In early 2013, Andy Sack—Director of Techstars in Seattle at the time—was struck by how difficult it was for established organizations (let alone young companies) to find qualified developers. What if aspiring developers could learn in-demand programming skills in an immersive program, the same way startups were being accelerated through Techstars?
At the same time, Ivan Storck and Brook Riggio, two tech industry veterans, were teaching Ruby and Rails programming at the University of Washington’s Continuing Education program. They were dreaming of a fast-paced, modern curriculum where students would eat, sleep, and breathe code. The three put their collective ideas together, and Code Fellows was born.
Our first course, offered in March 2013, turned 20 beginner and hobbyist developers into skilled Ruby on Rails programmers.
“I thought we’d get maybe 50 applications for the first course of 20 students. After just four weeks, we had over 400.”
— Ivan Storck
Co-Founder & Sr. Software Developer
Most of those first students received job offers within a few weeks of graduating. Some even went on to start their own company.
“Our first course was made up of people from all kinds of backgrounds—dancers, bartenders, IT pros, folks from the gaming industry. Our theory was that a few intensive weeks of classes could have them job-ready. We knew we had hit something big when two students received job offers on the last day of class… Before they had technically even graduated!"
— Brook Riggio
Co-Founder & VP of Education
Since that first course, over 750 professional software developers have graduated from our program. Our curriculum has evolved and we've added beginner and intermediate courses to help aspiring developers prepare for more advanced courses, where students can specialize in mobile, full-stack, or back-end development.
A lot has changed since we offered our first course in early 2013, and we’re grateful for the instructors, students, teaching assistants, and support staff who have made it possible.
We believe that software development skills lead to a better life, community, and world. The revolution in the tech industry today is opening doors for more people to learn to code through immersive training in a matter of weeks—no four-year degree required.
It’s our mission to guide people from all backgrounds through career-focused education. We’ve watched as time and again, our students' lives are changed by immersive training combined with specialized curriculum taught by passionate instructors.
Software is impacting every industry, and by training both experienced developers and career-switchers, we provide the tech industry with much-needed diversity—both in the demographics and the experience of our grads. By providing an alternative path to great jobs, students have a clear, fast, attainable way to start new careers and opportunities.
Our success is measured through lives changed and communities impacted. For us, it’s all about our students—improved lives, improving the world.
Want to get involved? We're always looking for great people to join our team and help us bring life-changing training to new cities.