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TMCNet:  Dev Bootcamp coming to Chicago next spring [Chicago Tribune]

[December 03, 2012]

Dev Bootcamp coming to Chicago next spring [Chicago Tribune]

(Chicago Tribune (IL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 03--A new software development program is launching in Chicago in spring 2013, aiming to train programmers that can plug into the city's burgeoning technology and startup scene.

Dev Bootcamp, begun in San Francisco in February, offers nine weeks of full-time, intensive training in professional Web development. Students do not need prior experience in software development; the program's goal is for graduates to have enough knowledge to join a company as an entry-level developer. Dev Bootcamp organizes hiring days where technology companies interview students. The company said it has placed 95 percent of its San Francisco graduates with average starting annual salaries of more than $85,000.


The Chicago branch of Dev Bootcamp is aiming for similar placement rates, with annual starting salaries around $73,000. Dave Hoover, a Chicago software developer who will head the local program, said the founding team is about to sign a lease in River North -- close to 1871, a collaborative workspace for startups at the Merchandise Mart, and a number of other tech companies.

Hoover was a principal at local software firm Obtiva when it was acquired by Groupon in August 2011. He spent a year at the daily deals company before leaving to join Dev Bootcamp. He will be one of the eight instructors at the Chicago program, which is accepting applications for its inaugural class to start in April. Admissions will be rolling, with approximately 15 new students starting every three weeks. About 144 students should graduate from Dev Bootcamp in Chicago next year, with that number eventually rising to 240 graduates a year.

Tuition costs $12,200 for the 40-hour-a-week, nine-week program. Dev Bootcamp also collects a placement fee from employers that hire students, while passing along part of that fee to the graduate in the form of a hiring bonus.

The applicant pool is "really diverse," ranging from students who have master's degrees in computer science but little practical experience to "a moonlighting person who works at Starbucks (and) is trying to teach himself to code at night," Hoover said.

Hoover said Dev Bootcamp has a different focus than Chicago-based The Starter league, a startup that trains students in how to build Internet applications and websites. Formerly known as Code Academy, The Starter League offers a $6,000, 12-week course in development. Hoover said The Starter League emphasizes training startup founders, while Dev Bootcamp aims to produce employable software developers.

wawong@tribune.com ___ (c)2012 the Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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