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The Grace Hopper Program

New York City

The Grace Hopper Program

Avg Rating:5.0 ( 13 reviews )

Recent The Grace Hopper Program News

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Recent The Grace Hopper Program Reviews: Rating 5.0

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1 Campus

New York City

1 Course

Course Details

Payment Plan
No upfront tuition is owed. Students pay 22.5% of first year’s salary, paid over 12 months after you start working. (Alt. payment option: $17,610 upfront)
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Some Experience Preferred
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
Four week-long remote Foundations class

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3/21/2017
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Our latest on The Grace Hopper Program

  • Alumni Spotlight: Maggie Neterval of The Grace Hopper Program

    Lauren Stewart2/22/2017

    Maggie Neterval had a bachelor’s degree in cognitive science, but felt she just wasn’t on the right career path. After switching lanes and moving to NYC to work for an organic food delivery startup, Maggie discovered her passion for tech. Her Founder House roommates introduced her to coding bootcamps, and Maggie enrolled in The Grace Hopper Program, an all women coding bootcamp in New York. Learn more about Maggie’s journey into tech, why she chose to teach other bootcampers as a Fullstack Fellow at The Grace Hopper Program after graduating, and how she landed her new job as a Front End Engineer at Dataminr!

    Q&A

    Tell me about your pre-Grace Hopper story. Your undergrad degree is in cognitive science?

    I studied cognitive science at UVA and thought I wanted a career in neuroscience. I realized that wasn't for me after working in a couple of research labs. I graduated a little early and moved to New York City to work for a startup called Sakara Life which does high-end organic meal delivery. That really introduced me to my lifelong passion for health and nutrition.

    I did a little bit of everything at Sakara Life. It was quite a small team when I joined, and it was really fun to watch it grow while I discovered my passion for tech. I was really interested in a lot of the technical challenges the company was facing and started to teach myself a little bit of programming on the side, and totally fell in love. So I decided to leave that startup to pursue programming full-time.

    So you were working for a tech company, but when did you realize that you wanted to work as a software developer?

    While I was still working at Sakara, I was also living in a co-living space for people in tech called Founder House. I was actually a house manager of one of their locations. I became friends with a lot of excellent developers and people who have made a career out of programming, and they really pushed me in the right direction in terms of online resources, and how to really make the career change.

    I had actually never heard about coding bootcamps until a few of my Founder House friends suggested Fullstack Academy to me. I had become friendly with Fullstack Academy alumni, and they let me know about the new Grace Hopper program. It was pretty new at the time I had heard about it, and I thought that it would be a really great fit for me.

    The Grace Hopper Program is an all-women coding bootcamp; how important was that to you?

    Since Sakara is a mostly female company, I really loved the "all women empowering each other" environment. And obviously, the deferred tuition model at Grace Hopper is really attractive to someone who at the time was not totally confident that they'd be able to make this career change into tech. So overall it was a great fit for me.

    I'd say that the deferred tuition, the reputation academically, and the curriculum aligning with my interests were the top three, but learning with all women was a close fourth. I really enjoyed that all women environment at my previous job, and it was not a disappointment at Grace Hopper either. It was really cool.

    Tell me about your cohort at Grace Hopper. Obviously, you were learning with all women, but did your class feel diverse in terms of a career and life background, and race?

    Yes. I'd say it was one of the most diverse groups of people I've ever worked with. Some people had computer science backgrounds, but the rest came from such different industries. Everyone brought different skills to the table. There were people from marketing, finance, and some people straight out of college.

    It was a really unique opportunity to be learning something completely new with people who brought a perspective from all different industries. I thought that was really cool. Obviously, it was all women, but the racial diversity I thought was great and representative of New York. One of the things I love about being in the city is that everyone has had such different life experiences; so I did think that our cohort was reflective of that, in a way that constantly surprised me, especially since the tech industry is often not as diverse.

    Did the teaching style at Grace Hopper match your learning style? Can you describe a typical day?

    Yeah, absolutely. The on-campus portion of the Grace Hopper Program and Fullstack Academy is divided into two main parts: Junior Phase and Senior Phase. During Junior Phase, you spend an hour or two on lectures each day and then the rest of the day doing workshops with a partner. I am definitely someone who learns by doing so that really aligned with my learning style.

    Senior Phase, which is the second part of the program, is completely project based. So you'll be working on three different projects. Two are with a group and one is an individual project. So again, learning by doing is the best way to learn– at least in technology and at least for me. So I found it really helpful to be diving in for each new technology we learned and applying it immediately.

    Did you feel like learning to code with women changed the learning experience at all?

    I’ve only done Grace Hopper, so I can't compare it with another program, but I would say that I felt a little bit safer asking questions that I may have kept to myself if I had felt more judgment. Knowing that everyone was coming in on the same boat, entering a new field, I didn't feel like any of my questions would be looked down upon. Whether that was a product of the Grace Hopper culture as a whole, or the all-female environment, or some combination of the two, it was a very safe space to ask any questions that came up, and really learn at your own pace; not to be made to feel stupid or insecure during that process which is something I was so nervous about.

    Did you have a favorite project at Grace Hopper? Tell us about it!

    I did my final project with two other women in my cohort, who are now my dear friends. We tried to build a better version of Slack- the real-time messaging system. I had a lovely time working with them. We explored a couple of new technologies and really had a great time learning together, making mistakes, and correcting them. We spent the last few weeks developing our capstone projects and that’s what we presented at Hiring Day. Hiring Day is where local employers come and watch you present; there's an interviewing and networking session after.

    What technologies did you use for this Slack clone? Did you have a name for it?

    We called it “Lack” because it was meant to be Slack but a little bit simpler and less noisy. We used Firebase which is a back-end-as-a-service that Google has released. It gives you a real-time database as well as a few auth tools. And then we used Angular on the front end.

    Our readers always want to know about the job search. How has Grace Hopper prepared you for the job search? Did you feel prepared throughout that process of looking for a job?

    I was the most nervous about that process. One thing that Grace Hopper did, which was super helpful, was set aside the first hour of every day during Senior Phase for whiteboarding problems. Whiteboarding is a big part of the tech interview process– answering data structures and algorithm questions live instead of doing it on a computer– which can be really anxiety provoking. Since I didn’t come from a computer science background, I did have to put in a lot of my own time after graduating to sharpen up those skills to a point where I felt confident going into onsite interviews. Grace Hopper gave me an excellent start.

    Secondly, the career services at Fullstack Academy and Grace Hopper Program are superb. There are a lot of one-on-one meetings where they will help you with your resume and cover letter and just general tactics for approaching the job search that I had no idea about. Never having applied for tech jobs before, it's really a completely different game. So learning what the rules are from an actual recruiter who had been in the tech space who now works at Grace Hopper as a career counselor was invaluable.

    I did end up staying on as a Fullstack Fellow for an additional three months, which really solidified the skills I would need in the job search. I feel lucky that I was able to be a fellow, and afterward I felt really confident going into interviews.

    What motivated you to become a Fullstack Fellow? Had you gotten any job offers?

    I knew pretty early on at Grace Hopper that I wanted to do the Fullstack Fellowship, so I didn't apply for jobs right away. Once I found out that I had been accepted as a Fullstack Fellow, I was really excited to stay on for another three months and be a mentor for the next cohort and sharpen my own skills as I mentioned. So I didn't end up applying for jobs until around the holidays this year.

    What's the process to become a Fullstack Fellow?

    We had to do a small written application during our Senior Phase as students and a technical interview with an instructor who would act like a student with a bug in their code. I went through and explained it to them and helped them debug, as well as answered a few behavioral questions.

    I found out that I was accepted within a week of applying, which was really nice so then we could know going forward whether we'd be applying for jobs immediately or whether we'd be staying as Fullstack Fellows. For me, I loved the program so much, and I knew I wanted to stay, so it was really a no-brainer.

    What was your transition like from Fullstack Fellow to a developer? I heard that you had quite a few offers and you had to make a decision between companies.

    I interviewed with several different companies. Some were larger companies and some on the smaller end. I'm glad that I interviewed with different sized companies, because there are some unknowns for you in your job search, especially when it's your first job of that kind. I learned a lot about what I did and didn't want in a team and in the technology throughout the interview process.

    So by the end, I was deciding between a couple of different options, and ultimately it came to feeling that the team was the right fit. I'm starting a new role as a Front End Engineer at a company called Dataminr on Monday.

    What were some of the things that you were looking for in a company? How did you decide on Dataminr?

    For me, the industry was a little bit less important than the team and the technology. My number one priority is to learn as much as possible and to grow as an engineer, so I wanted to be in an environment where people were constantly learning and excited about mastering their craft. Just as important were the people. It’s hard to judge the people before you actually get on site at a company and meet the team that you'd be working with, but it was important to me to click with the team. I think that's a huge factor in your happiness at work and therefore in your life– is getting along with the people you work with. You have to make sure that you're a good culture fit and that you're working style fits in with the communication style of the team.

    Technology was another important piece for me. While I was a Fullstack Fellow, Fullstack  Academy and Grace Hopper changed their curriculum on the front end to React and Redux, and I really enjoyed learning and then teaching those. The companies that were using those technologies was exciting to me, so I am glad that I'll be using those technologies at Dataminr.

    From listening to your story, it sounds like Grace Hopper was the right decision for you, but looking back on the last year, what was your biggest challenge in your journey to learn to code?

    I think my own lack of confidence was my biggest roadblock. I was really afraid that I wouldn't get into Grace Hopper Program, and then I was afraid that I would fail at the program, and then I was afraid that I'd succeed at the program but fail at the job search. And so you see a pattern here, which is my own lack of confidence pulling me back.

    From talking to other women entering the field, it’s not uncommon to feel like an imposter, or to feel like you don't belong. Getting over that and realizing that I was hired because I am good at what I do, I passed the interviews, and it wasn't a mistake, and just really repeating that sort of mantra to myself that “it's going to be okay” was huge. My own self-doubt has held me back more than anything.

    How have you been able to combat that self-doubt and imposter syndrome?

    I don't think I'm totally over it yet. My next fear is "I'm going to be fired on the first day of the job." I know that it’s a terrible pattern, and I'm actively working on changing it, but it is tough, and it doesn't go away overnight. I think the biggest thing though is just talking to other women in my Grace Hopper cohort and having them express that they have felt the same way or reassuring me that those thoughts about myself didn't reflect reality. Ultimately, I think it just has to come from me. I'm hoping that more time on the job realizing that I can do this will stop them, but the voice in my head hasn't quite turned off.

    What advice do you have for other people making that career change into technology and going to a coding bootcamp?

    A coding bootcamp is like a guide, but I think individuals will really determine their own success. There are plenty of people who could go through the program and not be qualified to get a really good job afterward. Make sure you're doing the bootcamp for the right reasons. Don't read a review online and say, "Oh, I want to make a six figure salary. I'll just go through this program."

    Your heart really has to be in it, and you have to like programming because in order to do really well you have to put in the extra time every day. If you’re trying to make a ton of money, go work in finance. You have to really love this so do it for the right reasons.

    The second thing would be, don't give up if you fail the first time. I've always been really open about saying this at Grace Hopper, but I was rejected the first time I applied, and I really didn't think that I could ever be able to get in.

    Even in the first week, I felt like I was in the bottom of the cohort. I didn't even know how to use a text editor. I didn't know any keyboard shortcuts. To look back on myself clicking around is really embarrassing. I put the extra time in every morning and at night and quickly I was able to rise up. Anyone with a certain level of intelligence could do the same, but you need to put the work in.

    Thanks to everybody else tuning into this conversation. If you have questions about Grace Hopper, leave those in the comments of this video. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook and let us know which school you're interested in, or which school you would like to see another live Q&A with. Have a good day everyone!

    Read more The Grace Hopper Program reviews and check out The Grace Hopper program website.

    About The Author

    Laurenstewartimage

    Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes youth/career development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

  • 3 Ways Women Can Overcome Bias in Tech

    Shanna Gregory1/10/2017

    Women face many challenges when it comes to getting into the tech industry, including in their education and in finding a job. I recently attended the annual Grace Hopper Conference, where I was surrounded by thousands of women with plenty of inspiring stories and useful advice.  Here are my takeaways for both women developers and employers navigating the job search and hiring process.

