Hacker School is now the Recurse Center. Read more.
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Join the best programming community in the world

The Recurse Center is a free, self-directed, educational retreat for people who want to get better at programming, whether they've been coding for three decades or three months.


The Recurse Center is...

  • Self-directed

    We value intrinsic motivation and self-direction, and believe people learn best when they're free to explore their passions and interests.

  • Accessible

    We're free for everyone. We also offer need-based grants for living expenses for people from traditionally underrepresented groups in programming.

  • Stimulating

    We look for smart, friendly, self-directed, and intellectually curious people who enjoy programming and want to get dramatically better.

  • Exceptional

    We have exceptional residents including Peter Norvig, Jessica McKellar, Yaron Minsky, Leigh Honeywell, David Nolen, Peter Seibel, Nada Amin, and more.

  • Thoughtful

    The atmosphere here is friendly and intellectual. We have a gender-balanced environment, and lightweight social rules.

  • Supportive

    We have a tight-knit community of more than 700 alumni from over 25 countries. Our motto is "never graduate."

  • Project-based

    Recursers have made significant contributions to dozens of open source projects and started many of their own.

  • Connected

    We make money by helping great companies hire our alumni. There's no obligation to take a job if you don't want one.

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Current grant sponsors:

  • Etsy w110
  • Juniper networks w110
  • Betaworks w110
  • Fog creek w110
  • Perka w110
  • Stripe w110


Samantha goldstein 75 d2e080bf54d105b62477f7645e729c8839f9133700f20c7d8898ab194f3d1f52 The Recurse Center is full of the most talented engineers I've ever met, and I've never been in a community so dedicated to learning and supporting each other's growth. It is a place that helped me grow immensely as an engineer and as a person and I cannot recommend it enough. I got to connect with people who informed my entire paradigm of programming and I got to write code that was completely out of my scope before RC.
— Samantha, Summer 1, 2015 | New York, NY
Matthew huebert 75 13b665ce759760c31ec4e22546fdd525dab3374d9e3d19ab112abfb9c5804b75 The atmosphere of the Recurse Center is one of playful exploration, deep intellectual challenge, and profound respect for each individual as a person and learner. As a self-taught programmer, I always knew there was a lot of computer science I'd missed, but I had never found a way "in." At RC, surrounded by amazingly friendly and helpful peers, I was able to learn completely new approaches to problem-solving, and work on far more difficult and interesting problems than I had ever tackled on my own. I am incredibly grateful to the team for nurturing a community which is so principled, thoughtful, and effective.
— Matt, Summer 2, 2014 | Berlin, Germany
Elizabeth sander 75 ce7e520f14ab63b43f7e266782893532f4e4516dae316fa1ea2cc87e67fccfbd RC gave me space and just the right amount of structure to dive deep into a major project and learn broadly about topics I'd never have encountered otherwise. Before my batch started, I had only written academic, scientific code, and I didn't feel like I belonged in the programming community. Now, a week and a half out of my batch, I'm more confident in my coding abilities and I've already contributed to open source!
— Liz, Summer 2, 2015 | Chicago, IL
Kamal marhubi 75 a7d713e3a4aa08d8d3476a3d945e214c6dd0eed8c0f3679bf6a692cc811981b9 It's hard to summarize something that had as great an impact on me as the Recurse Center did. So when people ask me how it was, I usually just answer "good!" The more complete truth is that it got me actually doing work on project ideas that have been bouncing around for ages, reminded me that I really do enjoy programming, and gave me a fantastic community of people who do as well. If you even suspect you want to go, just do!
— Kamal, Fall 1, 2015 | Montreal, Canada
Amanda pickering 75 0b65bafaa31cb5ef383dd1ebdc07dde7007985210734633ea07d948421f0cd8a When people ask me to describe RC, all I can think of is a magical programming forest of good smart friendly people learning together – it's sort of unreal in its goodness. I've never felt more comfortable learning and asking questions in any environment, academic or otherwise, and I became a better programmer and person from it.
— Amanda, Winter 1, 2014 | New York, NY