In case you didn’t know, last week was kind of a big deal. A five-day marathon termed “Startup Week” coursed through our city, leaving a slew of entrepreneurs, students, developers and dreamers inspired in its wake. The jam-packed celebration featured over 55 speakers and 68 free events, and ended up drawing in more than 270 attendees! Not too shabby, San Antonio.
So, who’s behind all this magic, anyway?
As the chief organizer of SA Startup Week, Vanessa Paige, Operations Manager at the 80/20 Foundation, worked behind the scenes to coordinate the madness and keep things sailing smoothly. For Vanessa, last week was about building San Antonio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and breaking down its barriers to entry:
The entire week opened up the door to learn more about starting up a venture – or just learning about an industry or topic of your choice…It gave the public a taste of entrepreneurship and access to the movers and shakers that are directly impacting the ecosystem in downtown SATX.
Job well done, Vanessa!
Another key driver of last week’s success were the sponsors and venues that came alongside Vanessa’s efforts and provided a grounds for inspiration and collaboration by opening their doors to the community,. As one such sponsor, we were able to host five events in-house! One of our favorites was a dialogue between community leaders Pat Matthews and Lorenzo Gomez. Just two CEOs engaging in a casual conversation, but with a twist: there was an audience! Bright-eyed listeners came from far and wide, simply to be in the same room as these two passionate visionaries. It. Was. Awesome. And in case you missed it, we put it on YouTube. You can thank us later.
ALERT. ALERT. We’ve been feeling all warm-and-fuzzy ever since last Friday, and it won’t stop! Why is this happening?!
Hmm. Oh, yeah…Codeup Growsup was last week! We had the privilege of celebrating our new space with 130 of our nearest and dearest friends. Red carpets were strut upon, glamour shots were taken, libations were consumed, hors d’oeuvres we’re devoured, and much fun was had. In other words, it was a most delightful evening! We’re blown away by the wondrous tech community we get to be a part of here in San Antonio. So here’s a gigantic thank you to everyone who made it out, struck a pose, and strutted their stuff at last Friday’s extravaganza!
Want to see more photos from the event? Hit up our Facebook page!
This moment in history is exploding with stories about women breaking new ground in technology, summits of female tech leaders, and invitations for women to learn new technology skills so that IT teams and development shops can benefit from gender parity. Organizations like Rails Girls are fueling the fire by providing women and girls with the tools and community they need to learn, and to be confident with new coding skills. This week, Rails Girls is putting on a free, two-day workshop in San Antonio where they will teach women how to program using Ruby on Rails.
At Codeup, we’re all about community, collaboration, and partnership. It’s our lifeblood to be an integrated force in San Antonio’s landscape of blooming, new tech talent. We also work to fuel the dreams, goals and future potential of women in tech careers. So when we heard about the upcoming Rails Girls workshop, we only had one question, which we managed to sandwich between our fangirl squeals: Can we partner with you?!
They said yes, we cried tears of joy, and our shared mission has us both super invested in the success of the upcoming workshop. How are we investing? Well, our time, treasure, and talent are the best things we can give! Two of our esteemed team members, an instructor and one of our curriculum developers, as well as our co-founder and his team of developers, will be participating as on-site mentors to help facilitate the learning process. As educators and friends, these folks embody who we are and what we do at Codeup. Here’s their take on the weekend’s programming festivities:
Ryan Orsinger, our full-stack bootcamp instructor, says, “Rails Girls makes a global impact for gender parity in the programming community. Codeup makes an impact for gender parity in the San Antonio programming community.” It’s a perfect match of shared goals!
Ryan goes on to say that his “decision to volunteer as a coach for Rails Girls is simple. Programming is the new literacy, and everyone should have exposure and experience in this field. I’m thrilled that San Antonio will be hosting its first (of many) Rails Girls workshops.” Agreed, Ryan.
Now, meet Tarek Hafez, a curriculum developer here at Codeup:
Tarek is passionate about learning and growing from the challenges he faces, and as a volunteer at Rails Girls he hopes to share his passion and knowledge with others. “I can help to motivate and inspire those I seek to mentor, as well as educate,” said Tarek, “I could not ask for a better opportunity.”
Another awesome supporter of Rails Girls from our community is Jason Straughan, a Codeup cofounder, our CTO, and founder and head guy in charge of everything at a Grok Interactive, a web application development company. He’s sending his developers to also mentor the event.
