LEARN: The Origin Story

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away…(Oh, wait. Wrong origin story. Well, let’s stick with it…)

It was the Spring of 2014 and Rob Kaufman observed a curious trend amongst his friends and colleagues in San Diego. He sensed a disturbance in the force – Some colleagues were looking for work, or wanted to change careers. Some friends were developers or entrepreneurs searching for talent. These employees, co-workers, and Jedis needed to be connected and Rob had an idea. LEARN was born.

Since founding Notch8 in 2007, Rob and his team had built their Ruby on Rails consultancy into a two-state rebellion with offices in San Diego and Portland, OR. They’ve been building web applications and assisting entrepreneurs in realizing their visions ever since. Along the way, Rob recruited a partner and friend, Matt Clark, to help the rebellion grow. The consultancy now thrives across two states.

And then, in 2014, the Portland office joined forces with Epicodus, offering month-long internships to students from the PDX-based code school. Matt was very pleased with the Padawan coders and hired four of them after the first round. In San Diego, Rob took notice. There was a need for these students in San Diego, but there were no Epicodus-like programs in existence. At that point, there were no code schools in Southern California.

It was a sign that SoCal was ready for a coding rebellion. Rob described the situation to Matt, and the two began mocking up plans and dreaming of a future where San Diego was more like Portland. They also drew up plans for a base on Hoth but deemed the ice planet’s climate hostile to coders.

Rob continued to meet with potential students in San Diego. As momentum grew, he discussed the need for a coding school with his wife, Chelsea. He described his desire to build the tech scene and his passion for mentorship was evident. Chelsea knew it was time – Rob and Matt needed her help. Having spent over ten years in non-profit arts management, she understood how to build education programs from the ground up, how to strengthen communities, and how to manage and lead a business. Chelsea signed on as the final piece of the coding rebellion.

With the three founders in place, LEARN academy was born. Driven by Matt’s experience and Portland contacts, Rob’s vision and drive, and Chelsea’s business acumen, their site went live in the fall of 2014 and coding classes were launched on January 5, 2015.

The trio still occasionally visits Hoth to ski and sip hot cocoa.

LEARN why we stay open for business