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Hackbright Academy

San Francisco

Hackbright Academy

Avg Rating:4.48 ( 86 reviews )

Hackbright Academy is a software engineering school for women in San Francisco, Dallas, and Lehi founded in 2012. In addition to in-person classrooms in the US, Hackbright Academy also offers their courses online. The school offers a 12-week, immersive full-time software engineering program and a 43-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$12,900
    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 and Climb.

    Graduates of the Prep course are eligible for a 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

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    Python
    In PersonFull Time10 Hours/week3 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$249
    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
    DepositN/A
    Financing
    We are partnered with lending partners SkillsFund and Climb. Please email finance@hackbrightacademy.com if you have questions.
    ScholarshipWWC and Hackbright Academy are offering a full scholarship to Hackbright Prep.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBeginner
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
  • Part-Time (24-week) Software Engineering Program

    Apply
    GitHub, Python, CSS, Django, Git, HTML, JavaScript, SQL, Algorithms, Data Structures
    In PersonPart Time14 Hours/week24 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$12,900
    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
  • EG • Senior Software Developer • Graduate
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.

  • Anonymous • Product Developer • Student
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    Hackbright was an incredible experience. Much of the time, I was surprised---by the quality of the education I was receiving, and especially by the competence and creativity of women I was surrounded by. I made some of the deeper friendships I've ever had and was trained in a domain that allowed me to get a job making great money, in the location I wanted, close to family. The only reason I rate job assistance slightly lower is that there is not as much support for you if you're looking for a job outside of San Francisco and not in Hackbright's network---but it's still possible as my experience shows! 

     

     

  • Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Hackbright is an incredible program.  While it has already changed a lot since my time there, there are a few key aspects which feel central to the Hackbright experience:

    1. Hackbright fosters a supportive, respectful, creative, and fun environment where students are encouraged to push themselves and make mistakes to further their learning.

    2. Work/life balanced is highly emphasized and students are encouraged to not only focus on coding but also build relationships and take care of themselves mentally and physically. 

    3. Hackbright students and staff are amazing people with a diversity of backgrounds and interests.  In my cohort alone there were lawyers, librarians, financial analysts, artists, folks who had worked at non-profits, startups, and large corporations.  I met incredible people and made wonderful friends with some of the most interesting, smart and hardworking people in tech.

    While I had a great experience at Hackbright, everything wasn't perfect.  I thought the job finding process was the weakest part of the program.  I did most of my job searching on my own.  I do know that a lot of the students found it worked for them, especially if they wanted to work with a partner company.  Additionally, Hackbright is still in its growing phase so sometimes lessons were chaotic, or things wouldn't go as smoothly as planned.  However, the team was good at receiving feedback and adapting to the needs of the class.

  • Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I am so glad I decided to attend a coding bootcamp, especially Hackbright. I didn't fully believe it was possible, but I was able to successfully transition into a software engineer from a non-technical background prior.

    Hackbright, like most programs, will have challenges, such as leveling differences between students. You'll set yourself up best if you complete the pre-work beforehand and start picking up some interviewing practice about midway through the program. The most challenging part of the program is definitely the job search, but it also happens to be the part where we had the least support. Instructors are already ramping up for the next class, so I think that there is room for improvement here.

    With that said though, the experience, instructors, and classmates throughout the program were exceptional. The women who choose to attend Hackbright are motivated and bright, and that continues with a very supportive alumni community after graduation. The environment is extremely encouraging, as instructors will help you both if you are ahead or behind. Most importantly, Hackbright has built up a great reputation and has the added benefit of being all-women in a field that is severely lacking women. This shows in the highly reputable companies that attend Career Day.

  • Best school ever.
    - 10/14/2021
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    I have really good experience with Hackbright. The best part was the instructors and lectures.
    The instructors support students incredibly and their lecture is really good quality.
    The school always makes sure everyone is on the same boat.
    Also Hackbright's career team is really strong.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    My review will be somewhat unique for a couple of reasons:
    1. I took the part-time course on a full-time basis (i.e. I didn't have a concurrent job similar to most of my cohort-mates in the part-time program).
    2. I enrolled in a coding interview preparation bootcamp immediately after Hackbright where I learned data structures and algorithms.

    If you can afford to take the part-time program on a full-time basis, I highly recommend it.  There is a lot of material/ topics to cover and if you're coming from a completely non-technical background (such as myself), the ability to rewatch parts of the lectures that you may not have fully understood or the ability to practice coding on the side using CodeAcademy helped solidify my understanding of the topics in a more sustainable way.  

