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
- All courses in St. Louis
$500 Claim Academy Scholarship
- .NET/C# Bootcamp (St. Louis)
Claim Academy Reviews
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I was working as a junior software developer when I decided to learn a new language and get some good training. I was self-taught and needed some guidance, and Claim Academy seemed like a good choice. I decided to moved from Florida to take the course in St. Louis.
This was a true mixed bag. While many of the things we learned are directly applicable to my current job, it was in spite of Claim Academy and not because of them that I succeeded and learned.
We had 2 really awesome teachers and one teacher that was completely unprepared each class. When he was teaching, we basically learned nothing. You may have a different experience, as none of the same teachers were used again. Management was told multiple times about the poor performance of one teacher, but nothing changed. Don't get me wrong: every teacher was kind, smart, and meant well. The big break was preparation. I am glad to know all three of them.
There was definitely a plan, but we veered off in a very unorganized way. This was supposed to make the program more organic and fit our needs, but ended up kind of wasting a lot of time. Also, because of the aforementioned teacher, we basically learned no SQL during the SQL week (Good thing I learned a lot of that before hand).
Job Assistance: This was a cluster-cuss. They partnered with a company that was hiring out people who graduated, and that company pulled out at the last minute because Claim Academy was not providing good enough people. Very disappointing. Most people ended up being taken care of, but the entire session was full of anxiety and insecurity due to this massive change.
This is great if you have 3 months to dedicate to learning something new, and you MUST be very driven to get the most out of this.
I am very glad I did this, but if I had to do it over again, I would have moved somewhere else. Also, the fact that the teachers were not paid what the owner agreed really put a bad taste in my mouth. I hear the president (Ola Ayeni) has gotten city money and has made many improvements, but I still keep in touch with my professors and they have yet to be paid.
I had an academic background however lacked the exposure to industrial practices and challenges. I was introduced to the latest technology stack and after the program was placed with an excellent opportunity! Life changing experience. Would highly recommend it!
I was a student in the Java Cohort that completed in November 2016.
Before I get into the details of the program, I would like to say that I received a job offer about a month after graduating. I think it's safe to say that it would have taken me longer to get my first job in the field if I had continued to just learn on my own rather than enrolling at Claim.
For me the strongest part of the program were the get-a-job aspects. I completely overhauled my resume and went from a barely existing LinkedIn profile to an impressive one. This really helped me get in touch with recruiters. The recruiter I ended up getting hired through found me on LinkedIn. Claim also sends a really nice promotional email to prospective employers on your behalf.
As opposed to learning on my own from home, I really liked having things structured. Deadlines helped motivate me to be more productive, and it was helpful for me to be in another setting than my home.
Areas of Improvement:
The teaching could be better. I felt that one of the teachers usually didn't have much of a plan for class. This caused lectures to be very disorganized and confusing. That's not to say that I didn't like him. He was a great guy, but it was difficult for me to learn from his teaching style.
We didn't have much direction outside of class. I thought the program would be difficult because we would have so much reading to do, so many assignments due, and so many projects to complete. There were some times when we were overwhelmed with projects. However, much of the time the main difficulty for me was knowing how to spend my time outside of class. We didn't usually have much we were supposed to read or complete. We were just expected to learn about topics from class on our own without guidance. If I had had a textbook or outline of what information was most important that I should be studying, this wouldn't have been a problem for me, but it's very difficult to know what you should be reading/doing when you don't know specifically what you should be learning about. I would have benefited from more structure, but others with a greater awareness of the field might have been fine.
Overall, I didn't learn as much as I think I should have (even though I put in a lot of time and effort). I didn't know as much as I feel like I was expected to know when the school started, even though I met all the prerequisites for admission. This made the learning curve incredibly steep.
Minor areas of improvement:
We didn't write very much code in class. There were a handful of lectures where we wrote a decent amount of code, but during most of the lectures we didn't write any. I think we would have learned a lot more if we had, but instead we spent a lot of time in class discussion or going through PowerPoint slides.
We didn't have as much time with mentors as had been advertised. I expected the mentor scheduling to pick up as we went but it never really did. If I had complained, we might have gotten more time with mentors. Looking back, it would have made things a lot easier.
Communication needs improvement. The teachers alternated days but they rarely seemed to know what the other was covering.
Before you go to Claim Academy, I would make sure you ask about what resources you'll be using, how much time you'll get with mentors, and how many students will be in your cohort.
Response From: Claim Academy of Claim Academy
We do understand that one of the instructors was not very organized as you would like him to be. We will certainly address that very much and thank you for the feedback
About you job offer, we are happy that we were able to lead you to one of our employer network ( who has hired 5 people at the time of this writing out of our program ) and hired you. We have over 95% placement rate and we are really proud of this achievement.
I would also like to offer you the ability to retake any portions of the program at no charge, that you think you may be some more support and mentorship.
Please reach out to us and we will be happy to help you with additional resources and/or to re-take any parts of the bootcamp so that you can experience these improvements for yourself.
