Your top 5 favourite Codecool blog posts from 2021

man reading blog post on mobile

Read again and get new inspiration from your favourite articles by Codecool about training, recruitment and management from last year.

man reading blog post on mobile

It’s almost the end of the year, a great time for some nostalgia. We thought we’d look back and see which of our articles you enjoyed the most last year, which ones generated the most heated discussions, and which ones inspired you most. It was great reading back all your thoughts in comments on LinkedIn under some of them, or just see how many likes and other emojis each got. 

Here goes the top 5 of your favourites. Enjoy (re)reading them!

This was by far your number one favourite post this year. It’s about what we found to be the biggest obstacles to closing the ever growing IT talent gap. The fact that it was so popular shows how important the topic today is, and how many companies struggle with the gap.

4 of the 7 main reasons we found about why it’s still there were:

  1.  Going digital beyond IT, or the fact that more and more digital positions are opening outside of IT, too, in business departments
  2.  COVID-driven digitalisation of not just those innovation areas in previously defined digital strategies, but also forced, quick digitalisation of further, business-as-usual processes
  3. Inflating prices in some countries raising salaries of anyway-not-cheap tech professionals, too
  4. Growing EU and VC funding creating more-and-more IT jobs to fill, especially from 2014 on
Curios about the remaining three? Read the article now, and get inspired about the complex background of this global challenge.

We found that quite an intense discussion started under this post on LinkedIn. It seemed that everyone has an opinion about this controversial topic, and loved seeing your arguments and examples.

Our view,  explained in the post in detail, is that university education has many values, and there are positions where it’s absolutely necessary to have as a background, but there are many more, where it is not. We looked into some statistics from a related research, looked at reasons why we’re biased towards university graduates, and how it can be harmful. We also gave practical advice on how to adjust your selection criteria, if you decide to drop the university degree from your list of primary filters for a candidate.

The article was posted last January, but it still does have its relevance. Open to consider its facts and arguments? Read it (again) here.  

Have you seen the meme, where a woman jumps from a burning building with a sign saying “2020” down into a huge round sheet stretched out by firefighters, only to bounce back and fly into another burning building through the window, with a sign saying “2021”? Well, let’s just say, 2021 didn’t really bring the relief of the pandemic situation and it’s effects that everyone hoped for in the beginning of 2020. 

Recruitment faced its own challenges, after the initial freeze in 2020 through gradual revival, but complete overturn to online and remote operation. The difficult part of writing this article wasn’t the collecting of the challenges, it was to show the opportunities. But we managed, and this became one of your favourites from our blog posts this year.

Wonder how the impersonal, tech-dependent online recruitment process can bring advantages? How the insecurity of jobs in 2020 resulting in lower number of candidate open for a change could work for you? How the digital skills gap can shake your HR strategy up in a good way? Give the article another go, and collect fresh inspiration.

Besides closing the tech talent gap in general, getting more women into tech has been a major focus for companies all over the world in the past years. Since we wanted to do something, too, we created the CoderGirl Scholarship in Q3 2021. The scholarship allows talented and determined women and girls to learn tech for free with us with a guaranteed position in the end,  matching their new skills . We even started a whole new Cyber Security Specialist Course solely for women, with scholarship places only, in November.

In the article, we brought you some facts and figures about the gender gap, as well as some interesting examples when digital product launches went bad only because there were no women involved in the development. We also asked you be part of the change and join us in inviting more women into tech. 

Doesn’t ring a bell? (Re)read the article and be inspired.  

This las one on our (your) list was actually our very first post in 2021. It was a very personal look back at 2020 and look ahead at 2021 by Jozsef Boda, global CEO of Codecool.  It’s quite interesting to reread it and see how we realised our plans (like our series B expectations and the opening of our newest campus in Austria). 

How does he evaluate 2021 and what are his expectations for 2022? You can soon find out from another similar post to come early next year. 

Until then, read (again) this article for a bigger context and some nostalgia.

The above are just a few examples, of course. There were quite a few other blog posts you really liked, like our collection of inspiring podcasts, a success story of one of our graduates featured in a BBC StoryWorks video about our school, and a behind the scenes guide to how we put our company values into practice in tech training.

If you’ve enjoyed reading our blog posts this year,  make sure to subscribe to our Codecool Business newsletter for more.

Stay with us and keep getting inspired for a better digital future in 2022, too.

What to expect from your junior programmer – 5+1 things to look out for

Junior developers on the job market today can possess amazing skills, and can even show up to an interview with great references. To make your hiring process easier, we created an outline on the skills and hallmarks of a great junior developer in 2021.

Defining what type of professional you need in your growing IT team can be a challenge. Do you need an experienced veteran who is able to make quick decisions or is ready to mentor their colleagues? Or maybe you could achieve more by hiring a motivated junior professional, who’s willing and eager to deliver high-quality work under supervision. Your business needs both juniors and seniors to thrive because they add value on different levels.

There’s a catch: one company’s definition of “senior programmer” could be the next company’s ideal junior developer. For example, one developer could be considered “senior” with respect to Java development, but at the same time be considered “junior” at HTML5. So categorising and labelling applicants according to their experience is not a cookie-cutter process. Plus, there are many more things you can expect from your next junior colleague apart from having some experience. 

