Holberton

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!

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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!

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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.

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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:

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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

Announcing 14 new mentors, including IBM Fellow & CTO and the Father of Symfony PHP

Today we are proud to announce 14 new Holberton School mentors, including Jerry Cuomo, Fellow and CTO at IBM, and Fabien Potencier, founder of Symfony and currently CEO of SensioLabs and Blackfire.io. They join our already impressive list of 81 mentors.

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Mentors are the backbone of our school, giving students a great way to network, gain insight into the “real world” and get some great projects. They create many of the projects for our students, interact with them as well as with other mentors to make the school reflect the creativity, innovation and working demands of building great software in the real world.

We feel very proud and honored to have such amazing people joining us today.

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

Thank you!

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

Using the blockchain to secure and authentify Holberton School certificates

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Today, we are proud to announce that we are now the first school in the world to deliver our certificates in the Bitcoin blockchain. Storing our certificates in the blockchain will simplify the verification process by employers, and help fight against fake certificates and false resumes.

Every Holberton digital certificate will be issued in a secure environment, 256 bits encrypted private key and 2 factor authentication to access the interface that will generate, sign and and insert the certificate into the Bitcoin blockchain, making the certificate’s content sealed and tamper-proof. In addition, each graduate will be given a paper certificate, and a Digital Certificate Number (DCN). This DCN can be included on resumes, so that any employer can easily verify the validity if the certificate.

This is all made possible by the technology developed by Louison Dumont and his team at Bitproof.

Read more about the announcement

3 weeks and 1000 candidates

It’s been 3 weeks that we have announced Holberton School. Three incredible weeks where we have witnessed the first candidates register and start the application process. You have been more than 1000 candidates to start the application process, reading your first Linux manual and decoding encrypted texts!

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Sylvain (who is now called Morpheus by our candidates), Rudy, our mentors and I are really impressed by the quality of the applications.

Good luck to all our amazing candidates, keep up the good work; And for those who already finished Level 1: Y29uZ3JhdHVsYXRpb25zIQ== , see in you a few days on Level 2! 🙂

Announcing 12 new mentors

Today we are very proud to announce 12 mentors. Please join us to welcome them to the Holberton School family!

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Thank you!

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

 

Hello, World!

Today, we are thrilled to announce the official launch of Holberton School, an alternative to college to become a full-stack software engineer, in two years. We’ve been working around the clock for months and we are now ready to welcome our first class, starting January 2016. Applications are now open!

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A new kind of education

Using project-based learning and peer learning, our mission is to train the best software engineers of their generation.

At Holberton School, there are no formal teachers or formal courses. Instead, everything is project-centered. We give our students increasingly difficult programming challenges to solve, and give them minimal initial directions on how to solve those challenges. As a consequence, students naturally look for the theory and tools they need, understand them, use them, work together, and help each other. They will also regularly interact with industry mentors from small to big companies, including Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Uber…

The combination of project-based learning and peer learning makes Holberton School more engaging for students. They are always hands-on, focusing on building actual applications and solving modern day challenges.

Learn how to learn

As the world is changing faster and faster, we do not teach our students specific programming languages, frameworks or tools, because nobody can predict what will be required of engineers in the future.

Instead, Holberton School teaches problem solving. Students learn whatever they need to accomplish an objective. They find solutions to problems using offline and online resources, imagination, creativity and communication. By doing so, they will be able to adapt faster to unknown challenges they will face in their career.

Betty Holberton

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Our school is named after Betty Holberton who was a software pioneer:

  • She was one of the six original programmers of the ENIAC, the first all-electronic digital computer.
  • She worked with John Mauchly to develop the C-10 instruction set for BINAC, which is considered to be the prototype of all modern programming languages.
  • She also participated in the development of early standards for the COBOL and FORTRAN programming languages with Grace Hopper.

And she has done all this despite being victim of discrimination: on her first day of classes at the University, her math teacher asked her if she wouldn’t be better off at home raising children…

We believe that Betty Holberton is a good reminder that women are at the core of software engineering and that more diversity in tech would have a big positive impact. No matter the gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity or social status, everyone should be given the chance to become the next Betty Holberton.

Join us!

Applications are now open for our class, starting January 2016 in San Francisco. Our selection process is based only on talent and motivation, and not on the basis of educational degree, or programming experience.

Rudy, Julien, and I, as well as the whole mentors team can’t wait to meet with the first Holberton School students! Apply now!