The Silicon Review
Software developers are on high demand and it is a known fact that only one third of available jobs in the technology sector can currently be filled by graduates coming out of the traditional education system. The fourth Industrial revolution unfolding in developed economies is slowed down by this knowledge worker shortage and the cost of local capable technologists is exploding forcing companies to sometimes outsource the role to the expense of quality and efficiency. In such context, becoming a hands-on coder will set you up for a better rewarding life, but for those taking their first steps into the profession, the first question being asked is often, “Is coding hard to learn?” The answer to this doesn’t differ from other disciplines unfortunately: Coding is not difficult to learn if you have the will and brain room to wrap your head around the languages, the tools and the modern practices that make a developer productive and quality-driven. For most people, learning to code on their own required persistence, and if you have that built-in, coding is not that difficult to learn. With the right guidance, you can ramp up on valuable languages, learn the right tools to secure quality and automation and beyond the hard skills that the market demands the soft skills required by the industry are too often overlooked.
CodeBoxx Technology is, first and foremost, a unique coding boot camp that offers to anyone who wants it, a shot at a career in technology. CodeBoxx reshapes human labor one individual at a time, guarantees them that no tuition is due until they get a job in tech which they can get through its placement services powered by an elite circle of partners. With this said, CodeBoxx developed two other successful lines of expertise to support its business model allowing it to take on all the risks on behalf of its participants: Their digital workshop offers graduates who haven’t gotten a job through placement services, actual challenges, and additional opportunities to polish their training and consolidate their experience through various digital transformation projects. Some of these projects come from the third branch of the business: CodeBoxx Ventures, which acts as an incubator for young start-ups experiencing growth issues or struggling with technology challenges. The companies joining CodeBoxx Ventures choose CodeBoxx as their exclusive technology partner for strategy, tactics, and operations of their tech stack and their digital products.
In conversation with Nicolas Genest, CEO, and Founder of CodeBoxx
Q. What motivated you to focus on software development?
Software has been the answer to most of the problems I have encountered in my career. I have been witnessing the opportunities of computer software since 1985 and was fortunate enough to be exposed to programming languages very early. Even during school, while getting my degree, I was already programming software to automate pay processes and clerical operations for a small factory. I have seen the world progressively transformed by the software revolution, and I feel fortunate to have been part of it. The best part is that as devices, interfaces, and experiences multiply, we now realize that the past 30 years were only the tip of the iceberg. Software and technology are the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge in a plethora of fields and industries. Designing a program for learning the modern ways to software development felt like a natural extension of my contribution to the industry that gave me so much and is also a way for me to give back.
Q. How efficient is the training program compared to formal university education?
We do not like to compare our training to university education because we firmly believe we are not doing the same thing at all. We do not pretend we can do in 4 months what a university can do in 4 years. Universities and Colleges train engineers, we train motivated, often experienced, hands-on doers. We often compare the technology field to the construction industry, for example, when you are building a house or a building, architects and engineers must make sure that everything will be thought-through, all the plans are correctly done, and that the structure will be reliable. Still, the engineers won’t execute all the tasks. The workers who will perform the tasks broken down for them need a different skill set and education than the engineers but workers on site are just as crucial for the building to complete. The opposite is also true; the worker does not need an engineering degree and skillset at first to do the essential tasks he is assigned to. It is the same within the technology industry. We also let time, experience and future opportunities determine what the future career of our graduates will evolve into.
Q. How do you manage to get 100 percent placement?
Our digital workshop allows us to offer jobs to all of our graduates, and it is the reason why we have a 100% placement rate. So far, roughly 75% of our graduates were hired by our partners or by other businesses, and 25% were hired by our digital workshop and are currently working on several ongoing products and projects.
Q. How do you market your services?
Depending on the business unit of CodeBoxx we are talking about, we are using multiple channels to market our services. We use 2 to 3 different methods, but we mainly focus on social media. Our target audience as spread all across the board and the decision to consider joining a cohort is quite time-sensitive so we have challenges when it comes to being at the right place at the right time for the right people.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
We are working on three brand new bootcamp programs to be unveiled in the upcoming months to form our “Code Fellows” branch which will allow specialization. As we were able to validate our methodology with our current bootcamp, we know our recipe works very well, and we want to apply it to additional highly demanded roles and specialties of the Tech industry. We are talking about a Business Analytics program, a Cybersecurity program, and a DevOps specialization.
Man behind the success of CodeBoxx
Nicolas Genest is currently CEO and Founder of CodeBoxx Technology. He launched CodeBoxx in May 2018 with Nadya Fortier. Nicolas has been part of many highly successful executive teams as Chief Technology Officer. As CTO of Modcloth, he orchestrated the rebirth of the brand alongside Matt Kaness and a renewed executive team in 2016. The replatformed retailer was then acquired by Jet.com/Walmart. As CTO of The RealReal in San Francisco from 2013 to 2016, he took full ownership of their entire technology platform and their digital products and re-ignited growth by transitioning them out of an outsourced technology model. As CTO of the European leader vente-privee.com in Paris, the highly profitable pioneer of Flash Sales grew revenue from 170M to 1.2B Euros from 2007 to 2012 under his tenure. He went on to launch their joint venture with American Express in New York in 2011 with CEO Mike Steib. Previously, Nicolas was at Microsoft as a Business Intelligence and Platform Engineer, where he worked on their Database and .Net products. He also served at Pfizer, leading a team of developers of critical web-based applications.