Our start-up of the week is Code Institute, a new company that is changing the way people learn to code and, from that, get a job in the software sector.
“We have designed and created our Coding Bootcamps to help people get a job in the software programming industry, which is struggling from a lack of available skills,” explained Anthony Quigley, founder of the Code Institute.
“This Bootcamp is extremely immersive, intensive and very practical. The Code Institute Coding Bootcamp will typically include about 500 hours of tuition.
‘The demand for coding skills far outstrips the supply — and this gap will continue to expand as technology increasingly pervades our society’
– ANTHONY QUIGLEY
“As we have developed a structured programme, learners can elect to take this programme full time (normally over 12 weeks or three months) or part time, which can be taken in the classroom or online (typically taking between six and nine months to complete).
“The goal of our programme is to educate people with the coding skills that employers are demanding as quickly as possible.”
Code Institute is addressing the chronic shortage in the availability of coding professionals.
“This is particularly acute in Ireland as we continue to successfully attract some of the global leaders in the digital sector to base their European operations here,” Quigley explained.
By 2020 there will be 825,000 unfilled jobs in the ICT sector in Europe, and more than 1m in the US.
“The demand for coding skills far outstrips the supply — and this gap will continue to expand as technology increasingly pervades our society.
‘All of the employers and recruiters that I speak to tell me that they simply cannot find appropriately skilled personnel in Ireland’
– ANTHONY QUIGLEY
“Our target market is people that do not currently have the expertise to apply for these jobs but have the aptitude and drive to develop the necessary skills.
“They typically have the desire to change career and develop their coding expertise. Many of our applicants are currently working but they feel frustrated that they are in the wrong type of job.
“All of the employers and recruiters that I speak to tell me that they simply cannot find appropriately skilled personnel in Ireland.
Quigley said that the traditional education system has failed to step up to the mark.
“I am honestly disappointed that traditional education cannot move fast enough to increase capacity and is letting us down. However, every cloud has a silver lining, as they say, and I see this as an opportunity as opposed to a problem. It is in this gap in the market that we are doing business.”
He said that there are two typical users of Code Institute, people who are looking to expand their career into software development while on the other side we have employers who are finding it extremely difficult to find people with the correct skills.
“There is a massive shortage in ICT skills in Ireland and Europe, so we have traction on both sides of the business – both from employers looking to work with our students and from students looking to upskill themselves.
“What we are focused on is the solution to the skills gap – which we are doing with practitioner-led, industry-designed education programmes, which will ultimately lead to accreditation and certification.”
Quigley was founder and director of the Digital Marketing Institute and Web Kitchen.
“In my career as an entrepreneur I’ve always tried to leave a positive footprint. Through education, I would like to think that I am providing my customers (students and graduates) with the opportunity to improve themselves and the people around them,
“For the past seven years or so, I have been developing and growing the Digital Marketing Institute, which is now the world’s largest provider of digital marketing education training in more than 60 countries worldwide and now [I want to focus on] on the Code Institute.”
Code Institute has developed an extensive syllabus covering 500 hours of tuition.
“One of the things that I have learned from DMI is that, in order to build a credible and scalable education business, we need to build a rock solid syllabus that can be delivered anywhere in the world, however the learner chooses — in the classroom, online or through a blended process.
“In order to achieve this, we have engaged with some of the finest and most talented course developers, academics, instructional designers, trainers and mentors. We have built the very first such programme, built with scale and consistency in mind.”
He said that in terms of building the product there were three crucial elements Code Institute knew it had to get right before going ahead.
“Firstly, we have spent the last 12 months deep-diving into the market, investigating and analysing the various current offerings in the Coding Bootcamp sector. Based on this research we believe that the product we have created is the best available in Full Stack coding education. The syllabus is based on the very latest industry expertise and demands.
“The second big thing for us is the Industry Advisory Council (IAC) that we have created. We wanted to do more than just train people to code — we wanted to produce coders with the skills that industry needs. The IAC gives us insight into exactly what skills employers are looking for, and allows us to shape our syllabus and projects accordingly. With the help of the Industry Advisory Council, students are immersed in the latest and most in-demand skills. Global organisations such as Paypal, Mastercard, Morgan McKinley and Ogilvy are already contributing to the IAC.
“Finally, we have a massively experienced team in creating and delivering successful education programmes. Brian O’Grady, Code Institute’s Programme Director has taught hundreds of students how to code. My own background with the Digital Marketing Institute means we have created the syllabus with the end in mind (certification). The team building this company have 35 years experience in education.”
Coding will become the world’s lingua franca
Quigley says that after all the effort that has gone into researching the market for all coding courses and bootcamps worldwide and by looking at all the choices out there and at competitors in the space, he believes that the product Code Institute has created is one of the best in the world.
“This is in terms of syllabus, in terms of how we teach it, and in terms of how we coach students through the bootcamp. We also work closely with some of the very best recruitment companies and agencies around the globe to ensure that our graduates have relevant jobs to step into.
“Ultimately we are hoping for one standard certification for coders globally and to help fill some of the 800,000 ICT vacancies in Europe forecasted by 2020.
“We want Code Institute to be recognised as a provider of the very best education in our chosen sector – namely coding. This will be achieved by ensuring that our graduates get employed and these same employers keep coming back to us to find their next recruit.
“If we achieve that and our students go on to get their dream jobs, that looks like success to me!”
Local tech sector engages with coding start-up
Code Institute has already received investment from Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-up (HPSU) fund.
“We have been pleasantly surprised by both the calibre of applicants and the speed with which the programme has filled up. We have had employees from the likes of Twitter, Google, IBM and others book onto the course, along with people who are less embedded in the tech sector but are trying to get into it.
“The interesting thing about these folks is that they are all in non-technical roles in their respective businesses, and want to be able to upskill as a coder.”
‘The Irish are renowned for their gumption and combining this with the tech industries increased demand we are taking opportunities and niches by the scruff of the neck, showing our passion for invention’
– ANTHONY QUIGLEY
Quigley says starting a new business is fraught with so many challenges that every entrepreneur has to face on a daily basis.
“There’s so much opportunity out there and room to grow right now. Seek help where necessary but ultimately be creative and unique in what you do.
“The start-up scene in Ireland is at a really vibrant and exciting stage. We have a fired-up community, especially in Dublin, with some unique and innovative companies shining through.
“The Irish are renowned for their gumption and combining this with the tech industries increased demand we are taking opportunities and niches by the scruff of the neck, showing our passion for invention.”