[Day-5] Before the Piscine, or the Selection process


“The path of least resistance is often the path of least reward. You need to do hard things. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. “

It seems that closer it comes the more I have a tendency to look back (quite worrying fact…). Hopefully this tendency will reverse right after the numbers post “DAY” switch to positive.

Anyway, doing with what we have on hand,I thought that I will use this looking back tendency to the best of its ability to give you some practical information about the overall selection process. So what happens before the famous Piscine that I have such an ambiguous feeling about lately, and  which is the last stage of the selection process of the 42?


Ecole 42 - School 42 - Piscine - Swimming pool - Selection process - Espace Candidat - Ekaterina Geta - Getawayposts11

  1. It all starts at www.42.fr, or for the newly opened campus is the United States www.42.us.org. I suggest you spend some time here and get to know a bit more about the program and the learning approach so that you can decide for yourself whether you would actually might like it there, or it’s not at all your cup of tea.
  2. Espace candidat. If you did opt for the first option after having read the details, the next step is to register as a candidate. Pretty standard, so doesn’t worth saying much on this.
  3. Once registered you have 2 basic steps that called Profil (First, Last Name, contact info etc – pretty basic) and the CV (well at least I remember sending one, when I do login now it’s not indicated anywhere, so if someone has a better memory can correct me on this, it would be much appreciated).  The second is Conditions that you need to accept. Those a quite brief and basically say that you have to meet the age criteria (18-30 y.o.) and that you accept to fill in all the forms and pass the rest of the stages included in the process.
  4. Skillz. Games!! This was my favourite part. The basic purpose of this stage is to evaluate the learning capacity  and the programming potential of the future candidate From what I have heard from the previous candidates (that are now students) the contents of this part did change quite a  lot compared to the previous years. Before there were 4 different exercises (which are in fact more similar to brain puzzle apps from the Apple Store) and this year there were only 2.
    • The first one was pretty straight forward. A visual memory game with short instructions: squares do appear in a random combination on a board and have to be reproduced after 2 seconds (this might be inaccurate, bad memory again) exposure. This  one lasts for 10 minutes and honestly quite fun!
    • A 2-hour exercise (the fact that I have recklessly overlooked when decided to start it at 22:47…). This time, you get no instructions and you just have a screen with no clear clues on what has to be accomplished, nor any instructions on how can it be done. Very much in the spirit of 42.  I’m not sure if it does showcase me as the most intelligent person, but my first reflex was to push the “back” button being fully convinced that I had missed the instructions. Well, surprise surprise, there were no.
      I did spend quite some time to figure out the rules of the game (as the goal was kind of obvious to get) and then to apply those to get the expected outcome. The successful accomplishment of the first level was probably most satisfying “a-ha” type of feeling. And once you get a general idea, the rest is about the incrementally increasing difficulty from level to level. As much as I was having fun with the process, in about 30 minutes I realised that I was too tired to continue for another 1h30. So somewhere in between level 8 and 12 (I do really have a bad memory today) I decided that I really need to sleep fully convinced that I did fail the test.
  5. Admissibulité. But as it turned out I didn’t! And this section was there to inform that I have successfully passed the previous stage and am invited to the check-in. And as I discovered after there is, in fact, a limit on how far you can go as one of the levels can be only solved if you cheat = modify the code of the page to get it solved. Out of curiosityI will try to discover how far was I from that limit.
  6. Check-in. In simple words is a face-to-face presentation of 42 at 42 by the program director of the 42 – Nicolas Sadirac.  Anyone who has reached this stage is already got admitted to the piscine. Check-in is more of a letting you see what is it like, discover what is the story and the objectives around the whole 42 project and what to expect during the piscine. The presentation is happening inside the school itself and once it’s finished you have a chance to look around and talk to the current students. So that you can really make up your mind of whether you want to go for it.
  7. Chartre. Administratif. Reglement. And just to make sure you are fully informed on what you are getting yourself into before you get to choose the session  for your Piscine there is a couple of multi-paragraphed documents explaining the rules of the school, and  the details of the different parties of the adventure (students, candidates, stuff). And one more page where you need to fill in the emergency contact (quite alarming at this point haha)
  8. Piscine. Once all the compulsory reading and form-filling are completed it’s time to choose your session for the famous Piscine. As it’s self-evident from the timing of my posts, the one I picked starts on 1st August. And the joy of weekend-less adventure will continue for 26 days stat from 8h42 till (fill in the blank with the value of your preference).
  9. Prerenté Validation. Just one last step  is the validation. To make sure that you haven’t changed your mind and forgot to kindly free your place by cancelling your registration there is one last step to make before the start. And that is to come to the school and scan the QR code you’ve got by email when registered for one of the sessions. If you are not living in Paris, or couldn’t come at the given day for any reason, you may ask a good friend of yours to scan the paper for you. I did opt for that “on-distance” option and called for kind-hearted students who were at the school that day. Luckily enough future Swimmers are very proactive in creating communities (I think I would do a separate article on the people  part of the process) and so I’ve done that by posting out my SOS message on the Facebook page.
  10. Prepare your swimming suit. And the last of the last before the last is this. Once the validation is done you get an email inviting you to make sure the proper attire is in place and you are fully ready to dive in.

And for my part, this was also a day when I registered new domain name, spent a couple of hours setting up a new WordPress template and started this journal.  And here I am so far and to end this on a positive note the traditional Quote of the day:

“The path of least resistance is often the path of least reward. You need to do hard things. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. ”

Leave a comment