    Continue Reading →
  • Your 2017 #LearnToCode New Year’s Resolution

    Lauren Stewart1/3/2017

    It’s that time again! A time to reflect on the year that is coming to an end, and a time to plan for what the New Year has in store. While it may be easy to beat yourself up about certain unmet goals, one thing is for sure: you made it through another year! And we bet you accomplished more than you think. Maybe you finished your first Codecademy class, made a 30-day Github commit streak, or maybe you even took a bootcamp prep course – so let’s cheers to that! But if learning to code is still at the top of your Resolutions List, then taking the plunge into a coding bootcamp may be the best way to officially cross it off. We’ve compiled a list of stellar schools offering full-time, part-time, and online courses with start dates at the top of the year. Five of these bootcamps even have scholarship money ready to dish out to aspiring coders like you.

    Continue Reading →
  • Alumni Spotlight: Anna Garcia of The Grace Hopper Program

    Lauren Stewart11/21/2016

    Anna Garcia played music- trumpet to be exact- professionally since age 11. But when she blended her entrepreneurial spirit with her love for healthy living to create a startup called Juice Crawl, Anna knew that she needed tech skills to build the website. Intrigued by the process of building that website, Anna was motivated to learn software development, and enrolled in The Grace Hopper Program’s all women coding bootcamp in New York City. Learn about Anna’s transition from music to coding, and about her new Software Engineering job at American Express!

    Q&A

    What was your educational background and last career path before you got to the Grace Hopper Program?

    I moved from St. Louis to New York to receive my master’s degree in music. I played professional trumpet for a few years, went on tour, and was even nominated for a Grammy. New York is such an art-friendly place.

    I’ve been playing music professionally since I was 11. I was very used to that life, but I was always curious about other things, and

    I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and you need that in order to survive as a musician or as a freelancer. You are your employer and your employee. You're making contracts, setting up gigs, and planning everything. I eventually started my own company called Juice Crawl, a monthly event in New York. It’s like a pub crawl, except that we go to different juice bars. That was my first non-music project that I had ever done.

    How did that develop into an interest in coding ?

    Through my Juice Crawl project, I learned digital marketing, PR and even how to create the website. Since launching Juice Crawl in 2014, I started to find myself more interested in building the actual website. I had to make a website for my company that let users buy tickets, sign up, and send a newsletter. I found the HTML and CSS Head First Series by O'Reilly book at a library, which is big and daunting, but it's a really easy read. If you don't know anything about programming, it guides you through it. Through that book, I learned enough to make a really simple, functional web page.

    Also, I'm always doing free coding courses. There are so many resources right now like Coursera, Codecademy, Code School, Udemy, and Udacity.

    When did you decide that you wanted to attend a coding bootcamp?

    Even once I started building the Juice Crawl site, I wasn’t necessarily considering a coding bootcamp. My goal was more to make Juice Crawl successful and to make this website better. Google was a really good resource for looking things up, and then I found out about coding bootcamps.

    At the same time, a friend was talking about doing a data science bootcamp and it seemed interesting. I started researching, and it looked really cool. I was honestly a little skeptical- you go to a bootcamp and you are there for four months, and then you get a job? As a musician I've been playing trumpet for years, and you can't just play trumpet in four months and make it to the the Grammys! I was very skeptical, but I kept researching more, and it seemed like a lot of people were seeing success.  

    Which coding bootcamps did you research?

    I didn't want to move, so I limited my scope to New York, and I ruled out online bootcamps because after learning all by myself for a few years, I knew I wanted to code with people. I looked at a bunch of bootcamps.

    It really came down to Flatiron School, General Assembly, Grace Hopper, Fullstack Academy or App Academy. For quality, I really liked App Academy, Fullstack Academy, and Grace Hopper. Flatiron School and General Assembly seemed to be larger,  and I felt students wouldn’t get as much attention. I also went to meetups to meet people who had gone to different bootcamps, and I noticed which people were unemployed, versus the people that had graduated and did have jobs.

    What made you choose The Grace Hopper Program?

    I loved the quality of Fullstack Academy and through Fullstack Academy, I found Grace Hopper and I thought it was really cool that they had an all-women program. Also, Grace Hopper has a deferred tuition model, and I felt that if they're depending on me getting a job to get paid, they’re incentivized to be on my side.

    I was accepted to Grace Hopper, but also was accepted into App Academy and the other schools I mentioned. I felt that throughout the admission process, The Grace Hopper Program was more warm and caring. I also knew that, after speaking to people at meetups, it was important for me to learn React. I was going back and forth, but I chose Grace Hopper because of their quality of instruction, the opportunity to learn with women, the tuition model, and the friendly atmosphere.

    Can you walk us through the application process for Grace Hopper? Did they require a coding challenge?

    First you fill out an application online, and you have to write about yourself, and why you want to attend. I don't think there was anything too technical, but then after they look at that, they send you a coding challenge. Grace Hopper’s coding challenge matched what I thought it would be as far as quality. The bootcamps I thought were better, had a harder coding challenge. Grace Hopper had a pretty difficult coding challenge, the first time I took it really late and missed their first cohort deadline, I didn't even past the first test.  I retook it, and it was challenging still, but I passed. Then two different people called me, and asked me about myself, and I elaborated more on the first application about who I was and why I wanted to attend.

    After the coding challenge, I had a Skype challenge. Then I met with one of the teachers and it was like a job interview actually, because they ask you questions and you have to solve it without your computer's help. You can't really check what you're doing. It's what you call whiteboarding I guess, but on the computer. I felt good about that portion and then the second portion they try to teach you a new concept, and they try to see how receptive you are to learning with one of the teachers. That was the last part of the application, and then they let me know within a few days.

    Your cohort was obviously all women, but was it diverse in terms of race, age range and career backgrounds?

    Yes- it was amazing. We started with 24 students and only 20 graduated, but everybody was super smart, really nice, and friendly. It made the whole experience great. The majority was generally around the millennial age range.

    In terms of backgrounds, some people actually had CS degrees. I think maybe two people had already had previous job experience as front end developers, and then we had people with completely different backgrounds like Macy's department store managers, musicians, and other jobs unrelated to tech. I was really surprised as we all became really close.

    This is a really intense program. You’re in the classroom Monday through Saturday, for 10 hours a day. If you're learning and growing with your classmates for that long, it's hard not to make close bonds.

    Can you give us a peek into a typical day at The Grace Hopper Program?

    The whole program is split into a Junior Phase and a Senior Phase. The Junior Phase was really structured. We'd arrive at 9am in the morning and start with a quick lecture, or we would go over a concept that we had talked about the day before. Then we went into workshops, which would always include pair programming. I think some people don’t like pair programming, but I loved it because I wanted to learn with people. That's the reason that I chose an in-person bootcamp instead of an online program. What I loved about pair programming is that when you're not the driver (typing code), you're watching your partner’s thought process. If you're with a group of really smart women, it's hard not to learn something new from that process.

    After the workshop, we reviewed the workshop via a video or an instructor. If we had a video, an instructor would come in after we watched the video to clarify any concepts. We would then have lunch and then another workshop learning more quick concepts. It would change day to day, but basically, Junior Phase was a lot of learning.

    The Senior Phase was full of projects. We did three projects– one project was a solo, hackathon-style project (there were even prizes at the end) that took two days and you could basically build anything you wanted. We were supposed to put everything that we’d learned during Junior Phase into that project.

    What did you build for your first project at Grace Hopper?

    At that point, I was voted the class alumni representative, so I built a simple way to keep in touch. The app was called "Keep in Touch” and it emails all of the alumni every month, then collects everybody's responses.

    What were the other projects you built?

    My team of five built a mock e-commerce store called "Wish Upon a Store," where we sold wishes. My favorite was the capstone project, where Grace Hopper encouraged us to use what we've learned, along with whatever new technologies we wanted. My group essentially made our own game engine and built 3D Memory Palace. We used a new technology, Three.js. It was scary because we only had a few weeks to make this project, and you start by thinking to yourself, "How in the world can I make these projects?" We decided to use a different technology, but we made it. We pulled through, and that's the project that we used for Hiring Day and all of our job applications.

    What technologies were you using for those projects?

    For those projects I actually used the same technologies. We used PostgreSQL for the database, and we used Node in the back end because it's JavaScript based. We also used Angular for front end and Express for the routing services.

    How did the all-women learning environment compare to your past education experiences like your master's program?

    I'm a trumpet player, so I'm used to being the only woman in all-male spaces; I knew that I could deal with it. My master's program was small- about 12-15 people in a trumpet studio- and there were only two women. I’ve spent the majority of my life in that type of environment and so I never really thought about it or was bothered by it too much. Being in an environment with all women, I think the difference is that everybody wanted to create a community, be friendly, and meet people and make friends.

    How was your job search? Did you have support from Grace Hopper throughout the process?

    For me, I feel lucky that it was relatively painless. The day after Hiring Day and graduation, I went to Thailand for vacation for two weeks. It wasn't completely ideal to do that vacation right after the program, but I followed up with everybody that I met on hiring day, giving them a heads up. When I came back, I was a little worried that I had missed out, but I actually think my time off helped me to relax after such an intense program. It was very fun, but there's only so much your brain can handle!

    In fact, I got a coding challenge from every company that I met at Hiring Day. Then I met a majority of them for in-person interviews. I met American Express at Hiring Day, and got an offer from them fairly quickly.

    Congrats on your new role at American Express! Is the life of a software engineer what you expected?

    I am a software engineer on the New Initiatives team at Amex. That means that my team gets to brainstorm, “proof of concept” a lot of ideas, and then test them. We get to work with different teams, and see a lot of parts of the business. In that way, I’m in an engineering role, but also a little bit of a business role. My team at Amex sort of operates like a startup (we’re a team of three), but with the security of a large company.

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect. This is a totally different life. It's actually easier than playing the trumpet. I still play the trumpet, I just get to pick my favorite gigs instead of playing to survive.

    Tell us about your first few weeks at American Express. How have you transitioned into the real world?

    Amex is really good about helping further your career. They offer to pay for classes so they can help me to continue and further my learning. I jumped in on the first day at American Express, and I've been able to be really helpful and fit in. It's a big company, so there's still a lot to get used to, but I’ve avoided imposter syndrome for the most part.

    I have a one-on-one every week with my manager to check in and talk about anything. I've graduated from a four-month coding bootcamp and I've definitely learned a lot, but I didn’t know if I felt like a software engineer. In my most recent one-on-one, my manager told me that it’s not about the amount of time you spent learning, but rather the quality of your learning. That’s really helpful for other coding bootcamp graduates to hear, and it’s true! We put in quality time in those four months, and we learned so much. I had classmates with CS degrees, but even that doesn’t necessarily mean you have current job industry skills. That’s why coding bootcamps exist, and that's why they're successful.

    Grace Hopper taught full-stack JavaScript. Are you using the same technologies in your current role, or have you had to learn a lot on the job?

    I use Angular at American Express, which is what we learned at Grace Hopper. CSS and HTML are constant no matter your job. Grace Hopper now teaches React, but since I didn’t learn React in my cohort, I spent a month teaching myself while I was waiting for my background check to clear. By the time I started at Amex, I felt pretty good about it.

    At Amex, we use React and Java on the back end. I feel like once you feel comfortable with a programming language, especially JavaScript, you start to see patterns and can learn a new language like Java, C, C++ or C#.

    You're not going to learn everything in one day, but you can use Google, Stack Overflow, etc to learn the right syntax and the language. The concepts are the same, so it's not too bad.

    What's been your biggest challenge on your journey to learn programming?

    The biggest challenge is when that negative voice comes up in your mind– maybe you’re just starting on this ladder, or you don't have a CS degree, or you’re learning a lot in four months of intense programming. You have to remind yourself that you are here and you’re benefiting the team. Life is always a journey in learning. There's never a point where you're done learning and you've mastered a topic. That's probably the thing that gets in my own way, but you just have to stop and silence that voice.

    Are you still involved with other Grace Hopper alumni?

    Since I’m the alumni representative, I planned an upcoming Sunday brunch to get my cohort together again! But I haven’t been very involved in the newest cohorts.

    Do you have any advice for bootcampers who are about to start the job search?

    I feel lucky that I got an offer so quickly, but my advice is to apply! Don't put yourself in a position where you feel like you shouldn't apply because you're not going to get the job. Just do it. The worst thing that could happen is you don't hear back from a company. Also practice coding challenges to be fresh for the interview, and do your research about the company you’re interviewing with. Instead of mass emailing a ton of companies, send a thoughtful message to a company and demonstrate that you understand who they are and that you care about what they're doing. You’ll get more responses.

