hackbright-academy-logo

Hackbright Academy

Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose

Hackbright Academy

Avg Rating:4.53 ( 77 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. 

Recent Hackbright Academy Reviews: Rating 4.53

all (77) reviews for Hackbright Academy →

Recent Hackbright Academy News

Read all (60) articles about Hackbright Academy →
  • Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program

    Apply
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $16,895
    Class size
    35
    Location
    San 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 Skills Fund.Graduates of the Prep course are eligible for a $1,500 discount.
    Tuition Plans
    Hackbright 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
    Scholarship
    We 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 Level
    Knowledge 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 Work
    None, but there is a Prep Course available in order to obtain training to pass the technical interview.
    Placement Test
    Yes
    Interview
    Yes
  • Hackbright Prep Course

    Apply
    In PersonFull Time10 Hours/week3 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $1,895
    Class size
    35
    Location
    San 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.
    Scholarship
    WWC 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 Level
    Beginner - 10 hours of coding experience.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
  • 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 size
    35
    Location
    San 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
    Deposit
    250 Non- Refundable
    Financing
    We understand that your education can be a big investment and that’s why we’ve partnered with leading lending partners 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 Plans
    No
    Refund / Guarantee
    No
    Scholarship
    No
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    40 hours of coding practice
    Prep Work
    5-10 hours remote work per week for the 3 weeks leading up to the start of course
    Placement Test
    Yes
    Interview
    Yes

Review Guidelines

  • Only Applicants, Students, and Graduates are permitted to leave reviews on Course Report.
  • Post clear, valuable, and honest information that will be useful and informative to future coding bootcampers. Think about what your bootcamp excelled at and what might have been better.
  • Be nice to others; don't attack others.
  • Use good grammar and check your spelling.
  • Don't post reviews on behalf of other students or impersonate any person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
  • Don't spam or post fake reviews intended to boost or lower ratings.
  • Don't post or link to content that is sexually explicit.
  • Don't post or link to content that is abusive or hateful or threatens or harasses others.
  • Please do not submit duplicate or multiple reviews. These will be deleted. Email moderators to revise a review or click the link in the email you receive when submitting a review.
  • Please note that we reserve the right to review and remove commentary that violates our policies.
You must log in to submit a review.

Click here to log in or sign up and continue.

Hey there! As of 11/1/16 is now Hack Reactor. If you graduated from prior to October 2016, Please leave your review for . Otherwise, please leave your review for Hack Reactor.

Title
Description
Rating
Overall Experience:
Curriculum:
Instructors:
Job Assistance:
School Details
About You

Non-anonymous, verified reviews are always more valuable (and trustworthy) to future bootcampers. Anonymous reviews will be shown to readers last.

You must log in to submit a review.

Click here to log in or sign up and continue.

  • Melissa • Forecast Analyst • Student
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I have great things to say about this bootcamp,

    I took the Part Time because I was working a full time job at the same time, and even though you are expected to do work after hours, its totally doable.

    One of the things I liked the most about the course is that they not only prepare you into the technical aspect of Software Engineering, they also support you, give you advise and a whole week  dedicated completely to the job search that you are going to endure after finishing with the course.

    Hackbright always made me feel empowered and the community as well as the instructors are amazing supporting you in every step of the course.

  • Best decision!
    - 7/19/2018
    Margarita • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Hackbright has a very supportive environment. I am glad I joined Hackbright and thankful to everyone. Even after I finished, the staff is still very helpful with any questions I might have plus there is a mentor that comes twice a week at the alum lounge which I think is awesome and definitely helps during job searching time. 

    There is just too many amazing words to describe Hackbright.

  • Suriya Mohan Selvaraj • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    There are full-time and part-time positions available. I took the Full-Time and my experience with Hackbright was so good. Because the culture they bring in is not competitiveness but growth on support. The most I liked is pair Programming

  • Benish Sarinelli • Student
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    As a working adult and parent, it was a difficult decision to quit my full-time job and attend Hackbright. I made the switch strategically by first attending their weekend boot camp course and then their prep course to get a feel of how they structure their coursework and teaching style. From the very beginning, I was blown away by their supportive and nurturing environment. They are really passionate about changing the ratio in tech and this mission is reflected in everything they do(i.e. teaching approach, opportunities for women, mentorship, etc). I am forever grateful to have spent the past 5 months (prep program + full-time program) with amazing women who are on a mission to become awesome SOFTWARE ENGINEERS! The passion to learn is contagious at Hackbright and I love it!

  • Amee • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I cannot thank the Hackbright staff and my fellow cohort enough for my experience attending this bootcamp. Throughout my 12 weeks, I felt extremely supported by everyone I came into contact with, and the instructors readily make themselves available to help your software engineering journey in anyway they can. I feel this same support even after graduating and going into my job search period. If you are considering attending a coding bootcamp, I 100% recommend Hackbright.

