Frequent Asked Questions
Below we prepared a list of questions we get a lot. If your question is not among them, do get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
What is '42'?
Ecole 42 is a French private tuition-free coding school founded in 2013 by the French entrepreneur Xavier Niel. With a disruptive peer-to-peer education model and philosophy, 42 has achieved great results (100% of well-employed graduates, 80% have opportunities before graduation, 30% build their own companies, 50% never coded before). Due to their success, 42 opened a campus in Silicon Valley in 2016. Other schools around the world have partnered with 42 to offer their program. Currently there are 27 partner schools all over the world. 42 Wolfsburg is the second partner campus in Germany and the first one to focus on Automotive IT.
Why are there no teachers in 42?
42 is a school based on peer-to-peer learning, in which students learn and discover by themselves and with peers. There is, however, a pedagogical team that makes sure the learning envinroment works and that students are progressing. Moreover, not having teachers makes this education system scalable and enables the education of a larger number of students than the traditional education system.
What is peer-to-peer learning?
Peer-to-peer learning is an education model where students learn from each other instead of learning from an appointed teacher. It emphasizes critical thinking, teamwork and communication. Students also evaluate each other and learn from explaining their approach to peers.
What does project-based learning mean?
In project-based learning, students gain a deeper knowledge of a subject through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. They learn by doing and thinking critically, rather than by following instructions and memorizing.
What is the language used?
All of 42’s content and projects are available in French and English. In 42 Wolfsburg, the curriculum may be made available in German language.
Why would students choose 42 over traditional university or college?
42 will be the only school in Germany offering higher education that is 100% practical, focused on coding, project driven and relevant in the real world.
Students work in teams and write code every day. A study by Stackoverflow showed that 54% of Computer Science graduates say that study-content is outdated, requiring additional (self) study to qualify for a job in their field. 42-Graduates don't face these issues, because content is updated every month and students practice skills average 8 hours a day during their studies. Students are ready to add value the first day they graduate from 42 - if not before: In fact, 80% of our students get offerd employment before the end of their studies!
What is the 'Piscine'?
The word “Piscine” is the French word for “swimming pool”. Everyone dives into the deep end of coding and learns how to swim together. The Piscine is a four week trial period during which students will learn the basics of coding from scratch. No prerequisites of any kind are required: no previous degrees, no coding experience. This time will be very intense and requires 100% commitment.
There is no cap to the number of applicants to be selected for the piscine or after. This avoid competition between applicants and encourages collaboration between students.
What does the curriculum consist of?
Part 1 is the Piscine, a 4-weeks challenge in which students learn the basics of programming (C++, basic algorithms).
Part 2 is the core part of the curriculum designed to reach minimal proficiency, which takes between 6 months and 1.5 years. Included are advanced algorithms, UNIX/Posix API (filesystem, processes, pipes, sockets, etc.), threads programming, C++, IP networks and basic system administratio as well as graphics and web frameworks. After this foundational course, internships of 4-6 months follow.
Part 3 lasts up to 2 years and focuses on AI, Security, Data, Cloud, Mobile, Advanced graphics, and other skills. This is also the time for hackathons, side projects with companies, entrepreneurship, projects with partners, etc. An internship of at least 6 months concludes the program.
How can I focus on a topics that interest me the most?
All 42-campuses worldwide share the proven curriculum of Ecole 42 in Paris. There are more than a hundred projects laid out as a tree. When you complete a project, you can move to the next one on this branch until the branches split. As such, it allows you to discover multiple aspects of coding and IT. Each student’s experience is unique, as you experiment with projects and choose to follow different specialization paths in the curriculum.
How is the curriculum gamified?
Students progress in the curriculum by completing projects and getting points. With these points students level up and unlock more projects and specialization branches. Students can also master different skills, tackle challenges and gain achievements. Students can compare their levels to know how far along they are in the curriculum.
How is the curriculum kept current?
The original curriculum was created in 2013 by Ecole 42’s team, which consists of veterans in the computer science educational field in France and has been evolving ever since. Educational staff at 42, in co-operation with companies and students, are updating the curriculum every month.
Is it possible for companies to apply for real-life challenges to be included in the 42-curriculum?
Yes, companies can apply for real-life challenges to be included into the curriculum. The pedagogical team in Paris, who created the curriculum and update it on a monthly basis, will review the project for suitability. If the project is included in the curriculum, it will be offered as part of the curriculum worldwide.
Can parts of the curriculum be used for re- and upskilling of employees, and unemployed?
Yes, other campuses such as Paris and Moscow already work with more senior students to future proof their skill-set. Such courses are typically shorter than the standard 3.5 year programme. Contact us for more information.
Can I study part-time? Can I work during my studies?
- During your Piscine, it is close to impossible to work. Candidates spend an average of 60 hours per week in the Selection Piscine to progress and learn programming.
- During the Curriculum, we generally advise against working part-time next to your studies. However, we do understand that you need to sustain for yourself and therefore you need an income. In case you have to work a few days next to your studies, we advise a minimum study investment of 24 hours a week. The remaining hours can be used for a part-time job. However, bear in mind that the more hours you put into your studies, the fast you will learn and level up!
How does 42 prepare students for a career in tech?
42 won’t teach students how to solve a specific problem, or how to use a specific tool set. Instead, 42 will teach students how to learn and understand the variety of tools available. Graduates of 42 are team players that exhibit strong problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and a desire for life-long learning. 42 will not lock students in into a specific technology or language, but teaches fundamental techniques allowing students to learn new appraoches. Students will be able to develop and maintain relevant skills throughout their career.
Are students obliged to attend 42 in person?
Yes, developing soft skills, peer learning, and peer correcting are central to our learning philosophy, so students need to be at the campus in person.
We are actively monitoring COVID-19 and will ensure all distancing and hygiene rules are in place as long as the pandemic demands it. If we are unable to run the Piscine in person in January, we will come up with alternatives.
What is the age requirement for students?
There is only a minimum age of 18, and no maximum age
Does 42 deliver any degree or diploma?
Just as students don’t need a diploma to get selected for 42, students don’t receive a diploma when they complete the program. The program is based on levels of experience that students earn as they complete projects. We do issue a certificate of completion at the end of our program. The experience and skills that students acquire at 42 are essential for a career in technology, as proven by the 100% employment rate of our students. As such, 42 enjoys a strong international reputation.
Do candidates need to know how to code to join 42?
No, not at all! It is not necessary to have any knowledge in programming to join and succeed at 42.
Can private and public organisations or institutions organise activities with the school?
Yes. The best way to keep students close to the real world is by organizing regular events with guest speakers and other forms of collaboration with companies and organizations, such as hackathons and workshops.
What is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?
Does 42 help with a Visa if I need one
At present, 42 Wolfsburg cannot help with Visas. Citizens that are not part of the EU, UK, Norway or Switzerland are encouraged to inquire about possible visa requirements. As 42 is not an accredited institution at this point, you may not be able to receive student visas.
Can I study at another 42 school?
Yes, you can switch to another school in the 42 network! Important notes for studying in another 42 school:
- You have to do the first part of the curriculum until your first internship at the same campus where you did your piscine.
- You can choose to do your internships wherever in the world you want.
- After your first internship, you can switch to another 42 school in the world.
- There's a minimum stay required of 3 months before switching to another 42 school.