Coding schools putting down roots in Miami

04/21/2014 1:28 PM

04/22/2014 1:52 PM

As Miami’s first development boot camp, Wyncode, gets ready to begin its first class next month, a second code school has jumped into the market.

Ironhack plans to bring its programming to Miami beginning this fall, said co-founder Ariel Quiñones, who moved to Miami from Barcelona last week to set up the company’s new U.S. base. Ironhack offers eight-week courses in web technologies and iOS programming.

“We founded Ironhack in Spain over a year ago to train software developers and tech entrepreneurs in the latest technologies with an obsessive focus on programming best practices. So far we’ve placed nearly 100 percent of our graduates that were seeking employment. This is particularly thrilling in the context of a country that has almost 60 percent youth unemployment and a fairly young tech ecosystem,” said Quiñones, “a recovering investment banker” from Wall Street who worked in Latin America.

Code schools are already quite common in other tech and startup areas, such as San Francisco, New York and Austin, Texas, but until this year have been absent in South Florida. Ironhack, which has been offering bootcamps in Barcelona and Madrid, chose Miami for its first international expansion and also also plans to use the region as its base for expansion into Latin America. Its eight-week, full-time bootcamp costs $8,000, competitively priced with what other code schools charge.

Like other schools, Ironhack focuses on what it sees as a talent gap between what traditional universities are producing and the real demands of the workforce. “We think that we can produce the talent needed to close the tech skill gap and to fuel the growth of the emerging local startup ecosystem,” Quiñones said, adding that Ironhack brings in CTOs to help teach the classes and is also working on a learning platform to complement its in-person courses.

Ironhack is scouting locations now for its first Miami course in web development planned to begin in September in Miami, said Quiñones, who co-founded the company with Gonzalo Manrique.  

Meanwhile, Wyncode’s first cohort for its nine-week coding boot camp begins May 5 at The LAB Miami. Wyncode recently announced a partnership with Miami healthcare-technology company CareCloud: If CareCloud hires a Wyncode graduate, he or she will be given a $5,000 signing bonus that will cover more than half of the tuition costs. CareCloud will also be sending members of its development team to work with Wyncoders during campus visits.

Wyncode is continuing to explore similar collaborations, and its list of hiring partners is already nearing a dozen South Florida-based companies, said Wyncode’s co-founders, Juha Mikkola and Johanna Mikkola.

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