Welcome to the August 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to big fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month the biggest news is the Department of Education's EQUIP pilot program to provide federal financial aid to some bootcamp students. Other trends include job placement outcomes, the gender imbalance in tech, acquisitions and investments, and paying for bootcamp. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast!
4 Things to Know About Online Coding Bootcamps
By Jordan Friedman, US News
Jordan Friedman gives great advice about how to choose an online coding bootcamp, and talked a student (and quoted our own Liz) about things to consider. He also compares online bootcamps vs in-person bootcamps. His advice is that online bootcamps are often cheaper and more flexible than in-person ones, so if you need to keep your job, online could be a good choice.
Related: Watch Online Bootcamp Demos
Can Coding Keep People Out of Prison?
By Caroline Halter, Crosscut.com
This story is about Unloop, a nonprofit aiming to teach Washington prison inmates how to code. Unloop’s goal is to help keep people out of prison, and get the tech industry to reward merit above all else, including a person’s history and background. This is similar to another prison inmate training program TEACH in Clallum Bay, Washington, and another initiative at San Quentin State Prison.
Debt. Terror. Politics. To Seattle Millennials, the Future Looks Scary
By Kirk Johnson, The New York Times
This article looks at the fear millennials have for the future, and why tech and coding bootcamps could be their answer for peace of mind. Kirk talks to a number of graduates from Ada Developers Academy in Seattle, an all women’s coding bootcamp. Many of the students have student debt from liberal arts degrees, and were looking for a way to secure their futures. One student, Jillian Boshart, who found that after uncertainty in her previous career in musical theater, now feels like she is in control of her future.
1.1 Million Refugees Arrive In Germany; This Entrepreneur goes to work
Devin Thorpe, Forbes
With all the refugees arriving in Germany, a young female entrepreneur has created a coding school called ReDi School of Digital Integration, to fill more than 40,000 open IT jobs. She has partnered with local companies to raise money for the school, as well as utilizing crowdfunding. The school has already graduated 35 students, with 60 more enrolled in summer school classes. This is a trend right now with other refugee-oriented bootcamps opening in Iraq and Jordan.
Can 42, a free coding school run by a French billionaire, actually work?
Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica
In another update on free code school 42, Ars Technica website looks at whether 42’s education model is actually going to work. This is the Silicon Valley coding bootcamp founded and funded by French billionaire Xavier Niel. A reporter actually visited the campus for a tour and saw 175 students who had made it through the first 3 weeks of the piscine - the 4-week sink or swim admissions challenge. The reporter notes that 81% of students are men, and suggests the school needs to do more outreach to women. He also talks to a number of students who seem to be really enjoying 42 so far.
Conor Cawley, Tech Cocktail
Tech Cocktail visits with Miami-based Wyncode and reports on their commitment to bolster the growing South Florida startup ecosystem.
SSA, VA finding path to modernize IT goes through its people
Jason Miller, Federal News Radio
The Social Security Administration has announced they are planning to hire a number of new employees and put them through intensive 90-day coding bootcamps. The SSA told FNR that 37 percent of the SSA’s technical staff are eligible for retirement in the next 5 years, and it is imperative that the agency modernizes both its technical processes and the way it engages with the public. The article mentions that the Department of Veterans Affairs has identified similar problems and is thinking about implementing similar procedures.
GE CEO Jeff Immelt says all new hires will learn to code
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Jackie Wattles reports on General Electric’s announcement in August that all new hires to the company will learn to code. GE CEO Jeff Immelt said he wants to adopt a start-up mentality at the company.
Coding Bootcamps Attract Tech Companies
Josh Mitchell, Wall Street Journal
This Wall Street Journal article looked at how tech companies are increasingly confident in hiring coding bootcamp grads into junior development roles. Reporter Josh Mitchell gives Flatiron School as an example, highlighting employers like Google, Ticketmaster, and Kickstarter who have hired coding bootcamp grads.
Related: 6 Jobs You Can Land After Bootcamp
Decoding coding camps’ job claims
Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle
Reporter Kathleen Pender did some digging into outcomes claims for the San Francisco Chronicle. She was mostly concerned with San Francisco schools, so she focused on the 13 schools there. Of those, she found that only five – Dev Bootcamp, General Assembly, Sabio, Galvanize and Hackbright Academy – were on file with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, BPPE (we’re still not sure what exactly the BPPE does in terms of enforcing outcomes standards). Kathleen also investigates the regulation of these bootcamps, and looks at how individual schools like Hack Reactor calculate their numbers. Really Hack Reactor is the only one with an audited jobs report and says in 2015, 469 students graduated, but 95 were exempted from their job placement stats for reasons such as not being eligible to work, not looking for a job, being employed by Hack Reactor, or starting their own company.