    For someone who is on the fence about joining a coding bootcamp- what’s your advice?

    I guess it depends on why you're on the fence, but I would say if you can do a coding bootcamp, even if you decide you don't want to become a software engineer, programming is such a good skill to know today in today's job market.

    If your hesitation is because of financial reasons, Grace Hopper is so great with the deferred tuition model. If you're on the fence because of finances, I would really study up and try to get into one of the deferred tuition bootcamps.

    Read more The Grace Hopper Program reviews on Course Report and check out The Grace Hopper Program website!

    About The Author

    Laurenstewartimage

    Lauren is a communications and operations strategist who loves to help others find their idea of success. She is passionate about techonology education, career development, startups, and the arts. Her background includes youth/career development, public affairs, and philanthropy. She is from Richmond, VA and now currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Episode 8: October 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe11/1/2016

    Welcome to the October 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month we are also covering our Women In Tech Snapchat takeover! Other trends include new developments in the industry, new outcomes reports and why those are important, new investments in bootcamps, and of course, new coding schools and campuses.

    Continue Reading →
  • Alumni Spotlight: Jisoo Shin of Grace Hopper Academy

    Imogen Crispe9/16/2016

    Starting college right after the recession, Jisoo chose accounting as a safe and stable career path, even though she originally wanted to study engineering. After working for two years at a big accounting firm, Jisoo realized she had to go back to her original passion and started teaching herself to code. A friend recommended coding bootcamps, so she enrolled at Grace Hopper Academy in NYC and never looked back! Jisoo tells us why she felt more confident in an all-women’s learning environment, all about her Grace Hopper Academy capstone project, and how she landed her new developer role at Stack Overflow!

    Q&A

    What is your pre-Grace Hopper Academy story? What’s your educational and career background?

    I went to the University of Southern California. When I was applying to colleges, I applied to be an engineering major, but in my first few weeks at USC, I quickly changed my major to accounting. Coming on campus, I got really nervous and overwhelmed, and thought I wouldn't do well in a major dominated by men. Also, financial security was important to me because we had just come out of the recession. I grew up in a financially unstable household, so I really wanted to graduate with a degree that would give me long term job security. I had heard accounting was a really good and stable career path.  

    In college, I did well in my accounting classes, so I thought this was the right career path for me. In my junior year, I got an internship with Deloitte. After graduation, I joined them full-time in New York and was there for about two years.

    What made you decide to change careers?

    When I started full-time at Deloitte, I realized I was missing a passion and curiosity for what I was doing. I had a steady career path and income, and I was proud of being a CPA, but there was nothing internally motivating me to go above and beyond, or to think outside the box. I did a bit of soul searching and realized I applied for engineering majors in the first place because I loved math. So on the side, I decided to teach myself how to code. The more I taught myself, the more I realized I was in the completely wrong profession, and I wanted to change my career.

    How much did you teach yourself before deciding to attend a bootcamp? What made you realize you needed to go to a bootcamp?

    I did a couple of free courses online. I started with Codecademy, and then I took some online courses from different universities like Rice University and Stanford through Coursera and other free online resources. I found myself overwhelmed with how much information there was because I didn't know where to start. I didn't know which programming language I should teach myself, or if I should go into web or mobile. I then talked to a friend who was already in the field and had a CS degree. He told me about a few of his friends who went to coding bootcamps, and how they were really successful. So he recommended I take that path as well.

    It took me a while to actually apply to bootcamps. I was thinking about it for about a year and a half, because I didn't know if it was feasible for me. It's really expensive- about $15,000 or $16,000, and I didn't know if I would be successful. Yet, when I came across Grace Hopper Academy, a bootcamp that defers your tuition and is only for women, I immediately knew it was a perfect fit for me.

    Did you look at any other bootcamps before you decided on Grace Hopper Academy?

    Yeah, I looked on Course Report and Quora. There were a couple of bootcamps that I really wanted to go to, but they were too expensive. I was actually leaning towards App Academy since it had deferred tuition, but I guess Google and Facebook knew I was looking at bootcamps, so they recommended Grace Hopper Academy. I researched it, and thought "Wow, even though I'd be the first cohort, I think this is a really good opportunity." Grace Hopper Academy seemed really awesome and I knew about Fullstack, so I thought it'd be a really good fit.

    When you were looking at bootcamps, were you looking for any coding language or technology that you specifically wanted to learn?

    I wasn't picky about coding languages or technologies. It seemed like all of the bootcamps were either teaching full stack JavaScript or Ruby, and I was open to learning either. I mainly looked at whatever bootcamps had a good reputation and had alumni who spoke highly of the experience.  

    Grace Hopper Academy is an all women’s bootcamp – how much of a factor was that in your decision making?

    When I was applying to bootcamps, it didn't occur to me that there was something like an all-women’s bootcamp. I thought I would just go to a co-ed one, and be fine with that. But once I saw there was an all-women’s bootcamp, I felt like I would be a lot more comfortable in speaking up. I'm a really shy and introverted person, but when I'm around all women, I feel a little bit more confident, so it did play a pretty big part.

    Did you think about going back to college to study coding or computer science?

    Yeah, I mentioned that to my mom initially before I found out about bootcamps, but I didn’t think it was worth paying another college tuition and spending another couple years in school.

    What was the Grace Hopper Academy application and interview process like?

    There was a written portion where you describe why you're interested in coding and how much experience you have. Then you do a Hackerrank assessment with five algorithm problems. They were pretty hard. I don't think I finished. I did two and a half questions, but they still gave me a live interview for the third round. My interview was with my instructor and he was really awesome.

    Our interview was supposed to be an hour long, but he extended it to an hour and a half to teach me the concept that I was struggling with. At the end, he also gave me a bonus question, "If you want, you can try solving this on your own and email me with your solution." I did that, and I was completely wrong, but he emailed me back going in-depth into where I was going wrong and what concepts I didn't understand. That really impressed me, and gave me a sense of Grace Hopper Academy’s teaching style.

    What was that Hackerrank assessment like?

    There were five questions. The first and the second ones were really easy, like, "Write a function that counts down from five to one.” But then the third, fourth, and fifth questions were really hard. I can’t remember them, but I remember not passing all the test cases.  

    But you did okay in the end, right?  

    Yeah. I think they purposely make it hard, so they can more accurately assess your skill level.

    How many people were in your cohort and was it diverse in terms of background, race, and life experiences?

    Yeah. My cohort was 16 people. It was super diverse in terms of everything like age, major, race. A lot of people had more artsy backgrounds. One was a music composition major, one was a theater major, but there were bio and finance majors. The age ranged from fresh out of college to maybe late '30s.

    Can you tell me about the learning experience at Grace Hopper Academy and give me an example of a typical day and the teaching style?

    We would come in between 9am and 10am and work on our own, either catching up from yesterday or working on Codewars problems. From 10am to 11:30am, we'd usually have a lecture introducing us to a new concept. Then the rest of the day would be dedicated to a step-by-step, hands-on workshops. The workshops wouldn't spoon feed you the answer, but would make you think and pretty much force you to problem solve.

    Students were usually paired with one other person for each workshop. If we got stuck, we could file help tickets to our TAs and our instructors who were in the room, and they'd come over and put us on the right track. Towards the end of the day, we would review our workshop and have a Q&A session for about an hour to an hour and a half. The first half of the program is structured this way, before we start project phase in week 7.

    How different did you find it compared to the style of learning you'd had at college?

    It was definitely much more intense, and instructors were way more hands on at Grace Hopper Academy than in college. It was just a very different environment. I think in college, you're in class because it’s what you have to do- I took a lot of classes that I wasn’t particularly interested in just to fulfill requirements. But in this environment, everyone is super excited to come to class every day and everyone really wants to be here. So many people have completely shifted careers because it's something they really want to do, so it's definitely a more intense experience, in a good way.  

    Being in that all women's environment, did you find that different or better for learning?

    Yeah, I found it to definitely be better. Throughout college, I rarely spoke up in class, and I was afraid to have the spotlight on myself just because I was afraid of saying something dumb. But in this environment, I found myself raising my hand, being more collaborative, and just speaking up a lot more than I ever had before.

    What was your favorite project that you worked on while at Grace Hopper Academy?  

    Definitely my capstone project. It was a really fun experience because we got to choose everything ourselves in terms of what we were going to build, and what technologies to use. I had a great team and we worked really well together. It was a fun experience seeing what we had accomplished in just three weeks and showing that to friends and family and potential employers.

    We recreated a board game called Robo Rally. It's where you try to reach different checkpoints on a grid, but there are different obstacles like walls, lasers, and pits. I had two teammates, and only one of them had played this game before, so it was pretty fun the first couple of days just learning the complexities of the game and figuring out how we wanted to model it.

    How did Grace Hopper Academy prepare you for job hunting? What kind of career coaching did they give you?  

    It actually surprised me how much career coaching they gave us because I wasn't expecting it. We had mock interviews, technical interviews, and one-on-ones with the instructors. We also did a lot of behavioral interviews and resume/cover letter reviews. Every morning in senior phase, we would do a whiteboarding algorithm problem; that prepared me the most for the job hunt.  

    Congratulations on your job at Stack Overflow. That's super cool. Can you tell me about it, and what you're doing so far?

    This summer I was in their first 12-week apprenticeship program. I was in the program with Ian, a Fullstack Academy grad. I worked on the careers team and Ian was on the core Q&A platform that Stack Overflow is more predominantly known for. For the first two weeks, I was learning their tech stack, which was completely different from what I learned at Grace Hopper Academy, by building a ping pong scheduling application.

    The rest of the program was really well planned out. In addition to working on bugs and small features, we also had technical talks with different engineers every week on specified topics and met with people from different departments like marketing, community, and HR. In the final three weeks of the program, we got to work together on a feature of our own. We ended up building a feature on Stack Overflow’s jobs platform, and we worked with a project manager, a designer, and another developer who helped us with code reviews. In our final week, we demoed the project to the product/engineering team.

    Have you finished that program now?  

    Yeah. At the end of our program, we were given offers to stay on full-time. I joined the Core  team, and Ian joined the Marketing Engineering team.

    And what's your specific role?

    I would definitely call myself a junior developer, but at Stack Overflow they don't give seniority based titles. Everyone is called a full stack developer no matter how many years they've been doing it. Technically, I'm a developer on the Core Q&A team, and I'm working on a project called “The Developer Story.” It’s a new way for developers to showcase open source projects, apps, blogs, and other public artifacts. This differs from the traditional resume which typically highlights what school you went to, what major you had, and your work experience; this doesn't really work well for someone like me who has had a nontraditional path to software development.

    How did you first get introduced to StackOverflow and get into the apprenticeship program? Did you have to apply for it?

    Stack Overflow was one of Grace Hopper Academy’s hiring partners, so they came to our hiring day. All of the students chose companies that we wanted to have a speed interview round with, and Stack Overflow was one of my top picks. I was really interested in the apprenticeship program so I reached out to Stack Overflow after hiring day and they brought me onsite for interviews.  

    Was the interview for the apprenticeship program quite intense?

    I think it was much less intense than their regular developer interviews. The onsite portion was with three people who asked both technical and non-technical questions. I think they were more interested in what I’d done so far, rather than the depth of my knowledge in software development

    You mentioned you had to learn their tech stack. What stacks did you have to learn when you got there?

    Stack Overflow uses Microsoft technologies: C# and ASP.NET MVC with SQL Server as their back end. We also use technologies like Redis and Elasticsearch, which I hadn't used before. I found the best way for me to learn was to actually build something, rather than just doing a step by step tutorial. I think people in the company felt that way too, which is why they told us to build this ping pong scheduling application to start.  

    It was completely new to me, but I had a really great mentor who was always there for me when I had questions. Stack Overflow also set us up with anything we needed to learn. They gave us paid subscriptions to online video lectures, and we were able to any buy books from Amazon that we were interested in.

    How hard was it to learn that stack? Was it harder than full stack JavaScript?  

    I definitely think it is harder just because I've been used to JavaScript, which is not strictly typed. There are so many ways to do things in JavaScript that are forgiving. But I'm really glad that I learned JavaScript, because I still use JavaScript on the front end.

