Hive’s first Selection Piscines are over - what did we learn from our Swimmers?

Around a mere 10 months ago, the concept of Hive was first announced at the main stage of Slush 2018. Fast forward to now, over 10,000 people have subscribed to our application website with over 3,000 applicants having passed the online tests.

This summer, we opened our doors to 363 brave "Swimmers", who jumped into the deep end of the pool and embarked on a journey of intensive learning and discovery in our two Selection Piscines. In this blogpost, we will share some insights about our applicants, their backgrounds and learnings from our two Piscines.

The Selection Piscines in a nutshell

The four-week intensive Selection Piscine is the last step in the admissions process for aspiring students. The Swimmers, as we call our applicants, learned to code during the Piscine from day one through hands-on assignments, group work and working together to solve fun and challenging problems. Sometimes the Swimmers were asked to print a ‘z’ on the screen and sometimes to create a working sudoku solver with C.

The assignments are created to increase in complexity and challenge the Swimmers constantly. Outside of weekend group projects where our pedagogical staff, "Bocal", evaluates assignments, the staff doesn't help Swimmers with their assignments. The main tip they get from us is: "If you don't understand something, ask to your right. If they don't know, ask to your left."

Who were the Swimmers?

koodauskokemus Over half of our swimmers had 0 experience with coding prior to jumping into the pool, while others had some experience with coding already.


Most of our Swimmers had completed either their upper secondary school or Bachelor’s degree. We also had some people that had already completed their PHD.


Most of our Swimmers were born in Finland, but we also had Swimmers from other countries, like Russia, the United States, Vietnam, United Kingdom, Sweden, Korea, China, Ukraine, Portugal, Pakistan, Iraq, Greece and Spain to mention a few. Altogether 21% of the Swimmers were born outside of Finland.

ages Our oldest Swimmer was 55 years, while the youngest was 16. Most of the Swimmers were from 20 to 30 years old.

gender In the first Selection Piscines, women made up around ⅕ of the Swimmers.

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This is what Swimmers thought about the Selection Piscine. We asked them about the best part of their experience - the most common answer was unsurprisingly the people. Most of the Swimmers also mentioned coding, the peer-learning and the atmosphere as the best parts of the Piscine.

What did we learn from the first Selection Piscines?

To our surprise, only a handful of Swimmers quit the Piscine. Compared to other 42 schools, Hive had a very low quitting rate. In other schools almost ⅔ of the Swimmers quit - at our school, the number was only around 40 people per Piscine. The most common reason for quitting was that the peer-to-peer pedagogy didn't suit the applicant. Most of the Swimmers held until the end.

What’s next for the students?

Hive's doors will open next Monday to 142 new coding students - Hivers. The now students will continue to learn together as the curriculum gets into the deeper and more complex assignments.

I want to be a Hiver too - when is the next Selection Piscine

Hive’s next Selection Piscine will be organised in the beginning of February 2020. We will announce the specific dates for the upcoming check-ins and the Selection Piscine itself soon on our website and social media channels.

(Featured image credits to Kuudes/