Welcome To The New Bitmaker Labs

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It's hard to believe that it's been almost a year already since we gave our first Ruby on Rails course at Bitmaker Labs in Toronto.  We have many things to announce, so we'll get right to it. Before, we encourage you to visit our new site at www.bitmakerlabs.com.

It's a Tough Climate

Code schools are facing increasing challenges.  Calls for shutdowns and regulation are happening all across North America.  First, Bitmaker Labs got hit with a provincial government investigation which culminated in all things being well, and the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities visiting us on site.  He even called us heroes!

But we're not the only ones that have faced these issues.  The California government is threatening to shut down and/or regulate the schools it finds in its jurisdiction.  We stand by our friends at HackReactor, Dev Bootcamp, Hackbright, Zipfian, Apprentice.IO, General Assembly and Coding Dojo as they set their own precedents.  We believe they offer a service the public needs, wants and benefits from.  If there's anything reasonable we can do to help, we'll do it (you know how to reach us!).

Opportunities For Growth

Tough climates don't scare us.  In a year and a half, our experiences in providing quality education has grown by a large order of magnitude.  As a result, our Ruby on Rails immersive has graduated close to 200 students so far, including women and men with PhD.'s, Masters in Engineering, Lawyers, NCAA Athletes, and more.  Over 90% of those that wanted to find jobs have found one, in companies such as Shopify, HootSuite, ThoughtWorks, and more.

Today is the time for us to invest in education innovation in Canada.  We will lead the pack in this effort.

New Courses

We're proud to announce the following changes to our course offerings:

  • The Ruby on Rails immersive is now known simply as our Web Development immersive, since students learn so much more than Ruby on Rails.
  • We are launching a User Experience & Interface Design full-time immersive that takes place over the course of 12 weeks.
    We're also unveiling our first part-time evening course, as well as a weekend workshop:

  • Rapid prototyping with HTML, CSS and JavaScript (12 weeks, Monday evenings)

  • AngularJS (weekend workshop)
    We've partnered with FinanceIt to provide financing for every course currently offered at Bitmaker Labs.  

New Team

Running a startup has its share of ups and downs.  Bitmaker Labs began with 5 founders, Tory Jarmain, Matt Gray, Andrew Mawer, Duncan McCall and Will Richman.  Today, Andrew and Will remain.  The parting founders have left the company stronger than it would have been without them, and we wish them the best of luck in their future projects.

With that, we're proud to say we've made several key hires:

  • Sean Power - O’Reilly author and startup executive joins us Chief Marketing Officer and instructor.  He will help the admissions and marketing team find their voice, and help Will and Andrew in the day-to-day operations of the company and its future.
  • Danielle Beckett - PhD candidate at Brock University will join us in the coming months. Her PhD in education, along with her post-doc, focusing on class-room and curriculum analytics, will strengthen our continuous feedback loop between student and teachers.
  • Julie Haché - Formerly of Shopify and Unspace will be co-leading our Web Development immersive with Chris Johnston (formerly of Nulogy and ThoughtWorks).
    Finally, we're extremely lucky to be joined by Minh Ngo as Admissions Officer and Lidia Sienkowska as Community & Student Experience.  They will help our students have an easier time getting enrolled in the program, and be successful during and beyond the program.  You can see the team as it stands today in the about section of our new website.

New Look

Speaking of our new look, we feel extremely lucky and privileged to have had the chance to partner with top Toronto-based design firm Teehan+Lax for our re-branding.  Not only were we able to work with a local Toronto partner, but with a track record in building things like medium.com with Ev Williams, we knew we'd be in good hands.  See our new site at www.bitmakerlabs.com.

New Facility

Finally, we're moving Bitmaker Labs to a new complex.  We're doubling in size, with more than 8,000 sq ft at our disposal.  We're not going far; barely a two minute walk from our present location.  220 King St West is literally in front of Roy Thomson Hall, a few minutes away from the Sky Dome and CN Tower, and moments away from the St. Andrew subway station.

With all of these changes, you may have questions, comments or ideas.  To reach us, simply drop us a line: contact@bitmakerlabs.com.