Post contributed by Richard Wang, Coding Dojo
While serving as CTO and COO for various start-ups over the last decade, entrepreneur Michael Choi faced a recurring problem: he struggled to find engineers with sufficient technical skills and practical experience to take his products to the next level. After training his own team through his start-up incubator Village88, Choi developed and refined a curriculum, and launched Coding Dojo in May 2012 in Silicon Valley.
Choi’s California creation has now come to Seattle, and held its second 12-week boot camp began in May, with a third scheduled for August 4, and plans in the works to offer a summer coding camp exclusively for girls in under-served communities.
While many of Coding Dojo’s students are tech neophytes eager to start careers as web developers and seasoned software engineers hoping to improve their skills, entrepreneurs regularly enroll as well, utilizing the program and its resources to build their products. Some take advantage of the optional residency program, where they can further develop and polish their products. Other student resources include 15 hours per day of instructor and TA support, and visits by guest speakers, CTOs, and developers.
A hallmark of Coding Dojo’s program is that it emphasizes real-world application and industry relevant skills over theoretical training. The curriculum covers a wide range of programming languages and, and students emerge equipped with full-stack web development skills as well as a portfolio of completed work (check out some student projects here. Choi credits this approach for the impressive employment rate: 92% of the Coding Dojo’s “black belt certified students” are hired within 60 days of graduation.
“Within one week after graduation, I had three different job offers,” says Maureen Murphy, who eventually accepted a position as a web developer for Sazze. She described her time at Coding Dojo as “a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” adding: “[It] molded me into a different person in so many ways and has opened doors that never would have been accessible otherwise.”
Other graduates have started their own enterprises, such as AJ Agrwal, who wrote the first line of code for his start-up venture Alumnify.com while at Coding Dojo. He credits the community of fellow students for his success. “Great companies are built by having great people, and [Coding Dojo] brings in hardworking, smart, and dedicated students together under one roof, which gives you the ability to come together and build meaningful relationships and products.”
For more details, check out Coding Dojo’s website.