Hackbright alum Jamie Corley took what she learned in the Intro to Programming class to build TheBridge, a network that connects the political and tech worlds through events, a bi-weekly newsletter and job boards. Jamie discusses her background, how Hackbright helped her co-found TheBridge and how empowering women is the future of tech.
Can you explain exactly what TheBridge is and does? Where did you get the idea?
TheBridge is a network that connects the political and tech worlds through events, our bi-weekly newsletter and our jobs board. It’s kind of like Silicon Valley meets Veep. Wonder how tech impacts how our democracy functions? Curious how regulations coming out of DC impact innovation? TheBridge is where those questions are asked and answered. Anyone is welcome to join and should sign up for our newsletter at www.thebridgework.com
What did you learn in the Hackbright course that ultimately empowered you to move forward with launching TheBridge?
I can build a functioning website in just a few days. That means if I get an idea in my head, I can bring it into reality and test it out without having to hire a designer or engineer. If the idea gains traction and needs additional work, I know, from my experience at Hackbright, how to hire and manage a team to further build it out.
Did you create The Bridge before the current election?
TheBridge started as a simple email in fall 2016 to friends and family who were interested in learning more about politics and how they impact tech and vice-versa. TechCrunch and numerous other outlets wrote about it and the idea took off.
What is your advice for women who are considering learning coding?
Do it! Learning to code, especially through a program like Hackbright, is about so much more than learning hard skills. Working through challenges, building and changing code and iterating on how the website looks and feels is exactly like building a business.
What did you like about the Hackbright experience, and what was your favorite part?
The community. I loved meeting other young, driven, talented women in SF. I still keep in touch with my Hackbright team members, Demi and Nicole.
What would you recommend for students wanting to get into politics/tech?
There’s a tremendous opportunity to be a part of influencing these two worlds —politics and tech. Both impact our lives everyday, even if we don’t realize it. Young people and women must play an active part in shaping the future.
What is your work/live motto?
Keep it simple.
Follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieHCorley
Hackbright Academy is the engineering school for women in San Francisco dedicated to closing the gender gap in the tech industry. Learn more about Hackbright’s 12-week software engineering program Eshita completed.
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