Claim Academy Takes Stand for Black Tech and Black Lives

June 19, 2020 – Claim Academy Founder and CEO Ola Ayeni has joined forces with a collective of many Black founders in taking a stand against the senseless assault and inhumane violence against Black Lives. The stand is not only a statement but a commitment of specific actions to address systematic change against oppression and empower Black-run enterprises and non-profit organizations. 

“As I have constantly witnessed the suffering of black men, women and children, it is an important time for myself, my company and my associates to take a stand for Black Lives in order for us to usher in a new era of prosperity for all people. I am determined more than ever to take action on this matter and feel inspired by joining this collective action,” stated Claim Academy Founder and CEO Ola Ayemi. 

Ola Ayeni joins a number of other black founders and leaders across the country in aligning its values and actions to support #blacktech4blacklives. Learn more about the initiative at www.blacktechforblacklives.com.

Claim Academy Provides Help for Heroes. Offers Free Coding Classes to Veterans, Active Duty Military, and their Spouses.

Coding bootcamp helps qualifying students transition into a career in tech

St. Louis, MO:​ April 22, 2020, Claim Academy, a coding bootcamp based in St. Louis announced that it will be offering two free online coding courses, valued at $2,000 per person, to veterans, active duty military and their spouses.

These free coding classes will cover the key elements of Java, and teach the student how to independently write a few lines of code. This class is not only a great way to gain a basic knowledge of this program, but it is also the first step in gaining acceptance into the esteemed coding bootcamp. Even though Claim Academy has currently moved to an online hybrid version of classes, all of the programs are approved for the G​ I Bill®​. Other qualifying students may be able to use VET TEC to help fund their education.

Claim Academy has long been an advocate of placing transitioning members of the military into exciting tech careers. With unemployment in the United States reaching a shocking 22 million people, the coding bootcamp wants to arm our heroes with skills that will help them land a job during this uncertain time.

American business magazine, Fast Company, reports that, “Coding has become a core skill that bolsters a candidate’s chances of commanding a high salary. Burning Glass researchers found that jobs that require coding skills pay up to $22,000 per year more, on average”. Not only are software developers always in high demand, but they also earn more for possessing programming knowledge.

Matthew Hook, ​Director of Operations & Business Development and R​etired Veteran, understands that many members of the military will soon be transitioning into an unstable workforce. He explains the current situation and how Claim Academy is providing support, ​”Are you a transitioning member of the Armed Forces that is uncertain on ‘what is next’ following your discharge? Or are you a Veteran that has been affected in your career by recent events? Perhaps you are the spouse of a current or former service member looking to make a change in life. Claim Academy is there for your education and your new career in the technology industry; which appears the least affected by stay-at-home orders. We want to support your career goals by offering this free introductory training. Additionally, through the use of your GI Bill or the VET TEC Program, a new chapter in your life begins with a call in any of our highly sought-after Full Stack Java, Full Stack C#/.NET Programs, Front End Javascript and Cybersecurity”.

If you are a veteran, an active duty military or are a military spouse looking to start a new career, then go to ​https://claimacademystl.com/vet-prep.php​ and apply to obtain these valuable classes.

About Claim Academy: ​Claim Academy​ ​is a premier developer boot camp that offers immersive on-campus and online programs in software engineering and cybersecurity in St Louis. Our mission is to change lives in 12-weeks with tracks in Java, C#/.Net and JavaScript with promises to transform novices into industry ready, software developers through rigorous coursework of pair programming, mentor sessions, and computer science industry programming techniques taught in-person by expert instructors. Approved to operate by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Development and, The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Claim Academy at (314) 499-5888 or at i​ nfo@claimacademystl.com.​

Claim Academy Offers Help During CoronaVirus. Pledges $100,000 Scholarship Fund For Those Impacted

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Contact: Claim Academy                                

Phone: (314) 499-5888 

04/14/20 

Email: info@claimacademystl.com 

Website: claimacademystl.com 

Coding bootcamp has new offerings for those who have been affected by COVID-19

St. Louis, MO: April 14, 2020, Claim Academy, a coding bootcamp based in St. Louis announced that it will be offering a free online coding course, valued at $2,000 per person and pledging $100,000 in scholarships to Claim Academy for qualifying students who have lost their job during this trying time. 

