Anything Not Permitted Is Forbidden: Code Camp Edition

Improving people's employment opportunities without giving the state a cut. What were you thinking?


"And then you fill out form 543E72 in triplicate … "
Hack Reactor

Learning to code is the future for today's emerging labor pool. Even President Barack Obama says so. But more important than learning how to code is learning that it's illegal for anybody to do anything at all without the permission of the appropriate government agency.

In California, the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) is going after "coding bootcamps," specialized private code training programs. VentureBeat reports:

These bootcamps have not yet been approved by the BPPE and are therefore being classified as unlicensed postsecondary educational institutions that must seek compliance or be forcibly shut down.

"Our primary goal is not to collect a fine. It is to drive them to comply with the law," said Russ Heimerich, a spokesperson for BPPE. Heimerich is confident that these companies would lose in court if they attempt to fight BPPE.

Heimerich stressed that these bootcamps merely need to show that they are making steps toward compliance: "As long as they are making a good effort to come into compliance with the law, they fall down low on our triage of problem children. We will work with them to get them licensed and focus on more urgent matters," Heimerich said.

VentureBeat notes, "The bootcamps fear that they will go bankrupt as regulatory processes can take up to 18 months."

But we need that oversight as fraud prevention, right? Without the government's protective regulations, people will be bilked out of their life savings and end up in debt, unlike those students at major public universities who come away with valuable degrees in art history or what have you. Beyond that weak logic, government oversight doesn't stop private education programs from occasionally failing miserably anyway.