BlogConnecting People. Empowering Communities. Celebrating Success.
March 30th, 2024
Celebrating a Decade of Impact: Lighthouse Labs

As both Vancouver Startup Week and Lighthouse Labs (LHL) celebrate a decade of innovation, we're delighted to spotlight the remarkable journey of Lighthouse Labs within our tech ecosystem. Founded by Jeremy Shaki, LHL has stood as a cornerstone in Vancouver's tech scene for the past ten years, effectively closing the gap between employers and aspiring developers with significant strides.

Lighthouse Labs has played a pivotal role in nurturing talent and fostering innovation within the tech industry. Their commitment to providing top-notch coding education and cultivating a supportive learning environment has empowered countless individuals to pursue careers in technology. Through their immersive boot camps and workshops (including a focus on coding, data and cybersecurity), they have equipped students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in today's digital landscape.

Beyond their educational initiatives, Lighthouse Labs has been a driving force in connecting employers with skilled professionals, facilitating countless successful partnerships and placements. Their dedication to strengthening the employer-developer relationship has not only benefited companies but has also created rewarding opportunities for talented individuals seeking to break into the industry.


As Lighthouse Labs celebrates their own milestone of ten years, we were excited to speak with the one and only, Jeremy Shaki to learn more about the impact of LHL and their future projects to come:

In your opinion, how has LHL contributed to bridging the gap between employers and aspiring technologists in Cyber Security, Data Roles and Web Development in Vancouver's tech community?

“To start, we have spent 10 years rating our success on getting people jobs and seeing them grow and succeed in the job over a 3 year period. Just by making that the core goal, it has forced us to spend way more time than most in listening to employers and to students around their needs. It’s always very different to make a lesson plan and then just grade yourself around how much people learned in relation to your own expectations. It’s quite another to need to see the tangible result of them succeeding in the workplace.

Ultimately we went from having to prove that it was possible to have shorter programs with a more mature learner, to establishing the programs we run as best in class and ultimately changing the attitude of how someone should enter the industry to the point where many employers now prefer a LHL grad to any other option. That change has allowed us to drive so much more talent into the ecosystem ensuring employers are getting what they need. The secret to it all has always been to focus on very motivated learners who we can challenge aggressively and provide very real time feedback to at the same time as supporting them with more mentors, student success leaders, learning technology and Career Services professionals than they would get anywhere else. In the end, you get the type of professional who has the resilience and tenacity to fight through problem solving and learning new things at a level employers are really happy with.”


Reflecting on the past decade, what are some of the key milestones or moments that stand out to you in the journey of LHL?

  • Our first application and first job hire (2013)
  • Our first cohort of 20 people (2014)
  • First time Telus put Bootcamp experience as a valid learning experience for their job prerequisites (2014)
  • Expanded to Toronto and then Calgary and Montreal (2015-2016)
  • Ran our first national coding events in HTML500 (2015)
  • Hit 1000 graduates (2017)
  • Won our first provincial government Request for Proposal (RFP) and ran our first government project helping teachers in BC bring coding into their classrooms (2017)
  • Opened up Devhub in Vancouver (2018)
  • Added Data Science (2019)
  • Went fully online (2020)
  • Released 1 Million dollars in scholarships to help people pivot during COVID (2020)
  • Added Cyber Security (2021)
  • Partnered with our first University (Saskatchewan Polytechnic!) to run our program through their offerings (2021)
  • Won our first national government RFP (2021)
  • Hit 2000 graduates in a single year (2021)
  • Won our first major corporate training partner (2021)
  • Opened up flex options for all our programs (2022)
  • Won the ICT Boost program to help over 1700 equity-focused learners enter technology with the support of over 3000 partners and employers in the biggest program of its kind in Canada
  • Added Data Analytics (2023)
  • Released AI tools throughout our curriculum to prepare grads to deal with a fast changing future (2023)

Looking ahead, what is your vision for LHL in the next ten years? How do you envision the organization evolving and impacting the tech industry? - any exciting projects/initiatives?

“The next 10 years are already shaping up to be vastly different than the first 10 years as the needs of employers and learners are changing rapidly. The subjects we teach, the formats we teach them in and the services we offer will certainly change drastically. What won’t change is that there will be a desperate need to help re-skill and up-skill professionals quickly as companies look to leverage new technology at faster and faster rates. The skills gaps will be considerable and the need for an institution like Lighthouse Labs to quickly help talent transition - especially talent who already have professional experience and are motivated to make the change - is going to be immense. The challenges will be keeping curriculums, formats and services up to snuff in a faster evolving market and the road to doing so will be paved by the first 10 years of learning and growth we have gone through.

Ultimately, companies will need to evolve rapidly to gain competitive advantages and so pairing them with talent who demonstrate the abilities and desire to rapidly evolve with them will always be a winning model as long as you can provide the relevant skills in a timely manner. We believe that through rapid, relevant, highly supportive, industry integrated training we can ensure that changes in technology will provide equal opportunities for everyone who wants to enter and who may have not had a chance earlier in their education or careers. We can’t wait to celebrate 20 years!”

Jeremy, your thoughtful insights on LHL's impact and initiatives are greatly appreciated. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us as we pave the way forward during VSW. Together, as we commemorate a decade of innovation, collaboration and growth, we look forward to the valuable contributions that Lighthouse Labs will engage in this year, creating impact in the broader tech ecosystem. Here's to the next ten years of continued success and impact!

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