On another note, age-old hiring practices are becoming outdated. For example, university degrees are becoming less and less of an expectation, and you can expect juniors to have some experience nowadays. Plus, more and more companies are opening up their positions globally, even overseas due to the changes that the pandemic has brought. You have the option to recruit junior developers from all over the world and offer them remote positions.

But before we dive into the topic of juniors, let’s quickly explore the skills and capabilities of a senior developer for some context.

What can you expect from a senior developer?

Programmers in a senior role usually have 5+ years experience at a certain technology.

Seniors should be critical thinkers and practice full ownership. They are the ones you can trust in an organisation to keep the big picture in their minds as challenges and problems arise. Seniors ideally place responsibility on themselves first, whether or not their team is succeeding. Apart from being responsible, seniors are generally experts at:

  • Liaising with internal and external customers and stakeholders
  • Leading and mentoring teams
  • Driving projects and keeping the big picture in mind
  • Having an innate understanding of software systems and architecture 
  • Advanced understanding of frameworks, technologies, testing, and troubleshooting methods
  • Analysing business needs and user expectations
  • Ability to lead and mentor teams and drive projects

There are a number of areas where a seniors excel. However, having a team full of seniors could be an over-kill, because junior developers can also be a great addition to your organisation.

So what exactly can you expect from a junior developer?

When we talk about a “junior developer” we usually think of someone who has 1 to 3 years of experience in any given technology. 

As a general rule of thumb, we can say that juniors should be able to perform technical tasks independently,  but they will need some governance and consultation on a general basis. They should focus more on the code and sub-tasks assigned to them by seniors, and less on the big-picture, architecture and strategy.

In short, these are the things you can expect from a junior developer in the year 2021:

  • 1) Have a basic understanding of technologies and development
  • 2) Have demonstrable, relevant experience
  • 3) Understand agile practices
  • 4) Deliver high-quality work under supervision
  • 5) Possess great soft and interpersonal skills
  • +1) Have a strong drive to learn and progress

Let’s dive deeper into each point, and explore why they are important to have in a junior developer.

1) Have a basic understanding of technologies and development

A junior shouldn’t focus on the big picture, and should rather get busy with working on specific features of a product. But having a knowledge of what processes are involved in creating a software will make everybody’s life in the team easier. So a junior should ideally know how the development cycle goes, and it’s more than ideal if they’ve been through the entire development process a couple of times before. 

Technology-wise, your business will define what skills are most valuable, but you can expect a good junior programmer to know around 4-6 programming languages. Juniors should be excited to learn the technology stack that’s relevant for your business, so expect them to be eager and willing to learn new things. 

Top junior developer candidates will have an innate understanding of the development cycle and will know their way around the processes and the roles. So expect your junior to understand the software development process and where they fit into the big picture.

2) Have demonstrable, relevant experience

In terms of hiring, experience is still golden in the eyes of companies– but the type of experience someone has is a game-changer. Experience can be gained through personal projects, at a programming school, during an internship, or at university. So experience doesn’t always have to come from a full-time job. The bottom line is to see relevant experience on your candidate’s CV because you can expect any junior to be able to demonstrate some type of work.

You can expect junior developers to show up to the interview with a solid project portfolio and relevant programming experience. 

3) Understand agile practices

Agile software development is the universal best practice in software development right now, and around 92% of business owners think that the key to their company’s success lies in agile.

Hiring a junior developer who knows their way around sprints, or is up to make a team-based decisions will prove to be a great pick when your team works in agile. Of course, you can’t expect every candidate to have worked on a live project with agile methods, however, you can expect your new junior colleague to have a basic understanding of agile practices.

A great junior candidate will be well-prepared to start working in any software development team. You can expect them to understand what Scrum, daily standups, sprints, retrospectives, client demos, and collaborative work are. 

4) Deliver high-quality work under supervision

A junior should be able to work independently, but will need some supervision, guidance, best-practices and mentoring from senior colleagues from time to time to be able to progress and deliver the best quality of work. It’s a more senior colleague’s place to make decisions and to mentor junior colleagues, but a junior should demonstrate the motivation and the energy to learn and progress. Still, you can definitely expect a junior to be able to work on their own and to find solutions to smaller issues by themselves. Having a great work ethic and a keen eye for details will prove to be amazing features in your new junior developer.

An ideal candidate will be a confident, self-sufficient professional who won’t shy away from putting in the work to solve a challenge. Still, it’s great if they know when to ask a question or look for support from their peers. You could ask your candidate: “When was the last time you had to ask for help, why, and were you able to solve the challenge then?” Expect junior developers to have a great answer to this question, and to have an inner drive to learn and excel at their work.

5) Possess great soft and interpersonal skills

Your new junior colleague should be able to adapt to your company culture and team dynamics quickly and seamlessly. This process will be a whole lot easier with a colleague who has great social skills and who possesses certain soft skills.

Imagine a scenario where your new junior developer is expected to demo their work, but appears  to be uncomfortable presenting themselves in a professional way. Or think about initial conflicts that can arise during a colleagues onboarding and first few months. How will your new junior handle constructive criticism, communicate with their colleagues, and adapt to the changes that are bound to happen?

We know that soft-skills are in the focus of many hiring managers today, and they are just becoming more and more important by the day. Skills like presenting, feedback giving and receiving, time management or conflict management will all be invaluable in your new junior colleague. So expect them to have great soft skills, and you’ll have a faster time onboarding and integrating them into your team.

