Software professionals have no social life

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Programmer, developer, founder. These are the most important raw materials for leading an industrial region into the future. And unfortunately it is precisely these people that are scarce. For this reason, it is important to have schools where software developers can study, where they can meet and develop ideas for new products and companies together. They are either lured away by companies that open their locations around the universities, or they set up their own companies.

Like Thomas Bachem. The developer taught himself to program and started writing software at a young age. A computer science degree would have been obvious. Bachem, however, was too theoretical. And too much math. On the other hand, it was tempting to study business administration more closely at a private university in Cologne.

In addition to his studies, Bachem founded start-ups, including Fliplife, Lebenslauf.com and United Prototype. Nevertheless, he asked himself why there are so many business schools. but no “tech schools” in the field of computer science. He wondered why he shouldn't create a college for IT enthusiasts himself?

Bachem becomes a university founder. The go-ahead for his IT university “Code” will be given in the 2017 winter semester in Berlin. The program includes: software engineering, digital product management and interaction design. “Actually, I am currently founding the university that I have been missing for so long,” says Bachem. "I noticed that studying computer science actually makes no statement at all about whether applicants are really good software developers." That is why the focus at Bachem's university should be on theoretical and practical learning.

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Universities like the ones Bachem is currently setting up already exist abroad, but they are not recognized by the state. For example “quarante deux” (42) in France. "This is an unrecognized but still very large educational institution," says Bachem. "Who trains over a thousand developers there every year." The universities that are recognized have a problem in combining theory and practice. “We believe we can agree on that,” says Bachem. "We want to try to establish a state-recognized university that still teaches in a very practical way."

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Initially, Bachem wanted to found the university in his hometown of Cologne. But Berlin has more to offer than just being the capital of Germany. It is a melting pot for creatives and media professionals - nationally and internationally. Unfortunately, not only these networks are an argument for the university founder, the university admission procedure also speaks for Berlin.

“Berlin has the highest density of private universities in Germany. And that is not least due to the fact that the higher education law there is more liberal in some aspects, ”says Bachem. For him it was important that the state recognition can be obtained quickly and that it can start in the 2017 winter semester. Over time, aspects such as program accreditation will be regulated. That is not possible in NRW. The approval process takes much longer on the Rhine. Program accreditation must be in place before the start.

“What speaks for NRW is that it has a very large catchment area for students,” says Bachem. "I can very well imagine having the second location here in North Rhine-Westphalia." That should please NRW, because there was great interest in keeping Code here and so the project was strongly supported by the state government. Among others from the Minister of Economic Affairs or the Commissioner for the Digital Economy and the City of Cologne.

"I noticed that the people from the Rhineland and Cologne, and then also the people from North Rhine-Westphalia as a whole, stick together very much," says Bachem. "And we were able to talk openly about the fact that it is something that NRW could do very well." Unfortunately, it did not work out. The reason: the complicated approval process in North Rhine-Westphalia.

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