JavaOne – Disrupting Engineering Education

“Disprupting Engineering Education; Hello from 42”

Speaker: Tony Hendrick, Oleksandra Fedorova & Giacomo Guiulfo

For more blog posts from JavaOne, see the table of contents

42 Silicon Valley

  • tuition free coding school
  • no teachers
  • no classes
  • when start – can only communicate by Slack
  • the application process starts with two logic games with no instructions. The first test involves memory. If you pass, you get an email with the next steps
  • Then comes the piscine a 4 week crash course in C with daily peer reviewed exercises. Each weekend get an individual and group project. 10-15 hours a day for 28 days. Then whatever want; most students choose 8-10 hour days
  • Staff doesn’t answer questions. They tell you to ask other students. 250-300 students
  • 3-5 year program. Twenty one levels to go through. Self paced
  • Start with writing a C library then can choose branch working with 4 other people
  • high school diploma required only if under 18
  • Supplement with other resources. ex: coursera
  • Buiding open 24×7 so can work when want. Must be in person for tests, grading, etc. Want to build face to face skils for office
  • Learn many languages
  • Must do coding internship after a year. Can pause account if get offer or contract job (or family suitation)
  • Funded by philanthropist
  • Grading is pass/fail. If a tiny bit wrong, still fail
  • Paris campus opened in 2013 and US campus opened in 2016. Also have satelitte campuses in a few countries

Branch choices

  • unix – to become systems programmer – make unix commands, shell
  • graphics – math heavy, fractals
  • algorithms – rebuild common algorithms from scratch and then projects

Example Projects

  • Reimplment printf
  • C++ crash course (in a crash course a project is due every 2 days for 2 weeks
  • Mock interviews – algorithms on whiteboard

10 full time staff
600 students
1024 computers
staff create opportunities – ex: book room for club

Learning Techniques

  • Active learning – few instructions so figure it out
  • Learning through explaining to others
  • Ability to adapt, research ability, speed
  • Randomized team vs choose a team depending on project

42 Embassadors
Volunteer – demos, registration desk at this conference, etc

My take: Interesting approach to learning and building a community of learners. This sounds way better than what the coding bootcamps are trying to do.

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