Grace Hopper Program
The Grace Hopper Program is a 17-week, immersive software engineering program for women with no upfront tuition cost in New York City (13-weeks of the course will be on campus). Named for pioneer computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper, the program is driven by three values: education, opportunity, and mentorship. By employing a deferred tuition model, students only pay tuition once they secure a job after graduation. Grace Hopper aims to lower the barrier to entry and accept qualified candidates who cannot afford the upfront cost of a coding bootcamp. Once graduates land a job, they pay $19,610 tuition in installments over 9 months.
Applicants must be women (the team defines "women" as anyone female identifying -- including transgender, genderqueer, and non-binary) who are passionate about coding and have the drive to succeed in an immersive environment. The immersive course is not designed for pure beginners, but if an applicant's technical skills are not advanced enough to pass the coding assessment, then the Grace Hopper team can provide learning resources to prepare you for the interview.
Recent Grace Hopper Program Reviews: Rating 4.9
Recent Grace Hopper Program News
- New Year, New Career? Learning to Code in 2019!
- November 2018 Coding Bootcamp News Podcast
- November 2018 Coding Bootcamp News Podcast
- Start Date
- July 29, 2019
- Class size
- New York City, Chicago
- Refund / Guarantee
- If you complete 90% of the program (12 of 14 class meetings) you will be refunded everything you paid.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
More Start DatesJuly 29, 2019 - New York CityApply by July 26, 2019August 21, 2019 - New York CityApply by August 19, 2019September 16, 2019 - New York CityApply by September 9, 2019July 29, 2019 - ChicagoApply by July 26, 2019August 21, 2019 - ChicagoApply by August 19, 2019September 16, 2019 - ChicagoApply by September 9, 2019
- Start Date
- July 20, 2019
- Class size
- New York City
- Refund / Guarantee
- If you complete 90% of the program (7 of 8 class meetings) you will be refunded everything you paid.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
More Start DatesJuly 20, 2019 - New York CityApply by July 15, 2019August 17, 2019 - New York CityApply by August 12, 2019September 7, 2019 - New York CityApply by September 2, 2019
The Grace Hopper Program is an immersive coding bootcamp in New York City exclusively for women (including trans women and non-gender-conforming individuals). And to reduce financial barriers for women of all backgrounds, we offer deferred tuition, which means women train now and pay tuition only once they've found full-time employment in software engineering.
- Start Date
- July 29, 2019
- Class size
- New York City
- Tuition Plans
- Grads pay $19,910 in installments over 9 months - deposit is counted toward this amount. Payments begin at the end of a graduate's first month of employment. If no work is found within 12 months of graduating, no tuition is owed.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Advanced-beginner/Intermediate programming skills
- Prep Work
- Four week-long remote Foundations class precedes 13 weeks on-campus
- Placement Test
More Start DatesJuly 29, 2019 - New York CityApply by June 9, 2019September 16, 2019 - New York CityApply by July 28, 2019November 4, 2019 - New York CityApply by September 15, 2019
The Grace Hopper Track is a deferred-tuition option for women within the co-ed Software Engineering Immersive program taught at Fullstack Academy’s Chicago campus. Women at the Fullstack Chicago campus have access to exclusive mentorship and community-building opportunities, and pay tuition only once they've found full-time employment in software engineering. The remaining elements of the Fullstack education—curriculum, instructors, career services—are shared across the entire student body, and are not specific to the Grace Hopper Track at Fullstack Chicago.
- Start Date
- July 29, 2019
- Class size
- Tuition Plans
- Grads pay $17,910 in installments over 9 months - deposit is counted toward this amount. Payments begin at the end of a graduate's first month of employment. If no work is found within 12 months of graduating, no tuition is owed.
- Tuition in Chicago includes a built-in $2,000 scholarship to reduce costs from $19,910 to $17,910.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Advanced-beginner/Intermediate programming skills
- Prep Work
- Four week-long remote Foundations class precedes 13 weeks on-campus
- Placement Test
More Start DatesJuly 29, 2019 - ChicagoApply by June 9, 2019September 16, 2019 - ChicagoApply by July 28, 2019November 4, 2019 - ChicagoApply by September 15, 2019
Grace Hopper Program Reviews
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I can't say enough positive things about my time at the Grace Hopper program. My cohort's team of teachers did a great job of teaching us a lot of new technologies very quickly while making us feel supported and confident in our skills the entire time. We were encouraged to ask questions, and the team was very availible to hold office hours and provide extra help on the curriculum when needed. In addition, the cohort was under the supervision of a program lead, who checked in frequently to address our concerns or frustrations, and fellows, recent graduates who stay on to help the next cohort. The team at Fullstack/Grace Hopper is absolutely dedicated to providing a holistic education. They understand that bootcamp is rigourous, and the support they provide goes much deeper than technical.
