Alum’s Journey Shows How to Turn Grit Into a Coding Career

When Preethi Kasireddy left the “best job in the world,” as she calls it, to study at Hack Reactor, she achieved her goal of becoming a software engineer:

“The journey is far from over, but I’m proud to say that the transition has been a success,” she writes in Medium. “After three months at Hack Reactor, many late nights creating personal and open-source projects, and the stressful job search, I’m now positioned in my first full-time engineering job. Finally, I get to spend every day doing what I love.”

Prior to Hack Reactor, Kasireddy was a partner with the major venture capital firm, Andreesen Horowitz. Her interactions with entrepreneurs stoked her desire to build something out of nothing. This inspired her next life goal to establish herself as a software engineer. She pursued this goal with “every minute she had”:

“My primary goal when I started coding was to learn enough to “go pro” as quickly as possible. If you recall, I loved the thrill of building things and became obsessed with solving programming challenges. Long story short, I wanted to be a creator. And I wanted ‘it’ so badly that I didn’t have the patience to go back to college to get a CS degree.”

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Preethi Kasireddy devoted "every moment she had" to learning code, and is now a software engineer at Coinbase.

This persistence is a key attribute of successful Hack Reactor students. Much more than coming in as sharp coders, the curriculum requires determination and perseverance. This becomes quite evident when students produce their final projects. These are highly ambitious works that are built by groups of 3-4 over several weeks, in which students select and learn new frameworks and languages along the way.

“Building real-world projects drive home your fundamental learning in ways you’d never imagine,” Kasireddy writes. “My thesis project at Hack Reactor is a good example. My teammates and I chose to build an open-source library that makes building d3.js charts much simpler. At the time, this felt like it was way beyond the scope of our abilities. Building an open-source library sounded like a task for the wizards. However, we figured we might as well work on something that’s hard — something that pushes us beyond our limits. And I’m proud to say that we did one hell of a job on it!”

After graduating and working a one-month contract, Kasireddy reached a tremendous personal milestone when she took a full-time software engineering job at Coinbase, a premier bitcoin service company. It’s clear from the job search tips she offers that she felt that her skills were marketable, and there was no need to settle for a B+ offer.

“Don’t settle for your first offer (unless it’s your dream offer). Push yourself to get more. Searching for a job only happens once every 2–5 years, but the consequence of that process has an effect on your life every day — so put the work into it now to get a job you’re excited about.”

Ready to turn your drive into highly desirable coding ability? Take the first step with the Hack Reactor admissions challenge.

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