Related: Hack Reactor Outcomes Spotlight
Related: Turing School Outcomes Spotlight
Related:Thinkful Outcomes Spotlight
General Assembly Doubles Down on Physical Campuses and Expands into Canada with Bitmaker Acquisition
Paul Sawers, VentureBeat
General Assembly announced this month that they have acquired Canadian coding bootcamp Bitmaker Labs. The number of GA campuses is now set to expand by 60%. This story was covered by VentureBeat journalist Paul Sawers, who noted that GA will not be rebranding the Bitmaker campuses. This expansion is despite an announcement in late July that GA was laying off 7% of its global staff, which amounted to about 50 people.
Related: Coding Bootcamp Acquisitions
Galvanize Gets $45 million Series B to Expand Technical Training Programs
Galvanize to expand tech developer bootcamps with new $45M investment
Tamara Chuang, Denver Post
In mid-August Galvanize coding and data science bootcamp, based out of Denver, announced it had raised $45 million in series B funding. This follows an $18 million Series A round in 2014. Galvanize now has 9 campuses around the US, and its employer partners include Amazon, IBM, and Tesla.
Can’t code, won’t code - cracking the secret of gender imbalance in STEM
By Joe Whitwell, The Telegraph
The Telegraph explores the reasons behind the gender imbalance in the tech industry in Britain - where only 27% of workers are women. He looks at the problem of women feeling like outsiders, and why girls aren’t taking STEM subjects in high school. Joe then gives an example of women who have been through coding bootcamps and how these bootcamps are starting to help close the gender imbalance in tech.
Inside Grace Hopper Academy
William Fenton, PC Mag
There was a great article about Grace Hopper Academy in PC Mag this month. Reporter William Fenton looked at how the coding bootcamp is aiming to help close the gender gap in tech, and highlights Grace Hopper’s deferred tuition model.
Related: Coding Bootcamp Scholarships for Women
Are Coding Bootcamps Only for the Rich?
Prasid Pathak, Tech Crunch
Tech Crunch contributor and Bloc marketing manager Prasid Pathak looks at whether coding bootcamps are only accessible to the rich, because of the high price point, and months of unemployment during the program. He posits that more part-time bootcamps would cater better to low-income students, and that the EQUIP program’s financial aid will help a lot.
Related: Coding Bootcamp Cost Comparison
Related: How to Pay for a Coding Bootcamp
Related: Learn to Code at These Free Bootcamps
Obama Administration to Fund Nontraditional Training for Students
By Josh Mitchell, Wall Street Journal
On August 16, the Education Department announced up to $17 million dollars in loans or grants for students to study at nontraditional institutes including coding bootcamps, as part of EQUIP. Wall Street Journal reporter Josh Mitchell reported that eight entities were named including four coding bootcamps - Flatiron School, Epicodus, MakerSquare, Zip Code Wilmington. Each coding bootcamp has partnered up with a different college, and each of those partnerships will also be overseen by a third party quality assurance entity (or QAE). The Education Department says the program aims to help low-income Americans learn practical skills where colleges fall short, such as coding, and operating manufacturing software. Up to 1500 students will benefit from the program this coming year by enrolling in traditional colleges, but completing their training with the named providers.
Related: Low Income Students Will Soon Be Able to Get Federal Aid to Attend Coding Bootcamps
Flatiron School and SUNY Empire State College Selected to Join US Dept of Education’s EQUIP program
PR News Wire
As part of EQUIP, Flatiron School has partnered with SUNY Empire State College to create an accelerated certificate program, for which students can apply for title IV financial aid. This partnership will be overseen by the American National Standards Institute - a quality assurance company.
Related: Curriculum Spotlight: Flatiron School
UT, MakerSquare selected for federal financial aid experiment
Ralph K.M. Haurwitz, Statesman
The University of Texas at Austin and MakerSquare have also teamed up as part of EQUIP. Students will register through UT’s extended campus unit for a 13-week bootcamp, which will have curriculum and instruction provided by MakerSquare. Students will receive a university certificate for completing the course. This partnership will be overseen by two quality assurance entities - Entangled Solutions, and Moody, Famiglietti and Andronico LLP.
Related: Instructor Spotlight: Jamie Sowder of MakerSquare Austin
Zip Code Wilmington receives national recognition
Rana Fayez, Technical.ly Delaware
Technical.ly Delaware reporter Rana Fayez writes that Zip Code Wilmington will partner with Wilmington University, and eligible Zip Code students will be able to get federal financial aid through the program. Students who complete Zip Code’s bootcamp through this program will also earn college credits which they can put towards a qualification. The quality assurance bodies for this partnership are HackerRank, and Code to Work.