+1) Have a strong drive to learn and progress

Companies work in a changing environment, and digital transformation comes with a continuous change in processes and technologies. A great junior sees changes not as a threat, but as challenges to solve. They are happy to learn and implement new technologies, processes and ways of work. 

Personality-wise, look for a demonstration of motivation and genuine energy, plus a willingness to learn from mistakes when you’re interviewing juniors. Apart from the points on our upcoming list, expect your new junior to be open to constructive criticism, and have a real drive to progress at their craft. By paying attention to these qualities, you can make sure that your new colleague is excited and ready to learn and work in your team.

During the interview, you could ask your candidate to tell a story where they were able to learn from a mistake and get them to explain how they handled the initial criticism. Or you could ask them to tell when they supported their team, even though they did not 100% agree with the direction the team wanted to take. Hearing these stories could give you a great general idea about the type of person your candidate is, and about the level of support and commitment they can give.

Ready to find your next junior developer?

If you’re looking for a candidate who has a checkmark next to every item on this list, consider partnering with Codecool. Codecool graduates are great junior developers that can tick all the boxes on your list of expectations, and help your organisation grow. Our motivated junior professionals can deliver high quality work from day 1 in your projects.

Interested? Get in touch with us and let’s talk business. We’re excited to hear from you!

Coding a Better Future – Codecoolers Win Silver at Morgan Stanley’s Hackathon

A team of Codecoolers developed an innovative learning support app, that might change the lives of children with a chronic desease.

Morgan Stanley and the Amigos for Children Foundation asked young developers to help non-profits building innovative learning tools for children and teenagers with chronic diseases, in the scope of a three-month virtual competition.

We’re super proud that the Codecooler team – Zsofia Szonja Kassai, Barnabas Urmossy, Balint Molnar and Kristof Murai – came 2nd place in the Hungarian competition, in an all-university team lineup.

We asked them about their experience at the hackaton and their studies at Codecool.

What motivated you to sign up for the Code to Give hackathon in the first place? Was this your first hackathon?

Zsofi: Yes, this was our first! We were curious about the challenge, we wanted to try ourselves and learn from a longer project. The idea that we might help a nonprofit was very attractive, too.

Barnabas: I wanted to know what it would be like to work together with a client on a project which is much longer than the usual 1-2 projects we are used to. Plus, I knew that we’re a really good team, and wanted to see us as a team develop, besides individual development.

Balint: For me, it was a no-brainer. I’ve never participated in anything similar, and I loved the concept that we can help kids learn languages, sponsored by a huge multinational company.

Kristof: I was also driven by curiosity in the first place. I had no idea what to expect. I wanted to see what we can do being in the 2nd part of our one-year full-stack development training. The idea that we can help kids in need was obviously a huge plus.

You named your team LazyLlamas. Where did this crazy name come from? 🙂

Barnabas: We realised that we shared an interest about llamas at our very first meeting. Then we just sat back like we had nothing else to do until we sign up. We added the “lazy” when we realised that we have just 15 minutes left until the deadline and we still haven’t registered the team in the competition, which was so us, actually.

But it felt good when people mentioned a few times, later, during the competition that based on the way we work we must have meant “lazy” as irony.

What kind of learning support tool have you developed? Can we see it?

Zsofi: Our app has 2 parts, one for students and one for teachers. The part for students is a learning enhancing tool with 6 types of tasks. The part for teacher, or the “Amigos” makes it easy to create tasks, monitor students’ progress and give feedback.

Barnabas: The basic idea was to create an app with templates that help creation of new tasks. And we also wanted to support the communication between the students and the Amigos, so that they can align on tasks and evaluation. On top of this, we wanted to create a gamified system for collecting points to enhance students’ motivation.

Balint: The biggest benefit of the app, just like Barna mentioned, are the templates. We created templates for memory game, word – image coupling, interpretation of written and spoken text, substitution and organisation into categories. We made all of them available on all the languages the Amigos work with.

Kristof: We’re very happy to demo the app to anyone who finds it interesting.

What was it like to participate? How did it feel to get in the finals?

Zsofi: For me it was an amazing experience! We spent the whole time sleeping much less, collecting creative ideas all the time, working together really smoothly as a team. Our original goal was to learn, but we’re so happy we got this far in our first hackaton. And it was super exciting to present our idea to the jury in the finals.

Barnabas: On top of what we have expected, the whole thing required a lot of organisation, project management, copywriting and presentation rehearsals. I really enjoyed being able to practise all this in a real-life development environment. And the experience helped me decide that I want to be a front-end developer after Codecool. Plus, getting into the final showed that we were capable of performing well in such a complex project, even before finishing course.

Balint: The competition was a blast and I was especially happy that I could refresh my web skills, plus learn CSS at the same time. I was really curious how we’ll perform among the university teams, but after the meetings of round2 it was obvious that we’d make it to the finals.

Kristof: I just loved everything about the competition. It was great to see what it takes to organise and put together an app from scratch. We started out super motivated and the ideas just kept coming to us. Then, after we successfully presented our ideas, our motivation got another  boost, and then we just had to fight time to actually deliver on our idea. Getting into the finals felt like a dream come true, and assured us that we did a good job.

What was the biggest challenge in the competition?

Zsofi: Racing with time. We had so many ideas, but it was almost impossible to deliver on them in such short time.

