This week Bitmaker Labs hosted the Hackernest Social, reputably one of the biggest gatherings in Toronto of people involved in the tech space.
Crowded and hot, a trademark of Hackernest Socials is the trifecta of networking, beer, and business cards. As usual, there were plenty of recruiters and entrepreneurs looking for developers to hire. Car2go was also there registering new members and giving additional driving time to existing members.
One of the Hackernest Social organizers commented that Toronto is beginning to have a more vibrant tech space, and that even though the investing climate is still immature, entrepreneurs are having more opportunities to stay home in Toronto to grow their companies without having to go to Silicon Valley.
Last night at the event, a student of the Bitmaker program raved about how instructors of the nine-week program were very accommodating to help him succeed through the intensive coding program. He said there is full support if you are failing in any areas to help you pick up the skills with private tutoring before the program is complete. The program also has a career fair at the end of the program where companies like Wave and Shopify have showed up to recruit. Bitmaker instructors take students to Communitech and Hackathons to get connected within the space as well.
The instructors and founders of Bitmaker are very passionate and care a lot about their students and program. The success rate of graduates finding employment or starting their own company is high, at 85% so far. Despite attempts from the government to shut down the condensed coding school, they are still receiving plenty of applicants that want the skills of the future in Bitmaker’s coding boot camp.
SEE ALSO: Why Canada Needs Coding Academies
Bitmaker cofounder Will Richman said the school originated from his friends wanting to learn code, he soon realized the program was something that needed to exist in Toronto. They are currently in their third cohort and have between 30 and 40 students at a time in the program. Early signs of success from students include a Bitmaker student winning the AngelHack and being awarded over $100,000 in prizes. Another student won Startup Weekend and was awarded with $20,000.
Though there is no formal degree or diploma from the program, it revolutionizes education and so far has not limited opportunities to gain employment or have the confidence to start a do-it-yourself coding venture.
Richman said Bitmaker was happy to host the Hackernest Social and help to bridge the gap between connecting the community in Toronto. He feels that a lot of people within the space still do not know each other—and that needs to change to help the ecosystem grow and flourish in Canada's largest city.