Claim Academy is a 3-month developer coding and software training bootcamp in St. Louis that offers a 12-week classes in full stack Java and .Net. Claim Academy is accredited and approved by the State of Missouri Workforce Development to train IT professionals. Students can apply with with little to no programming experience, but should be prepared for an in-person or webcam interview, and should complete the Introduction to Ruby Course through Code School before the first day of class.
Throughout the three-month bootcamp, students complete pair programming work with mentors and instructors and produce a coding final project, which they present to potential employers and other interested parties on demo day. New classes are offered every 6 weeks.
Claim Academy reports a 95%+ placement rate. Graduates, on average, attain a starting salary of $58,000. Upon graduation, the team at Claim Academy helps place graduates in companies as Full Stack Software Developers in Java and .Net software development. Claim Academy graduates have been hired into major companies like Daughtery Business Solutions, Carfax, Technology Partners, Centene Corporation, Clearent, and OneSpace.
Recent Claim Academy Reviews: Rating 4.51
Recent Claim Academy News
- June 2018 Coding Bootcamp Podcast
- March 2018 Coding Bootcamp News Podcast
- Your 2017 #LearnToCode New Year’s Resolution
In PersonFull Time45 Hours/week19 Weeks
Learn the tools and skills you'll need to be a professional .Net/C# programmer and developer. This full-time, 12-week course features daily and weekend lectures, intense homework and project workloads, hand-on experience with the latest technologies, and in-depth instruction on working in a collaborative development environment. Our project based approach creates a day where you experience pair programming, mentor led and instructional sessions. Azure, C # deploy your applications to the web and beyond. Join us!
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- St. Louis
- Lending partners like Skill Fund and Pave offer financial loans and living expense loans. Go ahead and apply even before you start classes.
- $500 Women in Technology Scholarship $1,000 College Upgrade Scholarship $500 Minority Scholarship $500 Veteran Scholarship
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- Prework and Technical interview.
- Placement Test
$500 Claim Academy Scholarship
- Offer is only valid for new applicants. Applicants who have already submitted an application cannot claim this scholarship.
- All courses in St. Louis
$500 Claim Academy Scholarship
- Offer is only valid for new applicants. Applicants who have already submitted an application cannot claim this scholarship.
- .NET/C# Bootcamp (St. Louis)
Claim Academy Reviews
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Claim Academy was exactly what I was looking for. I knew I wanted to change careers, but didn't know where to get started. Rather than waste my time just studying on my own, hoping I was studying the right things, Claim offered a structured cirriculum that helped point me in the right direction. The instructors were incredibly helpful and I always felt encouraged by all of the staff. The assistance they provided with my resume, looking for a job, and practicing for interviews was invaluable to me, someone who is terrified of the job hunt.
Diversity. Inclusion. Accessibility. Mentorship. Empowerment. Support. Adaptability. Comfortability. Instructors that know their stuff really, really well. Instructors that share "real-world" tricks of the trade. They go out of their way. This is what makes Claim unique and increases your chance of greatest success.
Shortly after I applied, Travis called me to walk me through the onboarding process, and he gave me his personal phone number in case I had any questions or problems. I met the founder, Ola, who is open to being contacted directly, as well.
Sahara makes learning the complexity of Java and frontend simple and easy to understand. She will sit with you to make sure you "get it". You can interrupt her at any given moment and she manages to help everyone. She keeps you on your toes to make sure you allocate time to career development and to apply for jobs. She and Praneeth will give you the practice you need to ace technical interviews. They will also tailor this to specific upcoming interviews.
Praneeth is the C# king - his widsom and expertise shines through. He also has great tips on how to learn faster and he has a wealth of programming and industry insight. He shares this in a way that we can apply to the "real world".
Lamar is just amazing. He makes sure you don't have any gaps in your understanding. He makes you stretch your mind. He will stay into the wee hours of the morning if need be. You can call him anytime.
Amanda will show up at networking events outside of class and on the weekends. Her relationship building yields so many new job opportunities for us.
