Coworking space Galvanize
launched its much anticipated gSchool
on Jan. 28 with the first class in a six-month, 40-hour-a-week Ruby on Rails program.
There were 24 students enrolled in the class. About half were local and half were from out of town, including students from New York and Ireland. Six of the students are women. "In the coding world, 25 percent is pretty good," says Galvanize Managing Director of Venture Capital Chris Onan.
"The vibe is great," says Onan. "The whole building is excited." And with good reason, he adds. "We've got 56 companies here. About 40 of them need a web developer."
Tuition for gSchool, which is a co-production of Galvanize and Washington, D.C.-based JumpstartLab
, is $20,000. Students can pay $5,000 up front and pay the rest in installments. Galvanize also guarantees graduates will land a job in the West that pays $60,000 if they hit certain benchmarks. Future courses will cover UI and mobile development.
Ron Rateau came from New York to attend gSchool, choosing it after comparing several programs. His early review is positive, with a catch. "It's been intense," he says. "The hours are definitely long."
Another student, Chris Knight, is from Denver and has no programming experience. A big selling point: the aforementioned job guarantee. "My goal is to get a creative job in Denver," he says.
"I always knew the curriculum side would be a cornerstone," says Galvanize Managing Director and Founder Jim Deters. "You've got to be able to funnel your own talent and you need talent to grow."
Recently relocating from Seattle to Denver, Frank Weber is teaching the Ruby course and one of four full-time gSchool instructors. "I wanted to see what it would be to teach full-time," he says.
Weber's take on Denver after a month: "I like the sunshine."