Dev Bootcamp comes to Chicago

Written by Dave Hoover
Published on Jan. 14, 2013
Dev Bootcamp comes to Chicago

Last month Dev Bootcamp announced in the Tribune, on Tech Crunch, and elsewhere that we are coming to Chicago. I figured it was time to share it on Built in Chicago, and answer a few frequently asked questions. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

Why Chicago? Why not New York City?

The first Dev Bootcamp started in San Francisco. Chicago is our second city because Chicago is ready for this! We have a couple homegrown pioneers in the developer education space in the Starter League and Mobile Makers. These programs have successfully carved niches for themselves and have had good uptake from interested learners. New York has some schools as well, such as Flatiron School and Hacker School. These are both closer to our niche, so we felt like Chicago was a better choice.

The other important reason Dev Bootcamp is coming to Chicago is because, well, because I live here. I feel like we need what Dev Bootcamp provides, and I'm crazy enough to try to make it happen.

How are you different from the Starter League?

One simplistic answer is that Dev Bootcamp helps people become "Devs" and Starter League helps people become "Starters". A better answer is to start with a quick description of why Dev Bootcamp Chicago exists: to launch people's careers in web development. This is the core of our program. It's rare that we admit anyone who isn't an aspiring software developer. This narrow focus is one of our ingredients to a successful 2012.

The Starter League has a broader audience. They specialize in getting non-technical and semi-technical people started down the path of developing their own apps. Jeff Cohen, the Starter League's chief instructor, has a blog titled Zero to One. It's a perfect name for Jeff's blog because he loves helping people through that first step (and subsquent steps too), and he's very good at it.

To be admitted to Dev Bootcamp, you need to know enough to know that you're going to love developing software, and already have a growing passion for the craft. This means they've already passed the "Zero to One" stage. We want people further down the technical path because at the end of each bootcamp we have a Hiring Day with local, developer-seeking employers. The results have been remarkable thus far, with over 90% of our graduates receiving job offers in the three months after graduation.

When, Where, Who?

Our first cohort will begin their prep work on February 22nd. They will show up for their first day of "camp" on April 22nd. We should be signing a lease on a space in River North within the next couple weeks. So far, the 3 people involved in Dev Bootcamp Chicago are Dave Hoover (me!), Elliott Garms, and Jen Myers.

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