Ola helps you be the "total, employable package". He leads by example. He's a TedX Fellow and Pulitzer Foundation Speaker.
Bottomline, everyone's a coach that helps pave the way for new and rewarding opportunities! I don't just get interviews; I get offers. And I have Claim Academy to thank.
Before joining Claim Academy, I had previous coding experience that I had picked up through TreeHouse, Codecademy, and through courses that I had been taking at UMSL. But none of those experiences could have prepared me for the intensly challenging and thorough classes at Claim Academy. Each lesson was saturated with "real-world" problems and solutions, which is so much more valuable than the previous dry textbook-style learning I was used to. This program was hands-on with its labs that encouraged us to write either whole or mini applications each and every lesson.
I graduated Claim Academy with fully-functional and complete applicatons, which I found to be incredibly useful to speak about during interviews. During Demo Day at Claim, I was able to present my final application in front of employee-searching companies. Shortly after, I recieved a phone call from a represetative who had seen my presentation and I was offered a position.
I am grateful to have enrolled at Claim Academy. It gave me the stepping stone that I needed to get my foot in the door and begin a career in programming, and for that I am thankful!
This Coding Bootcamp has been very intense, the instructors, mainly Sahara and Praneeth were knowledgeable and dedicated to help , challenging us daily and providing one-on-one sessions when the going was rough. Ola is not sparing any effort or idea to make sure we have the perfect framework.
It is not about just aligning lines of codes, but getting us to become comfortable with the very tools, environments, methodologies and teamwork one will find in the software engineering world where we are all heading towards. I would recommend Claim Academy to any person considering to get into software engineering.
I am definitely ecstatic that I was chosen for this program. I entered into a classroom that was uniquely diverese and welcoming. The instructors really have faith in the students and in the program. No answers were given but they forced us to think. By my second week I had already noticed that my perception of everyday things had started to change. I was starting to disect programs and websites in my everyday life, like on a trip to AutoZone. The twelve weeks were long, but they really did go by quite fast. Overall I enjoyed myself aand learned a host of new skills that I feel will be relevant for decades to come.
I am a Navy veteran who was looking for face-to-face training classes in coding, after getting frustrated trying to learn it through 100% online tutorials. I was referred to Claim Academy by a fellow veteran and received a scholarship to attend. Claim Academy LOVES veterans and will be flexible with your schedule to accomodate your training and your life. They taught us full-stack Java development, performed resume and LinkedIn reviews and taught us soft skills needed for interviewing. They also taught us interview techniques specifically related to the tech industry and helped us to know what to expect on the job after. On the second to last day of class, students present the web applications they built in front of a room full of employers. I was interviewed by four companies right there on the spot. Claim Academy's staff will help you find positions to apply to and do whatever they can to help you find full-time employment, a better-than-average starting salary and benefits.
This is a very intense bootcamp and you need to be persistent in your studies even outside the program to succeed. At times, it was overwhelming but by staying the course, you begin to realize that you are getting it and put your new skills to work on a capstone project that you are passionate about. That was very rewarding!
The instructors are very knowledgeable and the staff is passionate about what they do. Our particular class was the largest due to awarding Facebook scholarships and I believe that more staff was probably necessary to provide the support the students were needing.... but we made it!! Thank you Ola for your dedication and enthusiasm in making this program available to all of us. It was your encouragement and good heart that kept us motivated and excited on the home stretch.
What makes Claim Academy the #1 boot camp in St Louis is not only the staff(Sahara & Lamar & Sowmya & Praneeth) is very knowledgeable regarding Information Technology(Coding) but the Java curriculum is very intense but worth every PENNY. I really learned so much in a short amount of time, which I'm proud I actually attended Claim Academy. Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Claim Academy from late night learning java code, to peer code sharing, and early morning troubleshooting React Js. Claim academy is really committed to helping the students gain the necessary skills and provide us with resources to improve in our cohort. In additionally its a great stepping stone to placing me in the field of technology. Lamar and Sahara are the BEST!!!!!
