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New Startup To Train Students For Tech Jobs In San Antonio

Codeup staff, from top left: CEO Michael Girdley, Chris Turner, Director of Curriculum & Lead Instructor, Jason Straugh, CTO, and Samantha Atkins, Director of Operations

A new bundle of joy has arrived at San Antonio's Geekdom, "the place where startups are born."

Michael Girdley's baby is a company called Codeup, and he's hoping it will be San Antonio's answer to every tech company's long-burning problem of not having enough qualified people to hire.

"Codeup is a nine week boot camp, and the idea is we take people who are non-techies and we turn them into web programmers with a job guarantee," Girdley said.

"We have tons of great jobs down here," said Girdley emphatically.

Girdley is passionate about Codeup providing any of his 14 partner companies with skilled people. Many of the students, Girdley said, will already have degrees and come from a white-collar background. But sometimes, he said, they don't have the skills and talent to get into the door, which is what he aims to do.

"They're just missing some skills that the companies need now," he said.

The class will be an intense, all-day camp for nine weeks, taught by at least five instructors, said Girdley. Two of the lead instructors are on-board now, with the other hires yet to be made.

He's also in the process of signing students up. Two of the first students are women, and that is one of the main focuses for Codeup's director of operations, Samantha Atkins.

"We're just trying to open the door to more females," said the Trinity University neuroscience graduate. "They might be intimidated coming into a male-dominated field. These classes will focus on making a community out of this group so I think that'll be good and people will feel comfortable coming around more often."

The class will run a student $7,400 with the guarantee of a job. If a student doesn't find a job within six months, Girdley will return half of their tuition.

The first round of classes begin Feb. 3. Atkins noted improvements will be made throughout the course to fit the students' needs.

"This is the future for San Antonio and to make that happen, to make the soup, the beautiful soup that we want San Antonio to be, we need more peas and carrots," said Girdley. "So that's what we're making here is more of the ingredients to make things awesome."