Google and General Assembly Launch Developer Boot Camp, Promising Jobs for Graduates

The 12-week course, held at computer programming school General Assembly, plans to put newly minted Android developers in positions at VICE Media and Karma.

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Google will launch a boot camp, in partnership with computer programming school General Assembly, that is designed to boost the number of Android developers in the tech ecosystem, General Assembly announced today.

"Android is growing, and because there aren’t nearly enough developers trained for that system, it's causing a bottleneck for the platform," said General Assembly co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jake Schwartz. Tuition for the 12-week course in Android development, which was designed by Google's developer training team, is $13,500. It is the first time Google has co-developed in-person classroom training for one of its products, Schwartz said.

According to a report General Assembly released in September, the demand for mobile developers of all types has increased more than 150 percent in the past five years. 

The class, which will take its first students early next year and which starts accepting applications today, signals a change in how technology companies view the qualifications its developers need, said Schwartz. "Universities typically don't train students the same way, and with the same timeline, as we do," he said, adding that it can take years for even the most proactive universities to update their computer programming curricula to reflect the needs of the market.

Online courses, while they may offer a more job-specific focus than some university courses, lack the personal nature of a class setting, said Schwartz.

Google and General Assembly are luring students to the course with the promise of job placement opportunities. VICE Media will hire an apprentice right out of the course, said Ben Jackson, director of mobile applications at VICE Media. General Assembly has said in a statement that it will connect developers who finish the course with jobs in its hiring network, including data company Karma. "When students take the course and graduate, they're not just getting a piece of paper," said Peter Lubber, senior program manager at Google. "They're getting a job." 

Boot camps' education-to-employment model gives students without a background in technology a quick and relatively low-cost way into a rapidly expanding field with high-paying jobs. "We're not guaranteeing mastery in 12 weeks, but we give people an on-ramp," Schwartz said.

The full-time course will be offered in early 2016 at General Assembly's flagship offices in New York and San Francisco and then spread to its 14 locations around the world.  

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