Holberton School, the full-stack software engineering school that opened its first campus in San Francisco in 2015, today announced that it is opening two campuses in Colombia, one in Bogotá and one in Medellin. This marks the school’s first international expansion and comes only a few months after it opened its first East Coast campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Applications for the programs in Colombia are now open, with the first batch of students starting in January 2019.
The idea behind Holberton has always been to give students something akin to a college engineering degree. It’s a two-year program that focuses on the fundamentals of software engineering, not just on the raw programming skills that many coding boot camps tend to stress.
“Colombia’s digital growth is so impressive that they cannot currently train the required pool of software engineering talent fast enough,” said Julien Barbier, Holberton’s CEO and co-founder, in today’s announcement. “These new schools will enable Colombia to take a quantum leap into the Fourth Industrial Revolution and give so many of its citizens lasting skills and high-quality jobs.”
For the first time Holberton is also partnering with a local nonprofit, Coderise, to operate the school. In addition, Holberton is also partnering with delivery startup Rappi, Colombia’s first unicorn that will ensure that a nice cold Club Colombia arrives at your door anytime you need it. Rappi is contributing the opening costs of the school in Bogotá and will provide mentors to students. The company also says that it plans to hire some of the school’s graduates.
“The future of LATAM is digital, and we are leading the revolution in Colombia. But this success will depend on available high-quality software engineering talent,” said Rappi co-founder and CEO Simón Borrero. “The ability of Holberton to attract students of all genders, rich or poor, educated or not and to effectively train them on in-demand skills is exactly what’s needed.”
Holberton’s selection process is largely automated and focused on a number of projects and challenges. The company argues that this allows for an unbiased admissions process, something that looks to have panned out in practice.