Tech Talent South
Recent Tech Talent South News
- Learn to Code in 2016 at a Summer Coding Bootcamp
- Alumni Spotlight: Marisa Akers of Tech Talent South
- April Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
Recent Tech Talent South Reviews: Rating 4.7
Full-time Code Immersion
Part-time Code Immersion
The Graduate Program
The Graduate Program is designed to give junior level developers and designers a portfolio building experience lead by an industry leader. Students are given an app idea project, then split into teams and tasked with organizing, planning, and executing app features culminating in a finished product presented at Demo Day. This course focuses on giving the students real-world experience in a guided, educational setting.
Intro to Website Design & Creation
Part-time Code Immersion
Full-time Code Immersion
Intro to Website Design & Creation
The Graduate Program
The Graduate Program is designed to give junior level developers and designers a portfolio building experience lead by an industry leader. Students are given an app idea project, then split into teams and tasked with organizing, planning, and executing app features culminating in a finished product presented at Demo Day. This course focuses on giving the students real-world experience in a guided, educational setting.
Next Level Rails
Are you looking for the next step in your Ruby on Rails development? Are you looking to dive into more advanced topics and techniques? Awesome, let's build something <BIG> together in Next Level Rails! Whether you just finished our Code Immersion Course or have been learning the wonder of Rails on your own, this course is a convenient guide to the next level in your web dev skill set. Next Level Rails is a 12-week program designed to be the next step in your education of Ruby on Rails and web application development. This program is geared towards a junior-level developer who is hungry for more Rails knowledge. You’ll be given a great portfolio building experience led by a local industry leader. Students will be involved in the entire process of builiding a web application from scratch. They’ll be tasked with organizing, planning, and executing app features which will culminate in a finished product presented at a demo day. This course focuses on giving students real-world experience in a guided, educational setting. Class time will be split into two, giving the students time for both instruction and hands-on work.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Junior level developer
Big Data Analytics
Today, companies are collecting data (lots and lots of data), and these companies are using this collected data to gain advantages over their competitors and the loyalties of their customers. How? With the rise in new technologies, we can thoroughly examine large data sets to reveal market trends, customer preferences, and previously unknown patterns and correlations. Analysis of big data is helping companies discover new business information and predict future market trends, which leads to better marketing strategies, new lines of revenue, effective customer service, operation improvements, and advantages over your competitors. Data analysis is even revolutionizing professional sports teams, no matter what Charles Barkley says! Tech Talent South’s introduction to Big Data Analytics will cover the foundational topics in data science: Data Manipulation Data Analysis with Stats and Machine Learning Data Communication with Information Visualization This course will give you the opportunity to implement and execute methods dissecting and analyzing large amounts of data. Tech Talent South will cover the basic techniques of big data, including both SQL and NoSQL solutions for large data management, data mining, and statistical modeling.
Do you spend a lot of time on your phone? Ever wondered what it would be like to make those applications you use everyday? Now you can! Grab your iPhone, iPad, and Mac and let's build something <BIG> together. In this course you'll start from the ground up with the iOS SDK, Xcode, and Swift (Apple's new programming language). The iOS course covers the development and best practices for building, testing, debugging, and deploying iOS apps. Learn about what Apple brings to the table and how you'll work with the tools they provide! By the end of the course you'll understand core concepts and how they work together in your apps like Model-View-Controller (MVC), segues and navigation, APIs, and much more! This course will cover the “do’s and don'ts” of iOS mobile development, methods for connecting the UI to your code, and tips for making responsive layouts that display correctly on different screen sizes.
Full-time Code Immersion
Intro to Website Design & Creation
Full-time Code Immersion
Intro to Website Design & Creation
Full-time Code Immersion
Part-time Code Immersion
Tech Talent South Reviews
8-week full stack developer course.
The full-time immersion program accelerated my learning faster than could've happened learning on my own. I never realized how valuable the network would be! The course includes bonuses like guest speakers and tech company tours. It was assuring and inspiring to seeing TTS alum working full time at both new and established tech companies. Along the way I met great instructors and classmates. There were some students who didn't know what they were getting into--some got bitter but some got better! Your classmates will help you get where you want to be in your career if you connect and work with them. I've formed relationships with people that I believe will last my entire tech career. I've had a great experience! I applied for and received a partial scholarship at the start of the program, and I'm very grateful for that! I wish TTS much continued success in the future!
This was a challenging course and you really get what you put into it--but you don't just learn about coding; you get introduced to the community of TTS and to the community of start-ups and companies. The networking opportunities is the cherry on top. I find myself missing the class and learning, as well as hanging out with the staff and fellow students. I highly recommend the course!
I really enjoyed my entire experience at Tech Talent South. Its bittersweet that today was the official last day. The daily lessons in learning how to code interesting applications/websites for users, homework assignments to increase our understanding of the topic, and daily networking opportunities gave me a real appreciation of what this bootcamp had to offer. I also enjoyed having guest speakers visit the coworking space and give a real world perspective in how coding has become a universal skill in every industry. The community manager and instructor were always here to help us out with random questions on any assignments we working on and also continued to encourage us to attend any other event that will help us be better front-end web developers. I'll definitely be thankful in applying these important lessons and skills throughout my career.
Winter 2016 Full Code Immersion.
As you'll read in most of these reviews, to get the most out of this course you really do need to be fairly self-motivated. TTS did a great job of providing opportunities to not only learn the foundations of web development, but also to tour local tech companies and attend networking events, etc. However, it's very much on the student to make the most of these opportunities. Attendance and participation are NOT part of your grade (heads up - there are no grades), but they are critical to your success. If there is a company in your area that you're interested in learning more about, talk to your TTS Community Organizer about setting up a meeting. If there is a topic that isn't being covered in as much depth as you were hoping for, ask your instructor for guidance on learning more.
Long story, short - I enjoyed and benefited from TTS. I had good teachers and fun classmates. I wrote a lot of code outside of class, worked on my own projects, attended all the events and was able to secure a junior development position shortly after completing the course. If you're interested in the course and ready to put the work in, I'd say go for it.
I honestly didn't know what to expect going into the course, but it definitely blew me out of the water. Each class was about 3 hours, with a nice, short break in the middle; but even though the classes seemed like they would be long (I mean you're coding for 3 hours..?), they turned out to be the perfect length. The time always flew by crazy fast as everyone got sucked into their code. The instructor, Zapata, was awesome; he was always cracking jokes, had plenty of memes, was more than willing to help with any questions or problems, and was super kind and knowledgeable.
The team at TTS is a really great group of people. I've taken plenty of different courses - online and in-person - and in most cases the instructors or creators are just concerned with getting you to buy the course or getting you through; they're not that concerned with making sure you understand the material or helping you apply it afterwards. I found the team at TTS to be quite different; they were always there if you needed them, happy to help get you connected with different individuals, and help you in whatever your career aspirations are.
