Hacker schools or bootcamps are getting more and more popular. You’ll learn a programming language in 2–3 months, and you’re more or less guarantied a full-time well paying job.
If you compare this to signing up to a four-year degree at a University and getting tons of study loan, the short-cut through a hacker school is obviously tempting.
But what are the incentives to attend university, and does a “degree” from a hacker school limit you in any way?
We asked the experts.
“If you want to work go to a hacker school, if you want to work at Google, go to University”
The big pro about hacker schools is obviously that the distance from the school to work is a lot shorter, but is a person well prepared to work in a startup after graduating from a 2–3 months program?
“You can not become a CTO with just a bootcamp experience!” (Marc Alier, UPC)
CEO and co-founder at Codeworks a Barcelona bootcamp, Alessandro Zanardi, acknowledge that universities are vital for training specialists in more complex computer science areas:
We need engineers that have stronger theoretical experience. If you’re dealing with big data or artificial intelligence you need developers that have a university degree. If you want to work at Google with AI, get a Ph.D.
The university problem
Marc Collado is director at Iron Hack Barcelona, a bootcamp that also have campuses in Miami and Madrid. Even though Collado now represents a bootcamp, he himself went through a five-year University program at IQS:
The universities are too embedded in society. At Iron Hack we analyze the job market, and work towards creating a program that actually helps businesses hire a much needed workforce, and gets people into jobs.
Ludo (Marc Alier) hopes universities change the way they treat their professors and teachers, and agrees with the bootcamp hackers that there is a lot to be improved with the institution stretching thousands of years back:
The problem with University is that the professors are incentivized to be researchers, not to be good teachers. You get promoted if you’re good researcher, not if you have experience from tech companies or do a great job as a teacher.
Bootcamps do not build CTO’s
Professor Alier is grateful that bootcamps fill a whole and a demand in the market, but he wants to make one thing very clear:
I have seen examples where people have finished bootcamps, and they’re told that they can start a company. I’ll tell you this, they always screw up, always!
You can not become a CTO with just a bootcamp experience!
Zanardi at Codeworks does not like the negativity towards the concept of screwing up:
This is a classic example of the difference between bootcamp mentality and university mentality. The best people from all sectors and industries are people that know what it’s like to fail hard.
Also Iron Hack’s Collado weighs in on the CTO statement:
A CTO needs more soft skills than hard skills, it’s about experience, recruiting, mentoring, but yes of course the guy needs to be technical, that’s for sure.
Podcasts are a great way to discover new subjects and new people. Whether you are a tech lover or an entrepreneur, bellow you will discover podcasts for entrepreneurs you should – without a doubt – listen to.
« Masters of Scale »
with Reid Hoffman
The host:Reid Hoffman decides to turn to the corporate world instead of pursuing a university carrier. He worked for Apple, Fujitsu for then starting his own business: SocialNet and left it in 2000 to join Confinity. Confinity gives life to Paypal after fusionning. Finally, in 2003, Hoffman co-founds LinkedIn. He is Master of Scale’s host.
About: The podcast welcomes some of the greatest entrepreneurs. You will discover throughout the talk how they managed to take their companies from 0 to a lot of zeros. You can listen to Masters of Scale’s special guests like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Selina Tobaccowalla (Evite), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) or Nancy Lublin (Crisis Text Line). Must-hear: one of the top tech podcasts for entrepreneurs.
with Christina Warren, Simone de Rochefort and Brianna Wu
The hosts: Christina Warren started as a Freelance Writer. Then, she worked at Mashable as a Senior Tech Analyst and Tech Correspondent and ended the journey at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate. About Simone de Rochefort, she is Senior Video Producer and co-host of The Polygon Show. Brianna Wu founded her first startup at the age of 19, Giant Spacekat. She was Head of Development at the time. She is now running for US Congress.
About: In this podcast, you will discover three passionate women and their “geek conversation” as they like to call it. No guest speakers, but you will be able to listen to a panel of tech subjects from Apple to Comics, you will not be disappointed.
The host:Jason Calacanis starts as an internet industry journalist in New-York. In 2003, he co-founded Weblogs, Inc and then a few years later he joined Sequoia Capital, launched the web directory Mahalo. He also founded ThisWeekIn.com. Furthermore, he created This Week in Startups podcast and a startup named Inside.com. Finally, he was part of the creation of the Sydney Launch Festival.
About: Either you are looking to start your own company, or you are a successful entrepreneur, or you just love technology, this podcast will give you a peek to the entrepreneurship world. You will hear stories of all kinds! On his website, you will also find his events and some research on transportation, healthcare and more. This is one is part of the tech podcasts for entrepreneurs not to be missed.
The host:Kara Swisher is an American journalist specialized in the technology industry. She first started to work for an alternative newspaper in Washington for then working for the Washington Post. She wrote articles for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and wrote her own books. Finally, in 2014, she created Recode, a website dedicated to the latest technology news. In 2015, she initiates Recode Decode.
About: The weekly podcast welcomes tech experts and great entrepreneurs. They review how they got there, what’s on their mind about the current industry and what they would improve or create. Her recent guests were Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg.
Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn
« K Fund PodKast »
with Jaime Novoa
The host: Jaime Novoa’s background is quite diverse. He is a writer and an investor, but he also worked in data analysis and social media analysis. In 2014, he founded Novobrief, a newsletter for startups. Then, in 2016, he becomes an investor at K Fund and he founds, in 2019, Dealflow, a weekly tech newsletter.
About: The podcast discusses startups, entrepreneurs and Venture Capital. You will discover enterprises and their story. From data science, unicorns or digital platforms, you sure will find more than one interesting podcast.
Listen to the podcast: On their website and Soundcloud
« Clockwise »
with Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent
The hosts:Dan Moren is an active author and writer as well as podcaster. He was a Senior Editor at Macworld. Today, he hosts two podcast shows: Clockwise and The Rebound. As for Mikah Sargent, he started as a Website Designer and Developer for then switching as a Senior Editor at Newsy. He now hosts few podcasts such as Clockwise on Replay FM or on TWiT.tv.
About: The weekly podcast discusses technology and welcomes each time 2 special guests. For 30 minutes, they address 4 topics where all four speakers get to elaborate on the matter, highlight the issues and expose their thoughts.
The host:Bernat Farrero starts his career as a Developer. In 2009, he founded Itnig, a startup ecosystem that organizes entrepreneurship events. They also have a coworking for startups, a podcast and a fund for early-stage projects. Furthermore, he is a Founder of Factorial, Quipu and Camaloon. He is also a Board Member of Playfullbet, GymForLess and Parkimeter. Finally, he hosts Itnig’s weekly Podcast.
About: The podcast welcomes every week a new guest. If you wish to learn from successful entrepreneurs, you are on the right platform. The discussions turn around Technology and its industry. You will come across guests like Carlos Pierre (Badi), Vincent Rosso (BlaBlaCar) or Oscar Pierre (Glovo).
You can subscribe to their newsletter if you want to receive the podcast’s link every Monday.
Whether you are at an early stage of your project, an investor or you are just curious, these podcasts for entrepreneurs give you the opportunity to be updated on tech and business news. Also, you get to learn from successful international entrepreneurs, which can definitely be very useful for your business.