Radical Programming School ’42’ Still Solving for the Skills Gap10

Back in October 2016, James Aylor was scraping by, delivering pizza in Kansas City, having dropped out of college, abandoning his dream of teaching viola. "The voice in my head said, 'You have no career. No future,' " he says.

Then a friend mentioned he had heard about a new, tuition-free coding school 1,800 miles away in Fremont, Calif. Named 42, it required no computer skills or even a high school diploma, and dorm rooms were free. "I said, 'Yeah, whatever, ha ha, free,' " recalls Aylor, now 30. Still, he decided he had "absolutely nothing to lose." He sold his car and bought a plane ticket west.

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