Regulators threaten coding academies

“Coding academies,” which offer intensive, short-term training in programming skills, don’t rely on state or federal financial aid. Job placement rates are sky-high. But California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education is threatening to shut down coding schools unless they apply for licenses.

BPPE regulations require schools to get curriculum changes by the agency, which may take up to six months. “We change our curriculum every three weeks, and we can’t teach technology that’s six months old,” Shereef Bishay, founder of Dev BootCamp, said.

Will online learning deMOOCratize higher education? Poorly prepared students need face-to-face support to succeed.

About Joanne


  1. These coding academies may have high placement rates, but why don’t they just call it a bootcamp w/out the academy stuff is all.

    Though technology doesn’t change all that much, the more things change, the more they remain the same.


  2. Any bureaucrat’s natural reaction to something new is to regulate it – as soon as possible and with as much disruption as possible. This sort of thing is the best argument against Big Government: the bigger it is, the more resources it has to devote to stuff like this.

  3. Mark Roulo says:

    The problem is that these can look like (and maybe often are) scams. From a venturebeat article on this:

    The programs typically last 10 to 12 weeks. Potential recruits are often told that they have a shot at a job or internship at a competitive tech company like Facebook or Google. Tuition costs vary widely. At Hackbright Academy, it’s $15,000 for a 10 week program. Full scholarships are available, and students who land a job at a company in the Hackbright network can request a partial refund. At Hack Reactor, where tuition costs over $17,000, 99 percent of students are offered a job at companies like Adobe and Google. According to Phillips, the average salary for a computer scientist at these firms is over six figures.


    Does “99 percent of students are offered a job at companies like Adobe and Google” sound legit? It doesn’t sound legit to me.


    I think this is news mainly because of the coding aspect. If these folks were offering the same service (10 weeks to a job!) for air conditioning repair there would be no articles.


    This doesn’t mean that I think these folks should be shut down. But the claims look very scamish to me … and there may be a false advertising criminal case to be made (much like one can probably do against many 3rd and 4th tier law schools…)

    • There are a million scams in the world, you can’t protect everyone from all of them. Just reading your email opens you up to huge potential losses. Much better than government regulation is something like the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” or the Underwriters Laboratories. UL’s very existence relies on their fair and unbiased assessment of product safety (or one of the other items they rate). You can’t possibly say the same for government regulation (IRS, I’m looking at you).

    • I’d suspect the 99% ratio as well isn’t true at all.

      Not to mention, if the students attending these bootcamps already have mad h4x0rz skillz (my geek is showing here), then they should just apply to google and adobe, or any other firm.

      It’s like the IT and STEM worker shortage in the U.S., which is a complete myth, if anything industry is cutting jobs, not adding them (Dell is planning to lay off 15,000 sometime this year), and most IT people don’t make 6 figure salaries, esp. for an entry level position (one which requires less than 3 years of work exp, and a credential or degree), perhaps 40-50K in most areas of the United States.


  4. “We change our curriculum every three weeks, and we can’t teach technology that’s six months old.”

    Six months after you graduate, your skills will be obsolete.

    • Information Technology has changed quite a bit since I started working in the field in 1982, and it was quite different in the 1960’s.

      While it is true that skills must be kept current, that doesn’t mean that someone who has a lot of experience can’t learn them 🙂