So, I'm rather skeptical when it comes to Ecole 42. We have great engineering schools in France but the Epita derived schools are really not that great and the only decent graduate I've ever interviewed and hired from one of this school is a self learner who would have been great in any environment.
I graduated from an French engineering school and I was taught every-day by researchers and professional engineers. That's what most 18 to 23 year-old kid needs. Structure. I know I needed it. I was a dumb 20 something year old.
Plus, that kind of school focuses too much on programming, as in using programming language, and not enough on computer science and engineering. As a result, much of the kids arriving on the job market don't really have an engineering approach to building software. I've seen people using one programming language for most of their carreer, litteraly afraid of switching to another one.
Some may feel that the job market is saturated by programmers looking for a job but the truth is, in France anyway, not much have a good engineering mind. I've worked in big companies, i've worked in small companies and I've talked to a lot a recruiters. They do interview a lot of people, from university, engineering school and other formation structures. Truth is i've seen big and small companies recruting students that had majored in anything but CS, juste because they came from an engineering school or university that was known to produce good engineers.
Most of those students reavealed themselves to be very talented software engineers. Because they were taught engineering. Not just programming.
Of course, students that had majored in CS from engineering had a great head start, but my point is, the engineer skill is really important on the programmer job and most of those bootcamp school overlook it.
> Some may feel that the job market is saturated by programmers looking for a job but the truth is, in France anyway, not much have a good engineering mind. I've worked in big companies, i've worked in small companies and I've talked to a lot a recruiters. They do interview a lot of people, from university, engineering school and other formation structures. Truth is i've seen big and small companies recruting students that had majored in anything but CS, juste because they came from an engineering school or university that was known to produce good engineers
Can you develop this part I'm curious, how do you make the difference between a good engineering mind and a bad one for example ?
I'm simply stating what I've been feeling meeting developpers peers the last few years. I've met engineers and I've met tinkerers.
As far as what I've understood, engineering is mostly conception. Given a set a requirements and constraints, the engineer does some thinking and tries to come up with a technical solution that satisfies both requirements and constraints. Much of the time it's about compromising. That requires thinking ahead and anticipating stuff. Whatever the field, CS, aerodynamics or mechanics, the process is basically the same with different time scales. You're given a problem or a need. You have to understand it and its implications. You have to imagine some tool that will solve it. And the tool will exactly solve it. Durably. Efficiently.
Now, sometimes you can see developpers throwing a few lines of codes, assembling (with more or less duct tape) some modules found here and there and then testing it with a few simple cases.
Nothing wrong with that way of doing things. I do it myself on some home-projects of for a Proof Of Concept on the job. I litteraly use duct tape on some robot-arduino-thingy that I build for fun.
This way of doing thing, I call tinkering. And it's needed as much as engineering. Tinkering, DIY, duct taping, it's where new and innovative ideas come from. Because when you tinker you play around. You add this or that just to see what could happen.
But the thing is, when you tinker you don't build to last. And I've seen many developpers building things that way that would be delivered to clients in production.
So maybe when I said "not much have a good engineering mind" I should have said "not much understand the difference beetween DIY and Engineering". Both are needed. The key is to know when and why.
Finally, engineering is taught, yes, but it's a skill that is also and mainly developped with your few first years on the job. Not just in uni. I just feel that It should be a concern of any school that teaches futur developpers. Or a concern of any company that hire freshly out of school students. I know I try to sensibilize my interns to those subjects.
How so? It's one of the best IT schools from France and the concept was even adapted in the US. As an example, I could point to Docker which was founded by epitech students.
Tbh, I don't know how you could impress an Epitech student that has been able to keep his feet on the ground. It happens that some of us get lost in their dark research garage (Hei !) and loose it up for a few, but that usually a period until they figure out what's wrong.
Thing is, most of us have been exposed to those crazy good dudes (Hei, i'll write my compiler day 1), (or i'll just make a game on my free time month 2) and steadily we got very very hard to impress.
Tough from how the friends have evolved, I assure you we are very concerned by correct resilient architecture.
It just happens of who you end up working with.
According to whom?
Could you explain a bit more? I’m myself from Epitech, and it hurts my feelings :p
Generally, a more generic engineer diploma includes some electrical engineering, mechanics, signal processing, and so on. Sometimes there is a bias against Epita/Epitech candidates that they are too focused on CS or IT but not on more generic knowledge. So they are seen are less well rounded candidates overall.
Designing/building system is usually not a purely abstract CS problem but requires to take into account real world constraints.
On the other hand, I assume that Epita/Epitech candidates are probably better candidate for an environment like a bank or insurance company.
It's true that EPITA is definetely more CS oriented, but we are definetely capable of designing / building system (in IT), less in telecom / medical and even less in automotive.The reason is really simple it's because we are not passionate about these industries .
Btw EPITA is an engineering school not EPITECH so you can't really compare them they are just part of the same group.
... Epitech is a very special little thing.
Sadirac, real old hacker from semantec, build just 20 year the futur of computer school: student become teacher, each test is an automatic correction ...
So, 42 is bully, in my opinion,
but Epitech remain la crème de la crème.
My evidence is just as annocdotal. But someone who seems to thinks they did not get into the school because they are male might not be the most trustworthy source.
One thing he did not mention is that the entry test that lasts a month the "piscine" does not have a limited quota of students. Each branch gets more funding the more students they have, so the only incentive to deny a someone is if they obviously won't be able to handle the work load or have social issues.
As if Quartz ever held itself to any standards of investigative journalism and wasn't just a glorified blog...
So, I thing that the no teacher style school is very bad in the sense that it have no-one to force student learning stuff they don't want to but that are important. This can form bubbles of knowledge with important or interesting things not included. One the reverse, the traditional university still consider students as children (which most are, actually) and does not give enough space to do thing in one's way. It is still possible to go, but it require a lot of efforts.
- 2017 article
- Ecole 42 is not a "university":
For French universities, what they care for is the level of the diploma (graduate/master/phd) but frankly they often do not care about the diploma itself.
I have seen PhD people been recruited at a lower pay than engineers that graduated from Supelec for example.
So, the most valued way to do research in france is actually to first do one of those highly competitive schools first, then go to university for a phd.
But culturally, companies pay a lot more attention to the kind of engineering school you’ve been to than to your phd.
What do people in Silicon Valley think of their US version vs coding bootcamps or other private universities? It seems it could gain a bigger following there?
I hope we see more of these kinds of things!