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Actualize

Chicago, Online

Actualize

Avg Rating:4.91 ( 362 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, CSS, Git, HTML, JavaScript, Rails, 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
  • Graduate
    - 7/22/2021
    Brandy  User Photo
    Brandy • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I have zero regrets. NONE. 
    Here's a little background on me - 40 year old student, with essentially no tech experience prior to taking this class, diverse career experiences completely unrelated to tech. Around February of 2020, I started paying closer attention to my internal voice pulling me toward tech. So, I did the wise thing...I turned to YouTube. My heart began to thump in my chest and an excitement I hadn't felt for a long time began to rise up as my eyes opened to possibilities.  I bought a $18 online course for SQL. Something not too intimidating. I liked it. I attended a virtual conference, connected with folks on LinkedIn, bought another online course that cost a bit more, python.  It was then that I realized as a complete newbie, who barely even knew the lingo associated with tech, was fumbling through GitHub etc. I needed a Bootcamp, I needed peers. And here is where Actualize comes in.

    Actualize provided  structure, direction (cause I could sense myself teetering on the edge of a rabbit hole), accountability and very importantly, I wanted to talk to my instructor & classmates in real time, like see their faces. For me I needed feedback immediately as I learned these complex problems. Kevin, the pre-work instructor, provided feedback and eased the transition into the intense live-teaching portion of the program. Peter, my instructor, was funny, smart, super encouraging. Megan & Sarah, the T.A.'s were patient, supportive and helpful.  Lisa & Sarah, the career specialists are with us during the entire job hunting process until we land that job and after! The team at Actualize truly have our backs. I feel it. 

    Actualize equipped me with the tools, resources and community I needed.

    So, I mentioned my age earlier because I want the person reading this to understand that you can do this!  Don't let doubt and fear creep in.  Don't talk yourself out of it.

    Actualize, thanks a bunch!
  • Macy  User Photo
    Macy • Student Verified via GitHub
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     Amazing learning experience! Was able to start out as a newbie coder and create my own app towards the end. 
     
    Everyone was encouraging from start to finish. More experienced members with code were SO SUPPORTIVE and didn’t make me feel like less because of my lack of experience.  In fact, we all laughed at our struggles. 
     
    Will always look back fondly at my time here. (: 
  • Vinny  User Photo
    Vinny • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I have been working in creative fields for roughly fifteen years. After my last position, which exposed me to scripting in 3ds Max and in Cygwin, I felt that I had finally reached a terminal career point. I could have gotten comfortable and settled-in, possibly for life, but I wanted more challenge, so I made the decision to switch careers to coding.

    After researching multiple bootcamps, their curriculums and poring over reviews of instructors, I made the decision to go with Actualize. A strong draw for me was not necessarily the technologies covered, but how well the instructors were reviewed and how well the information is presented. 

    Ruby/Rails, Javascript, SQL, Bootstrap and Vue.js are definitely solid technologies to know, and are very accessible, but they are not necessarily the current meta for "what's hot." The mission of Actualize, to not necessarily teach students whatever languages and frameworks are the current fad, but rather teach the frameworks for self-learning that will empower students to switch to any other language or framework, allows me to not only appreciate what I have learned in my short time in the class, but also appreciate what I am about to start learning on my own, and at a future employer.
  • Mathias S.  User Photo
    Mathias S. • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I went in to this bootcamp with virtually no coding experience and by the end I had made a web application from the ground up and presented it to a panel. Very pleased with how much I learned here and the support I received from the instructor and TAs. 

    The job hacking portion of the class was a major help to me. I would not have been able to advertise myself this well to employers without it.

    I look forward to my new brighter future as well as seeing where my fellow classmates end up. The community of our class was fun and always willing to lend a hand.
  • Ryan  User Photo
    Ryan • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Actualize delivered on everything that I expected going into the bootcamp. The curriculum was very effective in giving me a solid foundation of skills and concepts. But most importantly I feel empowered to go out and learn any language or skill that I feel passionate about or interested in. Dani was a great instructor and provided the right balance of guidance and instruction paired with the opportunity to solve problems and tackle challenges on our own using the skills we learned.
  • 10/10 experience
    - 7/16/2021
    Ian  User Photo
    Ian • Student Verified via GitHub
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    I just finished the Day section of Actualize coding bootcamp with Dani as my instructor. Prior to joining Actualize I worked in education, and then in media. 

