The gender gap in tech is one of the industry’s most glaring issues. According to Accenture and Girls Who Code, women are slowly starting to acquire positions in technology. However, only 27 percent of women have computing roles in the US workforce despite the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that 46.8 percent of women make up the national labor force across all businesses. Put simply, the tech industry has been slow to change.
The software development field is at a crucial point in its future, with the job market expected to grow by 22 percent by 2030. This is significantly higher than the eight percent job growth seen across the rest of the tech industry.
If current trends hold, the distribution of 1,847,900 new jobs in this field will be disproportionate. Usual business practices would leave millions of people, especially non-male professionals, out in the cold during a time of economic uncertainty, even as the software industry grows exponentially.
Fullstack Academy’s Grace Hopper Program offers women and non-binary students a supportive environment that prepares students for the unique conditions they have to navigate as they enter the software development industry.
The Grace Hopper Program is the first coding bootcamp for female-identifying and non-binary students, creating a supportive community for women+ aspiring software engineersJoin a Grace Hopper info session to learn more.
What Is the Grace Hopper Program?
The Grace Hopper Program is a full stack coding bootcamp that teaches students all they need to know about working as a junior software engineer. Students learn the same high-quality Fullstack Academy curriculum that has earned it a reputation as one of the best bootcamps in the country. The Grace Hopper Program also provides an environment that is welcoming and accepting of women and other gender minorities.
As we mentioned in a previous article regarding Fullstack Academy’s bootcamp, the Grace Hopper Program is named in honor of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper. She assisted on a project to build the United States’ first electromechanical computer at IBM and went on to lead the team that created FLOW-MATIC, the first programming language to use word-based statements for its operations instead of mathematical symbols.
Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was one of many women that dominated the coding field in its early history. In addition to her countless individual contributions to the field, she was committed to recruiting more women in coding. Inspired by her mission, Fullstack Academy offers the Grace Hopper Program, which aims to continue her work into the future.
The Grace Hopper Program works to close the gender gap one cohort at a time, as it trains and empowers capable women, trans, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming individuals to break into tech, and it all starts with an impressive curriculum.
Grace Hopper Program Curriculum
Students can join this program to learn an array of technical skills, including computer science basics, front end development, backend development, databases, and more. Beyond the industry-ready curriculum, students also receive specialized career support that focuses on their unique experience and provides them with all the necessary assistance while entering the tech industry.
Before entering the Grace Hopper Program, students go through the bootcamp prep course. In this stage, students with some coding experience further hone their knowledge and skills in defining and invoking functions, data types, objects, multidimensional arrays and nested loops, and recursion. Think of it as conditioning before rigorous training.
Students can opt between Prep in a Week or Prep in a Month, whichever fits their schedules, at $199. These two options allow them to mingle and discuss challenges they may face with their cohort mates. Learners can also have access to live instructions and real-time assistance from the Grace Hopper experts.
There is a free option, as well, that gives students the freedom to access recorded lecture videos, coding challenges, and other resources. However, unlike the two other options, learners will have to navigate the prep course on their own.
Either way, students of the Bootcamp Prep Online course can rest easy knowing that they will learn from expert software engineers David and Nimit. Once they pass, they are ready to go through a more immersive experience.
The Different Phases of the Grace Hopper Program
The Grace Hopper Program stretches over 18 weeks and includes three phases: Foundations, Junior, and Senior.
The second phase is where the learning experience ramps up and focuses more on execution. Here, students tackle programming and deep dive into front end, backend, and full stack fundamentals. Students also debug, test, and practice algorithms using tools like HTML, CSS, DOM, Node, SQL, and React/Redux.
The Grace Hopper Program is intent on creating an environment that mimics the real-world challenges of tech professionals. Hence, pair programming is a vital part of its framework. As a result, students can collaborate and communicate better and become highly competent programmers ready for the demands of the tech industry.
The last phase is where students showcase their capabilities as they prepare for the job search ahead. Students work on portfolio projects, including a group ecommerce site, a personal hackathon project, and a Capstone project. Grace Hopper graduates can bank on team projects illustrating their technical skills and softcore skills, which include project management, time management, communication, and conflict resolution.
Besides these projects, the career services team of the Grace Hopper Program helps students prepare for technical and behavioral interviews. Students can also access the Career Success Workshop to learn the ropes of job hunting and Asana Job Search Tracking.
Grace Hopper Program Tuition and Payment Options
There are different alternatives regarding payment for the Grace Hopper Program. The 18-week coding program costs $17,910 with a $2,000 down payment.
Aside from creating an inclusive environment for women+ coders, the Grace Hopper Program also prioritizes financial accessibility, which is why applicants have many ways to pay for their bootcamp experience. These options may include self-pay, employer benefits, government assistance, and personal loans.There’s also the option of signing an income share agreement (ISA), which allows eligible students to defer paying for the program until after graduation.
Fullstack Academy also works with a variety of organizations that offer special scholarships. There are scholarships for the members of LGBTQ+ women awarded by Lesbians Who Tech through the Edie Windsor Scholarship. Students who prefer to pay up front can receive a $1,000 scholarship via the Ada Lovelace Scholarship. Veterans can also apply to the Grace Hopper Program through the Veterans Technology scheme.
