Frequent Asked Questions

Below we prepared a list of the most asked questions. If you still feel like your question has not really been answered you can email us your question and we will get back to you as soon as possible!


Learning Environment

What is '42'?

Ecole 42 is a French private tuition-free coding school founded in 2013 by French entrepreneur, Xavier Niel. With a disruptive peer-to-peer education model and philosophy, 42 has achieved great results (100% of well-employed graduates, 80% have opportunities before graduation, 30% build their own companies, 50% never coded before). Due to their success, 42 opened a campus in Silicon Valley in 2016. Other schools around the world have partnered with 42 to offer their programme. Currently there are 32 partner schools across all continents. 42 Heilbronn is the first German partner campus.

Why are there no teachers in 42?

42 is a school based on peer-to-peer learning, in which students learn and discover by themselves and with peers. There is, however, a pedagogical team that makes sure the learning envinroment works and that students are progressing. Moreover, not having teachers makes this education system scalable and enables the education of a larger number of students than the traditional education system.

What is peer-to-peer learning?

Peer-to-peer learning is an education model where students learn from each other instead of learning from an appointed teacher. It emphasizes critical thinking, teamwork and communication. Students also evaluate each other and learn from explaining to peers.

What does project-based learning mean?

In project-based learning, students gain a deeper knowledge of a subject through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. They learn by doing and thinking critically, rather than by following instructions and memorizing.

What is the language used?

All of 42’s content and projects are available in French and English. English is an important language to be able to thrive in the digital world and we want our students to think globally. In 42 Heilbronn, the curriculum may be made available in German language.

Why would students choose 42 over traditional university or college?

42 will be the only school in Germany offering higher education that is 100% practical and focused on coding.

Students work in teams and create every day. A study by Stackoverflow showed that 54% of “Informatik” graduates say that study-content is outdated, and that self study is required to be able to start a job that is directly related to their Masters-subject. 42-Graduates will not have this issue, because content is always up to date (updated on a monthly basis), and students practice skills average 8 hours a day during their studies, hence they are ready to add value from the first day they come out of 42.


What is the 'Piscine'?

The word “Piscine” is the French word for “swimming pool”, meaning that everyone dives into the deep end of coding and learn how to swim together. The Piscine is a four week long trial period. During the Piscine, students will discover the basics of coding from scratch. No prerequisites of any kind are needed: no previous degrees, no coding experience. This period will be very intensive and requires commitment.

There is no fixed amount of applicants to be selected. This means there is no competition between applicants and anyone can be selected.

How is the on average 3,5 year full-time curriculum built up?

Part 1 is the Piscine, the 4-weeks challenge in which students learn the basics of C programming, simple programming, and simple algorithms.

Part 2 is the core part of the curriculum designed to reach minimal skill set, which takes between 6 months and 1,5 years. Included are advanced algorithms, UNIX/Posix API (filesystem, processes, pipes, sockets, etc.), threads programming, C++, IP networks and simple system administration, simple graphics, web frameworks. After this foundation, an internship of 4-6 months follows.

Part 3 should take max 2 years, and this is where AI, Security, Data, Cloud, Mobile, Advanced graphics, and other skills are further developed. Also, this is the time for hackathons, side projects with companies, entrepreneurship programming, projects with partners, etc. A final internship of at least 6 months concludes the programme.

How is the curriculum designed that students can in fact choose their own path?

All 42-campuses worldwide share the proven curriculum of Ecole 42 in Paris. There are more than a hundred projects laid out as a tree. When a student completes a project, they move to the next one, until they can choose from different paths and discover multiple aspects of programming and IT. Each student’s experience is unique, as they experiment with projects and choose to follow different specialization paths in the curriculum.

How is the curriculum gamified?

Students progress in the curriculum by completing projects and getting points. With these points students level up and unlock more projects and specialization branches. Students can also master different skills, complete quests and achievements. Students can compare their levels to know how far they are in the curriculum.

How is the curriculum kept current?

The original curriculum was created in 2013 by Ecole 42’s team, which consists of veterans in the computer science educational field in France. It has evolved since then by the educational staff in Paris and other schools, co-operation with companies and even students. The curriculum is updated on a monthly basis.

Is it possible for companies to apply for real-life challenges to be included in the 42-curriculum?

Yes, companies can apply for real-life challenges to be included into the curriculum. The pedagogical team in Paris, who created the curriculum and update it on a monthly basis, will review the project for suitability. If the project is included in the curriculum, it will be offered as part of the curriculum worldwide.

Can parts of the curriculum be used for re- and upskilling of employees, and unemployed?

Yes, other campuses such as Paris and Moscow already work with more senior students to develop the tech skills that allow them to have a future-proof job in the increasingly digital labour market. The duration of these programmes is typically shorter than the standard 3.5 year programme.


How does 42 prepare students for a career in the tech world?

42 won’t teach students how to solve a specific problem, or how to use a tool. 42 will teach students how to learn, how to understand the tools available. After 42 students will have the ability to solve hard problems, because they will be used to thinking critically, seeking and sharing knowledge. 42 will not lock students in into a specific technology. Technology changes constantly… Students will be able to develop and maintain relevant skills throughout their career.

Are students obliged to come study at 42 in person?

Yes, developing soft skills, peer learning, and peer correcting are central to our learning philosophy, so students need to be at the campus in person.

What are the age requirements for students?

There is only a mnimum age limit of 18, and no maximum age limit

Does 42 deliver any degree or diploma?

Similar to that students don’t need a diploma to get selected for 42, students don’t get a diploma when they complete the programme. The programme is based on levels of experience that students earn with a project. We deliver a certificate of completion at the end of our programme. The experience and skills that students acquire while studying at 42 are essential for technical job interviews, and 42 has a strong international reputation.

Do candidates need to know how to code to join 42?

No, not at all! It is not necessary to have any knowledge in programming to join and succeed at 42.


Can private and public organisations and institutions organise activities with the school?

Yes. The best way to keep students close to the real world is by organizing regular events with guest speakers and other forms of collaborations with companies and organizations, such as hackathons and workshops.