    I decided it was time for a career change, and to really do something beneficial to myself and my future. In High School I had taken some basic coding courses in C++/HTML/CSS, and tried to pursue Computer Science in college. However, I was not great at the math and science that a 4 year CS degree includes, and so I switched majors to education. 

    Fast forward many years to 2020, I had been working as (and still do) a video editor. While I enjoy the work, I really wanted a career with some consistency and staying power. I told myself, and some friends, that I was going to join a coding bootcamp. I did my research, I built out an Excel spreadsheet with all the bootcamps I was considering, and I landed on Actualize.

    I chose Actualize 1) because of the flexibility in the schedule, a day or a night section, and the day section allowed me to continue working in the mornings and 2) because of their mission statement regarding hiring educators first and coding second. Coming from an education background I understood the importance of having an instructor that could really teach the material in an effective way.

    I'm so glad I chose Actualize. I feel like I had a great experience all around, and learned so much information in such a short amount of time (and was able to retain all of it!). The career support once a week built into the curriculum was also helpful in getting me to start thinking about what my life would be like when the bootcamp ended, and I feel very prepared to continue on in my journey into the tech world. I'll never stop learning, and I'll always keep working on new and interesting ideas.
  • Jeff S.  User Photo
    Jeff S. • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    tldr; sign up for Actualize, they are absolutely everything they claim to be. You will graduate with a solid foundation to start your career in development!

    I've taken pride at being self-taught at many things. But I struggled to teach myself programming beyond a basic level for quite a while. I spent more time trying to decide which language to learn than on just picking one (spoiler alert: it doesn't matter, just pick one and move on!). I'd skip over the fundamentals just to hack together code on a deadline for small parts of my job without understanding what I was doing at all. But the program at Actualize was completely worthwhile and feel like it has prepared me for a life of learning in Web Development.

    Actualize started with the fundamentals without ever feeling simplistic. The pre-work was engaging and well structured. The live instruction was phenomenal and was a great balance of technical instruction, career coaching, habit forming and developing strong problem solving skills. It moved at a great pace and jumped between instruction and exercises but constantly pushed (forced?) me to keep learning, something that is hard to maintain on your own. The curriculum was well rounded and the group work was a great way to practice collaborative project-based coding. The capstone project was where everything we were taught came together and I was astounded at how much I had actually learned and was able to pull off. It also taught me how to focus under pressure, search out resources, pick my priorities and work up against a hard development deadline.

    I was hesitant to pay for a coding bootcamp and thought "I can just teach myself with some online courses". But the reality is there's no way I could have learned this much material and covered such a broad array of coding and computer science concepts in any coherent way on my own. Not to mention you have little to no support when going the self-teaching route. But at Actualize during exercises I received help on things that could have taken me hours or days to figure out on my own - leaving time to reinforce the skills I was building while still exploring more advanced concepts. The deadlines and group projects were very effective at cementing my knowledge and forcing me to learn and think on the fly.

    Overall a phenomenal experience and I would highly recommend you sign up right now or visit one of their classes to see what its like for yourself. But save some time, quit debating and just sign up for Actualize. There will be plenty of time for self teaching after you graduate but at least you'll be able to start off on a solid foundation with a network of resources to take with you, and that's a huge advantage.
  • John  User Photo
    John • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Realized halfway through that the founder's partner was the admissions coordinator who helped me sign up, My instructor was actually also the dean, and I was lucky enough to present my code to the founder for my final. Instructors were available for advice well past class class time, with the aforementioned dean pulling very late nights to be ready for finals week. TA's and pre-work instructors were incredibly helpful and friendly. I took the whole class online and hope to meet up with classmates and Instructors soon.
  • Excellent Program
    - 7/16/2021
    Josh  User Photo
    Josh • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    The number one reason I picked Actualize was because of what I had heard about their career support. I am writing this review on my last day of class and I already have a job, but even if I didn't, the career support is phenomenal and continues long after graduation.

