Author of the 2011 book, Communicating with the Future, Tom Frey’s core belief is that “the greatest value in understanding the future comes from spotting the major cultural, demographic, societal, and economic shifts early and translating them into viable business strategies.”
Three years ago, that’s what Frey did. He spotted a major disparity in the lightning-fast world of technology and foresaw the need for smaller, shorter courses to rapidly teach much needed programming skills in a rapidly evolving world that is Colorado’s burgeoning tech industry. Frey started DaVinci Coders as a vehicle to close that gap.
Founded in June of 2012 through Frey’s Colorado based nonprofit futurist think tank, DaVinci Institute, DaVinci Coders is Colorado’s first Micro College/Coding Boot Camp. Based just outside of Boulder and setting up shop in a repurposed bank building, DaVinci Coders is geared toward meeting Colorado’s huge demand for beginner-level programmers and re-training Colorado’s workforce in the most cutting edge technologies, quickly, and at a fraction of the cost.
Different from competing boot camps and colleges, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, DaVinci Coders’ capital comes from the growth of their students. With student development as their top priority, DaVinci Coders takes pride in their hands-on full-immersion instructor-led night courses in which students learn from experienced industry professionals instead of professors while still balancing their day-to-day lives.
But just how effective is this learn-to-code business model for finding a job? “Hugely effective! Programming in Colorado is in such demand that if you can learn the fundamentals of coding, you’ll be able to find a great entry-level job in the tech industry,” remarks David Baur-Ray, marketing director for DaVinci Coders and DaVinci Institute. “That’s what we provide — an affordable, local, hands-on solution for learning these coding fundamentals and making good industry contacts in the meantime.” These ingredients seem to be working for DaVinci Coder alumni. 75% of DaVinci Coders’ alumni are currently working in Colorado’s tech industry. DaVinci Coders alumni can be found working as programmers for technology giants like SendGrid, IBM, and Comverge to name a few.
However, getting through a DaVinci Coders class is not as simple as showing up and sitting through lectures. “Our courses are rigorous and will likely be one of the hardest classes you’ve completed in your life,” explains Baur-Ray. Because of this, DaVinci Coder’s doesn’t just accept anyone. Only 45% of their applicants are accepted into their programs. They look for people who have taken some initiative towards learning how to code on their own either through free online courses or other means. Baur-Ray elaborates, “The people who do best in our courses have to show the drive and fortitude to learn, and those are also the same people who will get the jobs.” Nevertheless those who do get in are truly in for a life-changing process.
DaVinci Coders provides a hands-on learning experience and its classes are never larger than 12 students, allowing students to learn new skills in a focused environment where they can develop better relationships with their instructor, TA, mentor, and peers. At DaVinci Coders, success comes from not only learning how to code but networking and building a professional “tight knit community of coding students and developers” along the way. As the programming and the tech industry continues to boom, many programming jobs are going unfilled. But DaVinci Coders remains the most efficient solution towards learning how to code and getting a start as a junior-level developer to fill these jobs.
About Thomas Frey:
Dr. Frey is the Senior Futurist at the DaVinci Institute, author of Communicating with the Future, and Google’s top rated International Keynote Speaker. Unlike most speakers, Tom works closely with his Board of Visionaries to develop original research studies. This enables him to speak on unusual topics and translate trends into unique business opportunities. To learn more about Tom Frey please view his extended bio: http://www.futuristspeaker.com/extended-bio.
About DaVinci Coders:
DaVinci Coders is founded by DaVinci Institute, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, education based, futurist think tank. The purpose for DaVinci Coders is to provide an alternative to the largely broken traditional college system. DaVinci Coders is provisionally certified as an occupational school by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE). To learn more about DaVinci Coders please visit their website: http://www.davincicoders.com.
About DaVinci Institute:
Launched in 1997 as a non-profit futurist think tank by Futurist Thomas Frey, the DaVinci Institute has emerged as both a laboratory for the future and a center of visionary thought, attracting both a national and international following of inventors, innovators, idea junkies, and business leaders alike. Since its creation DaVinci Institute has become very prolific in its accomplishments. Along with Thomas keeping a relentless speaking schedule, delivering powerful keynotes to businesses and organizations around the world, the Institute has become well-known for its full-immersion educational experiences, including DaVinci Coders and the Empire of One along with great networking events, workshops, and boot camps in the Denver metro area. To learn more about DaVinci Institute please visit their website: http://www.davinciinstitute.com.