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Two top national coding schools close within days of each other

(TECH NEWS) Despite growing popularity of coding schools, recent closures are beginning to stir up questions regarding the sustainability of the business model.

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We regret to inform

Coding bootcamps these days are a hot commodity, especially among those looking for an alternate pipeline into the world of software development and an above average salary. It’s the golden ticket out of working in call centers and waiting tables; it’s a game changer.

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According to the latest Course Report, coding schools are expected to grow by more than 50%, however, earlier this week two well-known national coding bootcamps closed within days of each other.

Is this a premonition of what’s to come or are these simply isolated incidents?

We shall never see their like again

On July 12th Dev Boot Camp, one of the original pioneers of the bootcamp industry, announced the closure of all campuses on Facebook.

Their remaining cohorts will finish out the rest of their term and graduate in December. After which, DBC will close their doors forever.

Yesterday, The Iron Yard issued a similar statement, though not quite as telling.

Both schools ranked within the top 30 code schools in the world so you really can’t help but wonder, what’s going on?

Thinkful’s CEO and co-founder Darrell Silver expressed his sentiments surrounding Dev Bootcamp’s announcement: “[they] failed because it was acquired too early…. [i]f Kaplan had made the acquisition five or ten years later DBC would have had the chances to work this stuff out on its own dime and oversight.”

Dev Bootcamp lamented since opening in 2012 they have been striving to find a viable business model that would enable them to further their vision of high-quality, immersive coding training that is broadly accessible to a diverse population.

On top of the critical day-to-day costs of running their many campuses, they couldn’t make ends meet.

Ultimately, they were not able to find a sustainable model that would not compromise on any of those fronts.

Staying sustainable

Sources tell us that many schools operate at a loss with hopes of a future turnaround.

Luke Filipos, Founder and CEO of Austin Coding Academy expressed his take on the recent closures to AG:

“The whole coding bootcamp movement started, I think, because people were unsatisfied with the current college model — pay a bunch of money to go to a full time school and maybe get a job that can pay off the school debt.”

The Austin Coding Academy has a more flexible model than most bootcamps, offering three leveled 10-week courses spread out over a period of nine months (rather than being crammed into a 5-6 week period) and held in the evenings so students don’t have to quit their jobs to attend.

For Filipos, the full-time immersive model of most code bootcamps is simply not sustainable.

In regards to their own operating methods: “all of these things contribute to more accessible classes, lower tuition, more well-rounded graduates, and ultimately a healthier business.”

Ballooning market

With the rise in popularity to take the coding crash courses (ranging anywhere from $2,000 – $21,000), more and more bootcamps are popping up around the nation; Austin, for example, has at least sixteen.

Well, Austin had sixteen.

The market is becoming oversaturated with the different coding schools available and eventual consolidation is to be expected.

Dev Bootcamp and The Iron Yard won’t be the only two camps to close shop this year. Many believe the only long-term winners will be smaller independents operating in only one or two cities and some of the well-funded national chains with deep pockets that are backed by major universities.

Game over?

It’s a saturated industry, not only in the number of coding schools but the number of graduates searching for the junior web developer jobs as well. And none of this accounts for the instructor jobs created then destroyed by these closings.

What do these closures say to anyone interested in attending the bootcamps? Are web dev jobs just another flavor of the month? Does this make for questionable post-secondary education?

Only time will tell.

#byebyebootcamp

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Time is money and Clockify helps you make the most

(TECH NEWS) Tracking your time worked as a freelancer can easily be lost in the shuffle. A new tool has been designed to make this important aspect easier.

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After years of searching for a method that works for me in terms of organization and productivity, the answer seemed to be simple: a calendar I can write on and Post-It notes. This method is a little old school, but seems to get the job done for my organizational needs.

However, there are some things that slip through the cracks with this method, but it’s more user error than it is the actual practice. One thing I struggle with is keeping track of my freelance hours this way.

I have a tendency to guesstimate how much time I worked throughout the day and know that I wind up underdocumenting my hours. I would hate to know how much money I’ve missed out on keeping (sometimes inaccurate) handwritten notes.

But, like many other small scale issues, there is a simple solution. And that is found in the form of time trackers.

One of the newest members to join the online time tracker team is Clockify, who operates under the idea of “your time, your rules.” It is a free time tracking tool designed for agencies and freelancers.

Clockify allows users to manage as many team members, projects, and workspaces that you need in an effort to help your business run smoothly. This allows for a complete overview of team productivity.

The tool offers a way to enter time manually as well as clock time automatically. This way you can keep tabs on what you’re working on and assign and label time logs to the appropriate clients.

