3 lessons from Helsinki’s coding school CEO Oona Ylänkö
Move aside Hogwarts, Hive Helsinki coding school could be the coolest educational hotspot.
Strolling between the beanbags, fresh yellow walls, and gleaming banks of monitors at Helsinki’s Hive coding school, CEO Oona Ylänkö is on a mission to help the coding world move beyond stereotypes.
✏ When you get a healthy mix of people, it starts working magic of its own
The programming school opened in October, less than one year after being launched at the Slush startup event. At Hive, one-fifth are women and almost one-quarter born outside Finland. And no coding experience was required. “We want to bring together people from very different backgrounds,” says Ylänkö.
Hive is definitely not your average coding school. In fact, it is as far from any kind of school as one could imagine. Open 24/7 with no teachers, lectures, or textbooks, it’s based on peer-to-peer learning and evaluation. The staff stands back and does not interfere.
“How does the fact of who makes our games affect who plays our games? And how does that affect the idea of who’s allowed to be a gamer, for example? Ideally we want a pool of coders that represents the reality we all live in – and we all recognise that that’s not the status right now,” Ylänkö says.
Oona Ylänkö fact file
💻 What she does: CEO, Hive Helsinki coding school ✈ Cities: Helsinki, Paris, Bordeaux, Montreal, San Francisco, London 🎓 Lessons learned: Unlearning can be much tougher than learning something new. 🎵 Relaxation: Music production, boxing, yoga 💃 Role models: Beyoncé and Rihanna for their work ethic, how they carry themselves and build massive businesses around uncompromising values.