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Say bonjour to Australia’s newest coding bootcamp

Say bonjour to Australia’s newest coding bootcamp

French coding school Le Wagon launches in Sydney and Melbourne

A coding school founded in Paris in 2013 and now in operation in 27 cities around the world is launching bootcamps in Sydney and Melbourne.

Le Wagon, headed by French brothers Romain and Boris Paillard, runs nine week immersive (360 hour) coding bootcamps aimed at entrepreneurs and creative professionals.

The $10,000 in-person bootcamps will take on their first Sydney cohort later this month and in Melbourne in March.

The company says by the end of the course participants will be at a junior developer level with Ruby on Rails and able to quickly create their own web applications.

“For instance, you will know how to include authentification to your site, add an admin back-office, include payment features, automate emails sending, and much more,” the course material states.

“You’ll also know how to quickly deploy in production and you will have learnt the programming best practices used by top-level startups. You’ll then be facing a choice: continue your entrepreneurial project or become a junior developer in a startup or a bigger tech company.”

Between eight and 12 students will be enrolled for each bootcamp, and Le Wagon plans to run four bootcamps each year. In Sydney the course will run at Desk Space in Darlinghurst and in Melbourne at Inspire9 in Richmond.

The program schedule, includes time for reflection and yoga to "ensure students maintain perspective and some head space".

Le Wagon founders Romain and Boris Paillard, and CTO Sebastien Saunier
Le Wagon founders Romain and Boris Paillard, and CTO Sebastien Saunier

“When we were looking for where to open next, we saw that something significant was going on in Australia in terms of entrepreneurial and tech activity. The incredible level of engagement in industry meetups and within the startup community really resonated with us, and we’re confident that we really can help Australia’s entrepreneurs build world-class products,” said co-founder and CEO of Le Wagon, Boris Paillard.

The company says its alumni have founded more than 100 start-ups globally, with 15 students raising more than AUD$1.5m in external investment, and 10 more raising between $300,000 and $900,000 each. Notable alumni-launched start-ups include A-line (formerly Krawd), Kudoz, computer vision analysis firm Regaind (which was acquired by Apple in September) and Travelsify.

Le Wagon joins a burgeoning coding bootcamp market in Australia, which includes Coder Factory Academy, General Assembly (GA), Digital Intelligence and Academy Xi. It is understood a number of US providers are eyeing the local opportunity also.

“The coding education market in Australia is still developing, and traditional institutions are simply not giving people the skills that they need to succeed, and to fill the widening technical skills gap in the Australian workforce,” said Charly Martin, who heads up Le Wagon in Sydney.

A 2016 report on the future of work by NBN and the Regional Australia Institute forecast that half of all Australian workers will be in roles requiring high-level programming by 2030.

However, according to the Government's Cyber Security Strategy the number of people taking up information and communications technology degrees has halved over the last decade, meaning shorter, intensive courses have gained a foothold.

“Coding is like English. In 2018 you need it to work and communicate, but not everyone becomes a writer, the same way that not everyone who can code has to become a developer. There are many pathways that students can take after a bootcamp, whether as as a Junior Web Developer, Product Manager, consultant or startup founder," said Le Wagon’s Melbourne lead Paal Ringstad.

"Le Wagon focuses on creating dynamic communities who share entrepreneurial and creative values, and it is this alignment that makes the bootcamps so great,” he added.

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