We’re thankful for GitHub and Palantir

With Thanksgiving nearly upon us, we want to take a moment to thank some people who have been instrumental to making Hacker School a reality.

But first, a brief story.

We opened applications for our fifth batch of Hacker School in the beginning of August. When we announced the batch, Etsy had already generously agreed to sponsor 10 grants for female programmers. We were also in talks with several other companies to provide additional scholarships, and we were confident that they would come through.

But as anyone who’s ever tried to make a business deal knows, nothing is final until it’s final, and things can fall apart at any moment. And that’s exactly what happened. A couple companies wanted to attach strings to their grants, like requiring that students intern for them or otherwise prioritize them after Hacker School. That didn’t fit with the spirit of Hacker School, and so those deals fell through. First one, then another.

By then, we were well into September. We were in the middle of sending out acceptances, and we were all out of grants. We had qualified women who were ready and excited to do Hacker School, but who couldn’t up and leave for New York without financial assistance. The batch was only a few weeks away, and they needed an answer.

Thankfully, that’s when GitHub and Palantir stepped up to provide additional grants. They were responsive, helpful, and most importantly just cared about helping more female programmers do Hacker School.

We want to personally thank Scott Chacon at GitHub and Ari Gesher at Palantir for coming through for us.

Thank you.