It’s no secret there is a digital and tech skills gap dominating the country and its discussion around our education system. And whilst all the headlines may be littered with the rhetoric that no one is trying hard enough, things are starting to change in the South West with new opportunities to train as a developer.

Academies tailored to training up developers and techies are popping up all over the place. They each incorporate their own stylised approach to learning all things software and cyber, with specific focuses to suit the student’s needs.

Their refreshing outlook on education is catching the attention of young and old alike, especially with forward thinking schemes to consider diversity and inclusion of the cohort.

So, we’ve put together a non-comprehensive list of some of the best developer academies making noise in the region that can get you work ready. If you think we’ve missed someone, let us know at

Mayden Academy

If you’re interested in code but have very little experience in the sector, Mayden Academy’s in-depth software development 16-week course could be the course you’ve been looking for.

Mayden is very clear in its goals, as Mike Oram, Software Developer and the Lead Trainer at Mayden, tells us: “The main expectation students should have when joining the academy is a role as a junior developer upon graduation, that is our aim.”

If you decide to take up the challenge, you’ll gain industry-recognised qualifications as well as getting the dedicated time and support to build an impressive portfolio through project-based learning.

The curriculum at Mayden is constantly evolving to keep ahead of the curve. It covers full-stack development, meaning you can learn both front-end and back-end development; the back-end languages currently offered are PHP and Node.js.

If this is all piquing your interest, you can apply for the 2020 courses here – there is also the option to take the course as an apprenticeship.


DevAcademy is seeking to solve the skills shortage with each student they take under their wing. The aim is to give the future generation of software developers the support, inspiration and guidance to keep disrupting the sector – and last year they partnered with Deloitte to ensure this happens.

Your tech career could be fast-tracked by taking part in the DevAcademy course. Alumni have gone onto some impressive senior roles with companies such as Deloitte, HP, DXC Technology and Barclays.

The courses have received immensely positive reviews from previous cohorts – you can read all the reviews on their website. Students engage in a range of topics that provide you with the holistic skills to progress your career as a developer, as well as gaining invaluable industry connections throughout your time with DevAcademy.

And you can apply now to be involved in the next intake of aspiring developers on the DevAcademy website now.

Backslash Build

The mentality at Backslash Build is that digital development goes far beyond writing lines of code, and they decided to launch the Backslash Academy with this in mind.

Joshua McDonald, Head of Business Development at Backslash Build, tells us, “Backslash Academy was created to help teach university students the practical programming skills they may not be introduced to at university, but which are essential for their careers after they graduate.”

Backslash Build got the idea from direct conversations with computer science students who were disappointed by the lack of practical learning from their degree courses – so they set about creating a solution.

He explains more about how the Academy works: “The Academy runs for one university semester starting in October and consists of lessons, mentorship and a course project.

“Students and our developers meet once a fortnight for a 45-minute lesson followed by 45 minutes of supervised project work. On the weeks without lessons, optional office hours with the developers are arranged for further support.”

The 15 students who took part got the chance to vastly improve their programming skills – one lucky student is going to be taken on as a Junior Software Engineer when he graduates in September.

So if you’re a Computer Science University student, keep your eyes peeled in October for Backslash Academy.


_nology is encouraging potential cohorts to learn to code and to seize the fantastic opportunities presenting themselves in the tech sector.

If you’re interested in front-end developing, _nology’s course might be up your street. The academy promises to make you developer ready in just 12 weeks, with a focus on front-end.

The course offers a project-based learning style with real clients in an agile team – crucially, the support doesn’t end with the course. ­_nology prides itself in offering expert post-course assistance in getting your dream job through its partnership with Opus Talent Solutions.

The projects on the course include one personal interest project, where you can choose to build anything you wish, and two client projects, which involves solving a real-life problem presented to you by a client pitch.

Thanks to its recruitment background and the fact they usually work with large companies, _nology is great for those who are seeking job security as they will make an effort to connect you to a career.

You can apply for the tech training course today!

Develop Me

At Develop Me, there are three courses you can choose from: UX Design (part-time), Coding (bootcamp) or Front-End (part-time). The talent and digital skills accelerator aims to create a highly-skilled community, equipped to make the most of tech in the 21st Century.

The full-time 12-week Bootcamp, also known as the Coding Fellowship, incorporates a 4-6 week online pre-course. This is a full-stack coding course using PHP as the back-end language.

The part-time courses are perfect if you’re not entirely sure what direction you want your career to take and are an excellent starting place to discover what it’s like to work in tech. Whatever aspect interests you the most, you can apply to get involved today.

Women in Cyber Academy

Ran by Women’s Tech Jobs with support from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Women in Cyber Academy is a Cyber Security training programme for women.

This is a fully funded, 3-month programme designed to prepare women for a career in Cyber Security. It doesn’t matter what your technical or career background is – you might be looking to begin or change your career path; everyone is welcome!

There is a range of modules covering topics from Coding to Python, from Artificial Intelligence to HTML.

To boost the chances of securing a job following training, the cohort is introduced to industry employers looking for their skill set as the academy helps you open up opportunities for employment.

If you’re a woman interested in cyber, go to the website to apply for the course.

The funding for this course comes from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) programme called Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training (WIDJET). It aims to work with women across the region, providing digital skills and training from entry-level taster sessions through to high-level industry-specific courses – a list of all the schemes you can get involved in is on the website!

We’re welcome to any suggestions of other developer academies working in the South West! Just let us know by emailing