    Our instructor, Peter, was great. Before I started this class, I had never written a line of code in my life, but I now feel prepared to enter the profession.
  • Great Program!
    - 7/16/2021
    Randy R  User Photo
    Randy R • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    If you are looking to start your career in Web Development (Full Stack) this is a great school to learn from! I had Peter Jang as an instructor and he was great! Lisa the Career development instructor was super SUPER beneficial. Everyone at Actualize was very knowledgable and patient with me. I also really appreciated the online part-time course because it was Live on camera where you can actually speak to the instructor and ask questions. 

    Definitely recommend. 
  • Mark Francisco  User Photo
    Mark Francisco • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    When i was a prospective student looking coding bootcamps, reading the reviews was a big help in the decision-making process. I just completed the Actualize program recently, so here are some thoughts and opinions based on my own experience:

    Pros:
    -i feel that the teachers, TAs, and career advisors have been really supportive. it's easy to get in touch with someone if you have questions. the cohorts are smaller and the career support team works with you to understand your personalized goals. My class was 14 students from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. The lectures are held live and recorded in case you need to reference back to something later.
    -our instructor did a really good job of creating an engaging and fun classroom environment. it made it easy to get to know the other people in the class. there's a lot of group collaboration and pair programming. of course the bootcamp was a grind at times, but going to class was always something i looked forward to.
    -the online daytime class is 5 hours/day M-F with a few breaks. this is less classroom time than some other bootcamps. This ended up being a plus for me, since it helped me avoid the sense of burnout that can come with being in a classroom environment all day. I liked having the live class time, taking a break, then reinforcing concepts and diving into the homework at night.
    -Ruby on Rails and Vue were good languages to learn and be introduced to first.

    Cons:
    -expensive. there are for sure cheaper ways you could go about learning web development fundamentals. For me personally though, the structure and the support of a group learning environment was really valuable and really helped me build on my skills.
    -fast-paced: it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes to understand all the concepts coming at you rapid fire. i'd recommend you try to dive into some basic programming concepts if you can before you start the program.
    -just know that you're not going to learn everything you need to know in the 12 weeks. you're going to have to keep learning and building on the foundation of knowledge that you gain in the class.


    TLDR: recent student. would recommend. 5 ruby gems / 5.
  • Lil  User Photo
    Lil • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Short version:  Balanced, well-paced curriculum with a HUGE focus on supporting students on their learning path AND beyond. 

    If you're looking to learn programming languages remotely and aren't sure if you'd be missing out on some part of the in class experience, Actualize has figured it out. They had zoom classes pre-pandemic and it really shows,  it doesn't feel like a rushed transfer from in-person learning like some classes might. The classes are small (mine had 14 students for 1 instructor and 2 TAs), the exercises make use of the online component of the class (you are learning a computing language after all), and you will leave feeling a real comradery with a new community.

    I have friends who went through other classes at the same time as I did and while they had problems feeling like they were lost in the sea of new material, Actualize never made me feel overwhelmed.  You do learn A LOT, but its not just thrown at you.  Our instructors and career supervisors were overwhelming supportive and provide plenty of tools to help students along their path. The class is 5 hours (with an hour of breaks throughout) and THERE IS homework but not so much as to eat up all your time. I can only speak for myself but most assignments took about 20-30 minutes to complete. Its well paced, with plenty of time to grasp the new subjects-- to the point I'm shocked at how much I actually learned.

    The main reason I joined a bootcamp was that I kept getting stuck, bored, or frustrated with learning independently and I wanted to speak to an actual human person about it. Instead, I got to talk to qualified instructors AND a dozen new friends going through the same experience.  My class was about half women, including the teacher (something I was worried going in as a lady-in-tech) but obviously that will depend on the year. But the social aspect was everything it could be in a class, and that was a delight.

    I wholeheartedly recommend Actualize!

Thanks!