The second half of the program focuses on using the skills and technologies learned in the first half to actually build applications. Along with improving our technical skills, this process is essential for teaching teamwork and working collaboratively, which are essential skills for a software engineer. I loved working alongside the amazing women in my cohort, and learned so much about communication, delegation, and writing understandable and consistent code during these projects. We also followed the kind of agile workflow we could expect in the 'real world', and were encouraged to adopt new technologies during project work.
Finally, the career success team was so helpful during the second half of the program and beyond. In addition to providing resume reviews and interview prep, they hosted a series of panels and extra events to help ensure we left the program prepared for interviews and networking. After the program, the team provided help and support throughout the job search and negotiation process. I was lucky enough to be hired by one of the companies they paired me with during our cohort's interview day!
I am so proud to be a Grace Hopper graduate and I highly recommend this program to anyone looking to start a career in Software Engineering.
The Grace Hopper program has been absolutely one of the most unique learning environments I've been in. It is fast-paced, and they expect you to work hard. The first six weeks were FULL of lectures and it was a bit of information overload. But the remainder of the course was much more project-based, and expands thoroughly upon the topics covered in the lectures. The staff and instructors are very willing and available to answer questions, but it is entirely up to you to ask the questions and get the help you need. They do not coddle people, but they will always set aside time if you ask.
My cohort was ~30 women who were overall very solid teammates and great people to work with, some of which I would consider wonderful friends. The projects are team-focused, and communication skills are essential.
The challenge for me is staying motivated and focused, as it can feel overwhelming at times. However, if i had been self-studying for the same amount of time as the program, I would have NEVER accomplished even close to what I was able to produce within this school. I was pushed beyond what I thought I was capable of, and I am forever changed and thankful for it.
So glad to recommend this program to any women or non-binary people looking to break into web development and programming.
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
David Yang, one of Fullstack/Grace Hopper's co-founders, brought up this quote during his parting words to my cohort as we graduated. It resonated so strongly with me and sums up how I feel about attending Grace Hopper. Despite having majored in computer science as an undergraduate, I never felt confident enough in my skills as a programmer to pursue an engineering career. In addition to the practical skills necessary to land a software engineering job in 2019, Grace Hopper provided a supportive, nurturing environment unlike any I'd experienced before. It was such an incredibly inspiring and fulfilling experience and I can't recommend it highly enough!
I had a great experience at Grace Hopper at Fullstack Academy and I learned a lot. It is expensive but is a good investment in your education. Overall I would recommend it, but it’s not perfect.
Grace Hopper vs. Fullstack Academy of Code
The Grace Hopper Program in NYC is an all women’s program within Fullstack Academy of Code. The curriculum is identical, the instructors and most of the staff are shared (the instructors only teach one cohort at a time, but rotate through both programs). The main difference is the all women environment and the deferred tuition. Another difference is that in the summer, the main Fullstack Academy of Code includes college students who will be returning to school in the fall, which is not the case of the Grace Hopper program. Students from both programs are invited to optional lectures during lunch and other joint activities.
One great thing about Fullstack/Grace Hopper is they are constantly improving/changing their curriculum as technologies change. While I was there we learned Node.js and express on the backend and React with Redux on the front end. We used a sql database (PostgreSQL) for our database. They really take seriously feedback on what works and what doesn’t and are constantly improving/changing the curriculum. I think React with Redux is a good choice for the front end.
Computer science concepts (data structures, algorithms etc.) were incorporated throughout the curriculum, which I really liked.
Junior Phase: The first 6 weeks of the program is junior phase. This consists of lectures followed by “labs” which are short solo practice assignments and “workshops” which are longer structured assignments completed in assigned pairs. Pair programming is an essential part of the curriculum, and while not every pair will be a positive experience, overall I think it really does help one learn. In junior phase we also had readings/videos to review at home and weekly homework assignments. There were also two tests and a project to help evaluate student progress.
In my cohort there were 5 fellows (teaching assistants who have recently graduated from the program). The fellows answer questions during workshops, help with grading, have office hours, and hold group lunches once a week. The fellows did great work and were a big part of the program being so good. The teachers were also quite good - they varied from pretty good to extremely excellent. Usually you have two teachers for junior phase, but because one of ours had a vacation scheduled we had some “subs” (other instructors in the program) who ended up being excellent.
The students varied in background and I thought the program did a pretty good job accommodating this. There was optional lectures and optional extra work if you wanted to dig deeper into the curriculum, and there were extra study sessions (by invitation) on Saturdays for students who could benefit from more practice. However, if you wanted to slack you could, you need to be self-motivated to get the most out of the program. For the most part the other students in my cohort worked hard and it was a good culture of learning.