With this time tracking, you are able to generate weekly, monthly, and annual reports at any given time. These reports can be saved, exported, and shared with clients to give them more information about your work process.

The real-time tracking helps to improve business efficiency and gives more insight into what each team member is spending their time on. Having this information available can give visual representation of how to improve in the future.

Clockify currently exists in desktop format with iOS and Android apps coming soon.

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Russia vetoed cryptocurrency and came back with CryptoRuble

(TECH NEWS) Russia put a hard pass on other cryptocurrencies in their country so that they could hop in the crypto-game with their own CryptoRuble.

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Just days after The American Genius reported that the Russian Central Bank would attempt to block access to cryptocurrency trading cites, the Coin Telegraph has reported that the Russian government will issue its very own cryptocurrency, the CryptoRuble.

The report cited local Russian papers, who quoted the minister of communications, Nikolay Nikiforov.

Earlier this week, head of the Central Bank, Sergei Shvetsov, said that he would work with the Prosecutor General’s Office to ban Russian citizens from accessing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, calling such currencies a “negative phenomena for our markets” and a “pyramid scheme.”

Now it appears that the Kremlin will create its own cryptocurrency – one it can keep an eye on — which, some might argue, defeats the entire purpose of cryptocurrency.

However, like other cryptocurrencies the CryptoRuble will be based on blockchain and will presumably help prevent online fraud.

CryptoRubles will be exchangeable with regular Rubles, although the systems of exchange have not yet been set up. Experts think that Russia is hoping to stimulate e-commerce without the need for foreign money markets, which will allow them to have more independence from the United States.

According to Nikiforov, the Russian government is setting up its own cryptocurrency under the assumption that if they don’t, other European governments will.

Said NIkiforov, “I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after two months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.”

Traders using CryptoRubles will be asked to provide documentation of retail transactions and services rendered – or pay a 13 percent tax for undocumented transactions, leaving a wide loophole for money laundering.

Critics say that Russia is trying to facilitate, while also profiting from money laundering; that the Kremlin is stealing the market from other cryptocurrencies; and that the CryptoRuble fundamentally defies the spirit of decentralization that inspired other cryptocurrencies.

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Microsoft’s overseas email storage piqued the Supreme Court’s interest

(TECH NEWS) Microsoft has been in a pretty large dispute about storing user emails abroad and the Supreme Court has taken an interest in it.

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The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear a case that will decide whether or not U.S. law enforcement officials can force tech companies to turn over emails and data stored in overseas servers.

The case will review a lower court decision made in 2013 after federal officials attempted to obtain emails from Microsoft that would provide evidence for drug trafficking cases.

At that time, Microsoft refused to comply with the government, even though they had a warrant, instead taking the case to court, claiming that the U.S. government did not have the right to access data stored in servers in Ireland.

The court of appeals ruled in favor of Microsoft, citing a 1986 digital privacy law that allows law enforcement to obtain warrants for electronic communications, but not if the data is stored outside of the United States.

Judge Susan Carney said of the law, “Neither explicitly nor implicitly does the statue envision the application of its warrant provisions overseas.”

The Trump Administration and the Justice Department say that this ruling has majorly blocked efforts to prosecute criminals.

“Under this opinion, hundreds if not thousands of investigations of crimes — ranging from terrorism, to child pornography, to fraud — are being or will be hampered by the government’s inability to obtain electronic evidence,” said Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall.

Because Microsoft stores data and communications closest to the user’s location, Wall said that the lower court’s decision made it all too easy for terrorists and other criminals to hide their communications by claiming to live in a foreign country when signing up for an account.

Microsoft argues that, instead of handing this decision over to the Supreme Court, legislators should update the 1986 law.

“The current laws were written for the era of the floppy disk, not the world of the cloud.” wrote Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith in a blog.

“We believe that rather than arguing over an old law in court, it is time for Congress to act by passing new legislation.”

In Congress, Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) are pushing for just such an update with a piece of legislation called the Stored Communications Act.

Microsoft further argued that allowing U.S. law enforcement to obtain data from other countries was an “incursion” on those nations’ sovereignty, which would make U.S. citizens more vulnerable to foreign governments.

“If U.S. law enforcement can obtain the emails of foreigners stored outside the United States, what’s to stop the government of another country from getting your emails even though they are located in the United States?” said Smith.

The Justice Department says that, along with Microsoft, Google, Verizon, and Yahoo have all stopped complying with search warrants since the lower court’s decision.

The Supreme Court will hear the case early in 2018 and hope to have a decision by June.

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