Dominic Goulet is the CEO of Québec Numérique, a non-profit organisation that aims to gather the city’s digital community. He is also supervising 42 Québec.
Hi Dominic! What’s great about being the CEO of Québec Numérique and in charge of 42 Québec?
“The most motivating thing for me is the opportunity to think about the future. For 42 Québec, my role was to put together all the winning conditions for the opening of the campus. Today, when I walk around the halls, I know how to remain discreet, go unnoticed and observe the behavior of the students. I identify a lot with them and their different backgrounds. This allows me to think of solutions to their problems for their future and to think of what the community here in Québec City needs to move forward. That’s really what I like best: to propose solutions for the future.”
Can you tell us more about your personal journey?
“When I was young, I used to play video games professionally, before it became a career. Trying to get better at it, I discovered programming, started decompiling executables to see what was going on behind. One thing led to another and I learned how to program, which allowed me to start working at a very young age and later on to create my first companies. In 2014, I joined the board of directors of Québec Numérique, which allowed me to participate in the creation of 42 Québec from the beginning. In 2018, following the departure of the CEO and without asking me, I was unanimously appointed Interim CEO, initially for three months. Today, we realize that the “three months” has grown a bit long!”
What can we do to improve the way education works?
“Education does a good job in general for about 50% of the population. The problem is for the other 50% and all the atypical paths. 42 is a very good step to meet these people and value their strengths that are not even considered in the traditional education system. Soft skills are in my opinion more important than hard skills: emotional intelligence, feeling, ability to adapt… We have to go and find people who don’t necessarily feel comfortable in traditional education and offer them training opportunities to allow them to express their full potential.”
What’s important for you in the 42 model?
“One of the fundamental reasons why I wanted to build 42 Québec was because of the accessibility of education. My background is that traditional education has not worked. One of the strengths of 42 is that it allows all the people for whom it doesn’t work to have access to a high level of education and a significant technical background. Accepting new students regardless of their background and knowledge is very important to me.”