Life at Computer Programming Schools: Week 12, Graduation

In order to share a unique perspective on what life is like at computer programming schools like Hack Reactor, we've snagged this awesome Google Hangout between How to Become TV's Jayce Broda and Hack Reactor alumnus Mark Rossetti. 

Mark and Jayce essentially video chronicled Mark's time at Hack Reactor, providing prospective students and those who want to learn programming in an accelerated, immersive environment a glimpse into what that style of learning feels like. They also talk about the results, which have been pretty incredible so far (98% hiring rate). 

Week 12 at Hack Reactor comes after "Hiring Day," were we network with the best tech companies in the Bay Area and invite them to our school to meet and greet with graduates. During our last "Hiring Day" 60% of students found an employer. 

Check out Jayce and Mark's interview below, or scroll down for the transcription. 


(You can check out Mark's week one interview here.  Here's the entire 12-week playlist.)  


Computer Programming Schools: Hiring Support

Jayce: It's been a long haul, we're at twelve weeks. How are you?

Mark: I'm doing great, this has been a blast. Honestly, it's among the more memorable twelve weeks of my life. 

J: What did you learn about the hiring process that surprised you or may surprise the audience?

 M: I guess what's probably useful is to hear what a lot of companies are doing for the hiring process, which is very typical.

You start with an email, sending along a resume - a lot of places want a portfolio more than a resume. Definitely what you've done is more important than where you've been.

The first step is a phone call. Sometimes it's just a phone call to get a feel for you from more of a personal standpoint, and sometimes they go straight on to a technical phone call and asking you some fundamental questions about JavaScript just to get a sense of, 'Do you have the basic knowledge?'

The follow up to that is they bring you in to have a face-to-face conversation, and those conversations can be anywhere from - I'd say at a bare minimum - two hours, all the way up to a full day. A full day is not uncommon. And this is where a lot of variations come in.

Companies vary widely in the way they want to evaluate candidates. This amounts's very difficult - you'll never find an engineer that knows everything and that knows all the tools for your office. You need to find an engineer who can learn everything, and learn all the tools in your office, and it's very difficult to evaluate one's potential. You need to evaluate what will this person do in the next year, or in the next two years.

Companies have radically different approaches to that. Some of the more conventional approaches are asking algorithmic questions or asking basically what amount to programming brain teasers to see a person's analytical abilities. A lot of companies have also changed their perspective and said maybe those brain teasers for our company are not the most predictive tool and we'd prefer to look at a person's existing code bases and what they've made. Or we prefer to actually work with people, and that's a very time intensive thing.

Some companies want to sit down and actually pair program with you for several hours on a project, or toy project. 

(For more of Mark's answers, check out the video above!) 

Hack Reactor's Mark Rossetti is now a web developer at SalesForce.

Hack Reactor's Mark Rossetti is now a web developer at SalesForce.