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 4.51
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- In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week11 Weeks
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco
- $250 Non-Refundable
- Deferred tuition and lending partners available, including Skills Fund to provide you multiple payment options.Students who’ve completed our part-time course are eligible for a $1,500 discount
- Tuition Plans
- Hackbright Academy offers a deferred tuition program to select, eligible students. If eligible, that means no tuition payments until you are hired. Click here: http://hba.io/2ADhSeP
- 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
- 40 hours of coding practice
- Prep Work
- 5-10 hours remote work per week for the 3 weeks leading up to the start of progrtam
- Placement Test
- In PersonFull Time10 Hours/week3 Weeks
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.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- San Jose, San Francisco
- $99 non-refundable deposit due upon enrolling
- We are partnered with lending partner Affirm to provide alternative payment options. You can enroll in the payment program here or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
- WWC and Hackbright Academy are offering a full scholarship to Hackbright Prep. Learn More: http://hba.io/2zdo8JV Hackbright Academy offers partial scholarships to a limited number of students each quarter. Learn more: http://hba.io/2zd8NJj
- Minimum Skill Level
- Beginner - 10 hours of coding experience.
- Placement Test
In PersonPart Time14 Hours/week24 Weeks
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.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- San Francisco
- 250 Non- Refundable
- We understand that your education can be a big investment and that’s why we’ve partnered with leading lending partners to provide you affordable payment alternatives. Check out the options below and please feel free to email email@example.com if you have questions! Click here to learn more.
- Tuition Plans
- Refund / Guarantee
- 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
Hackbright Academy Reviews
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You can do impossible when you have passion and are supported by a great learning environment.
Hackbright helped me to make my dream come true.
After 12 years in Technical Recruiting and hiring hundreds of software engineers I decided to give myself a chance to become a software engineer myself. When I was looking for a software engineering bootcamp, I was super picky as I wanted to choose the best one and I ended up with Hackbright. They met all my requirements:
1. Curriculum. - during the course, we covered most critical skills and tools required to be a software engineer, including version control, the Linux command line, relational databases, web frameworks, AJAX/JQuery, and front-end frameworks. We also covered broader essential software engineering topics like debugging, pair programming, code reviews, core computer science concepts (including runtime analysis, recursion, and advanced data structures, such as linked lists, graphs, and trees), and technical whiteboarding.
2. Practical skills - each student was working on her project. Each of us built her web-application from scratch. By doing that we went through each step of Product Life-Cycle Development - DB design, back-end, front-end, implementation, debugging, testing, UX-design. During the project time, our instructors used Agile software development approach - we had two sprints, MVP and daily scrums.
3. Learning environment - supportive, encouraging, motivational and has a lot of fun! Our instructors created an open and collaborative environment. Sometimes I didn't feel I am on a lecture; it was more like a team discussion. New topics were clearly explained and questions were patiently answered.
4. Success stories - I carefully reviewed the Hackbright job report. I was impressed by the program completion rate ( 99%) and average time to land the first job after the program. Last two weeks of the program are focused on job search techniques and tools. Hackbright also gave us a great tool of how to live after Hackbright :) (sounds funny, but so relevant) - how to organize your daily routine to keep learning, practicing and job searching. For me, it took two months to land a software engineer job.
It was challenging and fun, and a piece of my heart will always stay with this fantastic school. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is looking for a way to become a software engineer.
Coming from an education background (HS science teacher) Hackbright Academy was an easy choice. When I was weighing my options for bootcamp programs, there were some I came across that threatened to kick student's out based on repeated low assessment scores. A concept that seemed very possible for me at the time. When I inquired about Hackbright's policy on low assessment scores, I was told that their approach was to initiate a conversation about what could be improved upon (whether that be more frequent advisor check-ins, modifying study habits, making better use of mentors, etc). Hackbright's student centered program made it the easy and right choice for me.
I was so impressed with the quality of instruction throughout the course. My instructors were passionate, knowledgable, and open to feedback. Their patience for questions seemed never-ending. As for the greater Hackbright community, I was encouraged and supported throughout the 12 weeks and beyond. The career services Hackbright provides really prepared me to enter the post-Hackbright abyss, and I actually ended up landing a job through their internal job board. I would highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to transition to a career in Software Engineering.
Before I started Hackbright, I was skeptical. It seemed like a lot of money with no guarantee of successfully landing a job. However, I stuck with the program and graduated about three months ago. It paid off - I was hired as a software engineer several weeks ago!
