Holberton > Announcements

We are opening a new Holberton School campus in Paris, France, in September

It’s been a year since we have announced the opening of a special cohort in France, alongside a €1,000,000 scholarship to help people impacted by the economic consequences of the pandemic and resulting unemployment rate.

A lot has happened since then. Our French students are very happy and have finished their first year. Since then, some of them are working, while others are starting their second year of specialization. In the meantime, we have partnered with Actual Group, and we have opened two additional campuses, one in Lille, and one in Laval. This partnership brings a lot of value to Holberton School Students:  while Holberton School will ensure technical excellence amongst the students, Actual Group will help place students on the labor market.

Given the overwhelmingly positive feedback, as well as the lack of highly skilled software engineers in France, Actual Group is announcing, today, that they are opening a new Holberton School campus, in Paris. This will bring the total number of Holberton Schools around the world to 27 in September.

This opening feels very special for several reasons.

First, Paris is one of the major tech hubs in Europe, home to many disruptive startups and entrepreneurs. It is the home of the world’s largest startup campus, STATION F, as well as many incredible universities: the “traditional”, world renowned, Sorbonne University, Science Po, École Normale Supérieure… as well as the “non-traditional” École 42, Epitech and École de Guerre Economique, which I am an alumni of. It is with great enthusiasm that we will join this incredible and growing ecosystem.

Second, the partnership with Actual Group is a big value-add to our students. Given the Actual Group position as one of the French leaders in staffing and recruiting, they will be able to place students very fast, drastically reducing the placement time between graduation and placement, which is crucial to students.

As a result, seeing this strategic partnership grow that fast – three new schools in one year! – makes us really proud of working with Actual Group.

Opening the Paris campus is very special to me. I was born and raised in a southern suburb of Paris, in Val-de-Marne, 94. As a kid, I always dreamed of living in Paris. So, as soon as I graduated and got my first full-time job as a software engineer in 2006, I moved there, sharing an apartment with a friend. To me, moving to Paris was one of the happiest moments in my life, because it was a symbol: I could now access a life that was only a blurry dream before I became a software engineer. And it was at this very moment that I understood that education, if brought to the many, the right way, could change many lives for the better. It planted the seed that grew inside me for many years until I co-founded Holberton in 2015, in order to give more suburban kids and adults the opportunity to get a job that will allow them to unlock a new and better life for themselves and their families. Paris became my symbol, my proof, that I could do anything. It shattered all conscious and unconscious limitations and unlocked my life of entrepreneurship. Few months after moving to Paris, I co-founded my first company and started my journey as an entrepreneur in France, and then in the United States.

Last but not least, Paris is where I met my wife and fell in love.

After 9 years living abroad, in Miami and in Silicon Valley, the Holberton School opening in Paris revives all these memories and makes me both proud and joyful.

Welcome to all new Parisian students, I hope you will enjoy this new Holberton School campus, and I am looking forward to hearing your stories and to see you move to your own versions of Paris when you graduate.

Holberton School to open 8 new schools in Mexico, in partnership with Universidad Anáhuac Mayab

We are thrilled to announce that we have partnered with the Anáhuac university to expand in Mexico. 8 new schools will open in the country within the next 2 years. Mérida, Yucatán, will be the first city to host a new Holberton School campus in September this year. This will bring the total number of Holberton Schools around the world to 26 in September.

With more than 50 years of history, Anahuac University is currently recognized as one of the 3 best universities in Mexico, according to the QS World University Rankings 2020. It has eight campuses around the country and five in the rest of the world. More than 90 thousand alumni attest to the mission of the Universidad Anáhuac: Contribute to the comprehensive training of positive action leaders and promote the development of the person and the society. The Anahuac educational model allows the person’s integral development by embracing the professional, intellectual, human, social, and spiritual dimensions, which is well-aligned with Holberton’s values and mission.

After Mérida, the next Holberton School campus is scheduled to open in January 2022 in Aguascalientes, followed by 6 additional campuses in 2022 and 2023.

