There is a single, shared reason why individuals attend coding school – They are each attempting to land a new job, and start fresh in a high-tech career. With this in mind, we wanted to build a program that would actually teach our students real-world skills that would help them find and secure competitive roles at top companies. Every metaphorical brick we have laid in building our curriculum has stemmed from that one goal. Observing where our students are being hired is enough to consider our efforts a success. Most coding boot camp graduates wind up working at startups when they first graduate. But the risk inherent to young companies can make the experience a nerve-racking prospect. According to Forbes90 percent of startups fail, making the odds of joining such a team a gamble. We wanted to take a different approach, and give our students the skills and expertise to be competitive for jobs at major firms, and that meant we needed to teach Java. 

Before officially launching Skill Distillery and offering a public-facing coding school, our team operated a corporate training company, specializing in IT. Batky-Howell, our parent company, is contracted by organizations such as Disney, IBM, Lockheed Martin and many more to train employees and help their people stay current and productive. With 25 years of experience, we are perched at a prime vantage point to see what developments are rising and which are falling across the tech landscape. As new tools and trends have emerged, one constant remains at most major firms within the tech sector and beyond: Java.  

 Hence, we launched Skill Distillery and made the thoughtful and measured decision to teach Java, along with JavaScript, a language growing exponentially in popularity, and some of it’s most widely used libraries and frameworks i.e NodeJS, Angular, and express. We looked at what other schools teach and where their students are hired, we found that programs focused on other skills such as Ruby on Rails resulted in graduates landing jobs at startups. While there is no disadvantage to becoming fluent in Ruby or other complimentary skill sets, we have found that other languages do not have the adoption breadth or the staying power that Java has in the ever evolving tech scene. With startups, when their technology and their budgets grow enough, they frequently jump to a more robust language, such as Java, in fact Twitter did just this when it jumped ship from Ruby to Java in 2011.

 Striving to provide an on-ramp for our graduates to enter stable careers, we are confident Java is what differentiates our program from what others can offer. Though more challenging to teach and learn, we built a course curriculum, team, and environment that revolves around this vital tool, thus our students spend almost 10 weeks mastering this language. The promise we are able to provide as a result gives our students the confidence to find stability in their futures. As such, we are comfortable shouting from the rooftops about our school to a more risk-averse audience who might be uncomfortable in a shakier startup setting. This also means we are able to help place a more diverse group of students into new jobs. 

Ultimately the results speak for themselves:

Our students are getting jobs. But more than just jobs, they are getting hired at top firms like iQNavigator, Accenture, Genova Diagnostics, Booz Allen, and more. They are getting hired in roles with 401k’s, full benefits packages and competitive salaries. Moreover, they are landing jobs where their next paycheck is never doubt.

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