I created Silicon Dojo to be the physical embodiment of what I worked 12 years towards with my YouTube channel. In 2009 after closing my tech consulting business I had the idea of creating “on demand tech education”. Through a long winding story I ended up uploading my videos to YouTube, and became profitable in 2012. I found myself in the remarkable position of providing high quality education to people around the world that was free to them, but I was able to be paid through ad revenue and sponsorships. This is when I was struck by the concept of “free to the end user”. The payment for my services was separated from the delivery of them. This means that people that might not have been able to afford education were able to access it without any gatekeeper while I was paid and could afford the resources required to continue creating classes
With over a million subscribers on my main YouTube channel I have met people literally around the world that have told me how my work has helped them. From Baltimore, Seattle, Cancun, Miami, Amsterdam, Lisbon and too many places to count people have asked for a selfie and thanked me. While wandering the Roman Forum in Rome a Pakistani couple that were on vacation stopped me and shook my hand. The power of modern communication technology is beyond remarkable.
Sadly modern social media platforms including YouTube were built on rotten foundations. The problems most people hear about on the news about misinformation, hate speech, and worse only scratch the surface of the problems inherent in these companies and their products. These well discussed issues are the easy to spot cracks that develop when the buildings frame begins to buckle.
I want to continue my work in an environment that cares about the stakeholders, that is built on a strong foundation, and that its success or failure is determined by my execution and not the whims of an AI no one understands.
Silicon Dojo is built to be an in person experience. In 2009 online education was a novelty, and on demand learning was an incredibly valuable tool. Online education has very real limits and issues that I’ve learned as I’ve met and spoken with my viewers. Building relationships, learning how to communicate, and having education modified for the specific participants is very valuable in the technology world. Having equipment so that students can work through problems is a huge benefit for learning. And being able to have lite touch lab time where students can experiment and then ask for specific help is something that can’t be done well online.
In my career I’ve been through a lot of education. From Army AIT Electronics training, to a Bachelors Degree, to MCSE Bootcamps, and more class sessions than I can count I’ve learned what has worked well for me, and what hasn’t. Silicon Dojo is built on the education style of martial arts. As someone who trained in Kenpo, and other martial arts, I found the manner of dojo’s to be something that is unfortunately lacking in other education programs.
- hands on
- goal focused
- at the students speed
- experimenting is encouraged
- and students learn how to fail, over, and over again without giving up
Beyond this I also seek Silicon Dojo to be Welcoming. I want you to be here. I’ll give you as much support as I can. You have as much time as you need. You know what your goals are. My job is to try to facilitate your goals.
We have two simple rules, “Play nice”, and “Try not to break the toys…”
If you’re interested in learning more, or dropping by to see our classroom please email me at: Eli@EliTheComputerGuy.com