A Chat with Gabriel Pizzolante, Head of Growth at Coding Bootcamp: Ironhack

Ironhack is best described as a coding bootcamp. We offer courses to people looking to transition into careers in technology – typically people from a non-technology background looking for a complete change, people already in technology roles looking to obtain new skills, or entrepreneurs who want to know more about how to build products.

I say ‘best described’ as a coding bootcamp but we offer more – we’ve expanded into both UX/UI design and data analytics, as well as cybersecurity. We are seeing surging demand for these given the high demand for tech roles and talent shortage.
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How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Back in the day when we started, there weren’t any bootcamp schools in Europe. We noticed that so many people were paying high amounts for traditional academic education, and yet the levels of unemployment in graduates was extremely high.

We set out to transform education by making it customer-centric and outcome-oriented. Ironhack gives you the means to gain practical experience with a “lean by doing” methodology and career support. This way we ensure that people that go through our bootcamps are able to get a job in tech faster.

We also partner with a number of finance partners which will help cover the costs of the course and remove barriers. But above all, I think it’s the sense of community that makes us different. Students and grads – Ironhackers, as we call them, become part of a wider network that can help massively in terms of support, learnings and seeking jobs.


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?

Ironhack isn’t yet that well known in the UK, having only launched our London operation recently, but we were one of the pioneers of coding bootcamps when we were founded in 2013 in Madrid. We’ve since expanded successfully to most major European cities, and into the US/Americas, closing funding rounds and entering new markets.

Having a physical campus is a big plus, but of course we can now run courses fully remotely having made that pivot over lockdown. In London we have a hybrid approach where all of the bootcamps are Remote, yet we have a hub for the community to meet and develop their network while doing the bootcamp or once they finish. We’re based right in Shoreditch and we put on regular events and career-focused activities. The huge demand for tech skills has also been a massive driver for our growth.

What can we hope to see from Ironhack in the future?

There is still a huge talent imbalance in tech, a sector dominated by white males. We are looking to change this. Specifically, we intend to create scholarships with larger businesses who also want to increase the diversity of the tech talent pool – especially females, people from disadvantaged backgrounds, people of colour and the LGBTQ+ community.

This will help make the cost of courses more accessible as well as create a new talent pipeline for any global corporations who also identify with the issue.