Greenville’s state of coding: Are bootcamps on the decline?

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Last summer, the Greenville-based coding school The Iron Yard announced they would be closing their doors at all their campuses across the country (15 in all) for good. The company was founded just four years earlier and received a $15.9 million investment (for 62% of the company) from the Apollo Education Group (of University of Phoenix) in 2015. The school led thousands to careers in development, as an alternative to traditional Computer Science degrees.

The Iron Yard isn’t alone in closing, though. One of the pioneer coding schools in the country (also founded in 2012), Dev Bootcamp (acquired by Kaplan + based in San Francisco) announced they would be closing their doors in July, as well.

So coding is on the decline? Oh, the contrary.

Course Report’s 2017 research stated that coding bootcamps are set to graduate almost 23,000 students and see upwards of 50% growth this year (*note: Course Report’s data comes directly from the coding schools).

According to Peter Barth (founder of The Iron Yard), many of the students graduating from their programs here in South Carolina (formerly Greenville, Columbia + Charleston) were getting job offers right after graduation. And, according to Flatiron Schools (one of the top coding schools based out of NYC) 2017 report, their graduates had a 97% job placement with an average salary of nearly $76,000 (Indeed.com shows an average salary among web developers in South Carolina as $68,502).

So what’s the deal with these two coding schools closing? Well, without all of the details, it’s hard to give a definite answer. Here’s what we know:

Dev Bootcamp was known as the innovator in the web-development bootcamp space, and The Iron Yard was one of the first to scale at the level that it did. In new business sectors, a few things are true:

  1. If it’s successful, competitors will undoubtedly enter the market
  2. The first to market isn’t always the most successful
  3. Business models and consumer behavior will begin to change

In closing, it doesn’t seem that coding jobs, their high salaries, or those interested in learning to code are going anywhere soon. However, the way students learn and where they learn may soon evolve.

Trilogy, a coding bootcamp known for its accessible online courses is now teaming up with Universities all over the country to not only gain credibility amongst interested students, but to grow interest level in the field altogether.

As for The Iron Yard, the name is most likely gone for good, but word on the street is that it’s former employees are working to offer code bootcamps at close to half of the former Iron Yard locations starting next year, including here in S.C. That’s as much as we’re able to offer now, but be on the lookout for more info to come.

And for those who want to learn more about coding locally, here are some resources + groups. 
Want to learn to code?
S.C. Codes 
– Learn to code for free, through the library system with in-person mentors
Free Code Camp  – The official Greenville S.C. Free Code Camp group with meetups on Thursdays

Community meetups: 
S.C. Makers, Synergy Mill
Women Who Code Greenville

Technical groups:  
ReactGVL
ACM Greenville
Upstate Elixir 
CryptoGVL
Upstate php
Upstate Ruby
Greenville cocoaheads
Greenville Java