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Actualize

Chicago, New York City, Online, San Francisco

Actualize

Avg Rating:4.88 ( 253 reviews )

Actualize is a 12-week software development bootcamp in Chicago and online throughout the US, offering both part-time and full-time options. Instructors with professional educational experience teach students full stack web development including Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, VueJS, SQL, and Git. Both the in-person and online programs use the same immersive, instruction-driven curriculum, with the Online Live classes conducted in real time with video conferencing. Actualize has a deeply integrated “Job Hacking” curriculum focused on the personal branding and networking skills necessary to land a new job, which Actualize feels is just as important as learning to code.

After the 12-week program, students have the option to join its unique Career Support program, which has contains additional training for Job Hacking, a job accountability group, and team projects to add to one’s portfolio.

To apply, students can submit an application via the website, then go through a series of two interviews with an admissions advisor. There are no coding challenges, but students must complete 4 weeks of prework before the program starts.

The daytime course takes place Mondays through Fridays, while the part-time course takes place on Sundays and weeknights, designed to allow the working person to attend a coding bootcamp while still working a daytime job.

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  • Web Development

    Apply
    AngularJS, HTML, Git, JavaScript, Rails, CSS, Ruby, SQL
    In PersonPart Time16 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$13,900
    Class size15
    LocationChicago, Online
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Tuition PlansAsk for details about payment plans.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBeginner
    Prep WorkSome introductory work given several weeks in advance of the start of the program.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes

1 Scholarship

  • $500 Actualize Scholarship

    Course Report is excited to offer an exclusive Actualize scholarship for $500 off tuition!

    Eligibility

    No eligibility restrictions.

    Qualifying Courses

    • Web Development (Online)
  • Luke  User Photo
    Luke • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    First off, some context: I graduated from college in 2015 and I had known that I wanted to transition into a tech career from business/marketing for about four years prior to enrolling in Actualize's online program. Actualize was a school I applied to among several others when I was looking at potential bootcamp options in January of 2020. I'll link that list here, if you want to view it: https://www.coursereport.com/best-coding-bootcamps

    Now, what made me choose Actualize was a few things.

    Staff of Educators

    First off, something that had stuck out to me was that during my first call with them, it was stressed to me that their staff are unique in that they are not only experts at coding, but also skilled at teaching the concepts and educating students. This emphasis on the staff being educators wasn't something I was hearing from other bootcamps, but this was a big differentiator.

    Sometimes in school, I've taken a class where the professor was really good at the subject but couldn't communicate it to others who didn't know how to do it; if you've ever been in that situation, that was what I was avoiding and I can confirm that Actualize's staff are very good at breaking down complicated concepts through their material and course.

    Course Structure (Online)
    The second reason I chose Actualize was their course's structure; in January, I was informed that because I was based in Dallas, I would have to take the class online (unless I moved to Chicago). Originally, I was really dead-set on taking a class in person, but by the time March 2020 rolled around...everything was closing anyway because of the pandemic. Still, I couldn't shake my instincts; even before the pandemic, Actualize was such a strong choice for me and my only hesitation was the online structure.

    In response, Actualize was very transparent in answering all of my questions beforehand; I was able to join in-class to observe an online lecture and talk to the instructor for that lesson afterwards and get any questions answered. This transparency and ability to sit-in and see how the online class went made me more comfortable with the idea of going online, though the pandemic completely wiping out my chances of doing in-person anywhere also played a role in my decision. I understand this is a unique case, but I will vouch for Actualize's online and say that in my experience, they had proven their ability to deliver the material online just as effectively as they would in person.

    Career Resources
    Additionally, I was able to talk to their career advisor in two different calls where she helped me by letting me know how the class worked and emphasizing Actualize's career focus - which, after taking the class, I actually found to be better than anything in my 4-year university's offerings. Another thing I want to say is that none of these resources just "go away" after you graduate. Applying for jobs happens way earlier in the course, too, and every week the course has a built-in career aid to assist you in being in the mindset of getting hired. There's a real-world value in the course offering this that I wasn't seeing from other schools.

    If you take Actualize, you'll have 5 weeks of pre-work to get you ready with programming basics, 12 weeks of class (mine was 11am-4pm everyday with a few hours of homework), and a post-graduate structure built around student success (including coding sessions to help students continue to build their portfolio out).

    After taking the course, I can say that my experience was pretty good, especially in respect to the "educator" edge that Actualize informed me of; my cohort had a lead instructor and 3 TA's, with office hours after class every Tuesday and Thursday; sometimes, TA's would stay in office hours longer to help students figure things out. I'd say another plus, Actualize makes an effort to get each cohort a better experience than the one before it, so keep that in mind, too - they shift with the times. After every cohort graduates, Actualize asks what can be done to make the course better: I weighed in with that, too, so if you're reading this way after 2020...just know that they've likely just continued to refine their course for students.

    Who Would I Recommend Actualize To?

    My Actualize cohort had about 14 students in it and was fully online. I'd recommend Actualize to anyone in Chicago who'd be able to take the course in person (once it's available again). If you need to go online, Actualize is a very strong contender to go with - especially because their staff have that educator approach that is a necessity for learning, especially one in the online setting.

