SOURCE: Holberton

March 31, 2016 09:00 ET

Holberton School Opens Admissions for October Class Using Diversity Enhancing, Software-Driven Process

Automated Algorithms Produce a More Diverse Student Body at San Francisco School for Full-Stack Software Engineers: 40% of Students Are Women in Male-Dominated Industry

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 31, 2016) - Holberton School today opened up the admissions process for its next class of students -- slated to start in October -- using the school's automated, software-driven admissions process, which has led to a unique (for the technology industry) 40% ratio of female students. Holberton's processes also make the school one of the most selective schools in the nation, accepting fewer than 3% of applicants (twice as hard to enter as Harvard).

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 is designed to actually be the beginning of the curriculum so that applicants start learning -- and collaborating -- through it. The process, which does not require technical knowledge or programming experience, consists of four levels:

  • Level 0 - Fill out a short online form
  • 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

"By using automated processes, we've selected the most motivated and talented individuals, and those who best fit with our problem-oriented curriculum," said Julien Barbier, co-founder of Holberton School. "The funny thing is, we're also finding that the automated processes have dramatically increased the number of female and minority students."

Open to all
Holberton School is open to anyone -- ages of 16 to 128, whether a high school graduate or not, and whether an experienced programmer or not. The selection process is based only on talent and motivation. The Holberton School will enable students from every community and background to have the opportunity to become a software engineer.

The San Francisco-based Holberton School offers an alternative to college, online courses and coding bootcamps -- training high quality full-stack software engineers in two years by using a project-based and peer learning system already proven in Europe to scale to graduate thousands of elite engineers a year. One of the school's goals is to increase diversity in the industry. Betty Holberton, the school's namesake, was a programming pioneer and reminder that women have been at the core of software engineering since its inception. The school believes that regardless of the gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity or social status, everyone should be given the chance to become the next Betty Holberton.

About Holberton School
Holberton School is a project-based alternative to college for the next generation of software engineers.

Using project-based learning and peer learning, Holberton School's mission is to train the best software engineers of their generation. At Holberton School, there are no formal teachers and no formal courses. Instead, everything is project-centered. The school gives students increasingly difficult programming challenges to solve, and give them minimal initial directions on how to solve them. As a consequence, students naturally look for the theory and tools they need, understand them, use them, work together, and help each other.

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