Changing the Face of Education, Holberton School Bringing Silicon Valley Skills to Connecticut, Expecting to Double Connecticut Software Engineer Graduates

Initiative supported by Comcast, CT Next, District Innovation & Venture Center, Indra and Raj Nooyi, Seedlings Foundation, State of Connecticut, and The Community Foundation

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Holberton School, the two-year San Francisco-based college alternative for software engineers, has announced plans with District Innovation and Venture Center (DIVC), a new nonprofit started by District New Haven, to bring the school’s innovative, award-winning software engineering training to Connecticut. This venture will enable Connecticut to double the number of locally-based software engineer graduates in just a few years, bringing experienced, qualified, and diverse talent to the fastest growing field in Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor. The school is currently in the approval process to operate in the State of Connecticut with the intention of opening in January, 2019.

“Connecticut is a leader in innovation, and with the guidance and support of the District Innovation and Venture Center, today’s announcement is another step forward in cultivating the tech workforce talent of tomorrow,” said Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. “Holberton brings a unique, proven learning experience to Connecticut to drive the digital transformation revolution and make Connecticut the place for businesses in the 21st century.”

According to a study conducted by Georgetown University, 67 percent of computing jobs are now outside the technology sector and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities for software developers alone will increase 24 percent nationally by 2026. Connecticut’s business landscape includes leaders in aerospace, advanced manufacturing, finance, healthcare, insurance, and education, all now going through digital transformations with a need to hire local, qualified talent to create and execute in order to grow.

“Today’s universities need to do more to attract students from all walks of life. Everyone from the post-graduate who hasn’t found fulfillment in their current career, to the high school student who never thought receiving the high-quality education needed to land their dream job -- let alone without amassing considerable debt,” said Julien Barbier, co-founder and CEO, Holberton. “With no upfront tuition, a blind admissions process, and an educational method relying on collaboration and self-learning, Holberton is taking a different, more effective path. We are excited to partner with local leadership here in Connecticut to open doors to high-wage software engineering jobs.”

“According to the Computing Technology Industry Association, Connecticut’s technology industry contributed $16.2 billion to the state’s economy in 2017. With Holberton’s innovative teaching methods, we can significantly grow that figure and attract more highly-paid STEM jobs,” said Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and, along with husband Raj, both school supporters. “As companies in traditional industries increasingly rely on software to transform their businesses, Holberton school will be training talented local students to become world-class software engineers, ready to contribute from their first day on the job.”

Holberton School New Haven is in the process of becoming a reality with support from local and regional Connecticut community leaders - among them, District New Haven, the Nooyi family, CT Next, Comcast Business, The Community Foundation Mission Investments Company, Seedlings Foundation, and the State of Connecticut Department of Economic Community and Development. In addition, Holberton School New Haven has already signed on corporate partners iDevices, See Click Fix, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and Cognizant. Many more have expressed interest in becoming partners to mentor and create jobs for this new generation of students. A recent partnership between Comcast, CTNext, District Innovation and Venture Center and Elm City Innovation Collaborative put resources behind educational programming efforts to enhance District New Haven’s ability to use shared resources and space in a way that moves the New Haven region forward.

“A recent tech talent survey issued by the State of Connecticut found that 91 percent of Connecticut corporation respondents admitted it was challenging to locate and hire tech talent. So challenging that they needed to go outside of the state to find the most qualified talent,” said David Salinas, founder and CEO, District Innovation and Venture Center. “Both Holberton School and DIVC have found that this challenge is not reserved solely for Connecticut but is a national issue. We believe that by identifying, engaging and training world-class software engineers regionally we're providing the tools and innovation necessary to ensure the best talent stays in the local business ecosystem.”

Planning to open in January 2019, Holberton New Haven will train world-class software engineers in only two years without charging upfront tuition. Students only pay once they get a job. They will acquire practical skills and an understanding of theory through hands-on learning and development of actual systems and applications with current curriculum developed by the school and a network of mentors and industry leaders. Students from the Holberton San Francisco campus are regularly employed at top-tier employers Apple, NASA, LinkedIn, Facebook, Dropbox, Tesla and more.

Holberton has been in operation for nearly three years and recently expanded their San Francisco location to a campus capable of housing up to 1,000 students through a $8.2M series A round of funding. Holberton students have the financial and mentoring support of innovators in industry, professional sports, and entertainment, including Grammy-award winner recording artist NE-YO, New York Jets star lineman Kelvin Beachum; and technology visionaries such as LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang, Docker founder Solomon Hykes and Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel.

The school will not judge applicants by their previous education, work experience, gender or age. The blind application process uses technology to identify smart, motivated people with a will to succeed. Current students’ ages range from 18 to 58 and more than half of the students are people of color, and 35 percent are women.

Here’s what others are saying about Holberton.

For further information on attending Holberton School New Haven, register to join the open house on November 14, 2018, at District New Haven, 470 James St, New Haven, CT 06513 or go directly to the application.

About District Innovation and Venture Center
District Innovation and Venture Center (DIVC), a nonprofit started by District New Haven, creates workforce development and educational programs around technology talent development and provides entrepreneurial support all to improve the outcome of the regions business ecosystem.

About Holberton School
With a campus in San Francisco and a new campus pending approval New Haven, CT, Holberton trains software engineers using a revolutionary teaching method based on project-based and peer learning. The college alternative is free until students find a job. Graduates have earned high-impact engineering positions at companies like Apple, Tesla, Facebook and LinkedIn. Students are supported by mentors and investors who are leaders in technology, sports, and entertainment, including Grammy-award winner NE-YO and technology visionaries Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn CEO), Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang, Docker founder Solomon Hykes and Upwork CEO Stephane Kasriel. Go to to learn more.

Editorial Contacts
Joe Eckert for Holberton School

Allyson McKenney for District Innovation and Venture Center