Review week: The schedule varies slightly cohort to cohort, but while I was there we had our final exam the first day of “review week” and has the remaining 4 days off. I would have liked if they had been more clear about the schedule upfront. The stated purpose of review week is to review any materials you are weak on, but it is essentially a vacation as you aren’t required to be on campus (although I would recommend doing some review work during this period). During review week the instructors determine which students are ready to move on to “Senior Phase”. If you aren’t ready, you are invited to redo Junior phase (you are charged extra tuition which is also deferred), they call this “replaying”. In my cohort 1 student dropped out in the middle of Junior phase, 1 dropped out between junior and senior phase, and three “replayed”.
Senior Phase: Senior phase is project based. Working on projects is a great way to learn. The instructors did include a few lectures which were good, and I would have liked a few more. The first project is an e-commerce site group project, the second is a solo 4 day “hackathon” project and the last is a 2.5 week capstone project completed in groups. Except for the first project the topic and technology is up to you/your group. I found that in this section of the course you had to be especially self motivated - the resources were there, but if you wanted help from an instructor you had to make sure to request it. I thought the code reviews by the instructors were helpful. Each day in senior phase we also had “REACTOs” which are white boarding practice in pairs. They were great practice although they were different/more difficult than anything I was asked in an interview.
The program does a good job packing in a lot of material in a short time, but I felt that the last week and a half was a bit light in content. They focus on making videos for demo day, which are more of an ad for the school then anything useful for one’s portfolio, and on getting ready for launch day.
The program is expensive.
In terms of an investment, in my opinion it is worth it, you will likely make back the cost of the program in a year (or less) at your first job (not counting the cost of taking time off for the program and the job search).
As compared to other education options I would say the cost is slightly higher but the quality is better. Grace Hopper is a bit more expensive than other bootcamps, but is not the most expensive bootcamp. It costs about the same as a semester at a private college, but prepares you for the workforce better in my opinion. So the price is probably inflated just as most education is these days, in my opinion.
An aside: free bootcamp options
In an effort to increase diversity in software engineering there are some free bootcamp options for people who qualify. Here’s three I have heard of, and I’m sure there’s more.
If you are a New York City resident check out whether you are eligible for the NYC Web Development Fellowship (and whether the city is still funding this program). This is a tuition free program at one of 3 partner schools one of which is Fullstack Academy of Code. While I was at Grace Hopper there was a cohort of Web Development Fellows. They had the same curriculum as Grace Hopper/Fullstack, although there are some (mostly small) differences in the program because it is funded by the city. There aren’t new cohorts as frequently as in Grace Hopper/Fullstack. But basically it is a Fullstack Academy of Code education without the cost.
- If you are looking for an all women’s experience and would be interested in living in Seattle and pursuing a longer program check out Ada Developers Academy which is tuition free.
The Job Search
I found that the program had prepared me pretty well for technical interviews, although I did continue to study. I was mostly applying to small and medium sized companies.
Career counselors: Our cohort had a dedicated career counselor. I found her advice (during and after the program) to be helpful, although at times a little generic. I really appreciated that I had someone in my court who I could message on Slack or arrange a call with if i needed advice on what to say to a potential employer in a particular situation, whether an offer was good, how to negotiate, etc. She was very responsive and I really felt that she was in my corner. It made me feel much more comfortable during the negotiation and decision making process. We also each had a remote career counselor who helped us polish our resumes and our “pitches”. Mine was a bit helpful, but I didn’t rely on him very much.
Job search curriculum: The career search portion of the curriculum was ok. The advice on resumes was really helpful - the format they suggested worked for me! The advice for LinkedIn profiles and Github profiles was also helpful. The advice they gave in person was better than the out of date advice in the ‘workshop’ which they admitted needed an update. They put a big emphasis on writing technical blog posts. I think this is the kind of thing that might help you if you do it but isn’t going to hurt you if you don’t (I didn’t).
Launch Day: Launch day (formerly called hiring day) is a career-fair style day to introduce ourselves to companies in New York City. It is combined with the Fullstack cohort. Each student has ten minute interviews with at least 3 companies. The companies are assigned to you. At the end there is a networking session where you can talk to any company you would like to. Because I was primarily looking for jobs in Boston I treated this as a chance to beta test my resume and pitch which was helpful. My classmates who were looking for jobs at Launch Day were somewhat disappointed by the quality and selection of the companies. Our launch day was Labor Day Weekend so that may have made it harder to get top notch companies there. I believe that some people did get jobs from launch day, but not the majority.
Overall Grace Hopper/Fullstack’s network with employers in not strong. Unless you get a job offer from launch day, they are not going to find you a job, or find you jobs to apply to. That is up to you. But they are helpful with advice on how to perform the search, prepare for interviews and negotiate an offer.
