Sponsor spotlight: Northcoders

Northcoders is a made-in-the-North start-up whose mission is to give people the best possible start to a career in coding and to match them with Northern companies looking to identify top software engineering potential.

Their main offering is Accelerate, a 12 week coding bootcamp designed to teach all the skills needed to succeed as an entry-level software developer and to build a career in software engineering. They also run Ignite, which is an introduction to programming in JavaScript, run over a series of 4 evenings.

Northcoders has been running courses in Manchester since April 2016 to help support businesses across the North. Now, Northcoders are seeking to focus on helping Sheffield’s local businesses succeed through the developer talent they supply. By the end of July, 75 people will have successfully graduated from the programme. Recent students have included people who are mid-career and looking for a change, school leavers, recent graduates and those looking to embark on a new career after having children. There are no age limits. Northcoders is also committed to encouraging women into software careers – they granted nine full scholarships to women in 2016 and are continuing to offer scholarships this year.

Northcoders was set up by Chris Hill and James Brooke. Chris’ background is as a Node.js developer at Sky Betting and Gaming, whilst James was a freelance software engineer. Both of them remain very hands-on, working with the students and with partner businesses.

“Northcoders is not just a bootcamp – our graduates have skills well beyond what is usually expected for an entry-level software developer,” Chris explains. “As well as providing people with a solid foundation in software development, we help them find a job once they graduate. That includes helping them to perfect their CV, plus interview training and tech test practices right through to introductions to companies that are hiring. We tailor all our post-course support to each individual, because it’s extremely important to us that we match students with the employers who are most likely to value them and where they are most likely to feel fulfilled in their jobs. We forge strong relationships with tech businesses in the North to match their skills needs with the talent coming through our programmes.”

Northcoders also provides training support for companies; for example, by providing in-house bootcamps as part of the induction process or by tailoring bespoke courses to develop existing talent.

As part of its aim to give a wide range of people the best possible start in a coding career, Northcoders are very selective about who they accept onto Accelerate. “We want people to succeed and we want to make sure they are well prepared for what a job in tech involves,” says Chris.

As Northcoders continue the process of expanding their offering to Sheffield, Chris is looking to have conversations with Sheffield tech businesses who might be interested in taking on Accelerate graduates. More information about becoming a Northcoders’ Hiring Partner can be found here.