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Nature vs nurture. I agree there are less competent people. I believe their incompetence is due to nurture. Anything nurtured can be unlearned.

One year is a long time. I believe that less competent people, over time, could be nurtured into great people with the right mentorship. 10 years of good strong mentorship could make incompetent person a great person.

We may have a disagreement based on 1st principles, which is okay. I'm glad we got down to that.

Perhaps so. If I fail I will write about it. One thing I can confidently say is that teaching is very difficult, so failure is a real possibility. I sure hope this works out though.

10 / 15 original students were random people who raised their hand on a facebook group when I posted a potential pilot program. I think this prepared me well for the coding bootcamp at our local public library that was launched last week. I hope to keep this going throughout 2020 and see what happens.

Here's the meetup group, if you are around the area come say hi!

My perspective was that maybe having some of the money back would allow you to teach more people.

I understand where you are coming from. From my perspective, I don't see the point of helping "more" people. Doing so lowers the quality for the existing students and creates more burden on myself. If you were in my shoes, what would be the inspiration for helping more? For me, I'm just looking for a balance. One person at a time, when a student leaves I'll get one or two more to fill the spot depending on budget.

payments in style of Lambda School are not that bad... and if you fail to get the promised new job, then there is no payment

I really hope you are right. Personally, the students who are the slowest have severe self confidence issues and they don't communicate their emotions very well. It breaks my heart to imagine the emotional turmoil they might feel if they fail. Part of what I spend most of my time doing is to make sure nobody fails. I'm extra committed to make sure nobody gets left behind. Maybe it makes a difference, maybe not.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I always get this comment:

Maybe you could make a contract with them that they will return you the money if they get a software development job

No offense, but I don't like that idea and the answer will always be no. Why should somebody whom society left behind be expected to pay in their pursuit to have a normal life like everybody else? These people are just getting their lives started, I don't want them to have a looming payment hanging over their heads. If you have been in debt before you know how stressful it feels to be indebted.

These guys should pay: Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon, PayPal, Apple, etc. etc.

My goal that I'm working towards is to lead sustainable open source projects and negotiate a direct employment contract from companies because the engineers we produce are of such good quality.

Its an ambitious journey (I know), but it makes the most sense to me.

I don't know how to say this except, you are wrong.

I've been trying to prove you correct since 2011 by teaching every low-ranking society person and I succeeded every time. I saw a college dropout (with multiple Fs on her transcript) become a good engineer, I saw a 40 year old become a good engineer.

Last year my dad (60 years old with 0 coding experience) picked up coding and I think he's gonna do great.

I had hoped that you are right so I could have the same sense of job security, but the belief that "being a good software developer is very very difficult" is wrong.

It may be helpful for you to start seeing things from a different perspective, better sooner than later.

You touched on something important here. The most important hurdle I have to overcome with students is making them feel empowered and needed so they care about coding. Afterwards, the problem solving skills become easier to teach.

If you are the only carpenter in town and your family needs a home, you can absolutely care enough to become a professional carpenter.

You can also develop the aptitude and interest to become a professional plumber if you feel valued and people around you needed a great plumber.

I had a similar realization many years ago but I have a very different (and lonely) perspective. Nobody seems to get it, maybe someone here will.

I realized this (unfair income) in 2011 as a junior in university, right after I got an internship at Facebook. They paid me $6000 / month and I had only been coding for one year (literally). Previously I dabbled in multiple other majors and my internship offer was higher than the full time salary of my peers in other majors (whom I respected deeply).

I saw this as an opportunity. During my internship and my senior year, I taught my highschool friend how to code while he completed his major in econ. I figured if it only took me one year to get into facebook, he could do it in two. A year after I got a job at a startup, he got a job (105k base).

My girlfriend at the time graduated with a stats degree and was doing customer support. I thought maybe I could get her into coding too, and I did. A year later she got a job (115k base).

Then I had an idea.... could I teach anybody coding? I reached out to a kid I knew back in high school who had a 2.0 GPA. I figured his life sucked and it did (he was a uber driver). Things didn't turn out so well, I got impatient and I used my power as a senior engineer to get him onto my team at (105k base). Today, he is a much better software engineer making 190k base with alot of RSUs.

During my time at Google I decided to revisit my original question, could I teach anybody coding, no matter their background? So while I was working I reached out to my local community to see if people wanted to learn coding. 12 students showed up and I could no longer focus on my work so I left Google to teach full time.

Then things got interesting. Students wanted to quit because they needed to support their families. So I started paying them, 2000 / month. 7 students were paid, the remaining I made sure to tell them that I can help if they needed money. Thankfully, they did not need my money.

Within a year (2017-2018) I went bankrupt. I needed to answer the question, "could anybody learn coding, no matter their background?", so I painfully cleared out my 401k. Thankfully, my wife got a job as a software engineer (135k base) so I was able to find a job myself.

Eventually, all the students got a job. Every single one, from one who is 40 years old without coding background to another without a college degree. The lowest offer was around 115k.

My RSUs are coming up in 4 months (90k). In addition to my salary, I'm going to use it to accomplish my goal in 2020: to create a coding bootcamp at public libraries so that anybody regardless of race and background could have a safe place to learn how to code and build cool things together as a community.

After I finish I will write about the experience, but not now. I just wanted to share my journey so far because I think it is important to know that you don't have to spend what you earn. You can help the people you care about, only if its one person at a time.