Barnabas: In the last days I found it really difficult to let go of some of our ideas and my maximalism, just like Zsofi. We had to decide what to implement in the prototype and what to put on the next steps slide in the final presentation.

Balint: For me it was CSS! 😀 And as the project kept growing, refactoring. It was really challenging to create and put each task type together, but the end result turned out very organised, thanks to Zsofi.

Kristof: For me, too, the biggest challenge was time, because we just kept getting newer ideas about how to make each task type even better and fancier. We had to draw the line somewhere eventually.

What skills could you use in the competition that you got at Codecool?

Zsofi: Like everything. 🙂

Barnabas: There were 1 or 2 technical solutions that were so specific that we haven’t seen anything similar during the course. But since we also learnt at Codecool how to find new solutions on the internet, we managed to find and apply those, too.

Balint: We had a huge advantage in the finals because we pracised so much already at the Friday demoes in front of clients at Codecool. As for hard skills, for me the hackaton was like “and add-on” to the web modul of the full-stack course. Our app turned out a Flask based, JavaScript-heavy website, with a complex database structure.

Kristof: I got all my coding and developing skills from Codecool, so I used what I learnt there. And when I got stuck, I could always turn to a Codecool mentor for help.

Where are you now in your Codecool studies? What are you learning about now?

Zsofi: We’re at the end of the OOP (Object-Oriented Programming) module, which is the 3rd or the 4 modules of the one-year full-stack development course. We signed up for the hackathon at the beginning of this module.

Barnabas: Yeah, the competition lasted the whole time of the module. Let me take the opportunity to send our thanks to our teammates who put extra effort into our shared Codecool projects, so we could focus on this challenge. 🙂

Balint: It was refreshing to work on something totally different while also coding in Java (but obviously the last weeks of OOP were also about web based stuff, databases and such). I’m actually just about to start my last module, I’ll specialise in Test Automation.

What are your plans for after Codecool?

Barnabas: I will start looking at web app front-end developer jobs with real confidence after this competition.

Balint: Precision planning is far from me, I have always been going with the flow. I’m curios about the Test Automation specialisation at the moment.

Kristof: I liked the web modul best so far and especially after this result I’m looking forward to become a web developer, too.

What will you do with with your prize? You’ve got some EMAG vouchers.

Zsofi: I haven’t decided yet. I want to make good use of it.

Balint: I killed my laptop a few months ago, so I got a new one from my prize.

Kristof: I have always wanted a smart watch, but I’ve never came around investing in it. Now I have.

What is the biggest learning for you from the competition? Is there anything your would do differently in retrospect? Would you ever enter a hackathon again?

Zsofi: The biggest learning for me, how much I actually learnt during the ride. I’m satisfied with our performance and would definitely go for another hackathon, too, sometime.

Barnabas: In the beginning I haven’t even realised how big of a task we took on. It even started to get a little scary after a while. But seeing that we can do all this, I started to come up with new ideas and challenges in the last days. I would definitely do something like this again.

Balint: i would do a lot of things differently, for example I would stick to naming conventions form the very beginning, and make SCRUM standups regular. But we all did our best, and I would definitely do this again.

Kristof: Since this was my first hackathon, I would do many things differently. But it was an amazing experience and I would definitely be up for the challenge again.

Inspired by this success story? Want to work with juniors like these amazing Codecoolers?

Our fresh graduates are waiting. Reach out and let’s discuss how we can help you.

We can’t wait to talk to you!

Boost Team Productivity: Follow These 4 Rules of Doing by Non-Doing

Looking to learn new ways to make your team productive? Non-doing doesn’t exactly sound like a productivity spell, but it can become one. Let’s see, how. 

As we are slowly returning to some kind of a new normal and exploring hybrid work options, productivity challenging online meetings, home office days and virtual team setups remain our reality.

Managing a learning organisation, team energy and effectiveness has never been more more tricky, than in this almost-post-pandemic era. We have to learn new ways to stay productive again, even if they make us leave our comfort zones for a change.

Non-doing doesn’t exactly sound like a productivity spell, but it can become one. The idea is not new at all, but it might just be time to revive it.

Where does the concept come from and what does it even mean?

It’s an ancient idea that’s certainly stood the test of time, having first appeared in the great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s writings over 2000 years ago. And although “wu wei” literally means non-doing or non-action, it’s anything but a form of passivity.

Think of non-doing as effortless action: getting the greatest outcome possible by doing the least possible.

Why is it relevant today?

But why should we embrace this very concept in an age of constant change, competition and pressure to perform?

For starters, because it’s time for leaders reinventing their management styles.

In the golden age of the knowledge society, autocratic management (even the parental style, with the kindest possible intent) is hardly ever a good strategy. The most successful companies and teams out there aren’t the ones that always follow the rules but the ones that don’t think twice before completely rewriting them. And they tend to have managers that expect the same from their employees.

In a game where creativity wins it all, good leadership isn’t about instructing, dictating or checking. It’s more about asking, inspiring and supporting. In other words, non-doing.

Here are our 4 don’ts, if you want to master the art of effortless action.

1. Don’t try to be a know-it-all

A company culture based on non-doing is built on the fact that no one holds the Philosopher’s Stone. Meaning that no leader or team member has the ultimate truth.

Why is this important?

First, because there is no Philosopher’s Stone – and noone is infallible.