    For a bootcamp, a language like JavaScript is really good because you get to build and learn pretty fast. Whereas, if we had learned C# in the beginning, it probably would have taken me so much longer to understand big picture concepts and to see things build out.

    Was this apprenticeship almost like another bootcamp where you were learning this new stack?

    It wasn't like a bootcamp because it was a lot more relaxed and you were working on a lot more real world things. I purposely wanted to do this apprenticeship because I had that burning feeling still to be in an environment where I was constantly learning new technologies. I really liked the idea of working on a graduation project, which reminded me of the capstone project. In that way, it was kind of similar.

    I wanted to ask about your co-workers at Stack Overflow. Was there a good mix of men and women and different cultures?

    It's weird because I never feel like I'm a minority. We have a really good culture, especially in terms of diversity and inclusion. If you look at the statistics, the engineering team is around 40 people, and there are only three women, but I never feel like my opinions are not being heard.

    What do you think has been the biggest challenge in your journey to learning to code?  

    Sometimes I'm impatient, and I just want to learn so many different things at once just because there're so many things to learn. I struggle with trying to learn many disparate things at once when I could just take it step by step and one day at a time.

    What would you say has been the best thing about learning to code and getting into this new career?

    It’s really exciting to learn about something you are interested in and to see yourself grow and getting better at it. I really love the problem-solving aspect of coding, and the satisfaction of finding a solution to a problem that you haven’t encountered before.

    Are you still involved with Grace Hopper Academy or in touch with your cohort mates?

    Yes. Whenever there's an alumni panel, Shanna will usually reach out to our cohort or the cohorts after us, and ask for volunteers. So I usually volunteer. I've been on two panels and it's really awesome going back. Once every other week or so, we'll meet up on a Friday and get happy hour, which is fun.  

    Overall what kind of advice do you have for people who are wanting to change their careers, do a coding bootcamp, and become a developer?

    If you're constantly looking at Course Report and teaching yourself  how to code, there is probably something in you that really wants to do it, and you'll be successful as long as you don’t give up. Don't doubt yourself just because you don't have the background or don't have any experience. If there's something burning inside of you to do it, then just do it. I had that feeling for a really long time, and I could've switched earlier. There's no reason to just keep thinking about it and not act on it. There are so many resources, and there are so many great bootcamps.

    Find out more and read Grace Hopper Academy reviews on Course Report. Check out the Grace Hopper Academy website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • August 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe8/31/2016

    Welcome to the August 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to big fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month the biggest news is the Department of Education's EQUIP pilot program to provide federal financial aid to some bootcamp students. Other trends include job placement outcomes, the gender imbalance in tech, acquisitions and investments, and paying for bootcamp. Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast!

    Continue Reading →
  • Alumni Spotlight: Mariya of Grace Hopper Academy

    Imogen Crispe8/17/2016

    Mariya always enjoyed STEM subjects at high school, but landed on a humanities major in college. In her last year at Cornell she took a computer science class and loved it, so after graduation, Mariya enrolled at Grace Hopper Academy coding bootcamp in NYC. Now she’s putting her new skills to good use as a software developer at Crisis Text Line! Mariya tells us about the practical skills she learned at Grace Hopper Academy, the strong friendships she made with her cohort mates, and her experience learning to code with all women in the classroom.

    Q&A

    What is your pre-bootcamp story? What were you up to before Grace Hopper Academy?

    I went to high school at Brooklyn Tech, where we chose “majors,” and I was a bioengineering major. By the time I got to college, I wanted to focus on humanities, because I was so exhausted with STEM! I went to Cornell and majored in American Studies and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies (FGSS). By the time I was a senior, I really missed STEM subjects, and took one computer science class, which I really liked. After I graduated college in 2015, I started picking up small web development projects on Craigslist, realized I had a knack for it, and decided to enroll in a coding bootcamp. I guess Facebook’s algorithm knew I was searching for coding bootcamps, because I saw Grace Hopper Academy in my Facebook feed!

    How much coding did you teach yourself? How much programming had you done at college and in high school?

    I taught myself the basics of programming and JavaScript, and learned a bit of Python and Java from college. The college classes I took were very different from the way coding bootcamps are taught. Bootcamps are very practical. From the first day at bootcamp you’re learning something you will use in your job, whereas at college, you’ll learn more theory, algorithms, and data structures – which are important as well, but aren’t as immediately practical.

    Did you research other coding bootcamps or did you have your heart set on Grace Hopper Academy?

    Grace Hopper Academy was the second bootcamp I applied to and I got in. The first one I applied to was Enstitute, which was a technical apprenticeship program, but it actually shut down during the interview process. I also looked at App Academy.

    What attracted you to Grace Hopper Academy?

    As an FGSS major, I obviously liked the fact that Grace Hopper Academy is specifically for women and that their mission is to close the gender gap in tech. Anyone who has been involved in tech or in women’s studies knows about the lack of diversity in tech, so that definitely appealed to me. And I liked the technology stack that Grace Hopper chose- MEAN Stack. They explained why they chose JavaScript, and I looked at the curriculum, which in my opinion was very comprehensive compared to other coding bootcamps.

    Did you think about going back to college and doing a 4-year CS degree?

    I actually wasn’t extremely satisfied with CS classes in college, and college is super expensive. My plan was to do a coding bootcamp, work for a few years, and if anything, I could go back and get a Masters in CS – a lot of Masters Programs will accept work experience instead of undergrad classes.

    Was Grace Hopper Academy’s deferred tuition a factor in your decision? How does that work?

    Fullstack Academy, which has the same curriculum, has upfront costs of around $16,000. I couldn’t have afforded it. I already had student loans from college, and didn’t want to take out more loans, so deferred tuition was definitely a strong consideration during my research process.

    Grace Hopper Academy takes 22.5 percent of your salary for one year after you find a job. So there was only an upfront deposit of $3000. I borrowed that from my mom, and I got that investment back within my first month of employment. The rest of the tuition comes out of my salary once a month.

    In terms of paying for education, I only paid Grace Hopper Academy if I got a job. And they delivered on all their promises. Grace Hopper said I’d be employed within three months after graduation, and within the first month, I had two job offers, so I was very satisfied with my experience.

    What was the application and interview process like for you?

    First, there was an application where you attach your resume and write about why you want to do Grace Hopper Academy. Then I received a timed assessment on Hackerrank, where I had an hour to answer 5 questions.

    The next step was an interview with pair programming. One of the Fullstack Academy fellows Skyped with me for half an hour and we solved two problems together. After that I got my acceptance email!

    Grace Hopper isn’t for total beginners. Their interview and testing process is definitely not feasible for beginners.

    How many people are in your cohort? Is your class diverse in terms of race, life and career backgrounds?

    I was in the first cohort, which was 16 people; now the cohorts are about 25. Since we were the first cohort, it was diverse in terms of career background and age; however, the cohort after me was definitely more racially diverse. In my cohort, I was the youngest one at 22. It was super inspiring seeing people mid-careers just change completely.

    And being the first cohort actually strengthened camaraderie between us. We’re still like, “we were the first ones, how cool is that.” We still see each other every two weeks or so.

    What was it like being in a classroom learning with all women?

    I don’t know how apparent it is to everybody – because I was an FGSS major, I look for these things – but it’s been proven in several studies that men definitely talk more than women in classrooms. We escaped that because there were no men! But I definitely felt like there was a more relaxed environment and that people were more comfortable expressing themselves. I don’t know if everybody felt that. In terms of any huge significant differences, not really.

    What was the overall learning experience like at Grace Hopper Academy? Did it match your learning style?

    In the mornings, we had a 60-90 minute lecture, then a workshop that directly pertained to the lecture we’d just had. We would learn skills and theory, then immediately apply them in the workshop, which was super nice. Grace Hopper tells you they are going to teach you practical skills, and they deliver. You’re immediately applying what you learn and how to build things with those skills, which is incredible.

    The curriculum is split into Junior Phase and Senior Phase. Junior Phase is lectures and workshops, and in Senior Phase you focus on three projects. First is Stackathon, a three-day hackathon you do yourself or with a partner, then everybody builds an e-commerce website, then you work on your capstone project for 2-3 weeks.

    How many instructors or mentors did you have for your cohort?

    We had three main instructors during Junior Phase, and one main instructor during Senior Phase.

    What is your favorite project that you worked on at Grace Hopper Academy?

    Probably my capstone project, because it was three intense weeks. For the e-commerce website you’re given specs and it feels more like a real work project. Whereas for the capstone project, you think of what to build, you decide on the process, and build it from scratch yourself. Plus, I loved my team, we got along so well. During Junior Phase and most of Senior Phase you’re in the classroom from Monday to Friday. But when we were building our capstone, we were there pretty much Monday through Sunday. Monday to Friday we spent 10 hours together and during the weekend a little less. We definitely bonded hard.

    Tell us about that Capstone Project!

    Our project is called Symph. It’s a way for users to create music within the browser. Usually, music apps don’t actually create music within the browser- users have to download files and then play them. With Symph we use ToneJS, a sound library which allowed us to play music within the browser. That is unique and significant because there is no lag time, and the sounds are just there already, so it’s faster. Right now, one of my teammates, Emily, who now actually works at Grace Hopper, has continued working on Symph and has added more instruments for users to play with.

    I have no music background, but Emily has a Masters in composition and is a trained musician. Our other team member, Alex (she works for Facebook now on the west coast) also has a degree in musical theater. So they were both very musical, and since I was completely non-musical, I suggested that we make the app usable for people like me. What if we make music visual? That’s how we came up with the 8x8 grid that you see.

    How did Grace Hopper Academy prepare you for job hunting?

    They prepared me so well; I wish my college career department was nearly as good. We started working on job preparation about 8-9 weeks into the bootcamp. We got substantial feedback on our resumes because web developer resumes have different standards from most other resumes – you are highlighting your projects and that’s what you want employers to see at the top. We also revised our LinkedIn profiles- they even took our photos for LinkedIn to make us look professional.

    We did mock interviews, both technical and behavioral. Our technical interview prep started in our Senior Phase. Each morning, we did REACTO, which is an acronym for the steps you do during a whiteboard problem in an interview. So we did half an hour of that every day, which was immensely helpful. By the time I got into real technical interviews, nothing surprised me. I’m pretty sure that one problem I’d done during REACTO showed up during my interviews!

    Tell us about your job at Crisis Text Line! What is your role?

    I was hired into the software integration team, so I work mostly on the backend, and mostly with APIs. I’ve been here for 3 months. Crisis Text Line is a crisis line which operates through text messages only. We have our own platform, so if you are texter, you are texting us from your phone, but our crisis counselors are on a platform on the computer which makes it very easy to collect data and respect anonymity.

    So far, I’ve been working on the services that our trainers and trainees use. You have to complete 34 hours of training before becoming a counselor and we use Canvas for that. So I’ve been working on integrating all of those together and keeping the data in sync. Our backend platform is completely JavaScript and PHP.

    How did you find the job?

    Crisis Text Line came to our hiring day. I had never had a real job since I was fresh out of college. When I looked at the list of hiring partners, I put Crisis Text Line as number one immediately. I had worked for a rape crisis line when I was a freshman in college, and nonprofit work was really important to me, so when I saw a nonprofit company that also did tech, I was very excited.

    It sounds like you’re working in a lot of JavaScript, similar to what you learned at Grace Hopper. Have you had to learn many new technologies?

    For sure. I’m learning PHP right now. I feel like you’re always learning new technologies, even if your job is in the same language you learned, because so many new updates and libraries are released literally every single day. I definitely feel like I’ve been learning a lot on this job. I do feel like Grace Hopper Academy has prepared me to teach myself new things. Obviously we learned a huge amount of information in a really short time, so I feel comfortable going online, watching tutorials, doing problems on my own and learning.

    What kind of onboarding or training did you get at Crisis Text Line? Tell us about your first month as a developer!

    The first three months were onboarding. On my first day, I was given an overview of different departments to talk to. The software integration team is three people plus our manager. I was also hired with two Fullstack Academy graduates, so we definitely feel very comfortable with each other, and actually my manager is also a Fullstack grad from the first or second ever Fullstack Academy cohort.

    I’m the only female engineer in our engineering group, but the company itself is very diverse other than that. I believe that diversity only strengthens a team.

    What’s been the biggest challenge or roadblock in your journey to learn to code and how did you overcome it?

    Lack of exposure and representation. I had a computer science “major” in my high school, and out of 30 people, there was only one woman. I never saw girls coding, so it was never in my mind as something I would enjoy doing, and I never had to take a CS class. I only took it because my best friend was a CS major at Harvard, and she told me I would love it. Before that class, CS was just an abstract thing. Looking back, I think it would have been great if I had been exposed to CS earlier. In college you meet people who have been coding since 5 or 7.

    How do you stay involved with Grace Hopper Academy? Have you kept in touch with other alumni?

    We do have alumni events where we are invited to come back and talk to new students about our journey – what we did before Grace Hopper Academy and our jobs now. My cohort also stays connected through Slack, and we see each other every couple of weeks for drinks or to hang out. 12 of the ladies from my cohort stayed in NYC.

    What advice do you have for people making a career change through a coding bootcamp?

    From my perspective, when I started coding the learning curve was quite high because it wasn’t the mode of thinking I was used to, even coming from a STEM background at high school. So be prepared to fail many, many times. Computer science, programming, the MEAN stack, what it means to be a full stack developer- none of that really clicked for me until a month into the program. SO just trust the process, keep on learning, keep on failing, it’s fine. You’re definitely going to get it if you persist. There is this idea that you either “have it or you don't,” but I found that students get what they put in. The more hours you put in, the more you practice, the better you will become.

    Find out more and read Grace Hopper Academy reviews on Course Report. Check out the Grace Hopper Academy website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Instructor Spotlight: Ashi Mysore of Grace Hopper Academy

    Imogen Crispe6/15/2016

    Ashi started learning to code at age 6, and has since worked at NOAA, Google, Dev Bootcamp, and is now an instructor at women’s coding bootcamp Grace Hopper Academy in New York City. We spoke to Ashi about why it’s important for women to learn to code, the learning environment at an all-female bootcamp, why she likes pairing with students at Grace Hopper Academy, and the differences between teaching full stack JavaScript vs. Ruby on Rails to beginners.

    Q&A

    Tell us about your background and experience before you started at Grace Hopper Academy.

    I studied computer science and writing at the University of Colorado. While there, I took a student assistant role at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) working on software for weather forecasters. I continued to work at NOAA for a couple of years after I graduated, and got to work on exhibits like Science on a Sphere.

    After that I moved to San Francisco to work at Google in Site Reliability Engineering for four and a half years. After Google, I knew I wanted to teach. My partner went to Hackbright Academy, and I really liked helping her. I saw her go from, "I can't do this,” to working at Pinterest. So I moved to New York to take a job at Dev Bootcamp New York.

    I worked at Dev Bootcamp for a year. Teaching was amazing, but I felt it had been too long since I’d worked as a developer. I started working at Hopscotch, a startup that teaches kids to code through visual programming language on an iPad app. I learned a lot there, including Swift, but I realized I missed teaching. I saw Grace Hopper was hiring, applied, and started in March 2016. It's been an incredibly rewarding experience. I love it.

    You mentioned you learned to program early in life, did you know how to code before you studied computer science?

    Yeah. My family had a Commodore 64 which was a big boxy thing that plugged into a TV. You have a few commands and you can run basic programs. My dad showed me how to write a program when I was six, and my first program printed “I love you mom” in an infinite loop in rotating colors. And then I just kept hacking on it. I used books about programming to write code, then tweaked the code so it would do more things – that's how I learned.

    Then I moved on to learning QBasic and then Visual Basic. In middle school I ended up typing for a coworker of my mom's who had carpal tunnel and couldn't type. He was working on a language model for a speech recognizer, and he was a very natural teacher. I learned C, and Emacs. That was an incredibly helpful experience having that mentorship.

    You mentioned that your partner went to Hackbright Academy – what did you think when you first heard about coding bootcamps?

    I remember thinking it was a pretty good idea. I learned to program fairly early in my life. That can actually be a hindrance as a teacher because I take a lot of things for granted. It's like you learn a first language and you don't really think about the grammar. And I don't think about some of the conceptual things that are difficult about programming. Obviously as a teacher I'm forced to think about those things and that's good practice. So I was like, "Yeah, you can totally learn to code in 9 or 13 weeks."

    Tell us a bit more about your prior teaching experience before Grace Hopper?  

    My year working as an instructor at Dev Bootcamp was my first teaching experience. I'd done one-on-one work with friends who were trying to learn to program, so I knew I enjoyed that process. I used to be scared of public speaking and lectures, but teaching at Dev Bootcamp made me more comfortable with those parts of teaching.

    When I started at Dev Bootcamp, I was still learning Ruby on Rails, which turned out to be an asset. When students had issues, I could teach them my process for figuring out the answers, so they would have more tools for how to teach themselves in future.

    There are a few coding bootcamps in New York now. What about Grace Hopper Academy stood out to you?  

    I thought the fact that Grace Hopper is for women was really cool. Learning to code has some of the same dynamics that exist in the tech industry that can make it very hard for women to succeed.

    Women’s stories about getting into technology are often very interesting. There are so many hurdles for women and other marginalized groups, and tech skills are becoming increasingly valuable whether or not you work directly in tech. I emphasize to my students that whether or not you end up working in tech long-term, this is a valuable skill to have – to be able to understand how a huge part of the world works.

    Right now, many groups are isolated from access to those skills, partly because of how society perceives software engineers as white nerdy guys who eat Cheetos all day. I obviously don't fit that stereotype, and I like to defy that stereotype and encourage people who are restricted in the industry to get into it and learn these skills.

    How does Grace Hopper’s deferred tuition model impact that idea of accessibility in the industry?

    I do think the deferred tuition plan makes the program much more accessible. There are students in the current cohort who have scraped together the deposit and are only able to attend Grace Hopper because they didn’t have to pay upfront tuition. As a teacher, that means that I have a lot of responsibility to make this valuable for them. But it also it shows me that the program is providing a lot of upward mobility for people who don't have the resources to get started.

    There are still considerable costs to attend a bootcamp. You will not work for 13 weeks, which is not something everyone can afford to do. Living costs in New York for 13 weeks are expensive. The selectiveness of our program can be a confidence boost for the students. The deferred payment model means that our students wouldn't be here if we didn't think they could get a job.

    Is teaching a cohort of women at a coding bootcamp different from teaching a co-ed group?

    The first week I started teaching at Grace Hopper, I was so surprised at how different it felt compared to teaching at Dev Bootcamp or even at Fullstack Academy. I felt much more relaxed, and that might just be myself preferring to be in and teach in an all-female environment.

    At Grace Hopper, I have yet to encounter students who ask questions unrelated to the lecture to flex their intelligence. There also seems to be less social clash dynamics. Not that they're totally absent, but at Grace Hopper, there is more of a communal support vibe.

    Now you've taught at two different bootcamps, are there any really big differences you've noticed between Grace Hopper and other bootcamps?

    Grace Hopper and Fullstack Academy are aimed at students with a little bit more experience compared with other schools. That doesn’t necessarily mean industry or programming experience, but it does mean students who have taught themselves a bit. Fullstack Academy and Grace Hopper offer a Jumpstart class to prepare students for a bootcamp. That opens up more space in terms of what you can do with the curriculum.

    The curriculum at Grace Hopper is really structured. The materials are well-designed, which as a new instructor, I really appreciate. For example, at Dev Bootcamp, the model was more flexible, and teachers had more freedom to structure each lecture.

    Another major difference is that Fullstack and Grace Hopper teach only JavaScript, which I like, partially because I like JavaScript as a language, but also because you only have 13 weeks to learn to program. JavaScript is a little quirky and it's not quite as pretty as Ruby to some eyes, but I like the focus. Students graduate with a very strong grasp of JavaScript.

    What differences have you found teaching JavaScript compared to Ruby?

    The biggest difference is you have to deal with asynchrony very early on. JavaScript has futures or promises wired very deeply into the language and has this expectation that you're not waiting for functions to return for the most part. That’s a conceptual challenge that students face early on. I think it's probably ultimately good to face that challenge early because those are questions you'll hit at any kind of meaningful scale. Like how do I parallelize this set of operations, some of which may take a very long time, some of which may require network requests or talking to other machines. And it's sort of a roadblock for beginners to learn about callbacks and higher ordered functions. JavaScript makes you deal with that for better or for worse. I think it's probably a good thing to be forced to look at that.

    Do you think JavaScript is a good first programming language to learn for beginners?

    Yes. A lot of that is not so much to do with the language itself, but to do with the environments around it. Everyone has a JavaScript environment on their computer, and you can just pop open a web page and search things in a JavaScript environment. It gives you a lot of power upfront and it gives you a lot of power to do very visual graphic things.

    What have you found is your personal teaching style?

    The best way I've ever found to teach is to pair program and work one-on-one with the student. Obviously we don't have time for me to pair with everyone for 13 weeks, but I try to engineer as much of that one-on-one time as I can. Especially if a student is struggling, I'll try and walk through problems and talk about their thought processes.

    It's a challenge for me to present lectures or course material and not call out sticking points and offer suggestions because I hate to see people frustrated, even though I know frustration can be a meaningful part of learning. I have grown to like lecturing considerably more, but I don't think lectures are that pedagogically valuable. They serve an important purpose but at the same time, I could talk about JavaScript for an hour and students’ understanding is increased by 1% maybe. Whereas if students are playing with JavaScript for an hour in a guided way - then they're going to learn a lot more.  

    What's the structure of the Grace Hopper curriculum like? How is it divided over the 13 weeks?

    It's two, six-week periods - the junior phase and the senior phase, with a one-week review week in between. Everyone says junior phase is more challenging. It's certainly more challenging for the instructors. Junior phase has all the lectures and a different workshop every day, where you're learning JavaScript, and then databases – SQL, as well as Angular and frontend libraries. We take you through that in six weeks and then there's a week to let it cement, and work on a personal hackathon project. In the senior phase they do a large group project called Stack Store which is an e-commerce site. Then the last four weeks of the program students work on their capstone project, which is a large full-stack application that’s presented to employers at Hiring Day. The capstone projects seem to get more and more ambitious every time.  

    How many instructors, TAs or mentors are there at Grace Hopper?

    We have two full-time instructors dedicated to each Grace Hopper cohort, and three full-time fellows who act as teaching assistants. For example, Terry is a fellow now. One of the options students have upon graduating is to apply for a fellowship where they'll stay here for another 13 weeks and go through the program as TAs and work on our internal dev projects, which is very valuable for them. Fellows are some of the strongest students - one of them just got hired at Google.

    How many students do you typically have in a cohort?

    It varies. Right now we have 22. The last one had 16. The next one will be around 18, I think. And those numbers are always fluctuating because people will defer, and more people will join in at the last minute.  

    How many hours a week do Grace Hopper students put in? What's their schedule like?

    Their official schedule is Monday to Friday 9am to 6:30pm with lunch break from 1pm to 2:30pm. Many of them come early, many of them stay later. All of them are working at home and on weekends. We also have CS Saturday from 10am to 6pm which many students attend to learn about advanced computer science topics. They learn about things like writing a parser and cryptography – the sort of subjects that you would get in a CS curriculum that you don't necessarily get in a bootcamp. Those are combined with Fullstack students.

    What is the Grace Hopper campus like?

    We have this amazing, huge space on the 11th floor of 5 Hanover Square – the same building as Fullstack Academy. Half of the floor is totally open and we’re using half of it for the students to work in. We're setting up another work area on the other side and there's a slightly smaller presentation area in the middle. Then there's a whole bunch of conference rooms and two kitchens.

    How would you describe the ideal student for Grace Hopper Academy?

    At Grace Hopper, I've noticed some percentage of students with math backgrounds, some percentage of design- especially UI Design backgrounds. We do target incoming students who have a bit of experience. You can acquire that experience on your own. We offer a “bootcamp prep” course as well, which is a 4-week, part-time course that takes you through the initial stages of learning JavaScript, as well as coding challenges and intermediate-level concepts.

    I think the most important qualities of the successful Grace Hopper student are that motivation to learn and goal-oriented. For example, a student who wants to build an idea that they have or knows that they want to learn a specific aspect of programming.

    What’s the Grace Hopper Academy application process like?

    When you apply online, we send you resources so you can learn the skills you need to complete the coding challenge. Anyone who's thinking about attending Grace Hopper Academy should apply and get those resources, and then work with them and see how it feels. Try it out because you might take to it very easily. Students who do well get some insights into their learning style.

    How do you track students' progress as they go through Grace Hopper?

    We have checkpoints every couple of weeks where we grade students and provide feedback. Those are an opportunity for students to get feedback on their code. We schedule blocks of office hours so students can ask questions and find out how they're doing. When we give feedback we tell students the concepts they need to understand and then we work with them to find new strategies for understanding.

    What happens if students get really far behind? Can they repeat part of it or how do you help them get to the right point?

    If a student seems to not be picking up the material we will typically ask them to defer. If you defer, you get six weeks to study and then you start again with the next junior cohort. This only happens in junior phase. We've had a few students defer at the foundations checkpoints. The senior checkpoint is coming up. And those are the only two points where you might be asked to defer. You're never asked to straight up leave.

    What sort of jobs have you seen students get after the first cohort?

    I know that one student recently got a position at Stack Overflow and one got a position at Crisis Text Line. We also had a graduate recently hired at the New York Stock Exchange.

    How do you help students prepare for the job search?

    I do some technical interview preparation, and in senior phase students start doing REACTOs. It's what you should do you in a technical interview whiteboard problem. Students do those every morning as practice for technical interviews. Then a couple of weeks before hiring day and graduation, we sit down with students and give mock interviews for hiring day.

    With learning JavaScript do you think they're going into more frontend jobs or are they getting full stack jobs?

    In the industry front end work is sometimes unfairly maligned, but it's actually incredibly important. If your server crashes, your users might never notice – you have five more of them. But if your frontend crashes everyone will notice immediately. There's no safety net at all and it has to be responsive, it has to run in all these different environments. It's actually quite a hard problem. Overall the focus on JavaScript shouldn't shutter them towards a certain path. JavaScript is increasingly being seen as a very versatile language.

    Preference-wise I think half of them really like doing frontend stuff and half of them want to do backend.

    Do you have any resources or meetups you would recommend for aspiring female developers?

    There is Women Who Code NYC which does a bunch of meetups. Also Algorithms Practice which is slightly more geared towards people with some programming experience, but going there as a beginner you would meet people and solve interesting problems, even if you don’t understand everything. They have other meetups that aren't as technically targeted, so they're a good group. Shanna, the dean at Grace Hopper is quite involved with them.

    There is also the Lesbians Who Tech meetups which are open to women who are not lesbians as well. Those are good networking events. I think the vibe is very nice there.

    Does Grace Hopper itself have a meetup or events that anyone can come to find out about it?

    We share a meetup with Fullstack Academy and offer info sessions which are open to the public. There you can get an insight to what you would learn if you attended Grace Hopper Academy.

    Is there anything else that you would like to add about Grace Hopper that we haven't covered or you want to comment on?

    I'm just so happy to be working here. All the instructors and staff are wonderful. I like that it's all in this building. It's basically still a startup. There are about 30 people who work here and that feels really nice. It still feels small.

    Find out more and read Grace Hopper Academy reviews on Course Report. And check out the Grace Hopper Academy website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • 4 Final Projects We Loved at Grace Hopper Academy

    Imogen Crispe4/27/2016

    New York’s MEAN Stack coding bootcamp Grace Hopper Academy just graduated their first all-female cohort, and Course Report attended their hiring day to get a first-hand look at the students’ final projects.

    The students had about two and a half weeks to work on these projects, then four minutes each to present them to hiring partners. After the final project presentations, Grace Hopper Academy grads were matched with employers for 10-minute interviews with 19 hiring partners (we spotted Ebay, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Two Sigma in attendance).

    Four of our favorite projects included two popular board games transformed into web games, an easy-to-use music composition app, and a Chrome extension for taking code-related notes while surfing the web. Read on to see exactly what Grace Hopper NYC students were able to create at their coding bootcamp and how they overcame challenges; plus, you can test out each project!

    Seven Cities

    Team: Meredith Coulis, Terry Horowitz, Yuval Idan and Leila Loezer

    Seven Cities is a browser-based version of the board game 7 Wonders. The team realized that even though the game has a very large fan base, there is no online version. The game can become quite messy in the board game, so they figured it would make the game flow better to play it online.

    Playing the game

    At least three players log in to a designated game. Every player is assigned an ancient city from the seven wonders of the ancient world. People can build structures, build up military, and fight wars to get points. Players can see other players’ boards and resources. At the end of each era, a war happens. Once everyone plays a card, they get a new hand. The game state is constantly changing.

    Technologies

    All the game logic happens in the back end, plus some logic in the frontend to ensure accuracy. The back end processes every possible move. Because the game state is always changing, the team created a socket system using socket.io to communicate between their Angular.js front end, and the logic and the database in the back end. The team used relational databases in postgreSQL, suitable for the application’s complex data relationships. For the UI, the team created custom animations using CSS, instead of using external libraries.

    Watch the Seven Cities presentation here.

    SYMPH

    Team: Mariya Bogorodova, Emily Intersimone, Alexandra Polubiec

    SYMPH is a web application where both new and experienced musicians can create and share musical ideas. The team set out to create a fun and accessible platform where anyone, even people without any musical expertise, can create and compose music. The design of SYMPH allows users to rapidly prototype, collaborate, and iterate on their and other users’ loops.

    Making music

    Symph has a loop editor where users can create, save, and edit loops. Users compose 8-note loops using an 8x8 grid, with the horizontal axis denoting time and the vertical axis denoting pitch. Users click on cells to make the loop, then play it, edit it, and save it in a loop bucket. Users can then browse other users’ loops, play and edit those, or add multiple loops together to make a multi-loop track using the mix editor. In the mix editor, users can also select different instruments for the layers and tracks, then share the tracks with friends.

    Technologies

    The team made the loop cells dynamic with pablo.js. The musical sounds are synthesized in the browser using Web Audio API and tone.js, which allows users to listen while they compose. The team made the mix editor using custom Angular Directives, with HTML5 native Drag and Drop API.

    Coder Notes

    Team: Alyssa Hertig, Ksenia Mikhailovskaya, Dorothy Moore, Zhengshi Zhao

    Coder Notes is a free open source Chrome Extension notebook for coders. During Grace Hopper Academy coding lectures, the team wanted a way to take notes on practical code and theory, in a similar way to Evernote, but more coder-friendly. They wanted to be able to take note of code formats, then run the code on the same interface. Coders are always googling for information, so the team built Coder Notes as a place to aggregate useful information all in one spot. The aim was for Coder Notes to be like Evernote + a text editor + dev tools.

    Using Coder Notes

    Once logged in, users can create and add notes to the notebook by using the Chrome search bar. If a user finds a useful tutorial or website, they can highlight it and save it to their notes. When the user goes back to the notebook, they can see the notes they have saved. Users can attach websites to their notes, and use Markdown to format the note text, which the team thought would be easy to read and write. Users can also share the notebook with other users. Coder Notes is integrated with Github, and export notes as Gists.

    Technologies

    The Coder Notes interface formats code with Angular Markdown and HighlightJS. Users execute code within the note using Tonic, a sandboxed NodeJS environment. Coder Notes Chrome extension is available in Chrome web store.

    RoboMayhem

    Team: Jisoo Shin, Emma Bishop, Priti Patel

    RoboMayhem is a web version of the board game RoboRally, where robots race to reach specified checkpoints by overcoming obstacles. Players have to calculate moves before you make them and in the board game players have to manually move robots. The team felt the complexities of moving the robots on the board actually made the game very conducive to a web version.

    Playing the game

    Users sign in and go to the lobby, where they see a list of games available to join, the option to create a new game, a choice of difficulty level, and a choice of avatar. When the game starts the players are dealt nine cards. Each player is randomly assigned starting point, then they choose five cards to efficiently move their robot towards the checkpoints. Players click “ready” and the robot is moved on game board. Then the game calculates the following move by the characteristic of the tile each robot lands on. When all the cards are played, players are dealt more cards. When one player reaches all checkpoints, they win and the game is over.

    Technologies

    When planning, the team’s primary concerns were how to address flow of game between client and server. The game logic is calculated in the back end. Once all players have registered moves, that data is sent to Angular, then JavaScript, then Firebase which propagates data back to users. Angular is always listening for changes in Firebase. The list of games you can join is also stored in Firebase. For the animations and images, the team used a graphics library called pixi.js. The team designed the game’s architecture to allow players to focus solely on game strategy.

    Watch the RoboMayhem presentation here.

    Find out more and read Grace Hopper Academy reviews on Course Report. And check out the Grace Hopper Academy website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Student Spotlight: Terry of Grace Hopper Academy

    Imogen Crispe3/23/2016

    Terry Horowitz always loved math and science, but after quitting her desk job and a stint on a Hawaiian coffee farm, she found herself back in New York teaching herself to code. With a reignited passion for math, science, and JavaScript, Terry decided to enroll at Grace Hopper Academy, an all-women’s MEAN Stack coding bootcamp in NYC. Terry tells us about the excitement of coding a product from scratch, how much she enjoys being surrounded by other intelligent women in tech, and the appeal of Grace Hopper Academy’s deferred tuition plan.

    Q&A

    What is your pre-coding bootcamp story? What is your educational background and last career path?

    I graduated from Bates College, Maine in 2013 with a bachelor's in biology and math. Originally, I was pre-med, but by Junior year I realized medicine wasn’t for me. So I started college knowing exactly what I wanted to do, and finished having absolutely no idea! That actually ended up being a benefit, because I’ve now had a few different careers.

    My first job out of college was a fairly boring desk job at a healthcare company in Boston. So to get away from being in a cubicle, I moved to Hawaii to work on an organic coffee farm for a few months. I really enjoyed that, but I didn’t want to be a farmer, so I came back to my hometown of New York, and with my new coffee knowledge started working at a coffee shop. It was great experience – I became a manager, learned about overseeing people and facilitating a fun work environment, and opened a new shop for the company. My schedule was 6:30 am to 3:30 pm, so I had time to go home and learn JavaScript in the afternoons.

    Why did you decide to learn JavaScript?

    It’s not clear why I started doing that. I think I wanted to learn a new skill, and be more stimulated. My job was great for learning about managing a team, but it wasn’t much of an educational environment, so I enjoyed having a schedule which allowed me to come home and study. I became really interested and started using more of my time to move towards web development.

    How did you first get interested in coding?

    A friend did the part time coding bootcamp at Fullstack Academy – which he found really exciting. I also have a friend who works for MongoDB, plus my boyfriend got interested in coding around the same time, so we were both hearing about it, talking about it, and getting excited. The idea of using logic again, like I did in college for math, sounded awesome to me.

    Was your background in math and logic useful for learning to code?

    I think so. There are definitely a lot of girls here who say they are not comfortable in math, and they are still obviously doing an amazing job. I know that I love math, and it helps that I don’t approach a problem with that mentality.

    When did you decide you wanted to learn to code full time instead of continuing to teach yourself?

    It was pretty simple to get through the first couple of chapters of Eloquent JavaScript; I felt like it was worthwhile, but it was a lot of technical problems and I wasn’t building products. I found Codecademy really helpful in producing application-like outputs, in addition to the technical problems I was solving in Eloquent JavaScript. I was looking for structure, a way to interact with people who could show me how to apply my knowledge, and to start doing some real web development.

    Did you look at other coding bootcamps? How did you choose Grace Hopper?

    I was strictly looking in NYC because I didn’t want to move cities. I looked at Fullstack Academy first because that’s where my friend studied. I also checked out App Academy, and then Grace Hopper Academy was announced. So I sent applications to Fullstack Academy, Grace Hopper Academy and App Academy.

    I did one interview for Fullstack Academy and Grace Hopper Academy combined. I received the coding test from App Academy, but put that on hold while I was interviewing for Fullstack and Grace Hopper. I really was not seeking out an all-female coding bootcamp at the time, but ultimately I thought this would be a special and rare opportunity to be around this many women in this industry.

    Was it important for you to learn a specific programming language or stack?

    I had started learning to code with JavaScript, but I wasn’t necessarily drawn to any stack in particular. I’m excited now by the MEAN stack, because that’s what we’re doing at Grace Hopper, but at the time I wanted to improve my JavaScript skills.

    How important was Grace Hopper’s deferred tuition plan to your decision?

