The course was the brainchild of Octavia Hirst, who specialises in alternative education. The curriculum and problems were designed by Ben Greenaway, an experienced programmer who has spent the past 10 years in Silicon Valley. The pair have been working together on the project since its initiation in 2012.
There have been a core team of 6 mentors who have worked on all of the courses to date. These include: Daniel Bhugon, a programmer who currently works for StudentFunder; Chris Alexander who has been working at Import.io, and Eleanor McHugh, a highly experienced software architect.
Our mentors have come from a range of places. Some were poached from creative departments in Ad agencies, others worked in start-ups. All are passionate about coding, love to share their skills and were committed to supporting the development of the initiative and the students alike.
These organisations supported Skillab and helped get it to where it currently is.
What the students said:
“The independent projects were a great way to put theory into practice and really helped to start framing real world problems.”
“Availability of mentors was incredibly helpful, both meeting new people and the perspective they gave”
“Overall, thought this was a really helpful intro and a good tool for thinking about things in a different way.”
What the mentors said:
“I had a blast with all the sessions I mentored - It was also great fun trying to find good real-world analogies for concepts like data structures that are often difficult for beginners to grasp.”
“The best bit was being able to see that with the right approach, the student “got it.”I can definitely see the potential and the informal nature was enjoyable.“