Many things have happened since my last post. I had two interviews with HackBright.

HackBright has a 12 week, full time Software Engineering Fellowship program that teaches a full stack programming topics (Command Line, Python, Javascript, HTML & CSS, Git, Github, Web Framework, SQL/ORMs, Deployment, Data Structures & Algorithms, etc.).

On August 10th I received an email:

Congrats on your admission to Hackbright Academy! 
Again, congratulations and I could not be more excited on your admission into Hackbright!
Best, Dori Grant

I was accepting into HackBright’s Fall 2015 cohort of 36 women – this cohort had a 6% acceptance rate. I started mid September and I have learned so much!

I moved to San Francisco on September 13th and spent the week discovering the city, working on pre-work for HackBright and completing courses on Codecademy.

Week 1 

The first week was the most exciting time! Part of the excitement was the prospect of being able to completely submerge myself into programming, but also to meet my cohort of 36 women who I am doing this journey with. The teachers, teaching assistances and lab assistances are amazing and supportive. They are brightly smart people: 2 PHDs, 3 Master Degrees, and more than 35 years combined teaching stack of software. I received a lot of positive feedback from my cohort and the teachers. I knew that I was in the right place. I learned so much, below are the high lights of my first week:

Pair Programming: Working with someone to complete a programing assignment/goal. This aids in retentions due to seeing, hearing, speaking and typing with my partner, who also validates my understanding and corrects any misunderstandings. Turns out this: reduces errors, increases shared knowledge and is more effective than code reviews. A huge bonus is that it gets me into the practice of explaining and thinking my code, which I’m sure will help me during interview time. I found out that I am very visual. I started drawing on a paper my thought process and that weekend I brought myself a small white board that I keep in my backpack to help me explain and visualize my thought process.

Shell/Command Line: I hated the shell before! I hated, hated, hated it! Whenever someone would try to show me a cool trick, I didn’t like it. It didn’t make sense. But after Cynthia’s explanation, I am a command line master! (okay, more like a Green Belt-Intermediate). I can move around the directories, move and copy items, identify my environments, be able to look inside directories, etc.

Algorithms: We worked on solving mazes using algorithms and the idea of generalizability. We went into different types of maze solving algorithms, how binary searches work, and creating an algorithm to check if a word is a palindrome. During this lecture, I was very happy that I took a C++ class last Spring at Fresno City College because I had time to write many different algorithms in C++ like bubblesort and monte carol.

Git: Git is a program, Github is a company! Git is all about version control. The first week I heard the lecture and understood that it was important, but it wasn’t until week 2 did I actually start using it and by week 3 I was a Git Queen! Creating repositories, initializing my git, tracking my files, committing and pushing. Git status is super important to make sure that I do not make a git inside of a git (crazy sad things will happen if you do). I haven’t had to revert any of my commits yet, but I am happy that I have developed this practice.

More to come on what I learned Week 1…

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