Founded in 2015, Zip Code Wilmington is a nationally acclaimed and awarded nonprofit coding academy located in the heart of downtown Wilmington, Delaware. It is focused on training people with job-ready software engineering skills to hit the ground running and immediately add value to its hiring partner companies. It was founded in 2015 by three local businessmen — Jim Stewart, Ben DuPont and Porter Schutt — and its mission is to support the economic development of the Delaware region by providing accessible and affordable software developer training. Its motto is “Talent is distributed evenly, Opportunity is not.” Since 2015, it has successfully trained almost 500 software developers and data engineers and transformed the lives of its graduates. Course Report has consistently selected it as one of the best coding bootcamps since 2017.
Zip Code Wilmington prepares entry-level Java developers/technologists via an immersive 12-week curriculum designed collaboratively with engineers from the companies who hire them — its 20+ corporate partners like JPMC, M&T Bank, EY, Marlette Funding, KSM Technologies, and more. It offers two tracks of training: 1) Object-oriented Software Development (Java back-end and full stack) and 2) Data Engineering (Python, R, SQL). It currently features a hybrid of in-person and virtual training. Zip Code Wilmington is affordable, and offers generous scholarships and bi-weekly stipends for veterans and low-income students. Thanks to a generous state/federal grant, eligible students will be able to attend for free for the next 3 years!
Its average student is 35 years old, and historically, 31% of its graduates are women and 33% are under-represented minorities in tech. Zip Code Wilmington offers needs-based scholarships and stipends for eligible students and qualified veterans. It currently has a grant from the State of Delaware that covers the full tuition of eligible Delaware residents and those who find employment with Delaware-based companies after the program.
Zip Code Wilmington takes pride in and measures itself on its outcomes. According to its most recent audit, the average salary of a Zip Code student when they enroll is $28k per year, and when they leave, they earn an average of $74k a year. While it does not guarantee its graduates a job, it is so confident in the quality of its graduates’ skills that they do not have to pay their remaining tuition balance until and unless they land a job!
As a non-profit, it has a unique financial model — its students pay a portion of their tuition up front, and Zip Code Wilmington’s corporate partners pay the remaining balance of the students’ tuition if they decide to hire the graduate. Additionally, the academy has never used Income Share Agreements (ISAs).
Zip Code Wilmington is known for being challenging, but once completed, graduates are well-prepared and say it was well worth it! It has a very loyal and strong alumni network that many current students and graduates alike find useful in their continuous learning and careers.