Visit Holberton in San Francisco

Holberton is both exciting and challenging. Students spend the first 9 months of the 2-year program in our office in San Francisco, the heart of the Silicon Valley.

Becoming a great Full-Stack Software Engineer is a lot of work, and students spend hours at the school working on their projects and collaborating with peers. We work hard to make the school comfortable and imitate the collaborative setup that tech companies have in the Valley. Our local community including students, mentors, and guests who attended our meetups. They all loved the school design and we thought we would share also share it with you, our online community!

Are you living close to the Holberton and you are curious to see what is Holberton like IRL? We are organizing tours, get in touch with us to schedule a time: http://bit.ly/holberton-tour

Hiring Spree at Holberton School

We don’t want to brag or anything…scratch that…we really DO want to brag. In just the first nine months of study in our two-year program, most of our students in our inaugural class have already been offered jobs (or in one case, got funding to start his own company)! And, yes, they still have 16 months to go to graduate.
Holberton School Winter 2016 batch
Holberton School Winter 2016 batch
We could not be more proud of the success of our students and knowing that we have clearly done something right by them in offering the project-based curriculum that we have created. But we have to be clear, it is the students who really have done all the work, from the start, we have just set up the right environment and challenges for them.

 

To get started at Holberton, each student had to prove they not only could be part of the team, but that they wanted to. To become students at Holberton, candidates go through a four-step selection process, based solely on talent and motivation, and not on the basis of educational degree, or programming experience. The selection process actually begins the curriculum so that applicants start learning — and collaborating — through it. The process, which does not require technical knowledge or programming experience, consists of three levels:
  • Level 1 – Small online projects and tests that applicants can complete at their own pace
  • Level 2 – A step-by-step challenge during which applicants create a website. At this level, the candidates are encouraged to begin collaborating, an important component of learning at the school.
  • Level 3 – On-site or Skype interview
Once at the school we give the students progressively more difficult challenges– like waking them up at 2am to fix their servers! Teaching them to learn, not just to spew back facts they memorized. One student even had a summer internship at NASA SETI. This success further goes to show that students from any background, from high school to a cashier at Trader Joe’s or from teacher to customer support representative, all have the same opportunity to create the success that they crave by applying themselves in this self-learning method.

 

So, where have our students been hired?
Our students have been hired by promising startups but also some of the biggest names in technology, while some others have started their own companies and have even raised the starting capital! Many of our students will be moving on as high paid, Software Engineers at companies including Docker, Apple and Dropbox. And if that wasn’t amazing enough, one of our students has been hired at HealthTech, a startup company that had interviewed 100 other candidates before deciding on our student!

 

Get in on the action!
For those out there who are aspiring to be like these students, the registration for our January class is now open for enrollment. Also, check out the video below to learn more about our student backgrounds, we accept students from all walks of life.

Gandi’s San Francisco Office Is Now Home to Holberton School

Holberton School and Gandi will have the opportunity to work side-by-side on training the next generation of Highly skilled Software Engineers.
Holberton School and Gandi will have the opportunity to work side-by-side on training the next generation of Highly skilled Software Engineers.

We are proud to announce a partnership with the leading domain registrar and hosting company Gandi, joining us in the mission to train the next generation of full-stack software engineers.

Holberton School has expanded into Gandi US offices, where it will use the 12 spots to welcome more wannabe full stack software engineers. Gandi has already been supporting us by donating server access, domain names and coaching with multiple DNS keynotes given by Gandi CTO Pascal Bouchareine.

The office is conveniently located 5 minutes away from Holberton School HQ, on the same block as the new San Francisco Transbay Transit Center in the middle of SoMa, surrounded by startup and Tech companies like LinkedIn, Algolia, Twitter and Uber.

Holberton School’s mission is to train anyone to become a Software Engineer using a project based approach: no formal lectures, everything learned by practicing. We heavily collaborate with companies via our network of mentors that Gandi CEO Stephan Ramoin is also part of. Students will now have the chance to be trained along to the talented Gandi team.

First international botathon organized by VentureBeat

VentureBeat Botathon San Francisco

The first international Botathon organized by VentureBeat, San Francisco edition, took place at Holberton School. The school is training full-stack software engineers with an innovative approach: no formal teachers, no lectures, students learn by working on projects and happened to be learning about deep learning and neural networks which recently rapidly evolved  — offering great opportunities to build the bots of tomorrow.

