Hacker School Is Amazing
Hacker School is a free three-month intensive programming workshop. You show up four days a week and learn to code on the apprenticeship model. The organization brings together people with different levels and areas of expertise, and gives you the time, space, and focus to work on neat projects together. You could go in with a project of your own, or just show up and learn by working with a different person every day.
They make their money by letting companies recruit from their talent pool, which is pretty great for everyone involved. Because the program is collaborative and project-based, companies can look at what you’ve actually built, and they know they’re getting someone who can work well with others. You get to learn programming for free, and if you’re looking for an awesome job at the end, it’ll be easy for you to get one.
I call it a major win-win. If I weren’t firmly on an academic track, I’d be doing it myself.
Hacker School has Scholarships for Women
The Hacker School folks want to attract more women, so they are working aggressively to lower the barriers for women to apply. They’ve teamed up with Etsy (!!) to provide $5k scholarships for women who want to attend this summer’s session. Since the program is free, you’re meant to spend the money on whatever would make it possible for you to do the program – rent, child care, travel, you name it.
They’re doing other things right, too – thinking about their social atmosphere, making it clear that women aren’t a token presence, treating everyone as important. For example, from their FAQ:
We don’t have these rules to make Hacker School “female-friendly.” We have these rules because we think they make Hacker School human-friendly.
These are the kind of people I’d like to work with. Since I can’t, you should!
You Should Apply
Have you ever thought about throwing together an app to support your play? What about building that digital game idea you’ve always thought was cool? Maybe you just want to move into a more technical job. Hacker School will support you in any of these things, and in lots more I haven’t even thought of.
You don’t need to be an expert programmer going into it; a lawyer friend of mine taught herself some very basic coding in order to fill out the application, and she’s been enormously successful there. You do need to be excited about learning new things, and know how to collaborate with people, and it probably helps to enjoy making stuff. I suspect that describes a lot of people here.
Hacker School runs June 4th to August 25th. Apply here by May 7th, and good luck!