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Actualize

Chicago, Online

Actualize

Avg Rating:4.9 ( 325 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
  • I <3 Actualize
    - 4/3/2021
    David Calhoun  User Photo
    David Calhoun • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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      I chose Actualize after reviewing many different bootcamps. Actualize enticed me most because they have had a remote program for years and the programs weren't 9-5pm, like most bootcamps. As someone who had little programming experience I knew I didn't want to spend all day in class and all evening reviewing the material I learned. 
      I attended Actualize's day time cohort which was Monday-Friday 9am-2pm pst. The pace of learning was quick. In class it switches from lecture to an exercise where you apply what you just learned. After class you have homework that you again apply what you learned that day. Homework ranged from 1-2 hours. Monday and Thursday Actualize has after hours where you can ask the TA questions about coursework.  
      Dani, my lead instructor, emphasized a growth mindset during the program. Adult learning can be challenging but remembering you CAN do it by thinking in a growth mindset is everything. Dani is such an incredible instructor and I am thankful for her during this process. She shows up everyday with an uplifting energy that helps you stay engaged and motivated. 
      The experience was more stressful than I thought it would be for me. There is so much to learn in the duration of the course I felt overwhelmed at times. So for those of you thinking of attending a bootcamp consider how you will handle stress and continue moving forward in your learning. For me this meant exercising more often, mindful meditation, and talking with my partner about my stress. With that being said I felt supported by Dani, the TA's, and the career advisor's. Everyone was there to help me succeed and there to talk to if I needed. I would 100% say Actualize cares about you as a human, not just another student that passes through their program. 
      The amount of resources you are provided with is incredible. You have access to all lectures, cheat sheets, and instructors indefinitely. Actualize does a fabulous job at setting you up for the job search. Job Hacking as they call it. I feel super prepared with my materials as I'm currently applying to jobs. 
      Upon finishing the program I feel confident in my skills as a developer. I have learned so much over the past months and it feels amazing to have these skills. I am making a career transition into tech from being a professional dancer. For those coming from an art background I encourage you to attend Actualize. It truly is an amazing program.
  • Christopher Rezac  User Photo
    Christopher Rezac • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Actualize was by far the most in depth learning experience that I have ever had. I went into Actualize with zero coding experience and I am graduating knowing how to create a website (frontend and backend). I feel very comfortable entering the job market and am just thrilled to start my career in tech.

    My instructor, Dani Zaghian was brilliant. She has an incredible understanding of everything she teaches and was very open to going over things again if someone didn't understand it at first. The TA's, Winston, James, and Katrina were also instrumental in helping me grasp the concepts and syntax being taught in the class. My cohort of 12 were all friendly people and I loved seeing their final Capstone projects after getting to know them throughout the whole process.

    I typically don't write reviews, but Actualize really was the best learning experience I have ever had and I wanted to encourage others to look more into it.
  • Nix Genco-Kamin  User Photo
    Nix Genco-Kamin • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I am incredibly grateful to Actualize, and my life has definitely been changed for the better. I went from various small side projects with no real direction to feeling like I understand my life path, with newfound confidence that I can work on larger projects and succeed as a developer. I have a strong sense of backend development, and arguably more importantly was taught how to effectively learn new skills, even outside the confines of a classroom. Structured job support through the Job Hacking part of the bootcamp was great, and really helped me find my footing entering into a new field. The one area I feel Actualize fell a little short was the frontend and design elements. There was enough focus that I can still call myself Full-Stack, but I definitely feel shakier with frontend work, and wish at least a few days had been allocated to focus a little more on design principles. However, I still 110% recommend this course, and can't begin to state how grateful I am to Actualize for providing me the skills I need to begin my career in a field I love (with post-bootcamp support for technical interviewing and working on projects with other alums to boost skills)
  • Casee Amores  User Photo
    Casee Amores • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    When I was comparing different coding bootcamps, I saw a lot of schools that focused on cramming a ton of languages into your resume. But knowing how quickly languages fall in and out of popularity, I cared more about learning the fundamentals of programming. That is definitely what you get at Actualize. We learned enough languages to build a full-stack application, but the focus was always on the concepts and knowing how something works no matter which language is used to build it. 