Until all the campuses are up and running, and to open the Holberton School’s education to as many students as possible, students from all over Mexico will be able to study online through Anáhuac Online.

In addition, Anáhuac university will offer scholarships to students of the first cohort.

According to PwC, Mexico’s working-age population is expected to grow by almost 10 million in the next decade, considerably boosting the supply of available talent. But at the same time, the country lags far behind advanced economies in terms of overall talent quality. Thanks to this partnership, Anáhuac aims to allow many more students to access in-demand and well-paying jobs and contribute to the economic development of the region by increasing the overall talent quality of Mexico.

We can’t wait to meet the first Holberton School Mérida students!

Holberton School opens 9 new schools in the Middle East.

We are thrilled to announce that we are expanding to the Middle East area! 9 new schools will open in 9 new countries in July this year. This will bring the total number of Holberton Schools around the world to 25.

Our first school in the Middle East opened in Beirut, Lebanon, in March 2020. The Holberton School Beirut has since sparked interest from other countries in the region. Today, we are very excited to announce the opening of Holberton Schools in Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

The 9 new locations, as well as Holberton School Lebanon, will be regrouped into a new entity called Holberton School Middle East. It will be operated and managed by StarTechEUS. Alexandre Harkous will serve as Chairman of Holberton School Middle East.

This massive expansion will play a key role in the economic growth in the region.

“There is a high demand and need for qualified tech talent, and a tech education is the key to remaining competitive in a global economy. Our students have exceptional talents, and our goal is to develop those gifts into excellences while supporting their unique needs.” – Alexandre Harkous, Chairman of Holberton School Middle East. 

The First-of-its-kind Tech initiative will allow the region to provide best in class tech curriculum seeking to empower Arab technology-driven students, and giving them the opportunity to grow, thrive, and realize their potential by equipping them with the required skills to compete in the local, regional and international markets.

“We’re focused on developing strategies and programs for young Arabs with tech skills that encourage inclusion and a passion for Technology. We’re very excited about this potential social impact and our Holberton School expansion.” –  Alexandre Harkous, Chairman of Holberton School Middle East.

The 9 new campuses will start online first and will gradually open physical spaces as soon as COVID-19 allows it.

Holberton School Middle East plans to train 10,000 new students in software engineering and computer science by 2025.

To learn more about Holberton School Middle East, you can visit www.holberton-me.com.

Holberton doubles down on its Machine Learning program

While developing the tools and programs for education in the 21st century, we constantly challenge ourselves to look into the future of our society as well as the future of the job market. We are now at the beginning of the 4th industrial revolution, which is the convergence of many disruptive technologies. One of them is Machine Learning.

Machine learning has been able to revolutionize so many fields, ranging from medicine to social media, to food, to security. And this trend has accelerated with COVID-19. While yesterday, every company had to become a digital company to survive, tomorrow they will have to become machine learning companies. Already, on LinkedIn alone, you can find more than 60,000 machine learning jobs open in the US. Many are companies that you would expect to find, like Twitter or Tik Tok, but more and more non-traditional tech companies are investing in machine learning and recruiting machine learning engineers: even companies like McDonald’s. According to LinkedIn, machine learning has created one of the biggest employment opportunities of 2021. Machine learning hiring since 2019 is up by 32%.

But while many alternative educational institutions, both online and offline, have done a great job at opening the doors to programming, 99% of machine learning hires have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The field of machine learning is still not accessible to most aspirants, and it suffers from a huge lack of diversity that has already sparked many ethical controversies. The machine-learning community needs more diversity in the field. They are creating our future and we want that future to reflect the values and attitudes of everyone.

Very early on, we introduced a machine learning curriculum to our Holberton School students. Since then, we have constantly improved our curriculum and tools in order to offer the best machine learning education possible. The initial version of our curriculum was led by Alexa Orrico and our community of advisors from Silicon Valley and beyond.

