In recent years, non-traditional tech training programs have popped up all over the United States. Boot camps for coders are considered by many to be the perfect solution to fill supply and demand issues with developers. Awesome Inc., a boot camp in Lexington, KY, is teaching people from all backgrounds the basics of coding.

Justin Hall, the lead instructor for Awesome Inc., said the process of learning to code requires a leap of faith.
“It’s kinda like standing on a cliff and jumping and then learning how to claw your way back up to the top and doing it again and again for each new skill you learn”, Hall said.

From former coal miners to chefs and musicians, people from various backgrounds are attending boot camps to become junior developers. Jonathan Grub graduated from Awesome Inc. two-years ago and is now working as a developer for Schedule It, a software company in Elizabethtown, KY. Grubb used to work as a car mechanic but decided to follow in his brother’s footsteps and pursue software development. With the help of counselors from Awesome Inc., he was able to land a job after graduation.

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“Once you have a track record and you’ve learned how the system works and how development itself works, it’s just the in’s and outs and all the little things you need to know”, Grubb said.

While many people enter boot camps after spending years in another profession, some are sent by their current employers as a way to fill a higher level position from within. Justin Hall believes upskilling results in a win-win situation. “The employee already knows your company, they know your products and services and in a way, you are giving them an upgrade and it’s advantageous to capitalize on that expertise”.

Awesome Inc advertises that 100% of their graduates are eventually hired. Hall says they’re seeing strong demand from the integration side. “That’s the majority of the work right now in the industry is not only creating websites but the apps that provide information for experiences for AR and VR”.

Glassdoor estimates the average salary for junior developers to be approximately $65,000 per year.