CodeClan is Scotland’s first accredited digital skills academy. It runs an intensive course which teaches people how to code in 16 weeks – producing highly sought-after graduates for the country’s many tech employers.

Sara Dodd

CodeClan was founded in September 2015 and began life as a project in conjunction with Skills Development Scotland and Scotland IS to help address the country’s shortage of software and web developers.

The company currently has 25 employees, 13 of which are instructors providing career transition training – for example, people with a non-technical degree can embark on a new career in coding.

Our ‘16-week Software Development Course’ has had 83 graduates at the time of writing, with 85% going into employment in the coding sector. We have established a network of 65 employers in Scotland ranging from start-ups, such as Make it Social and Money Dashboard, through to global organisations such as RBS and Deloitte Digital.

The course has a strong software development focus covering areas such as JavaScript, web databases, mobile technologies and object-oriented programming. You need to be over 18 to enrol on the course and students should have the right attitude, aptitude and desire to succeed. Our aspiring coders come from a wide range of backgrounds and we take the time to get to know how each applicant thinks during the application process.

Working for CodeClan

Working here is a collaborative, agile, fun and dynamic experience. Our instructors are passionate about coding and all assistant instructors come through the course and undertake placements in our employer network. This gives them an understanding of what they’re teaching is being used in the industry to solve real problems.

Our employees really like the start-up feel the company has. And there are good opportunities to go from being a student right through to becoming a fully-fledged instructor.

We also have a strong alumni support system with hackathons, industry talks and mentoring programs for graduates. Our belief is that learning should be a continuous life-long process.

Working in Scotland

Scotland’s coding sector is booming and I love being involved in it. We’re fortunate to be located next door to CodeBase in Edinburgh which is home to some of Scotland’s most exciting tech start-ups. As part of our approach to learning, we frequently ask companies to come in to give talks to our students and instructors.

There’s a good vibe and a growing tech community in Edinburgh and people can come and be at the heart of it. As part of our future plans, we will be running our first Glasgow cohort in January 2017 which will see us take on more instructors to meet demand.

Aberdeen is another city we hope to branch out to. Skills Development Scotland is providing funding for those who have lost their jobs in the oil and gas sector for retraining.

I have also been involved in developing additional courses – a one week intensive introduction to programming and the same course in the evenings spread over six to nine weeks.

Scotland is a beautiful country too – there is a lot to do outdoors and you can be in the countryside in 30 minutes from almost anywhere. A combination of the Scottish lifestyle and our renowned tech expertise has seen us attract students from as far afield as Japan.