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Student Spotlight: From Teacher to Software Engineer

Rebecca Saines, Software Engineer, Streak 

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Recently, Hackbright alumna Rebecca Saines sat down with Course Report, one of the top online resources for prospective students considering intensive bootcamp programs, for their Alumni Spotlight. Formerly a middle school math and science teacher, Rebecca decided to pursue her passion in coding by attending Hackbright Academy, with soon after landing a position as Software Engineer at Streak.

Below are some excerpts from their discussion.  Visit Course Report to read the interview in its entirety.

What were you up to before Hackbright Academy?

I was on the pre-med path in college before finally getting the guts to tell my family that I didn’t want to be a doctor. So naturally, I instead graduated with a degree in Spanish. But I had always had a penchant for teaching and working with kids, so I applied for Teach for America and taught middle school Math and Science in North Carolina.

After teaching for five years, my husband George was bitten by the startup bug and we decided to move to the Bay Area. I used that move as an opportunity to transition from the classroom to…literally anything else. I ended up finding a position in customer service in an EdTech company, which is where I started to get more technical.

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When did you decide that you wanted to become a software engineer?

I was always interested in tech in the classroom and I had always had a propensity for math and science, but it wasn’t until I joined that EdTech company that I started to actually parse JSON and work with a database or an API. I kept learning those things as a customer service representative, moved on to manage the team, and then I moved into product management. As a product manager, I missed debugging and doing the technological stuff. When I realized that this piece was missing, that was a huge part of my decision to go to Hackbright Academy.

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Did you think about going back to college or getting a masters degree instead of a coding bootcamp?

I found that the return on investment for a coding bootcamp was so much better than going back to college, which is a much bigger monetary investment and a much longer time investment.

Click here to read the full Course Report interview.

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 Rebecca completed.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Tech at Facebook’s F8 Conference

When it comes to women in tech, Hackbright is all about changing the ratio. That’s why we were excited when Facebook asked us to represent Hackbright at the F8 Developer Conference in San Jose this past week!  

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Hackbright had an information booth for the invite-only 1,000 attendees from all over the world, with a special musical performance by DJ Blaze.

You’d think by now the men to women ratio is evening out, but sadly, it’s notSo, Hackbright aimed to be the representation at the conference to bring awareness to this issue. #ISupportWomenEngineers signs were seen all over the conference, to help bring awareness to increasing the number of women, specifically engineers, in tech today.

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Even if you weren’t at the conference, you can still join in our enthusiasm. Get inspired by reading some of our Student Stories of women who are changing tech history.

Hackbright Academy is an engineering school for women with a mission to increase female representation in tech through education, mentorship and community. To close the gender gap in engineering and technology, we have reimagined and improved engineering education through a customized model that aims to bring women back into the field. 

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.

#20PercentCounts Today! Save $600 on our Prep Course

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Women on average are paid 20% less than men. If you break the pay gap down by race and ethnicity, it is even worse: Black women are paid 37% less, and Hispanic women are paid 46% less.

Hackbright Academy is proud to partner with the SF Chapter of LeanIn.Org, an organization founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, on #20PercentCounts, a national campaign to highlight the importance of closing the gender pay gap.

Local businesses like ours — and other businesses in more than 20 U.S. cities—are offering 20% discounts to all customers on Equal Pay Day, April 4th, to highlight the inherent unfairness of the gender pay gap.

As a business that supports equality, we wanted to show our support and commitment to closing the wage gap.

For two days only, we’re offering 20% off our Hackbright Prep Course ($600 savings)

This evening course will teach you the foundation of programming, how to use necessary tools, and to ultimately tackle the bootcamp application process.

Enroll here and use code: LEANIN20 when checking out 

Offer expires April 5th, 12:01Am PST

“The part-time programming course was a great class in building a solid foundation in Python. It built my confidence and ensured that I can make make it in the full-time Hackbright fellowship.” – Generosa Litton