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 4.49
Recent Hackbright Academy NewsRead all (79) articles about Hackbright Academy →
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
Deposit $250 Non-Refundable FinancingDeferred tuition, and lending via SkillsFund and Climb.
Graduates of the Prep course are eligible for a 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
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
In PersonFull Time10 Hours/week3 Weeks
Start Date None scheduled Cost $249 Class size 35 Location San FranciscoThis 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.
Deposit N/A FinancingWe are partnered with lending partners SkillsFund and Climb. Please email email@example.com if you have questions. Scholarship WWC and Hackbright Academy are offering a full scholarship to Hackbright Prep.
Minimum Skill Level Beginner Placement Test No Interview No
In PersonPart Time14 Hours/week24 Weeks
Start Date None scheduled Cost $12,900 Class size 35 Location San FranciscoThe 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.
Deposit 250 Non- Refundable FinancingWe 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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions! Click here to learn more. Tuition Plans No Refund / Guarantee No Scholarship No
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
Hackbright Academy Reviews
93 reviews sorted by:
- Great Experience - Highly recommend- 10/31/2017Carol W. • Full Stack Developer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
I attended Hackbright Academy this summer, graduating in the fall. I really loved the experience!
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!
- Great transition from prep to full-time- 9/27/2017Jennifer Justh • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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.
- Amazing Opportunity- 9/21/2017Julie Norris • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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.
- Very Supportive Environment- 8/7/2017Generosa Litton • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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!
- Supportive & Awesome- 6/13/2017Erika Kettleson • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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.
- Great preparation for career in software- 4/19/2017Michelle • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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.
- Software Engineering Fellowship- 4/7/2017EG • Senior Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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!
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- 1/26/2017Alumna • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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.
- Overwhelmingly Awesome- 1/5/2017Becca Saines • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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.
- 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.
- best litmus test to see if programming is for me- 10/21/2016Dobs • software engineer • Graduate • Course: Hackbright Prep Course • Campus: San Francisco
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.
- What a Beautiful Whirlwind- 9/20/2016Lora • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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.
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
- Great way to jump start career- 5/4/2016Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time (12-week) Software Engineering Program • Campus: San Francisco
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.