Its a ok place to work...train you very well....just dont be late. The tardy policy is murder and unfortunately was the death of me there.I saw a flyer for Claim Academy during my decision of if I wanted to go back to school or not. I talked to some of the staff before attending & I knew within minutes that this was the right path to go down. The teachers there were very skilled on what they were educating us on and was always if we needed any help. The lessons aren’t straightforward but it it’s not so complicated that you can't finish them. It’s a lot of hard work that might end in some late nights but the education that you will receive is value
What makes Claim Academy the best is not just what they do for us on the front-end (Class, Instructors, etc) but what they do for us on the back-end (job searches, inviting companies to talk to us, hack-a-thons). They really are committed to helping the students gain the necessary skills and provide us with resources to improve in our cohort. In additionally its a great stepping stone to placing us in the field of technology.
I've had a wonderful experience working with Claim Academy, since becoming a part of the team I have gotten the opportunity to help change lives. Aside from the military, I have never been a part of such a dedicated structure that focuses primarily on professional development. I am proud of the decision I have made in joining Claim Academy, I do know the impact in changing lives is serious and it happens everyday right here. In a world that is becoming completly digital, Claim Academy continues to move at the speed of Technology.
Travis J. Mathis
I found Claim Academy during my job search and dicided it was time I do something to advance my career and get into the field that I've been trying to get into since college. the instructors were very knowledgeable on what they were teaching us and were available if you need help. The course isn't easy but it isn't so difficult that you can't complete it. It is a lot of work and caused some late nights but the knowledge I have now has made it more than worth it.
Completing Claim Academy's full-stack Java development program is one of the best decisions I have ever made. As another student said below, it was exactly what I needed in order to launch a successful career in IT. A week before the program ended, I received a job offer from my first-choice employer, which I happily accepted, and within a week of completing the program, I received two more job offers from different companies.
The teachers are highly knowledgeable and have real-world experience as software developers. I found their knowledge of the interviewing process particularly helpful. It is unsurprising that 92% of graduates land a job within six months of graduation. Several other students in my own cohort had also secured positions before the program was over.
If you are serious about software development, and if you are the type of person who strives to be the best at school or work, then you will go far by attending Claim Academy.
My experience at Claim Academy has been one of the best in my life. While at claim I gained a world class experience in computer programming. We worked on many small assignments that lead to a capstone project. I had access to great teachers and resources. We had time with our instructors but we also had downtime to do research on our own and learn on our own time. We were challenged daily. It was not easy to do all the projects and finish them on time. I had to do a lot of work at home after class. In addition to learning the front end and back end of programming we also learned soft skills and how to present ourselves to companies. We had a well rounded education. I would recommend Claim to anyone who is ready to be challenged and succeed in computer programming. Also we had access to many companies ready to hire throughout our time there.
Deciding to take the leap and join Claim Academy has been one of the best decisions I made for my career. The instructor and mentor led sessions kept me on track with my learning and working with the rest of my classmates allowed me to gain insight into different ways of accomplishing things and expanding my capabilities.
I came in with very limited knowledge of coding, but a high level of desire to learn and work hard which I think was the best factor to my success. Make no qualms about it, this is hard work. You are expected to learn a great deal of material in a very short period of time, so staying on top of your work and not falling behind is of the upmost importance.
Luckily, when you do struggle (and you will) there are the resources of your classmates as well as the instructor/mentor staff who want you to succeed in every way possible.
As with any environment with many people, there are always differences in capabilities and the best way to learn how to learn. Understanding that the way you learn best may not be the same for everyone is critically important, and understanding that sometimes you will be the best at something, but other times you will be lagging behind. That is the time when having your classmates around benefits you the most. There is always someone who is able to help you when you feel you aren't grasping something, just as they may rely on you as well when they are feeling insecure.
Throughout the coursework, one of the most beneficial things for me has been the alumni speaking series, where we got to meet/hear from a Claim Academy graduate about their experience in class as well as outside the classroom in their full time job. Aside from the inspiration inherent in their stories, it was a constant affirmation that they also went through the same process we did and they succeeded in the end. It honestly is refreshing to hear them say that they struggled and had the same thoughts of inadequacy
that everyone feels at some point throughout the course. When you continue to see examples of people who felt the same way you do right now and see their success is easy to make you keep trusting the system and start believing that you can succeed as well.
