This is an excerpt from my latest piece for Flyover Geeks profiling friend and student entrepreneur Colin Young. Read the whole thing here.
Of his experience at DePaul University, where he is studying computer science, Colin demurred to my (leading) questions about college. Colin, like most young people in tech, is primarily autodidactic. Young claimed that 80% of what he did with Shortwave and his previous work experience, what he is now putting to work on his biggest project yet is largely self-taught, but the remaining 20% of value added from school was “kind of critical.” All the liberal arts stuff, “I don’t think those things are necessary to be an okay coder or an okay entrepreneur, but I think they’re important to be great. I don’t think you can teach yourself those things without motivation and interest. I taught myself to code because I had both. The other things [all the liberal arts stuff] had to be taught to me, although now I see they’re really important.” Although Colin claims that college programming courses are not necessary if one has the motivation to teach oneself, he suggested a minor reformatting to improve them: “hackathon after hackathon, which some project-oriented courses… if it’s like an apprenticeship you get credit for, that’s great.”