The recent sale of Dev Bootcamp, the first coding bootcamp of it’s kind in a rapidly expanding space, to Kaplan marks a significant landmark in the coding school world. Kaplan, the test prep powerhouse, lends legitimacy to the bootcamp model as a viable form of education.
Other coding schools’ recent fundraising only confirms that the model will continue to grow and perhaps even expand to subject matter beyond coding, like sales, user experience design, and digital marketing. General Assembly raised an impressive Series C round of $35MM in March 2014, and Flatiron School, based in New York, recently pulled in $5.5MM in new funding in April.
The size of this bootcamp market is not trivial- in a report release in May 2014, Course Report estimates that the fast-growing industry that will graduate nearly 6,000 students in 2014, growing by 2.8x from 2013. The 9-12 week, full-time, immersive programs charge an average of $9,920 and tuition revenue will be nearly $59MM.
This acquisition is not Kaplan’s first foray into coding bootcamps- they launched Metis in Boston and New York in early 2014, which offers courses in Ruby on Rails, Product Design, and Data Science. Kaplan did not enter the space alone though; they chose to partner with thoughtbot, a dev consultancy specializing in design and Ruby on Rails, to design the curriculum and teach the Ruby on Rails and Product Design courses. These initial courses proved successful, as Metis recently announced their partnership with Datascope Analytics in Chicago to design a Data Science course offered in New York.
Although Kaplan owns Metis and now, Dev Bootcamp, they will likely keep the two schools separated and operating independently. On the Dev Bootcamp blog, president Jon Stowe emphasizes that the company will remain under current leadership, growing "our vision as an independent entity, under the Dev Bootcamp brand and with our unique culture." Dave Hoover tweeted similarly that "thanks to #holacracy, the employees of @devbootcamp will retain control of all the secret sauce of our culture." The future implications of this acquisition remain to be seen, but for now, it seems that Kaplan will be leaving the secret sauce up to Dev Bootcamp.