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 600 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


Oskar thoren 75 Go. That's my one word summary of the Recurse Center. If you like programming and problem solving there are few places you could go and learn as much in such a short period of time. Three months of freeform learning with a diverse group of smart and curious people and just the right amount of social pressure to finish projects you start.
— Oskar, Summer 2012 | Stockholm, Sweden
Danielle e sucher 75 Direct quote from an interviewer who looked at my resume shortly after I finished my batch: ‘You’ve done more in the past 3 months than I’ve done in the past 3 YEARS!’
— Danielle, Winter 2012 | Brooklyn, NY
Leah hanson 75 The Recurse Center gave me a lot more confidence in my programming abilities. I wouldn't have even considered proposing a conference talk before attending the Recurse Center, but now I've spoken at LambdaJam, Strange Loop, and Strata this year! I had previously believed that contributing to open source was just too hard for me to do (big unfamiliar code base with no help!), but now I don't hesitate to make pull requests when I find minor bugs in software I use. The most important thing to me about attending is that you become part of this network of supportive, technical people. They connect you to interesting opportunities, help you when you ask, and support you when you're stretching to do something new.
— Leah, Winter 2013 | Baltimore, MD
Alexandre beaulne 75 The Recurse Center was the best educational experience of my life. After pursuing traditional college and grad school, it was a breath of fresh air to find myself in an environment carefully gardened to maximize genuine learning - not GPAs, rankings or career prospects. I could fully focus on my craft, surrounded by terrific classmates and mentors, in a terrific city.
— Alexandre, Winter 2013 | Hong Kong