  • Duygu Ebcim • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I can't imagine a better place to start a new career.. Before applying Hackbright I had a very few coding experience and confidence in my skills.. It was such an intense program with updated curriculum which prepares you to the actual engineering field. The instructors were amazing, they were so eager to teach, help and very patient to us. I always felt their full support and belief in me during the bootcamp. At the beginning of the program I didin't take the career development sessions that serious but after a couple of weeks, I realized that how these people are working hard for us to build up our carreer, network and future with us.. So what is different after Hackbright? I definitely learned how to program.. Now I have a project that I build by myself, I learned a lot of technologies, algorithms.. I am building up a network on this field, I am still connected to my instructors, friends, alumni group and ofcourse career team..  And the most important one is that now I believe in myself during my engineering career.. The instructors, career team, their curriculum, their partner companies are all amazing.. As a graduate, I can definitely say that this was the best decision that I make in my career..

  • Tal Yaacovi • Product Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    My experience at Hackbright really exceeded my expectations for what a bootcamp could offer. I thought the curriculum was really strong and focused on the right areas to help me land a job as a software engineer. Although Python was the main language we learned, the program didn't spend the 10 educational weeks on making us experts in Python at the expense of learning other languages and frameworks. Instead, we learned enough Python to be comfortable, productive, and most importantly, be able to continue learning and teaching ourselves after the program. This allowed us to spend time on other critical topics like Computer Science fundamentals (memory, data structures, algorithms, runtime, etc.), JavaScript / jQuery / AJAX, and new technologies like React.

    Besides the curriculum, the other area I think Hackbright excels in is the teaching staff. They know the material extremely well and care so much about the success of their students. This, combined with the caliber of students that Hackbright admits, who are all kind, supportive individuals, makes for a very supportive learning environment.

  • Parul • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Overall, Hackbright offers a comprehensive curriculum for web development and core computer science fundamentals. As a bootcamp, the emphasis of learning is on practical tools, which can be immediately applied in a work setting. Specifically, we learned Python (its built-in data structures, object-oriented programming), Flask, Jinja, jquery and more. The instructors are incredibly capable and humble - sometimes we encounter coding problems that may take longer to debug, but the instructors manage to show us how to become good problem-solvers and continuously learn.

    In terms of structure, the first five weeks involved 2 lectures each day followed by 2 labs with a partner. Pair programming helped refined students' abilities in communicating about code and software, reinforcing the lecture concepts. The next five weeks were dedicated to projects, which was a great application of the skills we had learned.

    There were subject areas that I wished we had investigated more, such as algorithms and data structures. Or at least, it would have been nice to have more structure to the coding challenge section. However, the bootcamp is limited time and must also teach students to independently study these concepts as they leave.

    Overall, I chose Hackbright for its emphasis on balance and community — the bootcamp 100% lived up to the expectations I had in these two areas.

    Balance: In terms of my personal work habits, I knew I needed ~some~ structure, which Hackbright provided during the day for 8 hours. Basically, I needed someone to point me in the right direction day-to-day and teach me about practical tools. In the evening, I felt free to google away about whatever sparked my curiosity, like concurrency or playing a CLI game. This approach doesn’t work for everyone, but it did for me.

    Community: For background, Hackbright is a bootcamp for women and has a clear focus of changing the ratio in tech. Beyond anything else, Hackbright impressed me with its ability to cultivate and sustain a supportive community. Now that I’ve completed the program, I know it’s true from firsthand experience: post-bootcamp, I’ve seen or chatted with a fellow Hackbrighter almost every day since. In fact, I’m going to a Hackbrighter’s birthday in a week! The sense of community doesn’t stop there — I feel incredibly lucky to have friends, colleagues, fellow SWEs that will share resources, teach me a new concept and empathize with me.

  • Becca • Software Engineer at Reddit • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I attended Hackbright's prep course and then joined the full time program half way through. My coding experience was limited before hand, and I honestly didn't really know what I was getting myself into.

    It was the best decision of my life. 

    I spent three months surrounded by some of the most inspiring, badass group of women I had ever met as we collectively embarked on the terrifying journey of transitioning into a very difficult career. The support system from these women was a huge key to my success in landing a job at Reddit less than two months after completing the program. One of my Hackbright classmates (who just landed a job at Eventbrite) came from a co-ed bootcamp where she said the culture of sexual harassment and general sexism was rampant. When reported to the staff, the staff said they don’t get involved with interpersonal issues. At Hackbright, that wasn’t an issue. We could worry about learning the really difficult content and building the confidence to go out into the job search and kick ass without feeling objectified and talked down to by our peers.

    Aside from the environment, though, there was a strategic reason that I attended an all women’s boot camp: There is a huge push for companies to hire more women, and by attending a bootcamp that specifically trains women, I figured that they’d have relationships with lots of companies worth working for. This turned out to be true.

    Ultimately, you will get out of a bootcamp what you put into it, but if you are willing to do the work, Hackbright can get you where you need to be. 
  • student
    - 12/31/2017
    Amy • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Hackbright has an extremely welcoming, inclusive environment. If you're looking for amazing support from your classmates, definitely go here. I found the other women to be intelligent and kind, which makes their network really strong. The curriculum is great for getting a complete overview of the entire web development world. I would say the biggest area that needs improvment is the mentorship program. Some of the mentors were amazing and some were not very good. It's a little hit or miss right now, but they are constantly making improvments. I also really liked the individual project method of learning. It was really hands on and was the best part of the program.

