A new computer programming educational program called 42 USA, funded by French billionaire Xavier Niel, opened in Silicon Valley last week and enrolled its first 150 students. The program, based at a brand-new 200,000 sq.-ft. facility, offers a free three- to five-year coding curriculum for anyone between the ages of 18 and 30, regardless of their programming experience. However, applicants must pass two rigorous online logic exams to be invited to a month-long, 24-7 orientation during which they must solve a series of increasingly difficult problems. Niel launched the first 42, named after the mysterious number from the book, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” three years ago in France. 42 USA’s program does not offer any formal courses or retain any professors to instruct students. Instead, enrollees work in groups to complete projects graded by their peers, earning points as they go. Some students are drawn to 42 USA to build real-world experience that could serve them well in landing their first job. One student, Truman State University graduate Nate Engle, says his physics degree proved to be an inadequate job qualifier, and 42 USA’s program offers him a less-burdensome alternative to learning coding by himself.
More info here: U.S. News & World Report (09/22/16) Lauren Camera