Digital Skill Swap


Hi all, soon I’m launching a community initiative called ‘Digital Skill Swap’ to facilitate people meeting up and teaching each other IT skills. The basic plan is to list the skills that you can teach, and pair up with someone who can teach you a new skill.

For example, if you know enough Ruby to spend 30 minutes or an hour teaching someone the basics and you want to learn how to get started with Go, you would find someone who knew Go to teach you in exchange for you teaching them Ruby. Could be anything though, digital graphics or Wordpress or whatever.

I’m in Jersey but I’ve left the descriptions of where to meet generic, so they would apply to both Jersey and Guernsey.

I have yet to put together a blog post announcing it so I’ll let things percolate here for a few days. I’ll likely need help administering it if this gets any traction, so for now if this interests you please check out the site and if you want to make improvements and know Jekyll the source is here at

Any feedback is welcome, positive or negative.


Tom this is a great idea, i’ve been talking to people about this kind of thing for a while but never got anywhere with it.

My idea was however less one to one and more one to a few.

It one of the things i was hoping there would be room for at the Guernsey Greenhouse.


I think that is a great way to broaden the appeal and make it more fun. The ‘skill swap’ idea is an old one and you see it across many different professions. It may be called a study group and it definitely does not need to be one-to-one like I suggested.

I’m over in Jersey and I think I’ll try to organise a meet-up like you describe. There is a lot of overlap with what I think techtribes is for, so maybe we set something up that is a bit more formal than ‘meet for beers after work’ but less structured than the presentations. It’s also less work for the organiser.

Email a few people directly and set it up in Guernsey at the Greenhouse. Go for a short-term target like two weeks, max. I’ll organise the same thing here soon and post some feedback after.

I want people to know that this is not something set in stone, there is no template to follow. I called it a ‘launch’ because people seem to like hearing that word but this is just an idea with a website and mailing list at the moment. I’ll watch for what works and iterate and I hope others will too. I know the concept is solid so we can start immediately.


At our last meet up we were discussing Google Sketchup so i might see if i can find someone who can is willing to do a hands on intro session.

What are your thoughts on charging for something like this?

We struggle in Guernsey for suitable locations so there will probably be a cost involved. But do you envisage the “trainer” being paid for their time?


I’m against charging people to participate. This is meant to be a bartering system and bartering is defined as “To trade goods or services without the exchange of money.”

Paid training programmes already exist here in Jersey and I’m sure Guernsey has them also. Nothing against paid training but that is a skills for money swap, whereas this is purely a skills exchange.

I share your concern about costs involved since people seem to gravitate to the Digital Jersey Hub for this type of thing. As a non-member, it is off-limits to me (for those unfamiliar, DJ are a Limited Company selling £200+ co-working membership plans).

It can also be a very noisy place with a presentation I gave being disrupted by DJ staff speaking very loudly and with a total lack of concern for others working around them. Fortunately there are plenty other options.

We’ve a large, comfortable library with WiFi throughout, and I have confirmed with the Chief Librarian that we can use the library for meetings. I looked for other alternative places and many exist. Coffee shops, or even a business’ conference room, if you can find an employee or two who want to participate.

This is meant to be a community initiative and I’m happy to listen to feedback and consider changes, but those are my thoughts on how to do this for now.