Most tech companies have university outreach programs to connect with students who will enter the workforce when they complete their studies. Getting connected to students during their computer science, software engineering, computer engineering and IT studies can cement longer lasting relationships for your company. With the rise of Coding Boot Camps (also known as immersive coding schools), developer relations programs have a new place to reach out to developers who will join the tech workplace. This blog post gives an overview of the rise of coding boot camps. I also point you to resources for finding some of the many Coding Boot Camps that have grown up in the tech capitals of the world. Finally, I highlight seven developer relations tips you can use to stay in close contact with the camps and their students.
The Rise of the Coding Boot Camps
The problem – we need more developers. Universities can’t graduate them fast enough to meet the need. Coding Boot Camps are a modern phenomenon, but we’ve had “Trade Tech Schools” for decades. Back in the early 1970s when I was a real time assembly language programmer at TRW in Los Angeles, we hired a number of graduates from Los Angeles Trade Technical College (founded in 1925).
The need for computer technology expertise has matured way beyond those early computer years. We now have many industry and de-facto standard platforms and technology “stacks” that make up the backbone of a company’s technology infrastructure. With the growing need for software developers in every corner of our modern software driven economy, companies are looking far and wide to fill open positions. Even with more than 21 million professional developers worldwide, there are still unfilled job openings in tech. To prepare for new tech careers, some job applicants with college degrees (of all kinds) are also going to the camps to learn specific programming languages, frameworks, runtime libraries and development skills.
Where in the World are the Best Coding Boot Camps?
You will most likely find a coding boot camp wherever there is a large concentration of technology companies and tech businesses. For sure, you’ll find them in cities and areas like Austin, London, New York, Paris, Portland, Research Triangle Park, Seattle, San Francisco, the Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Toronto, and Tel Aviv.
You can use search engines to find the coding boot camps in your region, country and local area. There are also sites that provide search links and “report cards” to locate coding camps that are preparing developers for technology areas that have a good fit with your products, services and platforms. Here are just a few of the coding camp directory sites:
- Course Report – Coding Boot Camp Reviews
- Switchup Coding Boot Camps – the Best Coding Boot Camps of 2016
- Tech Beacon – Complete guide to the top 24 Coding Boot Camps
- Thinkful Boot Camp Finder – View and Compare top Coding Boot Camps
Seven Developer Relations Tips for Working with Coding Boot Camps
Here are seven tips you can use when approaching coding boot camps that match your developer evangelism and technology focus. I may be stating the obvious when I remind you that you’ll want to ensure that the products, platforms or services your company delivers matches what the camps are teaching.
- Contact coding boot camps in your city, state, country and ask if you can come to one of their “ask me anything” sessions to answer industry questions from the students.
- Reach out to a coding boot camps in your area and have one of your engineers or developer evangelists attend the “job fairs” that usually take place at the end of the “course”.
- Give free access for your products, services and platforms to coding boot camps cohorts that match what they are teaching. The graduates will bring their experiences along to their first job.
- Offer your engineers and developer evangelists as co-teachers for portions of the courses/topics for technologies that match the camp’s focus areas.
- Suggest a “lunch and learn” session for the code camp students with a topic area that matches what they are currently learning. Students have to take a quick break to eat and so do you. Who says “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”?
- Offer Developer Relations team members as mentors for their students. Your team members and the students will benefit in such a productive learning environment.
- For evening and weekend Coding Camps, offer paid internships or co-op opportunities for the code camp students with skills that match what your company is involved in – helping with open source projects, writing blog posts, reviewing documentation or code, etc.
Are you already evangelizing at Coding Boot Camps?
Let me know if you are already reaching out to coding boot camps in your region, country or city. It will be great to hear how your evangelists and engineers are interacting with the students and faculty.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation