Fellowship Frequently asked questions

Is your program 10 weeks or 12 weeks?

We do 10 weeks of formal instruction which includes a formal curriculum, regularly scheduled lectures and a fully staffed teaching team. However, if you are planning to go into a computer programming job after Hackbright, you should plan to stay for the optional 2 weeks at the end.

Why would anyone not attend the two optional weeks?

Usually because they’re returning to school or already have a job waiting for them when they leave Hackbright.

What if I miss the application deadline?

You are welcome to apply, but interviewing priority will be given to people who applied before the deadline.

How do I edit my application once I’ve started?

If your application is currently Not Submitted, visit accounts.hackbrightacademy.com apply while logged in, and you can continue to edit your existing answers. Alternatively, there is a link to “Continue Your Application” if you visit the site’s index while logged in.

Is it better to apply earlier rather than later?

Yes. So far we haven’t filled up before the application deadline, but we’ve gotten close, and it’s possible that it could happen in the future.

Will you accept someone who wants to go to Hackbright straight out of high school (instead of going to college)?

To date, we’ve never accepted someone straight out of high school, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t. We expect a level of maturity usually gained from a few years at college or in the workplace, but again, there are some very mature 18 year olds out there. Regardless of age and education, all applicants should be prepared to demonstrate a good deal of maturity, competence and interest learned through relevant work experience.

How old do I have to be to attend Hackbright Academy?

Students must be 18 years old by the date of the first class as we are not legally able to accommodate minors.

What is the average age of the students you accept?

Usually our students fall in the 20’s-40’s range, but we’ve seen exceptions and look forward to seeing more!

How long should my application be?

One of the the things we look for in an application is - did we get to know you? It’s almost impossible for us to get to know a candidate if each of her essay answers are only 2 sentences long. It doesn’t need to be a novel, but before you submit, check to make sure your personality is coming out in your writing.

Please help! I don’t understand the ‘describe in detail’ question.

This question exists so we can learn how you describe something in detail. The topic you choose is not important to us but rather, the method of delivery. For example, instead of saying I’m an expert at yoga, take some time to explain to us exactly what makes the perfect downward dog.

Even though it’s optional, should I do the video?

We understand that it’s not easy for everyone to express themselves in writing, so we’ve included a video option. If you think that adding a video would help us get to know you better, then this option is for you! The video never counts against applicants, so it’s always a good idea to submit one if you’re on the fence. Don’t worry - if your video is awkward and terrible, we just pretend it’s not there.

Even though it’s optional, should I do the coding challenge?

Yes. We know that you don’t have a lot of coding experience, but it should only take a couple hours of online research to be able to answer it. While it’s not required, it has made the difference for some candidates.

What do I need to prepare?

Not much! Get ready for an atypical interview and bring questions.

How many interviews are there?

Two or three. We’re working on getting it down to two.

How long until I find out if I’ve gotten in?

The decision deadline for the cohort you are applying for is the date by which we will notify you if you got in. However, once applicants start the interview process, we respond to them within 2 weeks.

If I get in, how long do I have to tell you if I’m coming to Hackbright?

About 2-3 weeks. We’ll include an official deadline on the student agreement.

If I didn’t get in, will you provide feedback on my application and interview?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide personalized feedback at this time.

What is The Software Engineering Fellowship?

The Hackbright Academy Software Engineering Fellowship for women is a 10 week training program designed to help women become awesome programmers. We teach the fundamentals of modern web development, then introduce you to Silicon Valley companies looking to expand their engineering teams.

When and Where?

  • Summer 2014
  • Final Application Deadline: 03/03/2014
  • Final Decision: 05/02/2014
  • Session dates: 06/02/2014 - 08/22/2014

More Dates…

What will I learn?

Here is what you will learn. Some words you may not understand when you start, but will when you finish:

  • Python
  • How to build a webapp
  • Pair programming
  • Git and source control
  • Interview skills
  • SQL and ORMs
  • Regex
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript, AJAX
  • Deploying to cloud services such as Heroku or Amazon EC2
  • Terminal shells, grep, and other *nix command-line fu
  • Computer Science data structures such as linked lists, dictionaries, and trees
  • How to work with APIs (such as Google Maps or Twitter)
  • Basic networking concepts / how the internet works
  • Other programming concepts and tools such as message queues, batch processing, distributed processing, NoSQL, and web sockets

Why Women Only?

In short, we hate the Dave-to-Girl Ratio in software development. We want to do our part to equalize this imbalance, and we felt that a program exclusively for women was a good place to start. For the record, there will only be 1 Dave in the classroom.

What's it like?

The Hackbright Fellowship is a life changing experience. We create an optimal learning environment with everything you need. The first half of the program includes an accelerated in depth teaching of the Python language, then covers the elements of a modern web application stack with guided projects. For the remainder of the program, students work on projects they’re passionate about. Meanwhile, we’ll bring in guests from great companies and have talks and breakout sessions exposing students to as many sub-disciplines as we can manage.

We believe in pair programming as a powerful teaching tool. Having another person sitting next to you watching you code can be harrowing, but nothing keeps you focused like a second set of eyes. Pair programming encourages knowledge sharing, rapid brainstorming, and keeps you from checking Facebook too much. Students will pair as much as possible during the program.

We won’t lecture too much. We believe fully immersed engagement is the best way to learn. We provide the curriculum and environment to produce optimal learning. This means maximizing hands-on time in front of computers and providing smart people who can answer all of your questions.

Here’s the experience described by one of our Alumna, featured in Forbes.

How much does it cost?

Tuition is $15,000. If you receive and accept a full-time job offer from one of the companies in our network then we will refund $3,000 of your tuition. If the program doesn’t meet your expectations in the first 2 weeks, we’ll give you your money back (less your down payment).We offer a partial scholarships to a limited number of students each quarter. These are need-based scholarships. If you are an organization who wants to sponsor more students, please let us know. Financial barriers should not prevent candidates from doing our program.

Who is this for?

Our ideal candidate has an inspired desire to learn software development. You may have no experience at all, or, you may have some technical experience but want an immersive environment to become a good developer. Maybe you gave a few programming tutorials a try but you’re eager for a little more structure. You may have even took a CS class once in high school or made a mod for your favorite game. We’ve had very good success teaching absolute beginners. What you know is much less important than what you can learn.

If you’re a little more advanced, you’re welcome too! You may not need to sit through the early material, but if you want a place to work on a personal project, surrounded by smart people who can keep you motivated, you’ll find that here.

Why Python and Web Development?

Python is an important part of the tech ecosystem. It’s an excellent teaching language, indeed, it’s the language of choice for both MIT’s and Berkeley’s undergraduate curriculums. More importantly, it’s a commercially used language used by giants and startups alike. We like it a lot, and we think you’ll like it too.

Software Development is changing. Within the last ten years, the web has gone from being a second-class citizen to the primary way software is distributed to people. Aside from toys, there is almost no marketplace for software without a network component anymore, and modern web development was critical to that change. Even if you go on to build mobile applications, you’ll need to interface with a web component.

Web development is a bit of a misnomer, too. We teach you how to architect and build multi-user network applications. Then, we show you how to make it pretty in a web browser.

And After?

Our goal is to help you get the job you want. We will provide training on both the technical skills and soft skills you need to make your way into the industry. We host a “Career Day” at the end of the 10-weeks where select companies come in and meet all of our graduates. “Career Day” includes speed-interviews and networking. While we don’t guarantee job placement, we have strategic relationships with companies that we’re excited about and are excited about us, and are recruiting from the program.