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Two UGA Grads Open Coding School in Buckhead

by Carey Tucker

If the Digital Age has taught us anything, it’s that in the 21st Century the ability to code is essential. Today, the writing’s on the wall: if you don’t want to end up like your crusty, old boss who can’t properly work a PowerPoint presentation, get to learnin’ or get left behind. There several coding schools to choose from in Atlanta including Tech Talent South, The Iron Yard, General Assembly, Big Nerd Ranch, and the newest kid on the block, DigitalCrafts. They aim to transform beginner students into highly employable “builders of things.”

Started by UGA grads, Jake Hadden and Max McChesney (pictured above), DigitalCrafts was born out of McChesney’s experience at another Atlanta-based coding school. After completing a 12 week immersive bootcamp, he left believing wholeheartedly in the accelerated model of education, but also believing there was ample opportunity for improvement in the end-to-end student experience. He reached out to Hadden, then Global Manager of Interface’s Innovation Accelerator, and this month, they are proud to announce that course registration is open for three new programs with their immersive bootcamp starting on October 12. We recently sat down with Hadden to get the scoop.

Classes Being Offered:
Our flagship course is a 16 Week Immersive Web Development Bootcamp focusing on Javascript and the MEAN stack. Students will learn full-stack web development and will gain first-hand experience with some of the most relevant technologies today as they transform into skilled engineers with polished portfolios and on-going career support.

In addition to our 16 Week Immersive program, we also offer part-time courses in Front-End Web Development, Back-End Development (.NET), and Mobile Engineering (iOS). We’re working to put together an Internet of Things part-time course and plan on rolling that out this coming Winter.

The Instructors:
Rob Bunch, Immersive Web Instructor (full-time)

  • 11+ years of front and back-end web development experience
  • 4+ years of teaching experience both as a TA in graduate school and with the leading publisher, McGraw Hill
  • Proficient in too many technologies to list here, but his most recent project included the playoff bracket for NCAA.com while working for Turner Broadcasting.  Read more here.

Ryan Rodd, Front-End Web Instructor (part-time)

  • 7+ years of professional development experience
  • Leads technology efforts for an Atlanta-based start-up, ImagineAir

Shawn Johnson, Mobile Engineering Instructor (part-time)

  • Leads Monkey Pants Studios and was previously a consultant with Slalom Consulting, working with Fortune 500 clients as a lead Mobile Architect

Our immersive class is the only coding bootcamp (we’re aware of) located in Buckhead, right next to MARTA. We’re purposefully located next door to the Atlanta Tech Village and our students are encouraged to take advantage of all the surrounding tech community has to offer, including a weekly networking lunch, Startup Chowdown, at ATV on Fridays. Our classroom is outfitted with external monitors and keyboards to make our students lives as coders a little bit easier. Our part-time courses are located in the awesome Roam Dunwoody co-working space, which is convenient to 285, 400, MARTA, and the neighboring suburbs.


DigitalCrafts Desk

What Separates DigitalCrafts from the Rest?

Cost per Hour of Instruction: When evaluating if a program is the right fit, students should always consider the cost per hour of instruction. Throughout our 16 Week Immersive Web Development Bootcamp, DigitalCrafts students receive a minimum of 640 hours of instruction, compared to other 12 week / 480 hour programs. Our 16 Week Immersive Bootcamp is more affordable than the other local options and our cost per hour of instruction is at least 25% less than the closest competitor.

Teacher Quality: We encourage potential students who are looking for coding schools to really research their teacher’s background and level of real world experience as we feel that directly correlates with the quality of instruction. Our instructor, Rob Bunch, has over 11 years of development experience and will be spending the next 4 months refining our curriculum for the upcoming Immersive Bootcamp.

Class Sizes: We are capping our immersive cohort at 12 students, the smallest class size currently offered in Atlanta. Based on market research, we’ve heard unanimously that large class sizes degrade the quality of learning in the classroom and foster an inefficient learning environment.

Curriculum & Job Placement: Almost every program in Atlanta and the nation is teaching a Ruby on Rails Web Bootcamp. Just looking at the 3 largest programs in town, hundreds of students graduate with Rails experience each year and are in competition for the same junior-level jobs. Our Javascript / MEAN stack students will graduate with 11 others, every 4.5 months, increasing their probability of securing an internship or full-time job.

Additional Training Opportunities: We offer all of our alumni the opportunity to continue their training post-graduation with significant discounts on our part-time classes. We are intentionally rolling out a back-end class with a different focus (.NET) that would allow our students to gain experience with an additional, very in-demand technology stack, or they could learn native iOS development to help make themselves more dynamic, hirable engineers (or, “builders” as we like to say).

On-going Career Support: We don’t tell our students that they have 3 or 6 months of career support. It’s on-going for as long as they’d like our help, including when they start looking for that second or third job in their career. As long as we’re around, our alumni are welcome.

Culture: We don’t have Razor scooters, bean bags, PS4s, and ping pong tables in our classroom. Our program is about turning students into the best developer’s we can in an extremely condensed amount of time. We want the learning environment to be fun, but not distracting. This is a huge financial and life commitment for our students and we take that very seriously.

Enrollment is now open for all Summer and Fall courses. Given the max class size of 12 students, DigitalCrafts’ full time course is selective, and they take the application and interview process seriously. However, their part time courses are first come, first serve.

Stay up to date with DigitalCrafts by subscribing to their blog and be sure to check out their upcoming free workshops to get started on your first iOS app or web page!

Follow DigitalCrafts on:
Facebok: https://www.facebook.com/digitalcraftsllc
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DgtlCrafts
Blog: http://www.digitalcrafts.com/blog.html
MeetUp: http://www.meetup.com/DigitalCrafts-Learn-To-Code-Atlanta/

Want to hear more about DigitalCrafts? Check out their interview on The Incubator –  a podcast featuring weekly interviews with Atlanta-based startup founders, influencers, and entrepreneurs. In partnership with Hypepotamus, The Incubator showcases innovators, companies, and all breaking Atlanta tech news. Sponsored by Wela – an online financial and investment platform – the show is recorded and broadcast from the Wela office in the Atlanta Tech Village each week. Sign up if you want to have the podcast sent to you weekly.


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