It has been a year since The Iron Yard, the largest national coding school and boot camp, announced it was ceasing all operations and shutting down fifteen campuses nationwide. At the time our campus in Tampa Bay had the highest enrollment and job placement and was operating successfully with a team of seven employees and ~150 alumni. Although the announcement took us by somewhat of a surprise, the code school industry is still emerging and navigating the path to a successful model.
When the community asked our team to step up and keep the school’s momentum, we knew there would be challenges ahead. We also knew that this type of education is essential for our community and ecosystem, which is why we opened the Academy at Suncoast Developers Guild and are paving the way for a sustainable model to continue to deliver high-quality education that provides people with the skills that make them valuable and competitive in the workforce. So what makes us different from what The Iron Yard was doing, and how can we ensure success at our code school? We presented at 1 Million Cups St Pete recently and someone asked us the top differentiators from The Iron Yard:
- We are opening a not-for-profit model, focusing on people, not profit
- We are teaching a full-stack curriculum, rather than front-end or back-end programs
- We are focusing on educating Tampa Bay, not expanding nationally
- Our curriculum will be open source, which means it will be constantly refined and kept innovative by our team, alumni and hiring network
The code school industry is still defining itself and navigating the best business model for success. Here in Tampa Bay, we are not searching. We are pioneering what we believe to be the best way to implement this type of education in our community. We are disrupting other models to bring the best platform to deliver high quality, immersive code education to Florida. We are the only non-profit immersive code school not only in Tampa Bay but in the state of Florida. We are teaching what our employers and students need to have the skills that make them valuable and competitive in their careers post-graduation, full-stack web development. We are opening our curriculum to be enhanced and refined by everyone so we continue to be proactive and surpass the development needs so junior developers can make an impact immediately and ongoing.
Although The Iron Yard failed, something new and better has emerged. As you can say the phoenixes are rising from the ashes and allowing us to deliver a better and more sustainable model of this education to learners locally. We are at the cutting edge of delivering this type of education, and Suncoast Developers Guild is proud to be doing it right here in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Follow our journey and check out some of the other previous campuses from The Iron Yard that are doing it as well:
-- Toni Warren, President