With unemployment reaching 17.6 million nationwide and over 228,936 in Missourians filed according to MissouriNet, Claim Academy feels it is crucial to offer a lending hand to those who are struggling right now. The coding bootcamp recognizes that the technology industry is one of the only fields that have not been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Not only has the industry always been lacking in qualified software developers, but the demand has also continued to grow during this time. For anyone out of a job and reconsidering their career, Claim Academy wants to aid in their entrance to this stable and booming field. 

According to Claim Academy Founder and Chief Idea Officer, Ola Ayeni “ We believe we can help many of the unemployed get a new skill, and help place them in a new job in technology “.  In addition once completed, candidates will be issued college course transcripts and a Certificate of Completion.

If you are unemployed and need help to start a new career, then go to https://claimacademystl.com/claim-cares.php and apply to join a new free online class.

About Claim Academy: Claim Academy is a premier developer boot camp that offers immersive on-campus and online programs in software engineering and cybersecurity in St Louis. Our mission is to change lives in 12-weeks with tracks in Java, C#/.Net and JavaScript with promises to transform novices into industry ready, software developers through rigorous coursework of pair programming, mentor sessions, and computer science industry programming techniques taught in-person by expert instructors.  Approved to operate by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Development and, The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs.

###If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Claim Academy at (314) 499-5888 or at info@claimacademystl.com.

A Knack for Programming Leads to a New Career Path

Richard Nava graduated from Claim Academy in April of 2020. He came to our coding bootcamp with a background in game design and musical theater. In this post, he discusses his path to coding bootcamp and lends advice for current students and graduates.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?

I grew up on the north side of Chicago, performing musicals and playing videos games whenever I got the chance. I moved to St. Louis after being admitted to Webster University for musical theater and game design.

How did you decide to pursue a career in software development?

At the time I attended Webster, the game design program didn’t require students to take a programming class. How can you develop a video game if you can’t program? I decided to take computer science courses, because I enjoyed programming but wasn’t very good at it. I practiced on nights and weekends. It was actually family and friends in the field that said I had a knack for it, and encouraged me to pursue this career.  

What is your dream job? 

My dream job is to be part of a team that comes up with gaming or music hardware. Ideally, I would love to be a producer or designer for Blizzard Entertainment or Sony.  

What are your passions and hobbies?

Music and gaming is what keeps me going. I love playing the hottest new games and designing them. I play guitar, sing, and write songs. I also produce electronic pop music online and put in on SoundCloud.

How did you decide to select Claim Academy from all other coding bootcamps?

I wanted a full time, in-person experience. I researched coding bootcamps, and the top rated one in St. Louis was Claim Academy. I reached out to alumni to get a feel of their experience during the program and after they graduated. After hearing it was a positive experience across the board, I decided to apply.

What is the best part about learning how to code?

When learning a new concept, there’s usually a moment with the concept clicks or makes sense. When you apply the concept to your project and it works, it feels like a win. Few things in the world feel as satisfying as that. I love that idea of applying that feeling to a career.

What was the most challenging moment at Claim Academy and how did you overcome it?

The most challenging moments were definitely within the first few weeks.  I felt like I was drinking out of a fire hose – drowning in new and interesting information . Programming moves fast, and you have to adapt and learn quickly. Someone once told me that programming is like a muscle. You have to build it up with time, practice, and patience. I kept this in mind and kept the goals I had set for myself in focus. These things helped me get through the first few weeks of bootcamp, and keep motivation in this world I am not used to. 

What do you think the future of coding is?

I strongly believe that coding will have an easier barrier to entry as time goes by. Soon, it will be the norm for more people to have intermediate programming skills. For instance, my 10-year-old cousin is learning how to code via classes in her elementary school. Learning to code now is like learning how to read in the middle ages; pretty soon everyone will know how to do it.

Do you have any tips for interviewing and/or finding a job after graduating?

Work on your soft skills; they’re just as important as your technical skills! Claim Academy will give all the technological skills you need, and it’s truly up to the student to perfect their soft skills. Practice how to work on a team and work well with others. Being a team player will take you far in the software industry, and really in any industry.

