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Coding Dojo bootcamp bests 4-year programs

Cloud and mobile computing are driving demand for a never-ending supply of new applications as enterprises move toward digital transformation, which is driving demand for more developers.

Coding boot camps have entered into the equation, providing an influx of new developers. In fact, Coding Dojo, a popular coding bootcamp, claims to graduate more developers annually than any four-year computer science program in the United States.

Top producers of computer science grads

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) 2016 numbers, the University of California at San Diego had the most undergraduate computer science graduates in the country, with 465 graduates. During that same period, Coding Dojo bootcamp had 811 graduates from its campuses across the country and another 176 graduates from its online program for a total of 987 graduates.

NCES data showed that the rest of the top 10 computer science programs in 2016 broke down as follows:

  • University of California-San Diego — 465 graduates
  • University of California-Berkeley – 380 graduates
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – 330 graduates
  • University of Minnesota-Twin Cities – 314 graduates
  • Oregon State University – 313 graduates
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 295 graduates
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte – 281 graduates
  • University of California-Irvine – 275 graduates
  • Stanford University – 259 graduates
  • University of California-Santa Cruz – 257 graduates

In 2017, Coding Dojo projects that it will have 1,178 in-person graduates and 474 online graduates for a total of 1,652.

Graduates positioned to build cloud apps

Dan Oostra, lead instructor at Coding Dojo, told TechTarget that he believes Coding Dojo bootcamp students are ideally positioned to address the growing need for cloud apps as nearly every stack that is being taught at Coding Dojo today are focused on web development.

“In other words, we are developing the cloud app developers of tomorrow,” Oostra said. “Students are taught from the beginning to understand the nature and inner workings of cloud development and to create applications that will leverage their data and accessibility.”

Moreover, “The skills that we teach Coding Dojo students are curated based on the needs of the large cloud-based organizations like Amazon that are dominating the industry and forcing old native franchises like Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud to serve their products nearly entirely from the cloud,” he said. “Coding Dojo is developing the developers that are guiding the transition companies make into a cloud-based world.”

And companies have begun to view Coding Dojo bootcamp as a viable source for competent software development talent. Both traditional enterprises and cloud-native companies have tapped Coding Dojo for coding talent, including Amazon, Apple, Disney, Expedia, JP Morgan Chase and Uber.

Quantity versus quality?

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, said it’s one thing for Coding Dojo to compare the number of students it graduates to formal computer science programs but it’s something else entirely to suggest it equals four-year schools.

“First and foremost, four-year programs are designed to broaden students’ experiences and how they perceive the world,” King said. “That’s something that technically-focused programs like Coding Dojo don’t spend much time addressing. In addition, universities offer students chances to study in related, complementary curricula, such as business and management programs.”

Moreover, universities in tech-savvy locations offer students opportunities to interact with alumni and local businesses whose interests mirror their own, King noted. Stanford, for example, has long provided a hiring pool for the best and brightest Silicon Valley companies.

“This isn’t meant to knock Coding Dojo but if students hope to transform their love of coding and computer science into a broader range of career opportunities, they should closely consider four-year programs,” King argued.

Coding Dojo teaches students how to build practical applications using the most in-demand programming languages and software frameworks available today, said Jay Patel, head of operation and finance at Coding Dojo.

“We’ve had many of our students go on to successful careers at major companies like Microsoft, Expedia and JP Morgan Chase as well as startups like Alumnify and Sazze,” Patel said.

About 94 percent of Coding Dojo’s onsite boot camp graduates get a technology-related job within 180 days of graduation, he said. And, on average, Coding Dojo students earn $26,000 more in their new jobs following graduation compared to their previous employment, he added.

Target global, adapt local

While, overall, the popularity of coding bootcamps seemed to take a slide in 2017, Coding Dojo officials said the organization has endured because it adapts its program to fit the changing needs of tech employers. For instance, earlier this year, Coding Dojo dropped Ruby on Rails and added a full-stack Java course.

Overall, Coding Dojo, which has campuses in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Tulsa, Okla., and Washington D.C., tries to focus on identifying, fostering and adapting to local technology hiring requirements near its various locations. It then tries to teach its students micro skills that local employers are looking for. For instance, in Seattle, Coding Dojo and Amazon launched workshops to train developers on Amazon Alexa.