The first iteration of Sloan Coders Club began in 2013 under the leadership of Zach Hendlin (MBA ‘14) and Brent Besson (MBA ‘14). The club sought to equip members of the Sloan Community with technical skills that would allow them to begin building ideas into applications and websites and further open up their connection to the greater MIT. The club was successful in reaching both technical and non-technical Sloanies, who participated in workshops covering topics such as Python, SQL, WordPress, and UX Design.
A couple of years later, the decision was made to sunset the Sloan Coders Club. Leadership at the time felt that there was overlap with what some of the other Sloan clubs were doing, most notably Data Analytics and Product Management Club. And so it became it a fact that the MIT Sloan School of Management was without a forum solely focused on fluency in computer programming.
When I was accepted to Sloan, I was nothing short of ecstatic. I reached out to a number of MIT alums at my company, a couple of them CS undergrads, to hear of their experiences with the school. When these conversations flowed into my career goals, I proudly expressed that I didn’t know what I wanted to do and that this fact was a critical driver in my decision to attend Sloan. My prior interactions with Sloanies had convinced me that this is the type of place where I could be comfortable not knowing. After all, the exploration that would surely come out not knowing is more likely to lead me the right place. One of the things I did know, however, is that I did not want to let my lack of technical skills limit me in exploration.
Much conversation, debate and contemplation led me to enroll in a coding bootcamp this past summer. As I started to meet my incoming classmates at the NYC adMIT meetups, it became apparent that I was not alone in my desire to learn how to code. The interest in my experience forced me into researching the best ways for me to share what I have learned with my new classmates. When I came across the website for a defunct Sloan Coders Club, I saw an opportunity.
Paul Graham, the famous entrepreneur, venture capitalist and co-founder of Y Combinator, posits that MBAs don’t do side projects and thus, don’t go on to found as many successful start ups. I contend that there is no reason why MBAs can’t do side projects. A technical MBA is a dangerous thing and, to take a cue from PG’s aim with Y Combinator, my goal is to build an army of them.