Machine learning is not as easy as learning a new programming language. To learn machine learning to a depth of understanding required by industry, students need to study mathematics, programming, and machine learning itself, which is actually itself a collection of many sub-categories. Learning everything at the same time was a big challenge for our first students, and from that experience and thanks to their feedback, we now have improved both the program and the tools for both partners and students.

Starting a few weeks ago, a new Machine Learning & Mathematics team joined us to build on the great curriculum Alexa started, and better support machine learning students at Holberton.

Today, I’d like to officially welcome the new Machine Learning & Mathematics team: Florian Bolgar, Fares Nadjar, Myriam Azzouz, Oumaima Merhbene. The team will be led by Mohamed Amine Ben Amor.

Oleksandra Fedorova from Google and Greggory Renard from xBrain and The Frontier Development Lab (an applied research accelerator based at NASA ARC and the SETI Institute), will act as working advisors to make sure the curriculum is of the highest quality and meets industry needs.

In addition, and because machine learning is by far the hardest Holberton School specialization, we are now offering more support and more live sessions to our Holberton Schools students. For each project:

  • At mid project, we have a live session of up to 3 hours focusing on theory, Mathematics and resources
  • At the end of the project, PLD will become:
    • Live coding session of up to two hours
    • Live support on Slack for any questions during the rest of the PLD days

Because our partners’ schools spans over many time zones, we have also doubled all these live sessions:

  • One for the EMEA
  • One for the Americas

Finally, we will also organize regular events (fireside chat most of the time) with machine learning professionals from around the world.

Please find a few words about the new ML & Math team:

Mohamed Amine Ben Amor – team ML lead

Amine owns a PhD in Mathematics. He used to be the director of the Mathematics department of the Tunisian campus of the University Paris Dauphine for almost 5 years and is now both assistant master at France National Education as well as campus director of Holberton Tunis. 

Before that, Amine was an entrepreneur for 6 years, using Mathematics to help companies.

Amine has 10 publications in ML and Mathematics under his belt, and 2 more to be released this year.

Amine is a former student from Ecole Polytechnique. One of the best engineering schools in the world. He also has several distinctions.

Florian Bolgar – Senior

Florian owns a PhD in Astrophysics. He has been teaching Mathematics since 2013 and is currently working as ML expert in France. He also is also fluent in Python and Django and has been doing freelance work as a software engineer since early 2019.

Florian owns a “few” degrees from the best French universities:

  • PhD in Astrophysics from University Pierre et Marie Curie
  • Master in Physics from École Normale Supérieure (one of the best university in the world)
  • Master in Astrophysics from University Paris Diderot
  • Aggregation in Mathematics from École Normale Supérieure
  • Bachelor in Physics from École Normale Supérieure

Fares Nadjar – Senior

Fares has a triple competency as actuary (an actuary is a professional using probability and statistics in the fields of finance and insurance), data scientist, and software engineer.

He owns a:

  • Master in Computer Science and Intelligent Systems from University Paris Dauphine
  • Master in Actuary from University Paris Dauphine
  • Bachelor in Mathematic and Computer Science 

Myriam Azzouz – Tutor

Myriam just graduated From Paris Dauphine PSL university where she earned:

  • A Master in Artificial Intelligence, Systems and Data. This master is co-accredited by 

University Paris Dauphine, École Normale Supérieure of Paris and Mines ParisTech

  • A Master in Big Data
  • A Bachelor in Applied Mathematics

Myriam was mentored by Professor Tristan Cazenave. 

Myriam applied her skills in ML as a Machine Learning Engineer Intern in different companies, including Criteo, Equinor, Sagemcom. During her last internship in London (UK) she built an automated pipeline and deployed models to help people and companies extract insights from their data. 

Myriam is also volunteering, helping kids to better learn and love Mathematics.

