Which Cohort?

In my interview, I was told the soonest available cohort was in June, so I said that would work great. Turns out, though, that there’s a opening for the April cohort. I’ve been trying to talk myself through the pros and cons of starting earlier vs. later, and I’ve discussed with several people. These are my conclusions thus far.



  • My ultimate goal is to be a software engineer, and this means I can start going for that goal earlier!
  • Spending less time doing tasks I’m not particularly excited about at my current company
  • More time doing something I love
  • Less time earning my current (so-so) salary and more time (hopefully) earning a higher salary post-HR
  • I don’t have to wait as long!!! Super excited to join Hack Reactor.


  • Won’t have the full tuition saved up yet so I’ll have to defer or take out a loan
  • May feel less prepared because I’ll have less time for the pre-course curriculum
  • Will feel like I’m leaving my company in a time that I am very useful/integral



  • Will have saved up the full tuition amount
  • More time to transition out of current company and see certain projects to completion
  • Due to above, may have more to put on my resume in terms of accomplishments
  • A lot more time to spend going over the pre-course curriculum multiple times = feeling more prepared at HR!


  • Have to wait longer and drag out tasks at current company
  • Will be programming intensively through the summer (slightly unpleasant due to years of conditioning in school with summer breaks)

Most of my conversations with people have led to my leaning towards April. I’ve emailed asking if a small deferral amount would be possible if i were to do the earlier cohort. I won’t flip a coin, but regardless money is still helping to decide this for me. </cheesy>

  3 comments for “Which Cohort?

  1. Sean
    March 10, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    Congratulations! I hope you make a good decision on which cohort to go for. I am also preparing for getting into Hack Reactor, and studying for technical interview. I’ve found it interesting that you found “Coderbyte ‘totally useless'” for the interview. Do you mean that the questions are more complex and harder than Coderbyte(easy)? Or were you referring to the types of questions? Your statement on Coderbyte has got me quite nervous, since I am heavily focusing on understanding and memorizing algorithm found in Coderbyte questions. Many thanks to your 2 cents, and congratulations again!

    – Sean

    • amira
      March 11, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Hi Sean!
      I was mainly referring to the types of questions. I think the Coderbyte problems were useful in terms of learning what I can do with JavaScript, how to think critically about a problem, and general syntax, but my interview didn’t consist of those types of algorithms/questions. I think in the past, when there were two interviews, the Coderbyte problems were extremely useful for the first interview. Since there is only one technical interview now, they’re not as useful. I’d recommend focusing on making sure you understand JavaScript as a language and understanding the resources that they provide you with (articles on closures, callbacks, etc.) because those were pretty important concepts in the interview. I’d also actually recommend you have someone do a practice interview with you (ideally someone who knows JavaScript fairly well) who can give you a challenge to do that you haven’t seen before, and work with you to do it. I did this, and it was very helpful for me because it forced me to learn how to think out loud (so the interviewer understands how I am thinking) and it helped me figure out when it’s okay to ask questions (i.e. I shouldn’t do it every step of the way) as well as how to phrase my questions when I was stuck, and how to respond to hints.
      Good luck!

      • Sean
        March 12, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        Awesome answer! Thank you so much and congratulations to you! I hope to see you in HR soon!

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