Edsurge has an excellent article on a new coding school called 42.  Coding schools or coding bootcamps such as General Assembly are gaining acceptance in the last few years as the demand for technology workers are increasing rapidly, coupled with escalating college tuition costs.  Unlike college degree programs, coding bootcamps typically take less than a year to complete and they are 100% career oriented.  Although they cost much less than a four-year degree, they are generally not free as most bootcamps are for-profit organizations.  Founded in 2013, 42’s name is a reference to the science fiction book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. As you can see below, 42 is a different breed of coding bootcamp.

  • 42 is completely free.  Other coding bootcamps will need to find a way to compete against free.
  • The first program from 42 was launched in Paris as the idea was the brainchild of French telecom billionaire Xavier Niel.  Many coding bootcamps originate from the US.
  • The most radical departure of 42 is that the school has no teachers.  It is based on a peer learning model.  The team at 42 believes that a rigorous, open curriculum, active student engagement and collaboration is the type of training method that trains the best computer scientists.
  • It takes three to five years to complete.

Judging from the information on the website, the admission to 42 is very selective.  If 42 produces good outcomes, we may not know if the success is driven by the design of the program or by the quality of the students. In the last few years, there have been a significant amount of innovation to computer programming education ranging from MOOCs, coding bootcamps, coding competition, etc.  It will be interesting to see how they will impact the traditional four-year program providers in the next few years.


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