I was a member of the first .NET cohort, so it's possible things are different now than they were when I was there. Overall, this was a good experience for me. I was not happy with my current job and really wanted a change, and this opportunity came up, so I went for it, since software development was something I'd always been interested in.
We had three teachers that were excellent and one who just wasn't particularly well-suited to teaching, but he ended up parting ways after not real long anyway. The curriculum was a little scattered, but I also allow that this is kind of an impossible field to cram into three months. I think they really did their best and it's certainly no fault of the teachers.
The process for placing graduates is I believe different now than it was when I was there, but when I was there the process needed work. I don't believe doing this course is 100% guaranteed to land anyone a job, but what I did here definitely helped me get my current position. I still had to do a lot on my own to find a job--Claim did help as much as they could but when I was there it seemed like they were still working on establishing the proper contacts.
For anyone considering this, it's a lot of work and you have to be really self-motivated. Consider the monetary cost and definitely also explore other options, and realize what you'll be getting into. This course isn't perfect but it's a good option if you're certain that a coding bootcamp is the way you want to go and you want to stay in the St. Louis area.
I was part of the June 2017 Java class at Claim. I came to Claim with a little programming knowledge under my belt and they really helped me focus my prior knowledge as well as teach a lot of new material. The biggest strength of the program is they can tailor your learning to a set of skills that are currently in demand, the main focus of the program being to secure a position. The teachers and mentors were great. If you are considering coming to Claim, or any other bootcamp, I would guess, just know that it is more than a full time job itself. I spent on average somewhere around 10 hours every day of the three months working and learning. You should also be ready for a lot of self learning... while they do present the material and the syllabus that will lead to success, you have to lock in your understanding with your own research. Thanks Claim!
The instructors are competent and helpful when they are available.
During the day, from 12-6, the class had access to one java instructor, one .Net instructor, and zero Angular/React instructors.
During the evening from 6-9, the class had access to one Java/Angular/React instructor, but not for the full duration of the program(except by e-mail).
Several of my classmates who were new to programming dropped out. They cited "insufficient mentorship" or "too fast paced" as their reasons.
You are expected to spend the majority of your time on Google teaching yourself, which is an important skill, but not what you pay other people for.
Do not expect more than a cursory glance at HTML/CSS here as part of the "Full-Stack Developer" training.
My employer sent me to this training, so I have no experience depending on them to find me work. 5 stars by default.
I learned a great deal while I was here, by teaching myself 10x as much as I was taught. There are other programs and resources I would recommend for a fraction of the cost.
Some of us were pressured into writing a hasty and positive review of this program. Since I don't depend on Claim Academy to find me work, I feel that I can be honest here. Take this into account when reading other reviews.
The instructors at Claim Academy were the best part about the course. They were extremely helpful and kind to me and all of the other students. I knew next to nothing before the class, but they did not seem frustrated or angry with me at any point. My only complaint would be the overall organization. They had moved to a new location, and this definitely showed during my class, especially for the first few weeks. As we progressed we all got more comfortable and organized. A few classes also were cancelled, one when the instructor was sick and another when he had to leave to repair something on his house. Can't really hold this against either of them though, sometimes stuff happens.
Definitely a good experience, and I am very happy with my new job.
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.
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!!!!!
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.
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.
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.
Claim Academy is good for networking with recruiters in the STL area who might be able to place you in a job after 12 weeks of coding practice. Of the three instructors who worked with my cohort, two are very passionate and informed. A third left a lot to be desired and ultimately was removed from our cohort.
I came to CA hoping to learn as much as possible according to the slightly exaggerated syllabus they offer, and already had a job lined up afterwards. I quickly realized that their core ranking is job placement (they boast 95% but wouldn't provide documentation to prove it) and that their emphasis wasn't on providing solid resources. Everyone seemed really strapped for time. Our mentor was the other cohort's instructor and by midway through the summer was teaching a second class too, our time with her, though valuable, was limited.
I have to emphasise how much those two instructors are passionate about what they do. I have reservations about the transparany and execution of the program, and ultimately for someone interested in learning more than finding a job I would not recommend the program. For someone interested more in finding a job than learning, it could be a valuable, yet expensive, recruitment source.
Claim Academy definitely lives up to its title of Bootcamp. Just like any boot camp if you are truely committed the benefits are abundant. The instructors are knowledgeable and really helpful and their team takes a genuine interest in helping find job placement.
Claim Academy was an excellent learning experience. We all had different backgrounds and experience levels, and the curriculum and the instructors adapted to handle that variety so that we all learned from the course. The instructors were both knowledgeable and approachable.
It's a bit early to fully evaluate the job assistance, but that has been excellent so far. We have been provided interview coaching and excellent resume instruction and review. Our career coach does not specialize in technology jobs, but the other instructors are happy to fill in any gaps.
The few things that detracted from the experience are either issues that already have resolutions for future courses (for example, new financial aid opportunities will reduce the likelihood that courses will be delayed), or things that will improve as time and resources allow.
Overall, Claim Academy was a good experience, and I'm glad I attended.
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
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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.