Oumaima Merhbene – Tutor

Oumaima also graduated From Paris Dauphine PSL university where she earned:

  • A Master in Artificial Intelligence, Systems and Data. This master is co-accredited by 

University Paris Dauphine, École Normale Supérieure of Paris and Mines ParisTech

  • A Master in Big Data
  • A Bachelor in Applied Mathematics

She spent her last 6 months at the LAMSADE research laboratory (Decision Support, Operational Research, Business Intelligence, Decision Theory and Artificial Intelligence) at CNRS / Paris-Dauphine where she was supervised by both Tristan Cazenave and Florian Sikora. During this internship, she used a combination of Monte Carlo Tree Search and Deep Learning Techniques to solve graph optimisation problems. Her publication will be soon released at the Monte Carlo Search workshop. 

She also had a 3-month internship at the Pasteur Institute research laboratory, where she worked on predicting new drug-disease associations using Neural Networks (autoencoder) to identify potential new usages for existing drugs. 

About Tristan Cazenave

Tristan Cazenave is one of the most famous Machine Learning specialists. He wrote 225 papers on Machine Learning. With Bruno Bouzy, Tristan Cazenave invented the best approach to Computer Go. In 2005, He wrote a Monte-Carlo based Phantom Go program competitive with human Go players. An improved version won gold medals at the 2007, 2008 and 2009 computer Olympiads.

About Florian Sikora

Florian Sikora is interested in “Hard Problems”. He is working on Graph theory and Machine Learning solving methods on them. He wrote several softwares and several research papers. He is also Associate Professor at The Paris Dauphine University (1st French university).

Oleksandra Fedorova – advisor

Oleksandra is an ML software engineer at Google, in Sunnyvale (CA) where she works on the Dialogflow project (Natural Language Processing made easy for developers).

Previously Sasha attended school 42 in Silicon Valley where she was also an AI technical coordinator, after which she worked in different startups applying her skill as ML and full-stack software engineer before joining Google.

Gregory Renard – senior advisor

Greg is a star in the world of ML. He is an investor and an advisor at Holberton, Inc, and had talked to students many times in the past. His resume is super impressive:

  • Chief AI officer and head of applied Machine Learning and Deep Learning at xBrain (think Siri for cars) in Menlo Park (CA), since 10+ years
  • He is also on the committee and ML lead at the Frontier Development Lab, co-created by the NASA and the SETI, since 2016
  • Greg is an AI advisor for the French and Belgium governments

Recently, Greg also volunteered with the office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House, where he – with the help of two other Machine Learning specialists – trained an NLP hybrid model in order to help the administration to look for relevant information in the research papers and on the web. Daily, they are issuing a quantitative report and periodically a qualitative report of the publications on the COVID-19 cure. They automated semantic collection and analysis of nearly 5 million VIDOC-19 related items per day (representing more than 1 To raw data text per 3 weeks).

In addition to Holberton’s staff, Coderise, our partner in Colombia also has recruited ML specialists who will be available to help students in Colombia:

  • Mario Morales, Senior Research Scientist and MsC and Associate Faculty in Columbia University
  • Robrecht Jurriaans, CTO at Bomberbot and MSc in Artificial Intelligence from University of Amsterdam 
  • Cristian Garcia, Software Developer (Machine Learning) at Quansight

Machine learning has so much potential, and it’s so important to create more ways for students to learn about it. I am beyond excited to have such an awesome team joining us to continue improving our ML program. In combination with our OS of Education, our Holberton School partners have also been able to offer the ML specialization as a stand-alone to developers around the world, but also, universities are now able to offer our ML projects to their students. With this new tool under their belt, our students will be able to create a better future for everyone. I can’t wait to see what they will create!

Holberton School is partnering with Actual group to open new campuses in France!

Holberton School is continuing to expand its operations in France! 

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve signed a new partnership with Actual group to open more schools in France. The first one will open in June in Laval, followed by a second in Toulouse in September 2021. 

With more than 30 years of experience, 300 agencies, 1,450 employees, and 650 million euros in revenue, the Actual group is one of the most successful French staffing and recruiting agencies. We’re very excited to join forces with an important player in the field of employment. 

