CodeClan’s success will have lasting impact on Scotland’s tech sector

CodeClan’s CEO Harvey Wheaton looks back on a year of successes as we celebrate our first birthday and prepare for our inaugural Glasgow course.

When I initially heard about plans to start up Scotland’s first accredited digital skills academy back in 2015, I was convinced there was an opportunity to do something with a lasting impact on Scotland’s digital sector.

Even I wasn’t prepared for how much we’d achieve in just 12 months.

What we’ve achieved

What a year it’s been! In the time between fitting out our space on Castle Terrace to this week’s party preparations, more than 150 students have embarked on our 16-week software development course.

Fitting out CodeClan

We’ve also formed partnerships with 80 technology businesses in Scotland, from start-ups to high-street banks.

Most rewardingly, 90% of our completed students have gone into employment within six months of graduating, and 50% of those are placed within six weeks.

What I’ve relished most about the experience so far has been a staggering rate of progress shown by our students. It’s been a privilege to witness so many students from a variety of career backgrounds embrace coding and go on to excel in demanding digital roles.

CodeClan students learning in classroom

In our first year, we’ve also launched several shorter, part-time courses for professionals and novice coders. Our Python and Intro to Programming courses are already under way, with several more due to begin in early 2017.

The core theme is teaching people who don’t code to code and this is also reflected in our new Coding for Professionals course. We ran a hugely successful pilot of this for 12 lawyers from our legal firm in October and have our first public version in December.

Glasgow 2017

From the outset, CodeClan’s mission has been to close Scotland’s digital skills gap, not just Edinburgh’s. That’s why we’re so excited to be forging ahead with plans to run our 16-week software development course in Glasgow.

Our first cohort on the Clyde starts in January at The Tontine, Glasgow’s high-tech acceleration and growth space.

Our Glasgow students’ prospects are already looking positive, with a number of exciting Employer Partners already lined up across Greater Glasgow.

Future challenges

Looking forward, the challenges are still significant. During the last 12 months, we’ve quoted the “11,000 jobs” figure a lot – that’s the number of qualified people we need to close Scotland’s digital skills gap. That number is still out there, and it’s set to increase by around 200 every year.

Unless we do something about it.

That’s why our collective commitment to skills acquisition is so essential to building a high-performance digital economy in Scotland.

We’ve worked hard and we’ve been humbled by the talent, creativity and innovation shown by our students, staff (from the instructors through to support staff) and Employer Partners.

But we can’t afford to rest on our laurels. 2017 is going to be a critical year in the growth of Scotland’s digital economy, and for CodeClan.

We’re looking forward to embracing the challenges the year brings and we’re determined to continue making a substantial impact on Scotland’s technology sector.

Watch Harvey discuss CodeClan’s first birthday and plans for 2017:

Follow Harvey on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Find out more about our courses.