I definitely recommend the course and Tech Talent South! I'm sure I'll be a life-long student of theirs and take some of there other courses :)
I feel as though I paid thousands of dollars for a fairly helpful slideshow and some links. Our instructor told us from the beginning this was their first time teaching but we were all shocked to learn that they had only just completed the most recent TTS bootcamp a few months earlier. Their answer to almost every question was either "Google it," "It's in the documentation," or simply "I've never had that problem, I don't know." The instructor was OBVIOUSLY struggling with teaching as much as we were with learning. I am pleased to know that they will no longer be teaching the bootcamp. The classroom was very cramped and always freezing or roasting; there was no comfortable in-between. The after-class "lab time" was nothing more than a glorified study hall. The instructor regularly encouraged us to leave before lab hours concluded so they could leave, too. I would not recommend this course to others and, in fact, would actively discourage others from attending.
In my experience, the founders of Tech Talent South have created an excellent team of people and fostered a quality learning environment inclusive of anyone who wants to learn and grow their code skills. I gained so much by taking this class, I have no regrets about spending my money on it, and I feel as successful as a junior developer could possibly feel. My biggest nitpick is the fact that my full-time class met at 8 am. I am night person, so that wasn't the easiest on me, but it was worth it.
I really liked the way the instructors taught the class and made themselves very available outside of class. The material was difficult and daunting, especially when you are doing a part-time class and have less time to absorb the material. Going into it, I was a bit concerned about doing part-time and wished I had the time to do full-time. After finishing the course, though, I can confidently say I am in a good place with my understanding of all the above applications and methods. The Part-Time Code Immersion class gave me a great foundation to continue to build my knowledge. Another great thing about this class is that it isn't just a class; it's a community. Upon graduating, you have access to your classroom portal and all your slides. The instructos and Community Manager encourage you to continue posting questions and problems to Slack (our mode of communication) and they will help out. As someone new to programming, this kind of support is incredibly valuable and I am looking forward to staying in touch with everyone at Tech Talent South.
I really enjoyed the time i spent in TTS. I wish Emily had joined earlier, so we could have had more action with the speakers from different companies. The curriculum could have been better; instead of jumping around, it would have been nice if it was straight forward. Everyone realised that after the interview with CrateBinds. I think a little longer time might help more.
TTS has been a wonderful experience, through and through. Our class had a very diverse group of students– graphic designers, AT&T technicians, opera grant writers, dancers, stay-at-home parents, hardware folks and more, just for a general sample. We were all at different places in our life and different levels of stability. The common thread was that we all were looking for a change in our lives, and TTS was our springboard. Coding may have seemed daunting going in, but TTS really made it all doable and provided us with the resources and tools to grow our knowledge going forward.
We were really lucky with our INSTRUCTORS (Lee and Mariel). First off, they really set the bar high by investing in the course and in our individual success. Both of them met with students outside of class on multiple occasions, and they were available at the craziest hours through the Slack messaging system we used. In addition to their personal care, they really complemented each other as teachers. Their styles of teaching were really different (Lee’s being very minute and devil-in-the-details, Mariel’s offering a bigger picture view of things). Their particular skill sets were different (Lee excelled at back-end while Mariel was untouchable in terms of front-end code). They really balanced each other brilliantly and worked hard to make their vast base of knowledge available to their students. And that didn’t stop when class ended–they continue to support us going forward and that’s amazing.
Bringing me to the biggest magic of TTS: the COMMUNITY! It sounded cheesy and it still sounds cheesy, but TTS really is like family. It’s a really positive environment focused on forging mutual admiration within its own ranks, on connecting to and making a difference in the tech community at large, and uplifting anyone it can. It’s contagious and incredibly valuable. My classmates and I have continued to keep up with each other, and we push each other to go to meet ups and get ourselves out there. Andrew, our brilliant Community Organizer in Charlotte, continues to keep us in the loop about events in the community and jobs that we as individuals might be good fits for. The community is a major piece of the value that you get with TTS.
TL;DR: I LOVED the program and I’m pretty sure it turned my whole life around. The road is wide and full of hope, and after TTS I feel ready for it. If you’re on the fence, don’t be. Just sign up and brace for awesome.
TTS Raleigh was a positive experience. I did the part-time immersion class for website building. I had been interested in learning HTML / CSS for the past year or so, and it gave me the push I needed to get motivated and start building my own website.
Our instructor was very knowledgable on the course material, and he was friendly and eager to help us / answer our questions. When the class ended, we got digital copies of all the material and class exercises, which I know I will reviewing in coming weeks. He was also willing to meet with us for homework hour every Sunday, which I thought was really nice.
One consideration for future iterations might be to move from 3 hours / week for 8 weeks to 2 hours / week for 12 weeks. The part time class is designed for working students, which is awesome, but it's so much material and 3 hours is really long to add to a full work day.
We also met out of a local co-working space, which for the most part was cool.. but sometimes the main projector screen was hard to see because of how the room was set up.
Overall, I would recommend TTS to anyone who is interested, and motivated, to learn HTML / CSS. I don't think I could have made a career jump based on the class alone... but maybe after a few more months of reviewing / learning on my own, I might be able to. It laid a good foundation though.
And, females and minorities get a partial scholarship, which I really appreciated.
I enjoyed the part time Code Immersion program. The instructors were good and did a good job of presenting the material. They had opportunities for networking and provided information on potential employment opportunities. We didn't get as far in the material as I would have hoped. Before taking the class, 8 weeks seemed like a good amount of class time. However, after attending the program, I wish it had been a little longer. A longer program would have assisted in better retention of information. I did get a solid foundation of coding of which I can build upon.
Tech Talent South does a great job of creating community and support not just during the course but also after! I loved that every student's technical experience was different and their journey unique. I took the course so that I could build some of my own projects and go in a completely differnt direction with my career. I enjoyed the content that we learned and the continous support they give! The instructor even took extra time to make sure that I was caught up when I had to miss class. TTS creates a great framework and what you put in is what you get out!
If at any time I needed assistance (which was everyday) all the instructors were very helpful. It was said the first day that they want to see you succeed and it's true. Their commitment to our learning/success made me want to dig deeper.
No one promises anything from taking this course, but with hardwork and dedication anything is possible. Attending the workshops, and tours gives you invaluable information and exposes one to different work options.
If I had to do this again I would! Nothing worth having is easily obtained. Going from no code exposure prior to this course to being fully stacked in 8 weeks is a testament to TTS. If you're thinking about it, go for it!