The Actual group will help to place students on the labor market, while Holberton School will ensure technical excellence amongst the students.


The Actual group has joined forces with Holberton School to set up an innovative
12-to-18-month training course on digital and web technologies.

More and more companies are starting their transformation and accelerating their digitization. To meet this exponential need, it’s become vital to train more people for digital professions, which have become popular and rare on the French job market.  

“Actual group aims to provide employment opportunities for those in research so that they can provide highly valued skills to companies,” said Samuel Tual, Chairman of the Actual group. “Quite naturally, it seemed logical to us to explore the digital sector. Today, these professions are struggling due to a lack of skills.”

The Actual group already has schools and training offers that specialize in three-way employee-actual-employer relations, covering time-sharing, portage, and temping. This partnership will complete their offer, allowing them to focus on digital, tech, and web and to train the highly-skilled digital talent that the French economy needs.

[French] Interview of Samuel Tual, Chairman of the Actual group

“I’m very pleased with this initiative,” said Samuel Tual, Chairman of the Actual group. “By enabling people to train for tomorrow’s skills, we’ll help companies of all sizes to meet the enormous challenge of digital transformation. Beyond training and educational content, it’s about access to employment.”

With the Actual group, Holberton School’s students will be well-trained and well-supported so that they can quickly find a job after their studies. 

The school will begin welcoming its first cohort of students in June 2021 in Laval.

Stay tuned!

Holberton cleared of fraud allegations in California

Holberton is delighted to announce that the California Attorney General has struck down ‘fraud’ allegations against our San Francisco campus and resolved all other outstanding matters of dispute, including claims of misleading advertising. California was the only market in which Holberton faced any regulatory challenges.

With this now behind us, we are excited to move forward with our original mission of providing affordable and accessible education to prospective software engineers around the world.

For the past four years we have focused on educating thousands of students to Silicon Valley levels of software engineering proficiency no matter their background, education, credentials or income. More than a third of our students are the first in their family to access post-secondary education, 20% of them are women, and they come from all walks of life: high-school graduates, former cashiers, cooks and artists.

The company has refrained from speaking publicly about the California dispute pending this resolution in order to not prejudice the legal process. Now that the matter is behind us, we feel it necessary to clarify for our students and partners and other interested parties exactly what was alleged and what was decided.

The California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) brought 15 complaints against Holberton School San Francisco in recent months. The most serious complaints were that the San Francisco campus had used misleading advertisement and ‘fraudulently’ obtained its license.

These were the result of a misunderstanding of communications from the BPPE. The bureau’s parent agency, the California Consumer Affairs Department, subsequently found the BPPE’s communications to Holberton were “vague,” as we will further discuss below. 

TIMELINE

In April 2016, Holberton applied for a license to operate in California. Holberton’s model included Income Share Agreements, or ISAs, which allow students to pursue an education with no upfront costs and pay only after they are earning at least $40,000 per year, or $3,333 in any one month. They pay no interest and if students don’t find employment paying $40,000 or more, they pay nothing.

In March 2018, as Holberton’s application process with the BPPE was still pending, the BPPE sent a detailed questionnaire to Holberton asking for more information about its use of ISAs. Holberton completed the questionnaire and received an email from BPPE saying that the company’s “response is acceptable.” 

In the same email, the BPPE asked that Holberton “provide a new enrollment agreement and catalog that does not reference income sharing agreements,” noting that BPPE “will not approve an application that contains ISA/DTA in the application.”

The BPPE did not say that such a financing mechanism is forbidden, nor is there state or federal legislation restricting the use of ISAs in California. Holberton understood the BPPE communication only to mean that the reference to ISAs should not be included in the school catalog or enrollment agreement and that, while it may be considered as a tuition financing tool, it should not be included in the licensing application.

Holberton immediately complied with the BPPE request and, in July 2018, the BPPE granted Holberton School San Francisco a license to operate in California.