“Louis, Anton, and Joseph and I are going to be coaches for Rails Girls…I’m pumped,” said Josh Freeman, senior software developer and former instructor for Codeup teen summer coding camps. Not only that, Joseph is a also Codeup-grad-turned-Grok-developer! According to Josh, the developers at Grok are never done learning and studying, an ideal that “meshes well with Rails Girls, where you’re trying to train and introduce new people to programming. That’s why we jumped at the opportunity.” Although the Rails Girls workshop will only be in San Antonio for a weekend, the organization has already planted its compelling, and contagious, vision in our city.
In our coding bootcamps people come in with dreams, hopes, fears, and wonder. Can I do this? Can I really learn a new set of skills in four months, become a valuable developer, and end up with a completely new job, new life, and new trajectory? And women especially bring a different set of sensitivity and caution. We meet their wise concerns with a great confidence-building foundation of real skills to maximize their value in the tech landscape. Can I really do this? Is there room for me in the 73% tech industry? Can I make a difference?
Great questions. And we answer them with a resounding yes because we see it happen again, and again, and again.
*You may still be able to snag a spot at this weekend’s workshop! Check with firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Tour our new Codeup headquarters in downtown San Antonio, Texas!
The front of the house:
And the back offices:
Now running two full-stack coding bootcamps simultaneously in our new home in the Vogue Building downtown, Codeup is filling the hiring needs of San Antonio employers by developing our next generation of web and software developers.
We teach full-stack development programs at an intense pace, so our students can upgrade their future and accelerate into their dreams.
Our environment is an inspiring epicenter of new tech talent. We love visitors!
There must be a growing realization that it’s a great idea to make a career transition with the help of a bootcamp. It’s a smart way to make a real change. More and more people are coming to us everyday wanting to learn about the difference between front-end and back-end programming skills, and how they can learn them. At Codeup we teach full-stack development, which is a big deal because it truly equips our grads to be ready and adaptable to convert the skills they learn into our bootcamps into immediately useful tools for the companies that hire them. The are programing language agnostic, and able to think through the best way to solve the problems a developer might face, from a range of perspectives and methods.
And with good reason! Employers want great developer talent, more, now than ever. Codeup has established a clear presence in San Antonio and beyond, with our top-notch super-focused training programs. Learning to code in a coding bootcamp is an intense and life-changing experience. It takes people who want to accelerate into a new career and builds their skills, language, outlook and capacity to think like a developer in a very compressed timeline. And this method produces measurably great results. Results employers love! The local business community, both high-tech entrepreneurs and industry-wide larger corporations, know that we are a great resource to help build awesome tech departments, one developer at a time.
Maybe 2016 is your time to explore your ambitions? To upgrade your options? To get up to shape for your future in a coding bootcamp. We are almost already fully enrolled for our next bootcamp, but do not dismay! As of today you can apply for the next one, which runs from March through June, or the one after that which runs May through September.
Or call Dylan, because he can help you figure out how to make it happen! We’d all love to help you get ahead with your life, because it’s in our DNA to help make people more confident and bold and prepared to develop our future! Our Alumni can tell you all about it!
That’s right…we have a new partner! Codeup has recently joined forces with LaunchCode, a St. Louis-based nonprofit that uses an apprenticeship model to place motivated programmers (i.e. Codeup grads) within a vast network of potential employers. LaunchCode’s employer partner network spans over 300 companies nationwide, ranging from smaller startups to big-name companies like MasterCard, all in need of tech talent.
And that’s where we come in.
After four months of intensive bootcamp immersion, our grads have some serious skills. Thanks to this partnership, our grads will gain access to a world of job placement and paid apprenticeship opportunities so they can put their new skill set into action.
Our bootcamps are a nontraditional, effective way to learn to code. Many companies already recognize and benefit from the value of bootcamp grads, but some are still unsure of how to best integrate them into a team. One thing that makes LaunchCode an ideal partner for us is that their model creates opportunities for driven programmers, regardless of whether or not they have traditional credentials. And this model is working: over 90% of LaunchCode’s apprenticeships are converted to full-time hires within 90 days.
You may be thinking “But Codeup, don’t you already have a stellar hiring rate?”
To which we reply: Staaaahp. We’re blushing. But to answer your question, yes. While 94% of our graduates find work within 6 months, we are always aiming to increase opportunities for students post bootcamp. Before the partnership, we were working within a network of 64 partner employers, many of which are based here in San Antonio. By teaming up with LaunchCode, we’re expanding our connections beyond San Antonio, so our grads will be able to find their dream jobs not just locally, but across the nation! Pretty neat.
Last night, Codeup co-hosted the first San Antonio Tech Job Fair at the Geekdom Event Centre. By the numbers, it was a great success:
500 RSVPs for job seekers.
Biggest event ever at the Geekdom Event Centre.
Dozens of employers recruiting. Names like Accenture, Codeup, Def-Logix, H-E-B, Labatt Food Service, Rackspace, USAA, and WP Engine.
