OpenTechSchool Berlin goes full time: announcing the first Hackership programme

Amélie Anglade, Benjamin Kampmann · 19 August 2013

We’ve already announced that we are looking into offering a more in-depth programme back in May at Codemotion but thanks to feedback and input of the community we now also know what we want to do specifically: we call it Hackership.

Hackership Teaser

Hackership is a full-time, self-directed peer learning programme for coders to become better hackers. As every experienced coder knows there is no better way to really learn than getting knee deep into the mud and hack on and experiment with the new technology for a while until you really got it. Inspired by the Hacker School in New York, Hackership tries to provide an environment for exactly that by bringing together people, who want to learn the same thing, create a distraction-free, learning focussed environment and provide the guidance and help through experts in the field - we call them “Hackers in Residence”.

You can learn more about the concept of Hackership on the website or through this presentation. Hackership Berlin is scheduled to start in Winter 2013/2014 and will accept applications as soon as the last details are figured out (we are still looking for a good venue to host the programme).

Part of the bigger OpenTechSchool vision

With this programme in place, OpenTechSchool now has offers for all experience levels: workshops for total beginners, continuous learning groups for on-going-learning of intermediates, and Hackership for experienced programmers.

The beginners’ workshop have been running since the creation of the OpenTechSchool in various topics and formats such as Javascript for Absolute Beginners (a week-end workshop), Python (for which a constantly growing series of workshops to be run over the months is built), Android development, Arduino and more in the pipeline. Those allow anyone from any background – especially total beginners – to get started with technology easily. Their learning material is hands-on, follows a pragmatic and result-oriented approach, is very expressive with precise steps to follow and also encourages to experiment and become creative.

On top we’ve created continuous learning groups recently: weekly or bi-weekly after-work groups of people learning together in a specific field. Without any pre-defined programme, structure or schedule to follow, people just meet to learn and work together on whatever they want and have coaches around, who help however they can. This open format allows everyone to come as their schedule allows, learn at their pace and the subjects they are interested in. And as this, too, is run by volunteers after-work no one is required to pay any tuition or quit their job to continue learning. Berlin currently has two of those, for Python and for Javascript.

By adding Hackership OpenTechSchool wants to provide a similar experience to experienced developers, too. With the slight difference, that coders, who are proficient enough to judge a good source by themselves whether a source, don’t need the same kind of coach. So instead there will be experts – so called “hackers in residence” – providing them deepest insights in even the complex aspects of those topics, allowing the participants to learn faster and more in-depth than if they were on their own. Time is key here, too: we secure the time and space for these hackers to be able to learn full-time with other like-minded people by experimenting and hacking together.

Although these are different programmes they are all based on the same core concepts and values of OpenTechSchool: learning from each others, by doing it hands-on, at your own pace, in a safe and welcoming learning environment.

About the Authors

Amélie Anglade

is Software Engineer at frestyl and Tech Ambassador of the Berlin Geekettes. For the OpenTechSchool she does public appearances, organises workshops (best known for python) and works at the long- and short-term strategies, such as the launch of Hackership.

amelie at OpenTechSchool dot org

Benjamin Kampmann

is freelance Software Developer and Product Creator. Aside from helping with the organisation of workshops and events, he is part of the strategic team and author of many of the blueprints.

ben at OpenTechSchool dot org