Winning The War For Talent: Hiring from Atlanta's Coding Bootcamp

November 14, 2018

Today’s war for technical talent is real. According to, there are currently over 500,000 open tech jobs in the United States with a high demand for software developers and engineers. These unique market dynamics have made screening and hiring software developers extremely tough and competitive. As a tech startup, there’s no time to waste when it comes to hiring. CEOs and CTOs need to be able to make quick decisions with confidence that they’ve made the right decision for the future success of their company. Traditional methods and approaches for recruiting and hiring top technical talent simply don’t work if you want to win in today’s market. Enter coding bootcamps. In 2018, 20,316 students will graduate from an in-person coding bootcamp program compared to 93,427 students which will graduate with an undergraduate Computer Science degree from a traditional four-year college, according to an industry-leading publication Course Report. The coding bootcamp industry started in 2013 with only 2,178 students graduating from an in-person program in the first year which means this industry has grown 9x over the last 5 years.Atlanta Tech Village is proud to house DigitalCrafts, Atlanta’s premier coding bootcamp program, graduating more than 125 students each year in Atlanta who are all equipped with the most relevant technical skills needed for a lasting career in software engineering. For startups, this fresh talent folding into our community each day is invaluable and it's not uncommon for a match to be made. Villager Jake Hadden, CEO of DigitalCrafts, spoke with two of our entrepreneurs, the CEO of BridalLiveTom Esposito and the CTO of StorjPhilip Hutchins, about the value their engineers have brought to their startup teams. And while every developer position is different, new graduates eager to build and grow can solve the tension of finding affordable and available local talent. Here's their experience:

What do you like about hiring individuals who've completed a coding bootcamp?

Phillip: “Developers that we have sourced from DigitalCrafts have consistently shown a stronger than normal drive to learn and be self-motivated. They have had real-world experience that trumps book learning alone.”Tom: “I like that they are educated, but not stuck in their ways.  When we hired Josh, we were looking for someone who could contribute right away and not a seasoned developer who might want to "re-invent" the architecture.”

Have the individuals who you hired been able to get up to speed and provide value?

Philip: “The individuals that we’re hired from DigitalCrafts have come up to speed quickly and in many cases provided more value than we ever expected. One of our hires is actually now the lead of one of our teams and is giving technical talks at events.”Tom: “Yes.  Recently, Josh has taken the lead on a new product that we just launched.  He nearly wrote the whole thing!”

Do you find it helpful to have a new source of talent (versus traditional recruiting from universities)?

Philip: “It is very helpful to have a new source of talent as it shows extra drive for someone to enter and complete a code school. The groups of candidates are much smaller and generally far higher quality making the search much more focused which saves the headache of sifting through large numbers of less than spectacular developers.”Tom: “I like that you are local and are constantly graduating potential candidates.  When we have an opening for another junior developer, we'll be reaching out to DigitalCrafts again!”In addition to BridalLive and Storj, DigitalCrafts has built a community of close to 100 companies in and around Atlanta who actively interview and hire students from their program year after year. Part of the value of the Village community is you are walking the halls with this talent every day, but the good news is that everyone in Atlanta can take advantage of this resource. Coding bootcamps are providing immeasurable value to companies who are looking for local, technical talent. Learn more about hiring from DigitalCrafts here and gain inside access to a diverse talent pool filled with exceptionally motivated builders. That's what we call a win.

November 14, 2018
Karen Houghton