Coding Dojo started as a software company, but shifted to coding education after its founder found it difficult and time-consuming to recruit, hire and train software engineers.
Coding Dojo, a Bellevue coding-education company, is doubling the number of its training locations as the demand for software developers grows ever larger.
The company offers a three-month program to learn coding in Bellevue; San Jose, Calif.; and Los Angeles. It says it plans to open offices in Dallas; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago this year.
“Our program works and we want more people to have access to it,” CEO Richard Wang said. “We spent the time to understand how to train someone from no background to be an entry-level developer.”
Coding schools have become increasingly popular in the past couple of years. The Puget Sound region is host to companies such as Code Fellows, Ada Developers Academy and a branch of co-working space and school Galvanize.
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Coding Dojo, which moved its headquarters to Bellevue in 2013 from Mountain View, Calif., originally was started by founder Michael Choi when he was working at Zurple, a real-estate technology business. Then Choi realized how difficult and time-consuming it was to find, hire and train software engineers.
Companies across the Seattle area have weighed in similarly on the arduous hiring process. There simply aren’t enough developers, they say, and companies constantly are searching for enough qualified people to fill roles.
Coding Dojo differs slightly from so-called “coding boot camps,” or accelerated training programs, because its courses are designed largely for people with no prior coding experience.
The Coding Dojo founding team spent two years developing its class lesson plans, and is now working on licensing the courses to high schools.
Wang is especially passionate about training people with no experience and people who work in jobs that traditionally pay lower wages, such as retail and food service. Developer jobs are “the new middle-class jobs,” Wang said.
“Learning code is about learning logic,” he said. “Anyone can do it.”
Each quarter, Coding Dojo runs three concurrent programs in each of its current locations. There are about 25 people per class. The company also has evening and online classes for people both with and without coding experience.
The program is pretty much like a full-time job, Wang said. Days usually start with a one- or two-hour lesson. and the rest of the day is spent working on group and individual projects, with instructors supervising.
Coding Dojo’s three-month program costs students $13,500, a hefty price tag compared with some of the other training programs, but the company offers full-ride scholarships for refugees and many people who cannot afford the cost.
The ambitious company, which has 60 employees, plans to have 18 locations in two years and 100,000 graduates in five years. Coding Dojo is self-funded and brought in $6 million in revenue last year. Wang projects that will double to $12 million in 2016.
Coding Dojo’s Dallas campus is expected to open March 21, followed by those in D.C. in June and Chicago in September.
Information in this article, originally published March 1, 2016, was corrected later that tday. Based on incorrect information provided by the company, Coding Dojo grew out of Zurple, a real estate technology firm. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the company started as Village 88, a software-as-a-service firm.