Second, because if you obsess about single truths, you’ll encourage unhealthy group dynamics. Whether you’re in a meeting or in a classroom, if your feeling of being right shoots up, so does your feeling of authority right away. Authority limits flow, creativity and innovation.

When building a supportive environment instead of a domineering one, finding a single right solution or flashing your insight will loose its significance. You’ll embrace the search and remain open to experiment, take risks and even stay silent, as needed.

2. Don’t put people in boxes

Aka the number one rule for a strong feedback culture: try not to stick labels on people, whether positive or negative.

For example, if you say “You’re smart!” to someone, nobody will know what exactly was good about their work, including them. Similarly, if you tell someone they’re slack, you basically imply that there’s something wrong with them as a person, not helping with constructive feedback to improve.

That’s why labelling is one of the biggest obstacles to development both for individuals and a company as a whole.

Don’t put stars or talents on a pedestal, but put the valuable behaviours in the spotlight. Make sure these are transferred among people, supporting learning, growth and motivation at company level.

3. Don’t offer ready-made answers

In a non-doing organisational culture, employees value attention more than solutions.

So if someone has a problem, others shouldn’t tell them how to solve it, but help them find the answer instead. Even if this means that a task will take longer or require more attempts.

How will that help?

If you hand ready-made solutions to someone on a plate, you also take away something crucial: the opportunity to learn. If you want someone to grow, you need to assist them with creating a learning environment in which they themselves go through trial and error.

On the side, you’ll boost their motivation and who knows, even you might learn something new in the process.

4. Don’t take away responsibility from others

In other words: “No pressure, no diamonds”. The saying rings as true as ever: people can only improve if they’ve got responsibility, if what they do is meaningful and has consequences.

Autocratic leadership (including micro management) withdraws this power, as it takes away the possibility from others to become and remain in charge of their own work and growth.

So just because you think you’re better or faster at a task, don’t take it over from others.

If an employee would like to change something at the company, and it doesn’t directly violates shareholder interest or personal safety, consider letting them do it. The company is as much theirs as yours, and they need to experience this. Try make every project run by whoever is the most motivated. Work actively on creating a sense of ownership, and enjoy the benefits.


We at Codecool actively and consistently practice non-doing, or non-teaching at our courses. We facilitate discovery by learning instead of providing all the answers upfront. This way Codecoolers gain a deeper knowledge, enhance their creativity, develop a passion to learn more – and have much more fun.


Obviously, there are situations when non-doing is not  good idea. If a fire breaks out, please ring the alarms, and don’t wait for a team consensus on possible even better solutions and learning opportunities.

The point is: the house is not always on fire, and you shouldn’t act like it is. Start with noticing if you do, and try something different for better results: try non-doing instead.

Codecool Receives EUR 7,000,000 Investment Capital and Expands in the Region

Codecool, supported by its new partner Integral Venture Partners and its earlier investors Lead Ventures and PortfoLion Capital Partners has received an investment capital of EUR 7 million. This investment allows us to open new campuses in the region.

Codecool, supported by its new partner Integral Venture Partners and its earlier investors Lead Ventures and PortfoLion Capital Partners has received an investment capital of EUR 7 million. 

This investment allows us to open a new campus in the region in the first half of 2021 already.

The challenge created by the labour shortage in the IT sector will persist in the forthcoming years

44,000 IT professionals could be hired in the upcoming two years in Hungary only, if there were enough candidates with the right skills on the market, according to a survey commissioned by IVSZ, ITM and KIFÜ. In the EU, on the other hand, there were about 825,000 vacant positions in the infocommunications sector in 2020, based on data provided by the European Commission. More than half (58%) of the businesses in the sector claimed that it was challenging for them to find IT professionals with the right skills. Labour shortage in the tech industry may jeopardise the competitiveness of businesses, and therefore, overall economic development, as well.

A solution to this problem is to improve and support alternative IT training programs, besides traditional university courses. The opportunities created by demand for new forms of education have already been recognised by investors, too. Based on an analysis by Dealroom, the value of new capital investments in EdTech increased by 94% in 2020, reaching USD 13 billion.

Targets by 2025: more than 10 campuses, thousands of graduates a year and dozens of corporate training programs

We have completed our third successful investment round by its HUF 2.5 billion agreement concluded with Integral Venture Partners, with financial advisory support by Clairfield. With the EUR 12.5 million capital raised so far in total, Codecool matches up in investments with top European actors on the IT education market (Ironhack: EUR 22m, Le Wagon: EUR 16m). At present, we operate campuses located in Hungary, Romania and Poland, and over 1,000 of our graduates work in tech across Europe.

“The investment enables us to continue our European expansion. We’re planning to enter two new markets this year – we consider Austria, Serbia and Bulgaria. Our target is to operate more than ten Codecool campuses by 2025,” says CEO of Codecool József Boda. “Expansion, however, does not only mean increasing the number of our schools. Further development of our corporate re- and upskilling courses are also in our focus. Our experience shows that executives are increasingly open to train or reskill their existing employees, as it is often time-consuming and costly to find new experts with appropriate skills on the labour market.”

At the same time, we are also continuously extending the range of our open courses. In addition to our full-stack course with a job guarantee, specialised 3 to 4-month online IT courses were added to our portfolio last year. In line with the demands of the labour market, further training programs are under development. The target number of graduates in 2025 will increase to thousands per year.