If you think that the world of "coding" is something you might like, Claim Academy provides lots of free opportunities to gauge if this is something for you. Come down and check out the free classes or take the pre-course work to get your feet wet.
3 months ago, I honestly didn't have any idea what an impact this time would have on my career, but as I leave Claim Academy, I leave with a job offer in a totally new career field that would not have been possible in any other way. I can't extend enough thanks to Claim Academy for the opportunity and everything I have learned.
I just completed the 12-week Java bootcamp at Claim Academy. It was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but also one of the most rewording things I have ever done. I learned a lot, not only about software development, but also soft skills and how to present myself to employers. I got interviews before I even completed the program. They won’t give up on you, and they’ll make sure you are ready to compete as a full stack developer, or whatever you decide to do with your new skills. You really can change your career in just 12 weeks, and Claim Academy is where to do it.
I was very excited when I first heard about Claim Academy. I believed this provided me the best opportunity to become a Software Developer but my expectations were not fully met and at some point I was very disappointed too. Without going into details.....(because it may disappoint some people).
I have to admit that Travis helped me a lot to find a program I could go through to be able to attend the Java Developer course(Cohort). Also, Sahara and Lamar are very knowledgeable instructors at Claim Academy who helped us(students) a lot to understand programming. The program itself is somewhat intensive and you will have a chance to work on many hands on project(mostly on your own by using Google and YouTube).
If you are planning to attend this program, expect to see a lot of surprises such as not getting your "Certificate" after completing the course and so on. Yes you didn't misread it, we(all students) have been told that we will not get our Certificates until we leave a nice review for Claim Academy. I had to escalate the case to my program case manager(not a Claim Academy person), only after his involvement did I obtain my Certificate without further issues and surprises. But most of my classmates had no other choice but to leave a nice review to get their certificate which they worked for so hard during the past 3 months.
I was already in possession of an Associate of Applied Science degree in Software Development, which certainly put me at an advantage. However, Claim Academy provided me the opportunity to expand my skillset, introducing me to several new technologies I hadn't worked with before. I also was provided one-on-one instruction which I did not have previously when I was pursuing the aforementioned AAS degree. Even more importantly, I have been given more direction in the path towards finding employment. I was beginning to think I would need to go back to college for another two years to obtain an Bachelor's degree in IT, but doing Claim Academy has given me a leg up in only 12-weeks.
The staff at Claim gives you all the information you need to succeed in the course, but you have to be ready to put in a lot of work yourself to get the most out of your time. Given that the course is only 12 weeks, it's not possible for the staff to comprehensively cover every topic. You still get a lot out of the lectures, and there's always someone to help if you're stuck on something. They also make sure you're prepared to speak with potential employers, and that you have everything you need to give you the best chance of getting an interview.
I'm going to try and keep this short and to the point:
12 weeks ensconced in a school setting that is going to help you learn
You will have projects once the course is completed to prove that you are able to do the work
They will be with you every step of the way during and after class to help you get placed
They go as far as to help with soft skills to help with the interview process.
Our project was completed and presented in front of multiple employers on 12-6-2018 and I already have 4 interviews set up due to their diligent work to sell employers on their students.
Thank you Claim for everything.
I learned alot while I was here at claim academy. But You must put forth the effort to be successful here at claim academy. Instructors know exactly what there doing and were always here to help. They gave you assignments but it was up to you to do them. I would really encourage anyone looking for a fast paced environment. Everything about this place is great.
I spent the fall of 2018 at Claim Academy in St Louis and had a wonderful experience. The staff is very friendly and supportive. They push you to work through problems on your own instead of holding your hand the whole way. The classes are small and there is a lot one on one time available. If you are looking to jump-start a development career this is a great start! it is a lot of work but its worth it. Good luck!
