New Milwaukee boot camp 'devCodeCamp' shaking up traditional 4-year degree
Courtny Gerrish , Rachael Glaszcz
Learn more about devCodeCamp with two Web Extra interviews in the media gallery above.
MILWAUKEE- A new Milwaukee boot camp called devCodeCamp is shaking up the traditional four-year college degree.
"devCodeCamp set out to disrupt traditional education," said Paul Jirovetz, director of program operations. "We're putting 700 hours in 14 weeks. We do not skimp on content," he said.
The intense course puts students through software development projects that require solving real world problems.
18-year-old Alexa Klotz is in her third week of training. Klotz said, "Right now we're actually working on a project where we have to mimic an ATM. So if you use an ATM you want to withdraw money or deposit money. You have to figure out how to put that into place."
Full-time classes cost $14,987. Starting salaries are slightly above Wisconsin's average. "Our graduates, after the 14 week program, see an average salary of $55,000 a year," said Jirovetz.
Michael Terrill has a business degree but decided to try coding camp after learning about the huge gap between employers looking for software developers and not having enough talent to choose from. "I decided to take a chance, check this out, and it just seems like I picked the right choice," Terrill said. "They emphasize what's going on in Milwaukee right now. What do these jobs, what do they want. And that's what they're teaching here. So we're fully prepared."
Third-week student Adam Martell says software development is for somebody who likes to solve problems and put puzzles together. "The other day we had a problem. I was off by one cent. It was just a rounding error in the program, and after you fix that it takes a little while and you fixed it and you're like yes! Whoo hoo! I fixed one cent!"
Martell says you don't have to know code to take the course. "I came in with a little background knowledge. A lot of my classmates came in with no knowledge. It really doesn't make that much of a difference," he said.
Once students complete the camp they get four weeks of interview and resume training to make sure they're ready when employers come knocking.
"The last time we had a devCodeCamp graduating class we brought in all five of the students to interview and they all interviewed exceptionally well," said Rebecca Rachoner, human resources manager at LaMacchia Enterprises-Trisept Solutions.
For every student there are eight employers lined up to talk to them. One of those is Trisept Solutions. Josef Shomperlen is director of solutions integration at Trisept Solutions. "It's a fantastic way for us to get coding skills that can walk in, know the programming languages, know how to do development work and then we can nurture them and help them grow their career internally at our company," Shomperlen said.
devCodeCamp is located in the Pritzlaff building in downtown Milwaukee. The next course begins October 26, 2015. Organizers plan to open a boot camp in Madison in the coming year.