The 42 Berlin coding school methodology is one which is radically different from conventional methods. Using active and pear-learning methodologies to truly give each student autonomy over their learning adventure, our approach fundamentally differs from the old school learning techniques most of us are familiar with.
We reached out to a 42 Berlin student, Blanca, who shares her experience of the 42 Berlin method so far. We hope that these nuggets of advice will help you understand a little bit more about the experience you can expect with us.
The 42 Berlin methodology, following that created by École 42 in Paris in 2013, is one that has proven success, with over 20,000 students and alumni worldwide. However, our radical peer-learning approach is one that many of us might not be so familiar with. The idea of have totally autonomy over one’s learning journey is incredibly empowering, but it can also be quite daunting. So, we spoke to a current 42 Berlin student to let you in on a little of her experience with us so far.
Here’s what Blanca, a student from the very first 42 Berlin cohort of December 2022, had to say:
For you, what is the difference between peer 2 peer learning and regular methods?
In the beginning, it all sounded very interesting but a little scary at the same time. With other academic systems, you’re used to having a fixed source of knowledge, usually the professor who you assume holds all the information.
At 42 Berlin, you realise that it’s not just one person who has all the information but that you have a campus full of potential teachers to guide you through the whole experience. So, although I found it scary at the beginning, it’s a system that really works. Ultimately, how can we expect one person to know it all?
Your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was to not compare myself to others during the Piscine (the month-long selection process). The staff assured us this would be unhelpful, but it was very difficult not to do it. I think it was not until week 2 that I decided that it wasn’t sustainable and the only way to make it was to do things at my own pace and keep progressing.
Your most valuable lesson?
Well, that’s a tricky question. I think throughout my academic and professional experience I learnt that it was important to work in teams to go far, however it was not until I came to 42 that I realised the truth of this. If you have a support system you can go much much further, as there are times where you will not have the energy or skills to progress, but your team will lift you up – and the other way around – when needed. I feel like this system really benefits everyone if you all grow together and this is what I like the most about the method.
Something you are proud of?
Passing through the core and being accepted into the core curriculum! I think most other students would say the same. I think this is because you realise that you have the ability to learn and progress but mostly it’s a show of resilience. I think if you keep on trying, you do the piscine and then the core curriculum through this resilience, you can do anything.
How was your Piscine?
It was awesome. Well, it was very very intense; mentally and physically, and i think choosing when to say ‘this is it for today’ was the hardest part for everyone. Sometimes I needed some ‘me’ time and you have to learn to take it, even if its a peer-learning system.
Advice for a Pisciner?
Don’t quit, keep trying! Don’t quit because you fail and fail and fail. This is the system. Think of it like a video game; you have different paths you have to go through, you must figure out the ones that don’t work, to find the one that does. This standing up after failure is what is expected of us during the Piscine and we have to accept it.
Your take on the 42 Berlin community?
During the Piscine, the community was incredible and did everything for us; the support system was incredibly strong. Now, in the core curriculum, we are still shaping the community as we are the first batch and we hope for it to just keep growing and evolving for the next batch of students.
A huge thank you to Blanca for sitting down to talk to us about her Piscine experience. If you would like to find out more about the 42 Berlin methodology and community, our Youtube channel might be a helpful place to start.
If you have an queries or concerns, reach out to us via email@example.com
We hope to see you on campus soon!