On January, 25, 2020, however, Holberton received a letter from the BPPE claiming that Holberton School San Francisco had fraudulently obtained its license because it continued to offer ISAs after removing reference to ISAs from its licensing application. 

The letter contained notification of an emergency action regarding Holberton’s San Francisco campus that, if confirmed, would have required Holberton to cease operations and stop enrollment.

At a hearing on the matter on February 4, 2020, the BPPE’s parent agency, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, determined that the evidence against Holberton School San Francisco did not support the need for emergency action, and Hoberton was allowed to continue to operate in the state.

With regard to the charge of ‘fraud,’ Holberton explained that it had not understood the BPPE to have banned ISAs and that it had never received an explicit request for Holberton School San Francisco to stop using ISAs. Below is the text of the email at the heart of the misunderstanding. Note, the reference to the ‘institution’s response’ regards Holberton’s answers to the BPPE questionnaire about Holberton’s use of ISAs:

Good Morning! The institution’s response is acceptable. Please provide a new enrollment agreement and catalog that does not reference income sharing agreements and/or deferred tuition agreements. The Bureau will not approve an application that contains ISA/DTA in the application.

Any questions, please feel free to ask.

Sincerely,

A subsequent review of these communications by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, and then by the California Attorney General’s office, clarified the misunderstanding and the fraud allegations were stricken by the Attorney General, along with thirteen other minor causes for discipline brought by the BPPE.

The two remaining BPPE complaints are now moot as we eventually obtained the license to operate and withdrew the Career Track program that was at issue. Nonetheless, for the sake of clarity and transparency, we detail them below.

  1. OPERATING WITHOUT A LICENSE

The BPPE charged that Holberton School San Francisco operated for two years without a license, pending BPPE’s approval of its licensing application. 

However, Holberton took numerous affirmative steps to obtain a license to accept paying students by:  (1) attending the BPPE’s August 12, 2015 Licensing Workshop; (2) requesting information regarding the application process and licensure requirements; (3) submitting our approval application six months in advance of our scheduled opening; (4) hiring a BPPE application & compliance specialist with more than 30 years experience to ensure the quality and accuracy of our application and compliance with California’s laws; (5) promptly and diligently addressing all of the BPPE’s questions during the application process. 

Holberton enrolled its first San Francisco cohort in January 2016 and submitted its application to the BPPE in April 2016. The school’s first cohort was offered education completely free, in which case a license to operate is not needed. When Holberton realized that it wouldn’t obtain its license in time to enroll its paying cohort in October 2016, it decided to proceed because the BPPE had a well-established and publicly announced policy to allow institutions that were making progress towards approval (i.e., that had submitted applications) to begin operations pending receipt of a license. 

For example, DCA spokesman Russ Heimerich’s January 2014 statement to the press indicated that the BPPE did not plan to pursue disciplinary action against any coding institution operating without a license as long as an application was in process. This is in recognition of the fact that schools need to make substantial investments before accepting paying students and that sitting idle while waiting for the licensing process to be completed would create an unsustainable financial burden for the schools.

The BPPE was aware of Holberton’s operation during the application process, as acknowledged in a communication to Holberton School San Francisco on April 12, 2016. The BPPE didn’t take disciplinary action at that time because Holberton was actively taking steps towards obtaining the license. The BPPE confirmed receipt of Holberton’s application on April 27, 2016. 

Holberton obtained its license in July 2018, more than two years after applying, and subsequently attended a Compliance Workshop held by the BPPE on October 11, 2018.

Nonetheless, the BPPE reversed course in January 2020, seeking to discipline the school for allegedly having operated prior to receiving its license.

  1. CAREER TRACK

The second remaining BPPE complaint against Holberton regards Holberton’s Career Track program, allowing students to complete the Holberton program through on-the-job learning. 