How Claim Academy Teaches Soft Skills at a Code-Heavy Bootcamp

We often get asked how and why our bootcamp ranks above others in this nation. There’s a simple answer to that – it’s because we care. Our mission is to change a person’s life, and this is a mission we don’t take lightly. 

Prospective students want to know that they will be attending a coding bootcamp with dedicated instructors and an applicable curriculum. We promise to deliver these technical skills while also teaching interpersonal skills that will be vital to a graduate’s success in their desired occupation. 

1. Soft Skill Development 

It is not enough for us to just teach you how to code and then send you right off into the workplace. Yes, you will have all the technical knowledge you need to hit the ground running on your first day; but those are not the only skills you’ll use in your daily professional life. We believe that it is also important to teach soft skills in order to fully prepare our graduates for their new roles. We prepare our students to tackle the social and professional atmosphere of the office with multiple career-building activities. 

  • LinkedIn Tutorials for Your Professional Brand 

We teach students how to create a compelling professional page and how to use LinkedIn to network and promote their personality and brand. We educate them on what to feature, how to position themselves, and overall presentation to prospective employers. Students can ask our student success specialists for individual advice at any time or for a one-on-one evaluation of their profile. 

  • Mock Job Interviews 

Practice makes perfect, and students will be able to prepare for interviews by practicing first with our instructors. Our goal is to educate them on the type of questions to expect and how to respond correctly. Students will receive feedback immediately after in order to improve the quality of their interviewing skills. 

  • Resume Help

To further the success of our graduates in job interviews, our job coach will teach students how to prepare and format their resume for results. 

  • Presentation Practice

Students learn the best practices for presenting their final project to the class and employers on Demo Day and Hiring Event. They are educated on how to create a compelling presentation, how to tell a story, transition, and showcase their uniqueness. They will also learn how to properly address an audience and dress for the occasion. 

2. Employment Opportunities

So, you’ve got the coding and professional skills you need to succeed and excel in the workplace. Now what? The next step is getting our students and graduates connected with interested employers. We have several ways in which we help form connections between our new developers and companies looking for qualified software developers. 

  • Demo Day and Hiring Event
    • Students who have successfully completed our program will present their final project on our Demo Day and Hiring Event. Employers from a multitude of companies are encouraged to attend and watch the students debut their independently created software applications. 
      • After the presentations, employers can meet with the students and even use breakout rooms to interview them.
  • Using our Website to Hire Graduates
    • Employers reach out to us constantly with job opportunities and inquire about hiring our graduates. We have many repeat employers, such as Mastercard, Express Scripts and Charter Communications, who have each hired more than 9 past graduates of Claim Academy.
  • Alumni Nights
    1. Claim Academy graduates regularly come back to speak at our open house events. The alumni provide valuable advice and information about the coding bootcamp, hiring process, and how to succeed in the workplace. After the event, students can meet the alum to network or ask for career advice.
  • Employer Nights
    • Employers like Slalom, Anheuser-Busch and NISA regularly come to speak about their company and why students should choose their companies over others. 

3. Hands-On Learning

We take a more personalized teaching approach than other, larger universities. Daily exercises are divided into 3 parts – peer programming, mentor led instruction, and lab. 

  • Smaller Class Sizes
    • Students can more easily engage with their instructor and other classmates. Our maximum class size is 20 students. 
  • One-on-One Help 
    • Our instructors will teach the class as a whole, and then spend time individually with any students who need additional help. 
  • Teamwork
    • We encourage students to support and work with their classmates on tricky subjects. Students who attend the in-person coding bootcamp work with their instructors and peers every single day.

Join the Revolution! Apply Today: https://claimacademystl.com/html/signup.html

How to Pay for Coding Bootcamp Without Breaking the Bank

1. Scholarships

There are a surprising amount of coding academies that offer scholarships for passionate students. With the rising need of technical talent, scholarship funds are becoming available for students who want to take the less traditional and faster route to entering the technology field. For example, Claim Academy alone offers scholarships for students who are veterans, women, part of a minority group, and recent high school graduates and GED holders!