“Codecool supports a fundamental, long-term macro and labour market trend – the promotion of digitalisation and the increasing significance of programming skills – through a unique and flexible business model. This model puts equal emphasis on the training of high quality coders, and the fast and effective satisfaction of corporate demand for human resources. These, together with the regional coverage and the expansion plans make this company especially attractive for Integral Group and its investors, as education is one of our key focus fields. The partners of our investment fund are from the region, and they invest in innovative, high quality CEE companies. Therefore, Codecool perfectly fits into our growing portfolio”, concluded Investment Executive of Integral Venture Partners, Ádám Szalai.

“Codecool’s 12-month, intensive, practice-oriented programming course is a unique proposition, there is no other course like this at competitors on the local market at the moment. The method is proven: 98% of the more than 1,000 Codecool graduates have already landed an IT job” highlights Ábel Galácz, CEO of Lead Ventures, operator of MOL and MFB invest (Hungarian Development Bank), founders of Enter Tomorrow venture capital fund. According to the investor, Codecool’s market outlooks are even brighter considering the fact that the Hungarian higher education cannot deliver the necessary number of IT professionals, even with an increased capacity.

“As the very first institutional investors of Codecool we have known the team for years now, and our trust in them has always been very strong. For us it was a no-brainer to participate in their 3rd investment round, too. They were able to react quickly and effectively during the pandemic, which is the essential characteristic of a successful scale-up. And they are a key player in EdTech (education technology), which is one of the hottest sectors today. Impacted by the recession, a lot of people feel the need, or are even actually forced in some unfortunate cases to start new careers and further develop their skills. So we believe to see further growth” – added Zsolt Mihály, Investment Manager of PortfoLion Capital Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm with investors like OTP Group and Eximbank.

International contribution to the development of digital skills

In the Autumn of 2020 Codecool, started the development of a new, EU level software development skills strategy and curriculum, as member of European Software Skills Alliance, together with leading large corporations like Amazon Web Services and Adecco. Via the Alliance the experience of the school in the field of training software developers will not only influence training of IT professionals in the region, but also on the entire continent.

Last year, the achievements of Codecool were also recognised by a top IT forum: the Amsterdam-based The Next Web listed Codecool among the 20 most exciting European companies on its Tech5 list featuring the most promising scale-ups.

Starting the New Year Stronger and More Mature than Ever Before

József Boda, Codecool co-founder and CEO tells us about why he thinks we should count 2020 as a „dog year”, how Codecool will shift to rocket gear in 2021, and what he wishes for all us for the new year.

2020 was a really good year for us at Codecool. I am actually admitting this with some reservedness in the middle of a global pandemic. When we were deeply shaken to witness the collapse of whole sectors, the shutting down of hundreds of companies around us. Thousands losing their jobs, all of us worrying about our loved ones’ and our own health. But we at Codecool have delivered all our key targets last year, and exceeded our own expectations by going online practically seamlessly, and growing our business at the same time.

If you asked me around this time last year, if we would be able to enroll our students fully online, take all our classes online, build partnerships online and place our alumni at those partners also online, I would have replied: „Are you kidding me? We surely would not be able to do that.”

And to do this all practically from one day to another? When our very essence is the Codecool vibe at the school where we spend long hours together everyday? And at the same time achieving a record number of yearly enrollments in the 3 countries with a 1.000 students joining us in total? Never ever. But then we did just that. Successfully. We were the most amazed that this was not all impossible.

After the first shock we quickly switched to agile mode. We wanted to help at once. We developed two apps for the National Ambulance Service in Hungary, and support guides about online education for public school teachers in Poland and Hungary. In the meantime, we have moved all our courses online without any considerable hiccup, and enrolled over 300 students to our government supported courses in the autumn. These courses are still going strong in all four specialisations, and we really hope that this forward-looking, popular programme will be continued in some way. In Poland, we have scaled up our weekend courses, and launched our first ever strategic corporate partnership programme with great success – a new service which we would like to roll out in all the other countries, too. In Romania, our first students have completed our first courses, we have forged new partnerships, and the first Codecoolers have started in their first IT jobs. Huge successes to all of us!

Let’s make something clear: these things have not just accidentally happened to us.

We must remember that all of us who have survived last year have been lucky. The only „mistake” that many others made was just being in the „wrong” industry, or they simply became the victims of circumstances.

On the other hand, the huge work done by our colleagues, mentors, students and obviously, our partners all contributed to our success. While, just like many other companies, we were running on non-stop crisis management. In Romania and Poland even without a „Summer break”. (In Hungary we had a chance to literally breath a little freely between the first and the second waves of the pandemic.) I personally felt like on an emotional roller coaster, daily fluctuating on the wide scale between desperation and „yess, com’on, we can do this!”. And I’m pretty sure I was not alone. But all this just made us stronger and brought us closer somehow. And I am so very grateful for this. Without the tireless work, infinite enthusiasm and full trust put in Codecool by everyone in 2020, we would not be anywhere near, where we are today.

Because today, we are actually starting the year stronger than ever before.

Stronger and more mature. Today it is not only the last year, but already five years behind us. (Though I used to say sometimes jokingly that we should count 2020 as a „dog year”, because it really felt like seven, but let’s just count it as one.) And these five years were spent learning not only by our more than a 1000 graduated students, but also ourselves. We have learnt to grow up to our goals, tasks, and the endless trust we have received. And so we have been getting ready for the new year in a much more structured manner this time, with much more detailed plans and in general, with much more control, than ever before.

