French, Le Wagon have ambitious plans to level-up Aussie tech skills

Le Wagon is a 9-week immersive coding bootcamp for creative people and the company is bringing that to Australia. Le Wagon is launching campuses in Melbourne and Sydney, and the first boot camps are scheduled for early 2018. The intensive full-stack program is designed to give participants skills to launch and work on any digital product.

Students learn the best practices in both back-end and front-end coding, database modeling, UI design and product launch methodology. Learning the technology is a key element, but so is acquiring a web developer’s problem-solving mindset to become more creative. At the end of the express bootcamp, entrants will have the capacity to launch their own web product, create a startup, become a freelancer or find a job as a software developer, a growth hacker or as a product manager. While all of this is possible without the course, there’s something romantic about the efficiency of delivery here, rather than a multi-year degree and a massive hex debt.

Founded in Paris in 2013, brothers Romain and Boris Paillard, Le Wagon the world have already benefited from their creations with 27 cities around the world already churning out entrepreneurs and creative professionals with technical and product development skills, now it’s our turn. The Sydney course starts on February 19th and the Melbourne course starts on March 5th and if you weren’t sure how intense this is, it runs Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm.

Coding schools typically focus preparing students for a job as a developer, employed by someone else, instead, this is about arming the individual with the skills to creating great products and even start their own company, should the ambitions require it.

Le Wagon has resulted in more than 100 startups launching, with 25 having successfully raised funding so far. 15 Le Wagon students have raised more than $1.5m AUD in external investment, and 10 more have raised between A$300,000 and A$900,000 each. Successful companies that have emerged from Le Wagon include A-line (formerly Krawd), Kudoz, Regaind (which was acquired by Apple) and Travelsify.

Now for the cost. The intensive 9-week bootcamp will set you back A$10,000, not a small figure, one that will certainly limit the appetite of some. Everything is relative. Compared to university degrees, its a fraction of the price. Is it equal to a university degree? Not exactly. There’s still plenty of employers that want a certificate to shortcut the skill test of a creative, but that’s changing. Increasingly there are companies that develop efficient tests to determine if you know your stuff and will hire you based on skill, rather than qualifications. As Le Wagon’s local reputation grows, its likely employers will get well acquainted with the skills and mentality of successful candidates who complete the bootcamp. If your goal is to learn the skills quickly that’ll take you from idea to being able to execute, then you won’t be seeking external approval, you’ll be creating your own future.

If you think the program is for you, then they expect a little bit before you start. They expect 3 things from you – be motivated (very motivated), be curious, be social. You also must complete the Ruby track on CodeCademy which should take you about 10 hours to complete. You’ll need your own laptop running Mac OS X or Linux, but if you only have Windows, that’s no worries you’ll learn how to install Linux the first day.

Co-founder and CEO of Le Wagon, Boris Paillard said,

“The whole team is excited about Le Wagon’s Australian journey. When we were looking for where to open next, we saw that something significant was going on in Australia in terms of entrepreneurial and tech activity.

The incredible level of engagement in industry meetups and within the startup community really resonated with us, and we’re confident that we really can help Australia’s entrepreneurs build world-class products.”

Le Wagon has become one of the world’s fastest growing tech communities stretching from Paris and Berlin to Sao Paulo and Tokyo thanks to its specialist resource platform and world-class community of teachers who run the in-person bootcamps. The Le Wagon curriculum is based on a collaborative peer-based learning model, where students solve daily challenges in pairs and bigger projects small groups in the classroom. Students then have lifelong access to the online platform, which is constantly updated with new tutorials, videos and tools, which allows the 2,000 strong alumni to communicate, learn and collaborate on an ongoing basis.

Sydney head of Le Wagon, Charly Martin said,

“The coding education market in Australia is still developing, and traditional institutions are simply not giving people the skills that they need to succeed, and to fill the widening technical skills gap in the Australian workforce.

Le Wagon offers a practical, personalised solution that provides the tools to enable a whole generation of entrepreneurs and creative workers.”

Driver at Le Wagon Melbourne, Paal Ringstad said,

“Coding is like English. In 2018 you need it to work and communicate, but not everyone becomes a writer, the same way that not everyone who can code has to become a developer.

There are many pathways that students can take after a bootcamp, whether as as a Junior Web Developer, Product Manager, consultant or startup founder. Le Wagon focuses on creating dynamic communities who share entrepreneurial and creative values, and it is this alignment that makes the bootcamps so great.”

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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