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About 42 School

Location: Silicon Valley

42 is an innovative software engineering school that offers multiple computer programming, coding, and software engineering programs for free. Their goal is to provide access to education, change diversity in the workforce, eliminate student loan debt,... Read More

42 Silicon Valley offers the main 42 program, 42 Starfleet Academy, and HackHighSchool. 42 Starfleet Academy is all 21 levels of the 42 program squeezed into 12 months where students work 50-70 hours a week. The 42 program is self-paced and ranges from 1-5 years for completion. Students at 42 Silicon Valley tend to spend 7-15 months at 42 before finding jobs or gaining internships.

42 trains students for the digital world, asking that they arrive with 21st-century skills and are prepared for today's workplace. 42 uses a project-based and problem-based learning along with peer-correction (like code review) to foster a tight-knit learning environment. Students learn soft skills, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and how to work in teams. They have to give and receive correction, defend their code, and adhere to norms.

At 42 students control what, how, and when they learn, as well as select their own experience points, levels, and correction points. Curriculum is mastery-based, meaning that students don't advance to the next level until they've displayed mastery of the current level's skillset.


42 Program @ 42 Silicon Valley

Cost: Free
Locations: Silicon Valley
In-person Only
Course Description:

The 42 program is a master's-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. 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.

The heart of 42 is code. Software development is the driving engine of all digital activity. Gain fundamental technical competencies and 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. 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.

Major learning milestones are expressed as levels of experience rather than years; your individual experience sets the pace for learning– not the administrative calendar. There are 21 levels total, but students are eligible for internships around levels 7-10, get basic software engineer-related jobs level 10+, or are ready for the likes of Tesla, Uber, Google, Samsung, etc. around levels 17+.

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.

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.

If you are in the dorms on campus, you must complete 37 hours a week and advance at least one level per month.
If you are not in the dorms, there are no time requirements - you come when you want.
The school is open 24/7 365.

Here are some of the topics students can cover:

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.

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

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

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

We also have a project incubator where students can spend 3 months making an MPV, 3 months getting traction, and 3 months trying to get funding. Students must pitch and prove a rigorous business model and be at least level 9 before being accepted to the incubator.

Intensive Basic Training @ 42 Silicon Valley

Cost: Free
Duration: 4 weeks
Locations: Silicon Valley
In-person Only
Course Description:

Intensive Basic Training is a 28-day coding challenge. It's a new and immersive experience in which only motivation, willpower, and hard work will keep you afloat. Many students consider it to be one of the best and most challenging parts of their 42 experience.

Basic Training is the final step in our merit-based admissions process. 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 several hundred other candidates all hoping to earn the same prize: to be a full-time student at 42.

We start with the basics, and using a computer, you will write your first lines of code before moving on to more complex coding exercises. No previous programming experience required! We simply ask that you know how to use a mouse and a keyboard.

Throughout this experience, you will try and you will fail, over and over again. That’s the point: learning the trial-and-error process builds stamina, determination, and process skills that are necessary to be a software engineer.

Basic Training is done using the 42 style of learning: no teachers, no classes or courses, no books. You work by yourself and in groups, ask your peers for help, help your peers, and complete projects. Not convinced? Try it!

Basic Training is free. It is not a bootcamp where you gain employment afterwards: it's the admissions process to 42. It's all in C :)

42 School Reviews

Average Ratings (All Programs)

42 School logo

4.0/5 (9 reviews)

student | Graduated: 2020


42 Program @ 42 Silicon Valley



Job Support

"42 silicon valley was amazing"

Even in piscine, I had friends that got a job because you get a great network. It is a great opportunity who cannot afford colleges or bootcamps however it doesnt fully support international students so you need to solve your visa problem on your own.... Read More

Graduated: 2019


42 Program @ 42 Silicon Valley



Job Support

"Great Training to Learn Programming Fundamentals"

I came to this school to get a job in the tech industry. After 1.5 years I was able to land a great job at a big company paying me more money than I'd ever seen in my life.

42 starts off by screening people who really want to be there by having a monthlong... Read More

The program worked well for me. After completing many 42 projects and then learning different frameworks outside of the curriculum as well as building out side projects, I was ready to get a job. I was able to get a well paying job with the skills I taught myself here in the environment they provided. They even brought the employer into the school to talk with us.

If you have motivation to make it happen for yourself and self discipline to study and submit assignments without a teacher and classes, come join the program. You should be able to find work after you have a few projects under your belt in a year or 2.

If you're a whiner that complains about FREE dorms and education when people get into debt to learn this stuff at college, then don't come here. Colleagues at the company I work at carry student loans from CS degrees and make less than me. So many people who started 42 around the same time as me with the mentality that they are going to figure it out learned to become great programmers and lots of them have good jobs with bright futures.