A link to the finance information can be found here: https://www.claimacademystl.com/financing/index.html

2. Loans

Prospective bootcamp students can apply for personal loans from banks or private lenders. There are lending companies, such as Climb Credit, who partner with coding bootcamps to provide students with reasonable loans.

Check out Claim Academy’s partnership with Climb Credit here: https://climbcredit.com/apply/claimacademy?applicationType=FINANCING&page=create-account&ref=none

3. Income Share Agreements (ISA)

An Income Share Agreement is formed between the student and the bootcamp. The agreement entails that the student will pay back a percentage of their salary for a fixed amount of time upon graduation. An ISA is a worthwhile option since these bootcamps assure quick job placement after the extensive training.

Learn more about ISAs here: https://claimacademystl.com/income-share.php

4. Employer Sponsorship

Many employers encourage the development of technical skills outside of the workplace, and may be willing to help fund additional schooling. Even if an employer is not willing to give up the employee full-time, they may be willing to support coding classes as a side project. 

5. Attending Bootcamp Part-Time 

Many coding bootcamps require a full-time commitment during the weekdays. Because of this, large numbers of students will attempt to work on weekends to help pay for classes. However, a student could instead choose to attend the bootcamp part-time. Yes, that means the student will be in classes over a longer period of time, but it can also mean an easier balance of school and work.

Students at Claim Academy have the choice between a 9-week,12-week, or online program, depending on what best suits their lifestyle: https://claimacademystl.com/blog/2015/04/21/faq/

A Lifelong Love of Learning Leads To A New Career Path.

Claim Academy students have a lifelong love of learning and problem-solving. Claudia Sittmann, an educator, St. Louis native, and world traveler, with a passion for software development and education, is no exception. She found a new career path and a new job as a software developer. You could say programming and a love of learning are all in the family–her father was one of the developers that helped create IBM’s famed AI interface, Watson. Sittmann’s mother, a retired teacher, also helped spark Claudia’s love of education, learning, and helping others. We sat down with Claudia to discuss her experiences in education, the inspiration to reinvent herself, and her challenges and accomplishments in becoming a full stack software developer.

Tell us a bit about yourself, Claudia. Where did you grow up?

I was born in Germany and moved to the US when I was young, so I don’t remember a lot about it.  I have lived in St. Louis pretty much all my life, and I grew up in Webster Groves. My mom was a German language teacher, and my dad was a software engineer for IBM. He did some of the programming for the Watson program.

My first career was teaching Spanish, French, and German to middle school students (sixth, seventh, and eighth) at Mehlville in South County. I kind of took after my mom and pursued teaching.  I’ve been doing that for six years, and I really enjoy languages, traveling, and sharing that with my students, but I just started to feel that I wasn’t being challenged.

I went to high school here, and then I attended the University of Indiana in Bloomington. I studied German and Spanish language and literature,  and I received my bachelors. After finishing my undergrad, I moved back to St. Louis to attend Webster University and earned my masters in education and my teaching certificate.

It took me a few years to figure out what to do with my bachelors in linguistics, and teaching was in the family, so it felt like the natural next step.

I hear you come from a family of coders and educators. How did they influence your choice to become a software developer?

Well, watching my mom work as an educator made me want to help people. I liked how she helped students and formed relationships. Initially, that’s why I wanted to go into teaching, then I realized there were other ways I could help people and also challenge myself.

My dad was a people person, but he was also one of the smartest people I have ever met. He knew a lot of famous people and did some of the coolest things working on software. He traveled all over the world–Japan, Switzerland, Germany, and throughout a lot of other European countries.

I finally realized that I could do something more challenging and could fulfill my passions. I wouldn’t change being a teacher for the five years that I’ve done it. I think that teaching translates well into other professions.

Tell us more about your study of linguistics.

We grew up hearing my parents speak German in the house. I used to go to German language classes on the weekend. As I got older, I realized that there’s a lot more to languages than just the reading and writing aspects. I’m the kind of person that’s always liked puzzles and riddles, and I realized that every language is just a different puzzle with different pieces and patterns.  If you can figure out those patterns, you can speak almost any language. The first class I ever took in linguistics was so challenging, but I really enjoyed it, and I kept at it.

