Code Institute: Showing the world how to code

Just a year after launching a coding bootcamp, Code Institute has raised €500k in funding, writes Trish Dromey.

Dublin-based educational technology (EdTech) start-up, Code Institute, would like to teach the world to code, or at least become the leading global provider of coding education.

Just one year after becoming the first Irish company to launch a coding bootcamp, it has raised €500,000 in funding and is preparing for the imminent launch of its second product – a coding course for business professionals.

As part of its plan to expand globally, it is also working on establishing a network of partners across Europe, North America and Asia.

Having become the first to set up a university-accredited coding bootcamp in Europe, Coding Institute CEO Jim Cassidy says the company is now aiming to set a global benchmark for the vocational training of software developers.

Code Institute was founded by Anthony Quigley, the co-founder of Digital Institute, who identified a chasm-sized gap in the market for training software coders.

“Every industry in every country is looking for more coders — there is a severe skills shortage in this sector.

 

"The European Commission has predicted that, by 2020, some 825,000 jobs will be vacant across Europe because of a shortage of people with ICT skills,’’ according to Mr Cassidy.

Mr Quigley began investigating new ways to fill this gap. While the traditional education route for coders is via university, which can take up to four years, he set out to design a course which would allow students become software developers in just three months.

Establishing the company in Dun Laoghaire in early 2015, he hired a staff of three to develop the syllabus while consulting with employers about their requirements.

“Our first classroom Bootcamp kicked off in September 2015. This comprised 13 students, all of whom are now working, and in January 2016 we launched our Bootcamp course online,” he said, adding the company has now achieved accreditation from Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland. “This is hugely significant and gives the course global validity”.

The Code Institute’s Coding Bootcamp course offers 600 hours of tuition — it is available as an in-classroom course over a 12 -week period at a cost of €8,000 and is also offered online for the students to learn at their own pace at a cost of €4,000. By the end of this year, Mr Cassidy expects the Code Institute to have 350 active students.

“We have provided four in-classroom courses but the majority of students are online, coming from Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US, and our first China-based student has just started.’’

The coding bootcamp is aimed at people looking for a career change as well as people already working in the IT sector who are looking to up-skill.

“Our students have included an astrophysicist as well as a deli worker who now works full-time as a software developer,” said Mr Cassidy.

The company’s second course, Coding Fundamentals for Business Professionals, launches in October 2016. This is designed to teach non-technical staff to understand the language of coding and is developed specifically for people whose job requires knowledge of software and technology. Coding Fundamentals for Business Professionals is an online course, comprises 30 hours of tuition and costs €1,495.

Mr Cassidy said this is the first course of its kind, and that Code Institute is working on developing several other courses.

Earlier this year, Code Institute secured investment of €500,000 which came from Kernel Capital and Enterprise Ireland, which has identified the company as a High Potential Start-Up. The funding is being used for R&D, staff hire and to develop sales internationally.

Now employing a staff of 16, it is currently recruiting and expects to grow to 20 by the end of the year.

“We have plans for two new products over the next six months. Our plan is to partner with education providers around the globe. We have already signed agreements with partners in the UK and are in discussions with other training organisations in Europe, the US and south-east Asia,” said Mr Cassidy.

Long-term, he says Code Institute’s aim is to bring fundamental changes to the way coding is taught.



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