Stability: An Open Letter from Code Fellows CEO
The past few weeks have been game changing for the code school marketplace, and for students in training to become developers across the country.
Last week Dev Bootcamp announced that they will be closing all six of their locations and discontinuing instruction, followed this week by a similar announcement from The Iron Yard, along with the news from Galvanize and the University of New Haventhat their Master of Science in Data Science program will be discontinued.
At Code Fellows, we have tremendous respect and admiration for any team with a similar mission to ours and who establishes a foothold in this market with high integrity. Clearly all three of these companies have done this, with no small amount of hard work. Friendships and professional relationships exist between our teams, and they and the affected students have our full support during these difficult times.
To Peter Barth of The Iron Yard, our hats are off to you for all of your hard work, helping people change their lives and start new careers. I had the good fortune to meet and join Iron Yard’s Jessica Mitsch and Sam Kapila at the White House last year. They are exceptional people who we’d all be fortunate to see working in D.C. again in the future. Chris Lee, your continued concern, care, and efforts toward helping Dev Bootcamp enrollees take their best next steps toward technical training speaks volumes about your character. Kudos to you all, and to the caring, hard working people on your teams.
Having trained over 800 coders since 2013, we’re all too familiar with the challenges of being in our industry. It’s a delicate balance between hiring and retaining the right instruction and support teams, procuring a good teaching environment, establishing high quality curriculum, and everything else that goes along with guiding students toward success while maintaining a high bar and great culture. That’s all followed by working to counteract hiring biases in the technology industry and help students land new jobs.
It’s all very, very hard.
It’s also very rewarding to know that our work is helping so many people learn what we love to do — write code — and change their lives; in fact, after putting their hearts into besting all of the trials and tribulations, that reward is really the glue that keeps it all together for our company.
After working with our top-notch team for two years now, having collectively managed that balance and met the challenges head-on, I’m thankful and glad to say that Code Fellows is having its best year ever as a company. We’re on very solid footing, and as I told the team earlier this week, we’re in the best position we’ve ever been in, from a business perspective. We have six exceptional full-time instructors (and expecting two more to join us full-time), an ever-improving curriculum, a beautiful new campus, and, most importantly, great students, most of whom heard via word-of-mouth that we run Seattle’s best software development training program. We have a solid, conservative growth strategy that has its roots in partnership, rather than expansion.
We’re going to keep focusing on the high-quality, rigorous training that our reputation is built upon. We’re going to keep doing community work, helping to bolster diversity and inclusion in the technology workplace.
That’s a very good thing, with hundreds of thousands of open jobs in the software industry, and only an estimated 79,650 Computer Science B.S. degree graduates in 2016 to fill them. Universities and traditional education programs can’t keep up with the job demand, nor with changes in technology that small companies like ours thankfully can. Even so, with only an estimated 23,000 code school graduates projected for 2017, coupled with the hiring bias graduates face, we have our work cut out for us.
Because of this, we’re simultaneously excited for what the future holds and saddened by the closure of schools who, like us, had the vision of empowering more people with tech education and meet the huge demand for software developers.
The road isn’t an easy one. But we’re in it for the long haul.
For those students affected by these recent announcements, we remain committed to your success and completing the work that these great schools started. With that, our team is here to help you with your journey, whether here at Code Fellows or at one of our partner schools. Please reach out to us with any questions by emailing email@example.com.
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