  • Natalie • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Hackbright is an inclusive and genuinely supportive environment. Career services is invested in your success and happiness both while in the program and as an alum (so grateful to have the career services team and resources available to me during the job search process). The course is challenging, but the skills, enthusiasm, commitment and support of the education team does an incredible job of bolstering confidence and helping you develop your technical skill-set and passions (the course has allowed me to believe in my abilities in ways I never would have considered possible). In just 12 weeks you will have the technical prowess to build a fully functioning web application completely on your own and from scratch, and develop some of the most meaningful and supportive friendships.

    The program is intense and challenging, but a lot of fun. The space is safe and supportive and encourages and allows you to be vulnerable, opinionated and humble during a whirlwind period filled with an immense amount of learning and growth.

    My 12 weeks at hackbright were some of the most infuriating, exhilarating and rewarding weeks of my life. I would 100% do it over again, and absolutely recommend it to any woman that is seriously considering a career as a software engineer!

  • Kate Rowe • Information Systems Analyst • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I'm happy I chose Hackbright and impressed with the program. It's a very supportive learning environment that has a great alumnae network. They keep a tight schedule that definitely felt stressful at times, but it prepared me for my current position.

    Hackbright's biggest downfall is that it is a bootcamp. Sounds strange, but it was hard to find a job after graduation in the Bay Area. There is a stigma attached to bootcamp grads and many companies won't even consider you knowing that "you're from a bootcamp." I rated Hackbright 4-stars (vs. 5) because I wish they provided a bigger/better network of Hackbright partner companies willing to hire recent grads. Hackbright's job placement team is great!

    My advice to people considering bootcamps: find the best bootcamp that works for you and then budget extra time, finances, etc. to the post-boot camp job search.

  • Ali • software engineer • Student
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I graduated from Hackbright in November of 2017 and I started work as a full-time software engineer at a startup in the city the same month! I had a long and successful career in tech in a non-technical role prior to taking the leap to Hackbright and I have no regrets. It was scary to quit my job and go for it, and I was wary of attending a for-profit institution at first, but for me it paid off. The educational experience was fine-tuned, worked for my learning style, and is very job relevant. Hackbright tailors the curriculum based on student feedback and industry feedback, to make sure they are teaching material that will be most useful in the workplace. Each lecture has a survey, and for the first five weeks you have an opportunity right after lecture to practice what you learned in lab. For anyone currently working and unsure about making the leap, don't be afraid to go for it! In case it helps you, this is the TED talk that finally helped me to make my decision and go for it. If you don't yet have any experience in tech, Hackbright also does a really good job of setting up field trips to tech companies, creating opportunities to connect with industry, and preparing you for the job search through weekly group check-ins and 1:1 meetings with a career coach. Even for someone with tech experience like me, I learned a lot more about start-ups through Hackbright. One aspect of Hackbright that was challenging for me was the schedule. After week five, there is only one lecture a day and you're just working on your project the rest of the time. Initially I treated it like a job, making sure to show up and be present each day while also optimizing for my own productivity - leaving a bit early if I was at a stopping spot or if I wanted to take a break and study later in the evening. Hackbright doesn't look well on this and really expects you to be there everyday until 6pm. I know for many in my cohort, especially those with children at home, long commutes, or other work or family obligations, this was a hurdle on the path to success. My hope is that Hackbright can work towards slightly more inclusive (and similar to the workplace) scheduling in the future! Overall, Hackbright changed my life and enabled me to career change with a top-notch curriculum and incredibly supportive culture. If anyone has doubts about which bootcamp to choose, if you're looking for excellent, structured curriculum that prepares you for work, with the additional opportunity to build a big project independently, with career help and tech exposure thrown in, all as part of a really supportive and friendly culture - then Hackbright is for you!

  • Carol W. • Full Stack Developer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I attended Hackbright Academy this summer, graduating in the fall. I really loved the experience!

    I came into Hackbright with programming experience from being self-taught and building complex Flash applications for my job. I had written vanilla JavaScript for about two years prior to starting. I was lucky to come in with that experience, as it made the whole bootcamp process a lot easier. I had some applied experience to draw on and it made it easier to digest the material. I had never done anything with the backend and had never done any web app development prior to starting the course. If you don't have any programming experience, I would suggest taking their prep course to get your feet wet or you will likely feel really underwater once the coursework gets going. Even if you have experience, keep practicing up until you start - you won't regret it!

    There is no way I could have learned everything I did in 12 weeks on my own! It was great to fully immerse myself in programming instead of continuting to try and learn it on the side. The staff is incredibly knowledgable, helpful, and supportive. They will answer a question three different ways if it means you understand. No question is too simple and they foster an environment where everyone can be heard. It kind of feels like going to a really nerdy summer camp. I can't stress enough what a unique opportunity an all-female program offers. There are few great aspects of the program I can't envision working in a co-ed space. The best way to sum up the environment is, there is no winning at Hackbright. No one is crowned the best Hackbrighter. Everyone is learning their own way with their own goals and supporting one another on their path.

