Piscine Perspectives: Mithras (29)

Codam Coding College
4 min readJul 21, 2020

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Firsthand stories of piscine candidates that dove in the water! #writeyourfuture

“Codam is an open, inclusive place that allows you to not only learn to program but also achieve personal growth!” — Mithras

Who are you and why are you here?

“Hi, I am Mithras, I studied psychology and I am from Haarlem. Mathematics and computers were a recurring part of my study program, which led me to develop a keen interest in these topics.

In order to achieve my dream of learning how to code I started looking at programming courses, bootcamps and computer science degrees but was unable to find the right path for me.

I realised that most computer science courses within university either focused too heavily on theory or assumed students already had programming proficiency. Furthermore, over the years I discovered that I learned much more from practical exercises rather than cramming for an exam.

I was looking for a place that would stimulate me to grow individually and would grant me the freedom to pursue my own learning goals in my own way. Naturally, 42 piqued my interest. To my surprise, 42 recently opened a new school in The Netherlands which settled in Amsterdam under the name Codam. I immediately applied.”

How do you like the Piscine so far?

“Until now, the Piscine has been nothing short of an incredible experience. You start the Piscine with an enormous group of strangers with various backgrounds, each of which is trying to discover if the curriculum and community fit their expectations.

The Piscine is also extremely demanding. You will find yourself in situations in which you have to be honest and admit to yourself that you can not overcome this month all on your own.

You’ll learn that teamwork is a necessity, and realise that everyone is open and ready to help you with whatever you are struggling with. It feels like a safe learning environment without the urge to compete with others and strive for the highest possible grades. You’re here to learn and experience new things at your own pace.”

What are you hoping to do with code?

“I know that I want to contribute to society using code. I am not sure how yet. I know there are numerous possibilities to do this and I am confident I will find a way to achieve this goal. The freedom and possibilities within the curriculum (if I get accepted) would definitely aid me in finding my path.”

What is your least favourite moment of the piscine so far?

“Until now there has not yet been a moment in particular that I disliked. That does not mean that the Piscine has been without ups and downs.

One of the things I have struggled with is learning how to immediately pick myself up each time I received a failing grade. I am used to associating a failing grade with disappointment rather than an opportunity to learn and improve. Putting failure into this new perspective will surely contribute to my personal and intellectual growth.

Even though the exercises and projects are exceptionally (and increasingly!) challenging, being surrounded by people who are willing to come back and learn from their mistakes after receiving a failing grade over and over again is truly inspiring.”

What is your favourite moment of the piscine so far?

“I really enjoyed the first group project. Not because of how we performed, but because it was another reason to meet and work together with new people. Because you are assigned to randomly selected team members chances are high that your team will consist of people you have yet to meet. Indeed, at first, my team members were all strangers to each other, but in only a single weekend we got to know each other really well and I can honestly say we already became friends.”

You may see the word “Piscine” throughout Codam’s website and social media, but what exactly is it? “Piscine” is French for “pool” and it is the only part of the admissions process at Codam. It is an intensive 28-day coding challenge in which only motivation, willpower, and hard work will keep you afloat.

Many students consider it to be one of the best and most challenging aspects of their Codam experience. You will try and fail, over and over again. However, the good news is that this trial-and-error period is a learning process in and of itself. During this period you develop problem-solving skills and creativity.

Inspired by an article written by 42 US, in this interview series we talk to people who dived into the Piscine. They share with us who they are and what brought them to Codam.

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Codam Coding College

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