In late 2018, Holberton began offering “Career Track” as part of its curriculum in response to requests from students who wanted to launch their careers before graduating. Given the many students who come to Holberton from disadvantaged backgrounds, the company understood the desire by some students to earn money before the end of the 18-month program. In response, it created the Career Track to enable those students to earn their certificate rather than having to quit the program in order to work, lose the benefit of Holberton’s alumni network and forfeit free lifetime access to Holberton’s complete curriculum. 

Holberton provided notice of this curriculum change to the BPPE, which expressly acknowledged the change without comment in June 2019. 

In February 2020, however, the BPPE claimed that Holberton had not followed the correct process to modify its curriculum and add the Career Track program. The BPPE requested that Holberton stop offering the Career Track. After receiving the BPPE notice, Holberton immediately stopped offering Career Track to their California students and refunded associated fees.

We regret having had to stop the Career Track program in California, which had proven extremely successful.

CONCLUSION

We are sorry for the disruption this incident has caused our students and community. We are heartened by the Attorney General’s conclusion after reviewing the evidence we provided in response to the various complaints. We remain committed to complying with the laws and regulations of each market in which we operate. 

We learned valuable lessons in California and hope to continue discussions with the BPPE and other regulators in hopes of making private education more accessible to financially disadvantaged students everywhere.

We are happy to have resolved these issues in California. We continue to believe strongly that Holberton’s vocational education solution provides value to all students eager to participate in the global tech economy around the world. Holberton’s employment-focused education can help address the world’s critical shortage of software engineers while making the tech world more inclusive. We look forward to continuing our core mission of democratizing access to world-class engineering education.

Thank you for your support. Join us in closing the global technology talent gap while bringing more deserving people into the knowledge economy.

The Future of Holberton

Holberton’s mission is to provide high-quality education for the many. With Holberton School, we provide employment-focused education to help address the world’s critical shortage of software engineers while making the tech world more inclusive. 

We started Holberton School in 2016 with a campus in San Francisco. Our methodology, curriculum, and platform – developed in close cooperation with Silicon Valley experts – trained students who were in turn hired by some of the world’s best tech companies such as Apple, Tesla, and LinkedIn. Wanting to make our education more widely accessible, we began expanding in 2018 by opening additional campuses. Holberton School today has a network of campuses that spans five continents across the globe.

This expansion was made possible by working with amazing local partners who operate the campuses and deeply understand their markets’ unique needs. By leveraging our Silicon-Valley grade education, they have provided their local economies with highly-skilled software engineers while democratizing access to the tech industry for their local population. They are changing, for the better, many lives.

While Holberton Inc. started as a school, our focus is now to empower our partners to provide the best experience to their students by continuously improving our platform and curriculum. To better achieve this mission, Holberton Inc. is exiting the operation of Holberton School campuses as a business. Therefore we have decided not to reopen our San Francisco campus, which closed in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic and CA regulations preventing us from enrolling remote students.

Holberton Inc. will remain in San Francisco; we will continue to build our curriculum and platform by working with industry experts based in Silicon Valley and other tech hubs. We will continue to act as a gateway between Silicon Valley and all the local tech ecosystems our partners are building. We believe this is the best formula for serving Holberton School’s international community.

While the decision to close the San Francisco campus was not an easy one, we are excited to focus our efforts on further developing the ‘operating system of education’ and supporting current and future partners in delivering high-quality education to students worldwide.

Montevideo Campus Inaugurated by Uruguay’s Minister of Labor and the Subsecretary of Education

Holberton School Uruguay, alongside Fundación Zonamerica, hosted a ceremony to celebrate the inauguration of its Montevideo campus in Jacksonville – which welcomed its first cohort in September.

Fundación Zonamerica’s mission is to develop and promote innovative training programs and cultural activities that allow people to learn new skills that will enable them to work for the most prestigious and internationalized companies in Uruguay.

Holberton School Uruguay campus

Uruguay Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Pablo Mieres, emphasized the role played by Zonamerica and the foundation about training Uruguayans.