    I like the way the course is structured. The first half you will be focusing on labs building up your foundational skills. The second half is called "Project Season" and you will be building an app from scratch. It is an incredibly exciting experience to see something complex come together. You learn so much in those four weeks! You get to pick and choose what web services you want to use, what libraries of tools to implement, and you get to see your idea come to life. In the end, I was able to build something even better than I could have imagined when I started. Start thinking of ideas now!

    All of that said, there is still a lot to learn once the program is complete. The program doesn't have time to expand on some of the core computer science topics that you will need to know for interviews, so prepare to spend some more time studying once the course is over. That is true of any bootcamp - but just something that you should know up front! Hackbright will teach you how to learn a language, so ideally you can find a role even if you don't know the languages the company uses.

    I am really happy with my decision to attend Hackbright. I was able to lock down a job about a month after graduation. That said, the job market has changed and there are a lot of bootcampers out there right now and only so many junior roles. I was lucky to have some programming job experience, which helped in my search. So be prepared financially for your job search to take 3-6 months. I would also recommend going to meetups (PyLadies has a lot of HB alum) and tech events to start networking as early as possible, don't wait until you have graduated. It is the best way to get your foot in the door after a bootcamp! I ended up getting my job thanks to a referral from a woman in my cohort! There is a great alumni network and most people are happy to help another Hackbright woman! 

    The main stack you learn is Python | Flask | JavaScript (they just switched to ES6) | PostgreSQL 

  • Jennifer Justh • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    N/A

    I began at Hackbright as a prep course student.  The course did an excellent job teaching the fundamentals of programming in Python.  We learned about data structures, conditionals, for and while loops, and APIs, among other things.  At the end of the course, we were asked to create a small project that ran on the command line in Python.  I was impressed by how far all the women had come -- Hackbright had done an excellent job teaching us and the women had done an excellent job learning and applying the material and going the extra mile!  By the end of the prep course, Hackbright encouraged us to apply to its full-time fellowship program.  I was at first hesitant, nervous about the coding challenge and interviews.  But, as I saw the confident and excited women around me who were part of the full-time fellowship (sometimes we would bump into them right before our prep class), I knew I wanted to be where they were at -- with the knowledge and skills to call themselves software engineers.  The project had made more confident in my abilities as a prep-course-level engineer, and Hackbright made it easier for those in the prep course to apply (we did not have to re-do the application form bit).  The coding challenge and the interviews were still challenging, but it was worth the pain to get the news that I had gotten in!  The twelve weeks in the fellowship were definintely taxing, but worth it as well.  We learned the foundational concepts and knowledge needed to build a web application, and learned fundamental computer science concepts as well.  I am now in the job search process and am proud of the project I had completed in the fellowship, showing my skills, and am thankful I have so much material I can still review to make me more ready for interviews.  Had I not pushed myself to transition from the prep program to the application process for the fellowship, I wouldn't be where I am, a junior software engineer!  If you are wondering whether you should take that leap, do it!  You can apply to Hackbright a few times, if the first time does not go well.  And you will not regret looking to the horizon toward your dreams, motivated to run the race it takes to reach that horizon.

  • Julie Norris • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    During the Hackbright Fellowship, the amount of learning that occurs on a daily basis is enormous. Their formula of teach, practice, review, assess provides a great scaffold for engaging multiple ways with the material and retaining information. 

    As a mother the time requirement initially felt undoable however, with support from my family and some adjustments in schedule, I was able to be successful with the required stduying and maintaining a balance of family/work. It was expressed to me several times that HB is aware of the challenges of being a student/mother and working toward making sure the fellowship is a viable option. It is not easy, but can be done!

    The instructors have a variety of teaching and support styles. Not everyone felt that they were matched well with their advisors. I valued the different styles and knew when to ask a question to whom based on what I wanted back from them. Many of the instructors have backgrounds in education and their pedagogical knowledge was apparent in their instruction. 

    I am currently in the job hunt phase. The Career Services team is very supportive and the opportunities to engage with industry people to learn about interviewing is invaluable. 

  • Generosa Litton • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I graduated at Hackbright Academy last May 2017. Hackbright provided a very supportive learning environment enabling me to not fear failure as there were many times where my programs didn't work.  I learned how to troubleshoot and ask for help sooner rather than later!  This was the first time I was ever in an immersive environment and it was indeed very intense as I felt like I was drinking from a firehose every day.  What I loved about Hackbright is that they go out of their way to provide an environment where I can learn from my classmates, teachers, and experienced engineers who are working in the industry.  And the support continues even as I graduated.  Hackbright gave me a strong foundation in software engineering that I can build on for the rest of my life.  Thank you!

  • Erika Kettleson • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I truly loved my time at Hackbright. My cohort was a group of incredibly smart, passionate weirdos and I could never have pushed myself as hard without them. The instructors were amazing - I had an amazing relationship with my advisor. I loved one of my external mentors and I learned a lot from that experience. I would highly recommend. 

