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We recently did a Q&A with Course Report on our admissions process to demystify things for prospective applicants. While we discussed preparing for the admissions test and technical interview in that interview, we wanted to go a little deeper on that topic, so that our applicants can focus their preparation.
1. Know what you’re getting into
The technical interview is more involved. Here, you will work through a more advanced coding challenge with a Hack Reactor staff member. We don’t need to see you ace the material. We’re just as curious about how you work with a partner, deal with uncertainty and learn on the fly. After the technical interview, you will typically receive a decision within ten days.
2. Think about why you want to go to Hack Reactor
Why is this important? Hack Reactor is a very intense course, and having a clear sense of your motivations will help you before and during the program. That doesn’t mean your thoughts on this topic can’t change--change is the norm at Hack Reactor--but you’ll still want to get a sense of what you’re getting into. Hack Reactor requires its students to be present, learning and coding 11 hours a day, 6 days a week. None of those 66 hours will be spent on repetitive tasks or rote memorization. In short, it is a more demanding and powerful experience than the vast majority of jobs or educational offerings. Knowing why you’re jumping in will help you be successful.
3. Try a short project of your own design
The value in doing an exercise like this is to put yourself in a context quite common for software engineers: you will have a task with any number of ways you might solve it, and thousands of resources available to you through internet searches. This will engage your skills in research, discernment and problem solving.
“We’re not just looking for people who can memorize how to do things, we’re looking for problem solvers,” explains alum Charlie Depman, who interviewed applicants in our graduate apprenticeship program.
This is a great exercise, but don’t fret too much about leaving with a perfect product. Encounter roadblocks, learn a few tricks, and move on when you’ve gotten what you can out of the experience.
4. Consider taking our Prep or Fulcrum course
Fulcrum is an online, self-paced course that takes about 80 hours. It is for intermediate programmers, and will bring dabblers up to the point where they can build apps and interactive web pages.
5. Go for it
One regret we sometimes hear from students is that they wish they had applied earlier. Many applicants delay their technical interview for a long time because they want to do everything they possibly can before jumping in. If you feel like you might be ready, our recommendation is to give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you will be asked to reapply later after some additional study (and the upside is that you’ve just taken the best possible step to accelerate your career as a software developer). Furthermore, the interview itself will help you understand where to concentrate your efforts.
Ready to make your move? Take the admissions challenge.