Hacker School: free course on advanced programming

hacker_compThe original article that prompted me to write about Hacker School is from Julia Evans. The concept behind the school is quite interesting and innovative – a 3 month full-time course in New York to learn programming from the gurus. Wow! I’m excited myself! This is a bit different from the Eudyptula Challenge because there is a real vibe around Hacker School and definitely warrants a lesser degree of self-motivation.

The Hacker School accepts applications only from individuals with some experience in programming. The course is free of cost with case-by-case grants for female attendees. The environment is friendly and supportive. The final perk is a job offer from well-known companies (which is of course, not obligatory). This is also the way the organization earns from these companies. Some of the sponsors of Fall 2013 were Dropbox, Tumblr, Etsy. You get the picture: Hacker School doesn’t give you a degree, it turns you into a professional programmer!

The course is practical oriented. Students contribute to various open source projects as they learn. Instead of teachers, facilitators assist students. They can pair with students, review code, brainstorm project ideas, help get dev environment set up, refer to other Hacker Schoolers or residents and anything else that makes the time more productive and educational. However, no one dictates how make the best use of the resources. Residents are accomplished programmers who visit for a couple of weeks and work directly with students. They deliver lectures, run small workshops, and does a lot of code review and pairing.

Individual from all spheres come to Hacker School – from experienced programmers to physicists, chemists, biologists, professionals, parents, undergraduate and graduate programmers. Application can be sent online and needs some programming skills. Batches overlap and applicants are free to choose a batch that fits their schedule.

Some of the projects which Hacker School students have developed are:

  • WebStack.jl, a web framework for Julia
  • webRTC.io, an abstraction layer for webRTC
  • Stork, a new programming language
  • Turtles, a Lisp interpreter for the Apple IIe
  • a Dropbox client for Haiku
  • a BitTorrent client in Python
  • and many more

If interested, head on to their webpage and apply! It would be fun!

Webpage: Hacker School

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