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California Tech Startups Paying Top Salaries to Web Developers during Workforce Shortage
Nationally, LA and Orange County are among the hardest hit regions of the web developer shortage crisis. As a result, young web developers with the right training are acquiring $65,000 per year or more without a degree - Thi Nguyen, OC Web Developer
The problem lies with the fact that software engineering programs of traditional learning institutions (like four-year universities)
So in an effort to attract and retain current talent, employers are partnering with smaller-scale coding bootcamps whose developer training programs are much shorter: as short as 9-12 weeks. These bootcamps typically teach in work-simulated environments and teach the most current programming and coding technologies available to date. The advent of coding bootcamps around the nation has enjoyed immense success producing qualified web developers to meet industry demands. Many of these bootcamps started up within the past few years in major cities in California, Washington, Florida, New York and Massachusetts.
Recent bootcamp graduates from all over California report gaining employment in entry-level to intermediate web developer positions in as little as one month from graduation. Many of these graduates who find work in technological hubs like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orange County routinely report making $65,000 their first year on the job, with a significant segment reporting even higher salaries.
"The large salaries being offered to junior web developers right now is, frankly, unheard of," said Farzad Aziminia, a front-end web developer for LearningFuze, a web development bootcamp in Irvine, CA. "But it makes sense because with such short supply and such great demand (of web developers) in California, supply gains a premium. That's why you see local tech companies paying $10,000-20,000 more per year more than what developers' salaries were just five or six years ago."
This has led to an unprecedented opportunity for people determining what career path to take and which educational road to travel, according to Matt Kenefick. At age 18, Kenefic became disillusioned with the slow learning process and dated information he received while studying in college. He dropped out after just a couple weeks and then devoted all his time to learning how to code. "Nobody really cares about your education in this field -- it's 'Can you do it, or can you not?'" Kenefick, now 25, is earning more than six figures, even with only a high school diploma. "Now, when I interview people and they list ‘schooling’
Kenefick isn't the only success story out there representing web developers who didn't go to college to learn their trade: according to US Census data, nearly 40% of the nation's web developers don't have a four-year degree – and that number is growing. Still, Kenefick and others like him are different from most people in that he possesses an amazing, innate drive to follow his instincts and excel. For anyone to completely self-teach simply by reading coding books as he did is nothing short of incredible, as many programming languages are complex and typically require an instructor to mentor the learning process.
Perhaps the most prestigious coding bootcamp in California is San Francisco-based HackReactor, where 99% of graduates gain employment within six months of completion of their 12 week program. In Northern California, there are actually more than a dozen coding bootcamps that have started with aims to meet the demands of the local employers in the tech hub of Silicon Valley – Coding Dojo, Dev Bootcamp, and Hackbright Academy, to name a few.
Interestingly, though, Southern California proportionally still lacks the number of coding bootcamps to sustain the workforce demands of the Los Angeles and Orange County region (which has become Southern California's version of Silicon Valley, due to the increasing growth of its numerous tech firms and start-ups).
Thus far, LearningFuze Web Development Training Academy, in Irvine, CA, is the only established, stand-alone coding bootcamp in Orange County. LearningFuze's 12 week full-immersion web development coding bootcamp is full-time and offered every eight weeks with the next term starting October 20, 2014. Several scholarships and early registration discounts are available to new students via their website.
Still, for some people, inspiration and enthusiasm turn to anxiety when they see the price tag of a coding bootcamp program. "You get what you pay for in this and just about any industry, really." said Bill Cunningham, Director of Operations at LearningFuze. "We try really hard to accommodate students’ financial needs, though: we offer scholarships and discounts worth thousands of dollars and have several financing options available. We do our best to explain to prospective students who display apprehension over the cost of the program that taking a 12 week training sabbatical in a high demand industry such as this one, is, simply put, an amazing investment opportunity...one of the best of the past decade."
Listed Coding Bootcamps
LearningFuze Web Development Training Academy
9080 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, CA, 92618 (949) 679-7699
465 Fairchild Dr., Mountain View, CA 94043 (650) 691-5012
633 Folsom St., 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107 Ph. N/A
683 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94109 Ph. N/A