What is 42?

42 is one of the best software development schools worldwide. It’s success is mostly justified by the innovative and disruptive educational model, based on a peer-to-peer, project-based, and gamified learning system. Founded in Paris in 2013, 42 is present in more than 40 cities worldwide, offering anyone over 17 years old the opportunity to learn to program for free. Despite having many students who joined 42 without any prior code experience, the school’s employability rate is 100%.

What does peer-to-peer mean?

Peer-to-peer is a model based on learning between students instead of a student-teacher relationship. At 42 Lisboa, students teach, learn, and evaluate each other. This method develops critical thinking, teamwork, and communication skills.

What characterises a gamified program?

At 42, progression in the program happens by obtaining points, as if it were a game. With these points, you level up and unlock new projects and learning paths. Your level defines how far you have progressed through the program, so the more points you earn, the further you get.

How can there be no teachers?

42’s program is based on peer-to-peer learning, so all students work together, teach, and learn from each other. Thus, at 42 Lisboa, you’ll be a teacher and a student at the same time. You can also count on a pedagogical team that helps you guide your curriculum and ensures the school’s running smoothly.

Who evaluates my projects?

Your projects are evaluated by other students based on pre-defined correction criteria. You must evaluate your colleagues’ projects yourself, so you will have to save some time to do so.


How is the program structured?

The 42 Lisboa program is divided into 4 stages:

Common Core– Learn the fundamentals of programming by developing the first projects. During this stage, it is crucial that you are able to commit at least 20 weekly hours to 42. You can finish the curricular part of the Common Core in a period between 16 to 24 months.

Professional Experience – Apply the knowledge acquired at 42 in the real world with a professional experience lasting between 4 to 6 months.

Master – Explore and deepen your knowledge in more specialized projects and with larger teams. The average duration is approximately 1 and a half years, but yet again, you are the one who defines your time scale.

Final Professional Experience – Minimum 6 months.

What am I going to learn at 42?

You start by learning the fundamental programming concepts and the foundations of the C language. As you evolve, you will begin to venture into UNIX, graphic programming, and web programming. After that, the curriculum includes projects with more in-depth knowledge in several areas: Object-oriented Programming, Mobile, Functional Programming, Web Security, Reverse Engineering, Malicious Code, Kernel Programming, Network Programming, Artificial Intelligence, 3D among others.

How long does it take to complete the program?

At 42, each student has the freedom – and responsibility – to learn at their own pace, so there is no set period to complete your studies. With a commitment of 20 to 40 weekly hours, students should be able to complete the curricular part of the Common Core witin a period of 16 to 24 months.

Is it possible to do the 42 course while keeping other time-consuming responsibilities?

The 42 Lisboa campus is open 24h a day, 7 days per week, precisely to give each student the chance to organize their schedules in the way that better suits them.
However, during the Common Core, students have a limited number of days to deliver each project: for every project delivered, students will ear some more days. When students can’t deliver the projects within the set deadline, they are caught by the Balck Hole and their experience at 42 ends. To avoid getting caught by the Black Hole it is necessary to commit at least 20 weekly hours to 42.

Can I take a break from the program and come back later?

Though it is not recommended, you can freeze your course. During the Common Core, you will have the possibility to freeze your course a total number of 3 times for a maximum period of 180 days: meaning, if you freeze it for 180 days at the first time, you won’t have other opportunities to freeze it. This tool is called Anti Gravit Units – AGU, and it will only be made available once you finish the first 4 projexts of your course, something that you should be able to accomplish in your first 4 months at the Common Core.
42 Lisboa has a team that is available to help you the best way possible to structure and plan your progress at the course.


How can I apply?

Applications for 42 Lisboa are open 365 days a year at apply.42lisboa.com. After completing the registration, you need to complete two online logic games: the first lasts 4 minutes and the second one 2 hours. If you pass, you’ll proceed to the Check-in stage, a 1 hour session where you will get to know the school, the method, the team, and other candidates like you. Finally, you dive in the Piscine for 4 weeks, a the last stage of the process where you will learn a lot about programming, teamwork, and about 42. If you complete this phase successfully: congratulations, you are in!

