Geekwise Academy

by irms

The Big, Fat Idea

[ 16-26 year-olds, please take the survey. ]

There are some of us in the Valley that think we can do tech education, specifically for web development, better.  We think we need more geeks — good ones — to help push our region in the right direction.

You see, there’s about to be a big gap in the industry.  We can already see the beginning of it.  People who are not developers are having ideas (some of them are good!) and want to build the next big thing.  Instead of hiring out to software firms, or potentially spending tens of thousands of dollars to have their idea built, the smart first step is to get a rapid prototype out there and see if the idea floats.

The Problem

We’ve seen a lot of this happen:  Entrepreneurs — people with good intentions and high hopes — get stiffed, or are disappointed by engineering firms that take their idea, their money, and their time to build a half-baked version.  Before the entrepreneur has the opportunity to get started, they’ve already spent their seed money on crap.

What. A. Waste.

What these people need is someone who can be their nerdy champion.  They want to see their idea out in the wild, and you can be the one to put it out there.

Time and again we witness that the best way to see if something is going to work is to try it.  The idea is to fail fast, rethink, iterate, and go at it again. Why spend $50k *just to see*?

Instead, here’s what should happen

  1. Find a qualified and dedicated geek
  2. Pay them to build a fast prototype that can be expanded upon later
  3. See where it takes you.

Our idea is to create a class that is specifically tailored to produce those geeks.

The Solution

We may end up adding and removing depending on interest, but here’s what we’d like the class to look like:

  • You don’t need to know a lot about web development, but you should be familiar with using the internet and be a regular computer user
  • You’d be taught by people who actually work in the field
  • You’ll learn basic website construction
  • Some sysadmin stuff (like installing a new webserver on *nix from scratch) would be covered
  • You’ll learn an open-source server-side language so when you want to go home work on your new skills, you won’t have to buy a bunch of licenses.
  • We’d rotate in guest speakers to talk and teach about the things they do best
  • We’d line up actual clients for you to work with
  • We’d teach you how to safely work with clients
  • You’ll learn how to do team development using source control
  • You’ll learn how to draw up basic, necessary documentation without giving yourself, or anyone else, a headache.

By the end of it all, you’d have the knowledge, and the practice to be some of the best web prototypers in the Valley.  Not to mention, you’d be tapping into the network of people we know to get you started.

Another benefit? Once done, you can build your own ideas.  Believe me, if you don’t have ideas of your own that you want to build, you certainly will when you learn to think like a developer.

This class/academy is still in early-idea stage, so we welcome your comments.  If you think you can help, or would like to be involved, let me know.

If you’re 16-26 years old, take the survey here.  It’s pretty short.