Educational Center for Computer Programmers

We're looking for assistance with opening a new kind of self-directed educational center for programmers in the Berkeley area. See the homepage and our event listings for a list of proposed activities.

Our programming school will provide an alternative to conventional coding bootcamps: a high-quality programming education without requiring large amounts of money, advance preparation, or a fixed time commitment. Our model is guided self-study with mentorship from the more experienced members.

Berkeley

The Mission

Some of the goals of this educational center are to:

  • Non-exclusive, without difficult barriers to entry. It's too difficult for many people to get into high-quality programming bootcamps — not necessarily because they don't have the potential to find success in the tech industry, but because the existing models are not ideal for everyone.
  • Create a physical space where like-minded people can meet with their laptops to study together, bounce ideas off of each other, and collaborate on projects
  • No time limit for attending. Stay as long as you want. The experienced members mentor the beginners.
  • Bring together people who are interested in solving problems with Internet technology
  • Function as a kind of alternative startup incubator for members' software projects
  • Offer interesting classes to members and the public
  • Discuss philosophy, especially technology philosophy
  • Learn, study, and teach programming skills
  • Extra outreach to autistic people, who often have high potential for success in the tech industry, but who face certain types of challenges.

We're looking for a space to rent within a few blocks of a BART station so that it's accessible to people without their own transportation.

The Concept

The purpose of the space is to do one specific thing very well: facilitate the learning of computer programming.

  1. It will not exactly be a traditional "hackerspace", but will be centered around studying programming. There won't be the hardware and electronics of traditional hackerspaces/makerspaces. It will mainly focus on studying programming and related topics. (Note: small hardware projects that don't involve soldering, heavy machinery, and noise would be welcome. A goal is keep the space friendly for people who have difficulties with smells and noise.)
  2. It will not be a "coworking space", because it's not designed around working but is focused on studying.
  3. The school will be a new kind of self-directed educational center for people who study computer programming.

Benefits for the Community

Here are some of the benefits for the community:

  • Provide a place for locals and visitors to learn how to program. Even experienced programmers need to study regularly to stay up to date with technology.
  • Bring people together to collaborate on new programming projects and startups.
  • Provide a supportive environment for startups in East Bay.
  • Provide an inexpensive place where motivated people could learn to program in groups -- studying at the space could even function as a kind of non-traditional job training program for people looking to get into the tech scene.

Interested?

If interested in the idea, please send us an email and/or leave a comment below.

We already have local meetup groups with over 4,000 local programmers. The next step is to find a dedicated space to meet. Check out our Code Self Study website and the main meetup group.

—Josh

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