In the digital age that we all live in, you are essentially illiterate if you can’t code. Whether you are an entrepreneur who wants to create an MVP, an aspiring developer, or a human being who uses a computer, one thing is clear—coding is an invaluable skill. Creative Live is an excellent online resource for learning code and design.

It’s a skill that’s also tangibly valuable in the marketplace: the demand for developers is obscene.  While every other sector is flooded with overqualified applicants, there is a war for technical talent.  This is good news for hackademics.  If you can write beautiful code, formal credentials become a mere triviality.  This will help get you started.

Programming Bootcamps:       

Dev Bootcamp (SF & Chicago)
App Academy (SF—No upfront tuition)
Hackbright Academy (SF—Women only)
Catalyst Class (SF)
codeStreak  (SF)
Hacker School (NYC—For established programmers)
The CodEd (NYC—For beginners only)
Launch Academy  (NYC & Boston)
General Assembly Education (NYC)
The Flatiron School (NYC)
Starter League  (Chicago)
Hungry Academy (Chicago)
Mobile Makers Academy (Chicago—iOS/Android)
gSchool (Denver)
RefactorU (Boulder, CO) (Boston)
Bitmaker Labs (Toronto)
hackerYou (Toronto & Ontario)
Polycademy (Australia)
Jumpstart Lab (Various Locations—Short Term)
The Pragmatic Studio  (Various Locations—Short Term)

Online Resources:


Hackety Hack
Khan Academy
Learn Code the Hard Way
php Academy
Google Developers University Consortium
Project Euler
Github & Github Mentoring 
Stack Overflow
Masters in Data Science


Code School
Ruby Monk

Resources for Ruby on Rails:  
When people try to learn programming, the sheer number of languages overwhelms them.  “There’s Python and Ruby and HTML and JavaScript—Where do I start?”   Well, the web framework Ruby on Rails is a great place to.  Learning it will let you quickly build a web app.

Try Ruby
The Rails Guides
Ruby on Rails Essential Training
Ruby On Rails Tutorial with Michael Hartl
Rails for Zombies
Web Applications with John Ousterhout
Rails App Project
Rails Tutors
Rails Casts

There is no better way to learn than collaborating with other programmers to build something awesome.
Hacker League

Thanks to Matthew Manning for compiling this page.


Schools don’t have a monopoly on knowledge; you can teach yourself everything you need to know to succeed in life.  You can get a world-class education by reading the books listed below.  However, this list is in no way meant to replace college.  These books are just a place to start hacking your education.

This page lists all UnCollege-recommended books for easy bookmarking and reference.


How Children Fail, by John Holt (Summary)

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, by John Taylor Gatto

Deschooling Society, by Ivan Illich (Summary)

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education, by Grace Llewellyn

The New Global Student: Skip the SAT, Save Thousands on Tuition, and Get a Truly International Education, by Maya Frost


How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, by Clay Shirky

Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World, by Chris Guillebeau

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, by Eric Weiner

The Quarter Life Breakthrough, by Smiley Poswolsky


Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School, by John Medina

How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath


How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip Heath

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek


Eats, Shoots, & Leaves, by Lynne Truss

The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

Business and Social Media

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less, by Richard Koch

Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, by Josh Kaufman

Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh

The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing, by Lisa Gansky

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationships at a Time, by Keith Ferrazzi (Summary)

The Education of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think and It’s Not Too Late, by Michael Ellsberg (Summary)

The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change, by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith with Carlye Adler

Design Thinking

Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques, by Michael Michalko

The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald A. Norman

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality, by Scott Belsky


Many people see only two paths for dropouts:  One in a million might be able to become entrepreneurial titans—a Steve Jobs, a Bill Gates, or a Mark Zuckerberg—but most of them will end up as miserable failures.  This just isn’t true.  While it’s unlikely that you’ll found the next Microsoft, there are thousands of successful business owners without degrees that you don’t hear about.
When you think of “entrepreneurship”, it’s easy to believe that you have to raise venture capital.  At the core of it all, an entrepreneur is just someone who creates value for others, and then takes some slice of that value created.  This is something anyone can do.  While entrepreneurship is best learned by actually starting something, this will give you a good jumping off point.

General Business and Entrepreneurship
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Eric Ries
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
Chris Guillebeau
The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
Josh Kaufman
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
Tim Ferriss
Go It Alone!: The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own
Bruce Judson
Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age
Paul Graham

Getting Everything You Can Out Of All That You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition   
Jay Abraham
The 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk!
Al Ries & Jack Trout
Seth Godin has some remarkable books.   All Marketers Are Liars, Purple Cow, and Permission Marketing are a great place to start.