For me, the most valuable aspect of Hackbright is the community. The staff, instructors, fellow students, mentors, and alumnae are incredible. The alum network is amazing, and the staff really does their best to support you. I loved everyone in my cohort and I know I've made friends for life!
The Community: Instructors and mentors are amazing, the staff is supportive, fellow students and alumnae are incredible!
Hackbright Connections: Companies love Hackbright! There are many events, study sessions, interview prep discounts, hack-a-thons, networking opportunities, and job opportunities that are exclusive to Hackbright Alum!
Cost: It's expensive! However, there are some scholarships available: https://hackbrightacademy.com/blog/announcing-the-code-reddit-scholarship/
Pace: If you have prior coding experience, the pace of the program might feel slow. If you are brand new, it will feel fast and overwhelming. Also, Pair Programming is a huge part of Hackbright, so you will occasionally work with people who are not at the same skill level as you
Bay Area Only: If you want to work outside the Bay Area after Hackbright, you will greatly limit your network and job opportunities
If you are considering attending a coding boot camp, you should:
1) Have enough money for the program, money for housing and food during the program, and money for housing and food for possibly up to 6+ months to a year after the program ends while you are searching for a job.
2) Genuinely LOVE to code - you should have 20+ hours coding experience before applying to the full-time program. You don't have to be an expert, but you need some experience.
3) Realize that graduating from a boot camp is NOT a job guarantee - you will need to spend a lot of time and energy post-program networking, refining and developing skills to get a job. It could take up to a year! In my experience, the post-Hackbright work was more challenging than the program itself.
4) Understand your first job probably will NOT be your dream job! I know several Hackbrighters that have ended up at companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, but they were either accepted to an apprentice program, had prior experience, or they worked at other jobs first. The first job you get might not be at your dream company, but it will be a great experience!
5) Know that there is a lot of competition for entry-level jobs and apprentice positions! Hackbright does post apprentice and junior level positions on the job portal, but there are a lot of people applying to jobs that require less than experience.
6) Accept that you will not have a social life for 3 months - Personally, I spent 40 hours a week at Hackbright, 1-3 hours doing homework and working on my project each night, and occasionally up to 10 hours every weekend working on assessments or your project.
7) Acknowledge that you will keep learning after Hackbright and continue to learn on the job. The learning never stops!
I honestly believe Hackbright is the best decision I've ever made - If you want to be a software engineer, GO TO HACKBRIGHT!
Attending Hackbright Academy was the best decision I have made (besides getting my dogs, of course). I had tried going back to university in Florida to pursue a degree in software engineering--I got through a year of taking classes part-time before becoming fed up with how little useful information I had learned and how long it had taken. I heard about Hackbright and was impressed with their curriculum, reviews, and graduate statistics, so I quit my job and moved across the country to attend.
While attending Hackbright, I was continuously blown away by the amount of practical information they were able to instill in us in such a short amount of time. The biggest learning tool for me was the individual project that each student creates. Developing a web application from scratch was an exciting way to go over the technologies and tools we had learned while also exploring new ones.
The education team and support staff are some of the most knowledgeable, genuinely helpful people I've ever met in an education environment. Everyone is super accessable and really seems to care about the success of each student. I was offered a software engineering position very quickly after graduation because Hackbright's curriculum really does make its students competitive in the job market, and they also spend a good amount of time preparing its students for the ever-daunting technical interviews. I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in a software engineering/web development career.
I came to Hackbright with some experience with coding and computer science. I had dabbled in many different programming languages and technical applications through working at a couple tech startups, online tutorials, and a CS class in college.
The other main factor in my decision was the schedule. I wanted to do a part-time program. From my past experiences, I knew that I learn best if there is time between classes to allow information to soak in before moving on to the next topic (especially if the topics build on each other!). Since I was in no rush to complete my program, this worked for me.
Although I was in the inaugural cohort in this 24-week format, I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the program ran. The instructors were accommodating to our schedules with assessments, advising meetings, and additional office hours during project time (especially since all of us were working full-time).
It was a very collaborative and supportive learning environment among my classmates and instructors. Everyone there genuinely wants to see you succeed (throughout the program and beyond)! It was great to have an advisor who is aware of how things are going. There are also assessments twice a month to help solidify your understanding and identify gaps in knowledge. Hackbright takes feedback seriously. They have a survey after every lecture to let them know what worked and what didn’t. You also receive feedback on your assessments based on your understanding of concepts and your coding style.
After each lecture, there are lab exercises completed in pairs. What’s great is that you get to apply the concepts right away and are able to ask questions about things you thought you understood. Beyond checking your understanding of concepts, through pair programming I learned skills in technical communication, working with others, self-confidence, and was exposed to different problem-solving strategies and programming styles. I think these are all important skills for the workplace since you’ll likely be working as part of an engineering team.
During the second half of the program you build your own web app. Having a project that you can say, “I designed and built this whole thing” gave me a sense of accomplishment and allowed me to see firsthand how much I had learned over the six months. Plus, since I made every decision and wrote every line of code I now have a project in my portfolio that I can explain in depth to a future employer.
Overall, I loved my Hackbright experience. I definitely learned the skills to be a successful software engineer. I am proud to be part of a group of diverse, intelligent and driven female software engineers.
I have a non-traditional, non-traditional background, graduating with a CS degree and then deciding to go into a bootcamp, but I can honestly say that Hackbright has made the decision worth it. Hackbright gave me what my CS department at uni couldn't, a supportive and empowering network meant for my growth and post-graduation success.
Lectures are packed with information and well laid out. Instructors are friendly, encouraging, and always open to questions. Instrcutors also hold plenty of office hours to answer any questions, programming related or not. They provide an enormous amount of technical and moral support. Hackbright also has field trips for their students and has plenty of opportunities to network with engineers in the field. They have designated "Career Coffee" lectures every week to help you with the not-so intuitive skills and resources needed to be successful during your job search post-bootcamp.
All in all, I felt like Hackbright had an incredibly wholesome approach to the "software engineering bootcamp" and I came out of the camp feeling well-prepared and ready to tackle the job search with an added bonus of an incredible group of like-minded and supportive friends.
I enrolled in Hackbright's full-stack bootcamp after completing their Python prep course. I had done some self-learning prior to that but the prep course gave me the confidence in their curriculum and their guidance to dive into a job transition that I had been hesitant about prior to that. A bootcamp is a big investment both financially and in terms of the time and energy required, but after testing the waters with Hackbright's prep course, I was completelly sold.
With Hackbright, I found that coding could be fun and done in a supportive, non-competitive environment where everyone was excited to share ideas and see one another succeed. I also felt confident enough in my newfound skills to start applying them at work almost as soon as we covered them in class (I was enrolled in the 24-week Part-Time Bootcamp, so I was employed full-time throughout), which meant I got to have some real-world experience of writing code and seeing it work in a job environment even before I graduated.
Some elements of the bootcamp did feel a bit awkward; for example the instructors were relatively junior, and not all had much direct experience either as instructors or working as professional software developers or engineers themselves. I think this was largely because of the challenge of finding instructors whose schedules could work around the odd hours of the Part-Time Bootcamp may have limited the pool of instructors who were available. That said, they were all lovely, personable people who were willing to go above and beyond to find the answers to questions if they didn't immediately know them, and I think the curriculum was sufficiently solidly constructed that the material we covered did not suffer overmuch. Another (possible) negative was that some of the job-hunting resources and events felt a little cookie-cutter and poorly timed. However, I think this was largely because they were still figuring out how to adjust the syllabus to make sense in the brand new 24-week format (e.g., our project demo night happened long before we were ready to start seriously networking or applying for anything). Regardless, I felt that the majority of the career-support resources, such as site visits, guest speakers, and whiteboarding with real live engineers in real live partner company offices were by far the most helpful aspects of the bootcamp, as they gave us the chance to interact with potential future colleagues and be treated as peers, which was tremendously confidence-boosting.
The place where Hackbright really shines, however, is in the community of women who surround it. Every single alumna we spoke to, every single current student we interacted with (across all courses and campuses), and every single instructor or admin at Hackbright (many of whom are alumnae themselves), was thoughtful, encouraging, and frankly, loving. I am not normally a very sentimental person, but the community of women at Hackbright is the perfect antidote to much of the negativity around tech and diversity initiatives that has been in the public dialogue lately. I feel inspired to give back as much as I have gotten, and hope to stay involved with the great work Hackbright is doing moving forward.
I won't beat around the bush--completing a bootcamp is HARD, especially if you have a life or a job outside of class that you can't step away from. But if you have the passion and the discipline to get yourself ready, ask for the help and resources you need, and to keep knocking away at it week after week, you will be amazed at how quickly you can learn and the awesome things you can build. There are many ways to learn coding, but there are not very many ways to connect yourself with an amazing community that can help you carry yourself forward at every stage of your engineering career. Hackbright is both!
I absolutely loved my time at Hackbright. It was a unique experience to be in a room full of inspiring women who enjoyed solving problems as much as I do. The instructors really cared about their students' success, and would consistently go the extra mile to make sure you mastered a concept. Above all - it was fun! I looked forward to coming to class everyday.
The curriculum is good, but what's even better is the emphasis on grooming you for the work force as a software engineer. At Hackbright you learn things you never even thought about during your self study, such as testing and following style guides. Going into Hackbright, you vaguely understand the importance of good variable names and writing notes. After Hackbright you can't help but cringe when you see a function with a missing docstring.
Another reason I would recommend Hackbright over many other bootcamps is because of their superb mentor matching program. Each student gets paired with two mentors. Each mentor has agreed to donate at least 1 hour/week of their time to the student, and must have person software engineering job experience. My mentors proved invaluable in solidifying some of the more abstract concepts. They also practiced whiteboarding with me, helped me plan my project, and offered suggestions and inspiration. Both of them kept working with me for months after Hackbright ended, which kept my moral high during the difficult job hunt period. Whether you decide to go with Hackbright or not, make sure you choose a program that offers this type of mentorship! A lot can be learned through diligent self-study, but there are so many items that are made 100x easier by having a good mentor.
Hackbright offers an incredibly supportive environment, and this doesn't stop after graduation. The career team schedules one-on-one meetings with each student, and encourage you to schedule as many meetings with them as you want. There definitely is a lot self-motivation needed to keep up with the work necessary to find a job after graduating, but they are there with you every step of the way. Hackbright also sets up various networking events to help the students meet the right people to get them jobs.
Hackbright gives enough foundation and exposure to concepts to teach its students how to continue their education. Even before you secure a job as one, you leave Hackbright a software engineer.
Prior to attending Hackbright, I had been at a co-ed (mainly male) coding program that lacked the education and career support I needed to succeed as a software engineer. I ended up choosing Hackbright because of the post-grad support and emphasis on balance. There is a technical mentor on staff twice a week, career staff available to help, study sessions every month to continue learning, an amazing alumnae, and many career events. The importance of balance in the program was huge, because I truly believe you cannot learn without some type of balance. We were often told not to stay up until the crack of dawn cramming CS topics. I found their way of teaching most effective for myself to solidify web development and computer science.
I did not realize until during the program, I would make long-lasting connections with my cohort mates and staff. I always had someone from the ed staff to turn to for technical issues and emotional support during this hard journey. I was able to go to my advisor for any questions or concerns related to curriculum, personal matters, imposter syndrome, and career advice. The career team was able to help us prepare during the program and after on the job hunt. The field trips we were able to attend really helped solidify what I was looking for in a company and what the industry was like by meeting many other engineers, particularly women in the industry. The mentorship program is not perfect, but I was lucky to have an amazing mentor that provided technical and emotional support. Overall, I would highly suggest Hackbright to someone looking to break into the industry who knows they need support during/after the program and balance/guidance.
Hackbright took us on company visits, which helped to give us insights into what it would be like to work in tech and also helped expand our professional network. We were also matched with mentors who work in the tech industry to help us throughout and even after the program.
Career support was more than I expected, more than I recieved in the two universities I had attended previously. Additionally, the alumni network is large, pretty spread out (not just restricted to the Bay Area), and super helpful. Every alum I have contacted to ask about job opportunities has been responsive, encouraging and supportive. I graduated Hackbright with a strong sense of what my next steps should be in terms of how to approach the job search and what projects/technologies to work on next. Thanks to the amazing career support, I was able to receive my first job offer less than a month after graduating.
At the beginning of the year, I decided to leave my decade-long career in Customer Support and attempt a transition to Software Engineering. I considered multiple bootcamps but ultimately settled on Hackbright Academy after the admissions interview.
The main thing that stood out to me in the admissions interview was that the questions focused on how I might support my cohort throughout the program. What I took from that conversation was that Hackbright uniquely cares for its students and aim to provide as many avenues of support as possible. That feeling was reinforced time and time again as I was going through the program. The instructors and extended faculty support their students every step of the way, positive affirmations written on post-its adorn the walls of the school, and if a student has a bad day, the whole cohort gets together to support them. In addition, a couple of weeks in, each student is matched with two volunteer mentors from the industry who dedicate an hour per week to offer advice and support.
The curriculum is very well-paced for students who have had a prior introduction to programming. More advanced students may find some of the material in the first five weeks to be a review; however, every lecture and exercise comes with additional material for further study which I found to be invaluable.
After the first five weeks, the cohort breaks apart into individual projects. Students pick their project with assistance and guidance from their advisor, then start development from scratch. Independent projects cover database design, to back-end server development, all the way through front-end design and deployment. The purpose is to reinforce the skills developed in the first five weeks through practical implementation. In the end, students demo their projects in front of a visiting panel of companies followed by an evening of networking.
Finally, the last two weeks are focused on career development. Cohorts visit tech companies in the area, practice interview skills and get guest lectures from hiring managers and alum.
Throughout the program, Hackbright staff asks for frequent feedback. Feedback forms are sent out after every lecture, the data from which is used to help tailor future lectures.
Upon completion of the program, the school continues to support students through the job search. Career development staff will check in with students to offer advice and assist with connecting to hiring managers. Instructors host bi-weekly study sessions for alum and can provide additional practice interviews.
Circling back on my personal experience, I found several companies from our project demo night reached out to me to offer interviews. After interviewing with several companies, I ultimately chose to accept a job offer from one of the companies who visited our demo night.
I honestly couldn't be happier with my choice to attend Hackbright Academy. Everyone from the instructors and career development team to the extended faculty genuinely cares for their students and are passionate to #changetheratio. My experience was a transformative one that couldn't possibly repay. I can't recommend the school enough to anyone looking to make a positive change in their life.
The most valuable resources you need making a major career switch is a strong network and support system. The community at Hackbright is unbelievable. I started school with a competitive mindset and just wanted to make a quick career switch and get sh-t done. At Hackbright, I learned how to build community and what it means to empower others, especially women. I felt more accepted than I ever had by a group of peers (besides my best friends from childhood). My incredible cohortmates inspired me daily, and the alumni network was very supportive in my job search. Hackbright also has an excellent mentorship program (2 mentors : 1 student ratio), and a network of industry partners that regularly host job fairs and whiteboarding sessions to help you shine in the job market.
I could easily write 20 pages about how much I loved Hackbright but I’ll try to keep this a little shorter than that. Just as a background, I might not be the traditional Hackbright student in that I came to Hackbright directly after getting my degree from UC Berkeley.
The program starts off with two lectures and two labs per day. You give anonymous feedback after every lecture which they use to improve the course. Then there’s a few weeks to work on a final project and the last two weeks are career focused. You get an advising group where you and three other students have a specific advisor who helps guide you in your quest. Fridays are fun.
I have never seen such dedicated and caring instructors. All of the instructors went way out of their way to help me. On several occasions I had instructors send me a follow up email to something I had asked them about with more information and sources. During project season I got so much help and always felt so encouraged by them. They’d also do that thing that really great teachers do where you ask a question and then somehow they make it so that you figure out the answer yourself like I don't know how they do it but it's magical.
At first I was very overwhelmed by anything career related. I came in totally clueless when it came to that area. However, in the last two weeks (that were totally career focused) that changed. They set up guest speakers, workshops, field trips, taught us how to network with other people (so scary!) and more. I always felt like they were there to support me and help me with everything I needed help with whether it was with my resume or just a pep talk. Finding a job is a lot of hard work but they don’t just send you out into the wild. You can talk to career services at anytime after you graduate and they also send out weekly check in emails as well as emails that have all the future events, alumn talks, etc. I never would have imagined that I would successfully negotiate my salary offer over the phone (it was so scary!) but career services gave me the help and confidence I needed to do that.
Lastly, here are just some of my favorite parts of the program:
1) Turns out your brain actually functions better when you get a full night sleep (who would have guessed…). Hackbright’s mission is to make you learn a ton of stuff in a short period of time so they encouraged us to get a full night sleep and make an effort to take care of ourselves. It worked.
2) There was no competition. I felt like every student wanted to help each other and build each other up. It was so great to learn in an environment when nobody was trying to prove they were smarter than you (cough, uc berkeley)
3) I felt supported by students and staff. During the program I had two close family members pass away within a day of each other and Hackbright was such a comfortable and supportive environment that I was able to get through it.
4) And for my favorite part of Hackbright: All the confidence I came out with.
I had very little, if any, confidence going into this program. I never would have imagined that going to Hackbright would change that. And unlike while I was at Berkeley, I was able to gain confidence without desperately trying to compare myself to other people. In just 3 months, Hackbright was able to build me up and give me confidence I never would have thought I could have.
I went into this program thinking I’d learn how to code better and yeah I came out with all these sweet coding skills but I also came out with a huge support network, a good understanding of the industry and interview process, I learned how to talk to strangers, and I have more self confidence than I’ve had in my entire life. I’m now doing things I would have never imagined I could do before.
I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is willing to put in the effort and work hard.
I applied for engineering roles before Hackbright, but I rarely heard back from recruiters, and I couldn't succeed in on-site interviews.
Hackbright Academy gave me the skills, confidence, vocabulary, and connections to excel at interviews and land my first software engineering role!
The atmosphere at Hackbright was superb. I felt supported every step of the way—by the instructors, by career development, by my mentors, and most of all, by my cohort! Even the learning areas are fantastic, as they're not a row of desks but fluffy soft shaggy carpeting, floor seats, and generous couch seating, in addition to a row of tables and chairs. Support staff (i.e., stuffed animals) are spread throughout the room, and named adorably.
Hackbright gave me the opportunity to pair program with my colleagues, which not only reinforced the exercises, but it helped us learn to verbalize our ideas about the functions and algorithms we wrote. Hackbright also matched each of us with two mentors, who met with us weekly to reassure us, build our confidence, teach us, and help us practice to prepare for interviews.
Hackbright's alumnae network is invaluable for mentorship and for networking throughout my career, and probably the most valuable part of Hackbright.
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!
The second five weeks you will work on your capstone project and present it on Demo Night, in front of prospective employers and other people. Here you will all about MVP (Minimum Viable Product), debugging, testing and researching APIs and other issues that come up when trying to meet a deadline.
The final two weeks are spent with the Career Development team. You actually work them every week thoughout the program, but the last two weeks you get them fulltime. You will go out and do white boarding and technical interviewing at tech companies in San Francisco. You will learn about networking, salary neogiation, interviewing skills and much more.
The 12-week fulltime program is expensive, tough, but rewarding. They have a great Alumae network that you can plug into and scheduled Alumni events (think networking). The women you go though the program with will be your friends/network for life. As one of the instructors said, "you will get your first job, but the women you graduate with will get up your next job."
Before I found Hackbright, I never considered being a software engineer. That option was never offered to me in high school or college, and by the time I decided to study it on my own, I immediately regretted not starting sooner and taking CS classes in college. Luckily, Hackbright quickly entered the scene and showed me that my chance wasn't over. By taking me on and feeding my desire to enter a technical field, Hackbright ignited a fire in me that I doubt will ever go out. I learned so much in my 12-week program, and I haven't stopped seeking out new things to learn since.
To give more specifics...
Things I found that Hackbright excelled in:
- Teaching a tech stack that is growing in the industry. In my current position, I use Python every day and I love it! Not to mention, Hackbright was the first to teach me how a computer works in the first place. :)
- Structuring our time together efficiently. Given the mountain of material we learned in 3 months, I was constantly impressed that I never felt overwhelmed. Lectures always contained the right level of depth into each subject, and the corresponding lab sessions were perfectly tuned to train us in the concepts we had just learned. The program leaders clearly listen to past cohorts (taking surveys after every lecture and checking in every week), and implement changes to the structure that greatly benefit the students.
- Kickstarting our professional network with a mentorship program. Each student was paired with 2-3 local working professionals in the industry. These mentors were volunteers, drawn to Hackbright's mentor program with desires to guide the next generation of engineers! I was given 3 completely awesome mentors who continued to help me well into my job search.
- Nurturing a safe, fun, encouraging environment. Weekly check-ins and evening socials provided time for both students and staff to relax and get to know one another. Unfriendly competition was never welcome in our cohort, as was evident by our frequent pair programming sessions and supportive demo-night practices. The bonds we created allowed us to flourish in our time there, and we frequently reconnect and remain a strong network of support.
- Providing tools and techniques to help with the job search. Weeks 11-12 were entirely devoted to career services, and I felt well-equipped for my job search. Most of the benefits I received came later, however. Hackbright offers discounts for its alumni to use a variety of study tools, and I took advantage of several that really made a difference in my job search. In particular, my cohort was given beta access to Interviewing.io, a platform that conducts technical phone interviews between anonymized participants. It was a fantastic opportunity to get interview practice in a low-stakes environment, and potentially make new contacts!
