What is Hack Reactor's "Hacker in Residence Program"?

The Hacker in Residency Program at Hack Reactor is on boarding its third class as of December, 2013. The program is a little like a caffeinated PhD fellowship. Approximately five students from each class are chosen for a three month residency. As growth at Hack Reactor picks up and new ideas come in to play, that number can sometimes fluctuate higher. 

The application process for being an HIR is based on a combination of peer-reputation, technical skill and perhaps most importantly; a passion building. As we recently found out, there are way more awesome candidates for us to choose from than there are spots in the program, a testament to Hack Reactor's admissions team. 

What Hackers in Residence Do

To earn their stay, each engineer in the program performs 20 hours of work for the school. This include curriculum writing, leading extra breakouts, conducting applicant interviews, etc. The balance of their time they invest in their portfolio via a series of three project periods. 

These project periods are critical portfolio and skill building time for HIRs. If a Hack Reactor graduate is 98.5% employable, HIRs are well over 100% (I know that's not possible). HIRs strategically use their project periods to attack different vectors of learning. Some have a keen interest in technology and will choose to build a data management system in Scala. Others, want to focus on a product idea and work on honing the engineering and user experience.  Over the course of the twelve week HIR term, we estimated an additional ~400 hours of hacking.

We place our graduates at very cool, fast growing start-ups. Some students however, long for bring brands like Google, Yahoo and Pandora. HIR graduates are in active recruitment with Google and we have already placed a graduate at Pandora.  

Hackers in Residence also perform outreach, connecting with beginner to intermediate programmers interested in joining a software career accelerator. HIRs do this by guest speaking at colleges, hosting Google Hangouts with potential applicants, and writing blogs about their experience in the program among other things. 

Hackers in Residence: The Outcome

This extra time to solidify skills, explore passion projects and do so within the ecosystem of Hack Reactor is anticipated to produce some of our most successful alumni. 

When their three month work is done, HIRs are reentered into Hack Reactor's Hiring Day with the latest graduating class, giving them an equal opportunity to connect with employers.

As the a coordinator of for my HIR cohort, it has been extremely rewarding to watch the intense creativity that comes from bringing smart people together who are empowered with cutting edge skills.

(Check out some of our current and past HIRs here!)