Our mission is to grow today’s talented – and especially vulnerable – job seekers into tomorrow’s best developers.
With the current shortage in the market, employers are more motivated than ever to opt for a diversified recruitment strategy, focusing on skills rather than diplomas. In addition, these professions offer well-paying, interesting and long-term career opportunities for all those entering the industry today.
We help bridge the gap between motivated job seekers and the employement market, by using the shortage of digital skills as a lever for a more inclusive workforce.
How did we get here?
The Brussels terror attacks led to the insights that entrepreneurs should be part of the solution – and increased the sense of urgency to build a more inclusive society as well as a stable future-proof economy.
Wishing to bridge the gap between available talents and the employer market currently at war for digital talents, BeCode vzw/asbl was founded in 2016 by Karen Boers, Laurent Hublet and Rodolphe Verhaegen – and their partners were brave enough to join them in the venture: Dirk Peusens, Sarah Unger and Stephania Ter Hark.
Cedric Swaelens was the architect of BeCode, quickly developing a brand attractive for the NEET and recognized as trustworthy by businesses. The centralized framework he designed enabled a fast replication of coding centers nationwide. Geoffrey Adam created the brand identity, Thibault Becquaert provided the first videoclips, Millie provided the classroom visual identities, Gianni Paelinck & Sarah Godard were the first journalists to trust and talk about the project.
Not looking to reinvent the wheel, BeCode partnered up with the French coding school Simplon, licensing the unique active pedagogy as well as training contents, enabling us to hit the ground running.
Telenet, Orange, 4Wings Foundation and Degroof-Petercam Foundation were found willing to help kickstart the project by providing the seed capital. Bruxelles Formations certified the junior web developer training and Forem and VDAB followed within the year.
Public-private partnerships became BeCode’s trademark with many more partnerships following the initial ones. As we don’t just experiment with pedagogy and recruiting strategies, we also wanted a deep dive into state-of-the-art funding instruments for social entrepreneurship, launching 2 Social Impact Bond projects so far and looking to balance philanthropy, subsidies and corporate services in our revenue streams.
In April 2017, we launched the first two classes in Brussels – in the brand new tech education campus BeCentral. Capacity in Brussels doubled before the end of the year and a second campus soon followed in Charleroi, thanks to the support of the Digital Belgium Skills Fund.
BeCode Liège, Antwerp and Ghent quickly succeeded each other – growing BeCode into a five campus organisation today. The Walloon government supported the expansion in the region, while ESF Flanders sustained 18 months of operations in our former campus in Genk (although activities could not be maintained beyond initial funding).
VDAB helped kickstart in Ghent. Securing the first Social Impact Bond in Flanders, with VDAB and Impact Capital, provided a five year perspective for the Antwerp campus.
In 2019, Accenture became the first company to sign up for a framework agreement, committing to hire at least 20 graduates each year. Around the same time, BeCode was challenged by Microsoft and its ecosystem to not only provide entry level training programs such as “Junior Web Developer”, but also a more advanced program on Artificial Intelligence.
The first AI School in Belgium emerged with Cronos, Delaware, Faktion, KPMG and Xylos as founding partners and fully supported by Microsoft and Simplon. After a successful pilot, the AI program is now also launching in Flanders and Wallonia. Following that inspiring example, we’re now also piloting a DevSecOps advanced program in Brussels.
Moving forward, BeCode has set some ambitious goals once more:
- Continually diversify the training programs & content;
- Getting ahead of the curve by launching pro-active reskilling & upskilling programs for employees;
- Further expand our audience to reach even the most vulnerable ones, e.g. prison inmates;
- Build sustainable business partnerships.
They did it already
“BeCode guided me to find my way in web development, to open up to working in a group and most importantly, be good at googling. I knew absolutely nothing before I started the BeCode, and now am part of an IT team in a software company.”
“Precisely one year ago, the AI Data Science training started, offering me a breath of fresh air and new career opportunities. One year later, I would like to thank you for this terrific experience. I only keep positive memories of my time at BeCode : a new skillset, amazing new encounters and above all a reinforced self-esteem.”
“My coaches guided me throughout the training and helped me overcome all the obstacles that I’ve had to face on the way. I’m forever grateful!”