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Hackbright Field Trip to the Eventbrite Office!

The Spring 2014 class of Hackbright Academy engineering fellows visited Eventbrite headquarters today in San Francisco’s SOMA district. We were welcomed by Eventbrite co-founder and president Julia Hartz who talked about the culture at Eventbrite.

Julia gave advice to the Hackbright engineering fellows about finding the right job:

“Make sure to evaluate all of your options and take some time before interview what is truly important to you – culture, opportunity, team you’re working with. There are lots of bright shiny objects but sometimes you go below the dermal level, you’ll see things not in line with your own values. Don’t jump in quickly just because it presents itself as being exciting. You are taking a leap, a risk, and you owe it to yourself to make sure your next move pays off.”

She stressed, “Find a company that holds learning as one of its core values. We learned a couple years ago is we do need to make a concerted effort in learning opportunities in our team. We have BriteCamps – created by Britelings – a brown bag lunch session where anyone at Eventbrite can teach anyone else a skill or give them insight into their business or have a discussion around the topic totally unrelated to the attendees but enlightening nonetheless.”

Next, Eventbrite VP of engineering Pat Poels talked to Hackbright engineering fellows about Eventbrite – “We try really hard to hire people you would want to work with.”

We also heard from Natalie Downe, a director at Eventbrite by way of acquisition of her startup Lanyrd. She talked about working in tech and being a Y Combinator company with her previous gig.

After the morning talks, Hackbright engineering fellows enjoyed lunch at Eventbrite’s cafeteria and sat with Eventbrite engineers.

After lunch, Hackbright alum who are now working at Eventbrite as software engineers spoke about the onboarding process as a junior software engineer at Eventbrite.

Nicole Zuckerman talked about her experience starting out as a new engineer at Eventbrite — “When I started, I just wanted to contribute and be useful. Goal-setting was good because I had something to shoot for – and you felt good when you did it.” She talked about failure, and how you should not fear failures in engineering because they are never as terrible as imagined.

Why Eventbrite?

One of the Hackbright engineering fellows asked the Eventbrite software engineers why they chose to work at Eventbrite.

Kathryn King said, “I could tell that these were people who were invested in learning and it’s the right size of company with talented senior engineers. Because we’re not so short staffed, people can give an hour of their week to help me with what I’m working on. There is a lot of casual mentoring through coworkers and managers. Looking back, that is the top reason to pick Eventbrite to work at.”

Nicole Zuckerman talked about the Eventbrite staff that interviewed her and how they took two minutes of their time to email her thanks for the email and a follow up about their discussion together. “The fact they took two minutes of their time to email” was impressive.

Tips for Interviewing

“I tried to think of interviewing as cooperative puzzle-solving. I get really nervous when people watch me screw up on a for loop,” said Nicole Zuckerman. Mica Swyers added, “A good question to ask your interviewer is ‘What does crunch time look like for your team?” – and hear if that type of work environment is the one for you.

Thanks to everyone at Eventbrite today for being so welcoming to Hackbright Academy engineering fellows today!

Hackbright Field Trip to the Eventbrite Office!

The Spring 2014 class of Hackbright Academy engineering fellows visited Eventbrite headquarters today in San Francisco’s SOMA district. We were welcomed by Eventbrite co-founder and president Julia Hartz who talked about the culture at Eventbrite.

Julia gave advice to the Hackbright engineering fellows about finding the right job:

“Make sure to evaluate all of your options and take some time before interview what is truly important to you – culture, opportunity, team you’re working with. There are lots of bright shiny objects but sometimes you go below the dermal level, you’ll see things not in line with your own values. Don’t jump in quickly just because it presents itself as being exciting. You are taking a leap, a risk, and you owe it to yourself to make sure your next move pays off.”

She stressed, “Find a company that holds learning as one of its core values. We learned a couple years ago is we do need to make a concerted effort in learning opportunities in our team. We have BriteCamps – created by Britelings – a brown bag lunch session where anyone at Eventbrite can teach anyone else a skill or give them insight into their business or have a discussion around the topic totally unrelated to the attendees but enlightening nonetheless.”

Next, Eventbrite VP of engineering Pat Poels talked to Hackbright engineering fellows about Eventbrite – “We try really hard to hire people you would want to work with.”

