Hackbright Academy Reviews

4.1 / 5

San Francisco

all bootcamps

Hackbright is a bootcamp that focuses on teaching Python and only accepts women into their cohorts. Its a double whammy of uniqueness in coding bootcamps. Their goal is to change what they call the "Dave-to-Girl" ratio by enabling women to enter the software development industry.

Hackbright prefers to teach by maximizing hands on experience and minimizing lecture time. As part of that hand on experience, you should expect to spend a lot of time pair programming. They also have a Career Day at the end of the program to do some speed- interviewing.

Hackbright has a unique mentorship program for all of their fellowship students. You will be matched up with 3 mentors who are software engineers from leading companies in the the industry such as Twitter, Google, Pinterest, Hipmunk, Twilio, and other startups.

To apply, you need to create an account on their site and create a video. Just make sure to reserve time for it. There are two application deadlines as well, an early and regular, so make sure to factor that into your application planning.

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Hackbright Academy programs

Programs Cities Duration Cost
Program: Engineering Fellowship Cities: San Francisco Duration: 12 weeks Cost: $16,750
All types of engineering fields are traditionally male-dominated, so Hackbright Academy in San Francisco is a 10-week all-women’s bootcamp. The program says they graduate more female software engineers each year than both Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley. One of the features of Hackbright Academy’s program is a Career Day where soon-to-be graduates have an opportunity to interview with more than 20 tech companies.

Hackbright Academy reviews

11 reviews

Verfied answers from graduates of this school will include this badge

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    Hackbright was a great use of my time and resources; it helped me learn the computer science fundamentals and basic Python/JavaScript/SQL skills I needed to stand up a full web application and feel confident applying for jobs in San Francisco. Through Hackbright's Career Day and career services, I was able to network and land interviews and find a job about 6 weeks after graduating from the program. I would definitely recommend Hackbright to someone who is already familiar with the tech world and is trying to jump from a non-engineering role to an engineering role.

    Answered by graduate Roo Harrigan on July 31st, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    Hackbright Academy was a great environment to learn more about how to make websites. They have several options of classes, making it a helpful place to learn from other students and teachers as well.

    Answered by graduate Mary L on August 10th, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    Not great, I appreciated learning Python, but there are not many places hiring Python developers out of bootcamps. In my experience full stack JavaScript is the way to go. I appreciate Hackbright's support of women in tech, but it wasn't rigorous enough, they didn't really teach JS, and the curriculum should be modified to prepare students to hit the job market running after graduation. Also the TA's rarely had experience working in full time engineering roles and often didn't know more than the current students.

    Answered by Anonymous on August 10th, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    Expensive, but excellent! Very supportive culture, and a good balance between lectures, exercises, and independent coding time. They also have some great partner companies, and job hunting support!

    Answered by graduate Carolyn L on August 11th, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    Fantastic! The cohorts are small enough to provide a 3:1 student to teacher ratio, but large enough to provide a huge breadth of experiences and personalities of peers to learn beside. The curriculum is exceptionally designed and taught, and the labs are relevant and meaningful. The projects are individual, and immensely helpful in solidifying the knowledge taught through the lectures. Career services are well-designed and provide a solid foundation for how to secure a job in the industry. The number of openings for junior developers at partner companies is fewer than I had hoped, but I believe still a higher success rate than comparable bootcamps.

    Answered by Anonymous on August 11th, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    I took 2 different classes and my overall review and experience were completely different. I think it's a great start especially the intro to programming class (I took it with Ahmad and would highly recommend him). I had no prior experience with programming and it helped me understand what i like to call the logistics behind it. I wanted to pursue programming in depth and came back for the Front-End courses offered at Hackbright. I felt like the beginning was too repetitive and the transition to JavaScript was not smooth. I also think that this might've been because of the instructors. One of the TA's I had was not good with presenting or explaining and it made the learning process more challenging. The Front-End class overall was not as well structured as the Intro to Programming class. I do believe that it's something that could be fixed with a couple of tweaks in the schedule. (I've left a feedback at the end of the course so i do believe that it's most likely better now)

    Answered by Anonymous on August 11th, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    Hackbright was an amazing experience. I learned a lot in the three months I was there, from the basics of each language (python, javascript, SQL, html/css) to higher level topics like how to plan out a project, or organize a data model.

    Answered by graduate Tammie K on August 11th, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    They may like the idea of getting more women into tech, but really, their intention is to make money off of you. You'll learn a lot, but there are already a lot of other ways to learn what you need for much cheaper.

