The High Cost of a Free Coding Bootcamp

February 13, 2020

Zoe Schiffer and Megan Farokhmanesh, reporting for The Verge:

Lambda's intentions appear to be well-meaning, if also a bit self-serving. Of course, Silicon Valley's solution to upward mobility and education boils down to teaching people to code. After all, engineering jobs demand a skilled workforce, and these gigs pay remarkably well. But the startup ethos of prioritizing efficiency, speed, and scale is incompatible with many people's ability to actually learn.

Still, it's easy to see the appeal of a school built upon a financial agreement that aligns the schools' incentives with the goals and aspirations of its students. With the ISA, if a student succeeds in landing a job, the school gets paid. If a student can't find work within five years after completing the program, the ISA is automatically dissolved.

And, again yesterday, in a follow-up:

In December, online coding bootcamp Lambda School quietly partnered with Edly, a digital marketplace that helps schools sell income-sharing agreements (ISAs) to accredited investors. The arrangement allows Lambda to receive money from the ISAs upfront, rather than waiting for students to find jobs. But it also flies in the face of the values Lambda typically espouses: namely, that ISAs align its incentives with the goals and aspirations of the students.