Cohort places in 2020 have been filling in record time, including a full first cohort for Dev Academy Online — the newly launched, 100% online course.
New Zealand’s premier web development school has graduated over 600 students since opening their doors in Pōneke and Tāmaki-Makaurau. Opening virtually to people across Aotearoa New Zealand comes on the heels of successfully transitioning to a remote bootcamp over the COVID19 lockdown earlier in the year.
The inaugural online Bootcamp, Manaia, started on 22 June 2020. Just as in person, these cohorts are taught by industry professionals, with a small number of students per teacher.
The same high standards of pastoral care also still apply, with group mindfulness every morning, the usual twice-weekly yoga sessions, and one-on-one check ins.
Enspiral Dev Academy (EDA) has long focussed on bringing tech skills into other cities and regions, with a view to creating a resilient and sustainable future for New Zealand’s economy by upskilling New Zealanders. That’s the why, here’s the how:
1. Introducing new skills for a changing world
We are just seeing the mid to long term impacts of COVID19 nationwide, and across the globe. The team at EDA has seen enrolments from people using this time to retrain and enter a sector that holds more certainty and resilience for their future. The tech industry also indicates that remote working, with its challenges and perks, continues to be the reality for many.
The EDA curriculum gives students the tools to thrive in this environment. In addition to technical skills, students develop important skills like communication, teamwork, adaptability and leadership. Online students also become familiar with tools like Zoom and Discord, developing their skills in virtual collaboration, connection with others, and live pair programming.
2. Improving diversity in tech
Diversity of all kinds will lead to better design and better outcomes in our tech sector. It’s exciting to see that 36% of EDA online Bootcamp applicants are Māori, with almost equal gender parity.
Kaiarāhi Māori Dougal Stott (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahungunu, and Ngāti Tūwharetoa) says of developments in this area: “Part of my contribution is educating the team and students on Tikanga and Te Reo and its relevance to today's tech environment. When we grow confidence and knowledge in this area, we grow the industry as a whole, and add to the diversity in design and innovation.”
EDA graduates to date include 40% women and gender minorities, and have surpassed population parity for students from a Pasifika and Māori background (7% and 17% respectively).
3. Broadening the accessibility of our course
Past students have moved up from as far as Gore to attend a Bootcamp in person, or commuted an hour a day to get to class. Even with the remote study option, the team still expects to see students who want to move to study on campus and have an in-person experience. For others, remote study presents a convenient option that fits around their lives more easily. So far, enrolments for online Bootcamps have been coming in from Hamilton, Christchurch, Gisborne, Hastings and Tauranga — to name a few.
4. Continuing to meet the demand for talent in tech
84% of all EDA students who graduated more than 6 months ago are now employed in tech, as developers or in similar tech roles.
Ellora Virtue completed the whole course in lockdown, and is now starting in her first role as a developer.
She says of the course: “One of my concerns coming into this was, is this going to be enough to get me a job? EDA simulates a work environment, so you have an idea of what it's going to be like to work in the industry. The teachers are actually industry professionals, and have been doing this for years. Being able to learn a whole bunch while also getting those critical skills to communicate and navigate through the tech industry really gives you an edge. I'm seeing now that it is enough.”
The Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand’s recent letter to government ministers cited the EDA model as a successful example of an education pathway that transitions people into tech-enabled careers. Our approach to education, and our industry, is here to stay.
Thinking about joining Dev Academy?
Bootcamps are filling up for the rest of 2020, so start your application today or get in touch if you’d like to learn more. The remote preparation phase (Foundations) for the first intake of 2021 starts on 9 November; in-person Bootcamp starts on 4 January. More course dates here.
Dev Academy is NZQA accredited, and applicants are eligible for Student Loans and Fees-Free where applicable.