The 42 Software Engineer Program

Learning to code isn’t the only skill you’ll learn. Learn skills that will last you a lifetime in the ever-changing digital world.Gain essential skills for employment in America’s digital sector.

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The 42 program is a 3 to 5 year college-level software engineering or coding program in a professional environment. There are no classes, teachers, or courses and instead we use project-based learning, skills mastery, peer-to-peer correction, and gamification to foster learning.

Get your hands dirty with a taste of the real-world.

42 is an innovative engineering and programming college that offers rigorous, industry-leading education in a professional environment. Our program is designed to prepare students for the workplace using an instructional design that means students learn skills for the digital world and for the technology industry.

There are two main parts to the 42 program:1. The four-week Piscine 2. The 3-5 year 42 program


A four-week introductory session to the life of a programmer

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to come and spend 4 weeks, 7 days a week, day and night, coding your heart out with over hundred other candidates all hoping to earn the same prize: become a full-time student at 42. Students must pass the piscine in order to apply to the complete 3-5 year 42 program.

We will start with the basics, and using a computer, you will write your first lines of code before moving on to more complex coding exercises. It won’t be necessary to have any previous programming experience. We simply ask that you know how to use a mouse and a keyboard.


The 42 Program

A 3-5 year self-paced curriculum

This is where the real fun begins. Welcome to the life of a programmer: coding all day (or all night, up to you), working on projects, and debating the meaning of life.

Our program is rigid yet flexible: certain projects are required in a particular order, while others students are free to pursue and explore. Projects range from 48 hours to 6 months, depending on their depth and complexity. Projects are corrected by peers, and students learn technical skills as well as interpersonal skills, time management, and project management.


A quick look at our program:

Major learning milestones are expressed as levels of experience rather than years; your individual experience sets the pace for learning– not the administrative calendar. We consider 3 years to be a suitable length of time for students to complete the 42 program along with an internship and to make the most of networking events, company-led projects, and the wider 42 community.

Start Dates

We don’t follow an academic calendar, so we have multiple start dates throughout the year on an ongoing basis. Please find below a list of the current start dates for the 42 program:

September 16, 2019

*NEW* December 2nd, 2019


Skills For a Lifetime

Rather than a series of languages and specific technologies, 42’s program follows a logical sequence of 17 long-lasting skills. These skills also have the same fundamental element: personal adaptability, learning, coping and solving new challenges that they will inevitably face regularly. Even if it has a few obligatory paths, 42’s program is individually tailored throughout.

Program Duration

Although the 42 program was designed to be completed in roughly 3 years, this suggested duration includes two required internships that last anywhere from 4 to 6 months. How long each student takes to complete the program depends on their needs, learning style, and internships.

Learning at Your Pace

Each student advances at their own pace. Some notions are instinctively simpler for them to develop, while others will require further attempts. On this basis, lessons at 42 do not have fixed time limits; each student progresses not in relationship to their position within the whole graduating class (where the individual who is the furthest behind slows down the entire group), but at their own pace. It is difficult to fall behind when following 42’s educational curriculum because it is 100% individualized.

Download our student brochure


Computer Programming

The heart of 42 is code. Software development is the driving engine of all digital activity. Fundamental technical competencies are developed, which gives each of our students the indispensable adaptability skills necessary for integration into the digital workforce. These technical competencies ultimately allow students to comprehend any programming language as well as allowing for each student to develop his or her own understanding of programming paradigms.

Imperative Programming

Arkanoid Rush – In the space of a weekend, students must recreate the famous brick breaking game of the same name, which was available on consoles during the 80’s.

Functional Programming

A-maze-ing – Find a way out of the labyrinth! Functional languages are particularly suitable for this type of problem.

Object-Oriented Programming

Piscine C++ – Addressing for the first time object-oriented programming through 2 weeks of intense immersion.

Algorithms & AI

Gomoku – A variation of puzzles and tic-tac-toe, this project explores game theory, a branch of artificial intelligence.


42run – Who hasn’t played Temple Run on their phone? But who would be able to recreate a complete game using OpenGL in order to run on the university’s premises?


A company’s capacity to innovate is a fundamental factor in today’s digital market. 42 learners must be able to adapt, to think differently, in order to propose innovative solutions. Curriculum projects are specifically designed to develop this skill, while others, through their dynamism or new technologies, naturally have this state of mind.

Adaptation & Creativity

Open Project – For a long imposed duration, this project gives students an open playing field where they can pick their prefered topic and devote themselves fully to it.


Big Web Project – Eagerly awaiting all the latest web technologies which are constantly changing, this project constantly demands students to adapt their final project according to the latest trends.

Technology Integration

Docker – Visualization technology at lightning speed, Docker requires students to push aside everything that they know through this initiatory project.


If code is important in digital technology, infrastructures and different types of architectures also require skills for their efficient and secure management. How does information travel?; at what speed?; what is the make-up of computer equipment?; where is/are the technical failure(s) coming from?; how can one react quickly and correctly to these technical failures? A dive into the heart of operating systems, networks, clouds and the services they encompass.

System Programmation

42sh – Well known to Unix users, the command interpreter is a key program to understanding the workings of the operating system, and to completely rebuild, as part of this project.

Network & System Administration

Corporate Network – As part of this project, visualization techniques make the creation of a complete corporate network, with all of its vital services, accessible to everyone.


Viruses – Understanding how computer viruses work and implementing one are the first steps towards the following project on protection techniques.

DB & Data

Challenge Big Data – Your data is worth it’s weight in gold. Explore the techniques needed to analyze large amounts of data in order to anticipate upcoming events.

Parallel Computing

Plazza – Your pizzeria is hiring, organize your cooks so that everyone will be served promptly.

Personal Development and Expression

Elements of individual behavior in line with the expectations of an employer are essential for proper integration into the market, and a production quality that meets high expectations. Better communication with employees within their group, as well as with its leaders, promotes achieving objectives and creates a work environment that is conducive to creation and innovation.


Corewar – Among the first large projects in the curriculum, Corewar is complex and demands methodology in order to arrive at a conclusive result.


libFT – A collection of small software components which do not tolerate any margin of error, and which are extremely simple yet extremely precise.


The excitement linked to digital data encourages new forms of innovative and nimble businesses. The appeal of these startups is that one can either look for a start-up that suits oneself or else just start one’s own; there is no singular path. Additionally, it requires the associated skills to guide their team and carry out their role as a company boss.

Company Experience

Final Internship – This is the perfect time for a student to start his or her own business and to begin an intense career in digital technology.

Group & Interpersonal

Partnership with HEC – The ability to work in a group, or even to lead a team, is essential for successful professional integration when creating a company. Interacting with a wide range of profiles is equally important. This partnership project with HEC puts students from 42 and HEC side-by-side to address concrete problems faced by entrepreneurs.