  • Michelle • Software Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I graduated from Hackbright's software engineering fellowship about a month ago. The program far exceeded my expectations and prepared me very well to obtain a job as a software engineer.

    Instruction: I think Hackbright's instruction is really top-notch. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable about software and very passionate about teaching. I think this is a large differentiator between hackbright and other bootcamps I've seen where recent grads from the program are serving as instructors. Many of Hackbright's instructors have graduate degrees in CS or related disciplines. 

    Curriculum: I was surprised by how well tuned the curriculum was. In 10 weeks you will learn how to build a full-stack web application as well as the fundamental CS concepts you would get from a year of college coursework. Hackbright's curriculum is split up with lab-work and pair programming during the first half and individual project work during the second half. Not all bootcamps have you work on individual projects. I found that in interviews it was really important to say that I had built a web app by myself from the ground up, and be able to discuss the challenges along the way.

    Hackbright asks for feedback constantly, and they consistently update their curriculum and program to best meet the needs of their students and teach the most relevant tools. Hackbright is great for giving you some scaffolding to start your career. Now, I feel confident that I can teach myself new skills or concepts in my next and future jobs.

    Career services: The career services at Hackbright are wonderful. My career coach met with me throughout the program to help plan my future career path and connect me with people in the Hackbright network. Hackbright has a very strong network of alumni and partner companies. Now, this doesn't mean that you will get handed a job upon graduation. Networking is really hard - you have to do a lot of work to put yourself out there. Depending on your existing network and previous career/educational background this experience will vary. But from Hackbright's end, I think they do everything they can to support you. You are matched with three industry mentors during the program. After you graduate, career services stays in touch on a weekly basis and there are weekly events to help you practice technical interviews. 

    Culture: Overall Hackbright was a really great environment to learn in. It is collaborative rather than competitive. The women in my cohort were from pretty diverse backgrounds (age, previous careers, culturally), but everyone was very driven and committed to entering a new career. Some people are drawn to Hackbright because they prefer to learn in a female-only environment or want to build up a network with other female engineers. The fact that Hackbright is all-women was not a big selling point for me, but I do think the mission of the organization - to change the ratio - fosters a really supportive and committed learning environment. 

    Cost: Hackbright is expensive. For me, the amount was a very worthwhile investment. I would not have the same job opportunities I have now without Hackbright. However, if you don't have means of supporting yourself during the bootcamp and for 1-6 months after during the job search phase, it is not that accessible. There are a few scholarships, but they are pretty small compared to the overall cost of the program. Searching and studying for a software engineering job is a full-time job. Don't expect to go back to your regular job after Hackbright and casually search for software jobs on the side. You need to be prepared to fully jump in and commit. 

  • EG • Senior Software Developer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Reviewing the full-time bootcamp, not the night classes that people also review.

    What drew me to Hackbright was partly the curriculum (I love Python but I was glad to see we'd get such an all-around introduction), but also the promise of career support, and I was not disappointed.  Not only did we have two weeks of all kinds of meeting people and making connections, but we also had an hour during the first ten, to ramp up to that.  As someone who is good at school settings and less good at navigating business, I needed that practical support and those initial connections made for me.   Plus, they really are still there for you afterwards, and I think they've acted on advice from other alumnae on how best to support recent graduates.

    Although only a few students get jobs from companies that send representatives to our career night (where we demonstrate our projects), it's definitely common to get interviews--I think all of my classmates who followed up with thank-you emails got interviews at at least one company, several have done well, and some companies are moving more slowly.  Some of the companies were clearly there just to prove that they "wanted to hire women",  but most really are hiring.

    While learning and especially while preparing for job-seeking, I've also found my classmates to be great resources.  We all have different enough career experiences and skillsets that there's a lot to learn, and the environment was surprisingly supportive.  I mean, Hackbright clearly intended to make sure we supported each other but I was skeptical that would work, yet it did.  I really like my classmates, even though we have different interests.

    For the curriculum, Hackbright doesn't lie.  You can see on their website what they teach, and that's what we learned.  I think they structured it very well, lots of pair-programming in the first half, ramping us up to building a web application, then while we started out our individual projects, introducing us to other tools we may want to use.  Then while we were "finishing" our projects, i.e. getting them ready to demo, we went over core CS topics, and immediately after career night we started whiteboarding practice.  Even though I wish more of the core CS topics were at the beginning, we did have some really great lectures near the beginning, such as comparing and constrasting memory management in Python and C.  I think each of the topics they taught us, with the exception of the two weeks of "extra developer tools", were a solid foundation.  I feel so empowered to make things now!

    I was concerned when I started based on other reviews, about the quality of instructors.  Having recently finished, I now see where those reviews were coming from but I don't have the same concerns.  Our two main instructors, lab assistant, and occasional guest lecturer are all very experienced and with skillsets in different areas.  Both in terms of tech stack (all of them know and like Python, but two have even more background in SQL, one in Javascript, one in nitty-gritty details of Python, and our lab assistant taught us about Bootstrap/CSS) and in teaching skills (of our two main instructors, one is great at catching people up when they're struggling with concepts, as well as helping with difficult bugs; the other is great at exploring tangents in Python and technical questions; both are good overall lecturers).  Although I think our cohort struck lucky in instructors, I do think Hackbright requires its instructors know what they're doing.  That's much better than I hear about some other places where it depends so heavily on the instructor; and even at Hackbright the standards applied for full-time instructors are also higher than for the introductory night classes in my opinion.

