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How Scholarship Winner Natalie Miles landed a job at Credit Karma

72584_751438918288_206195_n Natalie Miles is a business analyst at Credit Karma who earned a full scholarship to the Hackbright Academy Part-Time class. Eager to help with tasks at her current role, her knowledge in programming is vital in the current work landscape, and as a woman, she knows the increasing need of females in tech. 

It was during a job transition when Natalie had the idea of getting into the data science field. 

Wanting to learn Python, Natalie, who had previously known about Hackbright, heard about the scholarship application through Hackbright from the Women Who Code newsletter. “I read it all the time and saw that there was a scholarship opportunity. I had been through boot camps and that had always been the first thing on my mind.” Natalie said she liked that it was all women.

“It’s a great way to learn a challenging subject, being with other like-minded people who are similar to you.”

After the application process, which Natalie found to be quite painless, she had heard within two days that she got the scholarship.

“I think for me I would have been reluctant to make that jump had I not received the scholarship. The program was something I wanted to do for awhile and I always pushed back because I knew it required a huge time and money commitment, so having that money commitment out of the picture and knowing it would just be a time commitment on my part made it a go ahead.”

Hackbright’s new Prep Course is twice a week during the evening, for eight weeks that covers the foundations of programming, which amongst the many topics, includes Python, GitHub, basic data structures and functionality. The prep course is perfect for those that want to get more into programming but still need some more experience before taking the Fellowship course.

As far as the program itself goes, Natalie made great friends in addition to a great education.

“It was a very encouraging and nurturing environment. I like the fact that there wasn’t weird competitiveness going on, and it really helped forge great relationships. The cohort I was with was great and I made some really great friends from this class. It’s hard to meet people outside of work so having an in-person class is a really rewarding experience.”

Projects That Carry into Work

As a business analyst at Credit Karma, and a former operations analyst at Lending Club, Natalie wanted to learn programming to help with mundane projects and tasks in her work.

“One of the most important things as far as getting into the data science field is that I have a basic understanding of Python, and [without this education], wouldn’t be able to do.

One of the cool projects I was able to do at Hackbright during class was using an API project to improve a work-related issue. I was able to make a tool to have a presence of Reddit.”

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Eventually, Natalie would like to get a master’s degree in data science or an MBA. “I feel like I’m at such a big advantage knowing how to program—it’s such a valuable skill set. There’s not a lot of representation of women in these roles, and I feel an obligation to help and not be left behind because technology is advancing.”

Natalie’s advice for people who might be interested in learning about the Hackbright program and getting into more technical roles: “If this is something you’re interested in, make sure you set yourself up for success. Don’t keep putting it off because of timing…there’s never going to be a perfect time. Do it now while you have the availability, because you want to be able to focus on this and give yourself a chance to succeed.”

EXCLUSIVE SCHOLARSHIP OFFERS FOR OUR JUNE COURSES:

  • Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners is offering $1,000 scholarships | Apply here!
  • In honor of International Women’s Month, every student will receive a $500 scholarship for our Part-Time June courses

Hackbright Academy is the engineering school for women in San Francisco dedicated to closing the gender gap in the tech industry offering 12-week software engineering programs and night courses for women.

What is Programming? Start Learning Today (Free Course Guide)


Jessica-Earley-300x300Jessica Early is the director of  Part-Time Education at Hackbright Academy in San Francisco. Prior to working at Hackbright, she spent a decade working with nonprofits with at-risk youth in disadvantaged areas. She received her BA in Sociology and Education: Applied Psychology from UCSB. At home, Jessica loves to spend time with loved ones, her pets and
collecting strawberry knick knacks. 

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You Don’t have to Be a Rocket Scientist to Code. 

Programming or coding isn’t just for hoodie-wearing, Doritos-eating math prodigies. People who write code come from all different backgrounds. You don’t even need a CS degree. In fact, 59.8% of software engineers, programmers or computer scientist titles do not carry a CS degree, according to Tech Crunch. So if you don’t have a Computer Science Degree and you’re interested in learning to code, you’re in luck!

Step 1: Watch this video

‘What is programming, exactly?’ you ask. We’ve got answers in this quick video on what programming is and how it relates to the computer. Video by Austin Olney.

Step 2: Spend 60 minutes with Python

 

Sign up for free at Codecademy, which hosts a free hands-on Python course that takes an estimated 13 hours to complete. (Look for the link to the course catalog to find the Python course, and to see the many paths a coding career can take. You don’t need to upgrade to the paid Pro membership.)

Why Python? Because it’s one of the most in-demand languages today in many areas of computing, from recreational websites to serious data science. That’s why it’s also the highest-paying language to know for new engineers. Once you’ve learned one programming language, learning others is much easier. So you might as well start with the one that currently maximizes your opportunities.

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, start with just one hour of the tutorial. You’ll get an overview of concepts, and you’ll write and run your first simple Python program. That will give you a basic idea of how code works, and what a software development environment looks like.

Slow and steady learning will get you where you want to be. You’ll be spending a lot more time playing with Python — a lot, because coding is addictive rather than a chore. But before you do, there are some people you should meet.