In 8 weeks I went from knowing basic HTML and CSS to learning Ruby on Rails, which is one of the hottest languages right now. I went in with 0 expectations, with an open mind, knowing that I had to put in work in order to make it happen. Regardless of the bootcamp of how long it is, you will have to put in work! Our instructor was great and very accessible, even after class hours. The community organizer scheduled some great company tours and guest speakers, but before she did anything she always asked US what we wanted. Our class was divided between front-end and back-end developers so she made sure to schedule things for both groups.
I loved how Richard Simms, the co-founder, always hung out with us in class and went to lunch with us regularly. TTS really feels like a welcoming family and the coworking space we were in was pretty awesome as well. The curriculum is fast-paced, but very well designed. You will learn a lot as long as you feel passionate about it and do your homework. They connect you with amazing individuals and make sure you attend as many meetup groups and events as possible. Believe me, you will enjoy yourself!
Learning to code can be challenging. Not only are there a ton of languages, but its tough to wade through all the noise in order to find the skills that you need to know whether you want to make a career change or start your own software company. I started learning to code prior to attending the 8 week full-time program, but TTS helped me to focus on the critical components that I needed to learn in order to switch careers and start my own company. Furthermore, the staff has been awesome about encouraging students to get involved in the Atlanta tech scene outside of class. I encourage you to check TTS out!
In eight weeks, I went from completely new to the mere idea of web development to a full-stack developer equipped with all the resources I need to succeed in a new field. As someone coming to tech from a completely different industry, I knew I wanted a change, but wasn't sure how successful I'd be. The great crew at the Atlanta campus takes you through everything you need to know step-by-step, from HTML & CSS to Ruby and Rails to practical skills like developing on a team and learning git workflow. Aside from the great curriculum, the TTS team goes out of their way to make you feel welcome and make any necessary connections or open any doors to set you on the right path. A coding bootcamp isn't the easiest path to take, sure, but effort and drive combined with Tech Talent South's great resources are a recipe for success.
Its hard to find teachers who genuinely care for their students anymore. This was the biggest assest I took away from the Ruby on Rails class at Tech Talent South. The after-hours help along with the almost full-time availability of the the staff made it easy to ask questions and not feel like you were lost in a sea of code. Class was much more than just a learning enviorment as I felt at home in the classroom.
After the didactic portion early in the morning there were always buisnesses to tour. I was able to see the way the tech industry operated in real-time instead of in a classroom. It was invaluable for making networking connections around the city.
The class did a great job of helping me break the fear factor of learning programing.
Tech Talent South introduced me to a new way of thinking, problem solving and patience within myself in how Ruby on Rails is used. As someone who took the class to prepare for a career change, I feel the knowledge was provided and that I have been introduced to a new path of opportunities. TTS taught me the technical creative skills to add to my resume and to keep going! Personally, I wished the daily class length was a full 8 hours and 5 days a week, because I wanted to learn more.
I took the summer ’15 part-time course and walked out on the last day feeling like I didn’t know a thing. With exactly half the class time of the full-time class, there was quite a bit of independent learning, and for a subject this in-depth and my lack of exposure (and learning style) that just didn’t work for me. I went back for the full-time class for fall '15 and the experience was like night and day. That is not to say I am a proficient coder, but I definitely have a strong foundation to continue my education with. In 8 weeks, this program is not going to teach you everything you need to know. What it will do is give you the skills and knowledge to find out if you like this, where your strengths are, and the beginnings of a path that you will create based on what you’d like to do.
The instructors are not going to hand you easy answers. They’re going to challenge you to find them yourself, but will absolutely be there for you during office hours, for coffee, or extra help sessions if that’s what you need. Each instructor has their own style and you will naturally gravitate to some more than others, as it is with any learning situation you are in.
If you are diligent, take the initiative and reach out when you need help, and do all the work and reading you will get something out of this, even if what you learn is that coding is not for you, despite the interest you may have had in it. And if at the end of it all you feel like you need to do it again to make it all sink in see if there’s room for you to audit the next session.
Failure is only an option if you choose that you want it to be.
My background is in economics, finance, and investing. For over two years, I had outsourced the development of a ruby on rails app for my startup...and for both maintainence and a number of other reasons, I wanted to learn the fundamentals of programming myself.
The setting and working with classmates (peers helping peers) were great. The instructors were all incredible and took time to develop each day's lesson.
Hugely recommended, especially if you're considering the "cheap" path of an online course...take those AFTER TTS, not before.
My coding journey started during the summer. I wanted to make a career change and the technology scene seemed very enticing because it touches almost all of today’s world. In the beginning, I was waffling among the countless tutorials and programming languages at my disposal. Quickly, I realized that I couldn’t do this on my own and started looking for help in any way, shape, or form. Those searches directed me to the world of code immersion classes.
I recently finished the Fall cohort of Tech Talent South’s Code Immersion Program. I couldn’t be happier with the results of the class. From an educational standpoint, the foundation the class gives is astounding. It doesn’t seem possible to learn the things that I now know in eight weeks, but it happened. The instructors contain a wide breadth of knowledge and present it in a way that helps you practice and retain the course content. They understand what it’s like to be in a newbie’s shoes because they were once in the same position. The curriculum is challenging, but it drives you to learn.
While the coursework is wonderful and engaging, the outside of the classroom events really help set TTS apart. We interacted with actual businesses and people in the coding community. It was exciting to see the concepts we had learned in action and what it takes to develop for a company. What I found particularly amazing was the willingness from others to help the newly found members of the coding community. I would have never known about certain events, people in the community, and how great the Charlotte tech scene is without Tech Talent’s help.
The Code Immersion Program is truly exceptional because of all the above mentioned items and also your fellow students. Everyone is motivated, wants to learn, and most importantly wants to help. I would do it over again in a heartbeat and recommend Tech Talent South to anyone who has the desire to be a programmer/developer. One quick caveat, like with most things, you get out what you put in. The good news is that TTS has such an extraordinary program, the only thing that limits you is the time in a day.
Like Marty Huggins says, “It’s worth a google.” Good luck in your journey and don’t be afraid to talk to the folks at TTS or any of its recent graduates. We’re all very excited for you to come join us and want to help in any way we can.
If you find yourself here, questioning whether or not the code immersion program is worth it, and if you will actually gain the skills you need to become a developer, do yourself a favor and take it from me: Just. Do. It.
It had been a long time coming for me, trying to teach myself to code for months. But after working a full time job with bookoos of overtime, I just didn't have it in me to try and learn to code on my own. I missed a classroom environment, direction, and the feeling that I could actually produce something functional. Sure, there are plenty of resources out there online, but it was like copying an exercise here on Codecademy, or following along blindly to Team Treehouse. I couldn't make anything on my own. It wasn't what I needed. And I found all that I was missing in Tech Talent South.