    What's going on with the "inexperienced instructors" is that teaching assistants, who advise students, give code reviews, run labs and contribute to curriculum planning, but never lecture (well, hardly ever), are Hackbright alumnae and junior TAs are usually hired right after bootcamp.  This means they know the curriculum well, and have done their own project, but don't know as much about how to support a new student's project without looking things up.

    Also, in independent project time, I found the "help queue" good for the first two-week sprint, but the instructors were busier during second sprint, so not everyone was available, which was unfortunate for a lot of us.  We had put off some of the more complicated features to second sprint and then couldn't get enough dedicated time from the educational staff to help us implement them.  However I did mention this concern, and Hackbright is always collecting feedback and making adjustments based on it.  It gets easy to just click through a survey in ten seconds, but if we leave written comments in the surveys they actually act on them!  For example after some of started writing "I wish they rotated instructors in the study halls" a couple of times, that happened. (Although I personally regretted it I know others were happy.)

    I would say: this is expensive.  If you can't afford it, don't do it; I think it's really worth it if you can, but everyone either had savings or a safety net.  I hope Hackbright makes more full scholarships available in the future.

  • Review
    - 1/26/2017
    Alumna • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Hackbright provided a safe, inclusive environment to learn in.  This makes it easy to pick up new topics and, for my cohort, gave us space to ask a lot of in depth questions.  That being said a lot of topics are being served up at once, so being able to focus on the program while you're in it is essential to success.

    The women I met are wonderful, smart and incredible human beings.  The alumnae network provides access to jobs, events and support, but it is up to the individual how much they participate in this after Hackbright.

    I was incredibly lucky, in that I had three wonderful mentors.  All of who were there to encourage me and even now, in the job search, are valuable assets to have.  That being said, not all my cohort mates were so lucky and often felt disappointed in their mentors ability to provide support.

    For me, Hackbright provided materials to have solid understanding of Python, but significant studying after Hackbright was necessary to access jobs and have successful interviews at companies that specifically didn't have programs made for bootcamp grads.  Having a thick skin after Hackbright is essential as getting rejected from jobs becomes the norm.  Also, if you need to return to work after HB while searching for a job can be a taxing balancing act.

    That being said, Hackbright was empowering and provided materials to set up a solid base for one to compound on. 

  • Becca Saines • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Dear Reader,

    If you're reading this, you're most likely considering attending a Dev Bootcamp of some kind.  Awesome!

    It's almost surreal to look back on the time when I was deciding between bootcamps -- having just graduated Hackbright in December '16, there's no doubt in my mind Hackbright was the best option for me, and the best option for anyone with determination, dedication, and grit looking to transition into the software engineering community.

    Around the time I was looking at reviews in my own DBC search, I was reading these reviews thinking "Yeah, it's great to see happy reviews, but seriously tell me why this is a better option than staying at my paying, comfortable job." TLDR version: The return on investment (skills/experience, network, Hackbright name/brand, career services support) is absurdly high.

    The longer version:

    Before I start the longer version, let me state in glorious but brutal honesty that this is not a cakewalk. There will be days (or even weeks) when you wonder why you ever thought this was a good idea. You will be so tired and/or pressed for time that you seriously question your own ability to make good life decisions for yourself. However, you also get out of this program what you put into it. Simply showing up does not mean you'll be granted all the benefits the Fellowship has to offer. In order to get the most out of this program you must be ready to persevere through exhaustion, overwhelming amounts of information, and your own self doubt.

    With that Surgeon General's Warning having been clearly explained, let's jump into all the reasons you should *definitely* do this: skills, network, Hackbright name/mission, and career services.

    Skills: There are a ton of different ways to build or do or learn anything -- your own experience in life will tell you this is true. That being said, you can certainly have an opinion on the HB curriculum. Whatever your opinion, the point of this curriculum is to give you the skills to be a hirable junior developer, and it does. I loved how they paired the lecture with a lab where you could really dive in and get your hands on a topic...because having been in a classroom for 5 years I can tell you that listening to a lecture about it does not skills provide. You have to get your hands dirty and they provide you the time to do just that. You will also gain skills no matter your starting skill level -- the lectures and labs are designed to take you from your own point A to a new point B. How far your point B is from your starting point A is largely up to you -- remember, you get out of this what you put into it.