“The initiative of creating a Holberton School in Uruguay is a reaffirmation of a fundamental value of the country, which is having people always create innovative ideas. The experience of this establishment in Uruguay is a symbol that shows the way forward in the right direction to follow between training and employment for a wealthy, state-of-the-art country that looks toward the future.”

Uruguay lacks tech talent; while the country graduates 800 software engineers per year, companies need 2,500 of them. Therefore companies have to train internally or hire abroad. The tech sector is adding $1.7B to the economy every year.

“We do not have a digital gap in the sense of infrastructure, since we can count on fiber optics, a submarine cable, a data center, the Ceibal program, which are the base to continue building starting from them. That is why I welcome and congratulate this project because I consider that these types of initiatives, from the public and private sector, have to continue blooming”. Said Carolina Cosse, elected Governor of Montevideo.

The ceremony and campus were video-recorded via drone

The ceremony – that followed all sanitary precautions – was attended by The first lady of Uruguay, Lorena Ponce de León; Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Pablo Mieres; Fundación Zonamerica President and Vice-President, Alberto Fossati and Orlando Dovat; Executive director of Holberton School in Montevideo, Inés Jakubovski; Elected Mayor of Montevideo, Carolina Cosse; the Subsecretary of Education Ana Ribeiro and the President of the Uruguayan Chamber of information technology (CUTI), Leonardo Loureiro as well as other governmental authorities, foundation leadership, business chambers, companies, and Holberton School students.

Holberton School arrives in Peru!

Welcome Holberton School Peru! While Peru is known for its Machu Picchu’s stunning views – it is also one of Latin America’s fastest-growing startup scenes. In 2018, Peru attracted more impact-investment capital than Mexico, a long-time leader in the region. In 2019 a new record was set for the amount of capital invested into local startups, with a 24% increase compared to 2018. Before the pandemic, Peru already had a deficit of 17,000 software engineers, a number estimated to grow dramatically due to COVID-19 acceleration on digital transformation. 

This acceleration will affect all industries as stated by Juan Carlos Tassara, Edifica Executive Director:

“The real estate, as well as other traditional industries, increasingly need to introduce new technologies to differentiate themselves. Holberton’s proposal prepares the talent that Peru needs in a fast and innovative way, talent that will drive the country’s digital transformation.” 

Holberton School comes to Peru in alliance with social entrepreneurs Valery Vargas and Gabriel Bedoya. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the campus will first open as a remote program providing its education entirely online; facilities will open in Lima as soon as possible.

To help make Holberton’s education financially accessible, multiple ways to finance tuition will be available: upfront payment, monthly payments, loans, or Income Share Agreements. Also, scholarships will be offered. 

“For the first cohort, and because we know how this pandemic has impacted thousands of students that had to stop their careers, we will offer 15 full-tuition scholarships,” says Holberton School Peru Co-founder Valery Vargas.

The school will begin welcoming its first cohort of students in January 2021. Check out the Holberton School Peru campus page to learn more!

Holberton School is coming to Ecuador!

Holberton School is opening in Ecuador in alliance with BuenTrip Hub, the local incubator for technology startups. Ecuador’s tech scene has been drastically growing in the last few years. The country, which had 70 tech startups in 2018, is now counting 250 of them according to BuenTrip’s Radar Tech Startup study. All are looking for highly-qualified software engineers. The International Labor Organization (ILO) recently reported that e-commerce, software development, and IoT were the top industries for Ecuador’s job creation.

Carmen de la Cerda, director of BuenTrip Hub, says, “Holberton will provide Ecuador students with world-class training. Access to this knowledge and skillset is indispensable because it will empower our local talent, opening doors for them to become technologists and innovators.”

Holberton School Ecuador’s first online cohort will begin in January 2021, synchronizing with the school’s network of campuses located in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. To help make Holberton’s Silicon Valley-grade education financially accessible, tuition can be paid either upfront or in monthly payments. Applications are open to individuals over the age of 18, coming from any educational background. To learn more about Holberton School Ecuador, visit the Ecuador campus page!