42 Barcelona Fundación Telefónica is a very unconventional programming campus. In this space of more than 1,600 square meters –located in the Barcelona Activa Technology Park, in Nou Barris–, more than a hundred 27-inch iMacs are strategically arranged so that students can type code while they talk and collaborate with each other.
On 42 campuses they use a methodology based on gamification and peer to peer, collaboration between equals. “We turn the traditional educational system on its head and put the student, who is responsible for their learning process, at the center. There are no teachers, no books and no master classes, and together they all learn to learn,” says Humbert Ruiz, director of 42 Barcelona, while showing the campus facilities. In the background, a constant run run is heard. “They are the students, who are in a pool, putting peer to peer into practice,” says Ruiz. The pool, or entrance test, is a 26-day full-time immersion in campus methodology and programming.
“On the first day we give them an access card and tell them 'up to you'. They are the ones who have to decide and be alert to know what they have to do. And if someone gets stuck, ask the person on the right, the person on the left, and if not... Google or ChatGPT. After a few days they realize that the more they share and the more they relate, the more they advance. “In the end, they are learning to be autonomous students and that autonomy will also accompany them in their professional career in the digital sector.”
Once they have passed the pool, through projects, evaluations and exams – “students evaluate each other,” Ruiz clarifies – they will develop technical skills in programming and soft skills, “which are what make the difference.” today in the labor market.”
The 42 Barcelona programming campus is an initiative of Fundación Telefónica in collaboration with Barcelona City Council, through Barcelona Activa, and the Department of Research and Universities of the Generalitat de Catalunya. Created in November 2021, it seeks to give an opportunity to all people over 18 years of age with motivation to learn and desire to have a career in the digital sector.
“If the first pillar of 42 Barcelona is to provide an opportunity, the second is to contribute to reducing the digital talent gap that we have today. When our students finish their training, their job placement is 100%. Companies are already waiting for them,” highlights Humbert Ruiz.
According to the report "The Digital Society in Spain 2023", in mid-2022 there were around 124,400 vacancies in our country, mainly concentrated in the fields of software development, systems and cybersecurity. These data, added to those of the Telefónica Foundation Employment Map, which registered more than 70,000 digital profile vacancies in the third quarter of this year, make clear the need to promote the training of people in digital skills.
The 42 Barcelona programming campus breaks the mold with free and innovative training for which no prior technical knowledge is necessary, just being over 18 years old. After passing two online tests and a 26-day in-person selection process on campus, 42 prepares students for the most in-demand digital profiles: cybersecurity, programming, AI, blockchain and big data, as well as skills such as resilience and adaptation to the environment. change, frustration tolerance, creativity, time management and, above all, teamwork, among others. With a revolutionary methodology and an average duration of three years, the campus is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so that each person learns at their own pace.
Before finishing the visit to the facilities, Ruiz highlights that the differentiating factor of 42 Barcelona is the people and the very complete learning experience that takes place on the campus. “Programming can be studied from home, but people want to come because of the magic that is generated with collaborative learning: a complete and unique experience of technical competencies and professional skills.”