Coding school teams with Marylhurst on federal pilot
By Malia Spencer, Portland Business Journal
As part of the Department of Education’s EQUIP program, Epicodus coding bootcamp in Portland will partner with Marylhurst University to offer a 27-week certificate program in web and mobile development. Portland Business Journal reporter Malia Spencer writes that students will have access to financial aid for the program, and earn transferable college credits. The program and partnership will be monitored by coding bootcamp loan provider Climb Credit.
Colleges Partner with Training Bootcamps and Online Course Providers for Federal Experiment
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post
Washington Post journalist Danielle Douglas-Gabriel looks at the issues seen in the past with for-profit colleges and says some higher education experts worry that the same issues could happen here, despite the quality assurance measures in place. This worry is also part of the reason those private companies were required to partner with established universities and colleges.
Amid for-profit college crackdown, feds give for-profit schools access to funds
Jillian Berman, Market Watch
Some experts are worried that this experiment could open the floodgates for federal financial aid to flow into an industry of coding bootcamps, and attract less reputable organizations to jump on the bandwagon. Critics say that allowing federal financial aid for those for-profit schools was one of the reasons it ballooned into a multi-million dollar industry where organizations were accused of using dodgy tactics to get more money. New America think tank policy analyst Alexander Hold tells Market Watch “as much as we agree the current system isn’t working well enough, it’s not clear that we should be opening federal aid to things that really aren’t proven.” But Jillian writes that financial aid dollars will be disbursed to students by the established college or university partner, rather than through the nontraditional provider.
Keep Coding Bootcamps Great: Don’t Give Them Taxpayer Money
Preston Cooper, Forbes
Preston Cooper writes in an opinion piece that “it would ultimately do more harm than good to make coding bootcamps eligible for federal student aid. Integrating bootcamps into the established system, might just saddle them with all the established system’s problems.” He says that barriers to entry and exit mean established schools face less competition than in a free market, which can lead to deterioration of quality, and increase in prices. Preston’s advice is for policymakers to leave the coding bootcamp sector alone, to develop in its own way and succeed on its own merits.
Colleges and Universities Embrace Coding Bootcamps
John Sandman, The Street
The Street reporter John Sandman spoke to Course Report co-founder Liz Eggleston in August for a story about universities partnering with coding bootcamps, and about universities starting their own coding bootcamp-type programs, he highlighted Sabio and Antioch.
Related: University + Coding Bootcamp Partnerships
Traditional universities are rushing into the coding boot camp market
Maxine Joselow, Business Insider
This article looks at how traditional colleges are now rushing to meet the demand for people with coding and data analytics skills. They are doing this either by starting their own intensive coding program, like Northeastern’s Level, or by partnering with an existing private coding bootcamp. Maxine gives the examples of General Assembly and Lynn University, Trilogy Education with Northwestern and UT Austin, and Coding Dojo and Bellevue – all of which are not part of EQUIP.
Coding Dojo and Bellevue College team up to launch joint software classes
Katherine Long, Seattle Times
Coding Dojo and Microsoft collaborate to offer .NET core training class
San Diego Times
Coding Dojo just announced a new ASP.NET Core program, created in collaboration with Microsoft. The San Diego Times reported on the launch of the program, which coincides with the recent release of Microsoft’s .NET Core 1.0 - a new open-source, cross-platform, mobile-optimized stack. Coding Dojo also teaches Ruby on Rails, LAMP Stack, MEAN Stack, Python, and iOS.
Related: Instructor Spotlight: Daniel Oostra of Coding Dojo
Jack Russell Software to open code school in Mount Pleasant as concept grows in Lowcountry
Thad Moore, Post and Courier
Coding Bootcamp sets sights on Philly
Alexis Sachdev, Metro
Boston-based Launch Academy has announced it is opening a new campus in Philadelphia. Launch Academy founder Dan Pickett said that there is a shortage of developers in the Philly area, with Philly companies raising nearly $85 million in venture capital in the last year.
Related: Alumni Spotlight: Julissa Jansen of Launch Academy
Other new bootcamps:
Instructor Spotlight: Tom Crawford of The Iron Yard Detroit
By Imogen Crispe, Course Report
Student Spotlight: Marine Dejean of Holberton School
By Lauren Stewart, Course Report
Coding Bootcamp Prep Programs
By Imogen Crispe, Course Report
Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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