The goal of the Botathon was to build bot prototypes taking advantage of these recent improvements and to explore market possibilities. It is interesting to notice that most bots used Slack or Facebook as communication channels, reducing user friction and acquisition but also leading to harder monetization strategy. Bots makes users life easier: tracking food intake (Amino), finding the dream home (Real Estate Assistant), booking your next restaurant or doctor appointment (Host Buddy)… The oddest (in my opinion) (Stop,dating bot) was offering to let a bot handle a breakup with a lover over text message.

Two bots were dedicated to the Tech industry: (Oxy) which allows developers to interact with their servers via a bot and (Ibo) a recruiting platform that would take care of chatting with the candidate, scan the resume and adapt the set of questions depending on candidate’s skills and how the candidate performs on give exercices.

The event was judged by

The winning team, composed of Omar Sharif and Mike Chang built a waiter replacement: Botender. Contrary to other hacks, the bots was using SMS to taking customer’s food orders, menu questions, payment and even bill split(Stripe integration). Customers can quickly get their food and leave as soon as they want via a few text messages. For restaurants, they can reduce staffing and improve customer satisfaction with quicker and better service (the staff can focus on service and hospitality). And because Botender is over text message, it reduces the friction – no need to install any app.

 

The hacks quality was very high and all bots actually worked. While we are at the beginning of the era and some bots might actually not be as efficient as our good old web forms, we are definitely creating interesting cases. The web industry is entering a new era where a big chunk of websites will be replaced by AI, it’s time for developers to start getting skilled!

Video of the event here:

TechCrunch Senior Software Engineer taking over our Snapchat account

Nicolas Vincent Senior Software Engineer at TechCrunch is taking over Holberton School Snapchat account.

Nicolas has been a Senior Software Engineer at TechCrunch since October 2012. As part of the dev team, he was one of the core developers for TechCrunch’s redesign in 2013. He is also a mentor at Holberton School. Prior to this, Nicolas was working as a Web Operation Engineer for the famous hospitality exchange website CouchSurfing.

Nicolas Vincent

Born in San Francisco, but raised and educated in France, Nicolas graduated from EPITECH with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. During his 4th year at Epitech in 2010, he attended California State University, Long Beach, and UC Berkeley for a yearlong exchange program.

He will share what it is like to work for the most notorious Tech blog in the Silicon Valley, snap him if you have any question!

Announcing 14 new mentors, including Software Engineer at Apple and Volunteer Instructor at Girls Who Code

Today we are proud to announce 14 new Holberton School mentors, including Sergey Skrobotov, Software Engineer at Apple and Lamia Himdach, Volunteer Instructor at Girls Who Code. They join our team of more than 100 mentors.

Sergey Skrobotov Holberton SchoolLamia Himdach Holberton School

Mentors are the backbone of our school, sharing their experiences with students by giving speeches, participating in Q&A and even 1:1 mentoring sessions, organizing workshops and more. Thanks to them, Holberton School students get acclimated to the Tech industry while still at school. We are very proud and honored to have such amazing people joining us today.

Please join us to welcome them to the Holberton School family!

Interested in becoming a mentor at Holberton School? Join us!

Github, an important piece of a Software Engineer résumé

Tech companies in the Silicon Valley tend to pay more attention to what candidates can technically achieve rather than look at their credentials. An obvious way of doing that is by looking at code candidates wrote, having a Github account with up-to-date code is a must-have in today’s Tech industry. It gives the opportunity to potential employers to easily see a candidate’s coding style, what types of technologies they worked with, and their fun side-projects. That is also a the place where many open source communities are contributing on open source projects.

That’s why Holberton School students will publish all their school projects on Github. In order to easily find the projects that have been done at school, their repositories will start by a “holbertonschool-“.

To see what students are working on, follow them on Github:

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tasneemfarag 13520749 U2uHlp4I_400x400 15389761 16113819 16201809 16494925 15207067 XIgjU2F6_400x400 14943616 (1)
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Welcome, Hippokampoiers!

