The Estonian programming school kood/Jõhvi is opening a new application season seeking to teach half a thousand future developers. Founded by Estonian unicorn builders, tech and startup community members in 2020, it has recently celebrated the opening of its new building in Jõhvi, Ida-Viru County. Widely known for its Energy and Chemical sectors, the region is now rapidly transforming to participate in Estonia’s thriving digital economy.
The demand for software developers has been on the rise for years now, and it’s only getting higher. While traditional education institutions try to catch up by offering coding boot camps and specialized courses, kood/Johvi is a new kid on the block with a radically different approach. The school has no teachers, no lessons, and no fees. Instead, it relies on a self-study model where students are given the freedom to learn at their own pace and in their own way.
This approach may sound unconventional, but it’s working wonders for the students at kood/Jõhvi, which currently enrols 500 learners from different backgrounds, ranging from former bakers to top managers and former Olympians. “We are very happy with the diversity at our school, but one of our missions is to support women in tech, so we encourage more women with an interest in IT to apply,” stresses Taavet Hinrikus, one of the school’s founders.
The application process for kood/Jõhvi starts with a 1,5h cognitive ability test that is used to select the 700 best students for a three-week trial period. At the end of the trial, around 500 of them will be selected to study. The school is open to anyone over the age of 18 with at least a basic education, good English skills, and an interest in programming.
The self-learning model at kood/Jõhvi is complemented by an emphasis on practical values such as group work, community building, and time planning, which are crucial for success in the tech industry.
The first batch of students started their studies in the fall of 2021, and they’ve already made impressive progress. “The first of them have already started working full or part-time jobs in different IT companies.” shares Karin Künnapas, the Head of School. Now it aims to repeat and enhance those results.
The school’s new campus in Jõhvi is a five-story modern building that provides ample space for collaboration, events, and living spaces to accommodate students. Students can also complete the program remotely, but some on-site involvement is still a big plus.
“We understand that moving to Jõhvi may not be suitable for all students, which is why the programme can also be completed remotely. However, the students need to also be prepared to be physically present, as there is a strong emphasis on cooperation and collaboration in the curriculum,” adds Karin Künnapas.
If you are interested in joining kood/Jõhvi, sign up for the testing here.
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