Hackbright Academy Overview and Guide

Hackbright Academy is an all-female coding bootcamp specializing in full stack software development and database programming. Graduates have gone on to exciting jobs in major tech companies, and you could be next. In this Hackbright Academy review, we go through all the course options, schedules, and costs.

The school focuses primarily on building foundational Python programming skills. The versatility of Python is perfect for an array of specialized tech careers, such as backend developer or machine learning engineer. Read on for all the curriculum and enrollment information you need to decide whether Hackbright Academy is right for you.

What You Need to Know About Hackbright Academy

Hackbright Academy is a women-only coding bootcamp located in San Francisco, near the heart of the tech industry. Its software engineering bootcamp and its five-week short courses are designed to provide women with the capabilities and the confidence to pursue successful careers as software engineers and developers.

  • Cost: Full-Time: $12,900, Part-Time: $12,900, Prep: $250, Python 101: $250
  • Schedules: Full-Time, Part-Time, Flex
  • Courses Offered: Full-Stack Software Engineering, Python 101, Prep Course
  • Upcoming Start Dates: Varies by course

Hackbright Academy Curricula: What Can You Study?

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Courses at Hackbright teach Python as a baseline for building coding fluency. The idea is that, because Python is so versatile, students will more easily be able to grasp other programming languages down the line.

Hackbright’s main objective is to turn students into full stack programmers. No matter which course you decide to take, you will get a thorough education in software engineering.

Software Engineering

This course is divided into 12 modules. The first three cover the basics of front end and backend software engineering, including core programming tools, data structures, APIs, web technologies, and a big-picture look at HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap. You’ll also begin work on coding projects, going through the basics of functions, lists, tuples, and conditionals.

The following three modules cover the realm of databases, principally through JavaScript and SQL. Taking a closer look at what you can do with data, you will use Python toolkits like SQLAlchemy to explore data modeling. The individual project you begin work on during this stage is a great opportunity to build your professional portfolio.

In the final three modules, spread out over six weeks, you will apply all your Python knowledge toward getting your personal project ready for a demo. As the lessons on Python wrap up, you will begin preparing for the job search, including getting to practice your whiteboarding and presentation skills. You will also participate in mock technical interviews.

The final week includes a meeting with Hackbright Academy’s hiring partners, increasing your chances of landing a job right after the course.

Prep Course

Hackbright Academy offers this five-week, part-time course for anyone with little to no experience with Python. The program is divided into five modules covering the basics of syntax, iteration, functions, and debugging. You’ll also get an understanding of data structures and take the necessary steps to start and build your own project.

This program is recommended for two reasons. First, if you haven’t tried coding before, it is a good way of testing yourself and finding out if coding is for you. It’s better to start with a short course before plunging into a full-time 12-week syllabus and realizing you don’t see a career for yourself in programming.

Second, Hackbright’s full software engineering course requires at least 40 hours of coding experience. This course covers those 40 hours, preparing students for the next stage.

Python 101

Like the prep course, Python 101 also covers the 40-hour programming experience requirement. This five-week course is directed towards women who want a deep dive into Python programming, but aren’t sure whether they want to move on to the full-time engineering course.

Like the prep course, Python 101 covers Python coding basics. It also gives students a more comprehensive look at data structures and includes a coding challenge. You are expected to build your own game, which is a transferable skill in the tech world.

Hackbright Academy Campuses: Where Can You Study?

Hackbright Academy provides in-person lectures and seminars at its San Francisco office and fully remote courses that you can take from anywhere. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all courses are currently remote and offered at a reduced rate.

  • San Francisco
  • Online

Hackbright Academy Schedules: When Can You Study?


The full-time option for the software engineering course is the same whether you take it in-person or remotely. Lessons run Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, for 12 weeks. Mornings involve lectures and seminars, and you will work on your independent project in the afternoons. In-person instruction is slated to resume in July 2021.


The remote version of the software engineering bootcamp has a part-time scheduling option. Over six months of study, you will meet three times a week, twice on weekday evenings for three hours and once on a weekend day for eight hours. Each time you meet for class, you will start with lectures before moving on to lab exercises and pair programming.

The five-week prep course is also on a part-time schedule. Classes are usually held on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the evening, and on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.


You should sign up for the five-week Python 101 course if self-paced learning is what you crave. You will be given the freedom to structure your own weeks. The time commitment is about eleven hours per week. In the first four weeks, you should spend eight hours on modules, an hour studying course material, and about two hours doing lab exercises.

In the fifth and final week, you will be expected to spend approximately six hours coding your final project, three hours doing programming challenges, one hour taking the final exam, and one hour consulting with a mentor.