Don't think that my success means it was easy. It wasn't. It was challenging. But in a way that kept me wanting more. It is not an exaggeration that I was coding non-stop. Striving to understand every facet. Even in college, I did not have this much passion for learning something new. The instructors are encouraging, knowledgeable, and relatable. They did whatever they could to work with each of the students and make sure their environments were set up correctly, and that they understood the lessons. The lessons were excellent, at that - concepts were explained thoroughly with real examples and execution.
There were many outside of class activities and opportunities in the course. You get the chance to visit several startups in Charlotte and are encouraged to become part of the development community. Seriously, if you take all of these chances, you will not be discouraged. You will find that you have many options, and the doors are completely open for you. Just keep in mind that the learning doesn't stop after 8 weeks. But it does build your foundation, which is truly what you need to excel as a developer. You won't finish this course and know everything there is to know about development - that world is vast and beyond the scope of the class - but you will come out with enough chops to keep learning, and to know how to take control of your own future, your career and your success.
Before I started this class, I worried about finding employment after the end. But it is truly about how much you put into it. If you do the pre-course work, pay attention in class, DO YOUR HOMEWORK, take part in networking events, meetups, tours... this will be one of the greatest investments of your life. TTS has paved the way for a new future and career for me. I am so thankful.
Seriously. Just do it.
I've wanted to learn how to program websites and apps since college, but I came to this realization too late in my undergraduate career. I spent the last 3 years working arduous jobs that left little room for me to explore learning code. I tried a few online courses, from EdX to Code Academy, but after working 14 hours days, the last thing I wanted to do was learn a new language.
For all intensive purposes, computer programming is a language in of itself: it has syntax, grammar, and depending on the language, even slang (i.e. shortcuts). Think of how hard it was to learn Spanish or French or even Latin in middle and high school - coding is just the same. That is why when I had the financial and scheduling means to learn programming, I turned to the Tech Talent South Full-time Code Immersion class. I can't begin to say how glad I am that I made this investment.
I have yet to apply for a computer programming job - there's still more learning I want to embark on before I feel comfortable enough to say: "I am a programmer." I work at a data company and now I am in a position where I finally understand what the software engineers are talking about during their presentations; I even have a better idea of what they are doing simply by looking at their code. This course has provided me with a foundation to now build a home on. It's only an 8 week course - I don't think anyone learned to speak English in 2 months. But these last 8 weeks have opened so many opportunities now. That is why I gave "Curriculum" only 4 stars when it should be 5 - because after the 8 weeks are done, we are not done learning. The great instructors made that clear: programming is really a lifetime of learning. I work with developers who have been coding for 20-30 years and they still need to go online for help solving programming errors.
It takes a lot of effort on your part as a student to learn to code and should not be taken lightly. I had many doubts going into it (maybe I should wait until next year, maybe wait for another program, maybe just do the part-time, etc). The best advice I can give is sign-up, learn these essential skills, and build something for your team or yourself.
What a whirlwind.
I showed up on the first day with no coding experience. I barely knew how to turn on and off my computer. Now, I've built multiple static websites and completed one huge Ruby project. (Before doing TTS, I didn't even know what things like "static sites" or "Ruby" were.)
What TTS provides:
Intensive coursework and homework
Funny, engaging and available teachers
Networking opportunities up the wazoo. If you want to get into the local tech community, this is an awesome and fun way to do it.
What you need to bring to the table:
Time and hard work. TTS gives you all the tools to jumpstart your career in tech, but you have to show up, literally and metaphorically. Cliche as it sounds, you will get out of the course what you put in.
Up-to-date computer. Those with older models sometimes struggled to keep up because the software didn't always work.
I will also note that TTS is friendly to all genders. Did not feel male (or female) focused or dominated.
Other advice: if you have the time, take the *full-time* course.
tl;dr: TTS is a great launching pad for a career in this industry.
If you are deeply considering a code immersion program like I was, trying to debate if it’s worth it or not, endlessly reading reviews, you should definitely consider Tech Talent South.
Choosing to go with Tech Talent South has paid off very well. It kept me accountable in learning all of the material and led me to discover all of the great individuals and events happening in the tech industry that I had no idea of prior. After going through the whole Tech Talent South experience (interviewing, talking with both the founders, attending the classes and events), I can say that Tech Talent South is run by an awesome group of people, especially in the New Orleans community.
I will highly recommend enrolling in Tech Talent South if you’re looking to develop new skills and there’s a location in your area. Value wise, I think it is a great way to get a step into developing and programming in this industry. The instructors, Sia and Gant, taught me a whole lot more in a lot less time than reading books and watching online videos would, all while giving pro tips on how things work in the actual world from their experiences. Tech Talent South also provides the members with a job board of companies in the area looking to hire graduates and the community manager, Lindsay, is actively seeking speakers to come in and give talks to the classes. Overall, it was a fantastic experience that has given me the skills to land a job in the industry along with meeting some amazing people and having a fun time.
I recently, as in a week ago, completed the spring immersion course. To keep this short and sweet => This is a good program with good, caring, engaged people who continually self-examine as to how they can improve the curriculum.
Do you come out as a senior developer? No, not unless you went in as one, however, the fundamentals are given and those applied, coupled with networking, a resume, diligence and patience, will pay off.
I was not exactly sure what I was getting myself into when i decided to sign up for the part-time class. I had some previous Java / C++ programming experience from college, but I did not keep up with it and kind of had a bad taste in my mouth from those classes. I remember them being very difficult and frustrating. While the part time code immersion class was still difficult, it was much more engaging and fun that what I initially thought it would be. Our instructor, Paula, was very friendly and patient with me. She never rushed anything if we had questions and made us feel comfortable and tried her best to match our learning pace. She would often stay a few extra minutes to help explain and solidify some of the tasks we worked on during the class. Overall, the course was a great re-introduction to programming and helped clarify some of the intimidation factors that I had with coding.
If you have a busy work schedule as I do, it can be difficult to balance work, life, and class. I know this was the case for many of my classmates. Though we covered a wide range of relative coding and design topics, I think that the course scope could be reduced a little to focus more on the core concepts of Ruby programming a little more in depth. Or maybe the class could be closer to 12-16 weeks rather than 8 weeks so that we have ample time to absorb all of the information. Students with more coding experience may feel more comfortable with the fast pace.
Ive spent the last 8 weeks learning to code, building web apps, meeting developers, touring companys and meeting people I would have never had the chance to if it not for this program. I didnt just add acouple of concept and contacts to my network. I built a new one! I recommend this course to anyone and everyone whom wants to either code personally, professionally or wants to built a network within their city in the tech space. From coffee to beer, from arrays to scaffolds and gems oooo the GEMS. You learn quite abite but get a chance to expereince alot more.