    That’s another difference between Fullstack and Grace Hopper – at Fullstack, you pay up front. So the deferred tuition plan was definitely attractive and it helped me make my decision. Students usually incur a tuition and opportunity cost while at a bootcamp, so it’s pretty nice to put off the tuition during this time and just worry about maintaining yourself through the whole process. Another appealing element was that I knew they had a financial investment in me doing well at the end of the program. After working with everyone at Grace Hopper, I have no doubt they are also personally invested in having super smart women come out of this program and they truly believe in the program.

    What was the combined application and interview process for Fullstack Academy and Grace Hopper Academy like?

    I applied on each of their websites, then there was a test before the interview. They told me they received both applications, and said I could just take one test and one interview to be considered for both. In the interview we did a couple simple problems, then we pair programmed together. One of the most important things was not necessarily coming up with a perfect answer, but to show your approach and thought process. It’s important to show that you can think critically, and be able talk out your process.

    At the end of the interview, they asked me whether I would prefer Fullstack or Grace Hopper, but I didn’t really have a preference. My interviewer was a woman and I asked a lot of questions about being a woman in tech, so that may have indicated an all-female program would be good for me. About a week later they got back to me and told me I was admitted to Grace Hopper specifically.

    Is your class diverse in terms of race, life and career backgrounds?

    There are 14 of us, so it’s pretty small. There’s a bit of diversity – there are a couple of international girls, and then there’s the inherent diversity in that we are all women in tech. I think the deferred tuition opens it up to a wider range of people; it’s less burden of a commitment to make.

    What is the learning experience like at Grace Hopper Academy?

    It’s awesome, really fun. It’s broken into two parts – a Junior and Senior phase, with well thought out transitions for every stage of the process. Right now we are halfway through Senior phase. In Junior phase we did a lot of structured workshops, and almost always worked in pairs which I really liked. At the beginning of Senior phase, we built an online store including all of its functionality in a group of four people. It was cool to talk out our problems as a group, then pair program. Next we had to build our own personal projects for a hackathon, so after the group project, it was a little less scary to build a whole project on my own.

    What has been your experience learning in an all-female environment?

    I wasn’t seeking out an all-women’s program, but I would encourage it to any woman who is looking at both co-ed programs and all-female programs. I have no idea what it’s like in a co-ed coding bootcamp, but the environment here is amazing. We all have the mutual interest of everyone succeeding, there is no competitiveness – we know there are jobs out there for all of us. It’s a really supportive environment- which you don’t always hear about for women in tech- so it’s a nice way to start a career in technology.

    What are your instructors like? Are there female instructors?

    We had three instructors in Junior phase who sort of rotated, two were male, and one female. Now in Senior phase we just have one instructor, Ayana. She graduated from Fullstack Academy about a year ago, and is great to go to when we are stuck on a problem. Ayana is the most intelligent person I’ve ever met.

    What has been your favorite coding project so far?

    I really liked building my hackathon project. I built a Chrome extension to be used with Yelp. If you’re on a specific restaurant Yelp page, the Chrome extension uses the NYC Health Department API to find out the current and historical health grades of restaurant. We’d never seen Chrome extensions before so it was interesting to apply my skills to a different environment, and a good culmination of everything we’ve done. I like working on my own, and it was cool to solidify that I can do a whole project on my own. The hackathon was three-days long, then we presented four-minute project demos with the Fullstack Academy class.

    What’s been the biggest challenge at Grace Hopper Academy?

    Right now, my biggest challenge is coming up with creative ideas for projects. It can be scary to create a problem for yourself or suggest something if you haven’t wrapped your head around how you will approach it technically. That’s a whole other aspect of coding.

    At first, we had trouble brainstorming our final project idea because we were trying hard to be creative. But we decided to build an existing board game called Seven Wonders, which one of my teammates loves. We are applying a lot of logic skills to take a step back and see how all the user interaction is going to work. So it’s nice that the parameters of the game exist already, but it’s a super intricate game. We have three weeks to build it.

    How often do you interact with Fullstack Academy students, staff or alumni?

    We haven’t really done any coding with the other students. But now that we’re in the Senior phase we’re a little more aware of what’s going on there. We are going to demo our final projects with each other, it is cool to have a partner school.

    We do interact with alumni from the Fullstack Academy fellowship program. For three months after graduation, Fullstack takes on alumni to help with internal projects and also be TAs for both Fullstack and Grace Hopper. So we get to interact those alumni directly. I like that because they have really useful input for project ideas and things, since they’ve already been through it. We almost always have TAs available.

    What was your goal in attending a bootcamp? What are your plans after you graduate?

    I definitely want to look for a developer job. I haven’t narrowed my scope to exactly what I'm looking for in a role or company. We are just starting workshops on resume writing, so that’s getting me ready to get serious about that. I don’t have a full vision of the type of company I’d like to work for. but I definitely want to become software developer.

    How does the coding bootcamp prepare you for job hunting?

    There are a couple of ways. Since we’ve been in Senior phase, we start every morning with interview questions, where one of us poses as interviewer and the other as interviewee, and practice whiteboarding technical problems. We also had a workshop where we scrapped our old resumes and started on them anew.

    When we complete our final projects, we’ll have a hiring day. Grace Hopper invites potential employers and lets us know ahead of time who is coming, so if we have a particular interest in a company we can let them know. After we demo our projects, we can then sit down with employers whom we are interested in interviewing with.

    When will you start applying for jobs?

    Grace Hopper Academy’s Hiring Day is the last week of class, and the final two days of the program are job search intensive. They have a very tried and true system so I’m relying on that to make it clear when I’m ready to be applying. I don’t have a complete developer’s resume yet and this final project will be a resume builder as well, so I’d like to get through that and feel comfortable with my final project.

    What advice do you have for others considering a coding bootcamp?

    I think if you’re a woman considering a coding bootcamp you should consider an all-female bootcamp. But you should also consider if a coding bootcamp is really something you want to do. It’s a major time and emotional commitment. If you’re not completely ready to do it, then you probably can’t handle the amount of things they ask of you. Bootcamps have high expectations and if you’re not ready to hear about everything they expect from you then it could end being difficult. However, if you are excited about working in web development, then it’s super fun, because you just get to spend hours every day with exceptionally smart people who are also excited.

    How are you coping with the emotional side of getting through the bootcamp so far?

    I’m coping mainly just because it’s exciting, fun and interesting. With web development, when you’re writing code you can ultimately see what you’re building. Every time you test or break your page, you see all the errors. Eventually, you’ll know exactly how to handle an error. I also think at an all-girls bootcamp, everyone around you is super supportive – there is always a pal in your cohort if you’re having a hard time.

    Is there anything else you want to add about your experience at Grace Hopper Academy?

    Something that definitely stands out about Grace Hopper Academy and Fullstack Academy, is the instructors and everyone who works here genuinely cares about every person. It’s definitely a business but they also really take an interest in each individual. I believe when they accept someone into the program they truly believe in that person from the beginning to the end and think the person can complete this and be successful. They want to see us happy and in a career that makes sense, that’s why there is a whole process to applying for jobs and fixing a resume, and meeting hiring partners.

    Find out more and read reviews on Grace Hopper Academy's Course Report page. Or visit the Grace Hopper Academy website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Student Spotlight: Leila Loezer of Grace Hopper Academy

    Imogen Crispe2/16/2016

    Leila began her career working as an architect in Brazil, moved to the US to do her masters at the University of Cincinnati, worked as a project manager, and taught herself enough web design to land freelance jobs. Now her varied career path has led her to New York City to become a full stack developer at women-only coding bootcamp Grace Hopper Academy. Leila tells us about her fascinating journey, what factors convinced her that Grace Hopper Academy was the right fit, and how much fun she is having solidifying her web development skills!

    Quick update: Leila recently landed a job as a Fullstack Software Engineer at the New York Stock Exchange. Go Leila!!

    Q&A

    What were you up to before you started at Grace Hopper Academy?

    I studied architecture and urban planning at the Federal University of Parana in Brazil and worked as an architect. Then I moved to the US and did a Master’s Degree in Architecture and Community Planning at the University of Cincinnati, and worked for a few more years in an architecture firm doing project management. I started thinking about changing careers about two years ago, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought about engineering but eventually I decided on software development because I had always liked playing with computers and basic software programming.

    About a year ago I made the switch and started learning how to program through online resources, mainly in HTML and CSS. I started doing some freelance projects as a Front End Developer. With my design background I was able to work on interface design and user experience.

    What kind of resources did you use to start learning how to program?

    I started with Codecademy, then took two classes at Girl Develop It in HTML and CSS, and an introduction to Bootstrap – that was pretty relevant. I also took courses at Udemy, Udacity, and Treehouse.

    If you had already taught yourself, why did you decide to do a coding bootcamp?

    I had grasped the front end concepts and the interface design technologies by myself, but I felt for back end programming I needed to be in an immersive environment. I also thought this would help me find better opportunities professionally – my goal is to become a full stack software developer.

    Did you look at other coding bootcamps or just Grace Hopper Academy?

    I did a bit of research on several bootcamps, looking at location, class size, and curriculum. Most bootcamps didn’t really appeal to me, so I continued teaching myself and doing freelance projects. Before I found Grace Hopper there was nothing that I was really excited about, that I could imagine myself going to. I’m a member of Women Who Code and in their newsletter they announced a scholarship for Grace Hopper. It also mentioned it being a women’s only bootcamp, so I eventually decided to apply after reviewing it.

    Was location important to you when deciding on a coding bootcamp?

    It was a hard decision to move to New York from Cincinnati, Ohio. But I thought moving to a larger city like New York would expand my professional opportunities in the future. I moved here the Saturday before classes started, on January 11, 2016.

    Was Grace Hopper Academy’s deferred tuition plan an important factor in making the choice?

    Everything about Grace Hopper was important in my decision. The fact that Grace Hopper has deferred tuition where you don’t pay until you get a job, was definitely a plus because I was already teaching myself and it was another cut on my income. But I think the main factor was the curriculum and the programming languages. We are studying full stack JavaScript, a language which is growing so much. We are focusing on Node.js and Angular which are very important frameworks. We are also studying computer science concepts, which give us a much better understanding of programming. Also, since students have to already have background knowledge of programming, the curriculum doesn’t start at the very beginning. So we get the chance to work on complex topics that would be super hard for an absolute beginner.

    Were you specifically looking for a women-only bootcamp?

    I wasn’t necessarily looking for a women-exclusive bootcamp. But since I found out it was women only, that was a big factor, and I was even more encouraged to apply.

    Did you ever think about doing a 4-year Computer Science degree?

    I thought about doing a Masters Degree in computer science because it would be shorter. But because I’m a little older and already have undergraduate and master’s degrees, I didn’t want to do a full four-year program. Also, in programming, there are a lot of opportunities for people who don’t have degrees, but do have experience, so even if I didn’t study at a university, I know I’m getting experience in web development, just at a different level.

    Where is the Grace Hopper Academy classroom?

    It’s in the Financial District in Manhattan at a WeWork coworking space. We have a large classroom area and we take advantage of the common facilities of the coworking space. It’s a nice classroom with enough space for everybody.

    What are your fellow classmates like? Are they diverse in terms of race, life, and career backgrounds?

    We are 16 students in total. There are a few international women, and women with varied backgrounds like accounting and biology. There are some students right out of college as well. I think most people were already living in New York, but some people, like me, have moved to the city for the program.

    What is the learning experience like at Grace Hopper Academy?

    Classes start at 10 am. We usually arrive earlier and work on coding challenges and do pre-readings for our daily workshops. We have short lectures, in the mornings or afternoons. Most of the time we are doing workshops where instructors give us a project based on the curriculum, and some guidance on how to proceed, then we pair program in teams of two people.

    Right now we are studying Angular so we just started an Angular project. The class schedule is very intense, even with just the minimum program requirements. Then if you want to, you can do more and engage in other activities in the evenings and weekends. In the evenings we may get together with study groups, and sometimes an instructor or alumni from Fullstack Academy will be there to assist us. There are also talks from other Fullstack alumni. We also try to do hackathons over the weekends.

    It’s intense but fun. Our group is very connected and we’ve bonded together – we’re friends and we like to be around each other.

    Who are the instructors at Grace Hopper Academy? What are their backgrounds?

    We have three instructors right now, two have been through the Fullstack Academy program and have been instructors for a year, but before that they had varied backgrounds. One of them was going to medical school then changed careers before he finished. Most of them don’t have a background purely in coding.

    What has been your biggest challenge during the coding bootcamp so far?