We also heard from Natalie Downe, a director at Eventbrite by way of acquisition of her startup Lanyrd. She talked about working in tech and being a Y Combinator company with her previous gig.

After the morning talks, Hackbright engineering fellows enjoyed lunch at Eventbrite’s cafeteria and sat with Eventbrite engineers.

After lunch, Hackbright alum who are now working at Eventbrite as software engineers spoke about the onboarding process as a junior software engineer at Eventbrite.

Nicole Zuckerman talked about her experience starting out as a new engineer at Eventbrite — “When I started, I just wanted to contribute and be useful. Goal-setting was good because I had something to shoot for – and you felt good when you did it.” She talked about failure, and how you should not fear failures in engineering because they are never as terrible as imagined.

Why Eventbrite?

One of the Hackbright engineering fellows asked the Eventbrite software engineers why they chose to work at Eventbrite.

Kathryn King said, “I could tell that these were people who were invested in learning and it’s the right size of company with talented senior engineers. Because we’re not so short staffed, people can give an hour of their week to help me with what I’m working on. There is a lot of casual mentoring through coworkers and managers. Looking back, that is the top reason to pick Eventbrite to work at.”

Nicole Zuckerman talked about the Eventbrite staff that interviewed her and how they took two minutes of their time to email her thanks for the email and a follow up about their discussion together. “The fact they took two minutes of their time to email” was impressive.

Tips for Interviewing

“I tried to think of interviewing as cooperative puzzle-solving. I get really nervous when people watch me screw up on a for loop,” said Nicole Zuckerman. Mica Swyers added, “A good question to ask your interviewer is ‘What does crunch time look like for your team?” – and hear if that type of work environment is the one for you.

Thanks to everyone at Eventbrite today for being so welcoming to Hackbright Academy engineering fellows today!

Picking Projects (Hackbright Academy – Week 4)

I’ve been “dressing up” during the week (um, wearing collared shirts and sometimes cardigans), so on the weekends, I like to wrap myself in the ridiculous softness of free t-shirts. I’m totally fine being a walking advertisement! Thanks to Twilio for hosting, feeding, and teaching us!! It’s so cool to be welcomed by awesome companies and meet with engineers who want to be involved in our learning.By Mica Love Swyers (Hackbright Academy – fall 2013 class)

Like all cool tech companies, Twilio hooked us up with sweet schwag! I’ve been “dressing up” during the week (so, um, wearing collared shirts and sometimes cardigans), so on the weekends, I like to wrap myself in the ridiculous softness of free t-shirts. I’m totally fine being a walking advertisement!

Thanks to Twilio for hosting, feeding, and teaching us!! It’s so cool to be welcomed by awesome companies and meet with engineers who want to be involved in our learning.

Speaking of learning, I learned a valuable lesson this week: programming requires a lot more sleep than grad school does.

In the second half of HB, we all work on individual projects that we shop to prospective employers at an end-of-program career day. This has been unbelievably and irrationally stressful for me. As a consummate quitter of things, I’m afraid of picking a project that I could easily end up hating/quitting. It felt like that point in the semester when you realized the topic you chose for your 25-page paper actually sucks….but with higher stakes.

I lost a surprising amount of sleep over this. At night, I’d try to fall asleep, but my mind would be racing with potential projects that I would have to jot down in my phone, lest I wake up and forget my own nighttime brilliance. Come morning, I would read my horribly confusing, mostly incoherent notes and say them out loud, only to realize that they were, in fact, really stupid or impossible to implement.

I’m not alone in this project-induced agony. From what I could tell, we’re all freaking out about picking projects. Should we make web apps? Web apps that integrate something else?? WHAT IS SOMETHING ELSE!??! We all want to make something that will maximize our chances of getting a job offer (or two…or five) at the end of Hackbright. Not to mention that the previous classes have produced some really fantastic, impressive projects that seem so far beyond the scope of what we are capable of. It’s nerve-wracking, a bit.

Bottom line: I don’t want to show up at Career Day with some ganky shit that looks like I glued some popsicle sticks together while my classmates are showing off fancy web applications that solve the world’s problems in an elegant way.

Read Mica’s full blog post here.