    Pros:
    - I left the bootcamp having learned both Python and Javascript feeling comfortable coding in both (note that I took the option to learn/use React in my capstone project).  Many other bootcamps only teach Javascript.
    - I thought the instructors were quite good.  They explain the topics well and they go above and beyond to answer all of our questions both in the live sessions as well as meeting with us outside of school hours to resolve any issues we may be having.
    - I enjoyed the labs and I thought they were practical and solidified my understanding of the material.
    - It was quite helpful to me to be able to get recordings of the lectures both ahead of time (from previous cohorts) and after the fact so that I could study ahead of the class or review material that I may not have fully understood the first time.
    - Hackbright has a positive reputation amongst employers.  There was a couple of times in interviews/info chats when an engineer commented on the quality of engineers coming from Hackbright.
    - I rather enjoyed being in an all women's bootcamp; my cohort-mates were motivated and delightful and it was a positive and supportive learning environment.
    - Hackbright provides us with mentors (software engineers who are in industry) and my mentor was critical in my getting the job offers that I did.  He practiced whiteboarding with me on a weekly basis for months.  While not every mentor does this, a cohort-mate told me that she asked for a new mentor and Hackbright provided her with one.
    - Hackbright organized a career fair at which several employers attended.  All of the employers were eager to interview us and I got an offer from the one employer that I chose to interview with.

    Cons: 
    - Sometimes administrative or scheduling related things can be disorganized.
    - There isn't enough time put towards data structures and algorithms or whiteboarding.  As mentioned earlier, I did a separate interview coding bootcamp where I learned data structures (and my mentor helped me significantly with whiteboarding) and I highly recommend considering something similar.  While Hackbright will teach you how to code, it's up to you to learn DS&A and practice whiteboarding such that you can successfully pass technical interviews.
    - Hackbright's set up isn't very conducive to using React easily in our final projects.  The Python and Flask backend (and Hackbright's set up) made it such that we couldn't easily import React libraries so I had to find workarounds to implement the 4 APIs in my project (but I was able to do this successfully and the instructors/advisors did provide resources to help me).

    ****

    While everyone has different experiences, I ultimately ended up getting multiple job offers within 3 months of graduation, but one reason for this is that I put so much emphasis on learning data structures and algorithms and on practicing whiteboarding that for every job for which I got a face-to-face interview, I was able to successfully get an offer (and this includes a company that came to Hackbright's career fair). 

    In summary, when preparation meets opportunity, amazing things can happen.
  • Anonymous • Unemployed • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Pros - If you don't know anything and don't mind not learning much for your 1k+/week program, Hackbright is the place for you.

    Cons
    - It will be very difficult for you to find a job. Outcomes will tell you your resume looks great, keep grinding and to "be prepared for a paycut" 
    - Staff are almost all recent HB grads, not teachers or experienced SWEs. This means they are still learning and are often unable to answer questions outside of a very basic range. Our lead instructor failed out of another bootcamp, did the HB program and was unable to find a job so they hired her to be a lead instructor. That is the quality of instruction you can expect.
    - Hackbright will not protect your financial information. A student's full name, address, and bank information were "unintentionally" emailed to another student. I'm not sure that they notified that student, which they are required by CA law to do.
    - Instructors frequently did not understand their own demos. More than once admitted that they hadn't reviewed the slides prior to lecture.- Curriculum is poorly thought out, incomplete, and lacks appropriate confirmatory work.

    - Slides, homework, and assessments are riddled with meaning-altering errors. When students complained, we were told "you should have seen how bad it used to be"
    - Help is unavailable during queue hours. Hackbright says wait times of up to 30 minutes are acceptable. Many, many students including myself waited hours or days for help that never came on multiple occasions. HB acknowledges that this was unacceptable but didn't do anything to solve it.
    - Staff frequently complained of being overworked, being busy with other cohorts, or being too tired to participate in scheduled queue times or to give full effort during lectures. - You will be held back by the slowest learners in your cohort during project season. No help for projects was available until after every student completed their data models, which took almost a full week.

    - Zero support for project demos for Windows users 
    - Watch out if you are trans of nonbinary, you will consistently be misgendered and brushed off
    - Assessments are not graded in a timely fashion. We waited FIVE WEEKS for one assessment to be graded and 2+ weeks for all but one other. If you are doing something wrong, you won't know until the program ends and good luck teaching yourself at that point. Hackbright admits this has been a problem "for some time" but has done nothing to fix it.
    - Use old tech. Who still uses vagrant? 
    - Instructors encouraged anyone who was ahead to use React for their projects, then refused to support the students using React, using the excuse that it is not part of the curriculum - then why did you tell us to use it??? I can teach myself a new framework with no help or resources on my own time.
    - Hackbright took a full month to do an "investigation" of our experience and determined that it was in line with what they promise and intend to deliver.
     

Thanks!