Since Code Platoon launched in 2016, our mission has been to prepare Veterans, military spouses, and active duty Servicemembers to become professional software engineers and developers. Over our first five years, we have graduated more than 200 students into new careers in software engineering.
A key component of our mission is to ensure the successful transition of our students from military life to the professional business world. To accomplish this, we must teach students how to develop software and prepare them for the corporate world. We train our students on more than just the necessary programming skills. We also emphasize the soft career skills and networking needed to get into the right jobs. Here are our results so far:
Code Platoon Outcomes 2021
- Ninety-two (92) Veterans and military spouses graduated in the last two years (6 cohorts).
- Seventy-four of those graduates (80%) found jobs in software development within six months.
- The median starting salary of those graduates was $72,000. After 24 months, the median salary of our graduates is $96,000.
- Of the remaining 18 graduates, two went to work outside of software development, four looked for work but did not find it within six months, five graduated but did not actively look for full-time jobs, and seven did not respond to our survey.
- Our graduates are more than simply employed; they have demonstrated great earning potential as well.
We attribute the excellent success rates of our graduates to several factors. First of all, our students come hungry to learn and are working long hours every day. Second of all, we have some great tech community partners who help our students with job placement. And, of course, there is the program itself.
We provide excellent technical training in software development.
A typical day in the classroom features two hours of lecture and instruction, workshops by industry professionals, and dedicated time for programming challenges. Students participate in regular pair programming exercises and complete both individual and group projects.
We also know that while technical skills are fundamental to getting a good job, they are not enough to succeed. That is why our curriculum also includes soft skills training, resume preparation, LinkedIn skills, and interview preparation, including technical, whiteboard, and behavioral interviews.
Because we work with the military community, we tailor our interview prep to help our students tell their stories to civilian interviewers. We even help prepare our students for the complexities of post-military life. We have seminars on personal finance, workplace sensitivity and inclusion, and growth mindset.
We provide apprenticeship and networking opportunities to help our graduates get their first software engineering job.
Getting your first job in a new field like programming and development is hard. Paid apprenticeships are available in Chicago. These apprenticeships are a bridge from our training program to a new career in software engineering for graduates of Code Platoon.
We’ve built a strong network that our students can tap into, providing opportunities to learn more about entering and working in the tech industry. Code Platoon students pair with industry mentors and professional software developers who volunteer as teaching assistants. By the end of our program, each of our students should have met at least ten experienced software developers.
Each part of the Code Platoon program and culture, combined with the grit and determination of our Veterans and spouses, leads to the success our students enjoy after graduation.
Rod Levy is the Founder and Executive Director of Code Platoon. He holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees in engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he graduated with honors. Rod has also completed Dev Bootcamp’s web developer program.