Hackbright Academy has been transforming driven, motivated beginners into Python developers since 2012. So what does it take to get into the selective engineering fellowship for women? We got the scoop straight from the Hackbright Admissions team- read on to learn everything you need to know about the Hackbright coding challenge, interview questions, and application process!

Hackbright Academy Application

How long does the Hackbright Academy application process typically take? What steps should applicants expect?

The great news is Hackbright’s Admissions process only takes 4-6 weeks. Students should expect to receive a decision to their application in no time.  

We have worked hard to simplify the application process and now it only consists of just a few short steps:

  • You submit a one page application for the selected term along with a coding challenge.
  • Within two weeks of Hackbright receiving your completed application, you will receive an update to your application.
  • If selected to move forward, you will be invited to interview. (There are two rounds of interviews: Round 1 interview is with an alumna and Round 2 interview is with a member of the Hackbright Team).
  • Best of all, within two to five days of your last interview, applicants will receive their final admission decision.

What goes into the written application?

There are two quick parts to the application and before you know it you will be done and ready for review!

Our goal is to learn more about you, so take the time and share with us an honest and clear picture of who you are - we cannot wait to get to know more about you!

PART I - The Application: We just need you to share with us a little information about the following topics: basic biographical information, educational background, recent employment information and “share with us a particular area of expertise in detail.”

PART II - The Coding Challenge!

Does Hackbright Academy require a video submission?

We do not require a video with the application at this time. Something to keep in mind is that all of our interviews are conducted by video chat.

Is there a coding challenge? If so what does it involve? How long should it take?

Yes! The coding challenge is a technical problem for which you need to provide us a solution. The key to the coding challenge is not necessarily whether it’s right or wrong; it’s the logic behind attempting the challenge that we are most interested in. Be aware that we rotate coding challenges, so if you begin the application process, but do not submit, the coding challenge for the next quarter may be different. The challenge can take somewhere between 1-20 hours depending on the technical skillset of the applicant. Programming is fun and we want you to feel challenged (no pun intended) and have fun with this part of the application. Test and debug away!

Can applicants complete the challenge in any programming language or does it have to be in Python?

Applicants can complete the coding challenge in any language and we encourage students to complete the challenge in whatever language they are learning (or have learned). Even though Python is a big part of the Hackbright experience, choosing not to code in Python for the challenge is not a factor in determining one’s acceptance or denial. Again, don’t sweat it and have fun!

The Hackbright Academy Interview

How are the interviews conducted and with whom?

All interviews are conducted online. We use different online platforms; whichever is easiest for you. As mentioned above, we request that the interviews be conducted with video. This is an opportunity for us to meet you face to face…and we can't wait to meet you!

What sort of questions are in the interview? Can you give us a sample question?

Both interviews are designed to be like a conversation with a friend. We keep it casual at Hackbright. The interviews are an opportunity for us to get to know you as well as for you to learn more about Hackbright. It is a two-way conversation.

Here's a sample question: Tell us about yourself and why you decided to apply to a full-time coding bootcamp? In the interviews, we do discuss your submitted coding challenge. Candidates may want to have a copy handy when invited for an interview. Our goal is to understand your logic behind the coding challenge.

Will interviewees need to walk through a technical problem during the interview? If so what does this involve?

Yes but do not worry! In the interviews we discuss the coding challenge that you submitted. Something to remember is when invited to interview, to have a copy of your coding challenge ready as it will be reviewed and discussed. Again, we want to better understand the logic behind the solution you provided to us.

How can applicants prepare for the interview? What are a few resources that you suggest applicants use to really ace the technical interview?

The best way for you to prepare for the interview is to just relax and get a good night's sleep beforehand! Again, the interviews are meant to be a conversation and we want to get to know you as much as we want you to get to know us. Hackbright is a very much a community and we want you to be good fit for Hackbright as much as Hackbright needs to be a good fit for you. We highly recommend our applicants attend one of our Hackbright Academy Info Sessions in person or remotely to get a strong sense of the program and more Admissions tips.

There are no specific resources that we share with students on how to prepare since it is not just a technical interview. That said, we do discuss the coding challenge with students; however, that is only one question of many in the interview.

What are your favorite free beginner resources to learning Python?

These are some of the resources that we recommend to our students:

Codecademy track for Python

Think Like a Computer Scientist. There’s a lot there. If you can identify where you’re having trouble, then go to that topic and do the exercises, otherwise I would recommend the following sections:

Getting Accepted 

What types of backgrounds have successful Hackbright Academy students had? Does everyone come from a technical background?

We have women coming from diverse backgrounds and a majority of them are coming from outside the tech industry altogether. Women who tried coding, enjoy it and are ready to work hard in order to pursue software engineering as a career. You can read about some of the career transitions of Hackbright alumnae here - it’s an inspiring group!

How do you evaluate an applicant’s future potential? What qualities are you looking for?

When interviewing applicants we look for a number of qualities. That said, due to the amount of pair programming that is conducted in the Fellowship we look for students who are strong communicators, collaborative in nature and prefer to work in a team environment. Other qualities we look for in applicants are: resourcefulness, risk taking as well as those showing an introductory knowledge to some of the programming languages and/or relatable computer science topics.

What is the current acceptance rate at Hackbright Academy?

We are selective in the admission process. However, we encourage applicants not to focus on the acceptance rate, more importantly to focus on providing an in-depth and candid application highlighting yourself and your interest in coming to Hackbright.

Are students accepted on a rolling basis?

Yes. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, which is why we strongly encourage you to submit your application sooner rather than later. If prospective students apply late, there is a possibility that you can be waitlisted or your application may be deferred to the next term. Past cohorts have filled before the deadline date. Please note that candidates can only apply to one cohort at a time.

Does Hackbright Academy accept international students? Do international students get student visas/tourist visas to do the program?

We do! We accept a small number of international students into the program each term. We do not provide any visa support. Any international applicant who is admitted into the program is responsible for securing their visas to enter the US.

Can rejected applicants reapply? If so how many times?

Yes! We encourage applicants who were denied from previous terms to re-apply. Term over term, we have applicants who have been denied, then reapply after getting more coding experience and are then admitted into the program. There are no limitations to reapplying.

To learn more, read Hackbright Academy reviews on Course Report, or check out their website here!

About The Author

Liz pic

Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students researching coding bootcamps. Her research has been cited in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and more. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube!

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