Want to Become a Developer? These 4 St. Louis Programs Will Teach You How

image of people learning to program in order to become developers

You can learn how to program & become a developer. There are many organizations that offer in-person & online options.

It used to be that in order to become a developer, or programmer, you needed to earn a degree from a vocational college or a 4-year university to enter into this fast-growing field. While having a degree can certainly help your resume, it is no longer a firm requirement. In recent years, we’ve seen where many leading employers like Google, IBM and others are hiring candidates to fill openings that do not have traditional education background.

In the post IT–Is It Time For Degree Not Required, our company’s Founder made the case as to why companies should loosen their requirements for information technology roles. The reason? Many tech jobs go unfilled–all while good candidates are not even considered all because they lack a degree. With more noteworthy tech organizations paving the way for change, including some in St. Louis, the tides of change are upon us. If you want to become a developer, these 5 St. Louis programs will teach you how.

Hands-On Coding Programs in St. Louis


Best for: Individuals from any background or skill level. An online assessment will help place you on the track right for your background and skills.

Requirements: Those interested in the program must first complete an online assessment. Students will also need access to a laptop to attend class. Please note: Chromebooks and tablets will not be sufficient

For the foundation course that puts you on the path for a web developer, you can anticipate a commitment of 20 hours each week on coursework, including time spent in class for 20 weeks (5 months). Class meets twice a week for 3 hours.

Outside of class, you are expected to spend between 10-15 hours doing readings, watching videos, doing practice problems and completing assignments. All students complete the core curriculum together and then learn a specialized language track to hone key skills that are in demand while building a portfolio.

All students are expected to complete a 40-hour week, 3-month apprenticeship at an area employer. (4 out of 5 apprentices are hired after completing their apprenticeship!)

Cost: Aside from the cost of the laptop (if you do not currently own one), your time for in-person classes, there is no cost for LauncCode. Apprenticeships are paid.

Career Services & Job Placement: LaunchCode has partnerships with many of St. Louis’ top area employers for their apprenticeship program. They offer job placement as well.

Claim Academy

Best for: Individuals from any background or skill level seeking to specialize as a full-stack, Java, .NET C# developer.

Requirements: Must have a high school diploma or GED and submit an application which includes: an initial interview, pre-course work in Java (at no cost to potential student), completion of a technical challenge and technical interview (based on technical challenge).

Access to a laptop is required. Program runs for 12 weeks or, there is a 9-week accelerated program with 1-year apprenticeship option. Students can expect to commit 70 hours per week for Claim Academy between coursework and on-site classes.

Cost: Laptop cost (if you do not currently have one) and $10,500-$12,500 for the program–depending on the program chosen. They do offer financial assistance, including scholarships and grants. There is also access to student loans.

Career Services & Job Placement: Yes. Claim Academy has partnerships with many of St. Louis’ top area employers.

We’ve written about Claim Academy in the past over on our blog and since, their program has really taken off. It’s worth noting the success of their graduates–95% placement rate.


Best for: Individuals from any background or skill level who want an expedited program that will teach them the basics of web development, in a small classroom learning environment with hands-on help from instructors. If you cannot commit to daytime classes, or do not wish to commit to programs that take a few months, SavvyCoders may be a good option for you.

Requirements: Must be able to attend in-person classes from 6-9 pm for 6 weeks with a commitment of roughly 36 hours total hours for the entire program. In addition, you will need to have access to a laptop.

Cost: $2,000.00 total for the program, with payment plans available. You will have a laptop cost if you do not currently own or have access to one.

Career Services & Job Placement: Will help students with securing internships and job placement after graduation.


Best for: Military veterans, spouses or sons and daughters of fallen heroes with or without previous programming experience.

Requirements: Must be a military veteran, spouse or son/daughter of a fallen hero. Will need access to a laptop.

Cost: Free for the program. You will also have a laptop cost if you do not currently have one.

Career Services & Job Placement: Yes, CoderVets has commitment from many area St. Louis employers to hire graduates of the program.

Please note: Not much information is available online for CoderVets at this time. Their first cohort was held August 25, 2017. Their facebook page may provide more information when the next cohort is open. ***UPDATE 2018–We are uncertain as to the status of this program. Their website is down & facebook page has been deactivated. If you have any information, please contact us regarding. We are hopeful this program hasn’t went away entirely & will update when we know more…

Like this post? Check out more like it over on our blog.