They don’t provide a directory of alumni, but they do invite you to a slack channel for alumni once you graduate, which is pretty active. Among other things, alumni post job openings, many of these require a few years of experience, but some are looking for junior developers. I found this to be very helpful. I also met up with a few alums in the Boston area in person.
Before I chose and attended a bootcamp I had a really clear idea of the gaps in my knowledge that I wished to fill and I found a bootcamp that targeted what I wanted to learn. This helped me get the most out of my experience. As you look for your entry into software engineering I would start by considering what you know and what skills and projects you already have under your belt, and choose a course of study (whether a bootcamp, studying on your own, pursuing a CS degree, working on projects, or something else) that compliments what you know and fills in the gaps. Employers care about what you know and what projects you have made, they don’t care whether you are self taught or went to a bootcamp.
Feel free to find me on LinkedIn if you have any specific questions about Fullstack Academy or Grace Hopper.
My summer at the Grace Hopper program was without a doubt the most intense and most fruitful learning experience of my life. It wasn't easy, but it was absolutely worthwhile.
I had previous coding experience, in Python with a focus on data analysis and machine learning, and I decided to complete a bootcamp to gain software engineering skills that I could combine with my data science skills in order to be able to a) actually make cool stuff that people can use, and b) have the skills to be considered for a wider variety of jobs. This prior experience definitely helped, but many of my most talented cohort-mates hadn't had any coding experience before preparing to apply for the bootcamp. I would recommend Grace Hopper for people with any level of prior experience.
I'll lay out some of the highlights that defined my experience at Grace Hopper in terms of pros and cons.
Program content: The Fullstack/Grace Hopper team do an amazing job strategically creating, honing, and constantly improving their curriculum. Talking to graduates from previous cohorts, it's easy to tell that every cohort gets an updated, carefully edited iteration of the curriculum. This applies to everything from small details such as what order workshops are presented in, all the way up to major changes like teaching completely different frameworks (e.g. switching from Angular to React), if they assess that a newer technology will be more in demand on the job market.
Program structure: The program is split up into three phases (one remote preparation section, then six weeks of Junior phase, then six weeks of Senior phase). This was really helpful in terms of making things more digestible. The one week break between Junior and Senior phase is something that I think all bootcamps should implement! In Junior phase your time will be spent on a mix of lectures, labs, and workshops. In Senior phase it's a mix of team projects, individual projects, interview prep, and career success prep. I really appreciated this structure. You consume and process a TON of information in Junior phase, and practice using it through small projects. Then in Senior phase you put it all together through bigger, longer-term projects. I really appreciated this structure and found it very conducive to learning and mastering skills.
All-female environment: Learning software engineering with a group of thirty women was a wonderful experience. My favorite part about it was actually that day-to-day I never really thought about the fact that we were all women. I was just able to completely focus on learning, rather than spending mental or emotional energy on dealing with interactions tinged by gender bias. Coming from tech education experiences where I was one of very few women in the room, there was an incredible difference in how much better and more unhindered my learning experience was.
Location: The bootcamp is located in the financial district, which is much less crowded and tourist-ridden than midtown. If you live in Brooklyn, I highly recommend commuting via ferry. The building is five minutes from the Wall St/Pier 11 ferry terminal. I barely had to go to midtown or take the subway all summer!
Deferred tuition: An obvious draw!
Cons (Really just one thing to be aware of going in - not necessarily a true con.)
This applies to any bootcamp, but make sure you're willing to fully commit 100% mentally, emotionally, physically, and logistically. Most of your waking hours will be spent coding or thinking about code, and you will dream in code at night. This is only a con if you're not prepared for it/willing to embrace it! The total immersion of a bootcamp is a PRO in terms of learning, even if it's challenging and requires a lot of stamina! Also, if you've worked for a startup before and that's a helpful point of comparison, I found that working for a startup was similar to bootcamp in terms of the time required. However, startup life was actually a lot more stressful than bootcamp life because with a bootcamp you have an end date, and the experience has been carefully engineered and honed over multiple iterations to make sure you have the best possible experience. With a startup you have neither of those things!
Get in the right mindset, do the preparation necessary to get in and do well, and take the plunge!
I first took the bootcamp prep course while working to see if I loved this new field enough to quit my old job. I enjoyed BCP so I continued to study and told myself once I was accepted into Fullstacks emmersive program I would quit. It was a big change but one of the smarted decisions I have made. I chose to attend Grace Hopper but debated back and forth some -- between GH and Fullstack.