I learned alot while I was here at claim academy. But You must put forth the effort to be successful here at claim academy. Instructors know eaxctly what there doing and were always here to help. They gave you assignments but it was up to you to do them. I would really encourage anyone looking for a fast paced environment.
2. It is not for beginners as they claim and you should be prepared to do up to 80% of the academic work on your own with very minimal support.
3. You will not receive feedback on your weekly assignments and projects.
4. You will not do any mock technical interview preparations nor receive help on re-structuring you resumes
5. You will not attend nor be invited to any Hackertons/networking events.
6. You will not get any refunds irrespective of the week you chose to withdraw from the program.
7. If you’re an international student, count the cost before enrolling as they have undisclosed and unstated policies that discriminates against foreigners or people of color.
First and foremost, the name Claim Academy fits this school because that's what it is. A lot of information/pledges and policies on their website are claims but in reality are not in force or honored. I've read most of the reviews of the preceding cohorts and keep wondering if they were forced into giving them either because they received their Certificate of Completion on their last (demo) day or most some are on the Facebook scholarship to study at Claim Academy. During my time, I interfaced with two (2) other cohorts and witnessed how most students struggled with their work due to lack of support and understaffed/shallow knowledge base of the tutors/mentors on key concepts such as REACT and ANGULAR. My review is based on facts and my personal experience or that of fellow cohorts during the June – September 2018 Java cohort.
It is worth noting that my cohort started with seven (7) students but after week one (1) two students withdrew because of the poor quality education. The third student withdrew for personal reasons while I withdrew after four weeks of learning for various reasons I've given below. If you want value for money, please take time to read through it.
The school is very unprofessional and cagey. Prior to my enrollment, I asked them for the Full Stack Java syllabus but they were unwilling to share it, saying it was against their policy. When I pressed for it and they did share it, I noticed the contents and depth of coverage were shallow. This is one of the alarm signals that should have warned me about their competence. I decided to give them the benefit of doubt but later regretted my decision to enroll had to quit after four weeks.
Secondly, we hardly ever received feedback for daily work assignments and never received feedback for weekly projects despite our complaints on numerous occasions. Before my arrival for the Full Stack Java Developer bootcamp, I was told the student to instructor/mentor ratio is approximately 7:1. This turned out to be untrue as the actual student to mentor ratio during the day from week of June 25, 2018 when I arrived till week 3 was about 25 students to 1 mentor (25:1). This is largely due to the fact that the school is grossly understaffed. Throughout my brief stay (about 4 weeks) they had 1 mentor across the three cohorts to share for support. The main Java instructor works full-time during the day and is only available during the nights for lectures and when he arrives he had to first attend to the soon-to-graduate cohorts who have been waiting eagerly for him to arrive because there isn't anyone during the day to provide support on AngularJS of ReactJS which they're using for their various projects. Our cohort will have to wait for him to finish with these before we can start lectures. Also, during our lecture, he still had to step out every now and then to attend to the other cohorts.
Thirdly, as regards, instructors and mentors at the institution, the information on their website (http://claimacademystl.com/teachers.html) is very misleading. They have 13 persons listed but in reality I discovered that none of these persons are with them except, the president Mr. Ola Ayeni. This is done to deceive unsuspecting members of the public to register for their programs only to find out they’ll be left alone to grind out their learning when they’re enrolled. Ironically, I wondered why and how a Software bootcamp will find it hard to update a single static web page. This further underscores the point that they’re grossly under-staffed.
As regards peer learning, we were told at the onset, that students in our cohorts will be paired into groups. This never happened despite my complaints about it on a few occasions.
Fourthly, after I pulled out at the end of week four, they refused to authorized my refund as stated in their refund/pricing policy. They, at the instruction of the school's owner/business partner Mr. Ola Ayeni, resorted to the use of threats and bullish tactics to try intimidate me into cowering. In thier responses, they made so many false claims and lied that all International students were to pay a fee of $15,000. I clearly pointed that none of these are on their website or in my invoice payments. As at present (Sept. 27, 2018), the school is yet to refund my outstanding balance. These and many more prompted me to take action by lodging a formal complaint to my bank, the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General for Missouri and the Better Business Bureau (BBI).
