Dev Bootcamp, an early code bootcamp that’s been in Chicago since 2013, will shut down its coding schools in December.
The final cohort of students will wrap up the 18-week program in December and the bootcamp will offer an additional six months of career support after the closure, said Tarlin Ray, president of Dev Bootcamp, over email. The bootcamp will still continue to hold events, with a focus on connecting students with employers. The code bootcamp, which started in San Francisco in 2012, operates in six cities across the country, including Seattle, San Diego, Austin, Texas, New York and Chicago.
The bootcamp, which was bought by test prep company Kaplan in 2014, said it had difficulties finding a business model that would allow the bootcamp to maintain quality of instruction, reach a diverse student population and cover day-to-day costs.
“Ultimately, we have been unable to find a sustainable model that doesn’t compromise on one of those fronts,” the bootcamp wrote on its Facebook page late Wednesday night.
Ray added that the bootcamp has over 3,000 alums nationwide, and plans to keep the community together through alumni-run private social media groups and in-person meeetups. He also noted they’re looking to this alumni network and employer partners to maintain the bootcamp’s credentials in the field.
“The dissolution of the Dev Bootcamp brand in no way diminishes the quality of the education our current students or alumni received,” he said. “Both our alumni community and employer partners understand this. The alumni community remains proud of the skills they learned.”
Ray declined to share the bootcamp’s job outcomes, but Chicago Dev Bootcamp alums have gone onto work at notable Chicago tech companies such as Braintree, Trunk Club, and Jellyvision, among others. Dave Hoover, head of engineering at Raise, who cofounded Dev Bootcamp, said Raise frequently recruited from the bootcamp.
On social media Dev Bootcamp employees and alumni expressed shock at the sudden announcement, as well as gratitude for the opportunities the fast-paced, immersive code bootcamp offered to those looking to get a foot in the door in tech jobs.
— Alex Koppel (@arsduo) July 13, 2017
To me, DBC did better prepping folks for work, connecting them to jobs, and increasing diversity. Not great, but better than others in Chi
— Forest Gregg (@forestgregg) July 13, 2017
I’m one of those folks hired out of DBC …… can’t believe it was over 3 years ago! https://t.co/C42wOv4KnD
— Lorena Mesa (@loooorenanicole) July 13, 2017
Sad to hear @devbootcamp is closing. It fought the good fight for diversity & inclusion and it created an awesome community of developers.
— Irina Renteria (@_sciwoman) July 13, 2017
It’s not the first Chicago code bootcamp to end operations. The Starter League, one of the first code bootcamps, was acquired by New York City-based Fullstack Academy last March (Fullstack Academy still runs programs out of 1871). Boston-based tech and startup skills bootcamp Startup Institute closed its Chicago branch last August.
While code bootcamps offer a potential solution to the tech talent crunch, the industry has also struggled with outcomes-reporting, accreditation and consolidation. But not all have yet shuttered: Kaplan-owned data science bootcamp Metis, which has a location in Chicago, will not be shut down.