• Brittany Bir, the chief operating officer of the U.S. campus for French coding school 42, says that education should be like children learning to walk and to talk and is better suited in the art of practice and doing, rather than listening under a professor.
  • Bir, a former student of the coding academy, says that a typical day in the school is students receiving an assignment, interfacing with each other and researching online, and setting out to self-teach the curriculum.
  • The Silicon Valley-based campus, which currently enrolls 250 students, is part of 42’s global effort to credential 10,000 learners in five years.


The challenge of schools without instructors and self-paced assignments is that much of the same material received from paying for an academy can be researched online. And ironically enough, this is the way that students are encouraged to learn principles and mastery of coding.

Academic officials can draw from this irony, however, to reinvent creative ways of supplementing academic degree programs. Deans and department chairs can develop key research projects and analysis assignments to require that students dive deeper into understanding an industry, or working to discover professional niches that may be of interest to them.

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