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France

Nicolas Sadirac

Nicolas Sadirac is a French edutech entrepreneur, the cofounder of 42 (school) and 01 Edu System.

Profile

Birth Year: 1968
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Education

1986: Bachelor, UCLA
1989: Master in physics, Stanford
1992: Computer science, Epita
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Early days

Nicolas Sadirac studied physics at UCLA and Stanford where he graduated with a Master in 1989.

Back in Paris, he graduated from the computer school Epita in 1992. He launched two infosec startups and created the Network and Security department at Epita.

A member of the French hacking community during the 1990s, he cracked public websites and ATM machines on public television to demonstrate their lack of security. In 1995, he was hired to manage the computer system of Epita.

Career

In 1999, Nicolas Sadirac created a new school within Epita, Epitech, a revolution in the French education system. Epitech gradually got rid of teachers, obligatory class attendance, state-recognized diplomas, … Nicolas Sadirac focused his pedagogy on self-learning and peer-to-peer management to teach students to achieve projects. He created the “pool” (la piscine), a 1-month bootcamp-like event organized to test and recruit students.

Nicolas Sadirac launched the Web@cadémie in 2010 with François-Afif Benthanane. The Web@cademie provided a full-paid, 2-year web programming cursus to high school dropouts, with a similar teaching approach developed at Epitech. 100% of the students from the first graduation were hired at positions equivalent to 4-year computer graduates..

When the telecom tycoon Xavier Niel noticed the outstanding skills of a recent Web@cadémie graduate now working for his company Free, he became deeply convinced by the need to duplicate the Epitech/Web@cadémie model to a much wider scale. 42 (school) opened the next year, in 2013, with Nicolas Sadirac as its director. At 42, the pedagogy developed by Nicolas Sadirac since Epitech was fully unleashed : no teachers, the 1-month “pool” replaced the admission tests, and no state-recognized diploma at the end of it all. As soon as it launched, 42 became the most dynamic computer school in France. In 2016, 42 opened a campus in Fremont, California. In 5 years, 5,000 students followed a cursus at 42. Nicolas Sadirac
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Other facts

In 2019, Nicolas Sadirac published the book Apprendre 3.0 (Learn 3.0) in which he provides a detailed explanation of his approach to education, retracing his teaching experience since it all started at Epitech.

Nicolas Sadirac believes traditional education models are now obsolete because AI makes knowledge instantaneously and universally accessible. Schools need to teach students to leverage AI tools and peer-to-peer collaboration to train a new generation of self-organized students. Sadirac’s

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Books

Apprendre 3.0, First Editions, Sept 2019. ISBN 2412047995

Books