Recurse Center

Why RC

Our Brooklyn hub is open to Recursers! You can attend your retreat at our Brooklyn hub, online, or any combination of the two. Read more on our blog!

Attending RC and being a lifelong member of the RC community has many benefits beyond giving you the time and space to become a better programmer. Here are a few:


A community of thoughtful technical peers. The RC community is full of people dedicated to lifelong learning. If you’re the only programmer in your organization or lab, or if the other people at your job aren’t that interested in programming, coming to RC will give you a great programming community for the rest of your life.

A community of technical women. Being a woman in programming can be lonely, especially if you’re the only technical woman at your job. The RC community has over 850 programmers who are women, trans, and/or non-binary, many with years of professional programming experience. If you’re looking for a community of technical women, you’ll find it at RC.

A community wherever you are. RC is currently operating online and in-person, so you can join our community from wherever you live. Recursers have attended virtual batches from Nigeria, Ecuador, France, Singapore, India, Australia, and elsewhere. And RC alumni live all around the world: there are large RC communities in New York City, San Francisco, London, Berlin, and Montreal, and smaller communities in countless cities and countries. Almost 30% of the RC community is regularly active on Zulip.

Personal growth

Build your volitional muscles. At RC, you do things because you find them intrinsically motivating, not because other people tell you to do them. Get in touch with your inner motivations. Decide what you’re going to do, why you’re going to do it, and then do it. We call this building your volitional muscles, and it will help you build a foundation for lifelong learning.

Work on what you care about. At RC, you get to work on whatever brings you joy and fulfillment, whether that’s cutting edge research, working on something that’s off the beaten path, making art, or exploring ancient computing history. Whether your work is meant to be used by tons of people, or if it’s just for your own enjoyment, you can do it at RC.

Grow your programming ability. RC's environment is designed to help you to get out of your comfort zone, so you can work at the edge of your abilities. You'll do things you’ve never done before, tackle projects that feel too big or too hard, and ask questions you might otherwise be afraid to ask. You’ll be supported by a community of people who are all doing the same thing.

Learn generously. RC is full of all kinds of people with a huge range of interests. Get inspired and energized by the projects other Recursers work on and by all the different things they’ve done with their lives.

A time to reflect. When you come to RC, you temporarily step out of your normal life. This is a great time to figure out what really matters to you, what you’re interested in, and what you want to do next.


Pair program. At RC, you’ll find lots of Recursers to pair with. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn new things, and have fun. Plus with two people working on the same piece of code, you’ll probably end up with fewer bugs.

Give back. RC is a great place to write software that makes other people’s lives better. You’ll have the time and space to do it, and an enthusiastic community to support you.

Play. At RC, you have time to program playfully. Write software for whatever you want, even if it’s just for fun.

Meet experts. If you have a question about programming, there are people in the RC community who can answer it. There are Recursers with expertise in everything from computer controlled 3D knitting to CPU design.

Your first users. If you’re working on an open source programming language, library, or framework, you’ll find your first users in the RC community.

Feedback. The RC community is a great place to get feedback, whether it’s code review, writing review, a test audience for a technical talk, or feedback from your first users.

Stay up to date. Being part of the RC community is a great way to stay up to date on what’s new and interesting in programming. There are always great conversations happening at RC, both in person and online.


Meet people like you. There are over 2,500 people in the RC community of all different interests, ages, races, genders, and backgrounds. You will find people like you at RC.

Great friends. The RC community is made up of wonderful people from all over the world. Pleasantness is one of our admissions criteria. Because so many Recursers are in periods of transition, people at RC are uniquely open to making new connections. If you’re looking for smart, curious friends who share your interests, you’ll find them at RC.

Meet collaborators. If you’re an artist, researcher, open source contributor, or planning to start a company in the future, finding collaborators can be hard. With so many people to meet in your batch, and even more in the RC community, RC is a great place to find people to work with who care about the same things you do.

Your career

A professional network. No matter where you are in your career, you’ll be able to get valuable support from members of the RC community. When you’re looking for a job, Recursers will be there to give advice, answer your questions, advocate for you inside their companies, and provide emotional support when you need it.

Help finding a new job. RC has a built-in recruiting agency. Whether you’re looking for a job right after your batch or five years down the line, RC can help. RC’s career services never cost you anything, and include résumé review, referring you to jobs at our 50+ partner companies, and helping you navigate the interview process from application to offer.

Get the most out of your current job. If you’re struggling with a tumultuous work environment or a frustrating colleague, RC’s career services department can help you through it. We’ve been helping Recursers solve work problems for over 12 years.

Mock interviews. When you’re ready to look for a new job, you can sign up for mock interviews. RC alumni with interviewing experience volunteer their time to give you practice interviews and feedback in a friendly, low stress setting.


A space without distractions. RC is set up to make it easier for you to tune out the world and focus on programming. Conversations about politics, racism, and sexism, are kept outside of RC and are opt-in only.

A serendipitous shared space. Our Brooklyn hub is designed to support your growth and learning as a programmer. You can pair, host study groups, work on hardware projects, make art with computers, tinker in our Vintage Computer Lab, and share lunch and coffee chats with your fellow Recursers.

RC is wherever you are. You have the option to do a batch from anywhere in the world, and to remain involved as an alum after your retreat ends. Community is more important than ever, and you'll find a supportive, vibrant online community at RC.


Free. RC is entirely free to attend. There are no obligations or strings attached.

A physical space in downtown Brooklyn; an online space accessible from anywhere. RC's physical space is located in downtown Brooklyn, walking distance from nearly every subway line and many bus routes. The RC space is ADA-accessible. After an online orientation you'll be welcome to drop in at any time during your batch, whether it's for one day or every day. Our online spaces are open 24/7, so you can still join a batch from anywhere in the world.

Family friendly. If you’re a parent or guardian of a child, RC can support you. We have a set of family-friendly policies and our physical space has a wellness room that you can use for lactation and nursing.

Legitimacy and credentials

RC intentionally doesn’t grant degrees or certificates. This is because it’s important that you come to RC primarily because you want to grow as a programmer, not for external validation or a credential to put on a résumé. With that said, there are real benefits you get from being affiliated with RC.

An excuse to focus on yourself. If you told your friends and family that you were going to leave your job for three months to sit at home and write software alone, you might raise a few eyebrows. RC gives you an excuse to direct your own learning without having to deal with annoying questions from people closest to you.

RC on your résumé. If you’re new to the software industry, or want to upgrade to a more interesting job with better pay, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Recursers have a reputation for being able to take initiative, work independently, and direct themselves. We’ve heard from many companies that they decided to interview someone because that person attended RC.