    Network:

    • Your classmates become part of your network. This is like Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring quality bonds here. They support you even when you're being pelted by all of the job-rejection arrows. (Side note: I don't usually make friends with women -- I've always been one of the guys. I was really concerned when I made the decision to come to Hackbright that the "sorority" piece you hear talked about negatively in other reviews would be an obstacle for me, but nothing could have been further from the truth. My cohort is my tribe, and I am just as delighted by that as I was surprised.)
    • Hackbright sets you up with two or three mentors. Not everyone in my class had great experiences with their mentors, but this was definitely the exception rather than the rule. Most of the women in my cohort are continuing their relationships with at least on of their mentors, even through the Fellowship is complete. ALSO: The Hackbright Alumnae Community becomes part of your network. SERIOUSLY. I have nothing in common with these women other than that we went through the same program, and the amount these relative strangers are willing to support me, no matter my request, is worth so much.
    • Demo Night. Hackbright sets up a time for you to showcase yourself to a room of potential employers. Terrifying? Absolutely. Value? Priceless.
    • Hackbright coordinates field trips and other networking events outside the HB campus that allow you to make connection with beyond the Hackbright community. PLUS Hackbright gives you tips on networking, so if all this networking seems like something you can't do, they give you tips so can be better at it and make the most of it.

    Hackbright Brand and Mission: Hackbright is serious business, and the employers who work with them know they have consistent results. You can certainly argue that bootcampers are not the "favored" employee picks, but no more so than learning on your own. Hackbright is a well respected name in the DBC community, and that goes a long way. Hackbright is also fiercely dedicated to their mission to #changetheratio. This is empowering at many levels -- I had only briefly considered the social impact of what I was doing when I signed up for Hackbright, but the mission is A Big Deal and brings together employers that you actually *want* to work for.

    Career Services: This team organizes field trips and networking events, they work tirelessly to bring job opportunities to you, they give you 1:1 and coaching sessions to help you update your resume/cover letters while you transition careers, they tell you of opportunities (Hackathons, conferences, workshops, panels) in the broader engineering community, they aid in connecting you to the alumnae community, and they genuinely care for your success. 

    So let's get back to ROI for the program and why it might actually make sense to give up a paying gig to go back to Hackbright.

    Many things you could do to switch careers or get up that professional chain also include mean back to school.  Hackbright is across-the-board cheaper than an MBA or other schooling -- it's the clear winner in terms of time, overall cost, and opportunity cost.

    Not convincing enough for you? Let's undervalue everything and crunch some more numbers:

    At their root, most new jobs are gotten through connections. How much are all these connections worth? Let's say you're in a cohort of 20, and you value each of those connections at lifetime value of $100. That's $2000 of benefit you're getting right off the bat. High value networking events often charge admission, and Hackbright sponsors consistently high-value, free-of-charge networking events. Plus you've got connections to a growing network of alumnae -- let's call that a lifetime value of $3000.

    It's not like going to Harvard, but recognition of the Hackbright brand and mission is also valuable. Let's say $1000 lifetime value.

    How can I even begin to put a lifetime value on the support career services offers? The value there is stunning, but I said we'd undervalue everything, so let's go with $3000 lifetime value.

    Given the value of the intangibles above, you're now looking at getting all those skills we'd discussed for about $8000.  For a twelve week course. That will make you infinitely more marketable in a growing career field. And you will gain those skills at a pace you simply could not manufacture independently with support that is quicker and more tailored to you than anything you could get online with free tutorials or books.

    I dare you to argue with me that you could do better for the money and time than you could at a Dev Bootcamp, but especially at Hackbright.

    P.S. I'm not one of the magical HB unicorns that got employed right out of the gate. I'm unemployed while I'm writing this, but I'm still confident that it was the right choice for me, and the right choice for any gritty woman looking to get into tech.

  • Dobs • software engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    N/A

    I had a great experience in the Introduction to Programming course taught by Rachel Walker.  I had enrolled in the course because I had been unhappy in all of my professional roles.  When trying to just do something different, I realized that I don't have the techncial skills to have the job I think I want.  I wasn't sure how I felt about programming (given my lack of experience), so I enrolled in the part-time course.  It was great.  The hours flew by in class.  I enjoyed the labs.  I knew there was help available, but I didn't take advantage of all the additional resources provided becuase I was able to absorb most/all the information in class.  The class was a huge turning point in my life.  From that, I knew I would want to partake in a bootcamp and become a software engineer full-time (spoiler alert - I did Hackbright fellowship, got a job, and I'm happier than I ever expected :) ).  

     

    You will learn - how to use the command line / terminal.  Oh - and Python.  But you also learn HOW to learn how to code.  Sweet.

  • Lora • Software Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

     

    As a recent graduate, I was fascinated to stop in and read the reviews here. Having so few reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, especially given that this bootcamp has been going strong for several years and has an alumnae network of more than 500 incredible women upon which to draw support and inspiration.

     

    To set the stage: I have a Bachelor's in Psychology and Masters in Marketing. I spent years providing data analytics, workflow and reporting for a non profit, and then worked as a consultant providing online brand development. I have very little coding experience behind me outside of Wordpress and oh yes, MySpace in the 90's -- but seriously, I had seen little code prior to stepping into the belly of Hackbright.

     

    I applied to 5 bootcamps and was accepted 4: but I held out for Hackbright. Their interview and application process was simple, though their admissions team was a power of (an amazing) one and they took several weeks to give me an accept/decline. I was down to the wire, my second choice start date was a week later! Since then, they have brought on a second admissions staff member so I imagine it's now more streamlined.

