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Actualize

Chicago, Online

Actualize

Avg Rating:4.91 ( 444 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$14,900
    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
  • Life Changing
    - 12/24/2021
    Jonathan  User Photo
    Jonathan • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I knew I needed some structure when learning the fundamentals of software development, so I started taking a look at dozens of different bootcamps. So many of them taught similar languages and had multiple projects that you'd be able to produce. There was one however that stood out from all the others on a couple main aspects, and that was Actualize. Actualize has been one of the greatest learning experiences I have ever had. 

    A lot of bootcamps only provide you with maybe an hour a day, 3-4x a week of actual instruction. The rest of the time that you are "in the bootcamp" you are just doing some self learning. Spending the amount of money that a bootcamp costs just to teach yourself isn't helpful. Actualize is devoted to having actual live instruction 5 days a week. You go through some material, watch the instructor code, and then have a challenge to do something similar yourself. It is incredibly effective and I was able to learn & retain so much information in a short period of time. Not to mention the instructors are incredible and very knowledgable - Brian was my cohort instructor and I cannot praise him enough for how well he goes through everything. 

    You can also tell that everyone in the class genuinely cares and wants you to succeed. Actualize also has something called "career hacking" which meets every Sunday to go over things related to the job search. Lisa is amazing and helps you get prepared to start tackling interviews and applications pretty much halfway through. The best part - the job hacking is available UNTIL you get your first job. They genuinely care and want you to land that first role!

    I can't say enough incredible things about this bootcamp - there isn't another one that compares whatsoever. 
  • 100% Worth It
    - 12/24/2021
    Leon Shimizu  User Photo
    Leon Shimizu • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    From the beginning, I've pretty much only heard good things about Actualize. Originally, I made a post of LinkedIn asking what bootcamp people would recommend and for a good couple weeks to a month, the only people that replied, were people from Actualize. On top of that, one of the other major reasons I chose them was because of the smaller teacher to student ratio, I believe my class was just about the max at 13 to 2 (Teacher and TA - both specifically for this class). When I was doing my research about other bootcamps, I saw that they had 20:1 or 30:1 and other variations of that so when I saw that Actualize is a much closer/personal experience, that definitely stood out to me. The last thing that stood out to me was the fact that all their teachers were a teacher of some sort before, meaning that they aren't just people who know how to code, they are people who know how to teach and also know how to code.  
  • Coding Bootcamp
    - 12/24/2021
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    Britney • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Such an amazing experience. For someone who had absolutely no experience this course really gave me an amazing knowledge base to transition into Web Development. The faculty was amazing. Brian and his dad jokes really make the class more enjoyable and Lauren and Patrick the TAs had really great knowledge. The overall experience was a 10 out of 10!
  • Lucas  User Photo
    Lucas • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I transitioned into web development with zero prior experience, and after graduating, I rate my experience at Actualize to exceed my expectations. I expected a boot camp that would only teach me to code and throw me out into the wild. What makes Actualize an excellent program to me was the help in the transition every step of the way. Will they teach you everything there is to know? No. But I found it more valuable in their mission to teach students by letting them break code, learn from their mistakes, and build a solid foundation to go forward. The instructors and teaching assistants are there whenever you faced an obstacle every day during or after class for the students. They are always patient and willing to help you learn the material.
    At Actualize, they understand that the main goal is to land a job in the industry. That's why the first week they introduced weekly job hacking lectures to help in your transition into the tech field. Even after graduating, you're able to still connect with your career advisors for any assistance on landing a job whether it be resume reviewing, announcing job posts, discussing application strategies, or even reviewing job descriptions and compensations. To reiterate, every step along the way, the staff at Actualize is there to help in your transition into the field. 
    How well Actualize helps you transition into web development becomes a strong attraction to many others that also decide to make the jump. That means the cohort you meet in class comes from multiple backgrounds with little or no experience and that creates this bond with them knowing that all of you are in this together. As the lectures progress forward, you get the chance to talk and work together with cohorts that helps build a sense of camaraderie when code does or doesn't work. So I think the types of people that boot camps will attract make as much an impact on your experience as the quality of their instructor. I could not recommend a better boot camp after my experience at Actualize.
  • 5 Stars all around
    - 12/23/2021
    Ian Silber  User Photo
    Ian Silber • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    As someone who was on this very website 5 months ago looking for a bootcamp to throw an exorbitant amount of money at, I understand the difficulty behind trying to pick which reviews to trust, which sound scammy, who just had a bad experience due to their own lack of effort, etc... In the interest of openness and transparency I was asked to write this review, however, that has in no way had an impact on the scores I am giving. I tried to pick an area I could maybe leave a 4 instead of 5 star answer to try and give this review a bit more trustability, but I failed, because in all honesty my experience has been 5 stars all around. My lead instructor Amanda Hale did a phenomenal job of being both engaging and informative. Additionally  Amanda did a terrific job of pushing me to my limits while still offering a helping hand when it was truly necessary. Our 2 teachers assistants were also an amazing help when fixing bugs and both super supportive throughout the process of learning this new skill. The environment was extremely welcoming and over the course of our five months together our cohort became great friends with each other. If I were to criticize a single thing to give this review a bit more validity among the skeptics it would be my personal distaste for Vue.js, again that comes down to preference and it is an incredibly popular framework and useful for the job hunt. Speaking of the job hunt, this bootcamp offers something unique that many other bootcamps do not, Career Services. At any point you can book an appointment with one of Actualize's two fantastic career counselors. due to the small class sizes you get very tailored, personalized help from finding a job, to writing a resume, to leads on different apprenticeships that match you specifically. All in all, highly recommend this bootcamp. 
  • Ian Boyle  User Photo
    Ian Boyle • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Actualize is a great bootcamp, especially for this with little previous coding experience. They focus on teaching you how to teach yourself, which is extremely important in programming, and one of the main reasons I chose Actualize. The other main reason I chose this program was because they had been offering it online way before COVID, which was a huge plus - they definitely have the right structure in place. My only caveat, being someone who had a decent amount of previous coding experience, is that there were times where I didn't feel as challenged as I would have liked. Other than that, Actualize did a great job in giving me a solid foundation to further my programming abilities.
  • Gail  User Photo
    Gail • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I cannot recommend this program highly enough. From the great instruction to the TA's to the Job hacking crew, everything is set up to help you be successful. Our instructor Amanda was amazing! She is so much fun, but also pushed us every day out of our comfort zone. You could always tell she truly cared about us as students and wanted us to succeed. She believed in all of us and was encouraging through the process. We had great TA's to help us as well. Meg and Jonathan did an outstanding job as support.

