42 Berlin student head shots

⏳ 8.01.2024

Students talk: The Piscine

If you’ve heard of 42 Berlin, chances are you’ve heard of the Piscine. A month long coding experience on our campus, where 150+ coders get together to embark on a journey through our peer-learning methods. With each coder at different levels of their own coding game, this is the chance to assess if we are the right coding school to take them to the next level. The beauty of this month is that each individual is invited to clear their schedules and focus solely on their software engineering future. This immersion is a rarity in our multi-tasking modern society.

There are many elements of the Piscine which the 42 Berlin team leave as an intentional mystery. When we are asked what the exact details of a project might be, what the exams will consist of, and how they will succeed – we usually reply that this is theirs to find out during the month with us. Of course we know that this may not always be the response we want to hear. With the world at our literal fingertips 24/7, we are accustomed to receiving the information we want when want it. However, just like in the real-world, preparation can sometimes hinder the development of practical skills, rather than help.

To help you forgive us, we have collated some recent 42 Berlin student advice and insights on the Piscine experience to help you get a better idea of what awaits. All those below have embarked on their official studies with 42 Berlin and are keen to help the next generation of Pisciners follow in their footsteps. 

P.S. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, we have even more Piscine goodies; A full low-down on the Piscine set-up and our very own team member, Magda, Piscine vlog.


But first, let’s see what our students have to say:



What did I like about the Piscine?

One of the things I cherish the most here is the strong sense of community. Working on projects all day and until late at night really brought us closer together. It wasn’t just about coding, it was about forming connections and learning from each other. The school events were a delightful bonus. They were not only an excellent opportunity to meet new people but also offered a much-needed break from coding. It was during these breaks that I discovered table tennis as the perfect activity to refresh my mind.

What did I have to learn?

As a coding newbie, the Piscine taught me some valuable lessons. Initially, I was hesitant to ask questions, fearing that they might seem too obvious.  But I quickly realized that there is no such thing as a silly question in learning and that seeking clarification helps in understanding concepts more deeply. I also learned the importance of focusing on my own progress rather than comparing myself to others. It’s easy to get discouraged when comparing our journey to someone else’s, but we all have our unique paths to follow. 

What was the hardest challenge for me?

Perhaps the most challenging aspect was dealing with failure and frustration. Accepting that things won’t always work out as planned was a valuable lesson. What helped me a lot was sharing these challenges. It was comforting to discover that talking openly about it was not only relieving but also helped others facing similar issues. I realized that you can easily get caught up in a project but sometimes, it’s better to refuel your batteries and return to work the next day rather than obsessing over something that can’t be fixed instantly.

To me, 42 Berlin is a place of growth, learning, and a supportive community. It’s a place where beginners and experienced coders can thrive, and I’m grateful for the experiences and lessons I’ve gained here. 

I hope these insights will help anyone on their journey into 42 Berlin!


What have I learnt other than coding? 

I guess one of the things that I needed to learn when I got here was time management, and that has gotten significantly better. 

What would I have done differently?

I would have eaten less chocolate, less sweets, and have a more regular program within the piscine as well. Not forgetting to sleep is a really good tip. Even when you make the conscious effort to say, ‘It’s okay, do it at your own speed,’ you still get whipped up into the whirlwind frenzy of the Piscine.

I guess the idea of the Piscine is quite intimidating, because basically you’re signing yourself up for a month-long intensive test. It is very difficult and it should not be taken without really clearing your schedule entirely but it is extremely worthwhile because when you’re really and genuinely committing a large amount of time to a very specifically oriented thing, it’s amazing what you can learn. 


Did I have any coding experience before the Piscine?

Yes I had some experience before starting at 42, I actually studied software engineering back in my hometown. 

What was my experience of the Piscine?

I think that the Piscine is a great experience, because you don’t have to worry about failure and instead accept failure. I used to be a perfectionist at school and I would get really sad if I failed an exam because if you fail an exam you’re not going to get a degree. But here, I just accepted failure and even see it as a plus for me, not something bad. 

What was the most difficult part for me?

The most difficult task in the Piscine was successfully achieving my goals within a certain timeframe. So, for example, if I would say: ‘Today, I’m going to finish C08,’ and then I wouldn’t finish it in a day but instead in a week.


How was my Piscine?

The entire Piscine experience has been really great, I loved every moment of it. I met so many wonderful people, I learnt so many things. I’ve never coded in my life before so it was such an amazing process for me with so many small victories.

What was the most difficult part for me?

The most difficult part I would say was keeping up with all the exercises we have to do. What makes that hard part more fun though is the fact that it allows you to progress really fast.


Now for the visual treats!

Here are some videos to get some more inside scoops of the Piscine through our Youtube channel

If something in your gut is telling you the Piscine could be the right next step for you, we have some upcoming Piscines available for sign up via our Application Platform

29th January – 23rd February 2024

4th March – 28th March 2024

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