Code school for programmers to launch in Durham

Apr. 01, 2014 @ 05:20 PM

There’s a strong need for trained computer programmers in the Triangle, where there’s a growing community of start-ups, said Nick Jordan, the CEO of the Durham-based web and mobile design company Smashing Boxes.
“I think it’s really kind of a dire situation,” Jordan said, adding that he could hire five additional programmers if he could find them.
But Jordan said universities don’t crank out enough computer science majors, and start-ups face competition for new graduates here from big companies like IBM Corp. and Cisco Systems.
The need for programmers is part of the reason that Smashing Boxes is partnering to launch a new code school in downtown Durham with Greenville, S.C.,-based company The Iron Yard. The company also has school locations in Atlanta, Charleston, S.C., and other cities in the Southeast.
The class will launch in June, and will be taught at Durham’s American Underground, a hub for entrepreneurs and start-ups located in Durham in the basement of the American Tobacco campus and also on Main Street.
Jordan said the school will be held in the location in the American Underground that will be vacated by Smashing Boxes, which is moving into a new, 6,200-square-foot office space on the second floor of Diamond View III.
The new building is located next to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and across from the American Tobacco Campus. It’s also the headquarters of the nonprofit research organization FHI 360, and a slew of new restaurants.
As part of the code school, students will be working as part of an “applied learning experience” with Smashing Boxes, according to a news release. In addition to teaching and mentorship, students do “real-world” development work. Class assignments lead up to a final project unique to each student.
The cost of the classes is $9,000. There will be three different sessions that meet for eight hours per day for 12 weeks. The sessions are in mobile software engineering, Ruby on Rails engineering, and front-end engineering.
“The need for technical talent is even more concentrated in high-tech regions such as the
Triangle,” Jordan said in a prepared statement. “We’re hoping the school will solidify Durham as a training ground for skilled programmers and continue to attract high-tech businesses.”
Smashing Boxes is a web design firm that has grown from a staff of two co-founders and three full-time workers to a staff of 37 people. They’ve worked on contract design projects for companies including Cisco Systems, Knowledge Tree and Quintiles.