On top of this, your teachers will assign you weekly assignments, which could take up to two hours per week.

Hackbright Academy Tuition

While Hackbright Academy can seem costly at first glance, a few payment plans and grants are available, which can help alleviate your financial worries and concerns.

Hackbright Academy Financing and Payment Options

  • Loan financing with Ascent Funding. You can borrow anywhere from $2,000 to the full cost of tuition with Ascent Funding, one of Hackbright Academy’s two lending partners. You can also apply for up to $7,500 in living expenses. You can choose to start your loan payments either during your program or three months after your program ends.
  • Loan financing with Climb. You can also apply for loans through Climb Credit. You can repay loans over three-to-five years with a low fixed interest rate, making this option easily affordable.
  • Deferred Tuition. To be eligible for deferred tuition programs, you need to have a bachelor’s degree and over two years of professional experience. This program allows you to defer paying your tuition until you land a job, which will then be deducted from your salary in fixed monthly installments.
  • Scholarships. Hackbright features two scholarships. Two women per course get half off their tuition on the Phenomenal Woman Scholarship, which is awarded based on technical interview performance. The Quip Diversity Scholarship is an award of $5,000 for one woman from an underrepresented group and $1,000 for runners-up.

Hackbright Academy Admissions: How to Get In

Hackbright fosters an inclusive environment and welcomes anyone who identifies as female to apply to its software engineering bootcamp. While you aren’t guaranteed a spot, the school does have rolling admissions, so if you see yourself at Hackbright, don’t give up.

Hackbright Academy Application

When applying to Hackbright Academy, you will need to send in an application covering details about yourself, your educational and professional background, and why you would like to enroll. It doesn’t have to be too long, but all of these topics need to be covered.

Hackbright Academy Interview

To get into Hackbright Academy’s software engineering program, you have to attend two interviews. The first is an informal interview in which you will be expected to present yourself, your background, and your ambitions for the future.

The second interview is technical, in which you’ll have to demonstrate your understanding of coding basics. If you fail the technical interview, you will be given another chance two-to-four weeks later.

For the prep course and Python 101, there is no interview.

Hackbright Academy Admission Rate: What Are My Chances of Getting In?

For the prep course or Python 101, all you need to do is submit the application form and pay the course fee. As long as you can do that, your chances of getting in are 100 percent.

As for the software engineering program, the admission rate isn’t listed. However, the academy encourages women to re-apply if they did not get accepted the first time. Once you meet all the technical requirements, your chances of getting in are high.

Hackbright Academy Outcomes: Will I Find a Job?

Hackbright Academy partners with a number of companies and individuals passionate about getting women into tech. Its software engineering program also includes substantial career development training. As a result, 71 percent of Hackbright graduates find full-time jobs within 180 days of graduation. Of these, the median salary is nearly $90,000.

Job Placement Services at Hackbright Academy

Hackbright Academy provides top-tier job placement services to students in its software engineering program.

The first week involves a career coffee event where you’ll meet with a career advisor to talk not only about your tech ambitions but also about your personal life, anxieties, hopes, and dreams. Subsequent coffee seminars, which are held weekly through the ninth week of the program, focus on things like preparing for an interview and researching tech companies.

From the third week of a course, you will be assigned a personal mentor from a leading tech company. You will meet once a week to discuss your ambitions, as well as how the course is going.

During the tenth week, you will be expected to demo your personal project not only to your classmates but also to the bootcamp’s hiring partners. In the two final weeks, you will learn about negotiation and effective job search strategies. Finally, regular field trips are arranged so that students can get an inside look at how tech companies operate.

Should You Apply to Hackbright Academy?

Over its eight years of existence, Hackbright Academy has fostered a robust learning environment. Unlike most bootcamps, Hackbright Academy openly encourages a healthy work-life balance. Below are a few reasons to consider Hackbright.

  • Focus on Python. Python is one of the most widely used programming languages. Most companies and tech firms ask for fluency in Python nowadays, so learning how to use Python will give you an edge in the hiring process.
  • Career Services. Hackbright Academy provides its students with one-on-one interview practice, and its field trips give students an up-close understanding of real software engineers’ expectations.
  • Mentorship. Each student gets matched with a mentor from a leading tech company. Mentorship covers personal projects, career queries, anxieties, and advice about how to manage your work-life balance.

Hackbright Academy is a fantastic bootcamp designed to usher young women into the world of tech. If you want focused training in data science or cyber security, another bootcamp may be a better option. But if you’re a woman hoping to become a software engineer, Hackbright’s excellent reputation and high job placement figures speak for themselves.

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