Rene Ramirez

AGE: 20
HOMETOWN: San Francisco, California
INTERESTS: Programming, including the graphics area, gaming, and recently VR, virtual reality.

What did you do before 42?

I was at San Francisco State University trying to get a degree in biology. I didn’t finish school. I was unfortunately kicked out of SF State for my low grades and I didn’t have any other choice of school beside City College. I just didn’t like City College, it wasn’t a helpful environment.

Why did you choose to join 42?

My family saw that I really liked computers. One of my friends sent me a message saying “Hey, there is a school that has just opened. It is free.” I was intrigued and I decided to do this instead of biology. The first time I did the intensive basic training, I wasn’t trying and I had some medical problems. The second time I did it, I saw that this was going to be a great opportunity for me and I just decided to really try, just try, try, try. That’s why I am here!

Did you know how to code before coming here?

A little bit. I learned Ruby on Rails and that was it.

Did you enjoy the intensive basic training?

Yes I enjoyed my second intensive basic training more than my first attempt. In the first “piscine,” I made a lot of friends. So it was fun, I enjoyed the community. But the second time ,I tried really hard. I didn’t have a dorm, so I stayed in my car. And I was here in the lab 18 to 20 hours a day just trying really hard to get in.

What do you like about 42 academics?

The community. I just really like the atmosphere. I feel that the process of the intensive basic training helps out a lot on eliminating people that don’t want to be here. People that are really motivated to be here stay. And that is one of the things I really like, the motivation, that people will push you if you don’t try your best.

What are the best parts of learning at 42?

Doing it yourself. Essentially the base of everything is you have to do research. I really like the way that I am teaching myself rather than having someone tell me what to do. It helps out someone telling us instructions. But it gets a little bit more exciting when you figure out the problem.

Who are your sources of support at 42?

I think my friends and also staff members that guide us through the program. For example, staff members just give us direction where to go, what projects are better for our understanding and for our internship, then with friends, we discuss projects and we search for a lot of different sources of learning.

Describe 42 community.

Besides everybody being friendly, this is a great place to learn, primarily because you are forced to talk to people. But it eliminates you being shy, and once you do that, you are able to start building that inner potential. You don’t get nervous, you start to feel comfortable. You get out of your comfort zone and that helps out a lot because in general in life you are going to have to face people no matter what and this is a great way to start.

What activities are you involved in in 42?

Everything. I have been helping out a lot: I’m a 42 ambassador, I’m part of the AB club, the marketing and media. I am a DJ so I play music for the school sometimes. Running errands, everything. You know once you feel dedicated to a school or something, you just want it to keep going.

What is your dream job or your long-term career goals?

My dream job is something that I am really happy to do every day. Not sure yet, but for a long time, I’ve cared about social justice. I am a very “political person” and I really like helping minority students. Because of the program that I did when I was little, it helped me see how students of minority struggle a lot, and teaching them something like this would help them out a lot. So my long-term goal is to create something like this just for minority students, for the kids that have never touched a computer. Helping the community, where actually it needs it the most.

What is your most inspiring education quote?

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Albert Einstein