Things I think Hackbright could approach better:
- Project guidance. At the culmination of 10 weeks, each of us had built a coding project that was entirely her own, and Demo Night was a chance for us to show it to enthusiastic representitives from leading Bay Area tech companies. Planning for that project began around week 3, and each project idea had to be approved by one's appointed project advisor. However, I feel that the project I chose, while interesting and fun, didn't allow me to showcase all of the tools I learned at Hackbright. I didn't know this at week 3, but by week 10 I had a few regrets. I wish I had been advised to change my project concept a bit earlier on.
- Being a better representative to partner companies. At several points in my job search, I found a favorable job listing at a company that was in partnership with Hackbright. I sent a request to our Career Services for a formal introduction to the company (as is procedure), but each time, there was a holdup—either Hackbright had since lost their contact at the company, or Career Services advised me to approach the company myself. I felt unsupported and didn't end up getting any facetime with those companies.
After experiencing Hackbright, I was ready to face the industry with staff, company partners, and 600+ alumni at my disposal. But regardless of the resources I was given, I am still most grateful to Hackbright for taking a chance on me and nurturing my curiosity into the behemoth it is today. Now I know that I will never stop learning, and I never want to!
I've written a post on Hackbright's blog with more information on my experience and my current position as an engineer. If you have any questions for me, please reach out on LinkedIn—I'd love to help! Cheers, and good luck!
Coming from a nursing background, I had zero coding experience prior to attending Hackbright's prep course (and onto the fellowship). After talking to tech recruiters regarding what bootcamp to attend, they all unanimously pointed towards Hackbright.
There are 4 dinstinct qualities about Hackbright that make it stand out from the rest: the transparency, continuous passion for improvement, support system, and alumnae network.
Transparency - They held info sessions for prospective students, were timely with email exchanges, and are part of a 3rd party outcomes report. Just looking at the website, you know exactly what you're getting into, up to the day-to-day schedule of the program.
Continuous passion for improvement: During the prep and fellowship program, every lecture was paired with a feedback survey, as well as the TA writing notes in the back for potential powerpoint typos, areas of clarifications, etc. They also restructure the curriculum from time to time to keep up with the latest versions of programming languages / if a certain technology is starting to be prevalent in the job market.
Support system: When you're attending a lecture and look back, seeing all the other instructors/TAs literally attending the lecture WITH you, you know you are in the right place. What an amazing staff. I never once felt insecure about asking a question, and never once had no one available to ask the question to.
Alumnae network: Hackbright continously hosts events where alum and students connect with one another, as well as the career services team being more than happy to introduce you to previous graduates. It's by far the strongest community I've seen. We are all proud Hackbrighters, easily spotted in the city with our red jackets.
My only room of improvement would be the tech stack they teach. It's a carefully curated one, intended for pedagogical reasons. However, in terms of the job market and what's prevalent out there, it does not exactly align. But, this bootcamp above all else taught me HOW to learn new frameworks/languages in a short amount of time, which is absolutely the most important skill you can have going into the tech industry.
I began my coding journey by following along MIT's introduction to programming course and various Codecademy courses here and there. A few weeks later, I decided to check out Hackbright's fellowship application. It was a day before the deadline for the next cohort, so I stopped halfway through the application. I figured that there's no way I could complete the whole process in one day. Then I got a call from Victoria from Admissions, who encouraged me to submit my application since the deadline had moved back by 2 weeks. I got accepted within the month, and it's surreal how much my life has changed.
I absolutely loved the program. A drawback I read online before was that an all-women bootcamp doesn't prepare you for a male-dominated workplace. I can say that that is untrue. The environment simply provided the women with a safe place to focus on learning.
- Energetic staff and knowledgeable instructors who revamp the curriculum based on feedback
- Study/life balance for student's ability to decide how to spend time after 6pm
- Exposure to full-stack webapp development. The individual projects are so each student can fully own her idea/execution
- Mentorship program is careful curated - I had three mentors: a frontend engineer at mid-sized startup, an engineer at a small VC, and a backend engineer at a large-sized company. They all used different languages and were available for support on project and whiteboarding.
- Pace was slower than I would have liked, but in a way it forced me to absorb the information deeper
- Algorithm is taught mostly with whiteboarding, but I think it's important to instill the importance of logic & algorithms early on. I studied algorithms on my own time after class ended for the day.
Overall, I met really great people and found my job ( which I love ) within two weeks of graduating. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to change industries and needs a structured path.
I had a positive experience at Hackbright Academy. Hackbright was a supportive and positive environment for me to learn how to code and prepare for the job search.
