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Sydney start-up to offer coding crash course to tech novices

Thursday, 22 November 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

An education start-up based in Sydney will teach entrepreneurs how to code in a new 10-week program, equipping participants with the skills and experience of an entry-level developer.


Sydney Dev Camp, led by Danila Davidson, describes itself as an “unconventional school”, which, over 10 weeks, will teach people how to code using Ruby on Rails.


Ruby on Rails is an open source full-stack web application framework for the Ruby programming language.


According to Davidson, there’s a “real shortage” of Ruby on Rails developers in Australia, hence the decision to set up Sydney Dev Camp. The first program will begin in Autumn 2013.


“When I first started to share the business idea, folks discouraged me as they believed I wouldn’t be able to find one talented developer to teach the class,” Davidson says.


But according to Davidson, the program has attracted plenty of interest, so it’s full steam ahead.


“This business model has been already implemented in the US and it has proven to be extremely successful,” she says.


“As the Australian tech start-up community is booming, I believe it could only benefit from such an initiative… My objective is to create entry-level developers.”


“What I’m offering is a 10-week course, which is a full immersion – nine to five every day – and it will be combined with some mentoring sessions and networking events.”


In addition to Ruby on Rails, participants will learn about HTML5, CSS3, Git, Javascript, server setup, databases, deployment, testing, catching and security.


Initially, the class will take no more than 20 people. Participants will be expected to work in pairs and small groups.


Prior to the program, participants will have to complete 40-50 hours of pre-work assignments at home. However, the Sydney Dev Camp staff will support participants throughout this period.


By the end of the program, it’s hoped participants will be able to launch their own start-up or at least add value to the engineering team of another start-up or high-tech enterprise.


In addition to mentoring and networking, Davidson intends to offer yoga or another form of exercise, and Friday night drinks.


Participants don’t need any previous experience to attend, although they are expected to be smart, passionate and have a strong desire to become a programmer.