A web development class at Codeup.
A web development class at Codeup helps students without a formal education in software development grasp hirable skills in a condensed schedule. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Codeup, a homegrown career school for aspiring software developers, is expanding to Dallas.

The Houston Street immersive coding school for adults is taking its web development program to the Big D with plans to open a downtown Dallas campus in early 2020, CEO Jason Straughan told the Rivard Report Friday.

The company announced in a blog post its intentions to launch in Dallas to serve a growing need for tech workers in the Dallas-Forth Worth metropolitan area. Pending approval from the Texas Workforce Commission, which regulates career schools and colleges in the state, Codeup is set to open in Dallas with an initial cohort of 24 students studying full-stack web development, which includes programming the design and behavior of a website as well as the underlying data and backbone of a website.

As Straughan and the team at Codeup contemplated a potential expansion beyond state lines, the need to grow within it became clear, he said.

“When you start looking at the needs of tech workers in Texas, it is just unbelievable and continues to grow,” he said. “Roughly 42 percent of all tech jobs are in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.”

The sheer demand in the DFW area has become increasingly apparent to Codeup as it has placed a tenth of its graduates in jobs there over the past year and a half, Straughan said. Despite being five hours away from San Antonio by car, Dallas remains within close enough proximity to the other four major cities in Texas that Codeup sees its new school in that city as an extension of the San Antonio campus, Straughan said.

“If we were to go to Tampa, or if we had gone to Norfolk or gone to Kansas City, you’re officially opening a second Codeup,” he said. “But by staying in Texas and opening a campus in Dallas, we’re really just extending, we think, our San Antonio offering to another city.”

Codeup has taken a different tack to growth than many of its national peers in the coding school space. Whereas contemporaries such as The Iron Yard and Dev Bootcamp focused their business on aggressive expansion in top tech markets, and subsequently shut down, Straughan said Codeup has chosen to hold off on expanding its footprint for the first seven years.

After launching a data science boot camp this year, and growing its Downtown San Antonio space, Codeup set its sights on expanding outside of the city. Adding more classes and programming too quickly in San Antonio would have oversaturated the market, Straughan said.

Codeup has signed a lease at the historic Katy Building in Downtown Dallas, located at 701 Commerce St., and expects the Texas Workforce Commission to decide whether to approve the new school within the next few months.

Nearly 100 students enrolled in Codeup’s most popular offering, a 20-week full-time program focused on web design and development, between September 2016 and August 2017, the most recent report published on the Texas Workforce Commission’s website. Just over 80 percent of those enrolled completed the 600-hour, $27,500 program, and close to three-quarters of them found related employment after graduating, according to the commission.

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez was a columnist, former editor and reporter at the San Antonio Report.