The students in my cohort had a wide range of backgrounds - from CS degrees to just learning enough to get into the program. Regardless we were all in it together which makes the atmosphere supportive. In addition, the instructors are extremely skilled and helpful, usually there are two at a time teaching a cohort which is great because you get exposed to a variety of teaching skills. The ciriculum is dense.. I worked every day and weekend to keep up (as you can imagine I had no social life during the program). It is not a long program and it really has to be as dense as it is for you to go in knowing very little then graduating expecting to get a job. I busted my ass but it was very rewarding. After the program, because I loved the atmosphere so much and wasnt confident about looking for a job I became a fellow. This was great because you gain confidence as you help the new students, also you essentally get to go through the program again.
I would definitely reccommend Fullstack/Grace Hopper to anyone who is interested in learning to code likely looking to get a job as a developer. It is challenging but if you enjoy coding/learning it is very rewarding. If you arent sure then I would suggest the bootcamp prep course to get a taste of what will be taught in the full time program.
I did the Grace Hopper program, which is the same curriculum as Fullstack Academy but has deferred tuition and is for women only. The curriculum is STRONG!!!! Before you get to campus and during your very first week, you will coding and learning very advanced computer science topics. They truly ensure that every student knows their stuff and is prepared for the job search ahead including whiteboarding interviews. I never had a doubt throughout the program that I would have any trouble finding a job because of what and how they were teaching.
I realize that talking about the material in light of how advanced it is could scare some people away, but I just want to say that I found the program extremely friendly and not scary at all. They just want to make sure everyone is ready and on the same page, and they provide a lot of resources to get you there. If you ever feel like you are falling behind, they will not kick you out like some bootcamps will. Instead, they will get you the help that you need, and even allow you to repeat the first half of the program (junior phase) if you are struggling. Everything they do is to make sure you succeed.
I also found they focus a good amount on soft skills, which was amazing to see. They make sure students learn to communicate about issues that arise during pair programming before these issues ever arise, they talk about unconscious bias, they have retrospectives to reflect on different parts of the program, make sure students are taking care of themselves emotionally, etc. I found that students are able to give feedback about the program and the feedback is taken seriously and changes are implemented almost immediately as a result of student feedback.
The career success program is very strong as well. They don't just teach you how to code and build projects on this program. A big portion of the second half of the program was focused on getting students hireable. We had regular mandatory meetings with the career success team, practiced interviews (behavioral, technical, and whiteboarding), received feedback on resumes and linkedIn profiles, and so many presentations on job hunting. The career success team really sticks with you throughout the process and after you graduate to make sure you get hired.
I immensely enjoyed my time at Grace Hopper Academy. Make no mistake, the cirriculum moves quickly and it's a huge time commitment to keep up with the material. Self-study beforehand helped me a lot and the intstructors were always around to clarify and provide additional support. Over the course of the program, my skills as a programmer improved dramatically and I got comfortable at being able to dive into new technologies (after all it's all the same kind of problem solving). I had a few projects that I wanted to code before the program and it was immensely satisfying to be able to bring them to life based on what I learned at Grace Hopper.
Honestly, I found the job search incredibly frustrating and incredibly stressful. However, I think that's part of the nature of landing a developer job in tech and not Fullstack Academy's fault. Networking was crucial for me and it was a network that Grace Hopper helped me form. I was lucky enough to land a role about two months after graduation but if you need remote work or visa sponsorship your job search is likely to be more difficult. My review is for my own experience. It's definitely helpful to have your cohort going through the job search at the same time for support and/or commiseration. Grace Hopper's program gave me skills, confidence, and helped open a lot of doors. If this is what you're looking for, I would highly recomment it!
The best way I can summarize my time at Grace Hopper is that, apart from being a parent, it was the most intense, most rewarding experience I have ever had. I have a B.S. and an M.S. and found the curriculum very challenging, at times overwhelming, but never beyond my ability to rise to the challenge. The curriculum is very well designed and clearly very carefullly and intentionally constructed, and individuals at every level of the organization frequently request and act on feedback. The staff and instructors are warm and supportive while demanding excellence, and the overall culture is one of championing your fellow classmates.
I loved my experience at GH and would have highly recommended it to anyone before I knew my outcome. I am even more thrilled to recommend it after landing a 6 figure salary within one week of graduating!
The instructors, staff and students at Grace Hopper create a wonderfully supportive, encouraging, positive environment, which is crucial because there's no doubt it's an intense experience. Learning so much information in such a short amount of time can be mentally exhausting, but Fullstack/Grace Hopper has an established system that works, and the terrific atmosphere makes it much easier to get through those days when you're tired and feeling a bit overwhelmed. If you're struggling with a concept, there are many opportunities for one-on-one office hours with fellows (recent GH grads who serve as teaching assistants) and instructors, and everyone is patient and accessible - and committed to ensuring you're comfortable asking questions and seeking out help.