I recently completed the full-time Tech Talent South program in Atlanta. First, I will say that the Tech Talent South website does not lie when it says that you will learn a lot. From starting with HTML/CSS we moved into bootstrap and then into ruby and finally spending the majority of the time focusing on Ruby on Rails. In rails, we built a simple blog, twitter app, ecommerce app and many other projects during the course. After 8 weeks of almost non-stop coding in HTML/CSS, Ruby and Ruby on Rails I can honestly say that I learned quite a lot of material. I am still going through and digesting everything that my brain took in. Overall the course was very good and I felt that the instructors were very helpful. I often stayed after each class to do some more coding and an instructor was always present to answer any of my questions. Another great aspect of the course were the field trips/ guest speakers that came and spoke to the class. These experiences provided invaluable insight to the world of being a developer. I would highly recommend this course to anyone that was thinking about getting into the world of coding-for you will learn a lot!
Before I started the Learn to Code course in Charlotte, I wondered if I'd really be coding in only 8 weeks. But after completing Tech Talent South's full-immersion Learn to Code course, I can tell you for sure that it's for real.
I think of it as an equation:
Learn to Code in 8 weeks = discipline/dedication + resources/support system.
The first half of the equation was up to me. Just like anything else, learning how to do something new takes hard work. You must do the homework, come to class, play an active role, ask questions…that sort of stuff.
The second half of the equation was all Tech Talent South. They provided all the support, resources and tools needed to learn to code in 8 weeks. They provided an engaging classroom setting (you learn by doing…no lectures here), skilled and knowledgeable instructors (they have a genuine interest in your success), and extracurricular networking and education events with companies and leaders in your community (so you can get a job when you finish).
I can't enough good things about my experience with Tech Talent South and learning to code. I highly recommend them.
What first attracted me to TTS is that is affordable and they offer a part-time program. I wanted to learn to program to gain both technical and management skills. While it was an investment, it has already paid off in helping me get a new job as a Senior eCommerce Manager and to make informed business decisions while I work on my own business. Our instructor was a senior level Ruby programmer who adjusted the pace of the class to meet our needs and made himself available outside of class time. I am thankful TTS helped me get started in my endeavor to learn to code and they continue to be a resource to us even after the program ended.
I studied under Tech Talent South's Winter-2014 part-time cohort and was able to focus on exactly the stack I was interested in learning more about with no impact on a busy full-time work schedule. I've been working in information technology for 7 years in an academic medical context. As a Sr. Applications Support Developer with a specialization in robotics-based medical simulation, I was interested in learning more about the programming behind some of the web-based applications that help breathe life into the simulators I support. Though I had some HTML and CSS under my belt through undergrad/grad school, I began learning a little more about web-based app development on my own through web resources like Codecademy, etc. While these resources were helpful, I was finding a need for more meaningful contact with folks who had been in the trenches of professional app development. As I was beginning to create a thorough, self-directed study plan to pursue, a friend told me about TTS and I was ecstatic to discover that they offered a part-time immersion program in Atlanta. Having researched dev immersion programs in cities like San Francisco and Chicago, I found myself interested in what some of the programs were offering, but moving, albeit temporarily, would've been pretty tough both personally and professionally. For what I wanted to learn, TTS was practically tailor-made both in terms of class content and the part-time schedule. I was able to continue working full-time, enjoy the challenges of a part-time immersion program, and study with experienced programmers in a classroom that was only a 5-minute drive from home. Of course, occasionally grabbing a beer after class with our instructor and fellow students made the experience all the greater. TTS offered a challenging dive into the stack of programming languages shared on their site and I was impressed not only with the experience and expertise of our instructor, but particularly his commitment to go the extra mile during and outside of class to really mentor us and ensure that we understood what was being covered. In addition to the exposure we got to the languages covered, I really valued the emphasis on honing the crucial creative and critical thinking skills innate to good programming. While I wasn't able to attend anywhere near as many as I would've liked to given my work schedule, I was impressed by the number of opportunities to attend guest speaker engagements at TTS, not to mention how hard the TTS crew worked to ensure we knew about meet-ups around town, job opportunities, and alumni discounts for tech events. Since completing the part-time immersion program, I've grown considerably in my current position. I've had not only the opportunity to play an integral role in the development and support of web sites relating to the Center I support, but I'm able to speak more fluently and adroitly about web-based applications I co-support with vendors. TTS immersion has been an empowering and beneficial experience for me... It instilled a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning.
I just finished the part-time program with Tech Talent South last month and had a really positive experience. I was wanting to transition careers within the next year and thought that adding coding to my art/design background would allow me more options. Prior to attending Tech Talent South I had tried to teach myself coding and found it to be a frustrating process. I finally realized I needed a more supportive environment. The people at Tech Talent South are great. They are friendly and accessible. Betsy (co-founder) talked to me in-depth on the phone and through emails answering all my questions about the program. Richard (co-founder) also talked to me by phone/email and attended most of the classes and events. He checked up on the students constantly and was there to help each of us with anything that was needed. The level of support in this program is tremendous. The classes themselves were both fun and informative. Robby, the instructor, was really good at engaging the class in the difficult concepts. He was very patient and made sure to review often and to constantly assess where everyone was during the course.
The program is very fast-paced and you need to do the homework and/or additional tutorials in order to learn what you need to know. I did not receive a full-time job offer after the program, however, I was not looking for one at this time. I am under contract with my current employer for at least another year. There are plenty of opportunities to get internships and/or to meet with prospective employers. I did obtain a part-time internship with a really cool start-up. This should allow me to gain more experience for when I am ready to transition over to a design or programming position. Tech Talent South is still in contact with me even after the program ended and still provides support, etc. I definitely recommend this program if you are wanting to learn coding and become more familiar with the programming and/or start-up community.
Our latest on Tech Talent South
If you're a college student, an incoming freshman, or a teacher with a summer break, you have tons of summer coding bootcamp options, as well as several code schools that continue their normal offerings in the summer months.
Wondering what a college student or a school teacher can do with coding skills?Continue Reading →
Marisa Akers was a statistician and a quality assurance analyst before realizing that she really wanted to follow her passion for coding. She knew that Tech Talent South was part of her local Charlotte, NC community, so Marisa enrolled in their immersive Web Development Program. She graduated in December 2015, and is now a web conversion analyst at TradeKing. Marisa tells us about building confidence in her new career as a developer, and why diversity at Tech Talent South was one of her most valuable takeaways.
What is your pre-bootcamp story? What is your educational background? Your last career path?
