Gas station without pumps

2012 September 26

Hacker School

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 23:26
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I just found out about Hacker School, a free 3-month full-time school in New York dedicated to making better programmers. They don’t have teachers, but work together to learn from one another. It looks like a good way for unemployed programmers (particularly recent graduates) to polish their skills and become more employable.  The school is the antithesis of a MOOC—the learning happens by squeezing together a bunch of people interested in learning and relying on face-to-face peer exchanges of information, not massive lectures with one-way transmission of information from expert to novice.

Their business model is a strange and idealistic one: they charge nothing for the 3-month program, but ask that companies that hire their graduates donate $20K to the Hacker School (after the hired person has been with the company for three months).  Apparently, this system has been working for them so far.

The biggest downside to this free school is that one has to be able and willing to live full time in New York City for 3 months without employment.  I wonder if similar hacker schools will be started elsewhere, to avoid this problem. I could see it working well in Seattle, Silicon Valley, or Boston.

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