Inside the Mind of Hackbright’s Director of Admissions

Dori GrantHi! I’m Dori Grant, Director of Admissions here at Hackbright Academy. Prospective students often ask what they need to include in their applications in order to be invited to an interview at Hackbright, while even more ask exactly what it takes to be admitted into our 12-week Software Engineering FellowshipInstead of just focusing on how to get admitted, first consider what it takes to be a successful Hackbright graduate, then ask yourself if you think this program is right for you. Here are four characteristics I often see in our successful applicants and graduates:

Technical Preparation

Our students are encouraged to explore the world of computer science and programming before entering into the fellowship. Those who enter the program with at least a few months of academic practice, whether through online coursework or in-person classes, are more comfortable and confident from the beginning. Not only do they gain insight into the field they’re trying to enter, but they come to the program with an understanding of the basic concepts we teach and are ready to advance their technical knowledge-base from day one. 

Collaboration and Communication 

We find that students who have experience working with, or even managing, a team tend to do well in our program. A high level of pair programming occurs throughout the academic portion of the fellowship, which relies largely on the ability to collaborate and communicate effectively with others. For those students who are more accustomed to working independently but would like to join a program that emphasizes team practice, the fellowship is a good fit.

Passion for Problem Solving and Analysis

Students who do well in our program have a passion for problem solving and analyzing information. They like a good puzzle, they’re curious and enjoy asking why something works (or doesn’t). They’re comfortable analyzing information, learning new and complex ideas, and discussing those ideas in detail.

Solve all the programming problems optimized

Resiliency and Resourcefulness

Students with a strong sense of independence, responsibility, and accountability do well in our program. They’re willing and able to discuss their shortcomings and ways they can improve as easily as they can highlight their successes. Self-reflection and accountability are crucial characteristics for students to possess in order to be effective teammates and successful learners.

Given that information, ask yourself, “Am I that person?” Do you see yourself committed to developing and growing into a programmer, enhancing your skill set along the way? If you say “Yes, that’s me!” then congratulations! Now it’s time to submit your application, but hurry! The deadline for our upcoming fellowship is quickly approaching – applications are due Nov 1.  I encourage you to reach out with any questions you may have regarding the process and look forward to reading your application soon!


Kickstart Your New Career by Learning to Code

Browsing Hackbright’s course offerings  for the fourth time this month, but just can’t bring yourself to make the plunge? We get it. Learning a challenging skill set and striking out on a new career path is a huge decision to make, especially if you’re already comfortable at your current job. If you feel like you need a little push, or if the self-doubt demons are breathing down your neck, consider the ways that learning to code could give your life an upgrade. Here are just a few:

You’ll get to be a little selective.

In today’s market, jobs can seem harder to come by than ever before. A lot of smart, creative job seekers can find it difficult to demonstrate their marketable skills to employers. That means that when you’re offered a job, there’s a lot of pressure to take it- even if it’s not the best fit.

Learning to code gives you a definite edge over other applicants. Employers love to see that you’ve taken the initiative to learn a challenging skill set; what’s even better is that this particular skill set is always in high demand. Having an edge over your competition allows you to be a bit more flexible, giving you more time to find the best match in terms of your interests, compatibility with the company’s culture, and your long-term career goals.

You’ll start earning the big bucks.

There’s no question that software developers get paid competitive wages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median developer’s salary at $100,690 a year, which is substantially higher than the national average. While it’s certainly not the only valuable thing about learning to code, being well-compensated for solving important, real-world problems is always a good thing.

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You’ll get to do what you really want at work.

Tech companies tend to prioritize efficiency in creative ways, so instead of days full of wall-to-wall meetings, you can look forward to more flexible, functional work hours and meaningful communication with co-workers.

elf meetings

Not all programmers work in chilled-out office environments, but employers will definitely want to get the most out of your creative brain. When you think about it, a lot of today’s most valuable innovations are the result of hardworking software developers, and that means that your team WILL give you the time you need to do what programmers do best: make amazing stuff!


Learn all about our upcoming 12-week software engineering fellowship at the Info Session on July 13! Get a head start on your application and RSVP below to join us in person or remotely!