Two national dev bootcamps shut down, but these Philly camps aren't fazed - Philly


Jul. 26, 2017 8:17 am

Two national dev bootcamps shut down, but these Philly camps aren’t fazed

Launch Academy moved to a new space, NYCDA keeps on mission.
At Benjamin’s Desk 1701 spot, where Launch Academy just expanded to.

At Benjamin's Desk 1701 spot, where Launch Academy just expanded to.

(Courtesy photo)

In the past 30 days, Iron Yard and Dev Bootcamp have announced they’d be shutting down all their coding schools by the end of the year.

Both decisions were ultimately fueled by a rough climate in the coding education space. As more and more dev bootcamps popped up across the country, the supply of baseline talent increased, making it harder for fresh grads to immediately land jobs in tech.

It’s part of what the San Francisco Chronicle is calling a “time of transition in the coding camp industry.”

Meanwhile in Philly, where according to one report tech growth is “constrained by an undersupply” of qualified and diverse candidates, local bootcamps are trekking along with their mission to get people schooled, and then get ’em hired.

Mike McCoy is Placement/Talent Manager at Boston-based Launch Academy, which earlier this year made Philly its first out-of-market expansion. McCoy called the two shutdowns “unfortunate news,” but said the company remains psyched about connecting Philly folks to web development skills “with lower cost and more accessibility than a 4-year degree requires.”

Don’t expect similar news from the Launch Academy, McCoy said. “We don’t intend to compromise on quality or sustainability as an organization and our energy towards the mission of helping others to become the best professional versions of themselves is stronger than ever.”

Launch Academy expanded to Philly following four years of running things in Boston. Though at first it made a smaller splash at Benjamin’s Desk’s 1608 Walnut St. location, the company has now moved into a larger space at BD’s original location at 1701 Walnut St., which can fit up to 20 students.


Now, back up a sec. Wasn’t that space initially designated for the partnership with DC’s 1776? Benjamin’s Desk co-CEO Anthony Maher said the joint venture will live “100 percent in the BD network at a TBD space.” The announcement of that and other details will come Sept. 21 when the coworking company kicks off the 1776 PHL Challenge Cup. (The entire eighth floor remains the HQ of real estate startup Houwzer, which recently raised a $2 million seed round.)

“We are now proud to continue our growth at a thoughtful pace with the announcement of our first all-women cohort in Washington, D.C., which is known as Prism Shift.” ( DC has the deets.)

Over at New York Code + Design Academy, which has had a Center City presence since 2015, the Philly campus is one of their “best performing schools” according to CEO Jeremy Snepar, founder of the Manhattan-based coding school.

“It has been exciting to watch how quickly the Philadelphia tech community has grown since the New York Code + Design Academy began teaching classes here in 2015,” Snepar told “We’ve been pleased to see a number of NYCDA graduates hiring current students out of our program.”

Snepar also offered an industry-wide piece of advice:

“The value that coding bootcamps offer is undeniable and the schools that deliver value to their students will continue to be around for the long-run.”

Just one more update from NYCDA: Former Philly Campus director Constance Ip, active in the tech community and initial organizer of RailsBridge Philadelphia, has stepped down from the company to spend time with her newborn kiddo. Emily Jennings is now running the Philly campus, which is housed in the Three Parkway Building.


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