By Nick Moran August 14, 2014

Code Fellows is Coming to Chicago

The Full-Stack JavaScript Development Accelerator starts full time on May 11.

Chicago may not be the first place you think of when running down the list of 2015’s hottest tech cities, but the scene here is red hot. From Groupon and Morningstar to hundreds of startups hoping to be as big someday, there are now more than 2,100 digital companies of every size and type.

But for companies of all sizes, the inability to find and hire experienced web developers is one of the biggest and most frustrating constraints keeping growth from simply exploding.

The Market

Within the greater Chicago area, there are over 1,000 open positions for JavaScript developers alone, and those are only the ones that hiring managers have bothered to post. There are many more jobs that companies never post because of the severe shortage of talent. While Chicago is hardly unique in struggling to find software developers, as a native Chicagoan it’s been especially painful for me to watch so many promising companies moving at less than warp speed because they can’t find enough qualified talent.

It’s because of this that I was incredibly excited and jumped at the chance when Code Fellows asked me several months ago to help lead the development and launch of a Chicago campus. With support and encouragement from the technology community, we’ll offer Full-Stack JavaScript starting May 11th.


The Backstory

Code Fellows was launched in Seattle two years ago, almost to the day, with the mission to create more job-ready software developers. Before ever enrolling our first student we talked with literally hundreds of tech employers, hiring managers, and developers to understand their needs, and why the market wasn’t meeting them. From those conversations, we reverse engineered the curriculum that would prepare our students to meet those specific needs, make students as marketable as more seasoned programmers, and begin to chip away at the number of open positions.

We’re taking the same approach in Chicago. For months we’ve been meeting with influential companies of every size, getting to know the lay of the land, and putting the pieces together in a way that will enable us to hit the ground running with the right course at the right time.

The Course

If you’re not already familiar with our Full-Stack JavaScript Development Accelerator, it’s a full-time, intensive, 8-week course designed for experienced developers, not beginners, that goes in-depth into the core competencies of JavaScript, object-oriented programming, and functional programming. Students get hands-on practice in test-driven development, front-end libraries, and frameworks with agile tools and best practices. Graduates of the Development Accelerator are guaranteed a job offer within nine months of completing the course, or Code Fellows will refund your tuition.

For now, we’re announcing just the one Development Accelerator. Obviously, we hope and believe there will be many more to come. As one CEO put it, “It’s not a lack of talent, the people are here. It’s just giving those individuals the right toolkit and helping them identify the workplaces where they will thrive.”

We’re incredibly fortunate to have found a like-minded partner in 1871, the premier tech hub in Chicago, for classroom and co-working space. 1871 is the epicenter of so much that’s exciting and innovative in the Chicago tech scene, and Development Accelerator students will gain access to all of it for the two months of the course. Come down and see for yourself: we’ll be hosting an info session at 1871 on April 16th to introduce ourselves, meet interesting folks, share a beer, and talk more about the course. We hope to see you there!

Chicago Info Session

April 16, 2015
Thursday, 6:00 p.m.
IMSA Classroom in 1871 at 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, 12th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654

Come have a beer, meet new people, and find out more about out first class in Chicago!