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Stop waiting: Winter 2013 applications are open

tl;dr: We’ve opened applications for our winter 2013 batch. This will be our sixth batch, and it will run from February 11 to May 2.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, January 1st at 11:59pm ET. We’ll begin sending out invitations for interviews then, and we’ll schedule Skype interviews for the first two weeks of January. We’ll consider applications submitted after the deadline, but your odds will be lower.

Stop waiting

If you’re like me, you read a lot of blog posts about self-improvement: Posts about how you can be more productive, or understand hard concepts, or become a better programmer.

The internet is full of amazing information. In fact, there’s already more technical knowledge freely available online than any single person could possibly learn in a lifetime.

The real answer for how to get better is to sit down and work at it. It takes time, concentration, and effort.

It also requires breaking out of our routines and bad habits. Simply resolving to try harder this year isn’t going to do much in the long-run. Trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.

That’s why we started Hacker School. We wanted to become better programmers, and we knew that meant time, concentration and hard work. And it meant breaking our old bad habits of reading Hacker News and blog posts about how other people were becoming better programmers.

Hacker School isn’t a shortcut. You won’t become exceptional overnight. But the truth is nobody becomes exceptional overnight. And nobody becomes exceptional reading blog posts on maximizing their efficiency. All the shortcuts you read online are really detours; they just run out the clock on your life without getting you any closer to where you want to be.

Doing Hacker School structures your life such that the default expectation is for you to spend the majority of your time programming. That’s it. The group sits in a room together eight hours a day, four days a week for twelve weeks. We check-in with each other about what we’ve built and learned, what we’re doing next, and where we’re stuck. We explain the things we understand to others in the group who don’t yet understand them, and they explain the things they understand to us.

We do this without judgement or snide remarks. We do this because people’s fear of appearing stupid is a serious impediment to becoming better, and the goal of Hacker School is to remove as many obstacles in the way of growth as possible.

Hacker School is not a magic elixir that will automatically make you an exceptional programmer. But it does remove distractions, and give you dedicated time to focus. And apply mild social pressure. And surround you with supportive, friendly people working towards similar goals. And give you direct access to people with more experience and knowledge.

Reading blog posts will no sooner make you a better programmer than reading fitness magazines will give you great abs. If you want to be buff you have to go to the gym. If you want to be a great programmer you have to write code.

Come to Hacker School.

We’ll have more to announce soon, but we wanted to give people as much time as possible to apply. If you have any questions, please check our FAQ. If they’re not answered there, please email admissions@hackerschool.com.