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Actualize

Chicago, Online

Actualize

Avg Rating:4.91 ( 392 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
  • Justin Viegelahn • Web Developer • Graduate
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    What was your background before coming to Actualize? (Include college/past career)
    I had worked in Web Traffic Management right out of High School for a few years. I then went to Art School for Video Game Design, but I realized I wasn't actually interested in making video games, just playing them, so I never actually completed my degree. I then moved to working in Email Marketing and Design which pushed me into Basic Website Maintenance (HTML and a little CSS).


    What hesitations would have prevented you from joining Actualize?
    My only hesitation was would I be able to comprehend and keep up with so much information coming at me all at once.


    What impact did Actualize have on your life?
    It made me realize that I can listen and retain a lot of information at once. I didn't always remember everything I learned from the previous day, or even week, but I remembered the basics which helped me narrow down the problems to find the correct solutions.
    I use this on a daily basis in my current job as a Web Developer.


    What specific feature did you like most about Actualize?
    The fact that it was part time. I had a number of friends who went to Dev Boot Camp, but I couldn't commit to 9 hours a day, 6 days a week. Actualize allowed me to learn and build my skills while still being able to work without ever feeling overwhelmed.


    Would you recommend Actualize, and if so, why?
    I would. The way that the program is run is very good. Explain the language with examples, and then complete excercises. It just makes sense. You can also go back and review the video of the class on your own time which helped out immensely.


    Is there anything else you would like to add?
    I really enjoyed my time in class, but the Apprenticeship afterwards is invaluable. You work on real projects in a real team with a Mentor. This will prepare you for what you can expect during your first Developer job.

  • Web Developer
    - 7/28/2016
    JENS NORDGAARD • Web Developer • Graduate
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    The course is tough, the pace is grueling, and the material...well if you are a newbie like I was, its all gibberish. The team at ACLTC realize this, and they do their best to make everything digestible. Mark Richardson and most of the other staff are teachers first, developers second, which sounds backwards but is very important. 

    These folks describe difficult concepts in ways that make sense, and their skills are only getting more honed with each class. I loved the TA's, Jay is the coolest CEO ever, and Mark, can't say enough about him. I would give the instructors a 6 if possible. The people made this course, and I would not have wanted to go anywhere else for my coding experience. I got a job 2 weeks after the course ended, so it works! Its all about what you put into it, and this program is great for the flexibility and the money. 

  • Tommaso • Owner/Creative Director • Graduate
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    What a great experience. The curriculum is broad enough to get a birds-eye view of building web applications. From the basics, through typical application constructs from scratch (like to-do lists, shopping carts, contact apps), data modeling and database building, building and consuming APIs, and exposure to the front end like working with front end frameworks and building dynamically loading pages using Angular JS. Being challenged through the final process of building an app of our own choosing was a great way to cap off and reconnect our lessons throughout the course. The instructors are exceptionally prepared, passionate, and encouraging. The TAs were great, too. Beyond the classroom, the ACLTC team did many value-adds like coaching on interviewing and helping put our resume together. Not to mention the great group of classmates I got to meet through this experience. Highly recommended!

  • Anonymous • Front End Development Manager • Graduate
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    Best decision I ever made! Well worth the money and the effort. I was able to land a job within a month of graduating.

  • Anthony W. • Jr. System Administrator • Graduate
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    ACLTC is a program that helped me make a career change immensely. Before wanting to become a developer, I was working in finance and decided that I wanted a change in my career so I applied to ACLTC and it was the best deicision I ever made. The curriculum was challenging, but also doable. The lead instructor, Mark was extremely helpful, and thorough with his explanations and never hesitated to pause his lectures to clarify anything students needed help with. The TA's were super helpful as well, they were able to sit down with me and fix any bug I had whether it was with my code, or with my computer, any problem I ever had was solved with the help of the TA's. This program teaches you the fundamentals or Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Angular.js, as well as databases such as Mysql, and Sqllite. We also learned the concepts of OOP, REST, and API's. Although this program was intense, it is definitely managable. This program is part time, Sundays from 9-5, and M-Th from 6pm-930pm. I will admit, this may seem like a lot, especially if you're working full time (as this program is geared towards you folks), the teaching style of the instructor as well as the TA's will definitely help you understand the material, as well as help you push through. 

