Sink or Swim!

by Eddie Rayner

As Abu Dhabi pursues its ambition to become an international coding capital producing a hotbed of programming talent, 42 Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s revolutionary new coding school, has welcomed 154 aspiring coders to the first Piscine since the school’s official inauguration last month.

An intense and immersive 26-day program, the Piscine is 42 Abu Dhabi’s final assessment stage, and tests candidates’ aptitude in computer programming, motivation, endurance, and commitment. Over four weeks, candidates will code for up to 15 hours per day, and deep dive into the unique 42 learning methodology to gain holistic programming understanding. For the majority of candidates, the Piscine represents their first taste of immersive coding.

With the aspiring coders now assembled at the purpose-built 42 Abu Dhabi campus in Mina Zayed warehouse district, successful candidates will join the132 students enrolled in 42 Abu Dhabi’s first cohort in September 2021.

154 candidates embark on a 26-day immersive coding experience

According to Leo Filardi, CEO of 42 Abu Dhabi, who took the helm after a similar role at 42 Rio de Janeiro, there is no shortage of prospective applicants after thousands of potential coders played the pre-selection logic of the ‘Game’ – an online pre-selection assessment which evaluates cognitive capacity via logic and memory tests – and attended a Check-in discovery session.

“The level of interest to join 42 is unprecedented for a new campus,” said Filardi. “There is a genuine enthusiasm for 42 Abu Dhabi from all corners of the UAE and the wider region. Our first program has been a huge success and we are looking forward to identifying our next cohort during the forthcoming Piscine.”

Among the candidates is Emirati, Ali Yousef Al Marzooqi, 28 years old: “I recently graduated from the Sharjah Institute of Technology, I decided to apply for 42 Abu Dhabi as it seemed like the right fit and a genuine avenue to progress a career in coding.”

Another prospective candidate, Shamma Salem Al Mazrouei, added: “I studied Information Technology for my degree and started working at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). When I learned about 42 Abu Dhabi, I was excited and decided to apply. Coding is the future of the world and what 42 Abu Dhabi offers is unrivalled training to learn the language the new world speaks,” said the Emirati.

First Piscine since 42 Abu Dhabi’s inauguration welcomes students aged 18-47 years old from over 31 nationalities

42 Abu Dhabi’s tuition-free model is rooted in a peer-to-peer learning methodology that creates flexible learning pathways via a project-based, gamified approach, where students earn points to move to the next level in the program. Open 24/7, the school aims to cultivate creativity, collaboration, and self-discipline by giving students ownership of their learning without classrooms or teachers.

The 42 Abu Dhabi campus, an initiative of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and Ghadan 21, started welcoming students in September after opening on schedule earlier this year. The campus boasts cutting-edge facilities and equipment and can accommodate up to 252 students at the same time.

To date, the 42 Network’s disruptive curriculum has equipped more than 12,000 students[JR1]  around the world with essential digital and business skills.

For more information and to apply, visit

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