And to say that our 2021 plans are ambitious would be an understatement.

We will open schools in two further countries next to Hungary, Poland and Romania – one planned for the first half of this year and one for the second. Having listened to our partners, we are widening our corporate services in each country, and enhancing our strategic partnerships. Building on last year’s learnings and international best practices we are lifting the online Codecool learning experience to a new level. And as soon as possible, hopefully by the summer, we are slowly, gradually returning to our favourite places, to the offline schools, too. Stabilisation and growth – these two words summarize our 2021 plans for me best.

However, if we have learnt something last year it is that anything unexpected can happen and overwrite our plans in a flash. We have also learnt, on the other hand, that we will probably be very much able to manage even such unexpected situations. We have learnt to trust ourselves better, than before.

We have learnt that we can carry out our business plans, and we can save our good spirit in our personal lives.

Just like when together with my wife, we managed to carry on performing in our jobs, even with our three kids at home in ad hoc arrangements controlled by changing elementary and middle school closure regulations. It was quite a ride some days, I must say, though surely not as much as for single parents. Or, when I had to help out my English teacher mother remotely, with no tech skills whatsoever about how to hold classes online. This is actually Codecool core competence, which I had the chance to practice in real life. But besides the challenges there were really pleasant things, too. I felt incredibly lucky to spend every night at home with my family, and I actually put more miles in my bike last year than ever before. (7.500 kilometres. Not a world record, but my personal best by far. 🙂 ) The reason was that I stopped travelling around our offices on a weekly basis, a big change after only sleeping at home max. four nights in a row last year.

In the meantime, we have also learnt that besides managing challenges, we can also keep our promises.

Because what do we promise every day again and again? A new profession to our students. A new career, hobby, self-realisation, even the chance for a better life. New talents to our corporate partners. Talents that are not only easy to work with, but also a pleasure to have in the company. Corporate trainings which can help them keep and get the best out of their own employees. And a workplace to our Codecool colleagues, where each and everyone is equally important, where we trust each other and where we feel like in a second family together.

And I wouldn’t promise anything more for this year, either – would rather just have a single wish if I can.

To see each other again, soon. After all the hardships, the excitement and all the plans, I miss this one thing only – our personal, offline gatherings. So this is my wish, not just for myself but for all of us – that we meet again, as soon as we can in our offices, our schools, at interviews, at meetings, at personal get-togethers. Until then, I just wish a little bit more strength and patience on top of this, and rewarding work. And a happy, successful and hopefully a little bit easier new year.

2020 in Retrospective – 3 Unexpected Success Stories

To end this difficult year on a high note let us we present you with the short recollection of three of our success stories.

With the new year approaching, we have started looking back and making account of everything we’ve been through in 2020. All the ups and downs, the unforeseen challenges and unexpected successes, big moments and big learnings.

We decided to give you a short recollection of what we at Codecool are really grateful for today.

There are actually too many things we could mention and too little space for listing all of them. First of all, our invaluable partnerships with our amazing clients surviving our arguably toughest year yet with us. Then the over 1000 new students trusting us with their dreams and ambitions starting in our school this year, and 160 graduates landing their first tech jobs at our partners and our companies. And also our continuously growing international team of 140 colleagues working hard to make everything happen.

We’ve been through together a lot this year.

There are just 3 success stories we would like to mention in more detail below, that make us proud and grateful around this holiday season. The first one is about how we got to help out those fighting the new pandemic in the front line. The second is about how we took part in changing the lives of those losing their jobs as the crisis rolled on. And the third one is how we got invited to shape digital education and vocation strategy in Europe in the coming years.

1. Assisting front-line heroes – saving lives with the national ambulance service

In the beginning of March, Hungarian National Ambulance Service (NAS) were suddenly faced with an unexpected technical challenge. With the global pandemic already full on, their colleagues fighting an increasing demand for urgent medical help and unprecedented health risk in the front line, it turned out they also missedsufficient technical support. Not being able to monitor the real-time stock levels of protective equipment on different locations, the ambulance staff on duty was not sure where they could find masks, gloves and other essential supply at their disposal, on their actual route. Also, supply management lacked the necessary status info to arrange timely stock-up everywhere. This slowed ambulance services down considerably, risking additional lives.

We jumped to help. Our developers created a new app for the ambulance colleagues to report and monitor protective equipment stocks in real-time, by location. We delivered a working prototype of the app in just 2 days and finalised it in another few days. By the end of March it was in use nationwide.

By this time our developers and students have already been working on another app for the ambulance service: tracking the work status of their 8000 employees in real-time, further improving the effectiveness of their front-line work.

We were glad we could help the work of our everyday heroes in our own ways. We are here to help in the future, too.

2. Helping the unemployed to future-proof careers – government supported tech courses

In the shadow of the health crisis, an economic crisis also emerged at the same time. Wide-scale layoffs started and thousands of people found themselves on the street everyday, from one day to another. As an emergency reply, financed from the European Social Fund, the Hungarian government lunched the Redesign Program on 11 May, 2020. In the scope of the Program, unemployed people got the opportunity to attend top quality digital courses free of charge, to build a future-proof, tech career for themselves.

