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Large Hack Reactor Presence Among Top 18 Front-End Female Engineers

Owen Poindexter

Large Hack Reactor Presence Among Top 18 Front-End Female Engineers's Image

RecruitLoop, which matches engineers and companies that want to hire them, produced a list of their top 50 female front-end software engineers in San Francisco, and the results validate what we see in our program on a day-to-day basis. Four of the 50 are Hack Reactor alumni, and one other worked as a Technical Mentor in our Remote Beta program. Inc interviewed 18 of these 50, including three from Hack Reactor on how they got where they are in their coding careers. These are some of the many incredibly talented women who have been through our program, and it’s very gratifying to see them recognized for their achievements and abilities.

Kristina Garfinkel was in one of our first cohorts, and has already had an impressive career as a developer. After helping build out the codebase for Versal, she moved on to Good Eggs. She now works her magic at ZenDesk, one of the web’s top customer service platforms.

Ilona Budapesti provided coding wisdom to our Remote Beta students as a technical mentor (while spending the balance of her time studying Buddhism and Chi Kung at a monastery). She has studied at Harvard and Stanford, and now serves as a principal software engineer at PayPal.

women in tech, women in stem, hack reactor, tech jobs, front-end, javascript

Some of the top female engineers in the business used Hack Reactor to vault their careers to new heights. Top row, from left: Caroline Wong, Samin Sepasi, Kristina Garfinkel. Bottom row, from left: Ilona Budapesti, Rebekah Kwon

Samin Sepasi, Rebekah Kwon and Caroline Wong all graduated a year ago, and are enjoying successful careers as software engineers. Sepasi pivoted from her work on the World Poker Tour legal team by attending Hack Reactor, graduating last March.

“I realized I needed to delve into programming full time in order to learn effectively, and attended a software engineering program called Hack Reactor in San Francisco that would allow me to learn at an accelerated pace,” she explained to Inc. “I have been developing full-time ever since, with a focus in JavaScript.”

At the school, she helped build a peer to peer lending platform. She has since been working as a software engineer for IT company Appirio.

Wong spent time as a developer before Hack Reactor, building iOS apps in Objective C. She used Hack Reactor to build up her skills, and now engineers for the full service social media and content platform Hearsay Social. She told Inc about getting inspired in high school to pursue programming:

“My proudest accomplishment at the time was building a portable, solar-powered USB charger, contained in a laser-cut fiberboard box that I designed.”

Kwon came to Hack Reactor in early 2015 to pivot from a career as a structural engineer and product designer. She is now a developer for leading online art dealer, Art.com.

“Hack Reactor was a springboard and catalyst towards becoming a full-fledged software developer,” she told Inc. “I'm now plugged into this supportive community of amazing individuals doing amazing things.”

The gender balance in the technology sector is improving, but there is still a long way to go. Our values are reflected in our 50-50 scholarship initiative, our sponsorship of the Anita Borg Women of Vision award this year and our all-female leadership team. Most of all, we seek to reduce barriers for all groups underrepresented in tech through an admissions process that focuses on attitude and thought process over pedigree, and a program that supports students on a mental/emotional level while delivering a world-class education.

Ready to experience the top program in the industry? Apply to Hack Reactor or any school in our network, today.

Read more:

Advice from an Alumna to Future Software Engineers

Remote Student Talks Meteor, Women & LGBT in STEM

Hack Reactor and Optimizely Announce Winners of I/Own It Scholarship for Women in Tech