Meet A #sydswedu 2014 Mentor and Sponsor – Peter Argent


Last time we spoke to Vicky Lay from Zookal. Today we introduce our first Sponsor for Sydney Startup Weekend EDU 2014 – Peter Argent from Coder Factory.

Here’s our conversation with Pete about Coder Factory and the future of education. Read on…

Pete-ArgentPete, please introduce yourself to our audience?

I’m the co-founder and head teacher at Coder Factory, a coding school for aspiring tech startup entrepreneurs and app developers. After working almost 10 years as a consultant at IBM, I left to start my own company where I could make a real difference in people’s lives. At first I worked on some freelance Ruby on Rails projects, but when I was given the opportunity to teach, I jumped at it. It was the best decision I have ever made. I love teaching people to code and seeing their faces light up once they realise that coding is a superpower and they can now build anything they want.

What is your area of expertise?

My background is in software consulting and training. I love the power​ of software and the possibilities it gives us to make our lives better. I enjoy building web applications and social networks.

What motivated you to start Coder Factory?

​I saw there was a huge opportunity in the technology education space as universities and technical schools weren’t teaching the skills that aspiring tech entrepreneurs needed to build their own apps. There is also a big shortage of developers with web application development skills in the startup scene and I get contacted every week by people looking for junior developers. 

What are your expectations from the SWEDU event?

​I am really looking forward to seeing some innovative application ideas that help revolutionise the education landscape. There are so many opportunities for disruption in this space. I am a big believer in​ ​there being millions of great app ideas being in the heads of non-technical people, if they just knew a bit of code, or connected with a great developer, we could see these ideas come to life and change the world.​

What do you think schools/colleges would look like in 5 years?

I believe the education industry is in the process of a huge overhaul. People are starting to see that traditional institutions and methods are not delivering the education needed to equip young people to succeed in the modern age. ​
​As technology is used more in the classroom and teachers learn what is possible with software, we will see new methods and techniques achieve better learning outcomes. I’m also pushing for a more flexible learning environment where students are given the freedom to learn the way that works for them.

What are the trends/challenges that you see for education in the future?

​The big trends that I see are personalised training that meets the specific needs of a student’s goals and considers their current competencies. Why sit through a class if the content is something you already know or isn’t applicable to your career objectives.
The main challenge I see is finding a way to make online learning work for more people. At the moment, there are some people it works for, but for most people, it just doesn’t.
There are so many benefits from being in a classroom environment. From the connections you make with other students, the shared experience of learning difficult concepts, being inspired and motivated by other students and forming a relationship with passionate teachers who give support, advice and provide connections with employers and industry.
I’m trying to find a way to bring all these benefits to an online environment. If anyone has ideas, please let me know. Hopefully we might see some answers to this at SWEDU.

What are some ways to keep updated about Edtech news/events in Sydney?

 

The main way I stay updated with Edtech news is through the SydEduTech Facebook group and meetup group. The organisers, Atul, Aidan and Terry are passionate and dedicated people who have inspired me to be more involved in this community.

 

Some edtech blogs I read are ​EdBizWatch and EdSurge

 

About #sydswedu 2014

When: 27th June 2014 – 29th June 2014
Where: Muru-D Campus, 363 Oxford St., Paddington, NSW Australia.
Event Website: http://sydneyedu.startupweekend.org/
Tickets: Please purchase your tickets at the Eventbrite page


About Atul Pandey

Atul has always been passionate about Edutech and founded the Sydney Educational Technology community in Feb 2012 while looking for like minded people interested in EduTech. Atul is the founder of www.wisekangaroo.com, a provider of digital English language learning products, that empowers non-native English speakers around the world on their customized path to English fluency as per their specific learning needs.