Project Spotlight


2 Projects We Love From a Hackbright Academy Demo Night

By Jess Feldman
Last Updated July 14, 2021

On Demo Night, Hackbright Academy students present the capstone projects that they’ve been building for 12 weeks to their cohort, instructors, and potential employers. We caught up with Julie Pitman and Marissa Aguilera, two Hackbright Academy alumnae, to learn more about their Demo Night projects, what inspired them to build each app, and the programming languages they used to bring their idea to life. Plus, Julie & Marissa share their tips and what they wish they had known before enrolling at Hackbright Academy!

What is Demo Night at Hackbright Academy? 

Demo Night is a networking event for Hackbright Academy grads. Hackbrighters have the opportunity to share their capstone projects with employers. Employers are asked to:

  • Share your company culture — Companies will be assigned time slots during the demo night to present with students about open roles and company culture.
  • Prepare to answer questions — Software engineers will be asking you questions in personalized staff-facilitated groups of 5-7.
  • Make connections — Connect with engineers eager about the same problems you are eager to solve. Connect on LinkedIn and set up future appointments.

What are the benefits of Demo Night for Hackbright Academy students? 

The greatest benefit is that employers get to meet potential employees in an informal setting, where both the grad and the employer get to ask and answer questions about themselves in a neutral setting. 

Have you heard of students getting hired at a Demo Night? 

Yes, sometimes grads are hired by companies based on their networking at the event. 

1. Julie’s Storybook Creator

Storybook creator   julie pitman
Before Hackbright Academy: Julie was working in technical business operations.

What does Storybook Creator do? Allows users to draw and write their own storybooks.

Programming Languages Used: Python, Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy, JavaScript, CSS, Cloudinary API

How Hackbright Academy Helped Julie Land a Job:

“I never could have imagined the opportunities and possibilities that Hackbright was able to provide from my taking the course. Once you are a part of Hackbright, they support you in so many ways beyond just taking the course. I found my second job through a Hackbright career fair, and I absolutely LOVE the people I work with and the opportunities I have had since I completed the course.”  

Julie’s Career in Medicine vs Programming:

“I had a successful career in sleep medicine prior to starting with Hackbright Academy, but that success came with a ton of hours, rarely allowing for a work-life balance. Hackbright puts a heavy emphasis on self-care and ensuring that your balance in life is maintained while learning everything they teach. The opportunities for pay are so much greater than working in the medical field, and I am even able to still contribute to the medical field through one of my jobs as a programmer, so I haven’t lost that sense of helping people even though I changed to a completely different career. The pay in my first year outside of Hackbright is close to the pay that I had at the end of a 20 year career in medicine, and I know it will only get better from here! I am very happy with my decision to go to Hackbright and change careers!”

2. Marissa’s National Park Service Guide

National parks guide   marissa

Before Hackbright Academy: Marissa was a Tech Recruiter.

What does National Park Service Guide do? Helps users plan and navigate their trips to National Parks

Programming Languages Used: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Jinja, Bootstrap, Python, Flask, PostgreSQL, SQLAlchemy

Was Hackbright Academy Worth it for Marissa?

“Reflecting on my journey to software engineering I am happy I decided to pursue this career path. The main reason I decided to pursue software engineering was because of the challenge it gave me and how quickly I was learning. Hackbright helped me learn the skills and fundamentals for starting my career in tech. Hackbright was definitely worth it. I learned so many new technologies, built my first full-stack project, and grew in my career.”

What I Wish I Knew Before Enrolling in a Bootcamp: 

A piece of advice that I have is to not compare yourself to others. Everyone has their own path and comparing yourself will only hurt you. Focus on your goals and approach tasks one step at a time.”

Find out more and read Hackbright Academy reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Hackbright Academy.

About The Author

Jess is the Content Manager for Course Report as well as a writer and poet. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education, and loves learning and sharing content about tech bootcamps. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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