Two Interviews Down
Well, that was pretty tough.
I worked like a maniac trying to prepare for the second interview, but I seriously underestimated the difficulty of getting into HackReactor.
The interviewer was nice, but after struggling through some problems for an hour, it was clear that I wasn't yet where they needed me to be on a technical level. I've read blog posts about the application process, but my interview was much more difficult than expected. The technical component of the HackReactor interview seems to be getting tougher, which seems to be a trend among coding bootcamps lately.
Again, I will not reveal any specifics in order to keep others from trying to game the technical interview, but it went far beyond the tutorials and coding puzzles I had been working on. I will only say that I am now studying functional programming and recursion, as well as building a functional app in Meteor to prepare for another interview at a later date.
I'm now trying to see if I can learn what is required in time to enter the January batch, although the bar for entry at HackReactor is intimidatingly high at this point.
I'm currently going for it, since I'd really love to start in January, rather than a few months later. That said, waiting a few months probably wouldn't be the end of the world. As my interviewer said, "It's a lot of money and we want to make sure that you're in a position to get the most out of it. The pace is really brutal and if you aren't prepared, you're going to be miserable."