Hot Seats


Learn Anything: Hacking Your Education


Lesson Info

Hot Seats

We're going to give you someone in the room, the chance to get up in front of the room and take five minutes to talk about the greatest challenges, either about what they're learning or personally or professionally, and then get feedback both from, uh, smart talent that we have in the room on for me and from the audience online. So we're going to do that now we'll do one or two, depending on the time that we have, um and s you get five minutes to get in front of the room and then we'll get ten minutes for feedback. So who wants to? He wants to start all right, come up here for is yours. Can we get a time around for five minutes? I think standing or I mean, you can stand it if you want to, but I don't see how I feel start, yeah, my name's ashton and this year I decided that I wanted to teach myself programming. Last year I spent eight months teaching myself spanish, and it was something I wouldn't never seen myself doing until last year and doing that encourage me toe look at new things...

that I could learn, and at the beginning of this year I had read how important it was for people in their twenties to build a wired range of skills. And that they use those later in life, and that made me start thinking that I don't want to just be narrow casted the farther I get in life, and I kind of liked being narrow casted when I got a degree in finance and economics because to doubt what had spent four years doing was something I didn't even want to contemplate, so being your minded at the time felt good, but it took a ncaa college and some of the ideas behind it that encouraged me to think like, ok, if having a degree isn't the only thing that you khun proud yourself on, then what else are you going to dio? And once I realized that, uh, that's, when I started teaching myself spanish and then realizing that, hey skills or something that is not only cool and fun to learn, but it's totally been official and that's, what leads me deciding on wanting to learn programming? And luckily I have a friend carly who's on the same path as me, and right now we're both teaching ourselves through the use of online courses and directly giving feedback to one another kind of submitting to each other our code projects and asking for help and in order, I guess I would say my challenges so morning program is programming is that it's definitely a field that's regarded as being that you need a cs degree in computer science degree and a lot of times there's people, horses skeptical when you first tell on what you're doing and they come from that background and they might not even want to help you and then there's guys who totally do want to help you and I met a guy who just the other day he dropped out of high school and taught himself the code now he's working at this local company doing ruby on rails and I guess that's my biggest challenges is finding the people who I can get advice from and that's why I've turned to local groups in jacksonville mentioned it earlier today, but the hacker space I get to work directly with people on not only programming but introducing me to electronics there's guys there with we're studying right now uh and they're totally open to helping me out and is something I'm really appreciative of and so yeah, as of right now, my my plan for the year is to learn programming as a skill and just really see where it goes from there awesome. So the feedback forms that you have on your seats I have two questions which you don't need to worry about filling up this's your seat, but for everyone else the questions are one what are what are some resource is that you might suggest looking at to help in pursuit of that goal or to help solve whatever challenge you're facing on dh two what underlying assumptions might, uh, there be in part of part of the challenge that you described that might be worth questioning? So I forgot to mention that I have already gotten feedback from one of my mentors, and he pointed out to me that there's all these very varying degrees of learning programming there's the coding, learning a specific language and then there's trying to seek out and learn in this case, object oriented programming and that's all this theory that's uh, that's new to me, but I wouldn't even been aware of that side of it until he introduced it to me so awesome and of course we can get we can get feedback and support from the online audience definitely as well to start off. Do you guys have feedback or thoughts on what ashton just described? Yeah, you have a our larry like internships near because that's something I think internships are really great networking tools, wealth and that could give you like that mentor and adviser ship all in one yeah, it's because I actually like the job or not now and but going into an internship would be something a couple it would be down the road, but that's something I should definitely can too have you thought about start ups because sometimes they'll take somebody just to help who doesn't necessarily have the formal training yeah that's a great yeah and I guess this comes back to what we're speaking about before lunch and that's the idea of reaching out to people who would give you a chance or advice in this case it would be a start up yeah um like I think we kind of talked about it but like the meet up groups yeah like um I met a guy my sales position and I told him I want to be a program or whatever he's like he's like you know I'm going to do you're gonna go on meetup dot com you're gonna find a group and I guarantee you'll find someone who will fight for you and show you how to do it yeah, even even like deal was talking about earlier with the whole misfit thing you know, finding finding the people that you have some connection with, you know, outside of programming and you know, I mean, it may just be you know, you're thinking you're and you're saying this is the robotics engineer, you know, somebody that you wouldn't think of in that programming context and, you know, get introduce their network through through those people tio is your is your gold to be a full time a software developer or is your goal to be able to create your own personal website those areas they're two very different very different goals I don't know what my goal is currently I just know that learning programming is something that I enjoy but I assume that the more I learn about the more defined my goal will be yeah I had made a note lender the assumptions were questioning you know why? Programming yeah, what is like what is your answer to why programming right right now? Well, I kind of mentioned earlier how I think it's a good skill to have and it's something that I thought about saying while I was in school but it was almost closer to the end of my four years I just said I can't go back and change so why don't I just do this kind of I guess the question is you know, is it do you think it's a good skill because like it's really cool right now where you think it's a good skill because it's something that you enjoy doing and drive so the section from yeah I enjoy doing it and I have friends who do it and I can I enjoy talking to them about what they dio cool yeah like apple has a lot of really great resource is if you go to apple developers um and it's like you sign up for free and then like they there's like bones of free stuff on howto become an apple developer and may caps for them and stuff have you thought about which which part of computer programming you want to be part of whether you're interested in databases or data or front end or back end or yeah, I've actually looked at video game programming because I have a friend who does that and uh but yeah, it's still be totally open toe learning anything and is the more I learned about it more defined my goal will be yeah, I think I think it would be worthwhile to not necessarily decide for good which type of programming you want to pursue but decide for a month you're going to pursue one specific type and try and delve really deep into that specific type so if you want to you know, decide that you want to go into front of programming learned javascript yeah, something like that we have online comments we do we have people timing in help for you all right? So miss stallion who has been very active thank you, stallion one of my degrees is in computer science and I would suggest that you tap into your current company's it department sometimes it's a gold mine and companies like cross training their employees cool and maybe if you're not at a company like that your friends cos I t groups thanks hee hee hee I would say my biggest challenge is um, because I'm not a big on getting my degree is gaining credibility and stuff without a degree. What what tools have you found so far that have been effective in gaining credibility? What things have you seen that are not related to your degree that is giving you kind of element? I would just like a real life experience, like internships? Um, you know, even like, sales commission positions, that kind of stuff, like hands on experience. Um, and then I would say, just like hacking your education of it, reading a lot of books, knowing what you're talking about, even if you don't have a degree in it because you can know a lot more than a person has a degree, and when you're having a conversation with someone, what did they usually find most impressive about talking to you? Like, what do they say? Wow, that's really interesting or what makes them go? Uh, I don't know, I think, like, I'm just, like, have quick wit, er, it's like people kind of like like that, I think that like, going off of what dale said is kind of kind of knowing what people like people catch on about yourself and being will be able to express that quickly and easily, um, is really helpful when that, like, because if you don't have a degree, you can just be like, oh, I have this degree, you have to say like, oh, I had this, and I have this and I'm awesome, and everything about me is cool, and so knowing what those things are and like, kind of like defining that, being able to say in, like, thirty seconds if you're talking to someone is really valuable, yeah, we're gonna we're gonna talk tomorrow about developing elevator pitch, one of things I was going to mention it, maybe maybe they're like three or four subjects that you're particularly knowledgeable about, that it could be help to steer the conversation towards, and if people see that you're knowledgeable about that topic, they would be more likely to think that you're credible and knowledgeable about other things as well, I would say, with credibility, it's, hard to discredit you if you present a product or something that you made even something you collaborated with, people on its hard toe for someone to doubt what you're actually presenting to them. I think if you can articulate what you've done really well, that's, at least for me, would be much more convincing than a college degree, because you can go to college and learn not very much. One thing that's been interesting to see is that could be helpful is maybe if you if you go to events or parties to go with someone who you already know who already has cloud our credibility in the huge that you're going with and who trusts you and if you're introduced by someone who has credibility, then you get extension like by you get credibility by extension. Another great point on that is on why raoh mentioned the one the biggest sigler's of credentials is, um the references that you have, I guess to dale's point there's a people can endorse you and your skills that what you bring to the table as definitely a big a big advantage there being ableto you know when when you're giving your picture, you know, discussing your ideas are interview in very job or whatever being able to tie your experiences even without that degree, tying those experiences is experiences together, you know, and getting them moving towards whatever that goal is, you know how how those experiences relate to, you know, to your goal being a job or whatever that is online or it or going so well says I suggest hanging out where your targets could be. For instance, professional associations are great for networking about that, um talk maura about this tomorrow as well about about building building your own portfolio so that s o u khun show off what it is that you've that either that you've built in the real world, or people who you have connections with, who male will, right endorsements for you that you could put on your website, you know, maybe it's that you've gotten some press, you know, maybe it's that you've participated in this workshop, you know, that could be it that seems like something that could lend credibility to someone at some point and again, another one from my name seller is providing example of what you could bring to the table in advance in relation to your desire, job or outcome, so proving it before asking for sure anything else and then doing it confidently, somebody of ms tallian again says, more important than credentials is confidence. I definitely I definitely found that to be true of the people that I interviewed for my book, the two most common threads seemed to be curiosity and confidence. Were you or you curious enough to ask questions and where you come from? Enoughto asked them without people without being afraid of people thinking that they were going to be stupid. That was the two common threads amongst the people who are who were successful outside of school.

