Mikaila Akeredolu’s path to becoming a software developer might feel familiar to many others working in the field.
After growing tired of selling phones for commission at the mall, he enrolled in college to learn how to code, but felt like he was learning more theory than developing.
“It wasn’t exciting,” he said. “I quit and went to a bootcamp.”
Bootcamp led to an entry dev job, which turned into a senior dev position within six months.
Eventually, he pivoted to teaching Java, which led him to the realization that, while coding courses and camps are common and increasingly accessible, they don’t always offer all of the support people need, and they don’t always fit into the lives of people looking for opportunities in tech.
On Nov. 1, after 11 months of testing and working with preliminary clients, he launched Tech552, an agile software development and technical training firm.
“I started the company to make it possible for more people in Delaware and across the country to transition into software development at an affordable rate without having to quit their jobs,” Akeredolu told Technical.ly. “[We] help people get professional help on their journeys of learning how to code.”
He compares it to working out in the gym: “When I go and work out by myself, I don’t see results,” he said. “But then you have someone like me, who gets a workout instructor and loses 60 pounds. Some people need a workout instructor.”
Tech552’s first client was the relative of a friend, a Georgia Tech student struggling to get through her theory-heavy computer science program. Another is a single parent looking to change careers via a bootcamp but who has not yet been able to pass the bootcamp assessment test.
While Akeredolu worked with early clients one-on-one, the goal is to work with groups of four to five people, in training sessions that are held live online.
“Software is a team sport,” he said.
Web workshops, which can be offered to any number people at a time, are also used — a part of the model he hopes to scale.
The students, he stressed, can learn at their own pace. A student with basic high school coding experience can get an internship or entry-level job in about six to nine months. A true beginner looking to get into a bootcamp should be prepared in about three months.
“We’re really not trying to replace anything that’s out there,” he said. Instead, “I call it the Peloton Bike model,” after the high-end workout bike that streams interactive classes on demand.
Learn more about Tech552 here.