    Bootcamp is very challenging and demanding. I was impressed by the lessons as we learned a great deal about both back end and front end software engineering. Actualize set me on a good path to continue my learning after bootcamp as well. I really appreciated the dedication to job hacking. Actualize helped us update our resumes, fix our linked in profiles, and connect with others in the industry. We did a lot of practice for tech interviews and were encouraged to start applying for jobs and put our resumes out there.

    Many bootcamps have you work on a capstone project in a group, but at Actualize, we did our own project from start to finish. Although we had many opportunities to pair or mob program, I thought it was really important that we built our own app from the ground up. It gave me a much better understanding of the whole process and how the parts fit together. 
    I truly appreciate all of the support, encouragement, and top notch instruction that we received. If you are looking for a bootcamp, look no further! I did look into other programs, but Actualize let me sit in on a class, they have Mac's that you can borrow so you don't have to invest in one, and they truly support their students!
  • Philip   User Photo
    Philip • Web Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I chose Actualize because after reaching out to a few different bootcamps they were the only ones to actually reach out to me and put me in touch with an actual person and after talking to the admissions manager I knew this was the place for me. My experience seriously could not have been better Amanda was an amazing teacher and was more than happy to help and teach you all of the stuff you are going to need to make a true run into the software development industry. From my classmates and the T.A.s everyone was super helpful and it makes you realize that you are all in this together and that you are all working towards the same goal and everyone is more than willing to jump in and help you with anything you may need. I would recommend this bootcamp to anyone that wants an actual in depth course on how to learn about learning software development and in the 12 weeks you are more than capable of building a full stack app and present it in a way that you know everything that you are talking about not just a bunch of vague nonsense. I would also say anyone that isn't happy where they are at that this is a great jumping off point for a new career I spent 15 years at my last job and had to leave and when struggling to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life I am glad I went this way and chose in my opinion the best coding bootcamp out there.
  • Shane  User Photo
    Shane • Software Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    After transitioning out of the concrete industry, Actualize gave me all the tools I needed to succeed in the tech field. Their curriculum is fast paced and covers a wide variety of information, but you never feel left behind. Due to the small class size, experienced instructors, and multiple great TA's, there is always a support structure to fall back on if you need it. If you're interested in a full-stack experience that will challenge you as well as teach you, then I couldn't recommend Actualize enough.
  • Very Interactive
    - 12/23/2021
    Mike  User Photo
    Mike • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I chose Actualize over the other courses originally based on timing. However, I feel I am extremely lucky to have been a part of the course at Actualize. Not only were the instructors and TAs very good at online courses, they were also extremely friendly and caring. Furthermore, they teach everything that can be taught for your job search after the course, and with ongoing assistance, I truly feel that this is one of the best courses out there.
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     I came across Actualize as I was making a career change from sales. Not only does it provide great instructors but the staff genuinely cares about their students and their growth. This course consists of a dozen of exercises/problems each week, a video explaining how to solve the problem, and then a section for you to solve the problem. The course is set up to learn new topics each week, and you get plenty of practice in class and in homework assignments. Moreover, there was a strong sense of community and we all quickly became comfortable with one another and trusted one another in the learning process. 
  • Christian Minnie  User Photo
    Christian Minnie • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Like so many of the other reviews posted here, I want to reiterate what a fantastic bootcamp this is having just graduated from it myself. 

    With an excellent, well-rounded curriculum that runs for around five months, followed by their job assistance program called "Job Hacking," students genuinely have all the support they need to not only learn full stack web development, but to reinvent their resumes and professional lives. 

    I attended the most recent in-person cohort at their Chicago office. Peter, the head instructor, led this cohort. He did a fantastic job teaching us, and was always willing to take us through anything we needed help with step by step. 

    Perhaps the biggest takeaway I got from all this was not necessarily becoming a pro developer after only five or so months, but learning how to teach myself how to code so as to be prepared for a fulfilling career. 

    Though it may be hard to believe, this bootcamp really lives up to the hype.    

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