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Actualize

Chicago, Online

Actualize

Avg Rating:4.92 ( 469 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
  • Awesome Experience
    - 2/16/2018
    Robert Cho • Graduate
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    After researching and speaking with a few different bootcamps I decided to enroll at Actualize because of the way they were set up and because of what they offer. The classes were conducted online via zoom chat, which to be honest, was a bit disappointing to me when I first found out. However, even after the first class I realized that I would not be missing out on anything that I might have gained from an in-person-type class.

    I found the structure of the classes very helpful.. the lead instructor and the TA's were very intentional in what they taught and how they taught it. It wasn't just about heavy loading us with a bunch of material, but the instructors made sure to explain why something was important and how it was applicable in other instances. Also, in situations where we might've been confused or had questions, rather than simply giving us direct answers, they would coach us in problem solving for ourselves. In my opinion, the best thing that Actualize does is that it creates an enviornment that promotes growth above all else.

     

  • John Dellamore • Analyst • Graduate
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    When I decided to sign up for Actualize I had two primary concerns:

    1. Will the skills I learn be outdated in a year?

    2. Will I actually learn what it takes to start a new career in a more technical field?

    Actualize was able to qualm these fears by doing one thing that I believe is the greatest part about Actualize: teaching you how to think like a developer. Now I am a fairly skeptical person so if someone told this to me I would laugh and say thank you for your time. After all, I would never accept such a vague statement about a program that is supposed to teach a technical field. In the spirit of computer science logic, I will provide a few examples to support this claim:

    1. While the curriculum gave a strong foundation in Ruby, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, Vue.js, SQL, etc., the course open the floodgates and exposed me to thousands of concepts that I didn’t even know existed. The point here is that, and let’s be real for a second, the most knowledgeable people are the ones that know about (may not be experts in but are familiar with) all the concepts that surround a field. While I may not be an expert in calculating time complexity of various algorithms, I sure know that that is a concept and can tell you why it is very important. Further, while I am not an expert in front-end development, I can tell you that it is very easy to quickly set up a demo and I know where I can turn to do this. The primary take-away here is that I feel that I can speak with an experienced developer and not get completely blown out of the water.

    2. I finished my Capstone a tad early and Brian (the teacher) suggested I scan the internet and find some additional functionality that could be cool. I started looking around GitHub, reading some documentation, finding some samples of the function and it hit me! I was learning about all these new things I had never heard about and wasn’t really struggling to understand. I feel like that last sentence doesn’t really portray the message here: I READ A DEVELOPER’S DOCUMENTATION AND UNDERSTOOD IT. Further, I implemented it!

    Whatever your reason is for looking into the world of development and development bootcamps, Actualize can make a massive difference. Actualize taught me that development is not just about computer languages and scary sounding frameworks but is a thought process and a way of learning. I am not concerned that Rails may one day be obsolete, I no longer scrounge the internet looking for an article that will tell me what the most popular language in 3-5 years will be, I no longer worry that the way we look at Web Development today will be completely different in 5 years. Actualize made me excited for these changes and gave me the skills to succeed when everything inevitable changes. I am very excited for my future and can attribute a lot to Actualize (and Brian!).

  • Jenn • Student
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    I'm just finishing up the online class portion of my time with Actualize and getting ready to start my apprenticeship with the school and as many before me has said, this really was a life-changing experience that went beyond learning how to become a software developer.

    The Classroom Environment:

    One of the main reasons I chose Actualize is because of the live teaching envrironment. For me, this was key. I have worked with other bootcamps that didn't offer any kind of teaching and a minimal amount of recorded videos, and I truly do not know how I could properly learn software development without an actual teacher. I can wholeheartedly say that a full program without actual instruction doesn't even compare to a day of online classroom experience with Actualize. Additionally, our class might have been spread throughout the country, but we were still able to become a close-knit group and everyday I looked forward to meeting and working with all of them.

    Instruction: 

    Our class had Brian as an instructor and he was beyond awesome. He always came to class prepared, full of information, an ability to constantly answer questions that were thrown at him, and patience for when we struggled. I've had college professors that couldn't offer this level of professionalism and assistance.  He was also able to make what could be a dry subject one that was interesting and an atmosphere that welcoming, lively and fun.

    The Education:

    We covered A LOT in 12 weeks. From Ruby to building an actual app. This isn't a course to half-ass through. You need to be aware that you're learning a lot in a certain amount of time and you HAVE to stay on top of things. Studying outside of class is a must. If you really enjoy programming, this level of work and committment won't be painful and totally worth it. I do, however, wish we had more time to go further in-depth and focus on some of the concepts. 

    Career Assistance:

    We had days devoted to working on "career-hacking" and developing skills to assist with finding work. This included creating a personal website, networking, blogging, and even white-boarding. All of which were helpful. We're going to continue focusing on career development during our apprenticeship too, which I'm looking forward to. 

