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Hackbright Academy

Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose

Hackbright Academy

Avg Rating:4.54 ( 78 reviews )

Hackbright Academy is a software engineering school for women in San Francisco, California founded in 2012. The school offers a 12-week, immersive full-time software engineering program and a 24-week, part-time program, both of which cover the fundamentals of computer science and modern web development such as the command line, Python, JavaScript, HTML & CSS, Git, Flask, Django, pair programming, SQL/ORMS/NoSQL, and deployment. The part-time program covers the same content as the immersive program, but is designed for students who want to maintain their jobs. Hackbright also offers a 4-week part-time prep course, which teaches the foundations of programming; and a week-long immersive prep course. 

Prospective applicants will need to fill out an online application detailing their interests and personality, then complete a coding challenge and two interviews. Hackbright's ideal candidate has a desire to learn software development and has prior exposure to programming. 

Hackbright Academy provides students with mentorship, tech talks, and career services. After graduation, Hackbright Academy connects graduates with Silicon Valley companies looking to expand their engineering teams as alumnae work at companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Slack. Hackbright Academy offers deferred tuition, limited scholarships, and payment plans for qualified students. 

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  • Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program

    Apply
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$16,895
    Class size35
    LocationSan Francisco
    Hackbright offers a full-time, 12-week Software Engineering Program that empowers women to become software engineers in 12 weeks. The immersive program is an intensive Monday through Friday course with classes from 10 am to 6 pm. Core instruction includes the fundamentals of computer science and modern web development such as the command line, Python, JavaScript, HTML & CSS, Git, Flask, Django, pair programming, SQL/ORMS/NOSQL, deployment and more! Students will enjoy a host of other benefits including mentorship, tech talks and career services. After graduation, Hackbright Academy connects graduates with Silicon Valley companies looking to expand their engineering teams. Graduates who accept a full-time job from one of the companies in the Hackbright network will be refunded a portion of their tuition. Payment plans are also available. Hackbright's ideal candidate has an inspired desire to learn software development and has prior exposure to programming.
    Financing
    Deposit$250 Non-Refundable
    Financing
    Deferred tuition, and lending via SkillsFund.

    Graduates of the Prep course are eligible for a $1,500 discount.
    Tuition PlansHackbright Academy offers a deferred tuition program to select, eligible students. If eligible, that means no tuition payments until you are hired. Click here: http://hba.io/2ADhSeP
    ScholarshipWe have four scholarships available from our partners who are committed to changing the gender ratio in tech. Learn more: http://hba.io/2zahyUp
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelKnowledge of the following areas (in any programming language) and ability to demonstrate in a technical interview: Basic datatypes (strings, integers, booleans) and variables, conditional logic, looping, lists or arrays, and basic functions.
    Prep WorkNone, but there is a Prep Course available in order to obtain training to pass the technical interview.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Hackbright Prep Course

    Apply
    In PersonFull Time10 Hours/week3 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$1,895
    Class size35
    LocationSan Francisco
    This is a 4-week part-time night course will teach you the basic fundamentals of programming. You will leave with a foundation in Python and be introduced to HTML, CSS, and Flask. The course is geared to those who are planning to apply to a bootcamp or considering shifting their careers.
    Financing
    Deposit$99 non-refundable deposit due upon enrolling
    Financing
    We are partnered with lending partner Affirm to provide alternative payment options. You can enroll in the payment program here or email finance@hackbrightacademy.com if you have questions.
    ScholarshipWWC and Hackbright Academy are offering a full scholarship to Hackbright Prep. Learn More: http://hba.io/2zdo8JV Hackbright Academy offers partial scholarships to a limited number of students each quarter. Learn more: http://hba.io/2zd8NJj
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBeginner - 10 hours of coding experience.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
  • Part-Time (24-week) Software Engineering Program

    Apply
    HTML, Git, Python, JavaScript, Django, SQL, CSS, Data Structures, Algorithms
    In PersonPart Time14 Hours/week24 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$16,895
    Class size35
    LocationSan Francisco
    The part-time software development program is stimulating, exciting and fulfilling. Our challenging curriculum is based on 5 years of training students, providing tangible feedback, and helping each individual improve throughout the learning process. Students can partake in Hackbright's life-changing Software Engineering Program while working. The Part-Time Software Engineering Program will teach you the fundamentals of computer science in addition to modern web development. This part-time program includes labs and lectures on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, plus Saturdays. One of the most in-demand languages to learn in the industry is Python – the core language of our curriculum. Companies that use Python include Google, Yelp, and Dropbox to name a few. Mastering Python here will help you start thinking like an engineer. You can feel confident that you’ll walk out of the door ready to tackle any engineering role.
    Financing
    Deposit250 Non- Refundable
    Financing
    We understand that your education can be a big investment and that’s why we’ve partnered with leading lending partners like SkillsFund to provide you affordable payment alternatives. Check out the options below and please feel free to email finance@hackbrightacademy.com if you have questions! Click here to learn more.
    Tuition PlansNo
    Refund / GuaranteeNo
    ScholarshipNo
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level40 hours of coding practice
    Prep Work5-10 hours remote work per week for the 3 weeks leading up to the start of course
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes

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  • Anonymous • Student
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    The last reviewer did a good job in summarizing my unhappiness with Hackbright. I only have the below to add:

    I graduated with the June 2016 cohort.  Only 5 girls out of our graduating class have been able to find jobs and it's been 2 months since graduation. One of them went back to Hackbright to be a lab assistant, another already had a job lined up outside of Hackbright, another picked up what she'd been doing previous to Hackbright, and I'm not sure what the remaining girls are doing. 

    By the project phase of our cohort, many of the girls were expresssing malcontent with the program. In particular, career services. If you are struggling with the material, they turn the onus onto you. Meaning, they said that you weren't doing well because you weren't working hard enough or something like that. But seriously! My advisor and my instructors never had time to answer my questions and I got the same, "We don't support tutoring." They didn't give me any personal attention. If a girl wasn't doing well, they would say that it was failure on her part. Not the instructor. And! There was never any personal attention given even if so to help that girl out. 

    They have unusual and almost unethical practices at Hackbright. At the end of every cohort/class, they offer jobs to the girls with the caveat that if they accept a job at Hackbright - they're not allowed to participate in career day. 

    And! During career day, companies are not allowed to ask the girls technical questions about their projects. This seems really shady as it would be the perfect opportunity for the girls to show off what they had learned during the Hackbright 12 week class. It serves to do two things: 1) cover Hackbright ineptness 2) protect Hackbright reputation in case the girls don't do well. I was raised to believe that the student's faults were that of the instructors. Hackbright does all sorts of things to cover itself. It doesn't stand up to the things it purports to do. 

    What really upset me the most is that career services told us all sorts of things about being able to find a job within 3-6 months of graduation. Then, a month before graduation, she tells us not to expect to find jobs soon, but it would take about a couple months of study to really 'get it down.' Some of these girls cleaned out their savings to attend Hackbright! They're owed more than the inflated marketing!!

    And! Hackbright was recently acquired by Capella University. This is an online centred learning business that 'takes advantage' of women and minorities. Much alike University of Phoenix that went down for marketing cheaper and more convenient sub-standard MBA programs and catered to women and minorities. When these demographics went for jobs, they were told their MBAs were not competitive. So now the graduates owe money from tuition and they are jobless. 

    Take your money somewhere more deserving! Hackbright is NOT!!!!

  • Anonymous
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Hackbright Academy is an all female bootcamp which seeks to "Change the ratio," but what the start-up really does is "line their pocket books" via taking advantage of a niche market. 

    Learning Environment: 
    For $16,570, I'd expect a learning environment geared towards the individual students needs. At least this holds true for costly private institutions. Even in public institutions (community college class is roughly ~$300), students are guaranteed the professor's time by office hours, one on one appointments, or at least the tutelage of the teacher's aide. Not at Hackbright. Students are given two one and a half hour lectures daily, assigned daily homework, and weekend assessments in which none of the above are graded. They are mandatory assignments, yet none are scrutinized carefully nor corrected by the student assigned advisor. Upon requesting more individual help, we were told that the school did not support such a structure. The most I ever got was 20 minutes of tutorial per week. When I asked a question, the advisor would conveniently Google the answer and then send me the link. There is 30 minutes of advising per week for the project, but we were told it's mostly for 'strategy.' 

    Now one might argue that debugging is an important skill to master. This is true.  However, for a beginner, it is far too easy to get caught up on a programming idiosyncrasy where one might spends hours debugging as opposed to having an instructor help that student past a simple blockage point and explain what she is doing incorrectly.  In Python, it could be a silly indentation error, or forgetting a colon at the end of a loop statement. Plus, it's helpful often to 'talk through' the issue with a more experienced person. For the same amount of tuition ($16,570), Hack Reactor offers 24/7 online help to it's students. CodeAcademy Pro offers the same for 12 hours a day EST for $20/month. 