I have found that there are a lot of similarities between linguistics and coding.

What was your first exposure to coding or software development, and how did that lead you to Claim Academy?

Definitely growing up and seeing my dad coding, but recently, through my teaching, and taking notice of the big shift in education-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)  that also helped motivate me to make a change. I’ve been preaching to my students, especially my female students, that the field needs more women, and that they can do it. We recently had an hour of coding project we did at the school, and I loved it.  I liked teaching all my female students how to do this, so I figured that I’d learn how to code.

The First thing was that my sister did the same transition–from education to coding. She went back to school and earned her associates in computer science. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to school, especially after I had already earned my bachelors and my masters. Going back to school for two or four more years wasn’t that appealing to me.

I did a lot of research into Claim Academy and other places. Your reviews and personal testimonials from former Claim Academy graduates really convinced me that I needed to be here.

How did your experience in education inform your life and outlook?

I guess that through my higher education experience, I had the opportunity to travel and study abroad. And, then, as a teacher, I actually got to chaperone a trip with students to Costa Rica. I’ ‘ve been very fortunate to travel a lot. I think travel has opened my eyes, not only to technology but to other cultures. It’s also taught me how to get along with anyone, any race, or any culture. That’s one of my strengths–I can get along and interact with anyone.

Who inspired or continues to inspire you?

I guess it’s a bit cliched, but I’d have to say, my dad. He passed away almost seven years ago. There are so many times when I wish he were still here. He was such a valuable resource, and I didn’t realize how lucky I was until he was gone.  I try to model myself after him–he was friendly and really smart.

How do you relax after a long day of coding?

Honestly, my dog and three cats are my babies. They help me relax after work and school. I love Netflix, and I love watching all the foreign language films.

I also like playing sports video games. I play sports vicariously through gaming. I like a lot of spy and war games with missions to complete.  I also enjoy puzzles too, I like solving problems, and it’s great escapism.

How did you decide to select Claim Academy from all the coding boot camps out there?

I have a lot of friends that were looking at Launch Code. In theory, they sounded great, but it wasn’t a great fit. I was looking for a small, tight-knit family, and I don’t have to wait in line. Meeting Ola, seeing the facilities and meeting the people.

What was the most challenging moment at Claim Academy, and how did you overcome it?

I guess it was during our first project. In the beginning, most everything made sense, then it was time for the first project, and it’s time to sink or swim.  You have to really put what you’ve learned to use. I started to doubt myself and thought I didn’t know what I was doing. With the help of the instructors and my sister, I figured it all out by breaking it down into smaller pieces. In the end, when the first app, I did actually worked, I realized I could do this.

There’s always a point where I think every student has some doubts. You just have to go to the next step and stay motivated.

Did you try to learn to code on your own?

I did try to learn on my own. I learned some small chunks of things here and there, but I couldn’t see the big picture or understand how it was all connected. It was also challenging to determine what I should focus on.

Some people can learn on their own, but I think most people need the structure. Claim Academy knows what you need to know. I have never been in the tech industry, so I don’t know what I need to know. That’s what’s great about being here–Claim Academy’s instructors know precisely what skills you need, and they’ve formulated the lessons in a way that you get all that.

I tried the free approach to things, and it wasn’t enough for me. I learned a little bit of HTML, and that’s about it. I felt like I was going down a path that wasn’t going to lead me to learn what I actually needed to know to do the job. At that point, I was willing to spend money on the right program, and that’s where Claim Academy came in. On the first day I visited, I was a bit intimidated when Praneeth told me that you don’t accept everyone. At first, that kind of scared me, but then I realized that you were being honest and responsible. That really showed me that you wouldn’t just take a student’s money, especially if you believed they couldn’t succeed. That ended up putting me at ease in the long-run.

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What do you think the future of coding is?

Technology is changing so rapidly. Right now, it’s all about the user interface (UX) and making things easier for users. Even as I’m learning the old ways of coding to the more recent ones, I’m seeing that making things more comfortable for the user is what it’s all about. It’s changing the way coders code.

What would you tell someone considering a career in coding, especially women?

Don’t sell yourself short. I hear a lot of my female friends say that there’s no way they could ever do it.  ; I tell them that you can. I think too many people are misinformed about what programming or coding entails. If you have good math and logic skills, you can do this.

