Hack Reactor Blog


Pamela Greenberg came to Hack Reactor from the mental health field. Through working with at-risk youth and young people with schizophrenia, Greenberg discovered the power of clear, empathic communication, and identifying issues before they grow too large. Her work in cognitive behavioral therapy progressed to the point that she began training other therapists. Now at Hack Reactor, she uses these skills to teach students critical communication skills, for both personal and professional settings.

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Hack Reactor is the premier school for Software Engineers.  Among graduates of our three-month program, the employment rate is 99% and the average salary is $105,000 -- on average, $52,000 more than what grads made before Hack Reactor.  This year, we will educate more Software Engineers than Caltech, Stanford, and Berkeley put together. And now, with the launch of the Hack Reactor Extensions Program, you can bring Hack Reactor to your city.

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Hack Reactor recently completed its first online immersive course, which brought together students in every corner of the U.S., plus one in Nigeria. The class used several apps to coordinate meetings, lectures, and group chats, including Google Hangouts for video conferences. Though Hangouts was usually up to the task, the group started to find ways that it could be improved upon. Inspired by Hack Reactor’s philosophy of constant iteration, they started working on their own video conferencing library. Thus, OurMeeting.js was born.

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Firebase, an API that facilitates real-time interactions between clients and a server, was purchased by Google this week. Firebase, which is very popular in social network, gaming development, and other areas where real-time interaction is crucial to user experience, has a good relationship with Hack Reactor. One Firebase developer, Joey Yang, is a Hack Reactor graduate, and has come back to the school multiple times to make presentations on using Firebase. Firebase participated in the newbie-friendly hackathon #neoHack14, which Hack Reactor hosted, and students often use the powerful API in their apps, including one that created a social network around exchanging Disneyland Fastpasses.

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Bianca Gandolfo, Hack Reactor’s “JavaScript Evangelist”, makes JavaScript accessible for a range of fledgling developers, through classes at Girl Develop It! and a series that she started called Hack Reactor Junior (HRJR). For the next three months, she is working to set up a programming non-profit to teach underprivileged young women in Cuzco, Peru.

Gandolfo is working with a non-profit called Laboratoria, an offshoot of a software consulting firm called AYU.

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The Hack Reactor curriculum requires extraordinary commitments of time and energy with a minimum of 66 hours of classes and coding, every week for 12 weeks. Many students say they have never worked so hard or learned so much, as they did at Hack Reactor. At this level, it is important to have an infrastructure to make sure that students are keeping up with their technical skills, staying physically healthy and not getting emotionally overwhelmed. At Hack Reactor, we have a team devoted to students’ well being from the technical to the emotional. This team is led by Jerod Rubalcava, a coaching and mental health professional.

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For their final project at Hack Reactor, a team of four students decided to think outside the webpage and get into hardware. With a Tessel chip, a 3D printer and countless hours of coding, they built a drone that can be operated from anywhere in the world. The team, consisting of Mike LubyCollin KokotasGeoffrey Abdullah and Jacob Gribschaw, had never worked with a lot of the software they were using, but they used the fundamentals taught to them at Hack Reactor to teach themselves the necessary code to get their project off the ground.

“I wanted to go for as big a scope as possible,” says Luby, who managed the project. “We wanted to try exploring the internet of things, which is still pretty nascent, but up and coming.”

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Intuit, Indiegogo, JPMorgan Chase, Autodesk and over 20 other companies attended our Hiring Day on October 14, and the employers were thoroughly impressed with our graduating class. The day consisted of student presentations of the projects they had been working on for the last three weeks, followed by a series of ten-minute lightning interviews. Our Hiring Team works to ensure that employers and students are matched as optimally as possible by skills and mutual interest ahead of time, and many of the conversations at Hiring Day lead to a formal first interview.

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As a Hack Reactor student, Zach Pomerantz became interested in voice activation after coming across a human language processing API called Wit.ai. Voice commands, which could substitute for a variety of mouse or keyboard actions, have largely been the domain of mobile devices, with Siri and Google Now the best known examples. Pomerantz started to wonder what it would take to bring voice activation to the browser. Eventually that query would lead him to building a unique program and getting lots of press.

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Marcus Phillips, Hack Reactor’s Chief Technology Officer and Dean, has made another substantial contribution to the JavaScript community, this time in the form of a Udacity course on Object-Oriented JavaScript Programming. The course, intended for people with enough JavaScript experience to be familiar with basic concepts, lasts approximately five weeks and covers key areas where people tend to get stuck in their own study of the language. The course enables students to write cleaner, more efficient and functional code, by delving into four key topics: Scopes and Closures, the Keyword “this”, Prototype Delegation, and Code Reuse. Udacity is a very popular online learning platform, which offers interactive online courses on a wide range of topics.

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While it’s easier than ever for lay people to learn the basics of coding through online programs like codecademy, the bar for artificial intelligence programming is still prohibitively high for most people. That’s what motivated a team of Hack Reactor students, led by Greg Trowbridge, to build JS Battle, an artificial intelligence game that welcomes newbies to the field, but is engaging for experienced AI coders. The project topped the popular news aggregator Hacker News on the first day of its release.

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If you have completed a coding school program, Hack Reactor has a unique, limited offer to grow your skill set and expand your earning power at a sharply discounted price. Hack Reactor’s renowned programming course will be offered twice this year in an online pilot program, Hack Reactor Remote Beta, at a $9,780 discount off the standard $17,780 tuition to any student who has previously graduated from a program costing over $5,000 and is listed on CourseReport.comBootcamper.io or Switchup.org.

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