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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

Ashe Segovia is a Staff Writer at The American Genius with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Southwestern University. A huge film nerd with a passion for acting and 80’s movies and synthpop; the pop-cultural references are never-ending.

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Dittach: Chrome extension keeps your Gmail files ultra organized

(PRODUCTIVITY) Reclaim your time with Dittach and quit digging through Gmail files for that needle in the haystack.

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So, have you ever been sent a picture of something in your Gmail and lost it for a few weeks? What about a copy of a form you need to sign? What about a document for your boss? If you’re sharing a lot of files in your Gmail, you may have a hard time keeping track of it all.

That’s where Dittach hopes to get back a bit of your time.

It’s a free Chrome extension that works with your Gmail to help organize those attachments in a way that’s a lot more efficient than the built-in filter – especially if you have thousands of emails in your Gmail.

The attachment adds a side bar to your inbox and displays thumbnails of the files you’ve received and sent, and that includes documents, audio, and video (most images of the sidebar sort by other, photos, docs, pdfs, movies, and music). There’s a date scroller to help you go through dates, and it even works with your search bar. And of course, you can then forward, download, print, or view the message that is attached.

Dittach captures the key elements of a good productivity app – it’s both incredibly intuitive to use, and it addresses a productivity need by creating time.

The applications of this software are vast if you use Gmail to manage your life, business, life + business, business + side gig + other gig + shopping addiction, or whatever permutation works for your life. If you have any privacy concerns: Dittach doesn’t make any changes to your account, emails, or attachments, and the extension can be removed anytime.

The biggest concern with Dittach actually comes from Google itself – it’s limited to how many attachments it can index every day, so older attachments may not appear initially during that first day – so if you have a lot of older stuff it may not capture them. The app is also in beta, so you may have some bugs with the experience, but it looks very promising. At the time of my review, the feature isn’t working due to a transition, but is expected to be back up soon.

Dittach ultimately is a great Gmail addition if you find yourself handling a great deal of attachments and need a way to quickly find them. Beyond business, I could see the applications of this for graduate students, working professionals, or even digitally connected families. There’s a lot of promise here, if you have the need – so if you use Chrome and Gmail – get Dittached from time wasting (when it’s available, of course).

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FCC Chairman confirms fears, jokes about being a Verizon shill

(TECH NEWS) FCC Chairman Ajit Pai jokes about being a shill for Verizon, feeding into what many suspected when he was appointed.

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Leaked video shows FCC Chairman Ajit Pai joking about being a shill for Verizon, as we all suspected when he was nominated. Last week Pai was a speaker at the Federal Communications Bar Association, an event similar to the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Major telecom companies and the FCC gather at this annual event for dinner, mingling, and enduring awkward political policy jokes. At the event, Pai roasted himself about major headlines from the past year, like his decision to kill net neutrality against the wishes of the majority of the nation. Hilarious.

Pai also brought up the whole thing where he refused to cooperate with an investigation into the validity of comments filed in support of ending net neutrality.

Although cameras weren’t officially present at the event, someone surreptitiously filmed and sent the clip to Gizmodo. The kicker comes around twenty minutes into Pai’s speech when he jokes, “in collusion—I mean, in conclusion, sorry, my bad—many people are still shell-shocked that I’m up here tonight.”

He goes on, “they ask themselves, how on earth did this happen? Well, moments before tonight’s dinner, somebody leaked a fourteen-year-old video that helps answer that question, and in all candor, I can no longer hide from the truth.”

Pai then starts a video, which opens with 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” playing in the background. This is the only thing I’ll give him points for on this amateur drama class project.

The skit is set in 2003 at “Verizon’s DC Office”, when Pai was an attorney for the company. In the video, Kathy Grillo, current Verizon senior VP and deputy general counsel, tells Pai, “As you know, the FCC is captured by the industry, but we think it’s not captured enough, so we have a plan.”

“What plan?” Pai asks. Grillo tells him, “We want to brainwash and groom a Verizon puppet to install as FCC chairman. Think ‘Manchurian Candidate.’” To which Pai responds, “That sounds awesome!”

Gizmodo posted the video on Friday after the dinner, and the internet exploded with reactions to Pai’s gag. Reddit in particular went nuts, to the point that one thread in r/technology was locked—as in no one else can comment—for “too much violence.”

In a thread on the r/television subreddit, a moderator reminds users, “please refrain from encouraging or inciting violence or posting personal information […] don’t post anything inviting harassment, don’t harass, and don’t cheer on or upvote obvious vigilantism.”

While some of the threads were full of awful remarks, other posters commented in the spirit of reasonable conversation. The general sentiment of those engaged in non-harassing discussions is that Pai is a symptom, not the cause of FCC’s problems.

However, many argued that the video showed Pai’s willingness to bend (then joke about) FCC regulations indicates he’s not a puppet so much as a willing participant in corruption. Pai’s appointment to FCC Chairman was suspicious from the beginning considering his ties to Verizon.

Although Pai is obviously joking in the leaked video, the general public isn’t find it nearly as funny as those at the dinner.

Check out the clip for some cringe-worthy digs at net neutrality and have fun questioning the integrity of the FCC.

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Tech News

FCC Grinches plan to steal poor peoples’ Internet access

(TECH NEWS) Merry Christmas! The FCC is trying to take away poor people’s Internet access, pointing the finger one way to distract you from the other.

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In case anybody with enough bandwidth to read this wasn’t sufficiently terrified by the FCC’s ongoing campaign to break the internet by dismantling net neutrality, the nation’s communication authority has kindly provided another reason for any digital-enabled American to expatriate and/or secede.

The FCC’s most recent reform proposal proposes to reform the absolute Hell out of Lifeline, the $2.25 billion program to provide low-income Americans with broadband Internet access. Also, phones. The Lifeline Program has been doing its job since 1985, when noted socialist firebrand Ronald Reagan instituted it to subsidize phone service in underprivileged communities. It was expanded to include broadband Internet access in 2016, and right now 12 million households benefit from Lifeline-subsidized phone and Internet access.

That’s apparently a problem.

The FCC’s stated concern is that the General Accounting Office recently found $1.2 million of the $2.25 billion Lifeline budget was being used fraudulently. Fraud is bad! But in case you don’t have your TI-85 handy, that’s less than a tenth of 1 percent. That is not very much fraud. Not enough to nix an entire program, at least.

The greater concern, as usual, appears to be about profit. Under the current Lifeline guidelines, many subsidized companies are small ISPs and resellers providing access to third-party networks. Often, these services are the only Internet access available in rural areas, tribal lands, and other underserved communities.

That doesn’t work for Commissioner Pai.

Earlier this year, Pai used “delegated authority,” the FCC’s version of executive orders, to bypass oversight and personally rescind subsidy access from 9 ISPs providing services to rural areas and tribal lands.

These reforms continue that trend. They ban subsidies for no-cost Internet service, which is the business model of 70% of current Lifeline subsidy recipients. It is notably not the business model of large ISPs that rhyme with Buhrizon. I’m sure that’s a coincidence.

They also impose an absolute budget cap, meaning that millions of poor households could lose their Internet access, and the increased opportunities for education and employment that come with it, if someone in a comfy office a thousand miles away effs up the accounting.

In short, it sucks.

The proposed reforms to the Lifeline Project are another example of the FCC, deliberately or through negligence, rigging the market in favor of major conglomerates at the expense of consumers, small businesses and the general public.

Lifeline isn’t perfect, but it’s doing its job. Whether the same can be said for Ajit Pai’s FCC is, at best, an open question.

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