While some companies have been known to install celebration bells in their office, Makers Academy, a coding bootcamp that aims to turn people into software developers, has gone one step further and installed a giant gong that it rings whenever one of its students gets a job.
Aspiring software developers pay £8,000 to take the three-month Makers Academy crash course, where they are taught computer programming languages like Ruby and Java.
At the end of the programme, some students go on to find a job themselves, but the vast majority are put forward for roles by Makers Academy, which has relationships with a number of employers, including Marks & Spencer, Sky, The Financial Times, and Deloitte Digital.
Other companies like General Assembly and Steer run their own coding bootcamps. General Assembly, for example, offers courses from £30 for a one day taster course to £9,000 for a three month “Android Immersive Development” course. Like Makers Academy, they aim to equip people with the skills they need to get their first tech job. However, Makes Academy claims it is creating more junior software developers than any other coding bootcamp in the UK right now.
Approximately 500 to 600 people have graduated from the Makers Academy since it was founded in 2012. Every time a job offer is made, Makers Academy receives a 20% cut of the student’s starting salary from the new employer.
“We have a gong,” said Ruben Kostucki, COO and founding member of Makers Academy, while giving Business Insider a tour of the company’s office. “It’s the most important feature because it gets gonged every time a student gets a job. It’s a really key element of the whole process.”
A video posted by Makers Academy (@makersacademy) on Jan 29, 2016 at 9:26am PST
The average starting salary for a Makers Academy graduate is £30,000 to £32,000, according to Kostucki, who claims that university computer science courses aren’t equipping students with the vocational software development skills that UK companies need.
Most of the Makers Academy students are simply looking for a career change, according to Kostucki, but others join the course to get a grounding in coding so they can launch a technology company of their own.
While there are some big companies hiring directly from Makers Academy, the Silicon Valley tech giants aren’t among them.
“The engineers they hire in the UK tend to be very skilled, super-senior engineers,” said Kostucki. “Makers Academy is basically replenishing the market with junior developers.”