We ask CEOs: would you hire a coding school grad?


With several coding bootcamps and academies pumping out new “ready for hire” programmers, startup CEOs might be faced with a common scenario. Should a CEO hire a fresh graduate with a nine-week coding bootcamp certificate in hand or pay a lot more for an experienced developer?

Schools like DecodeMTL, Lighthouse Labs and Le Wagon all offer intensive, full-time bootcamps that prepare front-end coders for jobs.

We asked several local startup CEOs: would you hire a coding school graduate to work at your startup?

Craig Buntin, CEO, SportlogiQ: Doesn’t matter where they came from

Coding school

“We recently hired a candidate who had not finished high school. He’s incredibly smart, tears through difficult problems and fits in really well with the team. The education level of our employees ranges from this to individuals with multiple PhD’s.

Point being, if a person is exceptionally smart/motivated/enthusiastic/curious/hard working, I personally couldn’t care less what exact education they have. They could very well come from the school of hard knocks, and they’d have a welcome seat.”

Jeffrey Dungen, CEO, reelyActive: Coding school doesn’t prove they’re startup-ready

Coding School

“I’ve explored hiring coding school grads, especially if their final project resembled something we were working on. But it never worked out that we hired one.

It depends more on the person than the fact they attended a coding school. Intense coding schools should do a pretty good job of overwhelming the students and seeing if they can cope. It’s a decent test for startup-preparedness, but doesn’t prove that they’re multi-skilled (outside programming) which is pretty f—ing important for startup success!”

Francois Poirier, CEO, MakerBloks: I would, but it depends on the individual

Coding School

“I would hire a coding school grad but not as a first hire or maybe even second. I would need to have someone very experienced in place to supervise the work. But since I assume those grads are much cheaper to hire, it might be worth it as an addition to an existing team.

I can’t say if grads are prepared to work at a startup and I don’t have a clear knowing of what they know coming out of it.

And since I’m not a coder myself, I can’t even make assumptions. My feeling is it would depend on individuals. I’ve heard some people want to learn to code because people pay a lot for a coder (which is definitely not a startup mentality). But if people want to learn to code to add to their experience, allowing them to prototype faster and cheaper, then yes, this would be the right mentality.”

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