Studios and Wisdom-based Learning

Recently, Walt Briley of RoleModel Software, had the privilege to meet with Tom Nurkkala who is Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Taylor University.

Walt was fascinated that Tom and others at Taylor have set up a Software Studio for their students.

This reminded me of a paper that Nathaniel Talbott (currently founder and CTO of Spreedly) & I wrote in 2000 that was submitted and published by the ACM as part of the OOPSLA 2000 Educator's Symposium. Nathaniel was RoleModel's first official apprentice, though Ken had learned a lot about apprenticeship through various means at his previous company and other venues in life. This paper was based on our reflections of our experiences at the time. Nathaniel & I also gave an "Invited Talk" at the Symposium and a few people were enamored with what we were saying and others said, "He's going to ruin that poor kid".

Well, in spite of what some of those educators' thought, I think Nathaniel has done pretty well in his career… and he still doesn't have a college degree. For those that decide to pursue a college degree, I hope that the type of environment that Taylor University has set up is the beginning of a trend. A recent study showed that roughly $59M will be spent in 2014 on "Developer Bootcamps".

Though it seems like learning about Software in a studio environment has gained some traction, unfortunately, many of these bootcamps and "higher institutions" are not "wisdom based." There is still so much to learn and wisdom to be gained in how to best impart wisdom. Very few have been at it as long as we have, and I think the wisdom we have learned over the years sets us apart from many of the rest, but no matter what our claims - or anyone else's claims - are, we must all be careful how we walk. There are still too many who ignore true wisdom which shouts in the streets.

Photo by Alex Shute on Unsplash