The Education of NY Tech

General Assembly’s New Credentials Will Sort the True Talent From the Sub-Par Code Monkeys

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Hiring developers can be a nightmare. Besides a general scarcity of talent, most of the traditional indicators of skill have become virtually meaningless — simply having a B.S. in Computer Science doesn’t tell a CTO whether someone can actually code worth a damn.

General Assembly (GA), the leading code academy based in New York, is establishing a credential program from scratch that CEO Jake Schwartz hopes will set a new standard for hiring coders. In order to bring more legitimacy to the new credentials than your standard technical school faire, GA established a “consortium” of partner companies from all corners of tech, including heavyweights like GE, Paypal, Coinbase, Newscred, Medium, Glassbreakers and Relate IQ. Read More

back to school

Flatiron and General Assembly Fire Back At HappyFunCorp, Insist Their Students Get Awesome Jobs

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When we sat down with HappyFunCorp’s Ben Schippers to ask him about his new code school, he had some harsh words about competitors like Flatiron School and General Assembly (GA). By Mr. Schippers’ account, those schools aren’t preparing coders to do much more than make “another Hipchat clone.”

When we asked Mr. Schippers why these schools claim such high placement numbers, he fired back:

Well why can’t we hire them? Google can’t hire them. Where are they actually getting hired? This is what I’m constantly asking people. A lot of these programs will tell you you’re going to be able to get a job, and that’s not the reality.

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General Assembly

General Assembly Partners With Tumblr to Teach the Cool Kids to Code

The lessons are incredibly self-explanatory — enough handholding for just about anyone to make it through. (Screengrab via Dash)

Remember back in the day, when you had to jerry-rig your Myspace layout with sloppy HTML in order to stand out from the crowd? Kids these days have it so much easier.

As of this morning, General Assembly (GA) is partnering with Tumblr to offer free lessons in how to build Tumblr themes. Tumblr has always offered its mostly-young userbase themes to customize their layouts, but now Tumblr users can to dig into the actual code that drives those layouts. Read More

All the jobs

Rapper Nas Teams Up With Koru To Sponsor Even More Tech Scholarships

Nas made his fame making some of the greatest rap albums of all time — now he's making seed level investments and developing young talent. (Photo via Getty)

Rapper Nas is at it again — no, not another follow-up to Illmatic, another scholarship in tech. Nas has teamed up with job placement startup Koru to fund a scholarship for 10 college graduates to go through Koru’s training program.

Koru helps find recent college graduates a job by placing them with a potential employer and running them through a month-long career boot camp as they get started. Coaches from Koru work alongside employers like ZulilyJulep and others to build up skills like team-leading, project management and how to run a meeting. It’s an opportunity for employers to “try before they buy” potential new talent. Read More

startup rundown

Startup Rundown: Birchbox Hits the Red Carpet, And Now You Can 3-D-Print Food

Check out these sweet Birchboxes. (Birchbox)

Birchbox Hits the Red Carpet

Never ones to miss out on a culturally relevant partnership, Birchbox announced today that it’s teaming up with Us Weekly in honor of Oscar season. Launching in February, the Oscars-themed Birchbox will feature items hand-picked by Us Weekly Beauty Director Gwen Flamberg and inspired by the most popular looks on this year’s red carpets. Following the awards show, on March 2, Birchbox will be offering Oscars fanatics even more red carpet-inspired goodies in its online “Get the Look” shop. Will J. Law be for sale? Read More

Cowork With Me?

Starting 2014, General Assembly Will No Longer Offer NYC Coworking Space

Hi Coco! (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Glamour)

Turn the page on a chapter in the history of New York’s startup scene: In 2014, General Assembly will shutter its coworking offering, to focus on classes and events like hackathons and job fairs. Business Insider estimates about a hundred people are affected.

“While we’re making serious investments to grow our New York footprint, there is an almost impossible need for even more space to accommodate our classes, events, students, alumni and staff,” said CEO Jake Schwartz in a blog post explaining the move.  Read More

Out and About

While a Chalk Coco Chanel Watches Over, Glamour and the CFDA Host a Hackathon

Hi Coco! (Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Glamour)

An unusual sight greeted us when we walked into General Assembly on Saturday: a large chalk mural of Coco Chanel. “Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable,” read a quote from the designer who’d probably have more right to call herself a “disruptor” than most of the yahoos out in Silicon Valley.

“For me, the most exciting [development] is 3D printing, in terms of–if you can imagine getting custom measurements and printing your own garment, or your own shoe, or designer licensing a shape then you can download and print it,” speculated designer Rebecca Minkoff before she breezed out the door to keep her busy Fashion Week schedule. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Bloglovin’ Spreads the Love to iPads and Androids, and Bondsy Makes Bacon a Viable Currency

Bloglovin' app hits iPads and Androids this week.

Happy Cloud is making it rain Last week, on-demand gaming company Happy Cloud, Inc. announced it had raised a $4.25 million Series A, bringing its total funds to $7 million. The company is now preparing to deliver on-demand videogame demos to avid gamers, in the same way they might access on-demand TV shows or movies. Happy Cloud has also appointed Tamir Buchler to CEO; Mr. Buchler comes to Happy Cloud from IAC/InterActiveCorps’ Pronto.com. 

Bondsy is making a deal Showcased at last year’s TechStars Demo Day, unique trading app Bondsy is ready for download. Bondsy allows users to trade one random thing for another: homework help for bacon; cool clothes for a back massage; One Direction tickets for a first-born child. “When you’re not restricted to paying strictly with money, things get a lot more interesting,” said a Bondsy spokesperson. We hear the apps’ creator, Diego Zambrano, posted a homemade poutine to Bondsy and received nine offers in 30 minutes. What would you trade for a pile of fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds?  Read More