42 Silicon Valley Review



Remote, Fremont, Paris

Disciplines Offered

Software Engineering

Payment Options


If you have been accepted into 42 Silicon Valley, you can learn to code for free. Unlike many other bootcamps, 42 Silicon Valley offers free tuition and an independent learning format at its campus in Fremont, California, which is modeled after its flagship location in Paris. Xavier Niel, the founder of the Iliad Group, funds 42 Silicon Valley. This bootcamp allows students to enroll at no cost.

This software engineering bootcamp takes its name from the book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" where the answer to "the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything" is the number 42.

Students spend an average of 12-18 months learning software engineering through the project-based bootcamp, which has no instructors and no courses. Graduates receive a certificate at the end of the bootcamp.

The bootcamp's corporate partners may host "hackathons" with 42 Silicon Valley to meet students. Optional internships give students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and make further connections. Guest speakers and other networking events can also help students gain a foothold in the tech industry.

42 Silicon Valley Courses

Students do not take courses at 42 Silicon Valley. Instead, the bootcamp features a project-based curriculum without instructors. Learners work on robotics prototypes and projects with a humanitarian focus. The peer-learning model involves students working together in "computer clusters" at the main building that remains open 24/7.

Software Engineering

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  • Cost: Free
  • Learning Format: In Person
  • Time Commitment: Full Time
  • Length: 12-18 months on average (up to 3-5 years)

The back-end engineer career path at Codecademy covers Express.js, Node.js, SQL, and PostgreSQL -- everything students need to know to program the back end of a website. Students also learn how to design APIs and prepare for their job search.

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The 42 Silicon Valley bootcamp trains students in software engineering using a gamified and peer-based learning format. Students complete independent and group projects. They receive feedback and points for their work, unlocking new projects as they progress through 21 levels. The bootcamp teaches students about object-oriented programming, security, graphics, network and system administration, and parallel computing. The self-paced bootcamp allows students to pick their focus, including emphases in systems, algorithms, and graphics.

42 Silicon Valley Admissions Process

Applying to 42 Silicon Valley begins by opening an account. About 3,000 applicants make it to the last phase in the admissions process at 42 Silicon Valley every year, which is called the "Piscine." The Piscine requires applicants to complete an in-person, full-time coding trial over four weeks. Limited dorm rooms in Fremont, California, are available for the Piscine and the 42 program.

42 Silicon Valley offers merit-based admissions and it is open to anyone over the age of 18. Previous college or high school GPAs do not determine who qualifies for enrollment. Within 15 days of completing the Piscine, applicants receive an admissions decision.

42 Silicon Valley Payment Options

Admitted students at 42 Silicon Valley do not pay tuition, and they can also request a dorm room to live rent-free in the Bay Area with a rental deposit. The bootcamp's dorms can house up to 600 students.

42 Silicon Valley Student Outcomes

Graduates of 42 Silicon Valley have gone on to become software engineers, product managers, and UX/UI designers. The bootcamp maintains connections to many Bay Area companies, creating an open recruitment pipeline for graduates. Students also have the option to complete an internship with a tech company.

Graduates work at Facebook, Asana, Microsoft, and CreativEngine. They have also secured internships or employment at Apple, Tesla, eBay, Mazda, LinkedIn, and Google.

Frequently Asked Questions About 42 Silicon Valley Coding Bootcamp

What is 42 Silicon Valley?

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42 Silicon Valley is a free coding training program that offers project-based peer-learning in software engineering. The bootcamp offers a debt-free coding education for students who are at least 18 years old.

Is 42 Silicon Valley worth it?

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Graduates have found jobs at many S&P 500 companies and tech startups. On average, it takes graduates 10-18 months to find a tech job. 42 Silicon Valley and its employer partners hold "hackathons'' throughout the year, allowing students to network. Corporate partners also visit the campuses, and student ambassadors offer networking advice.

Is 42 Silicon Valley hard to get into?

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42 Silicon Valley's admissions process includes a month-long coding intensive called the "Piscine." This last phase of the admission process requires students to complete challenges over 28 days in person on campus. Candidates do not need prior coding experience, but the intensive Piscine phase may be difficult to complete.

Is 42 Silicon Valley free?

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Yes. Students can attend 42 Silicon Valley for free, thanks to the financial backing of French businessman and billionaire Xavier Niel. Dorm rooms, if available, are also free. However, students must put a refundable deposit down for dorms during the Piscine and the 42 program.