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.

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.

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.

It will not be a "coworking space", because it's not designed around working but is focused on studying.

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 Photo of the Bay is copyright © Introvert and used under a Creative Commons license.