42 Berlin and Industry Partners Launch Tech Academy to Tackle Skilled Worker Shortage

Students, staff and partner supporters gathered to celebrate the grand opening of 42 Berlin, the next campus in the 42 network of programming schools that aim to both solve the shortage of skilled workers and diversify the tech talent pipeline across the globe.

42 Wolfsburg/Berlin
5 min readDec 1, 2022

42 Berlin hosted the launch on 1 Dec alongside partners from Volkswagen, CARIAD, Bayer, SAP, Microsoft, Capgemini, and Deutsche Telekom. The inauguration attracted new fellows, donations, and future Pisciners, the moniker used by 42 schools for incoming students.

Federal Minister for Digital and Transport Dr. Volker Wissing underlined the strategic role of scalable, innovative educational models in order to successfully implement digitization in Germany. “On the one hand, the training positions are highly sought after and, on the other hand, the prospects for graduates in the job market are excellent […] Germany is more than ready for the first 42 Berlin graduates.”

During the opening panel, partner supporters shared why the 42 Berlin launch comes at such an important time locally, nationally and internationally. The leitmotif of the executives highlighted the urgency to provide barrier-free education in order to create a diverse generation of software engineers equipped to solve the skilled worker shortage.

“42 Berlin, a high-tech campus in a renovated film factory in the heart of Neukölln, will offer a total of 600 students a comprehensive, tuition-free course in software development in a way that’s completely disrupting the traditional perception of a software engineering education. Peer to peer learning, no tuition, no traditional academic hierarchies — just an education that takes place at such a high level that companies scramble for the graduates. The first 150 students started on December 1st. We owe the Berlin location to the committed cooperation of our partners. On behalf of our students and myself, I would like to thank them for this,” Dr. Max Senges, CEO and Headmaster of 42 Berlin and 42 Wolfsburg, said.

Gunnar Kilian, Member of the Board of Management Human Resources and Truck & Bus at Volkswagen AG: “Only by acting together can we successfully master the digital transformation and the associated global shortage of skilled workers. 42 Berlin is a perfect example of this. As one of the most promising STEM education initiatives in the world, it also offers free study opportunities to career changers with no prior knowledge of coding. This openness is essential for strengthening software know-how in Germany. At the same time, with the support of 42 Wolfsburg and now 42 Berlin, Volkswagen is expanding its access to highly qualified young talent for our transformation into a software-centric and sustainable mobility provider.”

Rainer Zugehör, Chief People Officer at CARIAD: “The car of the future is a smart digital device on wheels. At CARIAD, we’re working on the automated and connected car for the Volkswagen Group. To this end, we’re constantly expanding our internal software know-how and are looking for people who bring enthusiasm, motivation and talent for tech topics. That’s why we support

42 Berlin, which gives young talent — regardless of their educational background — a great opportunity to acquire software skills. Diversity is important to us — which is why we’re very much in favor of 42 Berlin admitting just as many female as male students.”

Dr. Jeanne Kehren, CIO and Head of Digital & Commercial Innovation, Pharmaceuticals Division, Bayer: “Leveraging the power of Data and Digital technologies is essential to achieving our Bayer vision of Health for All, Hunger for None. But digital technologies are nothing without the people who bring them to life and to action. We are a proud partner of 42 Berlin because we want to empower talents to improve healthcare and make it more accessible to patients everywhere.”

Marianne Janik, CEO, Microsoft Germany: “We see it as our responsibility to improve employment opportunities for all — with equal opportunities, new educational approaches and skills in demand for the labor market. We are pleased to now move forward on this path together with our business partners and 42 Berlin.”

Sabine Bendiek, Chief People & Operating Officer, Labor Relations Director, and Member of the Executive Board, SAP: “It is estimated that 2 out of 3 children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. Technology will likely transform millions of jobs in the next decade. That’s why it is important for us to help people of every age develop technological skills, reduce the barriers of entry and provide equal opportunities.”

Birgit Bohle, Chief Human Resources Officer and Labor Director, Deutsche Telekom: “Regardless of prior education or social and cultural background, students can train to become software developers at the 42 Berlin. Digital education, which also promotes equal opportunities and inclusion, must be at the top of the agenda in our education system. We need approaches and plans that reflect the current demands of the digitalization. I am therefore very pleased that we at Deutsche Telekom, with our subsidiary T-Systems 42, are supporting Berlin both materially and with expertise.”

Henrik Ljungström, Managing Director of Capgemini in Germany: “Digital transformation and innovation are key capabilities that will set businesses up for success. To achieve this, organizations and the global economy needs a talented and diverse workforce that has acquired knowledge through various learning paths. We are therefore proud to support the inclusive approach of the 42 Berlin school for developers.”

Anyone interested in learning to code is encouraged to apply at apply.42berlin.de.

42 Berlin and 42 Wolfsburg are tuition-free programming schools that accept students from all backgrounds, with or without previous coding experience. The schools are part of the global 42 network of more than 40 programming schools in 22 countries with over 15,000 students in software development training themselves via peer learning. With the opening of 42 Berlin, 150 students will begin their programming studies in December. The new campus in Berlin-Neukölln offers space for up to 600 programmers.

Important focal points on the Berlin campus are “mobility” and “cities of the future”, “digitally enhanced healthcare” and “educational technologies”. The supporters of this concept, which is unique in the capital, include companies such as Volkswagen, CARIAD, Bayer, SAP, Microsoft, T-Systems, Capgemini and many other partners from business, science and politics.

Open Education & Open Innovation in the LearningSpaceShip at 42 Berlin (ENversion)

Trailer der 42 Wolfsburg / Berlin Doku, Premiere am 15.12.2022

42 Berlin YouTube Channel

42 Berlin: intercultural, interdisciplinary, interoperable (EN version)

Values and Code of Honor @ 42 Wolfsburg/Berlin

Manual for Happy Software Engineers @ 42 Wolfsburg/Berlin

B4T2 — our LearningSpaceShip‘s AI (aka “der Bordcomputer”)



42 Wolfsburg/Berlin

42 is an innovative, higher education software engineering school, sponsored by Volkswagen