I went to NC State University and got a Bachelor of Science in statistics. When I graduated I didn’t have much confidence or knowledge about the industry – I just had textbook skills and didn’t know how to translate them. My first job was at Chipotle which really didn’t help my confidence.
I eventually got a job doing quality assurance analysis at a local software company in Charlotte. I was really excited to learn more about how technology is growing and affecting us, and how the apps and the products I use are created. I was there for a year, and it gave me a really good background to the language, process, and products of the industry, but I didn’t feel like I was using skills I wanted to use. When the company had a downturn and I lost that job, I was really dejected and confused. I knew I needed a better support system and a stronger set of skills. I wanted to remember what I am passionate about, what I’m curious about, and what would make me feel more powerful as a career woman.
When did you decide to quit your job and do this as a career transformation?
I already knew about Tech Talent South when I was offered the QA job – at that time, it was either take the job or further my education. So I took the job and watched Tech Talent South grow, and impact new students, their alumni, and the workforce in Charlotte. I admired their passion and skill for taking people through that entire experience.
When I lost my job, I met with the co-founder Betsy and some of her staff, and I just knew it was the best option for me. It was difficult to make the decision to commit that money when I was unemployed. But I knew it would be the best option for my future, and would be an empowering, holistic experience to pursue what I dreamed about doing.
What coding knowledge did you have from your college degree?
My statistics degree gave me a background in a few coding languages. I had been using SAS and R, and I used Fortran for one semester. Once I started learning to code I was fascinated, but when I graduated I didn’t understand how to implement what I’d learned in a classroom to real life.
Did you try to learn on your own before you thought about a bootcamp or did you just dive into Tech Talent South? What types of resources did you use?
There are so many resources out there. I was trying to multitask while I was doing QA, and use as many online resources as I could get my hands on to broaden my education. I used Codecademy, Code School, Treehouse, Lynda, and a site called Kaggle that’s really great for people interested in data science.
Did you look at other bootcamps or just Tech Talent South?
I did look at some of the ones that are purely online. But I knew I wanted to be in person, with that one-on-one interaction, and support my local community. Tech Talent South is the only organization to do this for my city.
What factors were important to you when choosing a coding bootcamp?
Did you think about doing another four-year degree in Computer Science?
I did consider it. I greatly appreciate people with a classical education. But I know that because this industry changes so quickly, it’s better to learn fast and hard, than to dedicate that time and money and gain some less than useful information. Also the price is wildly different, and the process is a lot slower in traditional education.
Was your class diverse in terms of gender, race, life and career backgrounds?
It was about 30 people in the class. I have never been so appreciative of the diversity I saw there. Some students had CS degrees, and some had quit their waitressing jobs the week before. But everyone had this passion for learning. Everyone was accepted no matter their background.
Before that class, when I was working in QA, there were fewer than 10 females in the entire company, and no racial diversity. So to go into the Tech Talent South classroom and see people of different, ages, races and backgrounds was really refreshing, because how can we build products for all people if we’re not including everyone? You have to respect the clients you’re working for, which is hard if you don’t allow them into your offices. So I was really proud of us for bringing our differences together, and the experiences we got out of it was more powerful for that fact. I appreciate it more than many other singular detail.
How did you pay for Tech Talent South? Did you use a financing partner? Did you get a scholarship?
I did get a scholarship, and I did a work-trade. Because of my background in statistics, I was able to help out with the big data analytics class. Betsy is so passionate about making this accessible to people. They have good payment plans, and they have trade with work opportunities sometimes. I was also extremely lucky to have my fiance who helped me with the payment plan because he knew continuing my education was important to me.
What was the learning experience like at Tech Talent South — typical day and teaching style?
The classes are half days. I know some code immersions do full days. But I found the half day really conducive to this type of learning – where you can immerse yourself in a lot of new information, then have time to process it on your own.
We had class with a lecture in the morning with an instructor from 8 am to 11 am, then office hours from 11 am to 12 pm. In the afternoons there was time to have another job, time to work on homework, and any further studies we wanted to do. Then the next morning we did it all over again. I got a part time job at first, but I found I was able to absorb more and dedicate more time to my studies if I just focused on being in class.
What was your favorite project you created?
I really loved doing our final project because at that point we had enough knowledge to imagine a tool we wanted to use and to fully execute it. It was such a powerful feeling for me to host it online, and see it live. My group did a Pinterest-style app called CityBuzz for local businesses to connect with clientele and post promotions, sales, and new openings.
One of the most important classes to me was the day we first used SQL, even though we only had one lecture and one weekend to do an online mini-course. That was one of the most effective steps I took towards my current career. It really was an enlightening experience to go through that part of the course.
Tell me about your new job at TradeKing.
My title is web conversion analyst so I am on a team dedicated to creating the best experience for new clients as they go through the process of creating an account on our site. The account itself can be used to trade stocks, trade options, or to invest in a Roth IRA etc. I’m learning so much and finding it’s a really interesting industry that I had never really seen myself being a part of.
What technologies are you working with at TradeKing?
I use SQL server, R, Python, and Tableau. The tasks I work on are pulling data and performing analysis on our clients, following them through the process of completing an application, and trying to spot places in our process to improve. We’re constantly trying to observe what other people are doing, observe what our clients are going through, and trying to make the process to feel as natural and quick as possible.
How did you find the job? What was the application and interview process like?
I was recruited through LinkedIn, by a local agency that works closely with TradeKing. That was a really exciting way to start a year. In the first week of January 2016 I got a message from the recruiter who was really passionate about the position and interested in me. He had me take some pre-tests on SQL, I did a phone screening, in-person interviews, and a code challenge. It took around 10 days to complete. It’s a really intense but comforting experience to be able to find that compatibility between an employer and employee.
How did Tech Talent South prepare you for finding a job?
In addition to having one-on-one meetings to discuss my hopes, desires, and skills, they connected me with companies I was interested in with direct emails. Tech Talent South encouraged me along the way, and everything I learned in the class helped me be relevant to any development process happening right now. Whether it was understanding the lingo, or being exposed to different tools, I learned to ask the right questions. So if I ever saw something I didn't immediately understand, I wasn’t stuck. They inspired me to reach for things which before I had seen as inaccessible to myself.
What was your original goal in attending a bootcamp? What were your plans after you graduate?
Losing my job was the scariest thing I’ve gone through recently. I was tempted to not work in technology any more, but I just had to acknowledge that this is a difficult industry, and you can’t always control what happens to you. I wanted to be more confident in myself and my ability to pivot. I knew I had this background, this experience, and I could decide how to move forward, and I wanted to do that by being in a developer position. I wanted to combine tech, software, development, and data analysis.
Are you using the tech stack or programming languages you learned at Tech Talent South or a new one?
