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Coding Dojo adds full-stack Java developer course, drops Rails

Programming boot camp Coding Dojo has abandoned its Ruby on Rails training courses and launched higher-demand, full-stack Java developer courses for job seekers.

Citing a decrease in both job demand and demand from students, Coding Dojo, a coding boot camp, said it is dropping its Ruby on Rails courses and is adding a full-stack Java developer course instead.

Speros Misirlakis, head of curriculum at Coding Dojo, told TechTarget that the company is removing Ruby on Rails and other courses from certain Coding Dojo locations where research showed a smaller job demand for those skills.

Specifically, for Ruby on Rails, Coding Dojo is removing it from all of its campuses and online curriculum by the end of this year, he said.

The situation with Ruby isn't surprising, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

"Despite Ruby's ease of use and value as a teaching tool, its error testing, scalability and speed limitations -- especially in larger, more complex projects -- have resulted in many businesses cutting back their use of Ruby or abandoning it entirely," he said.

"Initially, Rails was really hot," Misirlakis noted. "Back when I started with Coding Dojo, it was the thing to know. There were a ton of job opportunities out there. And it still is a great technology to use for building something from scratch really fast. It's still a great framework, but we've found that today it's no longer as popular as it's been in the past in the locations we are in."

Instead, Java, Python and C# are in higher demand in areas where Coding Dojo is located: Seattle; San Jose, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; Berkeley, Calif.; Costa Mesa, Calif.; Chicago; and Dallas.

"We feel we serve our students better by teaching them technologies that are most relevant in the areas where they are attending Coding Dojo," Misirlakis said.

Misirlakis said the curriculum changes will open new full-stack Java developer job prospects for Coding Dojo graduates by providing them with skills in demand in their current developer job market.

Enter Java

Java, perhaps the most popular programming language around, is one of those key skills, Misirlakis said. The language is used in Android development and resides on the back end of companies such as LinkedIn, Google, Amazon and a host of others. According to a recent Coding Dojo analysis, Java was one of the top two most in-demand programming languages in 10 major U.S. cities -- highlighting the need for a full-stack Java developer course.

Java is the most heavily used programming language in the world, and our research shows a strong job demand for Java developers nationwide. Yet, Java is not commonly available from coding boot camps.
Speros MisirlakisHead of curriculum at Coding Dojo

"Java is the most heavily used programming language in the world, and our research shows a strong job demand for Java developers nationwide. Yet, Java is not commonly available from coding boot camps," Misirlakis said in a statement.

In a blog post on the new course, Kristoffer Ekenes, a software engineer and lead instructor at Coding Dojo, said, "Most web programming boot camps teach only interpreted languages, such as Ruby, JavaScript or Python. With the addition of Java, Coding Dojo now has three industry standard compiled languages: Java, C# and Swift."

Two things in play

Stephen O'Grady, noted developer, industry analyst and co-founder of RedMonk, said he sees two things in play with the Coding Dojo move.

"First, demand for Java skills -- in spite of years of claims that 'Java is dead' -- remains robust, and this is particularly true amongst businesses that are willing to pay for things like education and training," he said. "Second, while Ruby remains a popular language -- still solidly top 10 by our rankings -- it has been stagnant to slightly declining by our metrics recently, with Rails still relevant but not the phenomenon that it once was and no mobile story to boost it like Java received from Android."

In addition to Java, Coding Dojo offers six full-stack courses in Python/Django, Ruby on Rails, LAMP, iOS/Swift, C#/ASP.NET Core and the MEAN stack -- MongoDB, Express, AngularJS and Node.js. The training company also offers short curriculum material covering React, Amazon Alexa and other technologies.

The new Java/Spring course will be available as part of Coding Dojo's 14-week on-site program and 20-week online program beginning on August 15 in Seattle and Washington D.C. It will be available at Coding Dojo's Tulsa campus in September.

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