    The classroom experience was great, and learning software development is definitely something that works well in an online environment. We had a small class of 12 students, with 3 TA's and a lead instructor. Dani is both a skilled developer and teacher, and all the lectures were clear and engaging. It was a joy to go to class and see my classmates every day, as everyone was friendly and came from different walks of life. I definitely feel like I've learned and accomplished what I set out to, and I know I have a good support system as I enter into the job hunting phase.
  • Life Changing
    - 3/26/2021
    Sarah R.  User Photo
    Sarah R. • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I just graduated from my cohort today and I can honestly say enrolling with Actualize has been the best learning experience I've ever had. My previous "traditional college experience" does not compare at all to everything you'll get out of this bootcamp. I've absorbed so much knowledge, not just in tech but also valuable life lessons that I will take with me. I was extremely intimidated upon the first day of class, but my lead instructor (THANK YOU DANI), T.A.'s, and classmates created such a safe environment for all of us to feel comfortable and to accept that it is OKAY to not know everything or anything at all. I came into this with zero experience and now just a few months later I've built a functioning website on my own! Now we're entering the technical interviewing program which will help hone our interviewing skills and get us even more prepared to land a job in the field. Overall ACTUALIZE ROCKS! If you're thinking about applying, DO IT you will not regret it. 
  • Worth Every Penny!
    - 3/26/2021
    Charlotte Moche  User Photo
    Charlotte Moche • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I can't say enough good things about my experience at Actualize! I come from a fine arts background, and I was a bit nervous about shifting careers. I chose Actualize because it was geared towards beginners, and I believe that holds true to my experience. I felt very comfortable from beginning to end with the pacing, support, and general energy of the course.

    My instructor was Dani Zaghian, and she was always enthusiastic, helpful, and very clearly passionate about her job and the advancement of the students. She was great at pushing each of us based on where we were at skill-wise, and she took particular notice of where we had strengths to play up.

    I would highly recommend Actualize to anyone interested in learning more about web development, whether you have experience or not. Thank you for an amazing couple of months! I feel confident in where I am headed because of the program.
  • Graduate
    - 3/26/2021
    Joseph Tastet  User Photo
    Joseph Tastet • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I chose Actualize Coding Bootcamp after reading reviews from this very website and thought I would bring it full circle. It was a phenomenal experience and I am so happy I chose correct. I felt that I not only learned the languages that they taught me but that I am now able to teach myself. If you are reading this review and are considering attending a coding bootcamp do yourself a favor and give Actualize a call. I was able to create my capstone app in a language and framework that hadn't been taught in the course, because Actualize gave me the fundamentals I needed to be successful. If you're looking for a personalized experience and a great curriculum, shoutout to Peter Jang, then do yourself a favor and call today. 
  • Ben Benedict ( yes that is my real name)  User Photo
    Ben Benedict ( yes that is my real name) • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I need to start off this by saying there is no magic bullet for, take this bootcamp and you'll get a job guaranteed. Ultimately you will have to work for it, but what I loved most about actualized is they will show you how to work for it and how to structure your time. Other bootcamps will kick people out before graduation if they think someone won't get a job to bost their job placement numbers, but Actualized is small enough that they will continue to assist you in your job search after graduating. 
    When I first started the pre-work i was totally overwhelmed but they gave me the confidence to keep going. You're never going to know it all, but through the process they taught me how to divide my goals into small process oriented ones and keep getting better.
    I had Peter Jang as my Instructor and you can tell he loves teaching. Very passionate and excited when you learn new things. I'm excited for my career as a Developer and I really really encourage people, if you are going to take a bootcamp, take this one, dedicate yourself, and keep going and keep applying to jobs.
  • Emanuel  User Photo
    Emanuel • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    My experience at Actualize was amazing. My instructor was extremely knowledgeable but kept the classes entertaining and interesting. He really drove home the point of if you don’t know something right now it’s okay as long as you keep trying to improve on it. I would recommend Actualize to anyone who wants a job as a software developer or anyone who wants to learn how to code. More than that the thing they do the best is teach you how to learn on your own and be self sufficient over the course of the program you can go from a complete beginner with no experience to having a full plan and being ready for your first software developer job. 
  • Anna Wong  User Photo
    Anna Wong • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Signed up for Actualize after my partner did it a year ago and I was motivated to switch careers. After sitting in on a few classes, I chose the evening course led by instructor Peter - who also is the Dean - and it shows, best decision ever! The overall curriculum is well thought out and the resource material is abundant - but not in an overwhelming way. Every step of the way, you feel supported and that the bootcamp is invested not just in your learning but in your ultimate success of landing a dev job. I can't rave enough about Peter. If you can make it work, I highly recommend taking his evening class. Peter's background as a teacher, funny personality and clear communication made the most complex material digestable. By the end of the 12 wks, you walk away with a dozen or so new skills and several languages under your belt ... *but the true gift this bootcamp gives you is the ability and structure to continue learning on your own - which is critical since a dev NEVER STOPS LEARNING! Actualize also just rolled out a new program that will specifically help train you for job interviews - both behavioral and tech - with an emphasis on diving deeper into data structures & algos ... an invaluable boost for all us new devs trying to make our mark in this growing market. Whether you've taken some computer science courses already or have zero knowledge of coding (that's me), I highly recommend this bootcamp!
  • Owen   User Photo
    Owen • Actualize - Alumni • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I literally found a family in Actualize. Peter was my lead instructor and he is so so so passionate about teaching code. He's a Chicago native like myself. The whole team including Kevin our TA was just phenomenal in my education. I came into this program with zero knowledge of coding. I went from knowing absolutely nothing to having a solid foundation to work with. Leaving this bootcamp it doesn't mean i'm suddenly a master at code. If you're a fan of Naruto I'm probably a Chunin or a high level Genin after going thru this bootcamp. Which speaks volumes at just how this program is structured. I took the evening course because I have a 9-5 but part of the reason why I did this bootcamp was so I can leave my 9-5 that is a dead-end job, for something more meaningful like the world of software engineering offers. If you're looking to go from knowing absolutely nothing to becoming a ready to work entry level developer, I highly encourage you to check this bootcamp out. 
  • Ryan  User Photo
    Ryan • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Warning: small novel ahead...

