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!

He continues:

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.

……….

The post/video/podcast was produced by Sindre Hopland & Masumi Mutsuda, the itnig media team.

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W.

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER A COWORKING SPACE FOR YOUR STARTUP

Your home office or a coffee shop won’t be enough!

Yes, we all know the tale about the guy who starts a small company in their garage or basement, has a brilliant idea and becomes the next Steve Jobs. It’s true, most successes have very humble beginnings. It’s also true that not all garage or basements are going to magically get you a successful business. They might work in the very (veeeery) early stages of your startup, but you can’t always meet a client at coffee shops, not to say your basement. 

A great, if not the best, solution is to find a coworking space. Coworking spaces have become very popular all over the world, either for freelancers or entrepreneurs and startups. 

Coworking spaces are not just big rooms with desks and chairs with high-speed wifi. The areas are made to be exciting places to work and improve your productivity.

As a startup, you need to find resources fast and affordably. More importantly, you’ll need motivation. This is why you should consider a coworking space. 

Here are some basic but amazing benefits from coworking spaces:

Community

Joining a coworking means joining a community.  Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs, freelancers and talented independent people is without doubt a one of the best features of a coworking.

Motivation is key when starting a new project and trying to develop your own business. The road will get though and you’ll appreciate other entrepreneurs’ vision and support! Other workers’ feedback can be very useful to improve your service/product before trying to sell it to the world. 

Networking, networking and…networking!

As a startup, you’ll be looking for networking opportunities. Most coworkings host professionals from different kind of industries, which can open up many doors for you and your business. Not all coworking spaces are about networking, some of them prefer to have a quiet individual work environment, so as a startup you have to make sure to choose a coworking with networking opportunities.

At Itnig, for example, we love to share ideas and support other entrepreneurs. Don’t be shy, some of the other coworking tenants can bring great business opportunities, or even become new clients (and friends)! 

Budgetfriendly

As entrepreneurs (or people for that matter) it’s very important to understand the importance of money, more specifically: budget. Tight budgets call for smart spending. Coworkings are usually budget friendly, most of them offer different membership options depending on your startup’s needs and budget.

Amenities 

A coworking provides you with everything needed to be as productive as possible. High speed internet connection, printers, conference rooms and COFFEE. Some coworkings even plan afterwork activities and events to make it all more fun! As a startup, a coworking space is your best chance at having all the basic amenities but also the fun ones, like a ping pong table or a nice chill out terrace. 

Happy clients

As you grow and have more clients, it can get messy if you keep meeting them in coffee shops. Coworking spaces offer office services such as conference rooms. That way your meetings will be more professional and comfortable for everyone. 

Barcelona is a city full of coworkings of every kind! Our Itnig community keeps growing, we now have up to 20 startups such as Andjoy, Classlife, Factorial and Freeverse, all under the same roof. We have afterwork activities and we also plan different kinds of events open to anyone interested in marketing, tech stuff, entrepreneurship and design. Our space is about 2.100m2 with up to 800m2 of conference rooms, events space, ping pong and fun activities. 

There’s also  wifi, endless coffee and talented people. Join us!