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New School Learning
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.
You may not recognize the name, but HappyFunCorp is one of the top product engineering firms in New York, and has laid down code for a corporate A-list that includes AOL, Bloomberg, AmEx and LinkedIn. With his competition consolidating and a booming economy for new apps, HappyFunCorp cofounder Ben Schippers is in a position to place plenty of young engineers in lucrative tech jobs.
The trouble is, he can’t hire anyone. You’d think the glut of NYC coding schools like General Assembly, Flatiron and App Academy would be cranking out capable product engineers, but Mr. Schippers says those school don’t prepare students to survive in the startup world.
There’s a growing pool of high paying tech jobs and never enough decent talent to fill them. Here in New York City, if you majored in Psychology or Art History and aren’t thrilled with how that’s going financially — looking to pivot, as they say — you can attend one of many coding schools for a quick intensive. Now, there’s yet another school vying for NYC’s tech hopefuls.
HappyFunCorp, a real software engineering firm with real offices in Brooklyn, is opening a front-end coding school called HappyFunAcademy. The name doesn’t have the same maker-y vibe as General Assembly or Flatiron School, but HappyFunCorp is betting that its impressive list of clients and promise of hands-on experience will “up your command line game,” as their site says.