Let’s explore the innovative approach of 42 Luxembourg, a coding school, which sets itself apart from traditional models by adopting a teacherless, project-based method. Interview with Serge Linckels, manager of 42 Luxembourg.
What sets 42 Luxembourg’s teacherless, project-based approach apart from traditional coding schools and how does it benefit learners?
42 Luxembourg provides an alternative and inclusive option for individuals who may not thrive in traditional educational settings. The students work on real-world projects following the principle of “learning by doing” combined with self-directed and peer-to-peer learning as the best approach to learn coding. The benefit of this pedagogy is that it promotes the development of technical and soft skills, both equally important in the workplace.
Explain the goals and structure of the piscine (four-week trial) and its role in preparing learners for the program.
The Piscine can be seen as a fore taste or a teaser to the actual program. Students are faced with challenges posed by the projects from day one and they start working on them right away. The Piscine’s aim is to showcase the program’s expectations while also giving the students the opportunity to determine if it is a fit for them.
The 42 Piscine is a trial period assessing participants’ progress in coding, teamwork & soft skills. It introduces them into the unique 42 culture while giving them the opportunity to determine if the pedagogy fits them. Regardless of prior experience, the students work on diverse projects and evaluate each other. Exams on Friday, and group projects over the weekend serve as opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, learn to solve problems creatively and develop resilience.
What specific skills is 42 Luxembourg instilling in graduates to address the IT expert shortage, and how does the curriculum adapt to tech sector needs?
Specific skills include C programming, developing software using classic algorithms as well as system administration, object-oriented programming and a client-server project, among many others. And according to a research by DELL, 85% of jobs needed in 2030 don’t exist yet. As such, the program focuses heavily on each student’s reinvention and adaptability skills to acquire both general and specialised skills which make them qualified for tech jobs now and in the future. In addition, 42 students acquire soft skills as they communicate and collaborate all the time. Finally, they are competent in organising themselves as they managed to perform well and structure their life without teachers or any other mandatory agenda.
In a self-directed learning environment, how does 42 Luxembourg promote collaboration among students and ensure readiness for challenges?
In the absence of teachers, students are on their own to solve the challenges. Safe for the internet, the next best resource to consult is to ask your mates for help. Plus, some projects are a group effort and others are subject to peer-evaluation where one student explains their work to a fellow student to demonstrate or prove their understanding of the material. The peer-to-peer pedagogy establishes the importance of collaboration and good communication skills.
How does 42 Luxembourg collaborate with industries to align skills with job market demands, and what plans are in place for job placements within the Luxembourg tech sector?
In addition to a close collaboration with the National Employment Agency, 42 Luxembourg also has partnerships with various companies. These will have access to an internal job board, and they will also participate in “info sessions” to provide the students with direct insights about the job world and the sorts of expectations that await them. Finally, a consulting coach for personal and professional advancement is also at the students’ disposal.