Beware, deep water!
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Beware, deep water!

Created
Sep 17, 2022 10:40 PM
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Review
I recently signed up for the pre-registration competition at Ecole 42 in Paris, which is called “pool”.
I wanted to write down my thoughts every week, to keep a record, but I didn't have enough time and there are too many things to cover. I really want to keep a written record of the present, as a memory, since I saw a video from IciAmyPlant, about it.
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What is 42 ?

In addition to being for geeks, the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything else, 42 is also a computer science school based in France, with more than 42 campuses worldwide. Founded by Xavier Niel, the French "Elon Musk" I would say, this school is totally unique in its peer-to-peer learning pedagogy:
You learn to code by yourself and by others, without a teacher, without staff help.
notion image

Its unique pedagogy

As I mentioned before, to enter the school, you first have to pass a pre-registration exam which lasts one month.
Its pedagogy is to do C lang and shell exercises every day, with the help of other people and every Friday you pass an exam to confirm your new knowledge.
The pool is really different from student work, I'll cover that on another thread, once I'm accepted 🤞

My personal experience

I've been dreaming of going to this school for years. I did a baccalaureate, a BTS, but none of them suited me.
This school is not the future for everyone, but it is an alternative for those who prefer to learn by themselves and among peers, or for those who want to learn a new job.

Coding skills

It’s amazing how much you can learn in a month. We were about 450 participants, from 18 year old to +40, coming from different jobs, cities, and countries. Just a few gave up, about 10% of us, and the others now master C.
It is intense, hard, but I though it would be harder than that, or that's just me.
I was used to wake up at 9 am and get off at 12 am. It is a lot technically, and it is, students realize once the piscine ends, but at this particular moment you get so much adrenaline by coding.
I felt a bit of tireness during week-ends, and mostly redundancy on my 7th C chapter. Coding C functions with no real uses is boring, I am used to get satisfying results in game or web programming.

Social gains

Other than programming skills, I totally understand why companies rather get a 42 student than an engineer student from a social point of view.
I had a small talk about it during the piscine with a random old engineer student I met, and he agreed. Having no teachers forces you to search for the information by yourself. You feel more confortable talking to others, ask questions and even the dumb ones, or search on google. Students from 42 worth more than diplomate engineers.
People were looking for a hundred dollar bill supposed to be hidden in the foam 😆
People were looking for a hundred dollar bill supposed to be hidden in the foam 😆
To get off that stress between exams, the school’s BDE association also organize events such as a Foam party at the end, or coding related events.
 

The end

Sadly, every good stories comes to a end:
I finished my pool few weeks ago from when I am typing this blog, and I have been accepted as a student 🥳 🥳
It ends a Friday evening, on a final exam that last 8 hours. Myself, got graded 72/100 which is sufficent to be accepted.
We then celebrated it, all together, on the quaie de Seine, nearby Notre Dame. It was fun.
Your emotions are in between, you are either stressed of waiting the results or happy of what you achieved so far.
It hits harder when you get the results of your friends, knowing that you will not see them on your daily at school 😢
 
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