Mathilde from Smartcar Skills Up with Hackbright
Mathilde Patmon works in recruiting at Smartcar and she recently graduated from Hackbright Academy’s 5-week Prep course. We thought it was great that she got to learn foundational programming skills using the programming language Python, and we wanted to hear more about what her experience was like, from why she decided to attend Hackbright to her final project.
Here’s what she had to say about Hackbright, Prep, and Smartcar.
How did you hear about Hackbright Academy and what drew you to the Prep course?
I’ve participated in a few events that my company Smartcar has hosted at Hackbright in the past, for example the Hackbright Academy Connected Car Hackathon and a Job Hunting Hacks workshop. I had a really great experience during these events, so when I decided that I wanted to explore the world of coding to be a stronger recruiter, Hackbright was my first choice.
Did you have any experience with Python or software engineering prior to attending?
No, I actually didn’t have any coding experience. The idea of jumping head first into a 5-week bootcamp without any knowledge of Python was pretty intimidating at first. However, I knew it would be a rewarding experience in the end, so that helped calm my nerves.
How did Smartcar help you attend the Prep course?
Although Smartcar is a small 19-person startup, we launched a learning and development program earlier this year. It consists of both internal opportunities for growth (such as job shadowing, cross-department meetings, and more) as well as a stipend used for external learning opportunities. It was a no-brainer for me to use my stipend on Hackbright’s Prep course.
What are your thoughts on Hackbright’s community and support?
The Hackbright community is incredibly supportive. The day I signed up for Prep, I decided to post about it on LinkedIn. The amount of positive support I got from former Hackbright graduates was humbling! Everyone is so willing to help. There’s no judgment or ego. Everyone can ask “stupid” questions without feeling intimidated.
Who do you think is a good fit for Hackbright’s Prep course or the bootcamp experience?
The prep course I attended had a great mix of women who were looking to pursue engineering as a career, women who were exploring the idea of becoming an engineer, and women who just wanted to broaden their skill set. I also really liked that the class brought together people from across the country. I had one partner that was in a different timezone and was taking the Prep course at midnight in her timezone! It was really empowering to see everyone being so dedicated in pursuing their dreams.
Tell us about your final project at Hackbright and how your presentation went?
The presentation was amazing! The cohort had collectively built really creative projects ranging from a movie generator to an escape room. I had a lot of fun working on my BuzzFeed-type quiz called “Which Instagram Dog Should You Follow?” I had a lot of fun coding it, and I distributed the options in a way where the majority of the time, the generator suggests that you should follow my own dog!
How was your experience with the virtual or remote learning environment?
The fact that the class was being taught remotely is actually one of the reasons why I joined. Even if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, I would still prefer virtual classes since I live in the South Bay. Commuting to the city would have been a little bit difficult, given my location and work schedule. Although the learning curve was steep at times, the program was designed to let everyone get the most out of the program by catering to different learning styles. I loved that there was a combination of lecture, pair programming, and homework. This way, I could learn by listening, practicing with others, and also studying on my own.
Is there any advice you’d give to someone thinking about attending Hackbright?
Don’t overthink it and just do it. There are so many reasons to talk yourself out of doing something because it’s easy to get worried about the time commitment, the learning curve, etc. However, just think about the final outcome. What you will learn and accomplish by the end of the class will trump any hesitations you might have at the beginning. If you’re curious about programming and want to learn more about it, just go for it!
Where can interested developers and users learn more about Smartcar?
Smartcar is a platform that allows developers and businesses to connect their mobility apps and services to cars. Our customers use our APIs to verify vehicle mileage, enable digital key sharing, manage EV charging, track fleets, and more. This blog post is a good start to learn more about our product and how it works. Interested developers can sign up for a free account.
Way to Go Mathilde!
We’re thrilled we were able to be a part of your professional journey and we hope you take your new development skills and use them on your way to achieving future career and personal goals.
Want to follow Mathilde’s path? Learn more about Hackbright’s Prep course.
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