Codecool has applied to take part and was finally selected as one of the partner schools in September. We enrolled over 300 pre-selected students in the following weeks and started their four-month training in October.

We are super proud to be part of this initiative about digitalising Central-European workforce, actually changing individual lives day-by-day.

3. Contributing to a digitalised EU work force – European Software Skills Alliance membership

The skill gap in Europe today is above 50%, meaning that over half of the European workforce needs reskilling to fill open positions. One of the areas with the biggest gap is software development.

To tackle the challenge on strategic level, DIGITALEUROPE and an alliance of 26 software partners launched the European Software Skills Alliance (ESSA), to design and implement the new Software Skills Strategy and vocational curriculum for Europe.

Codecool is proud to have been selected as one of the 26 partners in the Alliance. We will work on creating more flexible, shorter, more diverse educational paths benefitting both individuals growing their digital skills and businesses building their digital future.


Having recollected these stories we are looking forward to a hopefully less challenging, but equally rewarding new year.

We wish you happy holidays with lots of grateful moments looking back and celebrating your own success stories.

Codecool Named Most Promising Scale-Up in Hungary

Codecool Programing School has been shortlisted among the 100 most exciting scale-up companies in 20 European countries by The Next Web. These are predominantly IT enterprises that are already successfully over the startup stage, have already demonstrated their multiple growth potential and have succeeded in raising significant capital in several phases. What is even more significant is that Codecool is considered to be the most promising scale-up in Hungary.

Started as a tech blog, Amsterdam-based The Next Web has become a leading professional IT forum by now. In addition to providing news, informing about events and having professional registries, what draws the most attention to them is their Tech5 list, which has been published annually for seven years. Every year they select 100 companies that they believe are especially noteworthy. The preconditions of the selection are that the companies must have a history of at least 5 years and must have been able to raise significant capital to prove its viability. Every year five enterprises are selected from each of the twenty countries, then the top companies of this list of 100 are chosen. Not surprisingly, the winner of the year 2020 is the Finnish company Wolt, which has been able to overcome the pandemic situation by creating a new model of food delivery.

Codecool in the Tech5 2020 shortlist has been awarded as the Number 1 Hungarian enterprise.

Last year its income exceeded HUF 1 billion (for the first time), and during this year’s epidemic it successfully switched for online training in a few days and extended its range of courses by offering shorter trainings focusing on special fields of expertise.

“Although startup companies manifest modern innovation in the eyes of the public, the most serious investors pay special attention to enterprises that have entered the phase of scale-up. By that stage the idea behind the setting up of the enterprise has already been validated, and the company has proved its viability. From now on, the success of the company no longer depends primarily on good luck and the capricious changes of market demand, but rather on the aptitude of professional management,” explains Co-Founder and CEO of Codecool József Boda. “We owe a significant part of our growth in the past years to investors and consultancy companies that supported our work by providing professional advice and, in particular, capital. No international expansion or the extension of our portfolio can take place without them.”

Telekom offers discount subscription for Codecool students

Codecool students in Hungary may use Telekom’s postpaid 15GB mobile Internet package together with the “Mobil XS“ tariff plan free of charge in the first two months and for a fee reduced by 30% for further 10 months. As a result of the cooperation between the programing school and the telecommunication service provider, more and more people can acquire marketable developing skills.

Telekom Hungary and Codecool Programming School have concluded a cooperation agreement. Under this agreement, all active or newly enrolled students of Codecool are now entitled to receive significant discount off the monthly fee of Telekom’s 15GB mobile internet package (offered together with Mobil XS tariff plan) for two years. The offer applies not only to the new 15GB mobile internet package, but also to the 10GB one contracted earlier, until the end of September. Telekom provides this construction for its clients participating in the trainings of Codecool in Hungary for a residential monthly fee reduced by 100% in the first two months and by 30% for further 10 months.

“Owing to the introduction of our short-term IT trainings, accessibility to our courses has improved significantly for the past few months, since our trainings have become available not only for people living in the capital or in Miskolc, but anywhere in the county or even outside of it. The agreement concluded with Telekom Hungary is also part of our endeavors to widen the accessibility of our courses. In addition to the benefits of the discount mobile internet package, we provide job guarantee and the possibility of post-financing for our full-stack programming course students, while the participants of our short-term trainings can pay their tuition fee in instalments, as well,” says Codecool co-founder and CEO József Boda.
The entitlement to the discount can be validated by presenting a document certifying participation in our course, issued by Codecool, in any Telekom shop. Within the framework of this special offer, one student may use only one discount package.

“Telekom Hungary is committed to the improvement of Hungarian digital economy and society. Digitalisation changes the usual routines and processes in every economic sector and in most fields of our everyday life; this change is inevitable, and, at the same time, it has become one of the most important competitive factors,” says Chief Commercial Officer of Telekom Hungary Melinda Szabó, referring to the agreement. “Our company has contributed to the major successes of the past few years not only through the intensive development of our network, but we also keep supporting digital education and the training of IT professionals through various programs and initiatives. Codecool’s digital IT training perfectly matches Magyar Telekom’s strategic programs, that is the reason why we support the students of Codecool by providing discount mobile internet service for them.”

Codecool expects that most of its students will take the opportunity to use this discount package, as having a reliable and fast internet connection is indispensable for the completion of the trainings. Mobile accessibility to the internet increases flexibility even more.