Cultivating Portland's Vibrant and Inclusive Tech Community

In 2015, Code Fellows launched Code Fellows PDX in the heart of downtown Portland. Through our local connections, strong curriculum and inclusive education, we were able to help cultivate the city’s vibrant and inclusive software development culture. We believe tech careers should be opened to everyone. The future of tech will be shaped by the diversity in our world–through the full breadth of humanity.

At Code Fellows, we want to ensure every community around the globe can provide the kind of education that unlocks the potential in every member of their community. With thousands of 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 can 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, or Seattle; they’re all around the world.

Through our proven curriculum, instructional methodologies, and industry-leading expertise we are able to help emerging markets offer the same rewarding careers that are usually relegated to a privileged select few. We get the honor of coming alongside partners to provide them industry-leading curriculum, training and support to change the lives of the people who make up their community. Partnerships like this allow us to leverage our strengths in instructional design, curriculum development and employment outcomes with local market presence, investment, and commitment to produce lasting change.

When we launched Code Fellows Portland, it was essential that we were located in the heart of downtown Portland. This enabled us to provide presense and physical access to the space as well as remain center to helping to transform the city. Through our local connections, community outreach and presense we were able to cultivate Portland's vibrant and inclusive software development culture.

Since launching Code Fellows Portland, we have focused our attention on finding strong and strategic partners that are well established within a given market. This is why we seen our partnerships grow to markets and communities from Middle East to Barbados, the United States to Portugal—where students (many with no prior tech experience) will receive a tech-focused education that prepares them for rewarding and fulfilling careers 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 hubs, and industry leaders) to leverage our collective strengths 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 invested in helping individuals and companies in every community around the globe build something that lasts—where everyone has a chance to succeed.

In order to do this, 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. Investment in the local community
  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.

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