Free hacker school

Here’s an interesting model. Programmers get to go to school, for a very specific education, for free. The provider, in this case Hacker School, gets paid by taking a recruitment fee from the employer…

Hacker School is free as in beer. This is possible because startups pay us to recruit. If after Hacker School you want a job, we will help you find one. If you don’t want one, or you’d prefer to search on your own, that’s fine too.

It looks like a great way for start-ups to build a pipeline of appropriately skilled talent. From the other side the model also helps ensure that as an educator you’re providing students with exactly the skills and attributes a subset of employers need.

Reading about the model, I was reminded of the talent pipeline Microsoft built, hiring straight from college (university) into big impact product teams like Windows and Office. No better place to learn and hone a skill set.

Small companies and start-ups don’t have the recruitment power and internal strength of companies like Microsoft. So Hacker School’s approach is a nice twist.

I’m not sure how well this translates to secondary schools in the UK. How would you feel if your school budget was based on hiring decisions of local employers? Would you feel any different if it also factored in offers from college and university admissions tutors?