Sean Smith

AGE: 25
HOMETOWN: Michigan
INTERESTS: computers, programming, outdoor activities like soccer, football, skiing and family and friends.

What did you do before 42?

Before 42 I studied at Central Michigan University in Michigan. I studied business information systems with a focus on SAP. I got a job at a startup for building Oracle products. I left that company to work for Back Office Associates, then I worked for Dow Chemicals. When I started at 42, I worked remotely for Boeing as a consultant.

Why did you choose to join 42?

I saw a tweet from Bill Gurley on Twitter. He said 42 is a game changer. I clicked on the link, I saw a video of top executives from Silicon Valley speaking about 42. I did as much research as I could but it was difficult at the time because 42 had just started. So I went to the intensive basic training, met a lot of people there that were inspiring, and learnt a lot about C. I decided to come back to start the full program.

Did you know how to code before coming here?

I coded two programs. One was like a thirty-line shell script to get the first one hundred Facebook users of Facebook. The other was a PHP program I built to download data from ESPN and build a Draftkings team.

What do you like about 42 academics?

I like that it is project-based: you learn at your own pace and you discover how to use whatever tool you can use to complete the project. I think that is the most important part.

What are the best parts of learning at 42?

The fact that you have unlimited creativity and unlimited ambition. You can move at your own pace and you can dive into a project as deep as you would like to.

Who are your sources of support at 42?

My friends, my peers. I have the strongest connection with the people I’ve been through the intensive basic training with. We worked together and experienced the same stress/failures/happiness together and it made us really good friends. We had a staff member named Lou, who helped us a lot. He did so much for the school, put his soul into it, and he was very supportive.

Describe 42 community.

Everyone has passed the basic training, so everyone has proven that they can code, that they can work on their own, and that they can work as a team. And they can be counted on. I like that you can look around you and you could help others and they can help you, and that you know that the stuff you are learning is useful.

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

My dream job would to be working at a company where I look forward to going to work every day and I look forward to being around the people that are my employees and people outside the company, that are customers or vendors, and just having a good influence on the community.

What is your most inspiring education quote?

If you want to teach how an engine works, Elon Musk says, you wouldn’t first teach them wrenches and screwdrivers, you would show them the engine and ask them how to take it apart. “Then a very important thing happens, which is the relevance of the tools becomes apparent”

Elon Musk