The association for the people and businesses of Sheffield's digital industries.

talent 23, a year of talent and skills

a year of talent and skills

Introducing The Developer Academy

Ben Atha from MilkLab Media is creating a new kind of educational experience for training web developers.

The Developer Academy is a new flexible training programme for anyone to learn software and web development, designed to fit around existing work commitments – all in Sheffield.

What is The Developer Academy?

The Developer Academy is founded by Ben Atha, Director of Milklab Media. The programme combines face-to-face, instructor-led group sessions with online modules. Group sessions are held on evenings and weekends and online modules can be completed at a time and pace that suits each student.

The training is designed for those already with jobs, who are looking to retrain in their own time, in the field of software and web development. Membership fees are comparatively lower than most bootcamps and some online-only courses. Charged on a monthly basis, students have the advantage of being able to stop and restart their membership if their circumstances change.

The Developer Academy states it will not judge applicants by their previous education, work experience, gender or age. The Academy is committed to increasing diversity in the tech sector and has recently secured sponsorship to provide three free spaces for women on its ‘Introduction to Web Development’ course.

Students with no experience will learn to be industry-ready junior software developers or web developers, learning topics such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python, DevOps, Problem Solving, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Sprints etc. Those students who are already in the industry will be able to upskill or retrain.

Giving people the right skills

Ben is the Owner Director of Milklab Media, an experience design company that is heavily reliant on the use of AR, VR, AI, and the digital development skills that underpin them. He sees and understands the difficulty many digital businesses face in finding employees with the right skills – a growing problem locally and throughout the UK.

The Developer Academy team is well connected in the city’s digital community, and has committed to building modules around the coding skills that local tech employers are looking for. In addition, course instructors provide careers advice and support, helping students to build a relevant and impressive portfolio of work.

Having initially pursued a career in marketing after leaving school, Ben retrained in his own time in order to pursue his ambition to start a business.

He explains his decision to start The Developer Academy:

”From my own experience, I know that people are in jobs they don’t enjoy but are held back from retraining due to educational or financial reasons.

“The structure of our fees, membership and learning schedules are designed to be flexible, without the long term, upfront commitments that can deter people from retraining. Crucially, our course content is built around the requirements of local tech firms, setting our students up for successful careers.”

Support the Academy

The Developer Academy is now looking for a diverse group of instructors and/or mentors to facilitate learning and to support students. They are also looking for local businesses who would like to provide talks, work placements, work experience, interviews, and any other support.

For more information and to get involved, you can email or call 07748 063791.