September 7, 2018

From S.F. to N.H.: New school aims to train software engineers

The Holberton School, a San Francisco-based "college alternative" for students pursuing careers in software engineering, has announced plans to partner with the District Innovation and Venture Center (DIVC), a new non-profit created by the District New Haven co-working space.

Scheduled to accept students in January 2019, Holberton New Haven will offer a two-year curriculum to software engineering students without charging upfront tuition. Students pay once they get a job.

Students from the Holberton San Francisco campus are regularly employed at top-tier companies such as Apple, NASA, LinkedIn, Facebook, Dropbox, Tesla and more, according to the school.

Said Julien Barbier, Holberton's co-founder and CEO: "With no upfront tuition, a blind admissions process, and an educational method relying on collaboration and self-learning, Holberton is taking a different, more effective path. We are excited to partner with local leadership here in Connecticut to open doors to high-wage software engineering jobs."

"Today's universities need to do more to attract students from all walks of life," Barbier added.

In lieu of up-front tuition, Holberton graduates who secure employment agree to pay 17 percent of their salary to the school for three years. The payments are not to exceed 17 percent of $85,000, or $14,450, according to school spokesperson Joe Eckert.

The school says it will not judge applicants on the basis of their previous education, work experience, gender or age. Holberton's blind application process seeks to identify intelligent, motivated people with a will to succeed. Current students range from ages 18 to 58, more than half are people of color, and 35 percent are women, according to the school.

The venture will enable Connecticut to double the number of locally-based software engineer graduates in just a few years, bringing experienced, qualified and diverse talent to the fastest growing field in Connecticut, according to the state's Department of Labor. The school is currently in the approval process to operate in Connecticut with the intention of opening in January.

Reach Michael C. Bingham at mbingham@newhavenbiz.com

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