Training and Development

Why is the first coding bootcamp closing?

This is a contributed piece by Sylvain Kalache, co-founder of the Holberton School of software engineering in San Francisco

Recently, we heard that Dev Bootcamp, the first of the coding bootcamps, will be closing its doors in December, claiming that they are unable to “reach a sustainable business model”. But behind the headlines, the demise of Dev Bootcamp (despite more than a half million unfilled tech positions) suggests that there’s more to this announcement than meets the eye.

Dev Bootcamp started the coding bootcamp industry back in 2012, teaching students enough coding for them to be able to find a job. After all, the bootcamp fad rose during a time when the world became hungry for workers with tech skills, with 40% of employers worldwide face talent shortages. And for students, for just an average cost of $11,000, they would, on average, see a 64% growth in their salary. And so the bootcamp industry exploded, growing from one bootcamp in 2012 to nearly 100 in 2016.


So what’s happening?

The market is now choking on too much junior talent. Just a few months training is not enough to become a software engineer. These “blue collar developers” are only trained on a specific tool, and can only potentially interest companies that are looking for very junior talent for this specific skill. Bootcamp graduates have to be heavily coached by senior Software Engineers to guide them on how to do their jobs, preventing them from doing their own job, not solving the lack of skilled workers.

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