Long lines: Austin class for computer code can't keep up with demand

Jan 15, 2014
Austin Business Journal

A new Austin company is attracting aspiring software developers nationally with an intensive 10-week boot camp course. MakerSquare LLC started its first class last June and now receives 10 applicants per day for the $11,600 program that features small classes and long days. The demand for such instruction has been so strong that the startup’s founders are now considering how they want to expand


MakerSquare, which employs 16 workers, operates from two downtown locations. Class sizes range from 30-40 that are segmented into pods of students with six students apiece. About 50 percent of applicants are from outside Texas


Co-founder Harsh Patelsaid 98 students have completed the program and 80 percent are working in coding or have received job offers


One of the November graduates, Gamble McAdam, is assisting MakerSquare teachers to get a little more experience before seeking a development position. He previously worked for the personal shopping program at Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFM) in South Carolina and moved to Austin for a change in direction as well as scenery


Cofounder Ravi Parikh said he got the idea for MakerSquare in January 2013 when he was looking to learn coding but didn’t like his choices in Austin. He gathered a group of friends and pooled the capital to begin promoting the venture at South By Southwest in March 2013


Of course universities and colleges teach coding but Patel said most of what students learn isn’t useful to the latest startups. MarketSquare tailors its program to what employers are seeking


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