About Hack School


Hack School is a quarter-long program that will teach beginners web development in JavaScript. Our goal is to take you from "zero to hero," teaching you modern full-stack web development as you build a real-time chat app. It assumes no prior knowledge, will open-source all of its code, and is adopting diversity as a goal from the start. It will aim to have ~40 students that meet for weekly workshops. Students will leave with full knowledge on how to build real-world applications.

How to apply

Currently there is no strict application to participate in Hack School, but interested students should join by completing the following Sign Up Form. After which you may start attending sessions.

Check out our Schedule

Week 2 (October 5, 2016)

HTML/CSS - The Front End

Week 3 (October 12, 2016)

JavaScript ES6 - The Language of the Web

Week 4 (October 19, 2016)

Node.js and Express - The Back End

Week 5 (October 26, 2016)

MongoDB - Databases, Schemas, and Sessions

Week 6 (November 2, 2016)

Authentication - Integrate Social Media Login

Week 7 (November 9, 2016)

Design - User Interface and Experience

Week 8 (November 16, 2016)

Heroku - Deploy your Web Application

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What qualifications are needed to join Hack School?

None! Previous programming experience would be very helpful though, and any web development background would accelerate your learning. That said, one of our principal goals is to empower students who would not normally have the opportunity to explore web development. We especially encourage you to come out if you have doubts about your qualifications. Impostor Syndrome is real, and we're here to help you fight it.

What's your weekly schedule?

We'll meet every Wednesday from 7-9 PM.

I can't make that schedule, but can I still follow along?

Absolutely! We'll post all materials, including full explanatory blog posts to this website. We also encourage you to come out to other ACM Hack events this quarter, including Hack Nights, Local Hack Day, and Hacker Expo. More details will soon follow on all of them.

Will we be with partners or in teams?

Pairing or teaming up is optional, but highly encouraged. We believe a group size of 2-4 people, with each building their own copy of the app, would work best. If you'd like a team, but don't yet have suitable teammates, we will help you form groups before our 2nd session together (so that you can meet everyone during the 1st session.

What kind of learning atmosphere can I expect?

We will actively maintain a culture of mutual respect and kindness. We encourage listening openly and honestly, assuming good faith, and speaking kindly. Anyone who adversely affects this environment for the people around them will be asked to change for the better or else leave. Harassment of any kind will never be tolerated.

Example of a good interaction:
A: “Hi, I haven’t used JavaScript before. How do I run it?”
B: “No worries, you can just open up Google Chrome, open the developer tools (DevTools for short), then click on the Console tab, and type some JavaScript, followed by pressing the Enter key.”
A: “Great, thank you!”
B: “You’re very welcome!”
A: “Also, FYI, it looks like you’re about to run out of battery on your laptop. If that happens often, I’ve found that Safari is much nicer than Chrome on battery life.”
B: “Whoa, that’s a big help, thank you!”
Persons A and B are helping each other out kindly. This is the culture we want and will actively work to maintain.

Example of a bad interaction (based on an actual one, sadly):
A: “Why are you on Pinterest?”
B: “Oh, I’m finding a gift for my dad, and Pinterest’s design is also an inspiration for some ideas I have for the chat app—”
A: “That’s such a girly interest to have. See, in my spare time, I learn more about circuits and radio designs. What are you doing in EE?”
Person A above would get kicked out of Hack School very quickly (and actually ended up switching out of EE).
Person B ended up doing very well in EE and beyond.

Is diversity a concern?

You bet it is! We have reached out to groups like ACM-W, WATT, SWE, PAQ, NSBE, and SHIP throughout this fall and will continue to do so. Our line-up of teachers and teaching assistants is already more diverse for it, and the leadership of these organizations is encouraging their members to join Hack School. The world of tech is missing out on a lot of wonderful ideas and impact. We want to change that. We welcome your feedback at any time (including now) for how we can do better.

Still have additional questions?

If you have any questions not answered above, please post them on our Facebook group: UCLA ACM Hack School. For any topics that need to be discussed privately, please email Ky-Cuong: kycuonghuynh@ucla.edu