SPIN Selling
Neil Rackham
The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies
Chet Holmes

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High
Kerry Patterson
Bargaining For Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People
G. Richard Shell

The War Of Art & Turning Pro
Steven Pressfield
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity
David Allen

Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application  
The people at 37signals
Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup
Brad Feld & David Cohen
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
Michael E. Gerber
The 33 Strategies of War
Robert Greene

I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Ramit Sethi presents practical and relentlessly tested systems for personal finance, finding your dream job, and starting a freelance business.
The Personal MBA
Josh Kaufman teaches you how to master the art of business.  He also has a fantastic reading list if you want more than what’s above.
The blog of Ben Casnocha, author of My Start-up Life and The Start-up of You.
Great content on startups and value creation from the man who launched the lean startup movement.
Essays on entrepreneurship, marketing, and design—among other things.
500 Hats
The blog of the entrepreneur and super angel investor Dave McClure
The personal blog of Mark Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape
Startup Lessons Learned
The blog of Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup.
Both Sides of the Table
The entrepreneur turned VC Mark Suster writes often about startups.
The blog of the venture capitalist Fred Wilson.
Interviews and courses from successful entrepreneurs.
Presentations of the most innovative ideas from around the world.
The store for entrepreneurs—great deals on products and courses.

Bootstrapper’s Bible
Seth Godin
1,000 True Fans
Kevin Kelly
100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur
James Altucher
Harnessing Entrepreneurial Manic-Depression: Making the Rollercoaster Work for You
Tim Ferriss
Revenge of the Fat Guy
Ben Horowitz
The Only Thing That Matters
Marc Andreessen
Fear is the Mind-Killer
Eric Ries
How to Create a Million-Dollar Business & How Mint Beat Wesabe
Noah Kagan
Startups 101: The Complete Mint Presentation
Aaron Patzer
Milestones to Startup Success
Sean Ellis
What Skills Do You Need to be an Entrepreneur? Only Two
Sebastian Marshall
Make No Little Plans—Defining the Scalable Startup
Steve Blank
Paul Graham’s Essays
Read ALL of them if you are serious about being an entrepreneur. How to Start a Startup and What Startups Are Really Like are good places to begin.

Other Resources:

Physical Location
The DO School
A one-year educational program that enables talented young adults to launch their own innovative and sustainable social ventures.
An apprenticeship based program that turns startups and small businesses into classrooms.
Startup Weekend
Startup Weekends are 54 hour events where individuals come together to connect, build products, and launch startups.
A people incubator with chapters in a few major cities. They have both short term workshops and a fellowship.

Other programs, fellowships, and co-working spaces for entrepreneurs can be found on the Uncollege funding page.

Udacity: How to Build a Startup
Steve Blank
Udemy: 21 Critical Lessons for Entrepreneurs
Jason Nazar
Stanford University E-Corner
Presentations from successful entrepreneurs.
37signals Podcast
Discussions about business, design, experience, simplicity, and other entrepreneurial topics.

Tools For Entrepreneurs:
Y Combinator Startup Library
Startup Foundry’s Tool LIst
Startup Weekend’s Tool List
NYU Startup Resources Library
PBworks Startup Tools List
HBS Startup Tribes Tools List


Ever heard the saying “It takes money to make money”? Well thats not true but in some cases you are going to need that extra capital to get your idea off the ground. Unless you have a proven team, lots of venture capital connections, or a personal track record of making investors money you are going to need to do some work before anyone will give you their hard earned money. As a newcomer it is very unlikely you will just walk into a VC firm, tell them your idea, and get a million dollar check made out in your name on the spot.
The good news is there are many different types of organizations that can help you get closer to a piece of that VC gold. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list; just a quick intro to what’s available.

Kauffman Fellowship
Thiel Fellowship
Ashoka Fellowship
UnCollege Gap Year

Startup Accelerators
Y Combinator
Founders Institute
Excelerate Labs
Imagine K12

Angel Investor Networks
Angel List
200+ Angel Meetup Groups

Pitch Events
Founders Showcase
Ultralight Startups
TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield
Under the Radar
Women 2.0 PITCH Conference & Competition
Ignite Meetup

Venture Capital Firms and Funds
Andreessen Horowitz
Sequoia Capital
Benchmark Capital
Union Square Ventures
General Catalyst Partners
Kleiner Perkins
Khosla Ventures
Google Ventures

Coworking Spaces
San Francisco/Bay Area
General Assembly
Founders Den
Citizen Space
WeWork Labs
Sandbox Suites
Rocket Space
The Hatchery
Dolores Labs
Hacker Dojo
New York
General Assembly
Hive at 55
Tech Space
New Work City
WeWork Labs
Projective Space
Sunshine Suites