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Tech Talent South

Asheville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Dallas, Phoenix

Tech Talent South

Avg Rating:4.7 ( 43 reviews )

Recent Tech Talent South News

Read all (7) articles about Tech Talent South →

Recent Tech Talent South Reviews: Rating 4.7

Read all (43) reviews for Tech Talent South →

8 Campuses

Asheville

2 Courses

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Atlanta

5 Courses

Course Details

Financing
Yes, financing available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Basic computer knowledge

Course Details

Financing
Yes, financing available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Basic computer knowledge

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.

In this beginner-focused course, students are given the skills needed to design, code, and launch polished custom websites. In addition to being introduced to the fundamental tools of front-end development (HTML/CSS, Javascript), each student who completes this course leaves with several beautiful live websites to call their own. The 8-week course culminates in a capstone project in which each student deploys a website for their very own company, portfolio, or personal brand. Forget your paper resume... send people to your website!

Charlotte

7 Courses

Course Details

Interview
Yes

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

In this beginner-focused course, students are given the skills needed to design, code, and launch polished custom websites. In addition to being introduced to the fundamental tools of front-end development (HTML/CSS, Javascript), each student who completes this course leaves with several beautiful live websites to call their own. The 8-week course culminates in a capstone project in which each student deploys a website for their very own company, portfolio, or personal brand. Forget your paper resume... send people to your website!

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.

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.

Course Details

Minimum Skill Level
Junior level developer

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.

Raleigh

3 Courses

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

In this beginner-focused course, students are given the skills needed to design, code, and launch polished custom websites. In addition to being introduced to the fundamental tools of front-end development (HTML/CSS, Javascript), each student who completes this course leaves with several beautiful live websites to call their own. The 8-week course culminates in a capstone project in which each student deploys a website for their very own company, portfolio, or personal brand. Forget your paper resume... send people to your website!

New Orleans

3 Courses

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

In this beginner-focused course, students are given the skills needed to design, code, and launch polished custom websites. In addition to being introduced to the fundamental tools of front-end development (HTML/CSS, Javascript), each student who completes this course leaves with several beautiful live websites to call their own. The 8-week course culminates in a capstone project in which each student deploys a website for their very own company, portfolio, or personal brand. Forget your paper resume... send people to your website!

Course Details

Interview
Yes

Jacksonville

2 Courses

Course Details

Financing
Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Course Details

Financing
Available
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Dallas

3 Courses

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Course Details

Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Beginner

Phoenix

2 Courses

Course Details

Interview
Yes

Course Details

Interview
Yes
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Our latest on Tech Talent South

  • Learn to Code in 2016 at a Summer Coding Bootcamp

    Liz Eggleston4/29/2016

    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 →
  • Alumni Spotlight: Marisa Akers of Tech Talent South

    Imogen Crispe3/14/2016

    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.

    Q&A

    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?

    I knew Tech Talent South wasn’t just focused on one skill; their idea is to give us a view of the full stack. I knew I wanted to learn front and back end, I wanted to learn SQL, and I wanted to see what JavaScript was about. My favorite metaphor for the bootcamp experience is drinking from a water hose. It’s very uncomfortable for a short time, but you get so much information that when you’re done you start learning what you, yourself, are interested in and what you’re passionate about doing. There’s no other experience where you can get such a broad scope of information, and get help every step of the way from the people you’re with.

    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.

    We would do a week on front end and a week on back end, then a day on JavaScript and SQL. They really tried to make all the different aspects we were learning connect continuously so there was no lag time in between seeing the effects each of these pieces have on each other.

    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.

    Find out more and read reviews on Tech Talent South's Course Report Page. And check out the Tech Talent South website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • April Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Harry Hantel5/5/2015

    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 →
  • Spend your 2015 Summer Break at These 9 Summer Coding Programs

    Harry Hantel4/14/2016

    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 →
  • Learn Web Development at these 10 Part-Time Bootcamps

    Harry Hantel8/26/2016

    (updated August 2016)

    Continue Reading →
  • 11 Best Coding Bootcamps in the South

    Harry Hantel4/20/2015

    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 →
  • Interview with Richard Simms of Tech Talent South

    Liz Eggleston5/7/2015

    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.

    As far as the curriculum, we’re teaching Ruby on Rails, and then we teach supplemental languages- HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ajax, APIs, and also helping to grow more well-rounded developers. Early in the program, we work through some really basic stuff to make sure everyone has a solid foundation before we pick up the pace,, like how the internet really works- what’s a server, what’s a client, what does full-stack even mean? We want to get them comfortable with their day-to-day as a developer. Believe it or not, there is a lot more to being a good developer than just writing code. You've got to know how it all fits together and understand the big picture, as well.

     

    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.

    Does Tech Talent South sound like the coding bootcamp you've been looking for? Check out more on their website or by visiting their school page on Course Report!