42 Wolfsburg — The first week

We are finally here. After the roller-coaster that was the Piscine and the happiness of being accepted into the very first batch of students of 42 Wolfsburg, we have officially started the curriculum!

The school had an online opening ceremony on May 10th, and the next day we had the official kick-off, at 9:42. It was nice to see everyone again, the staff, and also a lot of new faces, from the other Piscines. I also noticed that several people decided to start later, in November or maybe next year.

Now, I have to give some context here before going to the next part. I have other news, in addition to the beginning of the therm: I also got my very first job as a Front-end developer! And of course, as life is, everything happened in the same week. This means that now I work full-time, and I also somehow study “full-time”. 😂 So the first thing that crossed my mind when I received the job offer was to put 42 on hold and start later this year. But then they announced that the students that are part of the “remote study trial” — if you missed my previous posts, this is an experimental group of students that will take the program remotely — I had the obligation of starting now, or I would be out of the group.

As moving to Wolfsburg is completely out of question, and making weekly trips from Berlin is also very hard for me, I can’t give up the opportunity of the remote program. So I was feeling very anxious about starting everything at the same time. But it’s what they say, “when life gives you lemons…” and yes, I am ready to make some delicious lemonade!

Going back to the kick-off, there were 178 students starting at this date. If you are a ‘stats’ person, here are some numbers for you: There were 69 approved students from February’s Piscine, 54 from March’s, and 55 from April’s. The students range from 18 to 53 years old, and from 50 distinct nationalities, being 36% Germans. Also, 25% of the students are from a gender minority group!

They also shared with us again 42’s values (see the image below) and informed us about some fun elements that will add to the “gamified” aspect of the program, such as Achievements, Altarian Dollars that we can spend at the Wolfsburg Shop, and also if you do something wrong, you can be “punished” with Community Service. There will also be elections for a student council in the near future.

They also presented all the official channels of communication, useful information, and showed the gamified curriculum, that goes from level 0 to level 6. A new level opens after you successfully pass a project, and the first exam is after level 01. To manage your time, you have to deal with the Black Hole and you can use the Freeze, I explained how they work in a previous post.

Also, there will be some changes to all 42 curriculum in the next few months, and there is also a new version of the Norm, so even after being very familiar with it in the Piscine, I’ll have to learn the new changes on V3.

After we gained access to our Intra profiles and there was a surprise: we were sorted into coalitions!

“Coalition” is how they are calling the 3 big groups that they created and divided the students into: Fluvius, Castra, and Elytra.

It was not clear to me how they sorted us, I imagine it was random, but I have no idea, really. But I am very happy that I got into Fluvius, because my favorite color is blue and I usually pick the water starter Pokémon! I also feel like a lot of the people I talked to are in the same Coalition as me, so I love it already.

The Coalitions will compete in a tournament, just like Hogwarts houses, and each tournament is 6 months long. The award ceremony will happen on the same day as the distribution of new students, and each member can earn or lose points for their coalition.

At the beginning of the second week, we had a Coalition kick-off, when they gave us a bit more info about each name’s origin and inspiration, but the details are still to be published in the future, so I also don’t know the specific rules and the prize. I know that CODAM’s prize is a party in honor of the winning Coalition, but we’ll see.

I won’t get into details, but it is valid to mention that they also launched a scholarship program, and there are some benefits from partner companies such as Github student dev pack, Microsoft student, and Red Hat Academy courses.

The first day was a bit chaotic since a lot of things were not working, but it’s completely understandable, as it was the very first day — ever — of the school. At the beginning of the day, we had some problem accessing our intra profile, and then we didn’t have access to clone the first project’s repo, but everything was solved as soon as possible by the team. Also, we had to do some setup to work on our own computers and IDE of choice, as they are making some upgrades to the “basecamp” we used during the Piscine, but gladly everything worked just fine in my own environment.

About the very first project, it looked huge to me. We have to re-write several built-in functions ourselves, with all the limitations from the Piscine. The project is divided into part 1, part 2, and bonus, and they estimate at least 70h of work to finish. So I believe that the people who are studying full time should submit for evaluation in the next weeks. As I ended the Piscine with zero evaluation points, I’ll have to evaluate at least 2 other projects before I can submit mine. But also, as I am splitting my time between work and studies, I don’t expect to finish too quickly. So it will be nice to see how other people solve it as well.

Well, that’s it! I believe I covered pretty much everything, and I’ll try to post something after completing the first project, or if there is some news. If you have any questions, try to reach me on social media or read my previous posts about the 42 Wolfsburg remote Piscine:

Preparation tips for the remote Piscine

My brain has too many tabs open.