     

    My advice in order to succeed in this program is to do work and study even outside of class. It really shows who put in the work even in the off hours. 

     

    With the amazing instruction from Mark, the helpful TA's, the fast paced curriculum, and the support from the job placement manager, I was able to land a new career as a System Administrator for a large data company working on their automation engineering team. I can't thank ACLTC enough, in just a few months time I went from working at a job I wasn't enjoying anymore, to more than doubling my salary and working in an exciting field. If you are pondering whether or not to apply, I say you should have applied already! 

  • Worth Every Penny!
    - 3/28/2016
    Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate
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    This was one of the the best decisions of my life. I was very nervous about it going in, but once I met our instructor (Peter) I felt a lot better about it. Some people came in to the bootcamp with more experience than others, and he really made an effort to leave no man behind, as well as provide some extra challenges for people who were more advanced. 

    ACLTC advertised that you don't need to do anything outside of class, which I think is not exactly true. Some people had full time jobs while others didn't, but it quickly became obvious who was putting in work outside of class.  I personally needed to study a fair amout on my own to keep up, and I think most of my classmates did as well. It moves rather quickly, and a LOT is covered. 

    They also have excelent support for helping you with your job search, as well as helping with your resume and interview prep. After graduating I applied myself 100% to job hunting, and was able to land a job as a software developer after 2 months. I start my job next week, and I couldn't be more happy with the entire experience!

  • Mark • Web Developer • Graduate
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    With the technical skills, job placement assistance and infectious passion for programming from ACLTC I was able to successfully shift careers from accounting to a dream job in web development. The program was challenging, but surmountable. The lead-instructor and TAs are incredibly knowledgeable and supportive. The subject-matter is relevant to the job-market, and the capstone project was an excellent challenge and example project for potential employers.

    The class schedule and classroom environment were important distinctions for me personally, from other bootcamps (which are often all-day, all-week and more self or other student taught).


    Looking back on the experience, the people (instructor, TAs, job-placement helpers, etc.) and learning the mind-set to become a programmer were the most valuable aspects of the experience. It was difficult, but also so much fun. Subsequent to the bootcamp, I continued to learn more in-depth knowledge for certain languages which I’m now utilizing in my employment, which was not unexpected, and I could not have done so without the mindset garnered at ACLTC. I would highly recommend ACLTC.

  • ACLTC was great
    - 12/21/2015
    Sam • Web Developer • Graduate
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    I signed up for ACLTC to completely change careers and hopefully become a web developer.  ACLTC has a challenging but fun curriculum that taught me HTML, CSS, JS, Ruby, Rails and so much more.  Jay the lead instructor was extremely knowledgeable about the material and so were all of the TA’s.  Aside from the instruction, ACLTC also provides great job search support from helping with your resume to putting you in contact with potential employers.  Because of the great instruction and support I was able to land a web developer position and couldn’t be happier with it.  ACLTC ended up being a perfect fit for me and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to start a career in web development.  

  • Trent • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Attending Anyone Can Learn to Code has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. The staff has developed an excellent curriculum that makes learning to develop using an MVC framework a fun and rewarding experience. The coursework is intensive and challenging but never overwhelming. When making a decision on which bootcamp to choose, ACLTC has a lot going for it: 
    - An excellent staff that really and truly cares about your development and growth 
    - The ability to keep your full time job while you learn 
    - Job search support and guidance. They even have a full time employee dedicated to helping students get jobs after graduation 
    - A fun and challenging curriculum that will teach you how to build a functioning, responsive web application

    As a result of ACLTC, I have now begun a new and exciting career in web development. If you are looking to make a career change into the world of development, you can do no better than Anyone Can Learn to Code. Highly recommended.

