Julien Barbier, Co-founder of Holberton School

Julien Barbier, Co-founder @holbertonschool and Versatile Ninja (Software x Growth x Community)

Julien is the co-founder and CEO of Holberton School, the first community-led and project-based school in the United States. The goal of the school is to train the best software engineers of their generation.

He wore many hats through his career:

  • Software Engineer,
  • Product Manager,
  • Director of Marketing,
  • CEO in different tech companies,
  • co-founder of three startups,
  • co-creator of several non-profit projects (hnwatcher, techmeabroad, while42).

Before founding Holberton, he was the Senior Director of Growth, Marketing and Community at Docker, arguably one of the fastest-growing products for developers, devops and sysadmins over the last few years, now heavily used by companies such as Google, Uber, Spotify, Yelp, eBay, PayPal, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, etc…

On top of growth hacking and community, Julien Barbier’s specialties include low-level programming, system programming, and reverse engineering. He graduated as a valedictorian from the European Institute of Technology, one of the top software engineering school in Europe.

About Education

The first university started in 1088 with the launch of the University of Bologna and evolved until the 18th century to what we know today, the modern model of schools and universities.
Since then, nothing has changed in this model, despite of a completed changed landscape.
A teacher, sometime an expert, is talking to a lot of students who are passively attending their classes, sitting for hours, learning by heart things that they will forget as soon as the exam is done. And for this, you get a degree, that most of the time will be useless in your long-term career.
This leads to this sad truth: only 150 of 3500 U.S. Colleges are worth the investment.

The context though has changed a lot. Internet came into our lives, and it changed everything: it’s global, instantaneous, connected, and it’s always with us — in our pocket (smartphone).
So that means that you don’t need to be at the same place, at the same time to hear somebody speak. You don’t need to travel to another country anymore to read a specific book which only this library has a copy of. The information is here, whenever you want, wherever you want.
In seconds, you can now have access to anything you want to learn. In fact there is so much information, that this is becoming the new challenge of education.
Education is no longer about access to information, but being able to learn how to find the right information.

What also changed so much is the pace the world is going. Everything is going faster and faster — and this increasingly fast pace is today driven by technology. And this brings another challenge, because really,

we don’t know what the Future is going to be and what the jobs are going to be in 10 years from now

we don’t know what the Future is going to be and what the jobs are going to be in 10 years from now. If you think about what our kids learn in high school, or college, it will probably be outdated before you graduate. So this brings another challenge, how do we make sure that we teach our students the theory and tools that are going to be useful in 10 years?

The answer is we don’t, because we can’t. most of the jobs of the Future don’t exist yet. What we need to teach our children is how to learn, how to learn fast and efficiently, in a world where there is too much information accessible to us, and in a world where they will have to have multiple jobs and multiple careers.

About the need for software engineers

According to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent annually from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The main reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software. The Bureau also reported the average wage for software engineers was $93,350 per year. It is estimated that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million open jobs and only 400,000 computer sciences students to fill them.

by 2020 there will be 1.4 million open jobs and only 400,000 computer sciences students to fill them.

Since it is based on community and there is no need for formal teachers, The model of Holberton School can scale very easily, with very little staff, so we are addressing exactly this problem. Our ambition is to train tens of thousands of very good software engineers.

“The average person has 14 different careers in their lives and the average multi-millionaire has seven different sources of income. So anything that is “one-job focused” will create a generation of kids that will learn the hard way that life doesn’t work like that.” Read James Altucher’s testimony, founder and chief executive officer of Reset and author of 13 books including several WSJ bestsellers such as Choose Yourself, The Power of No, and Guide to Wealth.

News and invitation

“If you are in SF, feel free to come by. We also host a lot of keynotes and meetups, open to the community. To see a full list: http://www.meetup.com/Holberton-School/

We also just opened our admission process for October :) 
See you soon in SF!

Thank you Julien Barbier!

PS: if you are interesting, check out their marketing stack

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