    Having information poured on you and feeling like there are some gaps in your knowledge. But I’ve realized with time, if you let the knowledge sit a bit, things start making a lot more sense and you realize you know much more than you thought. It’s just about accepting and being patient with yourself.

    You mentioned that you’re working on Angular projects now. What is your favorite project you have worked on so far?

    In class, we are doing workshops most of the time. Grace Hopper has a Junior Phase and a Senior Phase. So in the Senior Phase we will start working on our own ideas, but our Junior Phase is mostly guided projects. So far what I like the most is working with Node and Express to create full stack web applications. Those projects give you the confidence to feel like you can build an app on your own already.

    Do you know what type of jobs you’ll apply to when you graduate? How is Grace Hopper preparing you for that?

    I’m not really thinking about it right now; we are instructed not to worry to about jobs during the Junior Phase. We will have a full six weeks, when we are working on capstone projects, to also work on resumes and the job search, so I’m trying to push that back and fully focus on the curriculum. But we do have presentation days where seniors from Fullstack Academy present their capstone projects, so that’s a nice way to see where they are at, because our curriculum is really similar. Later on we will also have mock interviews and general career coaching.

    What has been the best surprise about Grace Hopper Academy?

    How much we are actually learning and how much we are being pushed to learn every day. Even if we don’t fully understand everything, we keep going and that puts us on a very intense routine and schedule. It’s nice to see how much you can absorb – which is a lot more than you would think, you feel you have the power to learn things very quickly and effectively. I really like that feeling.

    What advice do you have for people who are considering a coding bootcamp?

    First of all, you need to know why you’re doing a bootcamp. Definitely find out if you really like programming, because a bootcamp is a big investment of time and money. Try to dig around and see all the aspects of programming. Also find out which languages you want to learn and what is trending in the market.

    My final advice is to go for it, know that you want it and just do it. It’s a very fun and interesting experience. I’m loving every second of it.

    Find out more on Grace Hopper Academy’s Course Report page. Or check out the Grace Hopper Academy website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Coding Bootcamp Cost Comparison: Full Stack Immersives

    Imogen Crispe2/11/2016

    (updated August 2016)

    At Course Report, we field a lot of questions about coding bootcamp cost. From students looking for free coding bootcamps to those wondering if an $18,000 bootcamp is worth it, we understand that cost is important to future bootcampers! While the average full-time programming bootcamp in the US costs $11,451bootcamp tuition can range from $5,000 to $21,000. So how do you decide what to budget for? Today, we're breaking down the costs of several popular coding bootcamps.

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  • January 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Liz Eggleston2/4/2016

    The January News Roundup is your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles in the coding bootcamp space. If you're part of the bootcamp world or just want to stay current on coding bootcamps, then check out everything you may have missed in January!

    Olivia Vanni from BostInno argues that Computer Science degrees in 2016 don't really make sense (coding bootcamps are one reason).

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  • October Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Liz Eggleston11/4/2015

    Welcome to the October News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Do you want something considered for the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!

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  • Founder Spotlight: Shanna Gregory of Grace Hopper Academy

    Liz Eggleston10/29/2015

    Fullstack Academy has recently announced the launch of a partner school, Grace Hopper Academy a coding immersive program exclusively for women. Tuition is not due until graduates secure positions in software engineering after the program. Grace Hopper Academy Dean, Shanna Gregory joined the bootcamp scene early, working with hiring partners at both Hack Reactor and Fullstack Academy and helping graduates find jobs as engineers. Shanna shares the changes she's witnessed in the bootcamp space, and how female-only schools prepare women for jobs in tech.

     

    You worked at Hack Reactor, then Fullstack Academy, and now you’re the Dean of Grace Hopper Academy. What has changed since you started in 2013 in this bootcamp space?

    A lot of my experience has been working with hiring partners and employers, and I've seen a big change in the reactions to job-seekers with this type of education. Employers are starting to accept bootcamps as viable experience and supporting alternative routes to engineering. Candidates can really prove themselves with their skills, projects, and portfolios, even if their undergrad degree is in something unrelated, like ceramics or law. That’s been such a massive change for the better - that you do not need to major in Computer Science to become a developer, and it’s not too late if you studied History.

    Obviously, there is still a lack of women in technical roles, but in bootcamps, we actually find that the ratio it closer to 50-50. Why does the world need Grace Hopper Academy right now?

    From a personal perspective, when I moved to New York to work at Fullstack Academy I didn't really have a community. One of the first things I did was start going to tech meetups. I started going to Women Who Code and Girl Develop It and meeting a lot of women who were teaching themselves how to code, or learning from friends or online.

    I was really excited about this huge group of women in New York and wanted to bring them all to Fullstack Academy - but I realize that attending a bootcamp is not financially possible for everyone and personally it wouldn't have been for me either; I completely understood that. We want to remove a huge barrier for these women, and encourage them to apply regardless of financial situation.

    From a confidence standpoint, it can be really hard to imagine yourself as a programmer; as a woman who is not tech savvy, it's a really long road that you see ahead of you when the tech scene lacks strong female representation.

    At Fullstack, our alumni community is really a big boost to the educational experience, placements, and outcomes. We keep in touch with our alumni, they keep in touch with each other and go to Hackathons and meetups frequently. They talk on Slack all the time - and it gets really crazy because there's so many of them at this point - but it's nice that we're able to support them throughout their whole journey and I wanted this strong community for women entering tech careers.

    What is Fullstack Academy's percentage of gender breakdown?

    Right now, it's 1 in 3. So in a recent cohort of 30 students there were 10 women. It's better than Computer Science undergrad programs; it's not 50-50 but there is this close-knit, budding community. We have Ladies of Fullstack meetings, a dedicated Slack channel for discussions, and we do things like invite everyone to women-focused tech meetups or events.  

    I do think it will be a different experience to have a class of all women.

    Some of the criticism that I hear of female-only schools is that it's not setting up women to work in the real world. How do you address that?

    I would make the comparison to all-female colleges. I think that resonates a lot with what we're doing; women graduate from Barnard or Smith College and then start their careers, working with men and women. It's not as though they're less prepared than had they gone to a co-ed school, they just had a completely different, more supportive learning experience.

    What it comes down to is that the educational experience and working environment do not need to be the same. In an environment where you are learning how to program, I think it's a really vulnerable process of learning quickly and can be intimidating to some people. We're creating the opportunity to make this experience more attractive to someone who would feel uncomfortable asking a question in class, or pair-programming with a really confident partner, for example. Once you've built up that confidence, have a supportive mentor network, and valuable skills, it's easier to enter into a field and job where you are confident in yourself and your ability.

    Having worked at two different bootcamps, what are some of the obstacles that you see women facing in a traditional bootcamp setting?

    I think there are a few different barriers. One is that when women are considering a career path or school to attend, an imbalanced gender ratio can be off-putting for some people. So we're hoping that an all women's school makes this an attractive option for those considering entering the field but who are put off by the current ratio.

    Also, the learning environment can feel uncomfortable for someone who is already facing “imposter syndrome”, those who are struggling to accept their own strengths and therefore do not feel as confident in the classroom.

    Why did you choose the deferred tuition payment structure? How is it different than a bootcamp loan?

    It's different than a loan because you do not owe tuition if we don’t succeed in helping you become a developer. A coding bootcamp loan has to be repaid regardless of your employment outcome. That's something that I feel very strongly about. I take it personally because I’ve been working on the hiring side - in the rare case someone doesn't get a job, I would feel responsible. Even though there are so many success stories, the bootcamps that I have worked at have placement rates well over 97%, the financial burden is terrifying if you don’t get a job.

    A lot of recent college students are also coming out of undergrad with so many loans. Many can’t imagine going to grad school at this point because you’re adding debt and there's no guarantee that you will have a job at the end.

    This would be an attractive option for those folks, because there's no risk except for the opportunity cost during the three month program. If you don't end up getting a job after the program, you don't lose anything. Both Fullstack and Grace Hopper Academy are really incentivized to help students get jobs because that's how we succeed.

    Because of the deferred tuition, Grace Hopper will be depending on students getting jobs after graduation. Do you anticipate that this will mean higher attrition? I'm thinking about the classic App Academy example of regular assessments and higher attrition.

    I've done some research about that; we'll probably be closer in-line with how Fullstack Academy has been operating, which is that we do regular assessments to check in with a student’s progress. I think it's a self-selective process as well. If someone after a week or two is feeling like they're not getting it and we agree and they wanted to leave then absolutely, it doesn't make sense to stay.

    I don't think there will be higher attrition, I think our admission standards already account for the fact that applicants need to be successful after graduation. But it does make sense to putting more checkpoints in place to make sure that happens.

    How much is upfront tuition if a student doesn't want to take a job as a developer afterwards?

    We're still working on determining that tuition fee, for those interested in becoming entrepreneurs or going back to school. There will also be the option to pay upfront if you can.

    Who's the instructor for this class?

    A pair of experienced Fullstack Academy instructors will lead the first cohort, and we're working to bring on more female instructors as well. In addition, we’ll have a few teaching fellows from the graduating cohort in December.

    Have you started getting applications yet?

    Yes! Since officially launching mid October we've gotten a great response from the tech world and the media. We've received almost 100 applications so far. I think the deferred tuition model has made it a very interesting option for people.

    We recently hosted a Women Who Code event at Fullstack, and it happened to coincide with the Grace Hopper launch date.  I was able to speak to many women who were there for this hardware workshop, and a few of them applied as we were discussing it.

    Also, our current students and alumni at Fullstack Academy are sharing it like crazy with all of their female friends.

    You've mentioned that Grace Hopper Academy is not accepting beginners; what does that mean in this context?

    Beginner to me is someone who sees this school and says "Oh, I could probably learn how to code" but has never coded. You must know this is what you want to do. It's a huge commitment to participate in an immersive program, and passion is a prerequisite. This is not a program for anyone who is not sure this is something they're passionate about and going to be interested in long-term. I'd encourage those applicants to go through online tutorials and learn as much as they can about what it takes to become a developer and to prepare for our coding assessment and technical interview.

    We put applicants through a technical assessment and interview. Our curriculum is the same as Fullstack, and starts with the assumption that students already know programming fundamentals. So applicants need to demonstrate that in the admissions process. If someone is a pure beginner, we have a lot of resources we provide to help them get to where they need to be, including free online study materials and live classes taught at Fullstack.  

    What kind of relationships do you have with employers so far? Are those mostly Fullstack Academy hiring partners?

    Because we just launched last week, I sent out an email to Fullstack Academy hiring partners and I’m already getting really excited responses (and a lot of questions!). I'm certain that hiring partners will be interested in both schools’ graduates; it's very much the same curriculum in terms of what we're teaching, with different learning environments and support networks.

    So if an employer is reading this, why should they hire specifically from Grace Hopper Academy?

    Employers should be excited about diversity on their teams and Grace Hopper is a place where they can meet really talented developers, know their skill-set, and see what they've built. Any hire they make from Grace Hopper Academy will improve their team’s diversity drastically, and be valuable technically.

    What are your favorite resources for women who are just starting to learn to code?

    I think online tutorials are great and really important when you're figuring things out, but I also think in-person meetups are important, places where you can build a community and physically ask questions of people when you’re struggling.

    I'm really partial to Women Who Code because I've made a few great friends through them. They do some very beginner-oriented, all-day Saturday workshops once a month that teach HTML and CSS and I think that's a good start for women who are interested in learning how to code. We also have a link to admissions preparations materials on the Grace Hopper website, on the application page.

    The next Grace Hopper Academy cohort starts January 11, 2016. Interested? Check out the Grace Hopper Academy website or Course Report Page!

  • Learn to Code (for Free) at these Coding Bootcamps!

    Harry Hantel3/27/2017

    While programming bootcamps can offer a high return on investment, the average tuition at code school is ~$10,000, which is no small sacrifice. Fortunately, a number of not-for-profit and well-organized programs are able to offer free coding bootcamps. Some of these bootcamps are funded by placement and referral fees; others are fueled by community support and volunteers. Expect rigorous application processes and competitively low acceptance rates, but for the right applicants, there is so much to gain at these free coding bootcamps. 

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  • Which New York Coding Bootcamp is Best for You?

    Liz Eggleston1/30/2014

    (updated August 2016)

    How do you choose a coding boot camp in New York that's right for you? With so many options to choose from, you should consider factors like your learning style, professional goals, and language preferences.  

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