Driving home one night after an SD Ruby meetup he realized if no one else was going to start a code school then he was going to have to do it. Fortunately, his partner Chelsea was there to help. She has a background in business and education which combined with his passion for technology allowed them to create a code school.
Because Chelsea is from San Diego and Rob is from LA, their school was built with a San Diego vibe to it. They inherently created a place with a work-life balance and with community at its core.
They’ve had students who have lost family members while they were in school and those students needed to suspend their time and come back at a later cohort. They sit down and have a conversation with their students; they work with people wherever they are at and that allows the school to be successful.
Code schools live and die by their employment number – that is what they are competitive about. He can say comfortably that 84% of LEARN Academy graduates have employment in software development within 6 months of graduation, and they are stingy about that number.
For example, they had an alumnus whose father passed away and the alumnus took over the auto dealership. They don’t count him because he doesn’t have a job as a software developer. They want to be honest with that number and to be realistic about that number.
So what type of people do they attract as a result of that number – people who want a job or people who want to code? It is both, according to Rob. They want a career and software development is a great career because it has a future that is really obvious. There is a huge shortfall of software developers in the industry and that is why code schools now exist. There is a great need for talent.
And how many of those people who come to LEARN Academy are looking for their first careers versus people changing fields? Most people who come are changing their careers. Rob estimates probably 80-90% have had some sort of job, they aren’t fresh out of school.
He further breaks it down by explaining roughly 60-65% of LEARN students are in their 20s and 30s looking for their first big career or wanting to change their career. And the other 35%-40% are people who did things like software development in the 80s and then went into management, or maybe they are a CEO or CTO who is tired of doing the nearly impossible task of finding a technical co-founder. So they want to know enough to be their own technical co-founder and join LEARN to do it.
Also on today’s CTO Studio Rob and I also talk about who teaches at LEARN Academy, and why to balance your talent ratio. We end the show by talking about how to choose which specific productivity regimens we should add into our lives and then how to add them. You can hear us weigh in all of those topics on today’s CTO Studio.