Jean-Baptiste Terrazzoni
Graduated: 2017




Job Support

"An incredible school for passionated and motivated students"

I'm now an alumni of the 42 Paris School. I started the test called the piscine in March 2017 knowing nothing about programming. 1 year later I started receiving so many interesting job offers that I didn't need to finish the program.
This school not only... Read More

Graduated: 2018


42 Program @ 42 Silicon Valley



Job Support

"42 Paris is a legend, 42 SV is a joke"

honestly, don't waste your time. You get what you paid for. In this case you are paying with your precious time to get frustrated, confused and wasted.

Matthew Jones
Student/Future Engineer | Graduated: 2018




Job Support

"Excellent Course and Projects. Come here to succeed."

I'm going to give you a 100% honest review of this school, not from the perspective of a someone who failed and gave up, but from the perspective of failing, and then getting in.
DO NOT COPY.....without understanding. That is THE Biggest thing I can tell... Read More

John Doe
Graduated: 2016




Job Support

"Just use it as free rent if you can"

If you're thinking about joining 42 I'm not going to flat out tell you to avoid it, but I will tell you to read all of this so you aren't going in blind.

If you get accepted for the Picine you will code for 26-ish days. You'll be learning terminal commands... Read More

Like I said, the Picine covers almost every topic that really matters in C, so you'd think that after the Picine you'd be allowed to submit projects in a different language - a marketable language. The marketing material (at the time I went to 42) certainly gave that impression. Nope, you're still coding in C. And on top of that, you're still having to code using their style guide that doesn't even allow switches or for loops. It got so bad that I found myself writing terrible code, that was a nightmare to debug, simply because I had to make everything conform to the "norm." It honestly almost encourages bad coding practices, though they swear it's better that way.

If you try to have a reasonable conversation about the fact that C is not a language that many companies hire for they will say it's not about getting jobs, it's about becoming the best programmer possible. If you try to tell them that the "norm" promotes bad coding practices they will say it exists to make it more challenging, thus making you a better programmer. It is mind-numbingly infuriating.

My recommendation to anyone that goes to 42 is to take CS50X (it's free) before going so you don't burn a lot of time during the Picine, but you'll also become very good at coding in C. Then if you get into the program literally get the minimum requirements out of the way in order to stay in the dorms rent free and spend the rest of your time teaching yourself how to code in a language more marketable than C.

Of note, they have a C++ Picine you can take once you've reached level 7. So teach yourself C++ at some point so you can "pay rent" with the points you get from completing the C++ Picine.

Oh, and don't expect them to be a good source for jobs. The job fairs are literally such a joke that it was painful to attend. Do not expect them to be able to help you get a job. Make interesting things in the language of your choosing and use that for job interviews, because 42 isn't going to give you projects that will impress a potential employer.

David Mendelovits
Graduated: 2018




Job Support

"Learn programming from scratch"

Prior to attending the Piscine, I had approximately 2 months coding experience, from some online courses in Javascript and C. I think it helps to understand a little bit about the C language before starting the Piscine, but that being said, my experience... Read More

Right from the start, it is prudent to commit the majority of your time to staying in the lab. I personally spent approximately 90 hours a week. Some people needed less time, and some needed more. There are something like 200-300 students present at the start of the Piscine, and most people will learn at a different pace. However, it is fairly easy to make friends and find learning partners, and it is entirely necessary if you want to get the most out of your first month here.

After finishing the piscine, if you've put in enough work/time, you will have hopefully been accepted into the full-time program! Unlike the Piscine, the full-time program is at your own pace (unless you live in the dorms). The curriculum is expansive and allows you to choose your own path between several different branches, including: Graphic Design, Algorithms, Object-Oriented Programming, Unix, Web-Development, and more! There is always something to do.

TL;DR: Free does not translate to easy

Tips for the Piscine: Spend as much time as you can in the lab. Talk to your peers and ask them for help if you need it! Use google if that fails!
Tips for the full-time program: Stay consistent. Motivation comes and goes.

Timothy Ryan
Graduated: 2018




Job Support

"Very solid foundation in C"

Hi there, I can only comment on the "Piscine" intensive basic training program. It is indeed very intensive. It is also very social. I spent about 100 hrs a week in the lab and lived on campus (almost necessary to pass... don't go if you can't get into... Read More

The program is entirely self- and peer-taught. You are given assignments 7 days a week and expected to complete them using online resources and the people in the room.

I took to the experience really well, but I'd already had a solid foundation in programming Python. People without any programming experience might be overwhelmed. Overall, the most intense and rewarding programming experience I've ever had.

Dario Santacruz
Graduated: 2016




Job Support

"I went to a Computer Science school for 2 years before entering the piscine. My past experience only helped me for 1 week."

42's piscine is brutal, and it should be. It is a month where you learn how to program in C without using the standard library. Yes, I know this sounds weird, and senseless. What is the point of half-learning something? Well, the point of the 42 piscine... Read More

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