  • Nick • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Attending this boot camp has been one of the best decisions I've made in my entire life. Here are the main reasons why this boot camp was perfect for me:
    -I didn't have to quit my day job while attending this boot camp, so financially it made the most sense compared to other boot camps
    -The classes taught the concepts very clearly so I was able to learn and code very quickly (I had about two months of experience coding prior to this boot camp and I learned so much so fast)
    -The classes are taught at a good pace and class time is split up nicely. First, you learn a new concept. Then, you apply it and practice. Also, there are knowledgeable TA's that can help you in and out of class. With smaller class sizes, this was extremely valuable. I was able to meet with my teacher and the TA's a lot and it helped so much!
    -The classes are also taught with a pragmatic approach, and you learn that everything has trade-offs. I really appreciated this.
    -You get seminars on interviews, landing jobs, writing resume's and cover letters, and other useful things that helped me land a job
    -I got to work on a capstone project that I was passionate about, which added to my portfolio to display to potential employers
    -The boot camp continues to grow its connections with companies in the area. This means during the showcase at the end of the class where you present your capstone, more and more employers will be there to see what you've built, giving you a good chance at landing an interview and a job. This is how I landed my first interview and got a job offer within two weeks of ending the course!
    To summarize the pro's, the boot camp was great because it made the most financial sense, the class sizes/support/curriculum was great, I was given an incredible opportunity to show my project to many employers, and ultimately it helped me land a job!

    The cons:
    -Evening classes can be tough. Working a full day to learn entirely new subject matter can be difficult.
    -There is greater competition to get in, so it will probably get harder to get accepted
    -The reputation of boot camps are mixed. To some degree, boot camp graduates may have a chip on their shoulder compared to their CS degree counterparts. This can be overcome by showing solid code and KEEP LEARNING!
    -The curriculum leans more towards the back-end than the front-end. Back-end developers are highly sought after, however as someone who enjoys the front end more, I wish the class spent more time on the front end. Still, I was able to land a job with a focus on front-end development.

  • Colleen • Junior Developer • Graduate
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    I attended ACLTC in hopes to make a career pivot and become a Junior Developer. The course was well structured, covered a TON of different stuff with just enough depth to be dangerous, and the teaching staff is clearly passionate about the success of their students. 

    By the end of the course you have tons of new skills and tools under your belt, and you spend the last few weeks of class building a capstone project to show off your new knowledge. There's a showcase for the final projects to show them off to potential employers, which was an extremely effective way to get introduced to local companies for potential jobs and internships. The team at ACLTC works diligently to get everyone in the program into a postiiton they're happy with. I actually moved away from Chicago after attending the bootcamp and landed a Junior Developer position on my own based on my capstone project and a test exercise that I was well prepared for solely because of the quality of instruction I receieved at ACLTC.

    After attending the course, you are competent for entry level developer positions, but expect to continue to learn for your entire career as a developer - it's the nature of the business! 

    Deciding to attend ACLTC was the best career decision I have made. 

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    ACLTC is fun and you learn the basics of Ruby, Rails, and JS but it does not prepare you for an entry-level software engineering position. The major appeal of the program is that it's part-time and allows you to keep your day job, but the downside is that they can only squeeze in 22 hours of instruction per week—not enough for coding novices to develop job-ready skills that will land an entry-level full-stack engineering job.A part-time program like this only has the time to teach the basics—programming loops, CRUD operations, how to use gems, etc.—but all of the entry-level jobs I have interviewed for included technical tests that were much, much more difficult than the ACLTC's curriculum. These tests expect candidates to have a much deeper understanding of JavaScript and even SQL, two topics that are not really covered in-depth at ACLTC because there just isn't enough time.

    It's important to consider that although there are many software engineering positions that need to be filled in the U.S, the vast majority of these jobs are for Mid to Senior level engineers. Entry-level positions are truly rare by comparison and as an ACLTC graduate you are competing for these precious positions against full-time coding bootcamp graduates who have spent 60-80 hours per week studying and job-seekers with computer science degrees.

    The ACLTC is run by good people and talented teachers/developers but in the end the program only provides a basic foundation for becoming a full-stack engineer. Students who did not have any background in programming prior to the course will need months of additional study after the program concludes before they are ready to pass most technical screenings.

    Another disappointment was the lack of job support. Only the last day of class is dedicated to finding a job and after graduation they send you a few links to job boards and leads but that's it. ACLTC is a small organization and their efforts outside of class are directed more towards expanding into new cities (growing the business) than with helping students find jobs.

    Would I attend the course today, knowing what I know now? Hard to say because I did enjoy it, but I lean towards "no" because I was expecting to be able to land a full-time entry-level position and I don't think the program prepares you for that because of its brevity. If getting a job isn't that important to you, you just like to learn new skills, and you have a few grand to spare then I think you'll probably be happy with the program.

Thanks!