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5 Reasons Not To Apply To Hacker School

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Late applications to Hacker School are still open; you can apply here.

By Lisa Neigut (Android Developer, Etsy)

Jane Wang, a colleague of mine from Hacker School, wrote a compelling article about why you should consider going to Hacker School. If you’re considering Hacker School, and want to know more about why you should attend, I highly recommend her post.

However, if you have already read her post, and still have not applied, I’m assuming there is a reason that Hacker School is not right for you.

So I offer up a few common objections here, in the spirit of proof by contradiction. The idea is that if none of these fit your case, you will be in the clear to apply.

Reason #1 – Programming doesn’t interest you. At all, whatsoever.

This is a great point. Alright, glad to know that you considered it. Do your friends, guy or gal, who do like to program (or think that they might like to program) a favor, and pass Hacker School their way. Think about it this way: if they get in, you’ll have someone to visit in NYC during the 12 weeks that they’re in class.

Reason #2 – Your current job rocks.

Good point. And few of us have 12 weeks of vacation saved up. If you’re interested though, apply anyway. Talk it over with your boss if you get accepted. Twelve weeks of unpaid leave to go to a job training program is an unusual request, but it’ll make for an interesting conversation. Even if you don’t end up coming to Hacker School, it may open doors in other ways.

Reason #3 – You are in a serious, committed relationship and cannot bear to tear yourself away from him/her/it for 12 weeks.

The idea of a serious, committed relationship has me imagining that you’re connected to your significant other by the hip. I’m aware that this has never, in the course of human history been the case, but allow my imagination its latitude. A hip separation operation would be very painful.

I can understand how this may be an impediment, but consider that there are Google Hangouts, Skype, text messages, Twitter pics, and good old fashioned love letters to keep you in touch.

You can make them a tribute Github account, and pen them an ‘I love you’ in every commit message, with a GitHub hook that sends them an email every time you include their name. Work on writing a piece of software that bends space so that you feel as though you’re next to each other. It’s an impediment, but consider the possibilities.

Reason #4 – The idea of living in New York City is daunting.

That’s understandable, considering how different it is from most places. Most people here don’t drive cars; they walk, bike, take subways, catch taxis, rollerblade, or bounce.

It’s cold in the winter, hot in the summer. People make deliveries on bicycle. Most people live in apartments, not houses, and you can buy almost anything under the sun in Chinatown. But a city is more than the markets, buildings, transportation options and weather.

A city is made of its people. And there are lots of people in New York. People that enjoy hacking, making, playing board games, making mischief, launching water rockets, go rock climbing, etc. While the city may seem daunting, I promise that these people are not.

Reason #5 – You can’t afford it.

If you think that this applies to you, you should go back and reread the fine print.

Hacker School is free to attend, if you’re accepted. Did I mention that they offer scholarships? That is correct. Hacker School is a free school that offers scholarships for women to attend. In other words, you will be paid to attend Hacker School, if you are female and you have a financial need. All you have to do to qualify for a scholarship is need one.

If none of the above apply to you, but you still have reservations about participating, please send me an email. I’m curious to know what reasons I missed out on.

Otherwise, late applications to Hacker School are still open; you can apply here.

Women 2.0 readers: Why would you not apply for Hacker School? Let us know in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Lisa Neigut is an Android Developer at Etsy. She was a student in the summer 2012 batch of Hacker School. You can follow her adventures in hackery on her occasionally updated blog. Follow her on Twitter at @niftynei.