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Step 3: Follow Online Classroom Resources

Online resources like Youtube have thousands of videos searchable, from every programming lesson possible. From beginner to advance, help ease yourself into the world of programming with instructors and teaching styles of our choice.

Start with Jessica McKellar, an amazing Python developer who has a great class you can follow right along. Free courses like our 10-Day Crash Course are also a great start to the world of coding.

Congrats, you’re coding!

That’s it! You’ve taken your first steps into a new life, and already have new friends with whom to make the journey. You’ll also find them — and others — online. Stack Overflow is where you can talk about coding. GitHub is the go-to place to peruse and share working Python (and every other language) examples with other programmers. Both are also places where managers looking to hire new engineers look for promising candidates.

Bookmark our list 7 Online Coding Resources For Beginners for more tutorial and help sites.

As you progress, you may want some classroom education. Hackbright offers a part-time Intro to Programming night course in San Francisco that runs five hours per week, for 12 weeks. You may find similar courses in your area.

Whatever you do, keep coding, whenever you have even a few minutes. Once you get rolling, it’s as addictive as Facebook. The more time you spend editing, running and debugging algorithms on your screen, the better — and better — you’ll get. Welcome to the club!

And lastly, apply for Hackbright Academy.

If you’re ready to change your career and become a coder or programmer, but don’t have the experience to get accepted into a bootcamp, apply for the Hackbright Prep by March 24. You’ll learn the foundations of programming, how to use necessary tools, and ultimately tackle the bootcamp application process. You’ll work with a one-on-one advisor to track your progress, create your own personal project, and expand your network in our community of like-minded women.

EXCLUSIVE SCHOLARSHIP OFFERS FOR OUR APRIL COURSES:

  • Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners is offering $1,000 scholarships | Apply here!
  • In honor of International Women’s Day this month, every student will receive a $500 scholarship for our Part-Time April courses!

Hackbright Academy is the leading engineering school for women in San Francisco dedicated to closing the gender gap in the tech industry offering 12-week software engineering programs and night courses for women. 

Happy International Women’s Day! 10 Inspiring Quotes from Women in Tech

In honor of #InternationalWomensDay, we put together some of our favorite quotes from some seriously talented and motivational women in tech. Take notes and get inspired!

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#1 –   Ginni Rometty, first female CEO at IBM

“People are their first word critic, and it stops them from getting another experience because I could be better, if I was just ready yet, if I had one more thing. And that’s not it…You always have to do something that puts you in a zone you don’t know. Someone once told me growth and comfort do not coexist. And I think it’s a  really good thing to remember.”

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#2 –   Rebecca Garcia, Technical Head of Product at Next Caller

“It’s so easy for us to get caught up in negative patterns, versus seeing what positive change you can make. Especially for women and minorities, we need to learn to see challenges as stepping-stones instead of hurdles. They really can bring you experience and closer to your goals.”

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# 3 –  Michelle Haupt, Operations Engineer at NASA 

“One thing I always tell young girls: Never let anybody tell you you can’t do it. Growing up, they’d look at me like, ‘Really?’ Even when I did my college visit, I had someone tell me most people change their minds after the first year. I never gave up. Even when I was having teachers tell me, ‘Just take a break from math, you can take this class next year,’ I said, ‘No, I’m going to take it now.’ I kept pushing for it.”

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#4 –   Jean Bartik, Programmer at ENIAC

“I was told I’d never make it to VP rank because I was too outspoken. Maybe so, but I think men will always find an excuse for keeping women in their ‘place’. So, let’s make that place the executive suite and start more of our own companies.”

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#5 –   Megan Smith, Former CTO of the United States of America 

“If you can find something you’re really passionate about, jump on that. If you’re passionate about (something) and you bring your talent, you’ll be unstoppable.”

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#6 –   Lauren Mosenthal, CTO at Glassbreakers 

“Life is a series of building, testing, changing and iterating.”

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#7 –   Carla Meninsky, engineer for Atari 

“I was a bit of an artist, and somewhere along the way had gotten the idea that computers could be used for animation and artists, because in-betweening was so tedious…Of course, everyone thought I was nuts.”

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#8 –   Radia Perlman, AKA “Mother of the Internet”, IEEE fellow, inventor of Spanning-Tree Protocol           

 “The world would be a better place if more engineers, like me, hated technology. The stuff I design, if I’m successful, nobody will ever notice. Things will just work, and will be self-managing.”

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# 9 –  Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo and former engineer at Google 

“People ask me all the time, ‘What is it like to be a woman at Google?’ I’m not a woman at Google, I’m a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great. I’m a geek, I like to code, I even like to use spreadsheets when I cook.”

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#10 –    Kimberly Bryant, Founder and CEO of Black Girls Who Code and electrical engineer 

“Being able to push against that paradigm and push girls to the forefront, particularly girls of color, is going to make a tremendous difference in the industry in the years to come.”

 

Are you ready to get started with your career in tech? In honor of International Women’s Day, Hackbright Academy is offering $1,500 tuition scholarships for the 12-week immersive program until March 15! Apply here

Hackbright Academy is an engineering school for women in San Francisco dedicated to closing the gender gap in the tech industry.