Hive Helsinki is a code school opening its doors to fresh coding talent in July 2019. Linda Liukas, the living tech legend and chairwoman of the board at Hive, spoke to Eficode about what businesses can do to gain access to the school’s diverse pool of talent, and why they should care.

Linda Liukas' latest accolade is one that should be very interesting to businesses. 2018 has been a big year for her. In October, Liukas was selected among Forbes Europe’s Top 50 Women in Tech for her influential work on a children’s book series Hello Ruby, which explains tech concepts through the wonders of storytelling and has been translated into 25 languages to date (in 2016, Hello Ruby was the most widely-sold book on Amazon Japan).

Earlier this month Linda was announced as one of the co-founders of Hive Helsinki, a coding school which will provide fresh new talent for businesses. She spoke to Eficode about how companies can make the most of this new resource in Helsinki.

Why is Hive Helsinki a big deal?

Recruiting programmers is a constant headache for software-driven businesses and IT consultancies alike. Coders are indispensable as societies continue on their march of digitalization, and yet they do not represent a fair cross-section of society, which hamstrings the creativity of the coding community by limiting the variety of perspectives brought to the table.

“When we think about the job of a programmer, we think only about the hardcore back end algorithm wrangler with high mathematical skills and forget that there are so many different areas in software engineering also, around testing, quality assurance, DevOps, a whole gamut of different things,” says Liukas.

Hive Helsinki has a predecessor that has been endorsed by the likes of Twitter, Airbnb, and Periscope: École 42, the free, teacherless coding school which was launched in Paris in 2013, with the format being replicated in California as of 2016 in the form of 42 Silicon Valley.

“When I was visiting Paris, the Paris campus had 5-6 different workshops ranging from Facebook to Alibaba during the day where companies were showcasing their technology, so it’s very relevant skills that students were getting instead of only theory,” Liukas recalls.

Why should businesses care about the coding school?

Hive Helsinki is a new wellspring of talent for the industry. The three-year course will feature two 6-month internships which will see students placed at partner organizations. There are many factors which make Hive Helsinki students particularly ready to meet challenges in different industries.

“It’s about peer learning, problem-solving, and project-based learning. The goal is to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t see themselves as computer scientists or programmers and give them in less than three years the tools to succeed in this job,” explains Liukas.

Judging by what happened at École 42, the quality of the students will be high. In its first year, 42 had 80,000 applicants, 3,000 of which made it to the 1-month boot camp called the swimming pool ‘piscine,’ and a smaller number making it into the school itself, a format that Hive Helsinki will follow too. The application process will include a logic test as well as a boot camp. It’s a format that’s highly competitive but sets a level playing field for all applicants, emphasizing the motivations needed to succeed with coding in the real world: teamwork, passion, and resilience.

How can businesses get involved with Hive Helsinki?

It’s as simple as getting in touch with Hive Helsinki. Linda Liukas could not have been more clear: “Students can apply the skills they learned at the school in the real world, and we’re always looking for companies that are interested, the school is still looking for new partners to join the school and to have conversations with!”

Don’t let the list of logos on the partnership page put you off. Just get in touch with them on the Hive Helsinki partnership page. Some conversations with potential partners may already be ongoing!

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Published: December 20, 2018

Updated: June 10, 2020