I did have to learn some new things. When we learned SQL at Tech Talent South, I had never used it before, and that day was a lightbulb moment for me. So when I graduated, SQL was what I pursued the hardest, and one of the reasons I was recruited for this job. I’m also using a bit of my knowledge from my stats degree. I studied R again and picked up Python because I know it’s one of the most powerful data processing languages. I found once you start getting a technical education, and start implementing logic into your day to day tasks, everything starts to feel more natural and you understand what the people you’re collaborating with are doing. So while I don’t use Ruby on Rails in my job right now, I’ve found almost every single thing I learned in that class is still relevant to my career.
What’s been the biggest challenge at your job?
My struggle with confidence. I’m on a small team, in a unique position, and sometimes when you see the brilliance around you, it’s hard to admit you’re on the same level. But with the resources and the support system I have here, it’s about facing each day with courage, being able to move quickly, learn something new in one day, and execute it the next. I have an amazing team.
What sorts of things are you doing to maintain and learn new skills?
I try to read a lot, even if it’s just a couple of Medium articles in the morning on UX or new products. I try to look at my week and balance which tools I’m using and when, so I don’t rely on one too heavily. And then I try to stay curious in my own free time. I still maintain my Lynda membership, and I’ll often play a video while I multi-task to stay as curious as possible.
What advice do you have for people embarking on the job market after taking a bootcamp?
These job seekers are so close to my heart, even if I don’t know them personally, because I know how difficult it is. My advice is to decide on what you want and go for it very confidently. Have the confidence to pivot when you need to. Surround yourself with people whom you can ask questions, or who will give you their unfailing support, and then just know you can do it no matter how difficult it is. It’s strangely difficult for humans to be logical, and that is the foundation of what you learn at a coding bootcamp, no matter what programming language you’re focusing on. So if it feels weird for a day or a week, just know that will pass and you're always gaining valuable skills and experiences.
And when you start a new job, always ask questions of the people you’re working with – they’re a vital resource. If you have good coworkers, they won’t punish you for asking questions. In fact, you’ll have a better experience and a better product afterward.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about Tech Talent South?
I hope I’ve been able to express how grateful I am because it’s not common for someone else to want to make you more powerful and confident in yourself. To find this group of people who dedicates every day to doing that for as many people as possible is almost absurd. I’m astounded at what Tech Talent South has been able to build and how they’ve been able to empower people. I still wake up excited that this career change is something I’ve been able to do for myself.
Welcome to the April News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Want your bootcamp's news to be included in the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!Continue Reading →
In the summertime, when the weather is hot... it’s a great time to learn to code! If you're a college student or a teacher with a summer break, you have tons of summer coding bootcamp options, as well as several code schools that continue their normal offerings in the summer months.Continue Reading →
While quitting your job and diving headfirst into your coding education can yield impressive results, we also understand that not everybody can commit to a full-time, 12 week programming bootcamp. Jobs, school, families - life in general can prevent that kind of commitment. For all the students who can’t give 40 hours a week to a code school, we’re outlining some of the best part-time web development bootcamps around. With a variety of price points and locations to choose from, you'll find a program that can get you coding, even with your busy schedule.Continue Reading →
Slide across the roof of the General Lee, we’re heading south of the Mason-Dixon to check out the best coding bootcamps in the southern United States. There are some fantastic code schools from the Carolinas to Georgia and all the way to Texas, and we’re covering them all. Talk about Southern Hospitality!Continue Reading →
Richard Simms and Betsy Hauser-Idilbi met at an intensive coding bootcamp in Chicago, became friends, and decided that the South was missing similar opportunities to learn to code. Since then, they've launched Tech Talent South in Atlanta and are adding cohorts in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Asheville. We talked to Richard about the mission of Tech Talent South, the programs they offer, and how they produce web developers in just 8 weeks!
Tell us about your background and how you ended up in the Coding Bootcamp space. Do you have a background in education?
Betsy and I make a dynamic duo and we bring a good perspective to the mix. I’m from Atlanta, so I’m very passionate about starting and headquartering Tech Talent South here. I went to school in Virginia and moved to DC afterwards to work for Cvent. It was a really good first experience in the tech world, and where I caught the bug. At the time, there were about 75 employees, and it grew to over 1000 employees in the four years I was there. As a young guy, I got to do all kinds of cool stuff outside of my comfort zone- I was travelling internationally, overseeing strategic partnerships- I was more of a business guy, but loved tech because I had aspirations to be entrepreneurial. When I left Cvent, I wanted to do a true startup, so I went to Chicago to join a company called HighGround. We had no product, no money- we were working on a SaaS tool in the HR space geared towards performance management and employee engagement. Once we raised money, the next step was to start hiring developers. I became really interested in learning to code because I wanted to be dangerous on both sides, and more importantly, I had ideas of my own that I wanted to be empowered to prototype. So I started playing around online with tutorials, but I really wanted more structure. I started at The Starter League in Chicago, which is where I met Betsy. We worked with Ruby on Rails, which is what we teach, and we were the only two Southerners in the program (Betsy is from Charlotte) so we naturally became buddies. We saw the impact it was having in Chicago, and Betsy especially will tell you how much she wanted this opportunity to exist back home- she left her fiance in Charlotte for several months!
Betsy has a really interesting background being a woman in tech, which is traditionally not common. She ran a product development company in Charlotte called Little Idea. They worked with inventors and entrepreneurs to prototype an idea for a product, design a business plan and a marketing strategy. She sold Little Idea to a company called Enventys and went on this journey to learn to code. We have a very soft spot in our hearts for people who want to launch their own product.
You both went to Starter League, which is a 12-week course. Why did you design yours to be 8 weeks?
We get this a lot, because we’re 8 weeks long instead of 10 or 11. But don’t just factor in the number of weeks, factor in how much time you’re in class and how busy you are during that time. We loved Starter League, but we would rather have class four days per week (as opposed to three at Starter League) and work through the material in 8 weeks instead of 11. We’re not cutting out material, it’s just more condensed.
You have two tracks, Full Time and Part Time. What are the different outcomes for each of those courses?
It is pretty unique that we do part-time, but we love it. The part-time course is two nights a week from 6-9pm. Part-timers can still take advantage of all the outside activities- guest speakers, events, tours of local companies. What’s great about the part-time program is that it allows people to keep their day job and keep a steady paycheck coming in. We get a lot of folks in part-time who are interested in supplementing their current job. Maybe they work in Sales or Account Management at a tech company and want to learn about the other side of the equation. We also get people who do something totally irrelevant to tech in their day job, but they want to pursue something on the side. We love supporting the people who are dipping their toes in the water.