I doubted myself from the first time I even considered the thought of learning to code and changing careers. It’s week four, and I’ve already received my first job offer. I’m blown away. If you want it bad enough, it’s totally worth it. I know a lot of people that could do it, but don’t believe they can.

Coding With a Mission: Claim Academy student, USAF veteran, and Boeing full stack developer, Kevin Thornton.

Kevin Thornton, Claim Academy Graduate

At Claim Academy, our students are our true inspiration. Their sacrifice, dedication, and personal stories motivate us all to raise our own game.  Each of our students has a great story to tell. Today, we’re going to let one of our current Claim Academy students and Air Force veteran, Kevin Thornton, tell his story. Kevin recently accepted a job with Boeing in St. Louis and will be relocating to the greater St. Louis metro after graduation this month.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Austin, Texas, went to high school there, and did a bit of college at UT (The University of Texas at Austin), and then my folks moved out to West Texas and retired in San Angelo, Texas, so I relocated there for a few years. Around this time I realized I would need additional money for graduate school so I decided to enlist in the Air Force earlier than I had originally planned.

While in the Air Force, I considered making it a career, but my parents were older in age and as the last, and youngest child, I knew that I would be needed at home to help them out. After my time in the military, I finished my undergraduate degree at Texas Lutheran University. I studied Patristics, which is the study of early church history and writings.

After earning my bachelors, I began to pursue my masters at Southern Methodist University. Unfortunately, my dad developed cancer at that time I was in grad school, and I came home to take care of him. After he passed away, I stayed in San Angelo to take care of my mother.

Did you return to school or work after that time?
While in San Angelo I worked as a special education teacher at Belair Elementary. It was during that time where I developed the idea of using coding to help parents with autistic children. There was a lot being done for the kids, but not much that was being done to help the parents.

I also worked at a help desk at the hospital, and that was kind of like being the cop of the IT world–no one wants to see you until there’s an emergency. And, then, everyone wants you to be there immediately. I felt like one could plateau pretty early on the IT side.

I knew the real future lies in coding–creating products and things from scratch that real users needed.

What languages were you coding back in the 1990s?
Working at the help desk, I mainly used scripting, automation, bat files, and things like that, though I did experiment with C++. In terms of coding, I wasn’t doing as much of that as I was in hardware and software troubleshooting.

What was your first exposure to coding or software development?
When I was in high school, it was Basic and COBOL, and I took some classes on it. I took those classes in the 1980s, and it wasn’t that interesting at the time. It was basically databases and very basic automation, and where you’re in your teens it wasn’t that exciting.

In the ’90s, the internet was growing exponentially and I could see the possibilities that were happening all around…

How did you decide to enlist in the Air Force?
Every member of my family served in the military, and I also wanted to get the GI Bill for graduate school. I felt that it was a responsibility to the country to serve and give back. It doesn’t really matter if it’s the Job Corps or the military, just give something back to the country you are fortunate enough to live in.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time in the military?
Working as a team and working with people with different backgrounds, personalities, and how to troubleshoot and organize on a massive scale. Also how to prioritize, triage and prepare technologies for deployment.

And finally, learning how to adapt and overcome. There’s an old saying, I believe from Helmuth Van Moltke, who stated that “No plan survives contact with the enemy.”* That’s very true. You can make plans, but you also have to be able to adapt very quickly.

If you can, describe what you did in the Air Force?
I was part of the first crew chiefs assigned to the B-2 Stealth Bomber when they reactivated the 509th Bomb Wing. It was a prestigious assignment, and I was proud to serve in the program.

How did your experience in the Air Force shape your life and your outlook?
It just reinforced my idea and feeling that I was part of a bigger picture and a team. It instilled in me the belief that what you do matters, and how you do it, matters.

How did you decide to pursue a career in software development?
I reached that aha moment where I realized that IT help desk had a limited future for me. I wanted to leave footprints or do something that impacts peoples lives,  and I realized you have to create a product that actually does some good. I wanted to do something that gave back to the parents of the children I worked with. When I was teaching special ed, I realized there was a need for a portal that was directed at these adults. I had the idea for my Capstone (software project for Claim Academy’s final) before I came here, but I realized that I needed to learn how to code.

