Platypi and Innovation Depot Launch Depot/U

About the Course

Innovation Depot, in partnership with Platypi, announces the launch of Depot/U, Birmingham’s first developer bootcamp for aspiring web developers. Depot/U is a full-time 10-week program and trains beginner developers to be Front-End Engineers. No prior experience in software development is required for the course. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama is a presenting sponsor of Depot/U and has helped perpetuate the growth of the program.

Graduates of the program, which gives individuals a solid foundation in modern web and mobile development skills, will receive certificates in Front-End Engineering from Innovation Depot and Platypi, with an endorsement from the UAB Collat School of Business. The program qualifies students for an entry-level Front-End Engineering role with the ability to make custom mobile and web applications. Graduates will learn the latest web technologies, including TypeScript, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, and how to implement essential developer problem-solving techniques. They will also get the opportunity to network with the hiring partners of Depot/U.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is committed to keeping IT local," said Scott McGlaun, Innovation Depot Board Member and SVP/CIO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. "We procure technology services locally whenever feasible and are proud to support the local technology ecosystem through our sponsorship of Depot/U. In order to maintain a thriving technology-based economy, access to talent is critical. I would like to think that we can close the IT talent gap our local start-ups oftentimes face. Depot/U may end up being one of the best economic development investments Birmingham has made recently."

Growing Local Tech Talent

The creation of Depot/U grew out of an increasing demand for mobile and web development skills in Birmingham. Businesses all over Alabama are being pressured to outsource development or open satellite offices in areas where these skills are more readily available, and they’re also looking for a larger IT presence. Depot/U strives to meet these needs, growing talent on a local level while helping students and professionals further their career goals. BBVA Compass has joined Depot/U as a hiring partner.

"I believe Birmingham is a hidden gem, with a talented workforce, but one that is light on the latest tech industry skill sets like mobility, cloud, open source and more,” said Chad Ballard, director of Mobility and New Digital Business Technologies at BBVA Compass. “The need for these skills in Birmingham is growing at a rapid rate. By providing the right resources for individuals to learn and grow these skills, Birmingham will emerge as a great place to live and a hub for innovation. Birmingham is BBVA Compass’ tech hub, so we have a vested interest in seeing this program succeed.”

Innovation Depot and Platypi are working with the UAB Collat School of Business to contribute to the growth and promotion of the course. “We are delighted to participate in this professional development training program that is intended to meet the growing needs for these modeling and programming skills,” said Dr. Eric P. Jack, PhD, Dean of the Collat School of Business.

“Innovation Depot is incredibly excited about the launch of Depot/U and its potential for growing the technology workforce in our region,” said Devon Laney, CEO of Innovation Depot. “Over 100 companies are currently housed at Innovation Depot, and the need for a workforce with technology skills is critical to the long-term success of those companies and our region as a whole. The support of Innovation Depot and this new program by the business community speaks volumes about the direction of Birmingham’s tech ecosystem and the commitment to continuing its growth.”

Platypi, a local Birmingham start-up that specializes in web and mobile app development, created the curriculum and will be administering and instructing the course. “Several companies, including Platypi, have opened satellite offices in other cities in search of talent,” said Matt Landers, CEO of Platypi. “We’d all rather hire locally, and Depot/U is how we’re going to make that happen.”

Birmingham Support

"Our local tech companies tell us they have more tech jobs than they can fill. With the growing need for mobile and web development skills, it is good to see programs like this one and others designed to educate our existing and future workforce popping up in Birmingham,” said Jennifer Skjellum, President of TechBirmingham. “It's imperative for Birmingham’s success to be seen as competitive with other cities around our region by offering the best tech education and training opportunities possible."

Depot/U is unique because of the affordable tuition in comparison to other programs. The cost for similar bootcamps or coding academies ranges from $12,000 to $25,000 per student. The total cost per student for Depot/U is $12,500. Thanks to the support of our hiring partners and class sponsors, the total cost of the course is $5,500 per student and is set to begin in early September (official date to be released soon). Students can apply by visiting the course website. Innovation Depot will host an open house for Depot/U Thursday, July 9, at 5 p.m. at 1500 First Avenue North.

TechBirmingham, Moxy, and the UAB Collat School of Business are individual class sponsors.

For more information about becoming a hiring partner or class sponsor for Depot/U, please contact Jennifer@platypi.io

About Innovation Depot

Innovation Depot is the entrepreneurial epicenter of Birmingham, Alabama and focused on the development and growth of emerging technology companies in the healthcare, information technology, and financial services/fintech sectors. Innovation Depot gives entrepreneurs a competitive advantage in attracting customers, talent, mentors, press, and funding to grow their businesses. In 2014, Innovation Depot housed and supported the growth of 99 early-stage companies employing 695 people and generating $137M in gross sales. Over the last five years, the total economic impact of Innovation Depot on the Birmingham region was $1.33 Billion. Innovation Depot operates in partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Visit the Innovation Depot website

About Platypi

Platypi empowers businesses with the solutions, tools and guidance for building mobile and web applications with an exceptional user experience. Founded by former Microsoft Engineers, Platypi specializes in cross-platform development, which gives businesses a competitive advantage for building apps that are written once and deployed to any platform. Platypi’s products are designed to give software developers the ability to build powerful apps that can be easily maintained, managed and flawlessly delivered.

Platypi Website