JavaScript Programming School Q&A: Jobs, Student Resources and More

After a recent Google Hangout, one prospective student submitted questions to our JavaScript programming school in hopes of learning more about our class sizes, student resources, instructors, hiring program and more. Here are our answers below! Join our Hack Reactor Meetup group so you can attend the next Google Hangout, which will feature graduates from our program. 

TechCrunch Visits our JavaScript Programming School

1. How many cohorts have you graduated?  Have there been significant changes in class size?  Will there be significant changes to class size or staffing in the future?

Great question. Next week we will be graduating our 6th cohort. Class sizes have grown from 16 students to 32 students, starting with the upcoming November, 2013 cohort.

Our increase in staff has outpaced the growth in class sizes. We now have a 4-1 student to instructor ratio. We have full-time staff, guest instructors and Hackers in Residence all capable of answering curriculum questions and help requests when people encounter difficult coding problems or their code needs debugging.

Within the space, our amazing operations team has doubled in size. We've added a show runner, a second operations manager and our fairly new Vice President of Operations Maggie Utgoff, formerly of Twitter, has really streamlined and organized our program.

2. Are there significant structural changes planned for the program going forward?  (whether curriculum, space, resources, etc)

Marcus Phillips, a former senior software engineer at Twitter, is the mastermind behind the curriculum, which is heavily geared toward teaching you the job skills employers are most looking for. It has been refined constantly since the first cohort. No major changes are expected but it will always be tweaked and evaluated so that our students are getting the best info they can. (We talk about curriculum in this FAQ blog post here.) By positioning ourselves as a JavaScript programming school, we've caught the tech world's attention. JavaScript is the most needed and desired of any programming language.

We currently occupy the 8th floor at 944 Market Street. We don't anticipate expanding the space, and we're really happy with the home we've created here (you can check out our photos on our FB page here.)

As for resources, the staff additions we've made are a huge benefit in terms of helping our students. You can read more about our commitment to such resources for our developers in this amazing blog post about how we invest our incoming tuition.

3. What percentage of folks take on the Hacker in Residence Program, and what drives them to become Residents vs going straight into industry?  What's next for you Greg, after you finish up your residency?

Only four or five students per cohort become Hackers in Residence. They need to be a strong cultural fit and have excelled during the program. Responses I've heard about why they stay is that they love the social and learning environment, it gives them time to work on any personal projects, and teaching people to code helps them better understand it themselves.They are for sure passing up more lucrative offers to stay with us, and we feel that says a lot about our program.

4. Can you better characterize your post-graduate classes for me?  Are there any trends towards any particular class of companies? (companies with less than 50 employees, consumer, SaaS, public companies, start own company etc).  Of the first 3 graduating cohorts, what percentage of graduates are still at the same company that first hired them after Hack Reactor?

Our JavaScript programming school grads have landed jobs at all kinds of companies: Adobe, ThoughtWorks, SalesForce, Groupon, Zendesk, Walmart Labs, OpenTable, and many new, awesome startups. Thus far we've achieved a 98% job placement rate. I don't know exactly how many are still at the company that hired them, but I assume it's very high as I have not heard that to be a problem. I'd guess over 90%. At the end of every cohort we have Hiring Day, which usually brings in 25-30 tech companies. Hack Reactor has multiple hiring partnership agreements to go along with Hiring Day, as well as an extensive alumni network who advocate on our behalf to their employers. Our founders came from brand name tech companies, which provides a legitimacy and a network of people we can reach out to for job placement.