    We are about to head into the apprenticeship portion of our time with Actualize and although I can't review it yet, it sounds like a further extension of our learning experience, but with the ability to put everything we have learned into actual hands-on experience. 

    Last, If you're willing to put in the time and effort, Actualize gives you the information and skills you need to become a full-stack developer. I completely recommend this program.

  • Terrance • Instructional Designer • Graduate
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    The Actualize Online-Live Bootcamp has been one of the best decisions I've made in a professional career. This bootcamp provided me the foundational skill and ability to code, de-bug and question with confidence.

    If you're considering a career change or simply looking to develop an in-demand and marketable skill, Actualize is for you!

     

  • Cheryl Dillard • Graduate
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    After deciding I wanted to learn to code and reviewing the options of coding bootcamps in Chicago, I am so happy that Actualize Coding Bootcamp had everything to offer that would fit my life.  I loved the availability of a part-time bootcamp held during evening hours.  I don't know of any other bootcamp that has this schedule. Even though it's part-time, the option is there to come in early and spend more time working if needed. 

    I also loved the fact that the instructors are skilled teachers and know teaching methods and how people think while learning.  You will learn a lot during your 12-weeks here.  As a beginner with no experience, it seemed overwhelming at times, but, it all falls into place eventually.  Just take a few deep breaths and all will be good!  All classes are recorded, so, if you missed anything or are unsure, you have the availability to review the screencasts at anytime at your own pace.  These are lifesavers!  

    I truly enjoyed my experience here at Actualize and am so glad I took the leap and followed through on the program!  If you are unsure, do not hesitate to enroll!  

  • Rob • Developer Apprentice • Graduate
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    I really enjoyed my time at Actualize bootcamp! It was perfect because the classes were at nights on weekdays and all day Sunday. In this bootcamp compared to others, there was deep instruction before learning a new topic, and then we could work on the exercises. All of the teachers are fantastic, especially the professor I had named Peter Jang. He was always there for us and was so knowledgable, he could de bug our code in a matter of seconds if we got stuck while also explaining how we can do it better next time. Most of the other bootcamps have you work all day every day, give you random exercises and throw you to the wolves, Actualize is so much better than that!!!

  • Wow!
    - 1/10/2018
    Andrew Stein • Graduate
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    From 0 to hero! I knew nothing about coding going into this place and I was definitely nervous. I can guarantee you that you will succeed and achieve more than you ever thought you could have if you put in the time and effort to make it happen. There is a lot of information to be learned and with their friendly and easy going environment, you can learn all of it and more if you do your part. Highly Recommend!!

  • spencer • Software Engineer in Test • Graduate
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    Great Instructors, well-rounded currculum, and solid job assistance. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Actualize. With any bootcamp the more you effort you put in, the more you'll get out of it. That being said, the instructors at Actualize are very helpful and supportive and have a wealth of resouces to share. It took me several months after graduation to land my first coding job but I ultimately ended up getting a job that their in-house recruiter sent my way. 

  • More than a class
    - 12/11/2017
    Ari • Jr. Mobile Developer • Graduate
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    A number of my fellow students commented that in all of their previous years of schooling, nothing was taught as well as this course. We had a great balance of instruction and exercises to immediately implement what we learned.  As we worked alone or pair-programmed, two very dedicated TA’s were walking around, not to spoonfeed, but to help us figure out where we were getting stuck and why. I also took them up on their offer to shoot questions at them outside of class time. The cohesive environment made the night time hours more doable, and even enjoyable.

    Besides for making us comfortable in a few languages, the curriculum is designed to lay the foundations for how frameworks or different parts of a web-application interact. Honestly, it WAS a bit of a shocker when Peter (lead instructor) told us a few weeks in, “By the way, your first job probably isn’t even going to be in Ruby.”  However, I was told by people in the field that it’s not necessarily the language that is attractive to employers, but the fact that you went through a serious, rigorous program and was able to pick up new skills quickly. They turned out to be right.  Last summer I was hired for a remote role in a growing company, and I’m working in Angular 2 and Ionic, both of which I didn’t touch in the bootcamp. Actualize’s curriculum has been tweaked since I graduated, so the staff is clearly trying to prepare the students for industry trends. Taylor, the school’s “job-guy,” was very active in helping us make connections and even set me up with a few interviews.

    What puts Actualize on top is the built-in Apprenticeship that follows the course.  I had multiple interviews where developers were both impressed and envious when I described the real-world agile development and real interaction with clients that we had before seeking that 1st job.  

    Best of luck in you quest.

     
  • Great Program!
    - 12/4/2017
    Emily • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Actualize was a positive experience for me! I had been coding on my own for a few years but needed the accountability of a formal classroom commitment to get become a marketable developer. Actualize helped me develop skills for the job market and also gave advice about how to job search. I really enjoyed the instruction and found the advice helpful.

    Word to the wise: taking the course is not enough in and of itself, even though the material is sound. You must be networking and continuing to learn after you graduate. Ask specific questions about the networking strategies associated with the program and be sure that you are as committed to your search as you are to your studies. Finding that first dev job isn’t easy but it is extremely rewarding!

    Actualize helped me make the transition to full time developer work and I will always be grateful!

  • Great Experience
    - 11/30/2017
    Natale • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I truly enjoyed my experience going through the Actualize boot camp in Chicago.  The instructors really do want everyone to succeed and are willing to work with students outside of class time to get everyone up to speed.  Its a lot of material in a short time span, but it is presented clearly and broken down in a way that is easy to digest! I would definitely recommend the course to someone who is interested in changing fields but doesn't have the flexibility to quit their current job yet.  Actualize made it possible to move my career in a positive direction without having to forfeit my paycheck in the process.

  • Jasmine Liu • Graduate
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    Before any of this coding business happened in my life, I was not a tech-savvy person, much less a coder. I graduated from college with a degree in Business Management and had a huge passion for interior design. I was the least expected person out of my circle of friends to become a programmer because let's face it - it's a skillset I never touched upon and rumor has it if you didn't come out of college with a degree in computer science, you'll never be good enough to compete.

    That all changed when I learned about Actualize. I took a ride with my sister to Chicago from Des Moines, Iowa to an info session on design/coding bootcamps located in Chicago's 1871. There were four bootcamps that presented at the time: Evolve, Designation, Fullstack, and Anyone Can Learn To Code (Actualize). This was the link: https://public.1871.com/event/E617103747. My first impressions were so:

    • Evolve Security: Cyber security seemed a bit out of my league from where I stand in coding (which is ground zero) so I ruled out Evolve.
    • Designation: My sister attended Designation and there were hopes I could too, but seeing that they focused more on just UX design and no code, I crossed it off my list.
    • Fullstack Academy: From a first impression, Fullstack coding bootcamp is full time and very intensive. They have strict guidelines and tests you must pass, and having just come out of college, I didn't want to learn in an environment where I'm all about the test score.
    • Actualize (Anyone Can Learn To Code): Then there was Actualize. Jay Wengrow, the founder, gave a speech about how the company truly believes anyone can learn to code, and that it's just a matter of how hard you're willing to try and persist. Jay goes on to explaining that unlike other coding bootcamps, Actualize is a mentorship where instructors with excellent educational and coding background guide you along and there is an optional apprenticeship experience. Not only did Jay seem passionate about the bootcamp, but he also believes in his students. Diving into coding unknown is horrifying, but that all changes when someone walks you through each step of the way. 

    So I decided that Actualize was for me. Jay gave some of us a tour of the classrooms and students in apprenticeship, and on that same day, I had an interview with Nick the admissions counselor, which consisted mostly of getting to know more about me and whether I'd be a good fit for the cohort (it's not intimidating don't worry). It really stuck with me how much Actualize really cares about the peers their students work with.

    Fast-Forward: I went back to Iowa, and was accepted at Actualize; however as much as I wanted to attend the program, I learned that certain circumstances prevented me from attending Actualize in person. Jay and Peter still kept in touch with me in case my situation changes, but at that point the future was hard to tell. One day, Jay reached out to me and said they were opening their very first online course, exactly like the in-class, but live online. I was thrilled! This changed everything. I could actually learn coding through Actualize in the comfort of my own home. I grabbed the opportunity and started class June 2017. 

    FF x2: I graduated as part of the very first Actualize Online cohort and simply put: I can code now. I can legitimately say that I am a web developer who knows the fundamentals of coding and how to make apps from scratch, and I can apply my skills anywhere, be it learning Python, or a new Javascript framework like React. I can say to an interviewer at a job that I've worked in a peer-programming environment and I know all about git. I can also put on my resume that I know how to work with apps using postgresql database and integrating APIs using jbuilder. But most importantly, I can say to anyone who questions our curriculum why we start out with Ruby and not Javascript, or why Vue and not React, that it is through these specific language and framework I managed to build a solid understanding in fundamental coding, and I am now a ball of clay, ready to be moulded. That, I think, is the true purpose of taking coding bootcamps in general. 

    I will be starting apprenticeship in a week or so, and hopefully afterwards I can give you an update on how that goes and job hunt as well.

    The coding world is always changing, and it's changing fast. Actualize has taught me that I came out this bootcamp knowing I can learn anything as long as I persist and work hard. It's not a bootcamp where you focus on the most popular language or framework; it's a practical one that handpicked the language and framework that is easiest to understand and build a solid foundation in. It is giving you the key to unlock the door to many more skills to come. 

    I highly recommend Actualize if you have no background in coding or computer science and would like to pursuit a career in it.

Thanks!