The Beginning of Code Fellows

In September of 2012, I was having coffee with Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow. We were having a casual conversation about the vibrancy of the Seattle technology scene—it’s strengths and limitations.

I asked him what was the biggest problem he faced running Zillow. Without blinking an eye, he answered, “recruiting engineering talent.” He said it with such conviction that it that struck me.

And at that moment, I decided that I wanted to do something about this problem.

I started taking coffees and lunches with recruiters, CTOs, and CEOs of startups to understand the problem from a variety of perspectives.

After all that research, I decided that the problem was a sheer supply-demand imbalance and that the demand for engineering talent was going to exceed supply for a long time to come.

Around the same time, I started to talk about the problem with Brad Bouse, who was working with the Techstars teams in the 2012 batch.

We started thinking about solutions that could address the talent problem. I figured that having a training facility that improved the skills of individuals and connected them with startups was a good place to start. We had space at Founder’s Co-op/Techstars, and we had experience training entrepreneurs to build great companies.

We researched various solutions—night class? Weekend workshops? Job fairs?—and slowly settled on the idea of running bootcamps. Bootcamps play to our strength and experience, it requires dedication from the students, and it gives us enough time to teach them.

TechStars ended in early November, Brad jumped on board as manager, and snap, crackle, pop—CodeFellows was born. We’re excited. Take a look: Code Fellows

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