Free Form Practice
Writing my own code with tests (My GitHub Code)
Learning from peers at work
Solving random higher order function problems (My GitHub Code)
Girl Develop It JS102: Objects, Arrays and Functions
Girl Develop It JS401: Intro to Unit Testing with Jasmine
Girl Develop It JS404: Intro to AngularJS
Hack Reactor Fulcrum
You Don’t Know JS This and Object Prototypes
You Don’t know JS Scopes and Closures
MEAN Stack Self Study:
CodeSchool Real-time Web with Node.js
CodeSchool Shaping up with Angular.js
CodeSchool Building Blocks of Express.js
Hack Reactor is a tough tough program to get into. I understand why it is named one of the best quality and most prestigious by Forbes. It requires pre-course materials (aka Fulcrum) to be completed before starting the program so everyone is at the same level at the start. They estimate it takes 9 weeks for students to finish the pre-course materials. In other words, it’s a lot of work even before getting into the program. Fulcrum includes two check-ins where someone on the Fulcrum staff review your code and also challenge you with creating functioning code on the spot. This is to prepare you for the two technical interviews where you do coding on the spot with little help!
Interview #1 for me was on November 18, 2015 and that’s when I was accepted into the program (pending completion of pre-course work). This acceptance started a slew of actions at for me at my current place of work, like asking for a personal leave or preparing to turn in my resignation because this is how dedicated I am to this career path. Along with human resourcing concerns, how long health insurance will last on unpaid leave, etc. On top of that there were personal items to consider, paying the $2K deposit to hold my spot, what will I eat during the intensive program? and what about laundry? (all that for another day’s post)
This morning, I aced my second interview. I was so incredibly nervous for this because at this point they STILL could tell me I’m not ready for the program, that I have to wait and study more (I was told this 3 times with interview #1, which has drawn this out this very moment for almost a year).
But… they didn’t tell me I had to wait or study more. =)
All that is left is one exercise creating a jQuery twitter app before I’m officially accepted into Hack Reactor January 2016 cohort.
As a current Fulcrum student, I’m intrigued that this article is stating it is for people who have no experience coding. Fulcrum is a tough course (aka pre-course work for admitted Hack Reactor students) – this is coming from someone who has been around computers all their life, someone who has taken many programming classes over the years and knows the basics of building a static website, but who has also dabbled in CMS, php and databases.
I would say that the Fulcrum material bridges the gap between someone who is new to coding – but has done all of the free (or inexpensive) online tutorials, read books and has built simple pages – and someone who wants to get into an immersion program like Hack Reactor which requires you to have practiced and understand loops, if than statements, css, html, git, jQuery, test driven development, higher order functions, recursion and object oriented patterns.
An email came across my inbox today:
We’re writing to follow up on your interview with [us] last month.
At the time of your interview, we did not have a great way to offer our educational programs to candidates that didn’t meet our technical bar. We’ve always invited people to re-apply after a study period, but we know it’s easy to get lost and discouraged when trying to follow along with online tutorials.
In order to help people like you study up and progress in your learning goals, we’ve developed a new open-enrollment online program called Hack Reactor Fulcrum. It’s made up of the material that used to be the first three weeks of Hack Reactor, and now constitutes the pre-course homework that Hack Reactor students must complete before starting the program.
Fulcrum is an exceptional way to prepare for your next interview, and, the tuition counts towards your Hack Reactor tuition if you ultimately pass the admissions process. We’re recommending it to you if you’re still interested in Hack Reactor, or in the craft of coding in general.
Admissions Specialist, Hack Reactor
Later on in the day, while on a run, I received a phone call from a state where I know no one. I picked up and it was the CEO of Hack Reactor. He was calling just to tell me that I was the first person to sign up for Fulcrum. Wow.
Today was my Hack Reactor interview. It was onsite at Hack Reactor.
They asked about my reason for applying, a little about my background and then we went into the technical interview. I was enthusiastic and excited to be there. After the technical interview I asked some questions and they said they’d let me know their decision in less than a week.
 I was asked to study more and re-apply in three months.
Over the next week, I’ll review my finances, my calendar and check in with my desires to see if all of this is all feasible and still feels like the right path. It will be tough to quit the job, lay down $18k for the course, live off savings and to ensure I have health care for 3+ months, but I think this will be a small drop in a much grander future for me.
I’ve read it’s tough to get into Hack Reactor as they have high standards. On their website the earliest start date for on-site cohort would be June 29.
Last night at Bay Area Girl Geek dinner hosted by Optimizely, I was sitting around a table with 5 other girl geeks and half of them were developers talking about how they have a career as a software engineer. In that moment, these facts came to mind
- I’ve been around computers all my life (since I was 3 years old)
- I created my first website on geocities when I was 16
- Self taught html, css, SQL, php
- Informatics Bachelors degree with two semesters of Java, plus other classes in C#, SAP, and SQL databases
- My MSIS Master’s capstone project was a Health 2.0 dashboard for Deloitte & Touche
- In every job since completing my undergrad, I’ve ended up creating or working on my employer’s website, even when I was hired as an insurance agent
Then I questioned myself, “I have the length of experience and the skills, why am I not sitting in their shoes right now“?
HackBright Academy is also the sponsor of Bay Area Girl Geek dinners.