Nucamp, a coding bootcamp active in 180 U.S. cities, just added Baltimore to its long list of locations.
The program, which is based in Seattle, is offering programming locally at Impact Hub Baltimore and looks to provide an educational outlet for those looking to break into the tech industry, specifically minorities.
“When you think about other coding bootcamps, typically they will select a top 10 city in the U.S. and that may not include Baltimore,” said Ludo Fourrage, cofounder and chief product and learning officer. “With our model, we are able to go to underserved areas and populations who are not given the same opportunities to learn to code.”
Fourrage said minorities struggle to break into the software field because of the high cost of entry and risk associated with taking that chance, especially if one has no coding background.
“Traditional coding bootcamps are asking you to quit your job, spend three to five months full time being a student, find $15,000 to pay the bill and then you hope that at the end of that you’re going to be able to find a job in the field,” he said.
Nucamp bucks that trend as 51 percent of its students are minorities, and 31 percent of its students are female.
The program offers a unique teaching structure as students are able to complete online assignments at their pace throughout the week before meeting in person every Saturday for a workshop to review the week’s lessons.
Fourrage stressed that Nucamp’s hybrid model eliminates the pressure of students having to quit their full time jobs and take out loans in order to pay for tuition. Nucamp’s weekly in-person meetings also add a human component to the course that many traditional online boot camps lack.
“What we’re really trying to do is have everything at the fingertips of the students, then on Saturday we review everything,” said Daniel Page, instructor for the Baltimore location. “You can’t cover everything on the internet.”
Tuition ranges from $320 for four weeks to $1,620 for 22 weeks.
“We built the Nucamp business with affordability and flexibility in mind,” Fourrage said. “The way we are structured it is to be able to deliver very low cost alternatives, but still with very high quality overall experience.”
Chief Marketing Officer Laura Troyani highlighted that the four week course option also gives prospective students the option to get a small taste of coding before committing fully to the craft.
“We don’t want anyone to dive into the deep end and say ‘Oops, I made a mistake,’” Troyani said.
Once students have completed the course, they not only come away with solid coding knowledge, but they have networking options as they look to enter the job market.
“When they join Nucamp, they also join the broader community of Nucamp as well,” Fourrage said. “This means they can connect with other students who are doing the same thing as them in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York and also across the country.”-30-