At what age can I apply for 42?

Anyone aged 17 or over is welcome to apply. The only requirement is to either have completed mandatory schooling in Portugal, or be at least 18 years old. In Portugal, 42 has students aged from 17 to 55: there is no maximum age limit neither experience or academic requirements.

Do I need to have any coding knowledge?

You don’t need to have any coding experience to start learning at 42 Lisboa. Around 50% of the 42 students worldwide did not have any coding experience before diving in the Piscine, and they still achieve extraordinary results. You can be like them!

What kind of skills do I need to be selected?

The 42 student is able to overcome obstacles, is proactive, curious, creative, dedicated, and good at working in a team. These characteristics are very beneficial for one to be successgul at 42, and will be highly stimulated along the way.

How long does the application take?

Online tests take just over 2 hours. After that, you’ll have to participate in a 1 hour session to get to know the school better, the Check-in, before you can actually dive in the Piscine for 26 days.

If I don't pass the online games, can I try again?

If you don’t pass the online games, you will have the chance to repeat them one month after you receive the results. Good luck!

Why did I not pass the online games?

The 42 Lisboa online games are not designed to evaluate your coding skills, but instead if you have the right profile to learn with the 42 model. Each of us learns in different ways, and there is no unique solution for everyone.
Above all, the online games evaluate your ablity to handle pressure and your logical thinking.

Is the Check-in mandatory?

Yes! The Check-in is a phase in which candidates visit 42 to get to know the school, the methodology, and the environment in which they may study. A candidate can only register for the Piscine after having passed the Check-in phase. Several Check-in and Piscine dates are made available throughout the year. All these dates will be communicated to the selected candidates from the online tests so that they can choose the date that is most favorable to them. Besides the on campus Check-ins, which are preferable, we also offer remote Check-ins from time to time.

When can I join the Check-ins?

There will be several Check-ins held at 42 Lisboa throughout the year. After you pass the online tests you’ll have access to the next scheduled events. You’ll also receive an email every time new Check-ins are scheduled.

I couldn't sign up for the Check-in. What now?

Check-in dates vary throughout the year. The number of applications may be higher than the number of places available. If this is the case, the first to register will fill in the spots. If all vacancies are filled, we start a waiting list. Any dropouts are filled out by the candidates on the list. The best option is to hurry up!

When are the next scheduled Piscines?

Piscine dates are always announced on 42 Lisboa’s website and social networks. The next Piscines are scheduled for:
Piscine #13: July 24th to August 18th 2023
Piscine #14: August 27th to September 22nd 2023

All candidates who successfully complete the online tests will receive an email informing them of the available dates and next steps. Entries to the Piscine are only valid after the candidate has completed the Check-in stage and when made on the admissions website: face-to-face or email applications are not accepted.

How does the Piscine work?

The Piscine is the last stage of the selection process that lasts 26 consecutive days and that involves a face-to-face experience at the 42 Lisboa campus. This is typically a very intense period of great commitment and enormous learning. During the Piscine, you’ll discover a lot about the basics of programming and the importance of working as a team, as well as about the 42 learning model and whether it is the right one for you.

What are the Piscine's selection criteria?

We do not reveal the selection criteria, but we can tell you this: candidates who work hard, make progress, work as a team and never give up are the ones that best fit the 42 student profile. We don’t focus too much on who can finish the exercises first, but rather who is motivated and enthusiastic about continuing learning and who can actually progress with the 42 learning model.

Can I manage the Piscine with other commitments?

The Piscine is a 26 day, monday to sunday, truly intensive bootcamp, where you are expected to deeply dive in the learning mode of 42 and find out whether this is the right for you. It is really hard – not to say impossible – to successfully complete the Piscine if you are not fully commited to it throughout the 26 days. On average, the applicants who are selected at the end dedicate  10-14 hours a day to 42 during this period. If you decide to try to do the Piscine without being fully commited to it (which we really disencourage you to), you must know that though you have the freedom to manage your working schedules, you are expected to participate on the weekly exams, every friday from 3pm to 7pm, and on the last friday from 10am to 6pm. You will also have group project evaluations on wednesday afternoons (excluding in the first week). Delays are not accepted and no alternative schedules will be created. It is up to you to guarantee you can meet the exam schedules.

