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Hackbright Academy

Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose

Hackbright Academy

Avg Rating:4.54 ( 79 reviews )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Anonymous • Student
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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

  • Graduate/Alum
    - 1/25/2018
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    Overall I learned a huge amount of valuable information at Hackbright over a short period of time, and I met so many wonderful women who also attended Hackbright who will be friends for life.  I enjoyed my time at Hackbright.  However, Hackbright has a lot of work to do before I would say that this experience is worth the hefty price tag.

    First of all - the career services portion of the program is a joke.  Pay no attention to the partners page of Hackbright's website.  The alum job board right now only has 6 jobs available that are for new grads with no software development experience.  Hackbright partners are happy to hire grads... after they have at least a year of experience as a software engineer.  As far as I'm concerned, job placement is the entire value proposition of a code bootcamp, and Hackbright fails in comparison to other bootcamps that guarantee job placement or apprenticeships.

    Since graduating almost 6 months ago, I have had ZERO assistance from Hackbright with job placement, despite the fact that I have asked for help numerous times.  I've tried applying to jobs through Hackbright partner companies and my success rate has been even lower than just applying blind on the company website.  Worst part - when I apply to companies through Hackbright, they don't even send me confirmation that they've sent my resume to the company.  It's like throwing my resume into a black hole.

    Hackbright is graduating more women into a market flooded with bootcamp grads than they can possibly hope to place.  The staff has good intentions and cares about grads a great deal, but this doesn't change the fact that the majority of recent grads are struggling HARD to find a job.

    My advice - choose a bootcamp that offers either a money back guarantee of job placement, or has an apprenticeship or internship build into their program.  

    Response From: Alice Hill of Hackbright Academy
    Title: CEO, Hackbright Academy
    Saturday, Jan 27 2018
    I was very sorry to see your review here mostly because it didn't really give me or our team a chance to respond to you personally. One thing I hope you have seen since your time at Hackbright is that every person in our organization cares passionately about our students, their successful transformation into software engineers, and changing the ratio for women in tech. This is not a 9-5 job or something we do halfheartedly. 

    We are also so proud of our talented alums, and that unique bond they develop from their time here. I thought you really said it best "I learned a huge amount of valuable information at Hackbright over a short period of time, and I met so many wonderful women who also attended Hackbright who will be friends for life."

    As the new CEO, one of the things I have been working on is the complete experience - from admissions, the actual 12 week program, and then the task of finding a job. I am focused right now on jobs, jobs, jobs - meeting with bay area employers to secure internships, getting more jobs on our portal before they hit the job boards, hosting a career fair last night (1/25/2018) with over 19 employers including Google and Apple, and making our career services model evolve into everything from mentorship and coaching, to actively helping make introductions to local employers.

    One thing we cannot control is the job market for a particular role. As the former head of the tech job board Dice.com I know always saw huge shifts in seasonality, job role demand that picks up and drops off, but our biggest advantage is our own Hackbright network of alumnae who have created entry points into many companies, as well as the demand for female engineering talent. I know we can help find ways to get you in front of hiring managers.

    I would like you to go to our alumnae slack channel and look for the #ask_alice channel. My personal email is listed there. Please email me your contact info and I will set up time for us to talk and strategize how we can help you get into a role we know you are ready for. And while job hunting is frustrating and scary, please don't let it tarnish the work our company does without giving us a way to be part of that conversation with you. 
    --Alice Hill


  • Anonymous • Full Stack Developer • Graduate
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    Before Hackbright, I couldn't even imagine myself spending the kind of money it costs to attend a bootcamp, so I started teaching myself how to code. Several years later, I got as far as a few freelance gigs. I then decided to spend a "reasonable" $5K and another year earning a web dev certificate (nights and weekends so I could continue working full time) but that really only got me confident enough to get an email developer position, which does not involve any "real" programming.

    After being unsatisfied with where I was, I reevaluated my life and finally decided that if I wanted to be a software engineer I needed to truly go for it, so I quit my email job and went to Hackbright.

    It was honestly one of the best decisions and experiences of my entire life. I was getting the proper instruction I needed from top-of-the-line educational staff to finally "get" how these programming languages work, in a super supportive and hilariously fun working environment. I met amazing and intelligent women who were not only my peers, but who had become some of my closest friends. We still keep in contact today and meet regularly. Together we learned, struggled, succeeded, cried, triumphed, built solo apps, and became software engineers in the process. And after the fellowship was over, we didn't get kicked out and forgotten, we had tons of resources, events, and help from staff and the program, which we get to access...forever! (unlike other bootcamps...)

    If I could go back and tell my younger self to stop wasting time with self-study and lack-luster programs and go to Hackbright, I would. But I can't and thankfully I am extremely happy with where my life decisions have ultimately taken me, which is to my new job as a full stack developer. But I can tell YOU. If you have read this far and are in the same shoes as me, I urge you to take the plunge and do it!

    It IS worth the money. You will make it all back in a few months at your new job and then some.

    It IS worth the time. Would you rather be in school for 3 months, or 4 years for a CS degree, for the same starting position at a job?

    It IS worth it!

Thanks!