Popular coding boot camps flourish in Austin

It’s nearly 6 p.m. on a Thursday and the class members of the Austin Coding Academy are streaming onto the third floor of a historic, downtown building on Congress Avenue.

The class begins at 6:15 p.m. so nearly everyone was focused on grabbing a spot at one of the long, wooden tables and firing up their laptops. Sandwiches and drink bottles emerge from backpacks as about 12 students prepared to fuel up for the next three hours of instruction in the narrow room with pale-yellow walls.

The attendees, who were of many descriptions, ages, genders and sizes, chat quietly while instructor Kevin Colten sat among them at the table.

One of those students, Eddie Garcia, was at the end of the table wearing shorts, sneakers and a light-colored polo shirt. A native Austinite and former bartender, Garcia started coding classes in 2014 after deciding to change his career path. Bartending was great, but it was starting to wear on him so Garcia made up his mind to learn software coding at the age of 34. He didn’t even own a computer at the time.