Code Builders, a new immersive coding school and associated software development consultancy located in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood, has opened its doors to its first cohort of six, who are set to graduate in April of this year.
The coding school was co-founded by two Ada Developers Academy veterans and longtime friends: Bookis Worthy, who now serves as the school’s CTO and lead instructor, and Karen Hambro, who enrolled in the first cohort of Code Builders herself.
Among the many coding schools popping up in the Seattle area and around the country, Code Builders is aiming to set itself apart with a few features. The first is that the program is 4 times longer than the average coding school, offering a 9-month program split into 6 months of classroom instruction and 3 months of hands-on project work in its in-house software consultancy.
There is no online instruction as with some coding schools that offer remote training, because Code Builders believes in the importance of face-to-face teaching, said Julia Christman, the marketing director for Code Builders, in an interview this morning with GeekWire.
The program costs $15,000 — half of which is due up-front and half of which is due after a graduate lands his or her first development job. Per week, this is a third of what the average coding school costs, the Code Builders website says.
The hands-on training in their software consultancy is the other main differentiator of Code Builders from other coding schools. Junior developers get the chance to work side-by-side with their teachers on projects for real clients, who include Amazon, LUNA Sandals, Blue Sky Bridal, Light In the Attic Records, and others. By working with the consultancy, clients get rates between 40 and 60 percent less than average for their development projects and students get real work experience that will help them in landing jobs after graduation, Christman said. After graduation, every Code Builders graduate will be offered the possibility of continuing to work with the consultancy after graduation, she said.
Code Builders is also interested in maintaining its small class size. Its first cohort is four women and two men — a trend in gender equality that the school hopes to continue, given the overabundance of men in software development. While it does not currently offer diversity scholarships, this is an area the school is working on, according to Christman.
Code Builders is launching during a time that many other coding bootcamps are cropping up around Seattle and nationwide, which some claim is causing a coding school or accelerator bubble, and one that may soon burst. “The more people are encouraged to enroll in these bootcamps, the more likely a good percentage of them will find themselves six months later out several thousand dollars and out of a job,” warned Wired.
The new coding school is in competition with Ada, Dev Bootcamp, Galvanize, TechStars, 9Mile, CodeFellows, WeWork, and others just in the Seattle area. According the 2015 Course Reports Coding Bootcamp Survey, the bootcamp market was slated to grow 163 percent over the course of last year to an estimated 16,056 graduates in 2015, up from 6,740 in 2014.
Time will tell whether Code Builders’ differences from the typical coding school model, which aim to give their developers more experience than graduates from elsewhere, will succeed in differentiating them from the crowd.
“We’re ecstatic to launch the Code Builders model in Seattle,” said Worthy in a release. “Over the last few years we’ve seen an abundance of code schools and boot camps emerge promising to teach students how to become developers in three months. But the problem we’ve seen is that many of these entry-level developers graduate and have a difficult time finding jobs because they don’t have enough real-life experience and frankly haven’t been given the time needed to hone their skills.”