After, pulling out of Claim Academy, I had to enroll with two separate online bootcamps for Java programming and Front-End development both of which I completed in six (6 weeks). I can definitely say I learned far much more than I would have had I remained at Claim Academy.
My candid advice to businesses/organizations who value integrity and sound business principles, is to be wary of partnering with Claim Academy because they could be dragged into a litigation case someday. As for prospective students, don't fall into the same trap. Take your money and go find a better institution. They're not worth your time or money.
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Alex is the Director of Operations at Claim Academy in St. Louis, and Arjun worked at Starter League in Chicago before moving to Claim to work on their curriculum. Arjun and Alex tell us about the importance of building a developer community in St. Louis, the rising interest in QE and QA classes, the makeup of their ideal student, and their outreach in the wake of Ferguson.
Arjun, tell us about your background.
Arjun: Before Claim, I worked at Starter League and did partnership work for them. A lot of the work I did was helping other organizations set up coding programs. We worked with Chicago Public Schools as well as some charter schools, private institutions, and universities in the area.
That was a really great transition into the work that I’m doing here with ClaimSTL; making sure we get high quality instructors, a good curriculum, and structure for our classes so that students have a solid, engaging experience all around.
Since Claim Academy is set in the Claim coworking space, is the motivation for Claim Academy to drive developers into those startups or to get them into the St. Louis community?
Alex: I think it’s inevitable that there will be connections between the co-working space and the school. I think the main driver for Claim Academy was to jump start the St. Louis development community. There’s a lot of demand for developers.
The short term goal is to help close that gap a little bit and increase the supply of potential developers to entry level positions. The longer term goal is to build up the St. Louis community and be one of the pillars of the development community in the city.
What are the types of companies in St. Louis that are hiring for programmers? Is it startups or big enterprises?
Arjun: The answer is both. We’ve seen interest from startups and lots of interest from a lot of the larger companies that have a base here in St. Louis looking to train those entry level programmers that they can then turn into full level programmers and developers at their particular company. We’ve also gotten interest from one or two people looking for technical co-founders or small development project work that’s just a one-off project.
We have a great startup scene here in St. Louis that really needs developers but can’t afford them at the rate that the larger companies can pay. And of course the larger companies need more entry level workers that they could train in their own companies rather than hiring them out from outside the city; they always prefer to hire local too.
It looks like Claim STL is offering a lot of different bootcamps: Java, Ruby, .NET, QA.
Arjun: A lot of the classes are in languages and topics demanded by local businesses. We had someone come in specifically and ask for a QE (Quality Engineering) class that was geared not just towards quality assurance but also quality engineering; not to mention the specific Java or .Net classes that we think are integral to a successful career. Each of these bootcamps are 12 weeks long.
Which language will you be focusing on in your first bootcamp?
Which class are you getting most interest from?
Arjun: Right now that would be QE. The way we’ve been developing it at the moment is by focusing on enterprise partnerships, so we ask businesses what kind of classes they need and QE was the first one that popped up. We just expected that there would be more interest in Ruby and Java from an individual level.
Can you tell us about the curriculum for that QE Class?
Alex: We’re still working with our instructors to flesh out a curriculum. Sometimes QA or QE can be written off as the “boring testing side” to tell programmers what they’re doing wrong. But we like to think about it as a full-fledged career opportunity in its own right. A developer or programmer who might fit a QE or a QA position would be more of a broader thinker. Instead of thinking about small systems, they would think about how every piece fits together as a whole. They’ll probably also have a stronger interest in working with people than the average developer position, so there’s more soft skills. A solid QA engineer would need to be able to talk to developers, talk to users, talk to managers and integrate all of their needs, and make sure that there’s no gaps throughout the entire process.
The curriculum will focus on smaller case studies as well as developing a general philosophy of quality assurance that really takes students across industries – because QA can be really different in the aircraft industry vs. software industry. Quality engineers will also need to have some working knowledge of programming, so basic Java will also be woven throughout the course.
