Speaking in Code: Student Siblings Discuss Hacking Together

Since Tony and Marcus Phillips cofounded Hack Reactor, many sibling pairs have followed in their footsteps. Often students talk up the school to their families, and it’s not uncommon for students’ siblings to apply after hearing about the program. The second attendee of these pairs has the benefit of an extra friend and mentor who knows what they are going through, not to mention a great hacking partner.

"Marcus and I have learned so much together--from sports when we were kids to honing our programming chops together as adults," says Hack Reactor CEO Tony Phillips about his brother and our CTO. "Now we are studying the nuances of teaching others in the most effective way, and crafting organizations that live up to the highest possible standards. I can't think of a more effective partner to work with on such a big undertaking."

As a result of their work, many others have discovered the benefits of coding with family.

“I almost thought what he was saying was too good to be true,” says Garrett Cox, recalling the stories he would hear from his brother Joel. “Being here just blew me away. I never figured anything could be quite like this.”

Rohan Pethiyagoda knew Hack Reactor’s power from seeing the effects it had on his brother Ruan (who has since moved into an executive role at the school).

“He didn't have to sell me on it at all,” says Rohan, who was swayed by seeing Ruan before and after the program.

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From left, Mike Moss, Rohan Pethiyagoda and Garrett Cox were each the second member of their families to attend Hack Reactor.

Rohan was at a management consultancy firm at the time, and he realized “I probably could do my job in half the time,” after going through Hack Reactor. On seeing the options that his Hack Reactor education afforded him, Rohan decided to move on to a startup instead.

Mike Moss, who graduates next week, was about as familiar with Hack Reactor as a student could be when entering the program, because he was not only a younger brother to alum Scott Moss, but he worked on our Admissions team before applying as a student. This gave him a sense of the intensity of the program.

“Hack Reactor sprints [two-day curriculum modules] are very challenging, and it was good to see that beforehand.”

All of these pairs are grateful to have a family member they can hack and talk code with.

“We'll find a website and try to rebuild that website,” says Mike. “We rebuilt Google Keep. Over solo week, we built an Angular app that uses reddit data.”

“We spend very many late nights up coding together,” notes Garrett, whose brother took a job with JP Morgan Chase on graduating Hack Reactor.

For Garrett and Rohan, getting a preview of the culture was just as important as the quality of the education.

“I knew at the end of the day that this was a bunch of good people,” says Pethiyagoda.

“I’m amazed at how much everyone here tries to get our input and put it into action,” says Cox. “Everyone is always looking for ways that we can better the system. I always see the founders around looking to better our experience.”

Want to join the ever-growing Hack Reactor family? Apply to our program, online or onsite, today!

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