    Answered by Anonymous on August 11th, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    Hackbright was the right choice for me. Effectiveness is stressed over rigor, and many of the kinks that newer bootcamps have to contend with have long been ironed out. I came away from Hackbright with a dream job at a well-respected partner company, an awesome project to show off whenever I need to prove my capabilities, and a strong network of mentors, cohort-mates, and staff who are still invested in my success.

    Answered by graduate R E on August 16th, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    Hackbright is one of the better bootcamps. The best part is the strong alumnae communtiy. I would not recommend Hackbright to someone who already has programming experience, however. The curriculum starts from the very basics.

    Answered by graduate Amanda Meurer on August 16th, 2016

  • Hackbright Academy Engineering Fellowship review

    I received a solid foundation into computer programming but it does not make you a ideal candidate the day after you graduate from Hackbright. There is still a lot of self studying you must do after the program to land a job. It definitely takes a certain type of person to excel from this type of learning environment. If I could go back in time I would still go through Hackbright because it gave me the structure that otherwise I would not have had.

    Answered by Anonymous on August 16th, 2016

Talk with Hackbright Academy graduates

Ask your question

Bootcamp grads love to talk. We'll find students from Hackbright Academy to answer your questions.

Verfied answers from graduates of this school will include this badge

What was your favorite thing about the course?

Posted by Catherine DeSantis on August 30th, 2016

Answer
How would you describe the culture at Hackbright Academy?

Posted by Anonymous on July 31st, 2016

Answer

Hackbright strives to build an inclusive, team-oriented atmosphere where students are free to ask questions and feel comfortable leaning on one another for support.

Answered by graduate Roo Harrigan on July 31st, 2016

The people are friendly and smart. It's a fairly welcoming culture where people are supportive and willing to help you succeed. They have several resources for students and a warm aura that makes it a nice place to spend time.

Answered by graduate Mary L on August 10th, 2016

Fine. Some of the students were cliquey and immature but for the most part we were quite supportive of one another. I think Hackbright should have done something to foster trust, team building, etc.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 10th, 2016

Very supportive, friendly, and collaborative. Everyone there is going through a shared challenge and people are great about supporting, encouraging, and inspiring each other.

Answered by graduate Carolyn L on August 11th, 2016

Friendly, accepting, supportive, non-competitive... Everyone is supported in learning together and individually. There are assessments, but no grades or tests. Everyone is helpful to everyone else.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 11th, 2016

The community is amazing. Everyone (the instructors, TAs and the students) is super helpful. They hold weekly coding events at the Academy where instructors provide additional help it's also super easy and convenient to schedule a google hangout appointment with any of the instructors.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 11th, 2016

Each cohort tends to be very different, but students and instructors alike are always incredibly supportive--whether it's help with project planning, finding that one bug, or whiteboarding/interview practice after graduation.

Answered by graduate Tammie K on August 11th, 2016

Supportive during class, but uncaring for alumnae. The company is not transparent about what they're up to and have been unapologetic about mistakes they've made in the past.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 11th, 2016

Friendly and a positive environment that promoted learning. It was a fast paced learning environment that at times was stressful but the instructors and fellow classmates were amazingly supportive.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 16th, 2016

Supportive. Hackbright does an excellent job of proactively attending to students' career, academic, and social needs. Each student is given mentors, a staff academic adviser, and individual career counselling. Collaboration with and respect for other fellows is explicitly encouraged. The admissions process selects for mature, driven, interesting people. Even at high-stress moments or in potentially competitive situations, I could rely on my cohort-mates to be supportive, honest, and positive. Throughout the program, I appreciated staff's continual focus on the "end goal" of teaching us what we would need to know to both get and succeed at our first software engineering jobs.

Answered by graduate R E on August 16th, 2016

Friendly, positive, nurturing. They have 'Feelings Friday' to talk about your emotional health. The Career services provided at Hackbright is very good - they will connect you with lots of companies.

Answered by graduate Amanda Meurer on August 16th, 2016

How effective were your instructors?

Posted by Anonymous on July 31st, 2016

Answer

Not great, most of them didn't know how to teach, only how to talk at you or lecture. Joel was the exception, but he's only one person and there were so many of us.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 10th, 2016

I found that some of the instructors were excellent and some were just average in the classroom setting, but all were great in a 1:1 supportive environment during pair-programming and debugging. All of the instructors were committed to helping me breakdown code line by line and supported me through the challenges of building out my capstone project so that I was confident while I presented it during career day.

Answered by graduate Roo Harrigan on July 31st, 2016

They were pretty good. My front end development instructor was really helpful and willing to answer questions. Each teacher has an assistant and I found the assistants a valuable resource to help get through class and assignments as well.