    Before starting my course at Actualize, I had worked with HTML, CSS, Wordpress, and JS. If you have any kind of background in coding, this course is a great way to build those skills out and learn the bigger world these languages live in. If you don't, it's okay, but I will say it's like anything...the more experience you have doing something, the less of a shell-shock it will be. Nonstop learning/Googling your answers is your friend, being a developer is just knowing you won't know everything and not minding that, it's just constant and continuous growth. That's part of the "growth mindset" that Actualize really wants you to get into. If you're comfortable with this and know that tech is where you want to be, this course is for you.

    On Jobs

    • You'll use and learn Github in this course. Computer science majors are not learning this in universities, but this is a required skill for working anywhere as a developer. 
    • This course is less computer science theory, more "doing" the code - it's all repetition, but conceptual understanding is actually really heavily hit on, too. 
    • There's a "2 week lag" where you may not 100% understand new material until about 2 weeks after, as you catch up to everything. 
    • You'll build/present a capstone app by the end of the course (needs to have a database, backend, and frontend). It's really cool to pull all of what you do together. 
    • There is technical interview prep sessions in this course - if you want to start preparing right now, go onto Hackerrank.com and make an account, technical interviewers pull their questions from it. 
    • There's a whole world of jobs out there: backend, frontend, full-stack, UI/UX design, these skills you'll learn will make you worth the interviewing, but be really aggressive applying for jobs anyway. Focus on that portfolio. 
    • Nothing should be taken for granted. A job can't be guaranteed, but hey, employment can't be guaranteed after you find a job, either, it's just part of the game. What I will say is, this course is a great place to go to get in the right mindset for chasing your tech dreams - and there's people who change careers for this field without doing a bootcamp like this, so just look at this as a really great resource because that's what it is. 
    • Your Linkedin account will help you out a lot, their career support is there to help you. There's a very extensive career support program that is a part of the course, again - it is so much more extensive than what my 4-year college had. That, in combination with the coding/Github practice, it really good. 




  • Carl  User Photo
    Carl • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    A former co-worker told me about Actualize, and because it's in Chicago, I was super excited to take an in-person class... until COVID hit, of course. With only the online option remaining, I was admittedly pretty hesitant about the prospect of taking an online course for weeks on end, and that's because of how much I value the communal feel of a brick-and-mortar classroom experience. But Actualize immediately wiped that apprehension away.

    The five weeks of self-guided pre-work (focused on Ruby) were thoughtfully and effectively scaffolded, and the live instruction that followed took that torch and ran with it. Our fearless instructor, Dani, was terrific: highly knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and humorous. And she did what all great teachers do: She let us make our own mistakes and learn from them. And then (after a brief, playful scolding), she'd guide us toward a better way of solving whatever problem we were trying to solve.

    With Actualize, much like with any kind of intensive learning experience, you get out of it what you put into it. And from the beginning of the live coursework, Actualize provides a bunch of "deep dive" exercises (in addition to "regular" homework) that offer students the opportunity to put in that additional time and effort and get introduced to new concepts.

    As an Actualize student, you won't become a master in every relevant, cutting-edge tool or concept, because that's impossible in 17 weeks. But you'll learn how to learn, and you'll become confident about your ability to pick up new languages and frameworks. In the software engineering world, that seems like an awfully important lesson, and one which Actualize has succeeded in imparting (with flying colors).
  • Steven Chen  User Photo
    Steven Chen • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I needed to choose a coding bootcamp so that I can receive help on the basics of coding and develop projects while under the bootcamps supervision. I needed a guiding hand to point me into the right direction for my career. I choose Actualize not only so that I can acquire coding skills, but to also help me with getting a job within the industry. Actualize helped both improve my coding skills and gave me tips in the right direction of how to acquire a coding job. They also helped me with getting pass some of my issues and habits that I have been struggling with when looking for a job. For anyone who is unsure of themselves and need a hand in the right direction for their coding careers, Actualize is a great starting point to get pass the fears of job searching and wall of seemingly high learning curve.
  • Ernesto  User Photo
    Ernesto • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I enrolled in this bootcamp after I went to observe a class. That was the first thing that stood out to me about this program. The fact that they were unafraid to welcome you in to observe their classroom was unique during my bootcamp search. I was impressed by the passion, knowledge, and patience of the instructor Peter and when I heard that he was teaching the next cohort, I made sure to sign up. I was not disappointed because he expressed the same level of energy and interest in my cohort as he did in the previous one I went to observe. The full-stack approach to web development is evident in their curriculum and they teach you the fundamentals to go on and explore other tech stacks and feel confident about going forward into the job-hacking portion of the bootcamp. I loved the career counselor Lisa's great job-hacking tips that she shared with us on Sundays and I'm excited for this next phase of the program that will dedicate 100% focus to landing a job and further building your portfolio with group projects. They stick with you throughout and that's important, especially if you are new to the tech field or looking to level up! 
  • CEO
    - 5/22/2020
    Nate Bierdeman  User Photo
    Nate Bierdeman • CEO • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    This was an incredible experience! I highly recommend it to anyone looking to switch careers, or learn the specific technology stack offered in the course. My instructor was engaging, personable, helpful, and very knowledgable of the subject matter - a true educator through and through! A lot of thought went into how to structure the course, which is evident not only in the curriculum itself, but in the post-graduation career support as well. As demanding as it was to work full time and take this course, I found myself looking forward to the next class every day!
  • Just Do It!
    - 5/22/2020
    Travell  User Photo
    Travell • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    If you are serious about learning how to code and/or becoming a software engineer/developer I highly recommend taking the plunge and joining this bootcamp. The curriculum emphasizes learning 'how to learn' new technologies and languages instead of focusing on what is most popular. You will also do a lot of test-driven development and pair programming throughout (I will also include that you won't realize how much of it you've done until the end). Peter and our TAs were not only accessible and caring but also smart AF. They're really good at identifying the goals, gaps, and opportunities within each individual. In addition, they're really good at building a super diverse, inclusive community of people you will be learning alongside. I can't emphasize enough how dope this bootcamp was for me. 
  • Scott G.  User Photo
    Scott G. • Sales • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I had such an amazing experience at Actualize! My bootcamp was during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and their response to it was very impressive - we did not skip a beat! My professor, Peter, and all of the TAs were so helpful with every topic. I definitely recommend Actualize to anyone!
  • Eden   User Photo
    Eden • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    A friend of mine recommended Actualize coding bootcamp because I had mentioned that I was interested in learning how to code and he had previously taken the course. I had no prior experience with coding, so I was really nervous about the class and wasn't sure what to expect. I was very happy with my experience! Peter, my instructor, was very knowledgeable, approachable, and encouraging to all of the students and was a great teacher! It was a fast paced course, but he was very good at breaking down and explaining problems and helping students gain a firm grasp on the fundamentals and how to apply them to your code. Not only did I get this great learning experience, but they also help you with career training and make sure you are prepared when you leave the bootcamp. I would definitely recommend for anyone, whether you have next to no knowledge about coding or if you want to have a deeper understanding. I'm took the plunge and decided to join my Actualize cohort! 
  • Dan Clair  User Photo
    Dan Clair • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I chose Actualize based on the recommendation of a colleague. I was wanting to do one for well over a year, but was hesitant for various reasons. Once I was pushed into it due to a job layoff, I took to it really quickly. It is hard to quantify just how much information is pushed into your brain in a short time, but the curriculum is great. The instructors are all about reinforcing what you're learning, while also reminding you that you don't need to be an expert right away. Everyone is always learning, and they don't shame you if you're not "performing" to a certain standard, since everyone's journey is different. They also aren't afraid to be human and not put so much pressure on benchmarks of performance. Overall would highly recommend.
  • Moreno Biage  User Photo
    Moreno Biage • Junior Web Developer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    After extensive research on many schools,  the Actualize Coding Bootcamp stood out as the best option. Initially, their online program has the best schedule for you available to keep work and still put up time to dedicate appropriately to your new journey. Having 100% or the classes online is a differential that matters and helps you keep up and steady progress on your learning curve. One of the most important things to look out for a course is the teacher. And Brian is one of the best ones for sure. I am glad to have such a high-level teacher and friendly style as my teacher. I pushed to get all the work available done, but there are so much available to do an extra class that I couldn't keep the pace. That is definitely a pro for the program. At some weeks, I wish they could have gone more in-depth and pushed a bit more. The learning shouldn't rely on the school but on yourself. With that in mind, I did a lot of work on the side, and that pays off and helping me to feel confident about the next steps. Overall I definitely recommend the school, and just at some points, I do wish to have more content. 
  • Yossi  User Photo
    Yossi • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I can't yet tell what the ultimate outcome will be career wise, as I just finished the course, but the journey has been amazing.  The instructors and TAs from pre work and on were fantastic.  Brian Rice, the evening online instructor is  an expert teacher and coder.  Education is the name of the game.  It's not as much about what languages you're taught, but how you're taught them.  The goal is to empower you to feel like you have thew ability to pick up any language, learn it, and use it.  It's easier said than done, but it is doable.  The commitment is grueling, yet satisfying.  As a full time worker and father, the schedule is difficult.  It was extremely hard to find any time outside of class to practice.  That's ok, but I do feel that the you'll get the absolute most out of the experience with some extra time outside of class.  Just something to keep in mind.  I highly recommend Actualize.
  • Great class!
    - 5/21/2020
    Nikki  User Photo
    Nikki • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I chose Actualize because of the ability to do the course online, while also still having a structured classroom schedule/setup. I knew doing an "at your own pace" class was not going to be good for me, so Actualize was a fantastic option. It was definitely immersive and interactive. I was hesitant at first to be on camera throughout, but I think it actually helped me bond with the other students and become more comfortable to ask questions (of the teacher and of others). The instructors and the TA's were all very knowledgable and approachable. I would highly recommend this course to either someone looking for a career change and has the time and passion for this type of bootcamp, or someone like myself who is still working full time, can log on in the evenings to attend, and is dedicated to learning!

Thanks!