Rare look at "University" shows what makes Apple so good

Since Steve Jobs re-took the reigns at Apple, things have run famously. After his passing, the word waited with anticipation that Tim Cook would somehow mess it all up. Still, nothing bad happened; Apple was still running smooth. A new look at the internal Apple training school shows why.

The world's premier electronics manufacturer never stopped teaching employees, and they approach is in a very tried-and-true manner. Speaking on the condition of anonymity to The New York Times, three Apple employees who attended courses there described what the courses were like. The curriculum was like that of a college, giving the educational offerings their nickname of "Apple University".

The courses focus on history, and educating employees on how to navigate the shifting sands of the tech landscape. One recent course educated leaders at recently acquired startups how to mesh their team with Apple. The courses are all focussed on Apple, even when they have to do with Silicon Valley history.

Taught on the Apple campus, the rooms are even conducted in a room with theater-style seating, just like a large University. They're also taught by University professors, some of whom hail from Yale or Harvard — even M.I.T.. The curriculum is carefully conceived, planned, and executed by each instructor, too.

The classes aren't mandatory, but they are well received. They also focus on simplicity, and stripping away unnecessary bits until you get right to the pulp of a matter. One example was the Google TV remote, which has 78 buttons. It was compared to the Apple TV remote; a svelte piece of hardware with minimal buttons to interact with.

Apple University remains a closely guarded secret, and is almost never discussed outside of the Cupertino campus. What we see day-to-day is a result of those courses, though — so in a way, we know all about what's going on there.

Source: The New York Times