Four Weeks before Hack Reactor

It still feels surreal to me that in four weeks, I am about to embark on an exciting journey to become a software engineer!

Just under three months ago, I left my job as an accountant with no plans about what to do next. Having received several offers to keep growing my accounting career, none of the opportunities truly intrigued me. In fact, it was depressing to think that I could be spending the rest of my career credit-and-debiting. I began to search for other alternatives, and that’s when I found out about Hack Reactor, an immersive coding bootcamp that promise to turn amateurs into software engineers in under twelve weeks. I always have a passion in technology and it definitely caught my attention, although I was kind of skeptical about the promise.

Without a clear plan in sight, I decided to take a little break and go on a trip for some much needed R&R, soul-searching, or whatever it was that I needed. During my travel, I was able to get in touch with several alumni from Hack Reactor, and learned about their experience and what they got out of the program. They all had raved reviews about Hack Reactor, but what impressed me the most was the maturity and knowledge they showed. I got the impression that these aren’t people who just joined a bootcamp to find a higher-paying job, but they did it because of their passion about technology. I changed from being skeptical about Hack Reactor to 50-50, and I decided to just go for it and try to apply for admission. Since they are pretty selective in their applicants, I might as well worry about making a decision if and after I got accepted.

The application challenge was relatively simple as long as you have some idea about javascript. There is a technical interview that you have to do before they accept you into their cohort, and I scheduled mine a month later. I started preparing by using several resources that Hack Reactor recommended, such as Code Academy and Coderbyte, as well as working on several personal projects, such as re-implementing Tetris and Snake using html and javascript (I will blog about both projects in the future as I think they are good beginner projects). I was at New York at the time, and a friend of mine works at a co-working space called WeWork in downtown Manhattan. Shamelessly, I tagged along to her work everyday  and use their free wifi, coffee, and beer (Thanks WeWork!).

A month later, I had my technical interview, and found out that I was accepted in the afternoon on the same day. Almost immediately, I decidedly to go to Hack Reactor and spend my next three month learning as much as I can to become a professional programmer. Spending $18k on a 12-weeks vocational school was something that I’d never thought I would do before, but during my preparation, I realized how much I enjoy creating stuffs (and not enjoy accounting), and simply couldn’t pass on the opportunity to make this into a career.

So here I am, with four more weeks before the program starts and working on their pre-work (which is another thing that I will blog about later). I still think about whether or not this is worth $18k sometimes, and I wouldn’t be able to answer that question until three months later, but I do know that it will for sure not be worth it if I do not go all in with my effort and make every seconds of learning count.


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