You could hear a ping pong ball drop as Apple Computer co-founder, Steve Wozniak and his associates entered the Coder Camps classroom and headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. And then you did.
Amidst the whispers and charged, excited laughter of the graduates and alumni who recently learned that their coding bootcamp ‘s Demo Day was going to be attended by the tech legend, Steve Wozniak. Wozniak picked up a paddle and rallied some opponents as Coder Camps gets rebranding and graduates to Woz U.
Regardless of his celebrity status, ‘Woz ‘ is a playful, curious engineer at heart, and therefore, enthralled by the Intelligent Ping Pong Scoring Rubric. The Scoring Rubric is built by Coder Camp alumni, Christian Wunder, Matthew Ploor and Richard Charay for their final project in the Software Developer course.
One by one, students shook Woz ‘s hand and showcased their passion projects to him, as he asked questions and encouraged the students to continue their tinkering and big thinking beyond the classroom.
“I want to inspire and motivate young people to believe that if they have ideas, they should work for it,” says Wozniak in his interview with Jeffrey Hayzlett at DesTech in October 2017.
That interview, on stage with attendees that included media, directors of education, and Greg Stanton, the mayor of Phoenix, was the first official announcement of Woz U.
It is a digital technical institute whose mission is to ‘reprogram education. ‘ As opposed to a ‘one-size-fits all ‘ traditional educational model, Woz U programs leverage technology-based learning that pushes the boundaries of what ‘s possible, intersects with what ‘s needed, and inspires solutions to change the world.
Currently, Powered By Woz U programs offer online courses in software development, data science and cyber security. Since 2013, its Full-Stack Web Developer program offered 4 languages and was both online and on ground campuses in Phoenix and Seattle. It boasted an 80% placement rate at an average starting salary 31% higher than graduates ‘ previously-held positions.
Coder Camps rebranded to Woz U following Woz ‘s visit to the campus, enabling the company to introduce Woz U ‘s Education as a Service model or EaaS. EaaS is a new approach to tech-ed designed to get students into the workforce faster and with less debt, thus making it more accessible for all who aspire for greater career opportunities. Known for changing the world with the invention of the personal computer, Woz will now revolutionize how individuals are educated, trained and prepared for technology careers.
And just like the humble company that Wozniak started with the other Steve in a basement, Wozniak didn ‘t start out wanting to build a school.
But having been a teacher himself, it really came down to his values in helping everyone everywhere learn how pivotal it is to have technological skills. “I didn ‘t care about starting a company,” Woz states. “I wanted engineers to see my work because I believed engineers were the most important people in the world.” And that ‘s exactly how he made the Coder Camps graduates feel that day. Especially the ones that beat him at table tennis.
 Based on research by Coder Camps / Woz U Career Services department 180 days of completing their program, with data tracked in 30/60/90/120/150/180-day increments in 2017.