes to help define and pinpoint their market. The duo worked so well together, they even got married two years into being business partners.

Goulet credits some of she and her husbands’ success to their education and time in Hanover County. According to Goulet, Patrick Henry represented one of only 2 percent of public schools nation-wide that had a full-time computer science teacher.

Rebecca Dovi taught Ford computer science at Patrick Henry, giving him the basic tools to go on to start a coding business.

“We got a really, really good education that set us up well for being in the technology sector,” Goulet said.

Today, Dovi and her husband Chris run CodeVA, which promotes computer science education for children and in class rooms. CodeVA is also part of the advisory team for CodeRVA High School, a regional high school that Hanover students have the opportunity to participate in.

The CodeVA and Corgibytes founders were instrumental in getting House Bill 831 passed in the 2016 General Assemby session. This bill made Virginia schools incorporate computer science and coding in programs of study, as well as have these subjects included in SOL testing.

“You think of Hanover as being so rural, but because we have people like the Dovis, who are really big advocates of computer science we were able to set ourselves apart,” Goulet said.

“My hope is that as my kids enter [the school system], they’ll get the same opportunities to get the rural, nice environment but still get these amazing opportunities for technology,” Goulet continued.

The Corgibytes team is made up of dedicated local and international coders who enjoy working with older code.

“One of the reasons that legacy code gets to the state where it’s hard to work with is lack of communication,” Goulet said.

Having a background in strategic communication and marketing helps Goulet navigate the coding world, while interacting with her team and clients. She learned how to code herself, and enjoys this aspect of her job as well.

“As a girl, I never felt comfortable learning how to code,” Goulet said. “So I’ve become a really passionate advocate for helping not just women, but business owners and people who may otherwise feel intimidated by learning how to code.”

Linkedin named Goulet as one of the top 10 professionals in software under 35, and started the podcast Legacycode.rocks for a community who enjoys software maintenance.

Goulet said she and her husband have had offers to relocate to other areas for business, but they kept being drawn back in to Hanover.

“I don’t want to have to move to San Francisco—I love the culture of Ashland and I love the culture of Hanover,” Goulet said.