Are you developing the curriculum by working backwards based on what the local companies say that they need in an employee?
Alex: It’s probably a mix of that as well as what our instructors think is important based on their experience as well as what the local market is actually looking for. We combine both of those pieces into a beginner-friendly format that students without much technical background can succeed in.
Can you tell us a little bit about the instructors?
Alex: We don’t have the instructors finalized right now, but I can tell you that we’re really excited, especially for QA, about the instructors we’ve got lined up.
Will the QA class be project-based? Will students be working on projects as they learn or will it be more lecture-based?
Arjun: Absolutely. At this point, it’s pretty clear that most people learn best by doing as opposed to sitting and listening. So while there definitely will be lecture components, the types of lectures we would like to have are not necessarily 60-minute blocks where students are watching someone talk at them. We’ll give interactive “type-alongs” as well as lecture combined with lab where you learn about the topic and put it into practice right away with dynamic, interactive questions throughout. Then we’ll have more focused labs to supplement the lectures so student can really explore the material at their own pace.
Alex: It’s important to us in doing this curriculum that everyone leave our classes with some real, tangible final projects. We’re in the process too, of getting smaller and medium-sized businesses to offer a project for students as that final project so by the time they actually leave our program, they will have worked on things that are applicable to the real world.
Do you have formalized hiring partners set up?
Arjun: We have a variety of relationships with access to our students and candidates; everything from companies offering scholarship opportunities during the initial interview process to offering projects during the class itself. Other companies will have access at the end of the process to our students at the job fair. Then of course, any company after that job fair can hire our students.
Do you imagine that once you start the Ruby course that you would get applicants who are maybe working to build their own startup or be a technical co-founder?
Alex: Oh, absolutely. The physical space we’re teaching in is Claim, which is a collaborative workspace. I can absolutely see someone who is one of our Claim members deciding they want to learn Ruby, jumping in for eight weeks with the intent of being a technical cofounder of a smaller startup.
Do you all have an idea yet of the ideal student for Claim for this first course? Do you have technical requirements?
Arjun: I think the eventual goal is to have the course open to students regardless of background. But for our first cohort the ideal students will be college grads or non-grads with some technical experience. It could be either math or engineering, one of the sciences. Someone who is transitioning into a career in development but doesn’t necessarily have full experience in programming just yet.
What else are you looking for aside from technical background? What else do you look for in the interview process?
Arjun: It’s a quality that is hard to quantify, but students that really want it are the ones that are going to succeed. When I was working at Starter League I would often find that students with less technical experience who just really wanted to get an app built and were really passionate about their projects ended up doing the best after the class ended.
It wasn’t even necessarily that they did really well by the end of the class, but if you looked at them two, three, four months later the ones who really wanted it at the beginning kept up the momentum.
That’s really the kind of student we’re looking for; a student who is interested in development and cares about it and is willing to put in time to learn independently. All of these bootcamps are really good at getting students from “zero to one” but they get themselves from one to five or however far they want to go. Development isn’t something that’s static. You need to keep learning once you’re done. So the student that is able to keep learning afterward is the ideal student for us.
Is there anything else that you wanted to add about Claim Academy or bootcamps in general?
Arjun: One big thing is that at Claim, I think it’s really important to reduce and lower restrictions for students. We want to make it really easy for students to make the decision to come work with us, which is why we take a heavy scholarship and financial support approach. We just want to lower the financial barrier as much as possible.
How much does the class cost right now?
Arjun: The 12-week program is $8,000
Are you doing anything to get specifically women and other underrepresented minorities involved with Claim Academy?
Arjun: One of the consequences of what’s been happening in Ferguson, Missouri is all of these initiatives like Ferguson 1000 Jobs, Hands Up United, and other initiatives are pouring into Ferguson and there’s actually a lot of great ideas on how to provide for that community through jobs or training or even a bootcamps like ours. So we’re working with Ferguson 1000 Jobs to potentially provide some training. We’re not just doing minority outreach, but also other estranged sub-communities.