The job search services are strong as well, though it's good to know going in what they are and what they aren't. The program will supply you with the tools and support to be effective, but you will mostly be conducting the job search yourself as far as finding openings for which to apply. Fullstack/Grace Hopper hosts a "Hiring Day" where students interview with potential employers, but typically only a small percentage of each cohort gets a job through that. The Career Success staff will also occasionally send out listings they've received; most likely, though, the job you get will come through your own networking or perusing of online listings. But you'll be well-positioned to do that because of the general instruction and individualized advice they provide on everything from how to structure a tech resume to how to negotiate for a higher salary.
I attended the Grace Hopper (GH) Program as a student, then became a teaching fellow for Remote Cohort #1, and still teach an occasional preparatory class when demand is high. Needless to say, GH has got me hooked!
If you want to learn to code, GH knows how to get the job done and are constantly iterating on it to up the success of future cohorts. In a field where the "next big thing" changes pretty much every week, keeping up with the technology is hard to do as an individual, let alone an entire school! GH is committed to making sure its students learn the most widespread and promising technologies: as a student, I watched instructors learning React just in time to teach it to incoming students when we switched from Angular, and then I did the same as a teaching fellow 6 weeks later.
The instructors are all top-notch, and they each have their own quirky teaching styles, which makes coming to class all day, every day fun and exciting. There's always coffee and cereal to fight off the afternoon coding lull or feed the I-just-rolled-out-of-bedders.
The career success team is out of this world and go above and beyond their job descriptions to help grads get exceptional jobs all over the country. They have placed GH grads at companies as bootcamp grad #1 (myself included!) and built up some pretty sweet networks along the way. Seriously, they're committed to getting you a job after graduation and have often given me advice and action plans way outside of work hours. I just finished my first month at my new job and I think GH did an EXTREMELY good job of preparing me for the professional software engineering world. I feel more comfortable with the daily engineering practices, startup life, and quick turnover of technologies than many of my peers -- who have traditional CS backgrounds.
The *immersive* part of the curriculum is no joke, but I never could have learned so much, built such strong lifelong friendships, or appreciated the sunshine so wholeheartedly in any other program! GH is certainly one of a kind, and I chose to attend because of stellar reviews like these!
Every woman coder should have the opportunity to go through a program as intense, supportive, and transformative as this one. It has all the benefits of going through a great bootcamp on top of giving you the chance to learn a crazy amount of new information in an environment where you don't *also* have to battle the sexism that will inevitably greet you in the working world. The teachers are wonderful: intelligent, kind, understanding, as well as great at their jobs. The curriculum is great: NERDS stack, interview prep, a recorded tech talk, and three portfolio projects. The culture is amazing: group retrospectives, game nights, beer on Fridays to celebrate a job well-done. The career support is amazing -- and often more active about getting your career going than you are! I'm so happy I chose to come to the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy, it's changed my life for the better.
The Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy changed my life. One month after I finished bootcamp, I found my dream job as a Full Stack Software Engineer. Corey and Geoff were the best instructors I could've asked for -- they made the rigorous curriculum fun and interesting, and were always happy to answer questions. Natalie in Career Services was incredibly helpful during the stressful time of finding a job post-bootcamp, and I am grateful these folks were there to hold my hand.
I was surprised at how quickly I was able to contribute once on the job, thanks to Grace Hopper/Fullstack! I added to the massive codebase of my company within the first two days of working there, and I am confident that I will be able to solve whatever problem is thrown at me. It is a testament to the strength of the curriculum that we are at the three-month mark since we graduated and most of my cohort has received at least one offer.
Not only did I become a competent software engineer after this program, I also have a strong network of fellow female engineers. I am so glad I chose Grace Hopper!
I can't begin to express the mountain of gratitude I have for the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy. I was supported, coached and mentored by not only some of the best instructors I've ever had in my life, but my classmates as well. I was lucky to be part of a cohort full of women who ceaselessly cheered each other on and kept each other accountable. When one of us struggled, the rest of us were hell-bent on keeping that person afloat and along for the ride. I've met some of the most brilliant, kind and wonderful women that I've ever known in the Grace Hopper program. I am SO lucky to have the network I've forged and the friendships I've made from this program.
The instructors were top-notch, and their boundless enthusiasm for the material was always so infectious. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that these are the best teachers I've EVER had. They deserve a world of thanks and appreciation for everything that they do.
The Program Lead: being able to mentally and emotionally support us through one of the most trying experiences in our lives is no small feat. She kept us grounded, and reminded us constantly that our mental/emotional well-being was just as important to our success as studying hard. She's to thank for keeping us all sane.