The great news for San Antonio is that young people are indeed looking to tech careers as a path to build a rewarding future. At the same time, it’s clear that we need to do more to get those young people ready to succeed in the tech workforce.
I personally spoke to over a hundred job seekers, and my booth-mate Dylan did, too.
We talked with dozens of recent computer science grads of local colleges and universities. They wanted entry-level jobs, but when I asked, “What have you built that is real?”, they pointed to toy applications and homework assignments. The students succeeded in their coursework – the curriculum simply didn’t arm them with applied, job-ready skills.
We also spoke to employers and saw which jobs the employers were looking to fill. All of the recruiters were targeting senior and mid-level technical positions. The big company employers were searching for the same.
It’s clear that San Antonio is getting good at producing entry-level talent, but we still have a huge gap in technical ability. The main takeaway after talking to both job seekers and job givers is that the San Antonio workforce isn’t where tech employers want it to be. It’s the responsibility of both the educators and the employers to become much more involved in solving that problem.
Moving forward, there are two challenges for us as a community. First, educational programs (including Codeup) need to continue to evolve and guide talent beyond entry-level skills. Second, companies need to take talent development seriously to grow more senior talent out of these young people.
We’re working on the problem. It’s time other parts of the community stepped up as well.
Prospective students sometimes ask about how we compare to other coding education models. We think choosing Codeup should be a no-brainer.
Here’s why we’re widely considered one of the top coding bootcamps in the world:
Track Record and Transparency: We publish our student success statistics. You can see them on our website and alumni page. We’re currently at a 93% hire rate within 6 months and the mean increase in student earnings is over $15,000.
Job Refund Guarantee: Codeup is the only coding bootcamp that returns half of your tuition if you don’t find work within 6 months.
Reputation: Google us and check out our reviews online. Codeup aims for 100% student happiness, and our 5-star reviews reflect that.
Experienced Team: Our instructors have an average of 10.2 years working in the web development industry.
Craftsmanship: You’ll see the owners of our company regularly onsite, making certain that what we do is top-tier. We’re not the remote office of a large company.
If you’re interested in learning more about Codeup, we’d love for you to visit our campus in downtown San Antonio. If you’re from out of town, no problem – we’re more than happy to answer your questions over the phone at (210) 802-7289.
Eligible applicants can now use Texas Workforce Development funds to help pay for a bootcamp to become a professional software developer. Codeup is the first coding bootcamp in Texas to accept Workforce Improvement Act (WIA) benefits which are dedicated to helping adult and dislocated workers prepare for meaningful careers in a variety of targeted occupations. Software and web developers rank near the top of this list, in regards to average hourly wage.
The first step is to find out if you’re eligible for funding by contacting our local workforce board, Workforce Solutions Alamo. Transitioning Servicemembers may qualify for funding as “dislocated workers.”
If any group of people understands the bootcamp model, it’s military Veterans. In fact, using the term “bootcamp” to describe an intensive programming class might even be laughable to some Veterans, who have undergone rigorous physically and mentally-challenging bootcamps as part of training. Needless to say, Veterans understand the amount of teamwork, commitment, and perseverance required to overcome frustrating situations while learning new skills in a short amount of time.
As a coding bootcamp located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, Codeup is situated in the middle of a military town with a military history. Our city is home to four military installations and one of the nation’s largest active and retired military populations. Many even call us “Military City USA.”
Thus, when we opened our doors in 2013, we set a goal of making our bootcamp readily available to Veterans and transitioning servicemembers. Upon further research, however, we learned that as a private educational organization who doesn’t offer a traditional college degree, we had to be in operation for a minimum of 2 years before we could get approved for GI Bill benefits.
We began eagerly awaiting our 2nd birthday (coming up in the fall of 2015) and pursuing creative alternatives to connect with the military community. As a first step, we started hosting free monthly workshops to Veterans through our Codeup Vets program. Still, we wanted to do more to help Veterans transition into careers as software developers.
That’s why we’re excited to announce we’ve partnered with Coley to obtain a contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and offer our first-ever Veteran Bootcamp.
Codeup’s Veteran Bootcamp is a part-time bootcamp in front-end development designed specifically for U.S. Veterans and transitioning servicemembers. If students qualify, the VA will cover 100 percent of bootcamp tuition. The value proposition is the same as our full-stack day program: live instructors in an actual classroom teaching a project-based curriculum.
Our first Veteran Bootcamp cohort is set to start this fall. Know a Veteran or transitioning servicemember who may be interested? Eager to join the bootcamp yourself? Visit our Veteran Bootcamp page and check out Coley’s website to review eligibility guidelines and apply.