Creating a tech-savvy talent pool

Decoded was founded in 2011 on the belief that technology is for everyone. They found success providing coding lessons in London, and – since then – they've expanded into masterclasses on AI, data, innovation, cyber security, storytelling and more. However, they're still best-known for their top-notch coding courses.

The company’s innovative programmes – such as Code_in a Day, Hacker_in a Day and Blockchain Unlocked – empower startups and businesses by giving them a core understanding of the ins-and-outs of the tech products we all use. Since Decoded was founded, the academy has taught over 15,000 professionals in over 70 cities globally. 

“Our classes are very hands-on, with a strong emphasis on learning by doing, playing with the technology and experimenting. It’s about taking away the fear, the mystery and the jargon,” said the company's managing partner, Dan Zell, in an interview with Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA).

The company opened their Amsterdam office in 2016 and have been happily reaping the benefits of the leading business location ever since. “The Dutch have the ability to be informal but informed, and a healthy work-life balance seems to come naturally to them,” said Dan. “There’s a thriving tech and business ecosystem, and it’s easy to access, as Amsterdam is so much more compact than London.”

Amsterdam: a centre for business, talent and innovation

It wasn't just the Dutch directness and business ecosystem that sold Coded on Amsterdam, though; they already had clients nearby, and Amsterdam's talent pool and startup support initiatives were simply too good to pass on. “We already had fantastic international clients in the Netherlands. Recruiting talented freelancers is easy, because the Dutch are such bright, motivated, independent people,” said Dan. “And, Amsterdam is awash with great co-working spaces.”

Also, English proficiency in the Netherlands is unparalleled, and Amsterdam's connectivity is among the world's best – two vital attractions for any international company. “The quality of English is exceptional, and it’s so close to the UK. There are about 60 flights a day from London to Amsterdam; it’s as easy as catching a bus,” said Dan. 

Decoded also appreciated the transparency and ease of setting up a business in Amsterdam. “The NFIA and amsterdam inbusiness were very supportive and helped us find partners such as a good lawyer and accountant. It’s an on-going relationship we find valuable.”