Don’t buy the bull$%@*, buy the coding bootcamp!



22 Oct 2019


coding starters


7 minute read

In my former life, I worked as a Media Strategist, where my role revolved around how to best target customers with key advertising messages. After 5 years, I found myself getting worn down by looking for new and innovative ways to sell toothpaste and makeup! I was tired of pretending that superficial [email protected]$t was worth my time. I wanted to contribute to society in a positive way and make a real difference to people’s lives. So, after thinking about how I could do this with my existing skill set, I made the decision to enter education to give back to the community and look for ways of improving people’s lives in a meaningful way.

And here I find myself, nearly 20 years later, running Coder Academy — the only accredited Coding Bootcamp in Australia. After 2 years as General Manager of the organisation, it has been an incredible journey growing Australian talent in the tech space. My team and I have opened the doors to people from all walks of life, and we continue to develop our course content, training and culture to make sure we’re moving with the industry — not behind it. What is even more interesting is finding myself now competing with American companies that are entering the Australian market, throwing money around like water, and targeting customers with big budget marketing campaigns.

At Coder Academy, rather than putting most of our money into marketing, my team and I spend our budget on developing out cutting-edge curriculum, hiring passionate people, and investing in our students’ experience. We care about Australia and Australians, not only because this is Coder Academy’s home, but because we know how important it is to invest in local and national talent. Rather than speaking in grandiose terms of our courses, we let our students and outcomes speak for themselves. That’s why we primarily drive our courses out through organic channels, host free events that connect the public with key players in the tech industry, and strive to give back to the community and Australia’s future technologists via our K-12 schools initiatives.

At its core, education is about opportunity. It’s about opening up pathways for students and enabling them with the confidence they need to succeed. Our tech education goes one step further. It revolves around fostering community, increasing collaboration, and driving innovation.

One of our newest competitors from overseas is owned by a large US company that is currently in a lot of strife. The former CEO who recently resigned spent hard and apparently played hard, while the business consistently lost — and continues to lose — huge amounts of money. Now, they’ve come onto our turf to try and turn things around. But, this worries me — how much do they really care about the well-being and innovation of Australians rather than trying to secure another revenue stream to hopefully boost their business?

Another US competitor, also quite new to Australian shores, focuses on “partnering” — and we use that term loosely — with leading Australian universities. This projection of “partnering” is in fact concerning, given their courses actually have zero affiliation with the universities other than renting classrooms, and they do not offer their students with a formal or accredited qualification. Yet, the way the courses are marketed suggests that in each instance, it is the university offering the course. Genuine? We think not.

“So,Sally,” you may be wondering, “What is the point of this rant?” Well, frankly, I am tired of the bull$%@*! I am frustrated that these “coding bootcamp” providers will quickly leave a bad taste in the mouths of students, graduates, and employers with whom we have spent years building trust. But, I am confident that through our transparency, authenticity, quality, and most importantly, our Australianness, we will prevail!

If you’re thinking of pursuing a coding bootcamp, upskilling in tech or anything in between — then make sure to look beyond the spin to what is REAL! To this end, I wrote another article on LinkedIn that you can read here.

Coder Academy = Australian + Authentic + Accredited

About the Author

Sally Browner is a former corporate executive turned passionate high school teacher turned technology education enthusiast. She was appointed as General Manager of Coder Academy just 2 years ago.Sally believes that the people who control technology will control the future, and she is passionate about ensuring that this group of people is as diverse as possible. She is a reformed Luddite with a desire to keep learning and inspire others to do the same. Sally was a finalist in the 2018 Women’s Agenda Emerging Leader in Tech Award and a finalist in the Telstra Business Women of the Year Awards for 2018/19.

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