Sylvain Kalache - Co-Founder of Holberton School - Like Stanford, But Without Professors

Sylvain is the Co-Founder of Holberton School, a community driven school offering a two-year program to become a Full Stack Software Engineer using project based and peer learning methodologies. Holberton graduates earn more than similar CS grads from Stanford and MIT, but unlike these colleges, Holberton has no professors or teachers.

How does Holberton School produce Computer Science graduates who earn more money after graduation than Stanford or MIT, all while using no teachers or professors? How do they run programs in 4 different continents, with a staff of less than 50 people?  

On Episode 17 of Skill, Micah shares a conversation with Sylvain Kalache, Co-Founder of Holberton School, a community driven school offering a two-year program to become a Full Stack Software Engineer in San Francisco, New Haven, Tulsa, Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and Tunis. 

Sylvain and Micah unpack the unique learning methodologies that Holberton uses to create highly skilled software engineers, who are, critically, also trained to be lifelong learners of their craft. 

Throughout this conversation, Sylvain and Micah cover the following topics:
  • Sylvain's early life growing up in France
  • His early journey as an adult, moving to China, and ultimately to Silicon Valley
  • Sylvain's early career in Tech at Six Apart, SlideShare and LinkedIn
  • His first experience starting a tech community with his future co-founder, Julien Barbier
  • The hiring problem that got Sylvain and Julien first interested in education
  • The 2 key elements of Holberton's educational methodology
  • The link with Progressive Education philosophy and Holberton
  • What "lifelong learning" means to Sylvain
  • The similarities and differences between Holberton and traditional College
  • The importance of problems and projects
  • The real way to develop "10x engineers"
  • How Holberton handles grading and project review
  • The reason why Holberton is 2 years long vs. 1 year or less
  • The amazing student outcomes of Holberton graduates
  • Student story: from homeless to 6-figure job in NYC
  • How Holberton is addressing diversity and access in Tech
  • Holberton's plans to scale up to even more cities and countries
  • Why having a physical campus is an important part of Holberton
Links:
You can connect with Sylvain on Twitter @SylvainKalache

You can connect with Micah at micah "at" meritmark.co OR on Twitter @MicahMerrick

Thanks for listening!

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