February 03, 2015 - by Angie Chang

Welcome Hackbright Alumna Anna Akullian, Junior Instructor For Hackbright Academy's New Part-Time Courses!

From "how to detect female-friendliness in a company" to "do the hardest thing" -- 12 female software engineers shared their advice on learning to code and becoming a software engineer on the Hackbright Academy blog in 2014! Here's the "Best of 2014" roundup :)

Hackbright alumna (class of Fall 2014) Anna Akullian is a Junior Instructor for Hackbright Academy's part-time courses.

Prior to working at Hackbright, she was a teacher, a researcher at Children's Hospital, Oakland, and a Hackrbright engineering fellow. When she's not at Hackbright, you can find her hiking in the Berkeley hills or biking around the city. Find out more about Anna at her website

Anna is currently helping Rachel Walker teach the "Intro to Programming" night course. We ask her a few questions:

What motivated you to be a software engineer?

My motivations are two fold. The first is because I have always enjoyed breaking down complex problems into their constituent parts, thinking about different ways to approach a problem, and being able to constantly learn new things. This lead me to believe software engineering would be something I would enjoy. My second motivation stems from my desire to help solve difficult human problems with technology. Software engineering is a powerful tool that could do a lot of good in the world.

What do you use at your current job that you’ve learned from the fellowship?

Everything I learned from the fellowship is invaluable to my job as a Junior Instructor for the part time classes at Hackbright. I use both the hard skills I learned (Python and Flask for working on side projects and developing curriculum), as well as a general attitude towards programming (how to approach a problem, how to feel positive towards error messages, and how to be resourceful when I get stuck).

How are you using your skills now?

I am using my skills to develop basic python exercises that escalate in difficulty across ten weeks. I also will be explaining code and programming concepts which was something I had to do in peer programming during the fellowship.

What are you interested in working on?

Another part of my job is to work on a full-stack web application and make the process public to my students so that they can learn what goes into creating a software engineering project from start to finish. My project is to create a book tracking app to help kids visualize their reading goals. I am very interested in learning and education, so am excited that my project will support kid’s interest in reading!

What are you hoping to learn?

I am excited to develop my teaching skills and learn how to best convey software engineering concepts to a diverse group of learners. I also am excited to learn some new technologies such as angular while working on the book tracking app.

What is your favorite resource for technical questions?

Stack overflow.

If you could spend a day doing anything, what would you do?

Eating Cheeseboard Pizza, and adventuring in Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

My parents have always told me to do whatever makes me happy. I think thats pretty great advice!


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