Hacker School

In no other field is the shortage of skilled labour as pressing as in IT. Companies are desperately looking for good programmers – worldwide. I remember from my time at Free2Move, that new developers were not only paid for their flights and relocation costs, but also paid for a flat in Berlin for a year, had their visas taken care of and were generously given home office days – 2 years before the outbrake of COVID.

So what could be more obvious than investing in your own young talent? Every football club invests money in promoting young talent because they know it’s cheaper than buying talent on the transfer market later on. All they would have to do is generously equip schools with modern computer technology and train teachers to get pupils interested in IT careers. The ‘computer room’ at every school today should actually be the coolest, most modern room with a start-up atmosphere, a Mecca where everyone likes to go on a pilgrimage to try things out and exchange ideas.

But the opposite is the case. Perhaps the German education system is too cumbersome, perhaps there are people in the ministries who know nothing about the subject. In any case, the computer rooms are still the dusty, grey stalls that I remember from my own school days and computer science is treated as if it were a fad that will eventually disappear again.

The Hamburg Hacker School has set out to change that. The non-profit organisation is committed to ensuring that every young person learns about programming before deciding on a career. And not just in theory, but to experience it for themselves with enthusiasm. To this end, the Hacker School organises courses in schools in which pupils are accompanied by professional programmers, known as ‘inspirers’. In these courses, anyone with no prior knowledge can try their hand at programming and gain their first experience of the digital world, which otherwise mainly takes place in purchased apps on their own smartphone.

To make even more teachers aware of this great offer and enable their pupils to take part in one of these courses, I attended one of them for a day and made a short film about it.

See for yourself: