I go on reflecting on the difference between my City College experience and what is happening to me at Hacker School. Seven of Hacker School's twelve weeks are up.
Is Hacker School like graduate school? Well, it is not like a computer science graduate program, because the emphasis is entirely on coding. But it reminds me of an element of my time as a graduate student of East Asian Studies in Seattle: particularly the close relationships that came into being among the students in the rigorous sinology part of the program. We studied together, crammed together, shared notes on how to deal with various faculty, learned how to attend conferences, read each other's work, and sat in on each other's dissertation defenses.
There was not nearly so much closeness among the students of Chinese linguistics proper, perhaps because there were fewer of us and especially there were fewer really serious students among us. But among the sinologists proper there has been a sense of clan-membership that has lasted ever since those days.
That is a basic part of what graduate education ought to be — the establishment of life-long relationships with other people in one's field, as all of them make their peace with the culture of that field.
I have the sensation that that is what is underway at Hacker School, too.