Forging Partnerships: The Cayman Code Academy

How our Powered by Code Fellows program helps local economies, from the Cayman Islands to the Middle East.

Access to rewarding, high-paying, and often life-changing careers shouldn’t be something just for the privileged few—it should be accessible to all of us. At Code Fellows, we want to ensure every community around the globe has the ability to provide the kind of education that unlocks this potential in every member of their community. With more than 1,400 graduates, we’ve witnessed the difference that immersive, collaborative, supportive, career-focused education can make in the lives of the individuals who make up our community here in Seattle, and we want to ensure other organizations have the ability to bring the power of transformative education to their communities.

This is why we launched our curriculum licensing program, Powered by Code Fellows. Through this program, we find strategic partners in markets all around the globe who are looking to help individuals transform their lives through education. When we say, “We believe in you,” we’re not just talking about current Code Fellows students or the people right here in our city—we’re a global company focused on global needs and serving the greater population, so that more people can discover their potential in software development, begin high-paying careers in tech, and add more diversity to the tech industry across the globe. A strong global tech industry needs the diversity of thought that comes from all of us working together to find better solutions to difficult problems. People with the potential to be world-class coders don’t just live in traditional tech hubs like San Francisco, New York, and Seattle; they’re all around the world.

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce one of our newest partners, Cayman Code Academy, a joint venture between Cayman Enterprise City (CEC) and the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI). It’s one of the first partnerships established in the greater Caribbean that will be offering Code Fellows’ proven curriculum, instructional methodologies, and industry-leading expertise to change the lives of many Caymanians. They will be joining a network of partners around the globe—from Jordan to Barbados, the United States to British Columbia—where students (many with no prior tech experience) will receive a tech-focused education that prepares them for a fulfilling career in the tech industry.

How it works: an investment in the local market

In our industry, it’s not uncommon to see a VC-funded code school expand to markets around the globe, but few (if any) of them have a focus on forging partnerships that improve the local community. Too often, these schools look for easy ways to grow their bottom lines and miss the impact they can have through working with networks, resources, or teams on the ground that are deeply invested in the local economy. They fall short of the financial goals they set out to accomplish, and when the numbers aren’t there, they close down, leaving students, companies, and the local economy to pick up the pieces. To produce lasting change, it takes strong partnerships that are connected to—and invested in—their local communities; partners who are in it for the long haul, have “skin in the game,” and a vested desire to do what it takes to make a lasting impact.

This is why Code Fellows partners with local businesses (established schools, accelerators, tech companies, and industry leaders) to leverage our collective strengths in order to produce lasting impact and economic growth. These partnerships allow us to focus on what we do best: build world-class curriculum and train instructors who produce world-class developers, who in turn go on to create startups, join companies, and build strong and stable economies that benefit everyone. We’re not looking to be the next big acquisition, or grow a global empire; rather, we’re invested in helping individuals and companies in every community around the globe build something that lasts—where everyone has a chance to become great.

At Code Fellows we look for six key criteria in our partners: (1) a passion for providing access to meaningful education, (2) strong local and global partnerships, (3) an established brand, (4) focus on innovation, (5) an investment in the local community, and (6) commitment to diversity and inclusion. For us, the most important sign of a prospective partner is reputation, not revenue—we’re invested for the long haul, and we’re looking for other organizations who are as well.

A tech hub, beyond Seattle

We’ve had the privilege of seeing Powered by Code Fellows partnerships lead to stronger businesses, more talented workforces, and stronger economies in cities around the world. On Grand Cayman, our classroom-based education will be paired with internship- and mentorship-placement opportunities with global tech companies that operate within the CEC special economic zone, a tech cluster known as Cayman Tech City that’s home to more than 175 tech-focused companies and some of the world’s largest blockchain and FinTech businesses.

International companies are investing more and more resources to work in the Caribbean, with qualified coders in high demand. And when the first 20 students of the Cayman Islands’ inaugural immersive code academy graduate next spring, the islands will have 20 new Caymanian programmers, developers, and coders prepared to enter the workforce.

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