According to published reports, the five-year-old Denver, Colorado for-profit coding school funded by $63 million in venture capital has announced that it plans to lay off 11 percent of its workforce. Not surprising given the competition with traditional non-profit schools, the free availability of online coding instruction, and the extremely low barrier to entry in the industry.
Of course, we see the standard official statements …
“In order to adjust to evolving market demands we made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce today.”
“These actions are consistent with our overall strategy to build a more product-focused platform that enables a continuous learning environment.”
Like many for-profit schools that suggest that they can train their non-college-level students to become software engineers, “obtain prized jobs with major software companies, or become a software entrepreneur in weeks or a few months, many of the for-profit schools ignore the basics.
One, coding is a means to an end, not the end itself.
Two, the most valued employees are those with specific experience in other specialties and for the most part, do not concentrate on drag-and-drop GUIs (Graphic User Interfaces) or simply stringing library code modules together. They develop back-end systems and specialized code that goes beyond what might be routinely available in a library. Competition for employment is extremely aggressive, and most employees work long and hard for their money. The expense of living in Silicon Valley or surrounding areas is unreal and possibly unaffordable.
Three, the most successful and monetized apps do more than providing front-end access to someone else’s data through a vendor’s API (Application Programming Interface).
Four, it is immeasurably easier to teach a person skilled in another discipline coding than it is to teach a coder to be skilled in another discipline.
Five, many companies routinely outsource their app development or coding to extremely skilled foreign professionals for a fraction of the price it would cost for a full-time employee with benefits.
For those who are interested in programming, might I suggest you look at the free offerings from MIT’s “Open Courseware” Introductory Programming Courses. Starting with little or no programming knowledge, you can build employment-worthy skills -- just not in a few weeks.