Steve Wozniak's 'Woz U' boot camp accused of shoddy courses, heavy-handed sales tactics

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2018
Though associated with one of the famous co-founders of Apple, Steve Wozniak's "Woz U" programming boot camp has over-promised and under-delivered, a report charged on Monday.

Steve Wozniak for Woz U


Electronic course material is riddled with typos that can prevent code from working, according to CBS News, which spoke with over two dozen current and former students and faculty. Text is often said to link to Wikipedia or Microsoft documents, and "live lectures" have turned out to be pre-recorded and outdated.

Worse, student mentors are allegedly unqualified, and at least one course has gone without an instructor.

A former enrollment counselor, Tim Mionske, told CBS that Woz U put heavy pressure on him and his peers to recruit new students, taking advantage of Wozniak's celebrity. Following the school's fall 2017 launch the number of recruiters is said to have jumped from 16 to 60, while management simultaneously increased the pressure such that staff were supposedly forced to ignore concerns if they wanted to keep their jobs. Mionske was laid off in June 2018.

A student that spoke to CBS, Bill Duerr, separately told AppleInsider he'd heard Woz U was cold-calling recently-separated veterans, which made him angry on top of the problems with courses.

"I feel like this is a $13,000 e-book," Duerr said to CBS. In all he paid $13,200 for a 33-week program, including over $7,000 in student loans.

CBS confronted Wozniak at a conference in Miami, but he deflected the issue.

"I've had some calls, but here's the trouble, I'm in the busy part of a speaker's life," Wozniak said. A woman at the conference called for security, and Wozniak accused correspondent Tony Dokoupil of making statements and pretending they're questions before walking away.

Woz U President Chris Coleman has acknowledged mistakes in course material, and said a system is now in place to catch them, including reviews by Wozniak. Coleman denied any high-pressure sales tactics.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    D_CMillsD_CMills Posts: 24unconfirmed, member
    A woman at the conference called for security, and Wozniak accused correspondent Tony Dokoupil of making statements and pretending they're questions before walking away.

    This is kind of odd. What are the details of the security call?
    bloggerblog
  • Reply 2 of 8
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,678member
    Sounds like Woz sold his name to a company trying to capitalize on his name. 

    Woz was not known for is program background besides the fact he wrote the IWM for the Apple II which contain machine code. He was primarily known for his talent in hardware. Would you take a software class from a Hardware guy, probably but never take a hardware class from a software guy.
    lordjohnwhorfinaaronkalbcornchiptokyojimu
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Next up, he's running for President.
    lordjohnwhorfinrrrizerrrize1983tokyojimu
  • Reply 4 of 8
    claire1claire1 Posts: 510unconfirmed, member
    Why do I get the feeling Apple will be blamed for this somehow?

    WozGate?
    cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 8
    maestro64 said:
    Sounds like Woz sold his name to a company trying to capitalize on his name. 

    Woz was not known for is program background besides the fact he wrote the IWM for the Apple II which contain machine code. He was primarily known for his talent in hardware. Would you take a software class from a Hardware guy, probably but never take a hardware class from a software guy.
    Knowing Woz, I doubt he sold his name -- rather, I suspect he used his name to support a cause he felt worthy...  This appears to be somewhat similar to Woz' involvement with the Bill Graham organization:
    Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple and creator of the Apple I and Apple II personal computers, believed that the 1970s were the "Me" generation.[1] He intended the Us Festivals, with Bill Graham's participation, to encourage the 1980s to be more community-oriented and combine technology with rock music.[2] The first was held Labor Day weekend in September 1982 and the second was Memorial Day weekend in May 1983. Wozniak paid for the bulldozing and construction[3] of a new open-air field venue as well as the construction of an enormous state-of-the-art temporary stage at Glen Helen Regional Park near Devore, San Bernardino, California.[citation needed] (This site was later to become home to Blockbuster Pavilion—now San Manuel Amphitheater—the largest amphitheatre in the United States as of 2007.)[citation needed] The festival stage has resided at Disneyland in Anaheim since 1985, and has operated under various names and functions as the Videopolis dance club, the Videopolis Theatre, and the Fantasyland Theater.[citation needed]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Festival
    As to Woz' programming background -- The Apple ][ had Built-in (ROM) software programs: including an OS, trapdoor mechanism,  Integer BASIC, Assembler, Hi-Res Graphics, Lo-Res Graphics -- as well as the later IWM.

    The original Apple II operating system was in ROM along with Integer BASIC. Programs were entered, then saved and loaded on cassette tape.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_II_series
    I worked for the IBM Palo Alto Support Center in 1978 when I got my Apple ][.  We supported the IBM System/360.  The Apple ][ basic hardware specs were similar.  in 1979, I brought my Apple ][ into the office for a few days to test RS-232 connectivity to a new IBM Color CRT Terminal under development.  The Apple ][ worked just fine and AIR, the Apple ][ total purchase price was approximately the same as the IBM Controller monthly rental...  Also, the Apple ][ could do things the 360 and CRT terminal terminal could 
    not do.  (I left IBM in 1979 to open an Apple store).


    Later, Woz created the CL9 CORE Universal Programmable Remote Control for Audio/Video...  The CORE was essentially an Apple IIe in a hand-held format -- and even had an attachable RS-232 Interface.



    http://www.ktronicslc.com/core.html







    bb-15mwhitecornchipjbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 8
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,703member
    Sound like the former recruiters at Trump University have found new work. I hope Woz will take some time to focus and clean house on this quickly.
    lordjohnwhorfincornchipwilliamlondon1983stevenozjony0
  • Reply 7 of 8
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,001member
    This is why Woz never ran Apple. He doesn't know how to run a company. He may be brilliant in some areas and a total geek, but doesn't have the first clue as to what it takes to run a company. 
    mwhitebsimpsenlordjohnwhorfincornchip1983stevenozjony0jbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 8
    The road to hell... I'm totally sure Woz is guilty of one thing and one thing only: trusting people he thinks are his friends. The man is nothing but honest and kind. The swarm of sycophants surrounding him? Not so much. Time to clean house, Woz.
    cornchipdarkvaderwilliamlondon1983dick applebaumjony0
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