Dev Bootcamp Adds San Diego Program as Coding Schools Multiply

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coding bootcamp, the Skills Fund says it conducts “due diligence” to ensure the quality of the program, and considers student outcomes as one criterion. The lender says it provides full transparency in disclosing the annual percentage rate of its loans, and ties its own financial success to that of students.

“We want to build the best financing tools for the best bootcamps and their students,” the Skills Fund says on its website.

The founder and CEO, Rick O’Donnell, is a former state official who oversaw all consumer protection in Colorado, with the banking, financial services, securities, and insurance commissioners reporting to him. As the cabinet secretary overseeing all of Colorado’s public colleges and universities—and regulation of private and occupational schools—O’Donnell also privatized the state’s student loan servicing business.

In a statement yesterday, the Skills Fund said it had established partnerships with six code schools that met its quality-assurance process: Kaplan-owned Dev Bootcamp and Metis (a San Francisco-based program that provides training in data science programs), Galvanize, Hackbright Academy, CodeU, and Sabio.

“We are aligning with organizations whose business aligns with the students’ interests,” says Tarlin Ray, vice president of business development and corporate strategy for both Dev Bootcamp and Metis. Ray told me by phone that Dev Bootcamp receives no benefit for referring students who need loans to the Skills Fund. “It’s an arms’-length transaction,” he said.

In announcing its San Diego expansion, Dev Bootcamp says the widespread need for skilled programmers is evident in the 5,500 openings for software programmers—a number that has remained relatively steady in recent years.

In San Diego, two small coding schools have opened their doors in the past year. Rob Kaufman of the Portland, OR-based Web development firm Notch8 opened Learn in North Park last year. Origin Code Academy started operating last month at Co-Merge, a shared workspace in downtown San Diego.

Even as more schools open, there’s demand for them, says Kevin Solorio, Dev Bootcamp’s San Diego program director. As he puts it, “What we’re seeing in San Diego is just a lot of room for growth.”

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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