Can I give up halfway through the Piscine?

There’s no problem at all. All candidates are free to withdraw at any time. You can just leave without any obligation. But if you happen to have that intention, we would like to understand your reasons and talk about it. Who knows, you might change your mind.

If I pass the Piscine, when can I start the program? Does it have to be in the same year?

Yes. The 42 course is a continuation of the Piscine, so you should start it during the following year. Tipically, there are two Kick-Offs per year, one at spring and the other in the autumn.

When do I know if I got in 42?

All Piscine applicants receive an email with the results during the 2 weeks after it finishes. Stay tuned!

What if I don't pass the Piscine? Can I apply again?

The Piscine model aims to help the candidate and the 42 team assess who is compatible with the 42 learning model. If you don’t pass the Piscine, you can apply once more to any of the 42 worldwide, but only after a full year (365 days). Thus, you can attend one Piscine per year but only two throughout your life. If you do not pass the Piscine, do not be discouraged. It might not have been the best time in your life to dive on it, or 42 might not offer the learning experience that better works for you. There is an appropriate learning method for everyone!


How does 42 opens me a door to a career in technology?

More than teaching you how to program, 42 Lisboa teaches you to overcome challenges. You have countless paths to choose from throughout the program, so you can specialize in whatever you want: Mobile, Functional Programming, Web Security, Reverse Engineering, Malicious Code, Kernel Programming, Network Programming, Artificial Intelligence, 3D, etc. Big tech companies around the world are always on the lookout for 42 students and often offer them job opportunities when the program is still halfway through!

When I finish the 42 Lisboa program, do I get a diploma?

In Portugal, 42 is not officially recognized as a school. However, once you finish the Common Core and you complete your first professional experience, you can request your 42 diploma. More important that that, the experience and the skills you conquer throughout your time as a 42 student are gonna reveal themselves pretty valuable. Moreover, 42 has several partners interested in offering you an opportunity.

Does 42 provide any support when searching for a job?

We will give you all the tools you need to get a job, but at the end of the day, you will be the one to get it. On our part, you can count on conferences, workshops, and other events that allow you to meet potential employers, besides a job platform with the announcement of various offers worldwide.

What job opportunities can I expect after 42?

42 students can apply for any job in technology. Our students end up building successful careers as software engineers, product managers, digital solution architects, User Experience designers, User Interface, etc. Whatever job you want in the area, whether it already exists or not, you will likely be able to get it.


Does the 42 course need to be presential?

Yes. Both the Piscine and the 42 course must be completed in person and on campus. The development of soft skills, the peer learning methodology (group learning), and the assessment system made by students are essential characteristics of our learning philosophy, so you need to be physically present at school. You will have the opportunity to work on your projects remotely, from your personal computer, but you will quickly find out that you learn much more when you are on campus, exchanging ideas with your peers. You will be encouraged to work as a team, so the campus truly is the best place to meet with your peers and move forward on your projects.

Do I need to use my own computer at the Piscine? What about throughout the program?

You don’t need any material to learn at 42 Lisboa. Our campus is equipped with enough computers for all students. If you want you can bring your own computer and work on it, but you will only be able to submit your work on the school’s computers.

Can I do the 42 program part-time?

At 42, there are no scheduled classes, and you are the one responsible for organizing your schedules. The school is open 24 hours a day throughout the year, and you can expect to spend most of your working time on campus – 40 hours per week on average, as the program requires a lot of dedication and work. You can always try to manage your studies with your other activities, but remember that at least until you finish the Common Core, you will need to commit at least 20 weekly hours to 42.
Besides that, it is important that you know that, though 42 is open 24×7, most events and schools activities are hosted during working hours. We make our best to communicate them in advance so you can organize your agenda in a way that you can attend them, but it will depend on your availability.

What are the idioms used in 42 Lisboa?

