FIELD 3 Start-Up Trains the Valley

Every year, many HBS students graduate and go work for technology companies such as Google and Zynga. Other HBS students choose to start their own ventures, which require them to hire and manage web developers. But most of these students have never written a line of code and are unsure of how to work with these engineers.

That’s where Training the Valley (TTV) comes in. TTV, an idea that was born out of FIELD3, provides a day-long crash course to MBA students on how to work with web developers. Participants learn everything from understanding the different components of building a website to learning which programming languages are needed for different kinds of functionality to working with and managing the unique culture of engineers. An HBS-style case, which was written by the TTV team, is designed to weave throughout the course and tie it all together, and provides a structured and interactive format for the class.

Prior to Launch Day, TTV had their work cut out for them. Importantly, they wanted to run a beta class, which would serve as their MVP, to see what the full class would look like and get feedback before starting to plan for the real course. Doing this meant finding a qualified instructor, developing the in-depth curriculum, and marketing the class to attract participants.

Twelve paying HBS students attended the five-hour long beta class, and the results were overwhelmingly positive. One student noted that the class was “very useful,” and “provided information that I would either not have been able to find on my own or would take too much time. And in a digestible, interactive format.” Another student who is from the Silicon Valley and plans to one day launch a start-up said that “every student at HBS should take it.Going forward, TTV is planning to tweak the curriculum in preparation for the first actual class, which will be open to students from all over the Boston area, and will likely take place on May 19. So whether you are going to work as a Product Manager at Amazon, in marketing at Dropbox, or want to start your own company like the Rent the Runway girls, Training the Valley will help you be prepared for the job.