A boot camp can be defined as an intensive, fully hands-on training program that students of all types go through and learn new technologies. The concept originated in Silicon Valley (California) in 2012 when many companies and start-ups began to realize that engineers who had just graduated from university did not know the technologies used by companies because they were trained in outdated technologies. “The academic record is useless,” is a phrase attributed to Google’s hiring manager. Complementing university deficits and aligning training with the real needs of companies would therefore be the goal that led to the birth of boot camps.
In Spain they were Gonzalo Manrique Y Ariel Chinonwho met in the USA while studying for an MBA, was the first to transfer the idea of boot camps. [Crear talento para encontrar empleo ]. It was born that way in November 2013 Eisenhackfirst in Madrid, a year later in Barcelona, 2015 in Miami and now also in Paris and Mexico.
Alvaro López-Cotelo, manager at Ironhack in Madrid, recalls that at the time the news was circulating that more than 900,000 jobs were unfilled due to a shortage of skilled workers with technological training, and that with a youth unemployment rate that reached 57% in our country. Again, the challenge was to change the paradigm of education and cover up the obsolescence of pedagogical content to adapt it to a society in constant flux and technologies developing at breakneck speed.
Aside from regulated education, Ironhack operates as a private education initiative where, in order to be admitted, students must pass two tests: an in-person interview to assess interest in learning, and a technical test, which places a greater emphasis on hard skills. To say, for those who balk at this last observation, that 60% of Ironhack students have never programmed in their lives and that many have since pursued professional activities unrelated to the world of technology, in sectors such as Build or Cook No prior completion required.
Students who pass the entrance exams follow two months of face-to-face training, with sessions ranging from 12 to 14 hours per day – some weekends included – at a ratio of 1 teacher for every 8 students. You learn by doing and experiencing. The courses are aimed at anyone interested in web programming and UX/UI design. The price per course in Spain is €6,500, although there is also the possibility, for those who have little time or work in other activities, to attend courses over 6 months at a cost of €7,500.
Regarding the profiles of candidates, López-Cotelo distinguishes three main categories: those who want to radically change their professional activity and enter technological environments, entrepreneurs or company managers who are less interested in programming or design and more interested in acquiring knowledge hiring teams in this field or direct, as well as companies looking to improve employee training.
Around 1,000 students from 60 different nationalities have passed through their classrooms so far. According to López-Cotelo, if the goal is employability, the success rate reaches 90% and they end up working in the most modern companies as web or UX/UI developers. Chris Petersona former English teacher, is now a designer at Works, Teresa TorrijosArchitect, already part of the Cabify team as a software engineer, Carlos SuzoConfectioner and military, he is now a developer at beBee, Garazi Larrea, a former graphic design enthusiast, now works for consulting firm BCG. There are many more examples like these, but these are proof that you don’t need a college degree or work experience to reinvent yourself. Profiles in the classroom vary widely, it’s normal for a class to have people with all kinds of stories and it’s not uncommon for Stanford, Harvard or Wharton graduates to mix with people who don’t have degrees but have incredible talent . “The barrier to entry is set up by companies with their technical entrance tests, and the reality is that boot camps work,” says López-Cotelo.
Of the 350+ boot camp schools in the world, Ironhack is currently ranked in the top 3 in the world according to coursereport.com and switchup.org, the industry reference rankings. A kind of Tripadvisor, according to López-Cotelo, since they are chosen by the graduates. The success of the formula lies, in addition to the trainers, “in the almost daily update of the training content thanks to the more than 1,000 companies around the world with which we are in constant contact, whether because they have hired alumni or they have come to Giving lectures, we did an initiative or they came to give courses that let us know about their real needs”.