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Cracking the Code to Entrepreneurship


Summer is here, and that can only mean one thing: camp.

But this summer camp has nothing to do with lanyards or kayaking — it’s about code. This summer, Conor Courtney ’20 is attending Horizons School of Technology in San Francisco, Calif. The three-month intensive software engineering boot camp helps students learn to code, build modern web software, and land top jobs and internships. Courtney's attendance at the camp is supported by the Summer Internship Support Fund.

about Conor Courtney ’20

Major: Computer Science

Hometown: Litchfield, Conn.

Litchfield High School

For the first seven weeks, Courtney learned how to navigate the various languages of software development like HTML, CSS, and Javascript. “It’s really challenging and it’s easy to fall behind,” he said. “We have a lecture in the morning and then coding for the rest of the day, sometimes as late as 10 p.m. The most difficult part is definitely the constant grind. But I love the experience of building something and being able to actually see it work. It’s so rewarding to fix a bug and have your project finally work.”

For the rest of the program, Courtney and the other participants split up into teams to work on individual projects. Alongside classes and project work, students are encouraged to look toward their future careers with guest talks from successful entrepreneurs and leaders in the field, including YouTube star Jake Paul.

While the program is fast-paced and intense—Courtney sometimes works up to 12 hours a day — he appreciates the hands-on approach to software development. “The computer science classes for my major are more theoretical,” he said. “In this program, you’re encouraged to use anything and everything you can find, so you have a lot more freedom in what you can do with the code. It’s all about getting exposure to all aspects of the process.

student internship funding

Hamilton offers summer internship funding sources that provide important ways to explore careers. 

more about funded internships

Although Courtney isn’t sure where he plans to take his career in software development, he says that this program opened his eyes to the possibilities of entrepreneurship. “I like the idea of being able to make anything I can think of. I’d like to be at a point by the end of the program where I can think of an idea and immediately work on an app or website that implements that idea.”

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