    Instruction: 
    The quality of instructor also followed the Gaussian curve at Hackbright. While there are some very gifted coders, the majority were non-industry teachers. Some of which had just graduated from the last cohort. If they did not know the answer to a question, it was often heard, "That's not within the scope of this lecture." My most poignant memory was a student asking a question and the instructor saying, "That's not within the notes" to which the student pointed out, "It is here in the notes" and pointed out the section. The instructor then answered, "I don't want to answer that right now." Seriously. An "I don't know. I will research it and get back to you" is a perfectly acceptable answer.  Or, if the instructors sometimes didn't know the answer, they just kept deflecting until the student got tired of listening to it.

    Career Services:  
    At this point, one might ask...would the $16,570 tuition merit a high return on investment in career services? Sadly, no. What 'Career Services' does is simply surf LinkedIn profiles. The student gets secretive 1:1 meetings with the career services counselor who 'coaches' them on how to hone their skills to target their employment goals. Now, what this really means is that the woman spends time surfing LinkedIn profiles for recruiters...something one can do oneself without paying $16,570. She also advises the student that she has 'connections' and not to tell the other students about them. These 'connections' are easily gotten off surfing LinkedIn profiles. 

    Additionally, Silicon Valley media has much highlighted the disparity of male to female engineers. So much so that companies are moving to sponsor diversity fairs and events in which to hire minority engineers. Hackbright career services is not attuned at all to the various Silicon Valley company sponsored diversity fairs. This is a shame considering Hackbright's slogan is to "change the ratio." One would think career services would be working extra hard with companies to truly "change the ratio." When prompted during a Q&A session, the counselor had no clue that these programs existed whatsoever. 

    There does exist a Career Day where the students can show off their projects to prospective employers. However, the catch is that Hackbright does not know who is attending the event until the day before and the companies may not be hiring. If they are hiring, what you will get is a prospective interview...but then you need the skills to pass that interview. 

    Hackbright boasts that ~90% of it's 'engineers' get hired within 3-6 months. Yet, what is the break down? Is it 3 engineers within 3 months and the rest within 6 months? And, 6 months is a LONG time to find a job. Within that 6 months, the student could have studied a lot with free online resources on her own. Don't be fooled by the marketing of these statistics. Many Hackbright graduates feel unprepared for the traditional computer science interview. 

    Financial Aid: For a school that is focused on "changing the ratio;" Hackbright only offers loans through partners, one full scholarship for one woman out of 52 women, and for the rest $500 owing to financial need. They do not offer to help look for scholarships through private funds which any solid university or community college would offer if they were truly trying to help a student out. 

    Lightning Talks:
    Students are assigned short 8 minute presentations in which they are to get up in front of their cohort and talk about a pertinent topic. The point of this is to learn to communicate technical ideas clearly and to be able to speak to an audience. While in theory this is a good idea, the talks were never critiqued by the instructors and therefore not useful to the student. What is useful is the information shared with the other ladies in the cohort when it was a good presentation. 

    Skills Readiness:
    While the program does cover many of the items that industry professionals utilize, the items are covered in breadth and not in depth. Students are only given the chance to ask questions during the lecture and once a week during an hour long 'study-hall.' Many of the graduates and current students expressed feeling unready and confused. The students are able to code simple algorithms, but when prompted 'why' and if they can optimize...many students fail in this regard. This is due to  instruction failure. 

    Mentorship: 
    One thing that Hackbright does well is assigning industry level mentors to each of it's students. These are tried and true professionals whom volunteer their time to help get students on their way to careers. My mentors in particular help with my code, project, resume evaluation, and invited me to tour their companies and network. However, I'd say this is more on the part of those individuals than Hackbright as an institution. 

    All of this makes it hard for a 12 week bootcamp graduate to compete with the many four year bachelors degree graduates from traditional computer science backgrounds. Silicon Valley suffers from no shortage of engineers from all around the world vying for engineering jobs. While it's not impossible to find a good bootcamp and to develop web savvy skills to become a full stack developer, I would recommend doing it at a school that actually has a solid curriculum and in which the instructors are competent and readily available. Good luck on your search!! 

     

     

     

  • Laural Horton • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
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    I was really lucky to have been a part of the first Oakland Cohort of Hackbright and have nothing but great things to say about the instruction and the process.  Both instructors were clear and patient as I learned the ropes.  Both took time to answer all my (many) questions and reframe responses until I understood fully (even when it took a long time).  The instruction and process was clear and direct.  Perhaps the most important thing I learned is that there is so much more to learn, which seems critical to the nature of the industry.  The culture was respectful and encouraged diversity and thougthful conversation.  I feel incredibly blessed to have learned alongisde such an amazing group of women and from a dedicated faculty.  

Thanks!