     

    I chose Hackbright Academy after doing an on-site visit and talk with all five of the bootcamps I was considering. Each has their own flair and flavor, offerings and perks. Your mileage will vary, your needs & desires are different than others: do your research just as you would choosing a college. I did, and I'm thankful for having done so.

     

    Key differences that steered me towards Hackbright Academy:

    • Women-only while still being inclusive and accepting of those not constrained to the standardized binary of genderization. I personally value their understanding and appreciate their care around this subject matter.

    • They are creating community and want to see us support each other through time. They encourage the cohort to bond and recognize that we are in the act of solidifying a network of other women that (for the most part) are going into the same field. Networking is the key here!

    • Hackbright respects that you have a life and appreciates work-life balance. Unlike the other bootcamps that warned me of late nights and pointed out their nap rooms, our instructors encouraged us to step away and refresh. Studies show that quality, not quantity, facilitate greater learning potential and productivity.

    • The subject matter is vast while making space to really develop a strong foundation in the basics of Python, Javascript, CS and more. Project time is perfect for really digging in the dirt and finding what calls to you and/or practicing those areas that you may have struggled with previously. I believe the lead instructors are professional and highly capable. They are personable and try to cater to student needs - but there are 25+ and each with their own struggles. This brings me to a KEY point:

    • You NEED to be your own best advocate. Step back and consider, then step up and state your needs! They genuinely do try to allow space for everyone's voice, but this is usually done in a group setting. For me, I found that the advisor format is full of holes: it depends who you get, if you are comfortable speaking up, how experienced that person may be, how involved that person wants to be, and other such factors that fluctuate on a per person basis. This was the weakest point in my Hackbright experience, by far; if I had one change to make, it would be in this arena!

    • The education team is warm, supportive, helpful and encouraging. Lead instructors are killer. They know their work, they know this program, and they want to know you as a person in order to better assist your growth. That level of interactivity can be difficult in such a large group, and I believe that is why they assign you an advisor.

    • You create an app independently, rather than in a group. The majority of bootcamps have you walk away with several little projects and/or a large project done within a group. Creating your own app serve many purposes: my favorite being that I got to choose for myself which curriculum topics called to me, and then dive deeper. Note that TAs do not have a lot of coding experience under their belts, and this really began to show during project time. Some are more comfortable than others at saying, "I'm going to need another set of eyes". My advice: practice timing your entrance into the help queue.


     

    I'll speak of Career Services directly:

     

    There are two ladies that handle this arena whilst you're within the program. They are outstanding in so many ways. I have been totally shocked to see people complaining about their job search! For each of the other bootcamps I was accepted into, I spent the majority of my on-site visit, grilling (one employee actually used that word when handing me off to their employment search staff for further questioning) them about this aspect of the bootcamp.

     

    Learning the skills is one piece of the puzzle, but as a queer woman stepping into the bro-world of tech in San Francisco, I knew without a doubt that this would be the most difficult piece of my career change. At BEST, other bootcamps offer a week of support at the end of their program, to prepare you. Then a single point of contact for their alumni to help with the job search. Not so at Hackbright.

     

    They started at Week One. And each week they gave us lots and lots of information to digest and action items to begin preparing ourselves, our online presence, and our networks. They provide "fieldtrips" to tech companies for panels, discussions, whiteboarding and even yummy meals. Then, the last two weeks of the fellowship are JAM PACKED with speakers who talk about negotiation techniques, product management, how to work with recruiters to maximize your potential, etc. I was shocked to see so many people not attend these informational talks. Even after week 12, you get an entire month of twice weekly whiteboarding sessions, job leads, and more.

     

    I attended two Hackbright information sessions before applying: I was told point blank that most people find a job within 6 months, some within 3 and those typically already have ties and networks within companies to begin with. In my notes from the first week of career services, I can see that I asked about this and received the same answer. Throughout the fellowship I believe they have repeatedly told us that they are here to help, to support, to provide resources and help facilitate connections, but that it is up to us to really make the job materialize.

     

    Is Hackbright built for underserved populations? Only just barely but really. Do they bill themselves that way...sort of yes. It's a sticky point for me, and has been since the day I came across their website. They are trying to make a change from a very specific angle: those women that already have the financial, educational, physical, etc. capability to take 6+ months out of their lives. Others are working to support women that have obstacles not accounted for here. If that's what you need: proceed on in your search. But if you are able to swing the commitment, I happen to think it is well worth the money, time, energy, and care

  • Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I was deeply impressed by the community at Hackbright, and the structure and support was invaluable to starting my new career. My understanding is that as a young program, Hackbright is still changing form cohort to cohort, and with the recent acquisition, more changes are likely on the way -- I would encourage you to attend an in-person event if at all possible to help inform whether Hackbright is the right choice for you. For my piece, Hackbright gave me the tools and support to break into engineering, and I do not doubt that I would not be where I am today without them. I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn at Hackbright, and even more so for the opportunities that leaning at Hackbright opened to me.

Thanks!