Facebook Software Engineer and Hackbright Alum Emily Gasca Gives Advice on Interviews

Facebook software engineer Emily Gasca and former Hackbright Academy student talked to the students about interviewing. Before attending Hackbright Academy, Emily earned her bachelor’s in Cognitive PsychologyEmily Gasca
Facebook Software Engineer & Hackbright Alum
Emily talked to the students at Hackbright Academy about the interview process, answering questions from the preparation/pacing process to her choice of interview clothes. Before attending Hackbright Academy, Emily earned her bachelor’s in Cognitive Psychology and worked in IT: “I was tired all day and my brain shut off, so I quit and joined Hackbright.”

Emily assured the current students at Hackbright Academy that “it gets better.”

“It’s really easy as a Hackbright student to think ‘I’m not doing this right because I’m from [a 10-week program like] Hackbright…’ No one has the same education but you guys are getting a really good one and don’t get down on yourself. Everyone has something that is missing. Be confident,” said Facebook engineer Emily Gasca and alum of Hackbright Academy.

On attending Hackbright Academy, Emily said “I took a risk, I threw myself into something mostly new, I committed to it and have something to show for it. Interviewers accept that and give mad props to it.”

Her background in cognitive psychology played a role in her choice of engineering project that she made while at Hackbright Academy. “Cognitive processes are similar to computer processes so I would talk about that a lot in interviews,” said Emily.

“Cognition is really interesting to me and why I love language so much. It inspired me to do a compiler for my project at Hackbright.”

Here is Emily’s advice for students facing technical interviews:

* With algorithms, lock down the patterns that start coming up. Think about something else you’ve answered that is similar and talk that out. Just start talking – ‘so there is a similar problem, so I’d use this and this.’ They want to hear how your brain goes and the dots that get connected.
* When in doubt, start talking. It gets better when you do it a lot.
* Start interviewing early. Study. Pace yourself, but don’t drag it on so much that you burn out.

Facebook is a partner company of Hackbright Academy. They are offering a scholarship for moms to learn to code this fall at Hackbright – application deadline is July 25, 2013.

Applications for the fall session of Hackbright Academy are also due on July 25, 2013 – apply now!

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