Breaking Into Startups: #1: Albrey Brown - Self-taught Engineer who founded Telegraph Academy to teach people how to code.


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Published on 27 Nov 2016. Albrey Brown, is a Berkeley native who does not take ‘No’ for an answer. He was rejected on his first attempt to becoming a Hack Reactor graduate and went on to become a founder of Telegraph Academy. Most importantly, he found a love for teaching and is an educator that has completely changed the career trajectories for hundreds of students. Although he never graduated from college, he always knew that he was going to be a teacher. He grew up in a single family home where his mom raised him to become the man who he is today. Key Points: 1. When you’re learning a new skill, it’s good to have resources (see below), but try to find someone to double check if you’re doing the steps “correctly” 2. Bootcamps need to be more accessible and there are resources like Telegraph Prep and Climb that are working to democratize this form of education 3. You’re always going to find another bug (another hill to climb, a new thing to conquer) so don’t be afraid of that. Take risks. 4. Mentorship comes through various channels. If someone invests time into helping you, the best thing that you can do is succeed. SHOW NOTES (FOCUS ON THE STEPPING STONES): [1:12] – Albrey grew up in Berkeley, CA in a single family home with his mother and his aunt. He had no idea of what a startup was. [3:15] Albrey’s mother got diagnosed with Cancer during his sophomore year and he took a couple of years off after he graduated high school (never graduated college) [5:32] Beginner Resources – What resources did you use to learn how to code? First, a mentor. Then, he started with The Odin Project and Learn Ruby the Hard Way [6:35] What was your motivation to learning how to code? [10:47] What led you to choose Hack Reactor instead of all the other bootcamps? [11:52] How did you do with Hack Reactor’s Interview Process? [15:10] Don’t let money stop you from acquiring a new skill – How did you pay for your tuition ($18,000)? When he passed his interview and got accepted into Hack Reactor he needed to figure out how to pay tuition. He had no more money and used a crowdfunding platform called GoFundMe to raise $18,000 in 30 days [18:19] Tell us more about the Bootcamp Model as a new model for education [19:06] What makes Telegraph Academy different from all of the other Bootcamps? [21:40] Take a Bootcamp Preparation Program if you are starting from scratch and need someone to guide you [22:22] What financing packages are available at Telegraph Academy? [24:58] What are some of the outcomes for Telegraph Academy? [26:17] What do the demographics look like at Telegraph Academy? [29:00] How did you put this all together? He is a big advocate of taking the road less traveled. [30:40] What do you have planned for the future? Thoughts on education in general? [33:37] The Lightning Round 1. How would you get back to this point in your career if you were dropped into a new city with only $100? (assuming your food and shelter is taken care of) Albrey: Become a Lyft or Uber Driver to get a car (here’s the Uber option), make money, learn about your city, and meet people 2. When you ran into roadblocks or struggles, was there any piece of music or a movie that you watched that helped you get over that situation? Albrey: Always Be Closing by Glengarry Glen Ross 3. Looking back, what is one piece of advice that you would give to someone now that you’ve been through this journey? Albrey: The best resource that you can have is a mentor 4. Have you been able to speak with anyone that Sponsored your GoFundMe now that you have executed on your promise to start a school? Yes; His cousin Brian Tippens, who never told him what he did when he originally contributed. Now that Albrey reconnected with him after the launch of Telegraph Academy, he just realized Brian is the Head of Diversity

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