First of all, I was super impressed with the collaboration environment among the students. It did not feel like a competition where there is a sole "winner" of Hackbright. I feel like we ALL came out as winners at the end and we all helped each other in our own way, whether it was emotional support or help and ideas technically. I definitely got that "these are my people" feeling!
There was a lot of support and encouragement from the educational staff and career services team as well. The quality of my instructors was excellent as well as the TA's and lab instructor. The instructors were great about checking in with the students making sure we were understanding the material and encouraged us to ask questions. They were also very good about requesting feedback after each lecture. A school that takes feedback seriously is a good sign in my opinion!
Hackbright tries hard to set you up for success, already connecting each student with 3 mentors that work in the tech industry. All three of my mentors were helpful and involved. I still communicate and meet with them even though the fellowship is over. I have a much bigger network now than I did before Hackbright!
Career services were also strong. Very organized and thought out material. The last two weeks of the fellowship was career services focused, bringing in people from the industry to talk to us and give us a wealth of advice for the job search.
Of course, make sure to put in the hard work, time, and dedication to make the most of Hackbright!
As you can tell from the ratings, I really enjoyed my time at Hackbright. I'm more of a list person, so let's make some lists.
- Excellent structure. First five weeks: lecture in the morning, lab, lunch, lecture in the afternoon, lab. Homework. Weekend assessments. Weeks six through ten: lecture in the morning, work on your projects the rest of the time. Weeks eleven and twelve: lectures and guest speakers on career things (interviewing tips, negotiations, whiteboarding, field trips). It's a very professional setup and I felt well cared for. [Side note: I also felt like I probably could have learned all the things I learned at HB on my own, but it would have taken at least 4x longer and be much more frustrating, so that alone justifies the tuition for me.]
- Lots of feedback mechanisms in place. After every lecture / talk / event, there's a survey. And they take the survey results seriously and implement your feedback (if warranted). HB is not perfect, but they sure do work hard and constant improvement.
- The network. Besides the people who work at HB, you become a part of this amazingly supportive alumnae community. I was actually really afraid of being with the same classmates all the time and also with a lot of women who may want to socialize a lot, but the end result was that I could put in however much effort into socialization as I wanted. I didn't feel pressured to grab lunch or talk. And regardless of my lack of socialization investment, I still felt like one of the team. And it was a great team. I really miss my cohort. And HB.
- The mentors. I had varying degrees of closeness with my mentors but they were all amaizing and oh-so helpful! So cool that HB has this in place to further support us.
- Career support. The career services team is resourceful, encouraging, and supportive. We updated our resumes, LinkedIn, wrote cover letters, ... we basically had everything in place to hit the ground running for the job search as soon as the program was over. I lucked out and landed a job with a partner company about a month after the program ended. I was prepared to allot myself 3 - 6 months for the job hunt, as that is a more reasonable / likely amount of time.
- It's not cheap. Plus, you'll be doing it full time (plus!) so you won't be able to get a job. I feel really privileged to be able to take this leap, but I understand that not everyone can do it. Definitely consider your personal financial situation thoroughly before leaping.
- It's tough. The program is tough. Software development is not easy work. It requires attention to detail, problem solving skills, patience, teamwork. This is a double-edged sword because I was thinking back on my old job where I knew most of the things to know and was not very challenged and made decent money. I definitely could've stayed on that trajectory. But I love challenges, so I went to HB and I know now that I'll be challenged for the rest of my life. Know this before you choose this path. :)
If you have any questions about my experience, feel free to read my blog post on it and reach out to me with questions. Happy to answer them!
Hackbright has a very supportive environment. I am glad I joined Hackbright and thankful to everyone. Even after I finished, the staff is still very helpful with any questions I might have plus there is a mentor that comes twice a week at the alum lounge which I think is awesome and definitely helps during job searching time.
There is just too many amazing words to describe Hackbright.
As a working adult and parent, it was a difficult decision to quit my full-time job and attend Hackbright. I made the switch strategically by first attending their weekend boot camp course and then their prep course to get a feel of how they structure their coursework and teaching style. From the very beginning, I was blown away by their supportive and nurturing environment. They are really passionate about changing the ratio in tech and this mission is reflected in everything they do(i.e. teaching approach, opportunities for women, mentorship, etc). I am forever grateful to have spent the past 5 months (prep program + full-time program) with amazing women who are on a mission to become awesome SOFTWARE ENGINEERS! The passion to learn is contagious at Hackbright and I love it!