Week 1 at Hackbright Academy

Three simple truths:

1. Hackbright is the best invention since sliced bread.

2. Coding is changing my life.

3. I hope to survive, succeed and help other women achieve similar goals.

Here is my weekly round-up of the best exercises, programs, tips & tricks, and quotes from my 10-week fellowship with Hackbright Academy.

Christian is our instructor

He’s constantly roving and moving quickly, hence the blurriness.

Pair programming is like speed dating with intellectual stimulation, by sharing coding knowledge and developing communication skills. I love the nested tables with shared desktops and mice, and the collaboration and steep learning curve that you get when you put two curious minds together.

Having barely scratched the surface of Learning Python the Hard Way and Learning Code the Hard Way, I was amazed at how quickly the exercises and classwork programs came together. I appreciate how the classroom projects are structured — morning lecture, breakout into new pairs (daily!), review exercises, and applied learning by writing programs. It is much like easing a toe into a frozen lake then throwing caution to the wind and cannon-balling in.

Monday = welcomes, hugs and hellos, and an afternoon of poking at Blockly with Susan. She is a sparkly young lass from NY, with an engineering degree from Harvey Mudd.

Shameless plug, look at my Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners' mug

My first experience pairing!

Tuesday = kicking ass programming a guessing game with Margaret. Inspired by this girls’ energy, articulation, and drive. Emphasis on flow charts, while-loops, and random integers.

Wednesday = exhausted from kicking ass, dragging through ‘build a calculator’ with Meredith. Thank her soul for being patient and mellow. I blame the heatwave. Enjoyed our field trip to Yelp for PyLadies‘ mini-PyCon. Loved being able to tune-in more to technical talks.

Thursday = brain fried, Nicole kindly dragged my sleep-deprived carcass through functions, executing arguments, and manipulating lists. This was probably my low point, until we met Balloony the balloonicorn. He was the mascot of Hackbright’s inaugural class. Two alumni, Claudia and Ashley, stopped by to visit and chat with us. Best quote as paraphrased by Ashley:

“Use your advantages. Everyone else is, so why shouldn’t you too.”

Friday = Started playing with HTML and CSS, because it’s FRI-YAY! Everyone’s brains have been melted, so Sarah and I massaged our mutually exhausted noggins back into shape with a little break from Python. I also discovered the California Burrito at Los Coyotes Taqueria on 16th. Who put french fries in my carne asada burrito?! Thanks Sonya, my East Bay BART buddy.

California Burrito

Weekend hit list:

  • register for github
  • revive WP
  • CSS layout exercise
  • LPTHW/LCTHW: try, try, again.
  • eat/sleep like a normal person

Time to get started. What a crazy whirlwind week, and can’t wait for moar!

This entry was published on October 7, 2012 at 6:05 am and is filed under Blogroll. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Week 1 at Hackbright Academy

  1. so proud that you’re doing Hackbright! i applaud you for doing something hard. you are a true inspiration. please keep me posted on your progress. xo bo

  2. I am glad that you posted this. Also, your blog is lovely. 🙂

  3. anniemalchang on said:

    Thank you, you two! 🙂 I’m having the time of my life. Feeling challenged, insecure, stressed…but in a good way. If the last class survived, then of course == everything will be okay.

  4. Jessie on said:

    Cool! Really insightful. I just found out about Hackbright Academy today and am considering applying for it. I wonder what are the chances of getting accepted… It seems they have about 28-30 spots each time.

    How was the job search after you had completed the program?

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