Last, but not least, the Career Services team. I came into the Grace Hopper program with a nervous assumption that my soft skills were nowhere near as valuable as what I could learn in this Immersive. They not only assured me that my soft skills and employment history would be an asset, but they taught me how to best sell myself to employers in light of this experience. They were quick to respond to every question/concern I had, and persistent in their fight to make me a successful, highly marketable Software Engineer.
As other reviewers have mentioned, this is considered an "Immersive" - you will be eating, breathing and sleeping code for the duration of this course. You will get back every ounce of effort that you put into it. Be sure to set this time aside for yourself to devote solely to the program.
If you are looking to change your career, if you are looking to learn new, hard and exciting things, Grace Hopper and Fullstack are for you. If you want to work hard, be confused often, accept failure as a path to success, you will do here. If you want things to be easy, don't actually enjoy the challenge and hate growing pains that come with not knowing things...I would look elsewhere because you will be miserable and resentful.
This program will help you be better, this program will strip you of 'This is how I've always done it' and open your mind to the possibilities and ways of thinking that will make you a better person and a better engineer. There is a strict "No Assholes' policy.
Grace Hopper has a tough admissions process, but if you get past that, you will receive the guidance and support through this incredibly difficult and fast-paced program. You will have support and guidance, but you will have to work hard, stay late, work on weekends and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You will dream code. You will not see much of your friends and family, but you will learn an incredible amount in a very short period of time.
When I decided to explore the option to transition my career into software engineering, I was unsure where to begin. I had heard about many bootcamp programs, but upon learning about the Grace Hopper Program and it's mission to empower women to enter a male dominated industry, I knew this was the right program for me. I couldn't have been happier with my decision, the staff and instructors were incredibly knowledgable and the women in my program were driven and intelligent. I learned so much in the short 4 month time period I spent at Grace Hopper and felt confident upon graduation that I would be able to get a great job and be prepared to take on the role. One of my favorite aspects of the Grace Hopper Program was how I learned to adopt new technologies at a rapid pace; as technology is constantly changing and advancing, I felt this skill was one of the most beneficial and real-world applicable. I highly recommend this program to any woman who is considering a career transition into the software development industry.
** Please note - I have incredibly high standards. Overall Grace Hopper (GH) / Fullstack Academy (FSA) did an amazing job. In general, they need to improve their organization skills. The school is awesome at teaching coding. They just need to polish the machine so things run like clockwork.
To be admitted into GH you must:
- Be female identifying
- Complete an online application
- Pass an online coding assessment
- Code live via a Skype interview
The best part about this process: GH has teaching fellows (former students) conduct the Skype interview and make the admissions decisions. Therefore, it’s not a decision made from a moneymaking perspective. It’s a decision made by former students who want the program to be great for all who attend.
The program consists of 4 phases. There is a 1-week break between junior and senior phase.
Foundations - Online distance learning course (4 weeks)
- Good to know - There are checkpoints (tests) you must pass before you are admitted to the immersive program. You are assigned a mentor (GH / FSA alumni) to assist you during this time.
- My experience - I worked during the first 2 weeks, which was quite difficult. The last 2 weeks, when I wasn’t working, I had a lot of free time. I felt like the material presented during this part of the program was appropriate. You should revisit this material during your job search.
- Improvement - Let students know ahead of time (during the acceptance phase) about the checkpoints. A lot of people quit jobs to join this program.
Junior Phase - In person, intense learning through lectures and workshops (6 weeks)
- Good to know - This phase will feel like information overload but you do not need to memorize everything (that would be like memorizing the US Tax code). It is meant to expose you to various topics so if you need them in the future, you can search for the answers.
- My experience - I was very overwhelmed during the first week of the program. Once I realized I didn’t have to memorize everything, this phase ran a lot smoother for me. Since I’m an independent person, pair programming every day was difficult for me but it helped me see different points of view. The instructors and teaching fellows were friendly, willing to help, and not afraid to tell us how things really worked (no fake positivity).
- Improvement - Students may be extremely stressed during the first part of the program. State up-front (before the first workshop) that the workshops are not meant to be finished.
Senior Phase - In person, intense learning through project building, career services training, and CTO lectures.
- Good to know - There are 4 projects during this phase (Tech Talk, Group eCommerce Site, Personal Project, Final Group Project). I recommend finishing your tech talk during the 1-week break (before senior phase starts).
- My experience - Because of all the pair programming in junior phase, it was easier for me to work on group projects during this phase. I had a great time working on my personal project because it gave me a break from pair programming. I felt like my team built an awesome final project. There were a few arguments, but we worked through them and made a great app. Instructors and teaching fellows were available during this phase but I didn’t utilize them very often. Also, it was really difficult to work on projects and the career services requests.
- Improvement - Don’t change schedules at the last minute. This happened quite often during our senior phase.
