After years of explosive growth, coding boot camps are starting to scale back, if not shut down altogether. Two schools have announced plans to close this year: Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco and Iron Yard of Greenville, South Carolina. They have deep-pocketed parent companies, too, having been acquired by Kaplan and the Apollo Education Group, respectively.
Now, Galvanize is revealing that it, too, may have overstretched, saying in a statement obtained by Reuters that it plans to lay off 11 percent of staffers -- totaling 37 employees -- at its headquarters in Denver. It currently employs 350 people.
“In order to adjust to evolving market demands we made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce today,” said Galvanize, which looks to have raised $85 million from investors in its five-year history. “These actions are consistent with our overall strategy to build a more product-focused platform that enables a continuous learning environment.”
The move won't surprise many who've been following the business of coding schools. “You can imagine this becoming a big industry, but not for 90 companies,” Michael Horn, a principal consultant at Entangled Solutions, an education research and consulting firm, told the New York Times in a recent story about what looks to be an early shakeout of the field.
As of 2014, there were at least 43 U.S.-based programming bootcamps that offered full-time in-person instruction or 40 or more hours of classroom time per week and were not affiliated with an accredited college or university. This according to Course Report, an outfit that tracks the industry.
By earlier this year, says the outfit, that number had reached 95 bootcamps.
Galvanize has a number of state-of-the-art campuses that serve as learning centers, as well as co-working spaces. Among the cities where the company has planted roots are Austin, Boulder, Denver, Manhattan, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle.
It's unclear how much of Galvanize's revenue derives from tuition versus rent. It says it has graduated more than 2,400 software engineers to date.
Galvanize's investors include University Ventures Fund, ABS Capital Partners, Aspen Grove Capital, The Colorado Impact Fund, Haystack Partners in New York and Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei. The company has also raised an undisclosed amount of debt funding.
Last month, it was announced that cofounder Jim Deters had stepped down as CEO to become the company's chairman. Pamela Ratti, Galvanize's chief marketing officer, is now leading its operations on an interim basis.
At the time, the company told the Denver Business Journal that the management transition comes at a strong moment for Galvanize, saying it saw more revenue in June than ever in its history.
We've reached out to Galvanize for comment. We'll update this post when we learn more.