hackbright-academy-logo

Hackbright Academy

San Francisco

Hackbright Academy

Avg Rating:4.46 ( 81 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. 

Recent Hackbright Academy Reviews: Rating 4.46

all (81) reviews for Hackbright Academy →

Recent Hackbright Academy News

Read all (72) articles about Hackbright Academy →
  • 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

    Apply
    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
  • 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.

  • Anonymous • Product Developer • Student
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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.

  • 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.
     
  • Do not recommend
    - 5/5/2021
    Anonymous • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    I've just finished Hackbright and am disappointed. They have not transitioned well from in person to online and I think the quality has gone done considerably since they were bought by Capella education in 2016 (Capella was then bought by SEI in 2018 which may also be a factor). Personally, I regret coming to HB and wish I had chosen a different bootcamp (or just self-studied) but also acknowledge they are definitely not the worst out there. Several of us did express dissatisfaction with the program and after a "review" our experience was considered in alignment to their standards so anyone looking at bootcamps can expect to have a similar experience to mine at Hackbright. Here are my main issues so you can make an informed decision.
    The negatives
    • Not a challenging program - the mentality seemed to be relax, don't worry, don't push yourself too much which is the opposite of what I was looking for. If you have no background at all in tech and want a very supportive environment this can be good but if you want to finish a bootcamp and be somewhat competitive in the job market, this is not the program for you. Almost everything I learned in the program was through self-study. The classes were very slow and honestly, I learned more from the pre-work than the classes. Also, most staff had limited programming knowledge which meant they were unable to answers more in-depth questions. I'm lucky to have friends in tech so I had a network of people who could help me/answer my questions the staff wasn't able to but that obviously isn't the case for everyone.
    • Hackbright staff is spread too thin and which resulted in:
      • Fewer than anticipated advising sessions for some (I had 4 over the course of 12 weeks)
      • Multiple weeks to get feedback on our assessments (there are a total of 7 assessments. One took 4 weeks to get feedback on)
      • Long turn-around period to get questions answered. There is a system of asking questions to a channel and then staff helping people in the order the question was received. Best case scenario it took a few hours to get questions answers but worst case it took some people days. This was problematic when we were working on projects. Also, because of the aforementioned staff's lack of knowledge - asking questions in the channel was frequently a waste of time. 
      • No code reviews. At all. The entire 12 weeks of the program.
    • Friday check in was called "feeling circle" - I came here to learn to code and being expected to share our feelings with a group of strangers was extremely uncomfortable and weird. 
    The positives
    • I got GREAT mentors out of the program. However, these mentors are 100% volunteer - just people who volunteer to be mentors and I just got lucky to happen to be matched with two really great people.
    • The network and support system the students built to help each other is great. We did learn a lot helping each other out and teaching each other the concepts out of necessity. For example, React wasn't fully taught as part of the curriculum so a group of us worked together to teach ourselves. 

    Some notes: I think the experience is largely dependent on the instructor assigned to your cohort. That being said, the cohort before ours had several dissatisfied students and at least one of the other ongoing cohorts is having similar frustrations so even with different instructors, something is going wrong. Also, keep in mind that bootcamps are for-profit education which can be problematic. I knew this coming in and expected that the "change the ratio" slogan was at least part marketing but still, even with (I felt) realistic expectations, I was very disappointed. I regret wasting my money. 
  • Anonymous • Student
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    What I enjoyed about Hackbright Academy was the support system they have. Everyone is very supportive and helpful. Learning to become a software engineer is frightening, but Hackbright helps you to believe you can do it. 

    What I found challenging about the part-time class was studying after work.  I would study on my bed, but would end up falling asleep. I got myself a desk and monitor, this helped me put in more study hours and kept me from falling asleep.

    I liked the pace of 6 months. In the beginning of the program it felt strange seeing myself as a software engineer. As time passed by and continued to learn/code, I began to see myself as a software engineer. 

    I enjoyed the lectures, labs, fieldstrips, career talks, projects, whiteboarding and skills assessments. I had a great experience and enjoyed my time at Hackbright Academy.

     

     

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

    I graduated from Hackbright a month and a half ago, and I already have a job. I have no technical background, and I've been home with my young kids for the last almost 3 years and I still felt like I was entering the job market with a competitive resume. It was a big time commitment, and it was a lot of work, but Hackbright is such a supportive environment, and in an industry that's desperate to attract women I think it's a plus that's it's a school specifically for women. I highly recommend starting with the Prep class to make sure it’s a good fit since it’s a substantial financial investment, but if you like the Prep class and you want to change careers, you should absolutely enroll. It’s the single best career decision I’ve made in my 15 years of working and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

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

    What I love about Hackbright is the heart of the bootcamp. From day one, you can tell that they are invested in making a safe space where you feel the ability to explore. They offer structure, but they also strive to indulge your natural curiosity.

    The biggest mistake I made when I attended Hackbright was thinking that if I simply followed the coursework, I'd land a job. Very naive, I know. But! When I did land my first job in software engineering, I realized that Hackbright created something very special in my life. The connections and relationships that I built here will carry through with me for the rest of my life.

    Hackbright is not for anyone looking for a quick answer. Hackbright is for those who are willing to invest in themselves and give themselves the patience to flourish and blossom. You have to believe in yourself: Or at least be willing to learn how to believe in yourself.

    Follow your intuition. Say "yes" to every opportunity. Hackbright's mission statement isn't just some marketing ploy or buzzword. But make the effort to interview with alumna. Ask them what they got out of Hackbright. See if you're a good fit for the soft and gentle culture. (Even ambitious women have something to gain from this space: Such as female companionship and sisterhood).

    With all that said, I wish every future & prospective "lady nerd" the best on her journey :)

  • Anonymous
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    N/A

    My goodness...as an avid Yelp afficionado I am ashamed that I did not read these reviews in detail before attending the HB prep program.  I did not have a good experience at all.  First, the lectures are unorganized and most of the time--the instructors did NOT seem to want to answer any questions.  instructors snapped at you or acted in a condescending manner most of the time, and/or were away every other week

     

    I am glad that they at least offered this prep program in order to give us a taste of Hackbright, rather than having us shell out $16-$18,000 for immersive program---PLEASE read these reviews and think twice.  don't get me wrong--if you already have Python experience and are a naturally gifted coder then please consider HB.  however, if you are essentially a beginner like me (although I completed codeacademy's Python course and I have a Master's degree, etc) then look elsewhere, you will feel left in the dust.  there are some instructors that are patient and good teachers but unfortunately there was just one in my co-hort

Thanks!