Flight - On your own job-hunt with support from career services.
- Good to know - The level of career services support is up to you.
- My experience - I networked with people on LinkedIn, Slack, and at meetups. I filled out tons of applications on many different websites (LinkedIn, Gary’s Guide, and company sites). My result was very favorable. I accepted an offer 1.5 months after graduation. My offer stemmed from completing an online application.
- Improvement - Let students know ahead of time (during the acceptance phase) to plan 3 to 6 months for the job search. A lot of people have to save living expenses to attend this program.
I can honestly say that I would be much more lost in my life right now if I hadn’t found Grace Hopper. In my last year of undergrad I was confused about what I wanted to do professionally. After doing a lot of googling and journaling, I decided that I wanted to become a software engineer, and after yet more googling, I became aware of bootcamps. I came across Grace Hopper and it quickly became the only programming school I was interested in. As someone with a social science background I understood and appreciated the motivations behind the creation of a learning environment for female developers. It spoke a lot to the founders' values and the culture of the school in general. And as someone with limited financial resources, I recognized that their deferred tuition model provided an amazing opportunity that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate in.
From day 1 to the end, Grace Hopper was a wonderful and incredibly enriching experience. I was surrounded by smart, talented women from all backgrounds, all willing to work together to learn an exciting new skill set. The curriculum was challenging but well-thought out, and our teaching fellows and instructors were always there to answer any questions we had or to remedy any gaps in our knowledge. What's more, the bootcamp really strives to keep its content relevant. Now when I tell people about my tech stack, I often get comments like ‘wow that’s a great one’ or ‘you’re in a really great place then!’ Or even, from other software engineers with more experience than me, ‘you know Redux already?!’
I strongly feel that the Grace Hopper Program at Fullstack Academy has accelerated my professional and personal life by several years and put me a giant step forward in my career. In a short amount of time I was able to learn a challenging and high-demand skill set that I was really interested in. The culture, environment, and the people were all so supportive and amazing. It stands as the number one transformative experience I’ve had in my life, and I think that it’ll be very difficult to supplant it.
I couldn’t have asked for better teachers, a better learning environment, or better outcomes. Even after going through it once already, I would do Grace Hopper all over again right now if I could :)
I can easily say that attending Grace Hopper was one of the best professional decisions I’ve ever made.
When I began the Grace Hopper program, I was nearing the end of what I could learn on my own and I needed direction. That's exactly what I got. The curriculum was exceedingly relevant - I see many job postings for the exact skills taught there. I am currently using the same ech that I learned at GH in my work as a developer. I learned more than enough to feel confident at my job, even with no previous technical background.
I kept a blog while I was a student and a fellow at the program, which you can read here: https://galencorey.wordpress.com/category/grace-hopper/.
I come from a completely non-technical background. I studied social sciences in college and the last time I took a math class was sometime in high school. I always liked computers and logic, but never thought that software engineering could be for me. But after finishing school I was pretty stuck professionally and so I started thinking about changing my path. I ended up learning some basic coding on my own and then realized it’s something I really enjoyed and could actually do full time.
I started looking at coding bootcamps and when I learned about Grace Hopper I knew I found the right place. As someone from a non-technical background I knew it would be easier for me to learn how to code around other women, and I think I was right. For me, Grace Hopper was the perfect mixture of a supportive and constructive environment with a rigorous curriculum. There was definitely pressure, the pace is very quick and for a lot of us there was a lot on the line, but it never felt like unnecessary/unproductive pressure that actually keeps you from learning (which I think happens sometimes in other bootcamps).
I think that often the deal with bootcamps is that what you put in is what you get back, and GH makes it pretty easy to put a lot in. The culture is really positive, the instructors are very dedicated (and so very smart), and the staff is super helpful. Even months after graduating GH is still there to help with career advice and general support, and I feel like I’m a part of a really valuable network of women engineers, which is pretty great.
About a month after finishing up at GH I got an offer and started my current job as a full stack developer at a small startup and I’m really happy with where I am in my career. It’s hard to explain how different my professional trajectory is now from what it was before GH, but I just feel so grateful for having that opportunity and for now having an interesting job that I love and where I’m appreciated and can keep improving as an engineer.
A lot of people talk about bootcamps as something they’re glad they did, but wouldn’t want to go through again. Personally, I would redo GH any day of the week, but for now I’ll just have to settle for the great job they helped me get as a full time engineer.
I couldn't be happier with the outcome of my Grace Hopper experience. The women I met and the things that I learned in the program have tremendously impacted my life for the better. Before Grace Hopper, I had never taken a programming class but came away from the experience with an awesome job where I feel confident in the work that I do, directly as a result of how well coding is taught at Grace Hopper.