The first round of “pisciners” for 2017 began their adventure at 42 Silicon Valley beginning to learn how to become world-class developers at our state-of-the-art coding facility. This group is the fourth round of new applicants to brave the evaluation period since the school’s opening in July of 2016.
The “piscine” meaning “swimming pool” in French, is a sink-or-swim, 4-week, evaluation period designed to give these young adults (ages 18-30), an exposure to the 42 campus and to our program. Some of these applicants come to us with little to no coding experience and begin by learning Shell and C programming language. They will be asked to complete several projects and be evaluated over the course of the next month to determine if they are both well-adapted to and comfortable with the pedagogy as well as if they have what it takes to become one of our students. As the “piscine” is designed to be a challenging experience; not all applicants will be selected as students at 42 Silicon Valley.
The process for beginning (admissions.42.us.org) this experience and becoming a “pisciner” and a potential member of an incoming class, entails taking 2 online tests (1 logic test and 1 memory test) to determine one’s capacity for this type of endeavor. One finds these tests on the application page of our website. Those invited to join must also register with us and select a start date for an upcoming “piscine” before starting to code with us.
This January’s group, most of whom are living in the dormitory, have 189 individual members hailing from 19 different states and 24 different countries. They will either finish the “piscine” invited back to our campus having been accepted into the program, or else they will be rewarded by the month-long experience of learning the beginning foundations of coding. In both cases, they will be enriched by the experience.
This unique school began in Paris in March/April of 2013 and has had tremendous success attracting and retaining the-best-of-the-best to become innovators in the burgeoning, high-tech arena. As the program remains tuition-free and provides a top-notch skill set covering the entirety of essential skills for employment in the digital sector in the United States, the number of applicants and participants has increased with each new class.
42 Silicon Valley will run additional “piscines” with the first starting in April and another scheduled for this summer.
Looking beyond the testing and project work in which “pisciners” will be engaged during the month of January, the events calendar for accepted students at 42 is beginning to take shape. We have begun scheduling hackathon events for March, which will begin to expose our students to contacts from outside our campus involved in programming projects within these friendly competitions as well as exposing local high schools to our school and to our program. Our students, who serve as mentor to these events, will be also benefit from the added volunteer experience that they can put on their resumés. As these students begin to broaden their skillsets, similarly they begin to broaden their professional networks through their participation in part-time work and internships.