On the Closing of 42 Silicon Valley from 42 co-founder Kwame Yamgnane

Oct 23, 2020 3:54:42 PM / by Kwame Yamgnane

It saddens me deeply to hear that the 42 Fremont campus has closed. I opened the campus with Gaetan in 2016, and I still remember the first day of the first piscine. The early days were certainly an adventure and it was a pleasure to see the campus grow.

When we opened the school, we started the first cohort with around 300 students, and grew to just over 1,000 over the next 18 months with another 1,000 in the pipeline for future piscines and start dates. I am so proud because today, just over four years after we started the first cohort, when I look at where some of those first students are, I see them at Google, Apple, LinkedIn, as software engineers, as senior engineers, or even as Directors of Engineering. That is powerful. I believe firmly in the power of skills-based education and there are hundreds and hundreds of 42 students who are proof not only that it works, but that it is exactly what is needed today in the 21st century and in the United States.

I am sad to see 42 close. However, I still have hope.

My vision has not changed for the education that is needed in California, in the US, and around the world. The world has changed and traditional education is no longer sufficient for 21st-century jobs. Education must be fundamentally different and I am still on a mission to create such education and to make it accessible. This is partly why I co-founded Qwasar.

Even more so in 2020, when everything has gone remote and we have little hope of that changing in the next 12+ months, we need accessible, skills-based training that has been adapted to an online format. I cannot tell you the amount of learning science and behavioural science is at play here and we at Qwasar are only at the beginning of what we want to build and what we can do.

Part of that science is about motivation, and from my experience, free education is not always what is best, and we saw that in many students. It has its place undoubtedly, but there is also power in motivation, discipline, determination, and accountability - many of you have succeeded because of these traits. At Qwasar, part of creating motivation is that the program is not free but still aims to be affordable. Another part of motivation is project deadlines, as well as a program structure with cohort meetings that also provide accountability. We've spent a lot of time thinking about how to create next generation programs, and that, I'm delighted to say, is Qwasar.

In addition to our platform, we've created programs that align to industry standards and job requirements, creating pathways into specific jobs for software engineering, full stack development, AI/machine learning, data science, and devops/cloud engineering. Personally, I have a preference for devops, but that is exactly my background! :)

2020 has been a rough year for many of us. I encourage you all to continue learning and investing in your skills, ability, and career paths, and to consider what will best set you up for success, both in the short term and in the long term. We already have about 1000 users on our platform, cohorts running virtually, and additional programs opening around the world in 2020 and 2021 with various partners. 

I'm excited for what lies ahead for Qwasar. It is so important for us to provide training that keeps up with today's technologies, that helps you become a strong and resilient engineer or developer, and that trains you to the standards required by industry (which, by the way, are high, especially in California). We have a responsibility to be ever investing in the platform, ever paying attention to industry, and ever building a better, sleeker, and more innovative platform. I invite you to join us and become part of the Qwasar community.

Kwame Yamgnane

Written by Kwame Yamgnane

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