Learning how to code on your own can be done, but it’s a lot easier when you have structure, guidance, and immersion. That’s why I decided to go the coding boot camp route.

What have you learned from travel?
I’ve learned that geography and the landscape might change, but people are people in every culture.  You’re going to find people that you really like and have a lot in common with, and you find people you’re not going to mesh with. The things that are going to change are our culture, food, and their approach to life. Basically, you’re going to find good and the negative in every country and situation. You could talk to the Inuits in Alaska or any culture on the planet, and find some that you like, and others that you just do not get along with.

Who inspired or continues to inspire you?
I think that people that attain a level of success in their fields yet stay good people and give back are inspirational. Keanu Reeves is approachable and good with his time and willingness to help people. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook set up the scholarships that enabled me to attended Claim Academy and obtain the job with Boeing. Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and his wife (Melinda), etc. People that think outside of their circles to help others.

How did you decide to select Claim Academy from all the coding boot camps out there?
I previously looked at other boot camp programs, and I was accepted into one of them, and I even made a downpayment on one. Then I discovered, and this struck me as false advertising, that they’d simply used the university’s logos (UT, USC, University of Oklahoma, etc). They would use the university affiliation, letterhead, images, etc. so they appeared to be part of the university, but in reality, they are just licensing the name. When I found that out, that struck me as a caveat emptor situation (buyer beware), and it was disillusioning. To be fair, in the tiny print, they do have verbiage indicating they’re not really affiliated with the university.

So I decided to research more schools with solid reputations. Claim Academy was one of them. The pre-course work was challenging and was real coding. Plus, Praneeth seemed very knowledgeable, and Jennifer was very helpful with the logistics of getting here. After speaking with them, I felt like the school really had their act together. When you’re traveling in from out of state, it’s important to have a place to stay before you arrive and Claim Academy made it as easy as possible.  Additionally, the Facebook scholarship and endorsement on websites such as Course Report stood out for me. If Facebook believed in Claim Academy enough to allow them to distribute scholarships, then there must be something positive going on there.

What was the most challenging moment at Claim Academy and how did you overcome it?
For me, it was probably the first week and adjusting to the pace. There’s a reason they call it boot camp.  There’s so much information, but what’s kept me going is my classmates and my instructors who reassured me that everyone feels this way initially. Understanding that everyone is pretty much in the same boat, but others with less prior knowledge than mine have made it. You have to be willing to spend the time outside of class to make it work, and it takes effort on your part.

Helping our Nation’s Veteran’s Fill The Coding Pipeline.

2.77 Million Service Members Have Served On 5.4 Million Deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan Since 9/11.*

200,000 of them separate from the military every year.**

Approximately 200,000 service members separate from the military every year**. Our nation’s veterans are a diverse, skilled, dedicated talent pool that needs the right training and preparation for the civilian workforce.

Our nation’s veterans already possess tenacity, problem-solving abilities, and can handle pressure in a way many civilians cannot.  Some have also acquired valuable skills in the military that may translate well into growing fields like software development. Others, while capable of learning anything, haven’t had exposure to coding. That’s OK; we have the solution.

At Claim Academy, an accredited, accelerated, and GI Bill®***-approved coding boot camp, we teach the skills that help veterans leverage their military experience and transition into great careers with excellent pay, benefits, and unlimited futures. We also work tirelessly to ensure that our students-both civilians and veterans, land jobs as soon as possible. In fact, we have multiple students that have received and accepted job offers from top St. Louis-based companies, even before they graduate.

There is a staggering amount of positions in the software development space that go unfilled every year. Approximately 1,000 of the 10,000 available software development jobs in Missouri go unfilled every year****! That’s not because Missouri employers are too picky or that there aren’t millions of applicants, the reason is what we like to call the skills gap. Missouri employers want skilled coders, specifically those with full stack skills–Java and C#/ .NET specifically. Luckily, both employers and prospective veteran students, also know that this gap must be filled by training and hiring competent software developers with just the right skills–skills that veterans are learning at Claim Academy.

