Kaplan, Thoughtbot Team for Ruby on Rails Boot Camp

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2014-01-03
 
 
 

Kaplan Test Prep, a provider of test preparation materials and services, and Thoughtbot, a Web and mobile design and development firm, have partnered to launch a software developer boot camp for people interested in becoming professional Ruby on Rails Web developers.

The 12-week boot camp is called Metis, inspired by the Greek goddess associated with wisdom and good counsel. Metis features intensive training that leverages Kaplan's proprietary learning science and assessment insights. However, the training will be delivered by Thoughtbot experts. The first class will start Feb. 24 at Thoughtbot's Boston office.

Metis marks a first for Kaplan, as this software development boot camp "is the first time Kaplan is offering a course like this," a spokeswoman for the company said.

Indeed, in the nascent market of programming academies and developer boot camps, the Kaplan-Thoughtbot venture brings together an established leader in education and training with a proven development firms in Ruby on Rails, an open-source Web framework using the Ruby programming language.

Metis is designed as a new economy skills training (NEST) program to provide immersive training in skills that are in high demand in today's job market, preparing participants for hire.

Under a competitive application process, candidates will be selected among applicants for an interview that will entail problem-solving questions. No more than 30 qualified applicants will be accepted for each cohort. Metis program participants will be trained in HTML5, Erb, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Sass, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails and Git, and will learn how to independently create Ruby on Rails applications. At the end of the program, graduates will participate in a Hiring Day, which will connect Metis graduates with potential employers.

"The current disparity between supply and demand for developer talent in our economy means fluency in coding and software languages are much-needed capabilities in today's job market," Bernardo Rodriguez, chief digital officer at Kaplan Test Prep, said in a statement. "Merging our experience as an educator with Thoughtbot's technology expertise was a natural fit in creating a superior program to help address the skills gap. Thoughtbot has extensive experience as an employer of Ruby on Rails developers, in teaching Rails, and in actually building and shipping Ruby on Rails apps, so identifying and training top talent for hire is part of the company's DNA."

Chad Pytel, CEO of Thoughtbot, said his company's expertise, combined with Kaplan's experience in delivering "intensive, outcomes-focused programs," provides students with "an unparalleled learning experience."

With teams across the United States and in Stockholm, Thoughtbot is the creator of FactoryGirl, Shoulda, Capybara Webkit, Paperclip, Bourbon, Neat, Laptop and other popular open-source libraries, and has taught Ruby on Rails to hundreds of students worldwide, including at institutions such as Harvard Business School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

"Talent is driving our state's innovation economy and leading to new opportunities for satisfying careers in Massachusetts," Massachusetts Assistant Secretary for Innovation Eric Nakajima said in a statement. "This new partnership will provide interested students with the skills and knowledge to compete and add to our world-class technology community."

Interested students can go here to apply for the Metis boot camp. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with Jan. 10 as the final deadline for the first cohort. While the initial Metis boot camp is in Boston, Kaplan is planning to expand to markets beyond Boston. However, those additional cities are still being determined, the company said.

Kaplan provides a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as an array of print books and digital products. Kaplan also offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. In addition, Kaplan provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

 

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