Alan Mabry, Josh Studl, and Sean Bailey are co-founders of Upstream Coding, a technology and education company headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. Since its beginning two years ago, the business has had to change and evolve in unexpected ways in light of the pandemic and the rapidly changing “EdTech” marketplace. In this episode, Alan and Sean discuss the role their company plays in the local tech scene, why it’s important to teach coding and programming skills, and the importance of partnering with experienced people when starting a business.
After participating in a coding boot camp in California, Alan Mabry was hooked on the idea of teaching and mentoring students to upgrade their skills and bring new products and ideas to life. Shortly after this experience, he moved back to Pittsburgh invigorated and excited to get started on his new business idea. In 2018, Alan Mabry, Josh Studl, and Sean Bailey founded Upstream Coding with the fundamental premise that programming, coding, and web development should be affordable and accessible to all who wish to learn. Each of the co-founders brought a unique set of skills and experiences to the partnership, which has fueled their growth and success since starting the company. Their initial education model was a hybrid of online and in-person courses, which was a key differentiator here in the Pittsburgh market.
Over the past two years, Alan, Josh, and Sean have adapted to a rapidly changing marketplace, and their business model has changed as a result. They now offer online courses through a membership model that they call the “orbit” framework, which allows students at any level to join the revolving curriculum without being restricted by rigid start and end dates. They’ve also modified their platform so that it can be used to test the technical skills and proficiency of potential job candidates for employers. And most recently, they are planning to link their courses with an educational institution in order to reach a wider population of students who wish to learn coding skills.
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