We teach students that have an aptitude for problem-solving and the desire to learn, the exact skills that Missouri employers like Allscripts, Boeing, Bayer, Centene, Express Scripts, InBev, MasterCard, and many more, desire and more importantly, hire.

We know that both Missouri and nationwide companies want to hire veterans. In hiring a vet, they know that they’re hiring someone who is dedicated to solving the mission, never giving up, capable of teamwork, self-reliance, and ability to adapt to change and do so on the fly.

Together, veterans, employers, the state of Missouri, and Claim Academy can create a win-win situation where all parties accomplish their missions, contribute to shared growth, and participate in prosperity. Claim Academy is ready for our mission and stands ready to help train and place vets for great roles in software development at Missouri companies.

CITATIONS AND LINKS:

*https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/03/20/2-77-million-service-members-have-served-on-5-4-million-deployments-since-911-infographic/

**https://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/news/stories/gen-odierno.htm

***https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/  The GI Bill ® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill

****https://www.kcur.org/post/report-missouri-employers-struggle-find-qualified-workers

Claim Academy Kicks Off National Military Appreciation Month With a Big Announcement.

Attention! Claim Academy Reporting For Duty. Claim Academy Now Approved to Accept Veterans’ Education Benefits!

It’s been another great week at Claim Academy, the Midwest’s premier coding boot camp. We have big things happening, and we’re excited to share some of the big news right here with you, our faithful readers.

As many of you already know, our Founder, and Chief Idea Officer, Ola Ayeni, and several of our current Java software developer students, were featured in an article in the business section of the Sunday edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Ola revealed a big surprise in that article–Claim Academy recently received the approval of The Veterans Education and Training Section for the GI Bill®*. The GI Bill®* is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs*. You can find more information about the education benefits offered by the VA at the official U.S. government web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill*

Ola Ayeni, our fearless leader, recently said in a press statement: “America’s veterans and their family members have earned these great benefits and we want to help our country’s vets transition from the military and into great, high-paying jobs in software development. Demand for skilled programmers–the kind you’ll find right here at Claim Academy, is huge and projected to grow.” In fact, according to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of software developers is projected to grow 24 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software. Almost a million programming jobs in the US went unfilled last year**. Claim Academy wants to meet this demand and fill these jobs with qualified, skilled coders, including our nation’s veterans.

In March 2019, Code Academy, ranked one “One of the Best  Coding Bootcamps in 2019 & 2018” by SwitchUp *** and Rated as “One of the Best Coding Bootcamps in 2017″ by Course Report,**** was approved by The Veterans Education and Training Section, to accept and train veterans by allowing them to use their GI Bill®* benefits to cover the costs of tuition and more.

Claim Academy’s accelerated 9 or 12-week courses in Full Stack Java and C#/.Net programming are great programs for veterans that don’t want to spend four years or more pursuing a traditional degree and worrying about finding a job upon graduation. Some Claim Academy students receive job offers before they even graduate!

Claim Academy firmly believes in putting all of our students first. We are committed to helping our veterans utilize their education benefits, and train them for the in-demand jobs in software development. Moreover, Claim Academy helps fill Missouri’s programming talent pipeline and helps America grow economically.

The Veterans Education and Training Section is the State Approving Agency responsible for approving GI Bill®* Programs in Missouri for veterans and other eligible individuals. To learn more, visit: https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/apply.asp

Claim Academy graduates, including many veterans, work for Missouri-based Fortune 500 and other great companies including Bayer, Express Scripts, MasterCard, Boeing, Centene, Mercy, RGA, Daugherty Business Systems, and many more. Claim Academy is an approved center for Workforce Development, as designated by the Missouri Workforce Development Board. Because of this designation, Missouri residents can apply for grants for Claim Academy training through several Missouri Workforce Center. Scholarships and financial aid are also available for qualifying applicants.

To learn more, visit – https://claimacademystl.com/veterans.php

CITATIONS AND LINKS:

*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill

**https://qz.com/929275/you-probably-should-have-majored-in-computer-science/

***https://www.switchup.org/bootcamps/claim-academy

****https://www.coursereport.com/best-coding-bootcamps

Claim Academy is approved to operate by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education.