Naturally, full-time is more in depth. Full-timers are typically looking to reinvent themselves. They’re looking to make a career change or pursue a job in web development, or they have ideas of their own. Both are great programs, it just depends how in-depth you’re willing to go and what sacrifices you’re looking to make.
Was your first cohort in Atlanta?
Our first group ran through Atlanta from October-December. We had 15 students between the two programs for our first group. We’re about half-way through our second cohort and we have 22 students in this group. We’ve been growing, which is great. The way we started is in kids’ camps, which is a lot of fun. We’re constantly doing these camps around the Southeast, getting kids excited about tech.
And now you’re expanding into Charlotte, Raleigh, and Asheville. What’s next?
Our goal is to put the Southeast on the map as the next big tech epicenter. We came up with the name for a reason- Tech Talent South. Atlanta has gone really well, so we’re excited to bring that experience to other towns. Our next program starts in Asheville on Monday. We have a great instructor on the ground there. And we’re gearing up for Raleigh and Charlotte. We have a good grasp on what we’re doing here, and we’re ready to take it to other spots.
Tell us about the tech scene in the cities where you’ve launched.
I have a soft spot for Atlanta because this is where I’m from. There are a ton of great startups in Atlanta- we’re hitting it at a really good time. A big part of the tech hub narrative is that people are hungry for more talent, so we obviously are excited to push more developers out into the scene. There are a lot of Fortune 500 companies here, so if you’re able to create a product that delivers value to those companies, then there are a lot of potential clients here.Plus, we’ve got a low cost of living!
Betsy is from Charlotte, so she knows the community there and has been very connected with the tech and entrepreneurial scene there. Similarly, there’s a great startup scene in Charlotte and a lot of neat coworking space- we’re going to be working out of one called Industry Charlotte. There’s plenty of activity to support what we’re doing. Raleigh-Durham is a nobrainer between the universities and a lot of great tech companies with a tech presence. We’re definitely strategic about the places we’re picking.
What are you looking for in a potential student? Do you consider yourself a “Zero-to-Sixty” bootcamp, and how can students set themselves apart?
We definitely go for personality over pedigree. We don’t care where you went to school, if you have a college degree, or even much about what you were doing beforehand. What we care about is enthusiasm, the right attitude, and that you’re someone who will really buckle down and get a lot out of the experience. We have a killer curriculum and great instructors, but there’s no silver bullet. It takes a lot of work and powering through the frustrations that come with being a beginner. Naturally, when we interview folks we’ll ask about a tough project that they’ve worked through and how they approached the challenge. We get a really interesting mix of people and we do double-round interview everyone. It’s a pretty rigorous process, which we think is good.
Have you ever accepted a student who did not fit the tech profile but ended up doing really well?
We are beginner focused, but with that said, we have pre-course work that we require. We provide resources and are very adamant about getting through that material because we move at a rapid pace. Folks who we interview who have the right drive, if we’re bringing them from “zero to ten,” then we make sure they’re at a “2” by the first day. In that sense, we don’t have anyone coming in on Day 1 who has never touched programming. At this point, we haven’t had anyone drop out of the precourse work, but it get people in the right mindset- this is going to be tough and you have to be ready to buckle down.
How large are your cohorts?
In our last group, we had 15 and in this current cohort, we have 22 (part-time and full-time). We get a lot of applications, which is great- we’re lucky that we’re able to be selective. We know that we want to keep the classes small- I don’t want 25 people in our classes, so I don’t think we’ll go much bigger with our cohorts. We have a full time and a part time instructor. We like that model because they can share ideas about what’s working in the classroom, team up to do lesson plans, and they both have office hours. We also have a TA, which is a huge help, and even I hold office hours. We also have mentors from the tech community- we try to make sure they have a lot of resources.
Describe the curriculum and tell us about the teaching style.
As you would imagine, classroom time is a mixture of lecture and lab. The instructor will introduce new material (ie. how to add a gem to your rails application) and then the students pair program to solve the problem. The instructor will float around and offer guidance, but it’s meant to be very interactive. The way you learn this material is by putting it into practice, so you need to hammer through on the keyboard and work it out yourself. That’s the classroom dynamic. Our students stick around for the full day, we’ll often have speakers in the afternoon, or we may jump in the car and go tour Mailchimp or Scoutmob.
We love that you’re supportive of entrepreneurs who may want to start their own thing, but how do you help the other students who want to find jobs in tech?
As I mentioned, we do have some folks who aren’t necessarily looking for a job, but naturally, we do have a lot of people who are. Our track record on that is very strong. I know that over 85% of our students have had at least one job offer within 2 weeks of class ending. Every single one of our students who stayed in Atlanta has a job. One of our guys came from Puerto Rico, and he’s now back there freelancing. Another woman is working for a startup in Charlotte, and another is pursuing her own idea. With our current cohort, a lot of them are just getting into that process. We have relationships with several tech recruiters, which is a huge help with resume and interview prep. And then we have a mentorship program where each of our students is set up with a developer or an entrepreneur, depending on their goals. Our goal is to have the Tech Talent South network spiderweb out as much as possible.
One of our favorite success stories is a woman named Jenny who was an OB-GYN with her own practice for about 16 years. She was burnt out on medicine, so she started playing around with coding online. She felt invigorated again, and set out to make a dramatic career change. She went through our program and now works for a dev shop called Toolbox9 in Atlanta. She has kids who are 14 and 17 and they think she’s awesome now because she spends her days building apps and games!
What is the makeup of your cohorts in terms of gender?
We have a dead split in terms of men and women. I think some of that is a testament to Betsy too- she makes it more approachable for women trying to break into web development.
When a student takes a job with a company, do you take a hiring fee or recruiting fee?
We don’t, for a couple of reasons. The first is that I don’t want to be incentivized to push our students in one way or another. We try to stay impartial on that front. We provide them with resources to get them to a place they’re happy with, but we don’t want to be collecting money if they get a job. And a lot of our students are more interested in doing their own thing, so I don’t want to encourage someone who has an entrepreneurial spirit to take a job because Teck Talent South will get a kickback.
Do you feel pressure to become accredited or to work with the regulatory agencies in Georgia?
We’re very careful not to position ourselves as a “job placement” program, which is where, I think, a lot of that heat comes from. And I’ve seen a lot of programs that make some lofty claims- six figure salaries, guaranteed job placement etc. We try to be more careful about managing expectations. Is the developer path a very lucrative path to go down? In two or three years, will you be commanding a high salary? Absolutely. But you’re still a beginner, you’re starting over. You’re not going to learn to be the best concert cellist in 8 weeks, just like you're not going to be the best developer in the world in 8 weeks, 10 weeks, or even 20 weeks. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Just like anything else, it takes time and hard work.