Bradfield Sabbatical Program

The best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.
— Seymour Papert

At Bradfield, we teach computer science to software engineers. Most of what we do involves direct instruction in a classroom, and we’re proud of what we accomplish this way. But, we also agree with Papert: sometimes all you need is a supportive environment and a little guidance.

To better cater to those in our community who’d prefer an environment in which to learn over a structured classroom experience, we will be facilitating a self-directed sabbatical program, starting in October. This will be small and informal to begin with, but we hope for it to develop into an important part of what we offer to our community of ambitious engineers and computer scientists.

The program

We’ll be offering a free, 4-week, loosely supervised program for you to study computer science in a mostly self-directed manner, from October 2-27th, 2017. The primary facilitator will be Ozan Onay, one of the instructors at Bradfield and previously co-founder and CTO of and Topguest. While you will ultimately be responsible for your own success, Ozan will help you form a plan and stay on track.

The program will run out of our existing building in the SoMa district of San Francisco. The sabbatical program participants will be the main occupants during the day, and will share the building with students of our regular courses in the evenings. We’ll provide fast internet, snacks, a good technical library and 24/7 access to the building. Most importantly, we will carefully select a group of similarly motivated individuals who we hope will motivate and positively affect your work.

We expect you to make a full time commitment, and that you will be able to attend almost every weekday during the period, from at least 10am-4pm. Those who wish to continue to a second or third 4-week session will be encouraged to do so, so long as they commit to the full 4·n, n ∈ { 1, 2, 3 } weeks.

You and your peers

For the first batch, we’ll select a group of approximately 10 participants, based on our expectation of who will make the most of the opportunity and enhance one another’s work. Mostly, we’ll be looking for curious, ambitious software engineers who see technology as a force for good and wish to understand it well enough to make an impact on the world.

We will expect all participants to have at least a few years of full time programming experience, and an existing interest in computer science. If you’d like to learn a new language or technology as an end in itself, this may not be the best program for you. If you’d like to do so as part of a journey to some deeper truth, or to eventually make your own contribution, then you will find yourself among peers.

We know that the most significant factor in your experience will be the backgrounds, interests and personalities of your fellow participants. Our most important job will be to get this right, and we wouldn’t offer the program at all if we didn’t anticipate that we could.

Application process

To apply, email with a brief message addressing:

  1. Your programming experience including any relevant work experience;
  2. Your computer science background (whether formal or informal);
  3. What currently interests you most; and,
  4. Your long term goals.

We will respond to applications as promptly as we can, and schedule short Skype interviews with suitable candidates. Applications will close September 1st, and accepted participants will be notified by September 5th.

576 Natoma St
San Francisco, California
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