Today, we are very proud to announce that we have selected the 33 students for the inaugural class of January 2016. Yes, we announced that we would select only 32 students, but there were just too many great applicants. Please join us in welcoming team Hippokampoi!

hippocampoiers

The selection process

To become students at Holberton, candidates had to go through our four-step selection process, based only on talent and motivation, and not on the basis of educational degree, or programming experience. We designed the selection process to be the beginning of the curriculum so that applicants start learning through it. No programming experience is required at all. It consists of four different levels:

  • Level 0 – Fill out a short online form about yourself (~2 to 10 minutes)
  • Level 1 – Small online projects and tests that applicants can do at their own pace (~2 to 10 hours of work)
  • Level 2 – A step by step challenge during which you will create your first website, with a specific deadline (~50 hours of work)
  • Level 3 – On-site or Skype interview

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Level 2 is a hands-on project, designed for beginners, during which applicants create their first website, from A to Z. Not only do they build a website with HTML, CSS and JavaScript but they also install and run their web server (Apache) on a Linux machine (Ubuntu) using the Linux command line. Here is an overview of what applicants did during Level 2:

  • Access a distant server using ssh
  • Learn the very basics of the Linux command line
  • Install software on Linux
  • Use the Emacs text editor
  • Install a web server on Linux
  • Read a configuration file
  • Use HTML, CSS and javascript to build a website
  • And most importantly: search for information and help each other

From 1,338 applicants to 33 students

Here are some stats about our funnel. Since the announcement on Sept 29th, 1,338 applicants started the admission process. Overall, the 33 students of the January class represent the top 2.5% of all applicants. Congratulations to them!

admissions-stats

 

Women performed better than men

Women performed better than men on average during our selection process. At the very top of the funnel, women represented 20% of our visitors.

sessions-male-female

And at the end of the funnel, 40% of our students are women. Note that Level 0, Level 1 and most of Level 2 are completely automated. It’s only at the end of Level 2 that we are hands-on because we need to check the projects of the applicants. Level 3 is an interview, during which there is also a technical test on Linux. Here is our funnel in terms of gender percentage:

women-stats

Connect with Holberton students

In the past weeks, they have already set up their servers and installed different applications, including a blog where you will be able to read more about their lives and what they learned at the school. Also, you can follow them on Twitter and say congrats by tweeting at @hippokampoiers!

Interested in becoming a full-stack software engineer?

Applications are now open for the next two classes, starting in May and September 2016.

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Achievement unlocked: Holberton School is ready!

After months of work we are happy to share pictures of Holberton School in San Francisco, ready to welcome our first students. We celebrated the milestone by organizing an opening party with students, parents, mentors, investors and friends who helped prepare the space.

#holbertonschool crew! #edtech #sanfrancisco #school #softwareengineer #grouppic #plant #startup

A photo posted by Holberton School (@holbertonschool) on

We got a lot of positive feedback and most of our guests told us: “it looks even better than on the pictures!”. We paid attention to every detail; worked hard to come up with a design that feels welcoming and not nerdy, as we believe that you do not need to be a fan of science fiction to become a great Full Stack Software Engineer.

Here is the slideshow of the party: 2016-01-08-Holberton School Opening

A BIG thank you to Julien Cyr, the genius brain behind the design of the space, to Guillaume Salva, the master Chef of the party, to Guillaume Lesur, who designed and built the network and to all our friends and mentors who helped us set up the space. Thank you everyone for making this possible. And for those who were not there for the party, come visit us and say hi when you are around Battery and Pine!

Nicolas Bacca, IoT Security Expert, Joining Holberton School Mentors

Nicolas Bacca is joining Holberton School mentors team

We are very proud to welcome Nicolas Bacca to the Holberton School mentors team. Nicolas will design and lead the IoT security track at the school.

Nicolas is the co-founder and CTO of  Ledger, a startup designing Bitcoin hardware wallets and other auditable, open and secure Personal Security Devices.  He has been involved in the embedded security industry for more than 15 years as R&D engineer, independent consultant for major industry players; CEO and CTO of several startups. He built the most cost efficient FIDO U2F Security Key implementation with his team, is passionate about optimized code and well implemented security protocols, tries to push for more open standards at every possible opportunity. Also, he is not afraid of nudging closed objects into being more open when diplomacy fails.

In his own words:

The IoT design, privacy and security journey at Holberton will let you peek at interesting things happening at the bottom of the software stack, in this mysterious realm where you just can’t throw more RAM or servers at problems to make them disappear – what powers modern embedded systems such as the Nest, how your data is collected and protected in a network of connected objects, and how to recognize and implement good security and privacy practices.

You’ll build your own Open Source FIDO U2F Security Key from an open development kit that you’ll use to secure your Google, Github or Dropbox accounts even if your password is “Holberton1234” (*), then break your neighbour’s security and fix yours. You’ll acquire solid field experience to make educated decisions, kick broken designs before they get a chance to get implemented and sleep better knowing you helped making your favorite Agency job more challenging.

(*) graduation not guaranteed if you used this password