THE RECEPTION AREA contains a segment of a decommissioned Underground train carriage, where visitors wait to be collected. The surfaces are wood and glass. In each room the talk is of code, web development and data science. At first sight the London office of General Assembly looks like that of any other tech startup.
But there is one big difference: whereas most firms use technology to sell their products online, General Assembly uses the physical world to teach technology. Its office is also a campus. The rooms are full of students learning and practising code, many of whom have quit their jobs to come here.
General Assembly, with campuses in 20 cities from Seattle to Sydney, has an alumni body of around 35,000 graduates. Most of those who enroll for full-time courses expect them to lead to new careers.