Grace Hopper Program Job Outlook
The Grace Hopper Program boasts an impressive outlook for its graduates borne from its effective curriculum. Across its graduates in 2020, the program recorded an 85.3 percent completion rate where over 95 percent were able to bag jobs paying a median salary of $82,500 a year. This salary figure is above par with the average annual pay of $76,882 for entry-level software engineers.
Is the Grace Hopper Program Worth It?
The Grace Hopper Program has welcomed countless underrepresented coding students from various backgrounds. Many of them are taking a chance and following a career path in tech, which is an endeavor that they may not have considered possible.
Among them are Grace Hopper Program alumni Laura Krey and Navya Ramagiri. Laura and Navya came from fashion and HR backgrounds, respectively, looking for a fulfilling career. Little did they know that the Grace Hopper Program is the portal to a promising beginning in tech.
Shifting From Fashion to Coding
Laura is no stranger to the world of tech as she grew up in a household full of computer science graduates and software engineers. But wanting to follow her own career path, she landed jobs in the creative field. She was also highly aware that the tech industry is dominated by men, so this discouraged her even further from trying. Case in point, only 14 percent of software engineers in the tech industry are women.
Fast forward to several years, she met with a friend from the fashion industry who became a software engineer at Google. That’s when the Grace Hopper Program fell into Laura’s radar.
“Grace Hopper was definitely my first pick,” Laura shares, “The fact that it was a program for women+-identifying students…it meant a lot to me personally.”
With her prior knowledge of how bootcamps work, recounting the experiences of her brother and her friend, Laura already has an inkling of how Grace Hopper would be. Laura explains, “I knew that you can’t really have all these distractions going on. [The bootcamp is] your main priority.” But her uncertainty during the program was dispelled as she soon realized that many of her cohort mates also come from unconventional backgrounds.
Laura shared, “At Grace Hopper, no one ever judged a question or was unwilling to stop and help,” and she also said, “If we were in an environment where a male was mixed in our cohort, I felt like the women [would have been] less inclined to ask questions. But when [I was with] the Grace Hopper cohort, we had so many questions and every single one of them was answered.”
After finishing the program, Grace Hopper continued to support Laura as she entered the job market and sat through numerous job interviews. “There’s a lot of anxiety leading to these whiteboarding interviews,” Laura mentioned, “I will give Trent [Rhodes], from the Grace Hopper Program, a big shout-out because he made a big difference on that front. [The Career coaches] can’t do the interview for you, but they definitely help support you in preparing mentally for the interviews.”
Laura is now a software engineer at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
A New Beginning for a Former HR
Navya, a former corporate human resources analyst, shares a similar experience with Laura. Given Navya’s HR background, she was inclined to venture into data analytics. But hearing the positive feedback of a colleague about the Grace Hopper Program nudged her to explore coding further and join the bootcamp.
As she recounted her Grace Hopper days, Navya shared, “[Regarding the] program itself, you come in with a lot of knowledge because you are doing a four-week training before joining. If you do well in that training, then you can move on to the program. So it’s not just everyone starting at different levels.”
When it comes to the unique environment at Grace Hopper, Navya’s sentiments echo Laura’s. “I have been more outspoken because it’s an all-women and non-binary environment,” Navya says, “I think it’s a good learning environment [that doesn’t make] you feel intimidated or stupid [for asking] questions. It really was just a safe environment.”
Being exposed to other cohort mates also empowered her, and she viewed her bootcamp experience as eye-opening. One of her cohort mates was a young mother juggling childcare and her education at the same time. Navya shares, “I was so inspired with the women I’m working and learning with because they can do it all. It was just so refreshing to see that.”
She also added that the deferred payment options for women offered by the Grace Hopper Program proved beneficial to her. They allowed her to take her time to go through her options before committing to a job. This careful process led her to an exciting career as a software engineer for Petal, a startup credit card company.
The Grace Hopper Program established her confidence as she started her new career in tech. Navya has become more vocal in voicing her opinions and presenting her ideas. She has also become a strong advocate for diversity in the office.
Join a Welcoming Coding Community Today
Laura shares that if there is one piece of advice she can give to the incoming Grace Hopper Program students, it’s to commit. “Make a commitment [and] believe in yourself,” she adds, “I think that people are more capable than they realize.”
As for Navya, she says, “Make as many mistakes as possible, and don’t beat yourself up for it.” She recounts that she would write down every mistake she made during the program and search for solutions on Google for hours. By the end of the bootcamp, she compiled a database filled with notes that can come in handy anytime she needs to troubleshoot something.
The Grace Hopper Program is not just a coding bootcamp. It’s a movement advocating for women+ and non-binary people that want to pursue a career as tech professionals and is paving the way for their success. So, if Laura and Navya can create a fulfilling career in tech, so can you.
Get the support you need when you join the Grace Hopper Program. Not sure how to start? You can attend the Grace Hopper Program’s info sessions and have all your questions about the bootcamp answered.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.