We found a second alumni profile victim by reaching out to Daniel Duong, 25 years old, who provided us with further evidence that another one of our graduates has emerged from the 42 experience with a valuable skill set, which he has been able to draw from in the workplace. Having started at 42 in July of 2013, in the first piscine, he progressed quickly to the point where he was able to join the 42 Paris staff as a Bocalien from February of 2014 to December of 2014. In December of 2014, he left 42 to work as a software engineer for Oscaro, where he began his initial professional experience doing web development work using Django. In October 2015, he joined eShares and continued to code with Django. In August of 2016, when eShares needed an infrastructure engineer, he began dividing his work time between infrastructure and coding. He now manages eShares infrastructure, deploying hotfixes and making sure the servers are working. He has also become “the guy you go to when you have a weird bug on production.” Apparently, with his knowledge of the code base and his production access, he helps his peers at eShares to solve “tricky problems”. At present, the primary languages he employs are AWS, Ansible, Python, Django and Javascript. He reported that finding work after his 42 experience wasn’t hard. After emailing a recruiter and after a few interviews, it took him about a month to find his first job.

When I asked Daniel about his coding experience previous to his training at 42, he informed me that he had various field experience that might have given him a small head-start. He began learning Python in 2005. In high school, he stopped coding and focused on Math. He started a “prep course” (une classe préparatoire en français), but left after 3 months. He then studied Math at the college level, while learning a little bit of Java and C, but at a low level. He reported having a little bit of x86 Assembly knowledge as well.

He remembered his time at 42 as a moment in his life when he was seriously curious as well as being serious about doing research. He often asked himself how things worked and took time to answer those questions. He liked the freedom that they had—specifically, he enjoyed being able to work whenever they wanted and on whatever they wanted. He used to work during the night. He would come in around 7pm and would leave around 9am. He didn’t really follow the projects and was more interested in his own personal questions such as: How are libraries loaded in memory? What is a computer virus? What is an executable? How does strace work? etc.

He feels that he was better prepared at 42 than he believes he would have been had he gone to a traditional university. He attributes that judgement to his working with other people, to having written a lot of code, to having used tools like git, etc. Each of these were crucial elements of his education and training at 42.

To our current students at 42, he offers, “Do the opposite of me (Haha!); have a balanced life; be consistent and be patient; try to make a solid group of friends; with consistency, you’ll succeed.”

published by titus – February 25, 2017