Danielle Webb

What the outside world has taught me about my time at HackerYou

Posted by Danielle Webb in Web Dev on May 6, 2014

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What the outside world has taught me about my time at HackerYou

I always knew HackerYou‘s front-end bootcamp was an investment worth making. While I enjoyed my time in the program immensely and will be forever grateful for the new lease on life it’s given me, it’s taken being out in the wild for a few weeks to really prove just how valuable an experience it was.

I came to HackerYou after a series of contracts at the Globe and Mail finally came to an end. It’s no secret the media industry is undergoing massive change. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to really evaluate what my next steps would be. I had been interested in coding for years by this point, trying to learn what I could from online tutorials, workshops in the city and friends who were kind enough to sit with me for a few hours. But it was never enough. HackerYou announced its full-time bootcamps the same day I found out my last contract wouldn’t be renewed. That was enough serendipity for me to give this whole coding thing my full attention. I would finally see if it was really for me after all.

In late January, I joined 25 other students all wondering about that same question. What we went through ended up being far more than an education (although we certainly all got that). We quickly went to work putting our skills to the test by pushing out code on a weekly basis. We learned everything about running our own development shops from coding languages to accounting practices. Some of my classmates have gone on to get great jobs in the industry, but it was the promise of running my own business that really sold the program for me. The ability to take back control of my career was empowering; the new friends that have become like family and the supportive learning environment were icing, to say nothing of the continued support we’re all receiving to this day.

Since finishing the program, the value in our experience became the most clear to me while attending FITC’s Toronto conference at the end of April. A few of my classmates and I sat through a number of sessions targeted at web developers. The topics ranged from responsive design and CSS pre-processors to jQuery and JavaScript libraries, but we were marvelling at how familiar it all was. After sitting through a couple of sessions, we noticed there was a definite trend forming: the best practices, tips and tricks the speakers were advocating were all things we had learned at HackerYou.

This is a great testament to the program HackerYou has put together. Their focus on hiring developers at the top of their game to act as lead instructors is what really paid off here. As I find myself at the beginning of a new career as an independent web developer, I’m encouraged by the fact that not only we were given all the tools to change our lives in just nine weeks, we were taught the latest and greatest by some of the industry’s best. And integrating ourselves into Toronto’s tech scene is proving just that.

Are you considering a program at HackerYou? I’d love to hear from you and answer any of your questions! Send me an email or find me on Twitter.

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2 responses to “What the outside world has taught me about my time at HackerYou”

  1. Mandy says:

    Great post Danielle!

  2. […] creation of this little profile. Ladies Learning Code and its sister organization HackerYou have literally changed my life. In my opinion, there’s simply no better way to become a great developer right […]

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