Our core values are leading for all of us involved in HackYourFuture: staff, alumni, students, coaches and mentors. They are leading in how we learn and teach and interact with each other.
Our core values help us to reach our immediate goal more efficiently, which is to make sure talented junior developers find a job in the tech sector. However, the contribution of core values goes beyond this mere functional argument.
We believe HackYourFuture is more than an education program. HackYourFuture is a community of creative individuals who can do great things now, and in the future. Yet this is only possible if students, teachers and staff all feel they are part of something bigger than a mere training program.
"At HackYourFuture we are not just a number. We are part of a family. Therefore, we don't want to just receive, but also give", Is what Razvan from Class 9 stated.
Our core values are an attempt to guide you towards behaviours and attitudes that have proven to be appreciated and effective both in- and outside HackYourFuture. Both in work and in life.
HackYourFuture was predicated on the principle of taking control and fate in your own hands. As explained very eloquently by Paul from Class1 :
“It was not only about learning how to code, but it also helped building skills and confidence. I couldn’t have got this far without the support of all people who were part of this course.”
Taking initiative is also in line with the way HackYourFuture was founded. In 2018 we realized a huge demand for talented developers and an influx of talented migrants into Belgium. Instead of complaining about migration or the lack of diversity in the tech sector, we set up HackYourFuture. It is that spirit of entrepreneurship we believe makes up the core of HackYourFuture’s DNA.
Some more examples of a proactive approach include:
- Many students realize 30 hours of studying per week is not enough and take on side-projects to improve their coding skills.
- Many people complain about the lack of representation of women in tech, but only a few try to actively change anything about it. Therefore, we decided to organize a Women’s Coding Taster Class, together with female coaches and students, to motivate woman to join HYF. If you want to help out, please contact us!
- Many students are already working on their CV during the course and apply for junior developer positions.
- Alumni regularly join classes to make new students feel comfortable and help them with their first HYF steps.
Joining HackYourFuture as a student is a big achievement. You probably worked hard on your application assignment to get in. Joining HYF also comes with certain expectations. We expect you to be committed to HackYourFuture, as long as you are a student with us. And you know what? Many of our alumni stay committed even after they've graduated.
What do we expect?
- We expect you to do your homework in time and put in all effort required.It might happen that you are not able to make it to class or finish your homework. If this is an exceptional situation, there is no shame in that. However, there is shame in not communicating. Please communicate ahead of time. A lack of communication (or communicating too late) will lead to you being removed from the HYF program.
- We expect you to respond to the feedback that teachers and other volunteers give you on your homework. If you start the HYF course, this means you are with us for 7 months. You have to finish our program before starting an internship or job.
- Please make sure that if you have a contact person at the Employment offices (Actiris, Forem, VDAB), he/she is aware of HackYourFuture and agrees with your participation and starting an internship afterwards. Some municipalities are concerned about internships and prefer for you to start a job immediately. However, to start with an internship is usually the best way to start your career as a programmer. Therefore it is really important to have a good relationship with your contact person and inform them ahead of time. Please reach out to us if you need any support. We can connect them and send a letter to confirm your participation.
- We expect you to keep us updated about job/internship seeking, so we can celebrate and share with our community when you've found one.
- Part of being committed is also being able to give and receive feedback. We are committed to improving HackYourFuture as much as possible.Therefore, If you see room for any improvements, we are really happy to hear from you!
HackYourFuture is largely dependent on the free time and goodwill of volunteers. As such, contributions by all of us make -or break- HackYourFuture.
There is some overlap with being proactive, the first core value. However, whereas being proactive is mostly about controlling your own fate, to contribute is about the larger community. Do not ask what HackYourFuture can do for you, ask what you can do for HackYourFuture.
This is probably one of the most exciting aspects of HackYourFuture: you can make it into what you want it to be. Do you want to set up a study club with some other coders to take on new challenges? Go ahead (hint: you are not the first). Do you feel we need to improve the curriculum? Suggest some changes via pull-requests. Want more socializing? Join us for drinks (or plans drink yourself! We would love to be invited too!).
- Quite a few students are regularly organising study-group
- Some students of class 2 were meeting on a weekly basis towork on their code and personal projects
- Some of our female students made sure some of their female friends or familymembers attended the women’s coding taster class to increase women participation
- After graduating, many alumni have been assisting our lessons!
- Many volunteers have organised one-on-one or group hangouts during the week,just because they see there is a need for it.
Sometimes the simplest of values are the hardest to uphold. Although working and studying as part of the HackYourFuture program can be stressful at times, it is important to remind ourselves to be kind and respectful to each other.
Kindness and empathy are values that make teams and organizations function well. What does this mean on a daily basis?
- We focus on how we can solve problems, not what the problem is and who caused it (hint: if you are typing git blame you are doing it wrong). We are considerate about each other’s personal situation.
- We formulate feedback in a constructive way, with a focus on practical solutions rather than things we do not enjoy or like.
- HackYourFuture is not a competition. When we see that one of our colleagues is having a hard time, we ask them how they are and if we can help.Some practical examples include:
- Some of our more advanced students support their classmates when they notice them falling behind.
- Coaches (thanks Kevin, Hélène, Stéphane!) spent days privately tutoring students struggling with the learning material.
- Some of our graduates pair up with students to help them with their homework.
- Class 1 and 3 bought our Coaches a thankful gift on the Graduation Day
What's your act of kindness to the HackYourFuture Family? Send a PR if you want to share!
Thank you Class 9/10!
Class 9 & 10 started their learning fully online in May 2020. After 5 weeks, we've done a co-creative session on the HYF core values. The result is this HackYourFuture Manifesto:
"HYF helps you to analize yourself, shows you how to learn self-studying, develop yourself. HYF helps people to discover their talent and guide them to a web developer career. HYF sees refugees as a value to society and as a value to the web development world. You may be talented and skilled as a web developer, but don't forget that first of all you are human and you have to respect others. We are not just a number, we are a community. Be creative. Be Passion. Use your imagination and be passionate about what you are doing. Work hard, make sacrifices. You have to work hard and make sacrifices to see the result in time. Don't give up! Learn, try, get stuck, ask for help, but never give up. 💪"
- Openness. Sharing is caring. Don't retain information if you can also share it.
- Teamwork. Learning together helps to build strong relationship, support, motivate and cooperate within the Team.👍
- Integrity. and being respectful to the community and each other, be responsible and conscious for your actions.
- Inclusivity & Respect for diversity. We are all part of multicultural environment and it is crucial to understand that each of us is unique and a wonderful person, with a different mentality, culture and background.
- Empathy. Being able to understand and share feelings in the other person emotions will make this world better and kinder! ❤️
- Remember, that while you struggling with the task, you are also learning. Every day is a chance for your improvement.
"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -Albert Einstein