Experienced-based education and the 21st century workforce


MAKE editor and publisher Dale Dougherty was in town (DC) this week. I always enjoy hanging out with Dale and talking about what we’re currently most excited about, in science, technology, the maker community, etc. He got most enthused when recounting his experience of Sridhar Vembu’s talk at last weekend’s Foo Camp. He did this post-talk video with Sridhar and wrote an O’Reilly Radar piece about it:

At Foo Camp 2010, Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho, gave a talk called “Alternatives to College.” I was so excited by what he had to say that I wanted to be able to share it more widely — after all, only two people came to his talk. So I recorded a video interview with him.

Sridhar’s efforts at Zoho and their development center in Madras tell us something about how to develop a 21st century workforce by tapping into those who would not normally go to college. In short, his answer is not to prepare them for college but to prepare them to be productive in the workplace — and to do that preparation in the workplace.

Fast-tracking: Alternatives to college

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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