We launched HackerYou in June 2012 and, admittedly, we’ve been thrilled with the response. There’s been so much demand for this style of learning experience that all of the courses we’ve offered so far have sold out. Applicants include journalists, writers, marketers, doctors, scientists, product managers, editors, recent grads, designers, community managers, account managers, entrepreneurs, wantrepreneurs and more. And although this wasn’t an explicit goal, we’ve enjoyed a really nice balance of men and women at our courses: our Introduction to Web Development course in Fall 2012 was 83% female, and our current course, an Introduction to Ruby on Rails, is 44% female.
But these are just a few of the things that make HackerYou great. To be able to bring together a group of awesome, talented, forward-thinking people twice a week for three months so that they can build and hone an entirely new skill set – one that is going to come in handy for the rest of their professional lives – is a treat. But that’s what’s in it for me. What’s in it for you?
What do you really get when you enroll in HackerYou?
Allow me to elaborate, just in case this post has the potential to help you make the decision to apply to HackerYou before our next early bird deadline. Here’s what you’re in for if you decide to join us for a course:
1. 72 hours of in-class time (almost entirely dedicated to building stuff)
Whether you plan to do something entrepreneurial one day, want to stop paying other people to manage your personal or small business website, wish you could communicate more effectively with technical folks, or are looking to up your value as an employee…you should learn to code. And at HackerYou, that’s exactly what you’ll do. Each course is 72 hours long (price-wise, it’s just under $39 an hour) and you’ll spend almost all of that time actually writing code.
No matter what people say, making a time commitment (and a financial commitment) to learning a new skill can make a world of a difference. On your own, let’s say you can find an hour a week to dedicate to learning to code. At that rate, it will take you a year and five months to accomplish what will take you just three months to do at HackerYou. Plus, of course, at HackerYou, you’re guided by experts…but, more on that below.
2. A 10:1 ratio of students to instructors
Through our work with Ladies Learning Code, we’ve discovered that a small student-to-instructor ratio is the key to a great technical learning experience. At HackerYou, there isa 10:1 student-to-instructor ratio (or better!) at every class. Since classes are dedicated to writing code, it’s important that there are people there to help you when you get stuck. Or, for more advanced students, the mentors are there to challenge you by suggesting ways that you can deepen your learning by adding more complex functionality to your site. But what happens if you have a question outside of class? Well…
3. Seven-days-a-week access to the HackerYou community
Have a question outside of class? Never fear – as a HackerYou student, you’ll have seven-days-a-week access to the HackerYou forum. Using Lore‘s beautiful and elegant course management software, this forum is a place for you to interact with HackerYou instructors and mentors, myself and my team, and the other HackerYou students. As needed, we’ll add other experts to the site so that it can be a truly valuable resource for HackerYou students. And it doesn’t stop there – we’ll be creating a HackerYou Alumnni community as well, which you’ll become part of. It will become more and more valuable over time.
4. Unlimited HackerYou Workshops
When you sign up for a HackerYou course, your learning doesn’t just stop there. For the duration of your course, you have access to all of the workshops offered by HackerYou for free. We launch new workshops every week – for a list of workshops that are currently live, visit http://hackeryou.com/workshops.
5. An Introduction to the Best of Toronto’s Tech & Startup Community
Love the idea of going to more of Toronto’s tech and startup events, but not sure which ones are best? Or does showing up alone make you nervous? HackerYou students won’t have that problem, because we’ll curate the best events in the city, and head out to them as a group (optionally, of course). And if you want to learn something, but can’t find an event that will give you what you need? Let us know, and we’ll organize it, either just for HackerYou students, or for the broader community. It’s all part of our commitment to making HackerYou an amazing in-person learning experience, and something truly unique. But what if you need to meet someone really specific…
6. Trying to build a network? We’ll help with that.
Thanks again to Ladies Learning Code, we have a huge network of Toronto’s brightest entrepreneurs, developers, designers, illustrators, and more. Looking for a designer to join you for a passion project? Or need to pick the brains of successful entrepreneurs as you begin to plan your transition from corporate to startup life? We know people. If you’re looking for an introduction to someone really specific, we might be able to help with that, too. Try us.
7. Job Shadowing, If You Want It
As I’ve been chatting with the people who have applied to HackerYou (I meet everyone who applies for coffee), I’ve been asking them what would make their HackerYou course over-the-top awesome for them. A few people have mentioned job shadowing as something they’d be really interested in. So, we’re adding it to the program. If you want to job shadow someone (or someone in a certain job or company), let us know and we’ll set it up.
And, if you have other ideas for what would make HackerYou an even better learning experience, let us know! We’re up for the challenge.
8. HackerYou Demo Day
HackerYou participants have the opportunity to participate in a Demo Day at the end of the course (optionally, of course). This is our chance to show the people who say that you can’t learn to code in three months that they’re wrong. It’s a celebration, but it’s also about inspiring people who think that learning to code isn’t for them. Learning to code is for everyone, whether you want to become a professional or not.
9. A Guaranteed Internship
Most people who come to HackerYou aren’t looking for a job – they already have one, and they want to learn to code in order to enhance their chosen career. There are always a few people in each course, though, that are looking to use the skills they learn at HackerYou to land a new job. We’ll help them find one, but if they’re not quite ready, we’re happy to offer a guaranteed internship with HackerYou to students who graduate from the program. We tailor the internship to the role they’re seeking, but for example, here are two projects created by HackerYou interns: http://hackeryou.com/students and http://ladieslearningcode.com/map.
It’s all of that, and more.
If you’re ready to lean to code, and looking for the most comprehensive in-person learning experience around, you’re exactly who we’re looking for. Apply now.