As 2015 came to a close, I thought a lot about Epicodus's mission:
Epicodus's mission is to help people learn the skills they need to get great jobs. For us, “great jobs” means jobs in growing industries that pay well and provide rewarding work. Beyond the particular skills needed to get these jobs, we aim to help our students become confident self-teachers who can adapt to changing job markets, and great communicators who will work well in teams. We focus on serving people who, by birth or circumstance, don't have easy access to learning the skills they need to get these great jobs.
Four years ago, the US economy was in a bad place, unemployment was high, and many people were struggling to even scrape by. At the same time, companies were struggling to find software developers, and were offering high wages and great benefits to attract the talent they needed. Epicodus was born to try to bridge this gap, helping people get these great programming jobs and helping companies find the talent they need, and three years ago we had our very first class of 8 students.
Today, the economy has mostly recovered, and the coding school phenomenon has exploded, with over 5 dozen schools across the country. However, many of the problems we faced 3 years ago still remain. Software companies still are desperate for programming talent. Many people are working part-time involuntarily. Wages for middle- and low-income workers haven't increased in many years. And while coding schools have made a dent in the problem, most are still inaccessible to the people that need their help most, charging 5-figure tuition and offering short classes that require coding experience before attending.
We've continued to evolve Epicodus to take these problems head-on. We've been adding courses in languages Java and PHP that aren't trendy but where many more jobs are. Our employer outreach team has grown from 1 to 4 full-time staff this year to connect with more companies. We added a new introductory course for people who have little to no background in programming. Our programs continue to be several months long, giving students more time to hone their skills, and our tuition always has been and continues to be a fraction of other schools', including community colleges'.
In 2016, we're excited to continue building on all of the progress we made this year. We'll be adding even more courses, including C# and design. We're defaulting all new students into our introductory course to make sure that everybody in Epicodus starts with a solid foundation (while still having the opportunity to test out for more experienced students). And we're getting ready to open up an office in another city. In the year end report, you'll find a recap of the highlights of our year, information on how Epicodus compares to the industry, stories from students and more. Thanks for being a part of our community!
- Michael Kaiser-Nyman, President