Ironhack, a bootcamp offering intensive training in web development and UX/UI design, has just announced their expansion to Paris.
We had the chance to sit down with François Fillett, the General Manager of Ironhack France. He gave us insight on the tech scene in Paris and what to expect from Ironhack's new campus.
First off, why has the Ironhack team decided to expand to Paris?
France is already the 2nd biggest tech ecosystem in Europe in terms of funding rounds. Due to its growth, the French ecosystem faces a huge and increasing shortage of talents in the digital economy - for example, the unemployment rate of web developers is at 3%, under the normal friction rate. Last, Paris is one the key education hubs in Europe and attracts thousands of foreign students every year. All the ingredients are here to make it a perfect place for Ironhack!
There are quite a few coding bootcamps in Paris already – what will make Ironhack standout amongst the competition?
Indeed, there are several great courses, which shows how dynamic the French market is. Within that market, Ironhack has a unique positioning: enabling individuals to become active players of the digital revolution, whatever their background and experiences. We select highly motivated individuals that have shown real interest for the tech industry. Then we offer them a very intensive training based on problem-solving and constant learning, that will give them the tools they need to become professionals. At the end, we work with them to find the best job or opportunity matching their profile.
For our +800 alumni (“Ironhackers”), our courses have been a true game changer and that’s what we want to duplicate in Paris. They now work at companies like Google, Magic Leap, Twitter, Visa, Amadeus, Rocket Internet, etc. On the average, we have a placement rate of 90% after 3 months across all campuses.
Tell us a bit about the Job Market and Tech seen in Paris? How does it compare to other European cities?
Over the last decade, the Paris tech scene has experienced an impressive growth. Several funding rounds of +€100M have been completed (BlaBlaCar, Sigfox, Devialet, etc.), world-class projects such as Station F - biggest incubator in the world - are being implemented and dozens of startups have successfully launched in the US - take Algolia and its search engine technology for instance.
London, Paris and Berlin now fight in the same category and that’s probably just the beginning of the story! As a result, the shortage of talents keeps increasing - in web development, UX/UI, online marketing, etc. That’s what we want to fix, with courses open to anybody, practice-oriented and supported by local tech players.
When will the Paris campus open and how many spots are you expecting to have in this first cohort?
Our Paris campus will be located in the new WeWork office, 33 rue Lafayette, 75009. We have chosen WeWork for the quality of its infrastructure and services (weekly yoga class, Monday bruch, etc.) and of its community (startups, VCs and ecosystem players).
Our campus will open on June 1st and our first course, in web development, will start on June 26th. We expect around 20 students for this first cohort in order to have a strong monitoring and support for students. Applications are already open here.
Do you plan to teach the same curriculum as you've been teaching at your other locations, or will you be tailoring it to the Paris market?
For coding as well as for design, digital is based on universal languages. That’s why the curriculum taught in Paris will be the same as the one used in Madrid, Barcelona or Miami.
Plus, we want to make sure that the student experience is as amazing in Paris as it is already in our other campuses. Of course, our instructors will have their own pedagogy, based on their training and professional experiences, and we will be tailoring events and services to the local needs. But everything will be integrated in a student experience that is similar across campuses and that makes our student community truly global.
What are some unique aspects that set your course(s) apart from other bootcamps?
I think three elements set Ironhack apart. First, all our bootcamps are designed to enable individuals to become fully operational professionals (web developers, designers, etc.). This results in a very intensive and hands-on bootcamps that are ten times more efficient than what people could find somewhere else.
Finally, we fully take in charge the placement of our students, from defining their job preferences to tracking their first days in their new job. We do that by working hand in hand with tech companies, accelerators and corporates. Basically, we combine the best of the two worlds between a top-notch CS school and a tech recruiting agency. Based on the amazing feedback from our students - we are rated 4.9/5 on SwitchUp - we deeply believe that it’s the right model.
What will the campus be like? What neighborhood/arrondissement is it in?
Our Paris campus will be at the heart of the tech scene, in the 9th arrondissement, and will completely reflect our tech school positioning. Students will enjoy one major classroom, plus hot desks and meeting rooms to work alone or together. They will have access to WeWork’s services (yoga, brunch, unlimited beverages, etc.) and events. They will be emerged in a startup environment where learning and adapting are the keywords. We have invested a lot in our campus to make sure students have the best learning experience of their life.
You have a number of graduates throughout Europe, is there already a little bit of a an Ironhack network in Paris?
Indeed, +30 French natives or France-based students have graduated from Ironhack. We are currently structuring the Ironhack network in Paris and will make it grow very fast in the coming weeks. So far we have received outstanding support from our French alumni. It is a tremendous encouragement for the coming next steps in Paris and in France.
Will students need to speak French to attend the course in Paris?
Absolutely not, courses will be in English and all members of the Paris team are fluent in both English and French. The rationale was the following: you can’t master the digital economy if you can’t master English. Plus, we are convinced that students will massively benefit from working with people coming from different backgrounds. We have seen that at a global scale, with our Ironhackers community, and we are sure that it will have an even more positive effect at the local scale.
Tell us about your network of hiring partners and what companies might be interested in hiring Ironhack graduates?
Sure! Our model is based on working in a close relation with tech companies. They are involved in the courses and the placement of our students. We have already +20 partners, such as Drivy (n°1 peer-to-peer car rental marketplace in Europe), Kima Ventures (VC fund of Xavier Niel), NUMA (French leading accelerator), Stootie (n°1 peer-to-peer services marketplace in Europe), Jumia (n°1 e-commerce player in Africa), etc. They all believe in our model and the operational excellence of our students. And again, that’s just the beginning of the story as we’ll be unveiling many more partners in the coming weeks.
What are you most looking forward to about the new Paris location?
The entire team is super excited to start our first web development bootcamp and see the first smiles on the students’ faces on June 26th. We really want to enable people to boost their career and make their dreams come true. That’s what drives the team every day, along with the support of our partners.
Do you have any extra advice for individuals looking to attend a bootcamp?
Just get in contact with us! We are always happy to take the time to discuss and better understand each individual story. Then we evaluate if Ironhack is the right path for them, based on their motivation and their interest for the tech industry. To reach out, send us an email at: email@example.com
And finally, what plans/dreams do you have for the Paris location over the next few years?
Our dream is to position Ironhack as the leader in the French tech education market. We want it to become the natural partner of any individual looking to boost his/her career and join the tech ecosystem. To do so, part of our plans is to secure partnerships with French tech companies, like the one we have with Uber in the US or Wallapop in Spain, to offer scholarships to students.