All 42 Lisboa projects and content are available in English, French and many other languages. Most of the subjects are also available in Portuguese.
Written communication at 42 is mostly done in english, which is also the language in which most events are hosted. We push our students to not only lear how to communicate in “C”, but to learn to communicate in english as well.

Why should I choose 42 Lisboa?

42 is the only school in Portugal that allows you to have 100% free practical learning, an innovative methodology, and a study plan that is considered one of the best in software development. You will be asked to work as a team and develop soft skills that will suit you a lot in the future.

Why is 42 open 24x7?

Because we want 42 Lisboa to always be open for each student to be able advance the program at their own pace, in the hours that are most practical for them. This way, you can use the campus whenever you want, entering and leaving without any problems. You can also count on a campus security guard around the clock.

Where is 42 Lisboa?

42 Lisboa is based in the historical center of the city, at Penha de França, an area of easy access, well served by public transportation, with great equipment, public gardens and viewpoints. The great weather, security, and the diverse offer of restaurants and cultural experiences make Lisbon one of the best cities in the world to live.
The 42 Lisboa’s campus has 2,000 m2 spread across 3 floors, served with both workspaces as well as food and leisure areas, including a terrace with a 360º view of the city.

Once selected from the Piscine, do I get a student status?

In Portugal, 42 is not officially reconized as a school, so you won’t have a student status just by being a 42 student.

When I finish the 42 Lisboa program, will I spend my life coding behind a computer?

If that’s what you wish, it’s more than possible. But you are likely to develop new skills and interests and find other jobs that you like best. After all, no company or organization is not affected by digital transformation. Who knows what the future holds!


Is studying at 42 really free?

Yes, 100% free. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to develop their talents and fulfill their dreams, regardless of their background and resources. We will not charge you anything before, during, or after your journey at 42 Lisboa. This is possible thanks to the support of four founding partners, Reformosa, Fundação Santander Portugal, Vanguard Properties and Fidelidade as well as from bi4all, Mercedes-Benz.io, Observador, DST Group, BA Glass, Casa Relvas, NTT Data, Huawei, Axians, Sul Account, The Claude & Sofia Marion Foundation, Família Alves Ribeiro e Rita e Filipe Botton. 42 Lisboa also has the support of Fundação José Neves as Education Partner.

What costs should I consider before making my application?

You must consider that you need a place to sleep and cover your daily expenses (transport, meals, etc.). As for 42, you shouldn’t consider anything! (100% free).


Why is it called 42?

If you have this question is because you’ve never got in touch with the science fiction book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, by Douglas Adams. In this story, 42 emerges as the answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

Why is the Piscine called Piscine?

“Piscine” is the French word for swimming pool. It has this name because, during this phase of the process, you’ll dive with the other candidates in a massive world of programming – and learn to swim in it.

What are the main differences between 42 and a coding bootcamp?

In addition to being 100% free, 42 has a different duration than bootcamps, does not focus on learning specific languages, and, above all, teaches you how to learn to learn. At 42 Lisboa, we do not want you to “copy-paste” code available on the internet: we want you to understand precisely what you’re writing and what you want to do. We focus on deepening knowledge.

Does 42 have ownership rights to any code that students develop during the program?

No. 42 Lisboa students have full ownership of all the code they create on campus, in both curricular or personal projects. We don’t want to stop our students from making big strides and starting their path.

Can I take part of the program in other 42 campus?

Of course you can! All you have to do is apply. Like 42 Lisboa, the other 42 schools are also free, inclusive, and adopt the same program of studies. However, it is only possible to request a transfer between campuses after completing the first professional experience. This means that you’ll always start the program on the same campus where you attend your Piscine.

I already code. Why should I apply?

42 Lisboa offers a world-class program that challenges students through projects of gradual complexity. Each exercise is unique and requires you to think outside the box – along with other talented and motivated students. Everyone has a rewarding experience at 42, whether they have prior programming skills or not. More than learning to code, at 42, you’ll develop your teamwork skills, adaptability, problem-solving, communication, resilience, autonomy, and responsibility.