Class Description

For most of us, getting a good education that prepares us for a satisfying, successful life and career means going to school and attending college. We pay our dues by sitting for hours in a classroom, doing the prescribed homework, and often paying tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of getting a degree from an institution of higher learning.

But that’s not the case for Dale Stephens, who decided at a young age that school and college weren’t for him. Instead, he embraced “unschooling,” which is self-directed learning based on curiosity, confidence and grit. Instead of blindly following what society and institutions say we must learn and how we should learn it, Stephens offers an alternative approach that is richer, more dynamic and geared to our unique interests.

Stephens is the author of “Hacking Your Education,” founder of, a highly sought-after speaker, and a successful investor and advisor. He and his special guest speakers will help you devise your own personal learning path, figure out your dreams and how to pursue them, learn to embrace your outsider status, and discover how to find meaning and purpose while also making a living.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Create a personal learning plan that defines what you want to learn, why you want to learn it, and how you will learn it.
  • Keep yourself motivated when you don’t have the structures of school.
  • Identify what your goals and dreams are and what you need to learn to realize them.
  • Connect with mentors and advisors who can help you on your educational journey.
  • Build a community with other “hackademics” to help you learn anything you want.
  • Create a portfolio to communicate your talents rather than a traditional resume.
  • Find a well-paying, satisfying job using subversive job search techniques.


a Creativelive Student

I'm not able to afford this class now but I saw the live view on CL and want to thank you! So many things I have experienced recently it was nice to learn that I am not about filters, time managing as innovators, taking smaller steps instead of reaching for long goals...chunking. Great course!