Answered by graduate Mary L on August 10th, 2016

They were very effective! Lectures are clear, and they give invaluable debugging help during lab exercises. With coding it makes a huge difference (especially when you're learning) to be able to ask questions when you get stuck, and between the instructors is a huge amount of technical knowledge that really helps you understand concepts well rather than just blindly copying and pasting code from StackOverflow.

Answered by graduate Carolyn L on August 11th, 2016

The head of the education staff is exceptionally knowledgeable about programming and industry experience. The other instructors have lots of industry experience, as well as education experience. The TA's are all alumnae, so they are understanding of the process and curriculum.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 11th, 2016

As I mentioned before it depends on which instructor were talking about. I wasn't really pleased with the Front End class. The instructors was also gone for a week due to an emergency and the TA's couldn't assist well.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 11th, 2016

The entire teaching staff was great. In addition to two instructors per cohort, there a re guest lectures by the VP of education and a handful of teaching assistants, resulting in a 4:1 teacher:student ratio.

Answered by graduate Tammie K on August 11th, 2016

The instructors played favorites and were always stressed. I'm guessing they weren't getting paid enough for how much time they spent working.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 11th, 2016

The were very effective. They were well educated and had a background in teaching so they knew how to explain difficult topics in a clear and concise manner.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 16th, 2016

The instructors are former software engineers. The TA's are Hackbright alumnae. The instructors were very good at explaining the basics. The TA's have a good grasp of the curriculum and can answers questions as long as they are not beyond the curriculum.

Answered by graduate Amanda Meurer on August 16th, 2016

What advice would you give a new student?

Posted by Anonymous on July 31st, 2016

Answer

Prepare and iterate! A bootcamp happens over a short period of time, and you can only pack so much into 12 weeks. You need to spend as much time before and after the bootcamp writing code, creating projects that showcase your skills, studying algorithms and other types of problems, preparing for both technical and non-technical interviews, putting together your professional materials (resumes, CVs, etc.) and networking in order to ensure you get the job you want.

Answered by graduate Roo Harrigan on July 31st, 2016

Ask questions and spend time really trying to understand what you're doing - not just trying to complete the assignments. The better you understand it, the more likely you'll be able to use these skills after class.

Answered by graduate Mary L on August 10th, 2016

I probably wouldn't recommend Hackbright, it's quite expensive and the program isn't rigorous enough to prepare you. I'd spend a lot of time working on learning a language or 2, JavaScript and Python are good to start with, and working on algorithms in each. Work your way through Cracking the Coding Interview or something like it as soon as possible. Then I'd DEEPLY understand how the web works (e.g. what exactly happens when you enter google.com into a browser, RESTful APIs, etc,), basic Unix/Linux bash commands, and how to set up your developer's environment, how to use Github and git. Then I'd build something, figure out how to run a server using Express (JS) or Django(Python), choose some JS framework/library (Backbone, Angular 2, React...) for your front end, and build something that works. Tutorials suck, do the work yourself so you really learn it. And of course you need to know HTML/CSS. Most importantly, understand WHY things are happening or WHY you're doing the things you're doing, did a little deeper and ask questions to figure out what's happening below the hood.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 10th, 2016

Ask for help when you need it! It's easy to get stuck and spend 3 hours debugging only to find that you had a typo or a missing parenthesis. Asking helps you speed up your leaning.

Answered by graduate Carolyn L on August 11th, 2016

buy-in to the culture. Take the instructor's advice. The team really wants to help the students become successful engineers and get jobs in the industry.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 11th, 2016

I definitely recommend taking intro to Programming before jumping into other courses they offer. You can't lean how to run without walking.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 11th, 2016

Always ask why. Looking for help on stack overflow or tutorialspoint is fine, but if you don't take the time to learn why it works you might miss out on other times it would be useful (or realize possible bugs it might cause).

Answered by graduate Tammie K on August 11th, 2016

Do FreeCodeCamp.com or a school that supports you long-term instead. Learn as much as you can on your own before going to a school—there are a lot of websites and people at meetups who are very helpful.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 11th, 2016

I would tell them to study and prepare before their first day at Hackbright. The more of a foundation you have going into Hackbright the easier it is to progress without feeling like you are behind.

Answered by an anonymous graduate on August 16th, 2016

Take advantage of your mentors! Don't waste time stressing about the job hunt during the beginning of the program. That time can be better spent brainstorming for your project and exploring class topics that you find particularly interesting.

Answered by graduate R E on August 16th, 2016

As with any bootcamp program, your results will only be as good as the effort you put in to becoming a great engineer. None of the bootcamps will guarantee you a bright future - as with anything, you have to work for it. I think Hackbright is the best bootcamp experience for non-dudes.

Answered by graduate Amanda Meurer on August 16th, 2016

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