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What Should You Study to Get Into Hack Reactor? Our CEO Answers

What’s the best way to prepare for the Hack Reactor application? It’s a question we get all the time. Fortunately for all prospective students, our CEO Tony Phillips gave his answer to a prospective student on Quora two years ago. Tony laid out a roadmap, using example code. This is the clearest path you’ll find anywhere of what to study to prepare for Hack Reactor. We have added one major update to Tony's answer: for anyone looking to get into Hack Reactor or other top coding bootcamps, we now have an ideal resource. Hack Reactor Prep is a free, online course built to give you the skills you need to prepare for our immersive course.

Here’s what Tony had to say, with a few minor edits to ensure that this information is current:

1.  Be able to write out the following from memory in about 5 seconds - the skeletons of these fundamental patterns are memorizable and basically do not change at all. A great idea is to make flashcards or study them to the point that you could write them out without needing to think about them at all:

a. Define a function:

     var myFunc = function(arg1, arg2){

       // some code with arg1 and arg2;


b. Iterate over an array:

     for(var i = 0; i < array.length; i++){

       // some code with array[i];


c. Looping from 10-1:

     for(var i = 10; i > 0; i--){

       // some code with i


d. Skeleton of an if statement:


       // some code;

     }else if(somethingElse){

       // do some other code;


       // do the default;


e. Access for arrays and objects:

var myArray = [];


myArray; // myArray now looks like this => [1]


myArray; // myArray now looks like this => [1, 'hi']

var myObj = {};

myObj['tony'] = '944 Market';

myObj; // myObj now looks like this => {'tony':'944 Market'}

var tempVariable = 'marcus';

myObj[tempVariable] = '944 Market';

myObj; // myObj now looks like this => {'tony':'944Market','marcus':'944 Market'}


2. Here are the methods you should know - There are a lot of methods in Javascript, and you don't need to know all of them for our purposes, just these ones! Memorize what these do using MDN (mozilla developer network) or DevDocs.  You don't need to know how to use them from memory; you can look up the syntax of how to use them.  But if I say splice, you should know that does something to cut up an array and cut a piece out of it.

























3. All this memorizing leads up to the one sentence thing that you need to be able to do, which is:  "Be able to get 5 points on any 'easy' challenge on Practice programming with programming & game challenges that you have not seen before."  


As far as how you can stand out: build something.

We will be super impressed if you build something using Meteor, Firebase (Build Realtime Apps), or any number of JavaScript libraries or frameworks.  Show that you have put a bunch of time into reading online and getting interested in coding.  Come to a meetup if you are near one of our campuses and meet some people.

Good luck and hope to see you in class soon!


What's the best way to follow Tony's roadmap? We have combined the best elements of other free online resources and our own content to create Hack Reactor Prep. Over 150 exercises, this 60-90 hour course provides a thorough learning experience. When you are ready for our technical interview, we strongly encourage you to apply. Our application is free, and we almost never truly reject someone, rather we tell you to study a bit more then try again. So, if you aren’t sure if you are ready, apply, and you’ll either get in or know what to practice next.

Read more:

Hack Reactor Application Part I: The Admissions Challenge

Hack Reactor Application Part II: The Admissions Challenge

Student’s Advice to Anyone on the Fence About Applying to Hack Reactor: Just Go For It