    Like you, I was doing as much research on bootcamps that I could. There are so many out there now. How do I choose the right one? How will I know if I’ve learned enough? Does the bootcamp care about me or are they just trying to raise their statistics? I’m writing this review as I would’ve liked to see in my bootcamp search months ago. I’m going to go into a lot of detail about what the course looks like, and hopefully help you decide if Actualize is right or wrong for you, and why. Here we go:

    My background: 

    I’ve worked in retail basically my entire life since I was 16. I’m 35 now. I never knew what I wanted to do with my life and never knew how to find the direction I wanted to take. My brother and friend did a bootcamp about 5 years ago that really opened my eyes to other possibilities outside of retail. But the biggest thorn in my side of making the leap was: can I really do this? Me, of such a lowly work background, with no real programming skills to speak of and a college degree that is pretty much meaningless? Actualize has shown me that the answer is yes.

    About the bootcamp: 

    In about 17 weeks (including prework) I’ve gone from barely knowing how to open a file on a mac to being able to create my own full fledged application that I feel pretty confident about putting in my portfolio. You spend the first 5 weeks learning pure Ruby language mostly at your own pace - this is called the prework. Each week you are required to complete a number of small exercises (that become bigger as the weeks go on) which are then graded by a pre-work instructor. Two times a week the instructor will hold an office-hours zoom call to ask questions, and you can reach out to your instructor pretty much anytime through Slack (a messaging program used by people in tech). This part, for me, was the very beginning of things feeling real. But not fully real yet because this is done, more or less, at your own pace.

    In-class portion:

    It is about 12 weeks of daily class where you will be in your virtual classroom with your teacher and a TA. You pick up where you left off in some of the pre-work, then you start learning about the Ruby on Rails framework along with all the applications you’ll be using to be successful in the class. Every day, there is homework regarding the lecture of the day that is due before class begins the next day. Class is generally a small mini lecture on something new (you watch your instructor do an example), then you follow up doing it on your own. The beautiful thing about doing this kind of class over zoom is the ability to share screens. During the exercises, all students share their screens and the instructor and TA can “watch over the shoulder” of all students in the class. I really liked this feature. 

    The culmination of the 12 weeks live instruction is a Capstone Project that you begin planning on week 5. This is meant to be a portfolio piece that you can show off to future employers. It incorporates everything you’ve learned. You spend a lot of time working on this (basically a month-ish of class time).

    During the 12 weeks, every Monday there is job-related work that is incorporated. From here, with the help of the job-hacking team, you will build up your LinkedIn, perfect your resume and start applying to jobs and asking for informational interviews. After the 12 weeks, there is one more week of classes dedicated to job searching. From there, you are mostly on your own, though you do have a community of people to fall back on for questions and advice.

    Languages/Skills Learned:

    Actualize teaches you a Ruby on Rails backend with a VueJS frontend. From what I’ve gathered from numerous small interviews I’ve done, these are not the most in-demand languages or frameworks. That isn’t to say that there are no jobs in this niche, but there are just less of them. The nice thing about Ruby and Rails are their overall simplicity to teaching and learning. It’s clear that these are picked to be taught because they are the easiest to digest in the short time that we have. However, I believe a lot of critics would say focusing on these particular languages isn’t the best use of your time due to their lack of popularity, and that is a fair argument. Actualize believes that once you pick up these languages, you can teach yourself almost any language. After 17 weeks, I would agree with that sentiment.

    Why pick Actualize?

    I picked Actualize because I felt they were the most welcoming and the most comforting bootcamp I talked to. I truly feel that my instructor, my TA, and the job-hacking team are all people that legitimately care about me and my success and want to help me get there. It feels warm. To me, that is a big deal. The sense of community and camaraderie I felt among people in my cohort is huge, and though most bootcamps will give you this feeling, Actualize gives it to you just a little bit more. 

    Another benefit is that there is a lot of discussion about not only the technical challenges we all will be facing leaving the bootcamp, but also the mental challenges. I appreciate these lectures and discussions because mental pressure in web development is a real thing and I feel the precursor we received to these issues will help me deal with it. 

    Closing:

    In short, I felt my time and money was well spent enrolling in this bootcamp. I feel I have the initial skills needed to begin working in a completely new field. I have a large network of top-quality people and friends to support me. These are all of the things I didn’t have before, and for that, this guy from the retail world is grateful. 

    TL;DR: Actualize cares about you and your success and treat you like family. You get a lot of resources and support throughout the bootcamp. Though the languages might not be the most relevant, you’ll still be equipped to start applying to jobs.

Thanks!