A gifted dyslexic high school student from the East Coast told me about a school that he was heading out to join in the Silicon Valley instead of college. He was incredibly bright and resourceful, and had been bringing in pretty good income from setting up his own server for games. Like many bright dyslexics, he didn’t fit into a neat box of college-bound soon to be twenty-somethings. It sounded like a good move for him.
42 is FREE (and even has free housing for 300 people – depending on need) and doesn’t care about your SAT or high school GPA. Billionaire Xavier Niel has donated $100 million to see if this big idea will work. It already seems to be working in France.
The idea is this: any student 18-30 years is welcome. You don’t have to have any previous experience. You just need to have 4 weeks dedicated to seeing if you can get into 42. The building is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
There are no teachers or classes, just coding projects, peer reviews, gamification, and ultimately internships. If you stay motivated for 3 to 5 years, you’ll be a software engineer.
It’s got the buy in from leaders at places like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
If you think it will just be an uber-competitive Silicon Valley Hunger Games, the challenges require collaboration and you are expected to fail. About 1/3 of every cohort will be promoted. Consistency and effort are keys to success.