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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
  • Five Stars
    - 1/28/2018
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    Joining Actualize was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I had very limited experience with coding going into the bootcamp but still felt like I could keep up with the class. I had Peter Jang as my instructor, he was awesome! He was great at explaining difficult concepts and kept the classroom vibe fun and casual. Super patient and knowledgeable, all around a great teacher.

    One thing I think is worth mentioning is the job hacking aspect of this bootcamp. I've talked to people that have done other bootcamps and none of them seem to have went through the same training in terms of preparing you for the job hunt. They had us practice whiteboarding and gave us great tips on how to network and spruce up our LinkedIn profiles. Very helpful and it shows that they actually care about your professional growth as a developer. 

    I could not recommend Actualize enough. Great instructors, great people. It was very challenging, but the curriculum is well rounded and rewarding.

  • Winter 2017 Cohort
    - 1/28/2018
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    I took an AP computer science class back in high school and then an introductory programming class in community college but I never looked into coding as a career. I attempted every coding resource possible from Code Academy, FreeCodeCamp, Udacity, EDX and Udemy. Ultimately I knew that the only way that I would obtain the required skills for a junior web developer role would be to attend a bootcamp.

    I definitely enjoyed the overall course. It's a very different experience to share the same frustrations with your peer classmates. The ciriculum is full-stack and covers Ruby on Rails, Javascript, Vue.js, CSS and HTML. 

    Full disclosure: I just completed the first half of the program and currently do not have a job in the tech industry at this time. I have met plenty of past graduates from the program who are in developer or engineering roles. 

    If you are attempting to compare coding bootcamps I suggest that you go to LinkedIn and then search for the name of the coding bootcamp that you are interested in attending. When I looked up Actualize I found dozens and dozens of profiles who were employed as software engineers or software developers.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    I worked full time and attended Actualize bootcamp and it was hard but 100% worth the effort. Today's my last day of bootcamp and I can honestly say it's one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I am so happy with the instruction Actualize provided us with because the whole experience feels complete and well worth it. I was nervous because I came into this with no experience and mixed expectations but I feel like I'm coming out of this with soooo much more than I ever thought. Actualize stands out to from other bootcamps because of the quality of their instructors. My instructor was Peter Jang and he is porbably the best teacher I have ever had. To have an experienced developer know the thought processes of a newbie and anticipate questions you're going to ask is not the usual. The curriculum is intense but you get so much individual time with the instructors and TA's that it feels very involved and you don't feel like you're going at it alone. For anyone on the fence about a bootcamp and worried about joining, I really do recommend Actualize. 

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    There's a lot of noise in the Chicago bootcamp world right now, so when I went to look for a good one that fit my schedule, I had to take a really critical position on most. I'd had a friend go through a dev bootcamp horror story, where she got dropped into a class with a first time teacher, no real support, and was basically told to figure it out herself. The reason I chose Actualize is because all of their instructors have real world teaching experience, and I couldn't be happier with the results: they are dedicated to making sure their students understand what is going on, and will stick with you until you do. I seriously recommend this course to anyone trying pick up coding.

  • Anonymous • Web Developer • Graduate
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    I don't have any complaints with Actualize. Josh(teacher) was very clear on the subjects he taught. The curriculum itself was very organized and progressed smoothly. The whole class got along, and the environment was friendly and challenging. If you every need help out of class, you can come in up to 2 hours earlier and instructors will typically be there to help.

  • Developer
    - 7/22/2017
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    Actualize (formerly Anyone Can Learn To Code) is a part-time, 3-month web development bootcamp and apprenticeship with cohorts in Chicago, NYC, and San Francisco that costs $13,500. The program consists of three months of in-class training followed by placement in their web development agency, The Difference Engine. After the Sundays-and-weeknights training program, graduates spend up to four months as part-time developers with The Difference Engine building projects for clients, gaining real-world experience and creating portfolios that will be impressive to prospective employers. 

    Program is great for people who either don't work, work part time, or have jobs that allow them to work on class material outside of class. Out of 14 people, the five people who really excelled in the class fell into one of the categories previoulsy mentioned. The people who work full time had a more difficult time because the class moves very quickly and takes place Sunday from 9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Thursday 6:00pm - 9:30pm, with homework that is required on to be done either Friday or Saturday, and every day builds on concepts from the previous day. So if you have a bad day or two, have a busy week at work, need to travel, or any other conflicting priorities there is a good chance you may fall behind with limited opportunities to catch up. Also, do research on job placement because our class has talked with several students from previous classes who still haven't found jobs. The marketing materials claim it's in the 90-something percentile, online reviews state it's actually somewhere within the 60-something percetile, and having talked to previous classes indicates it's within the 50-something percentile so it is a bit of a risk to spend $13,500 with a 50%-65% chance of finding employment after.

  • Anonymous • Web Developer • Graduate
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    The Boot-camp at Actualize was a fantastic experience. While it was stressfull at times I would definitely consider the course and my experinece there a success. The instructors are passionate about what they are teaching and they know how to have fun while teaching. I would recommend this course to anyone that is interested in learning how to develop.

  • Web Developer
    - 7/22/2017
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    I am a high school science teacher and went through the course myself. I can tell the people at Actualize have spent countless hours discussing best teaching practices and pedagogy. They are always responsive to student needs and improving instruction. This is a very inclusive, respectful, and caring environment. This program is great for people who work full-time and want to make a seemless career change. 

  • Anonymous
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    It was a great experience learning in an environment that's not quite as full time- 22 hours a week.  As opposed to some other bootcamps it allows students to keep their jobs while still going through some pretty intense training.  In 12 weeks, they even admit there are some things that we just didn't have enough time to cover as in depth as they would have liked but they make sure you are introduced, get a little experience with it, and have the abitlity to find the resources you need to learn more in the future if you want. Overall a very good experience.

  • Software Developer
    - 5/12/2017
    Anonymous • Developer • Applicant
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    I interviewed for this program a while back and also sat it on a class. I researched this program and others before deciding to attend a coding bootcamp. Ultimately, I decided to go with another program due to the following observations.

    Inteview: The interview was fairly quick. Within 30 minutes, I received the paperwork to officially sign up for the class and place a deposit. This was a major red flag for me. If there isn't good vetting of applicants, you will end up with a class that moves slowly and a school with a poor reputation

     

    I decided to proceed and sit it on a class. I came in during the week and sat it on a class that was a few weeks into the program.

     

    The Class: I came in and sat in the back. The class ended up starting 30 minutes late. The instructor was very good at communicating technical concepts to the students. The issue was that the class was just learning about methods several weeks in. I would expect something like that to be covered in the first day or two

     

    My Research: My next and final step was to research the outcomes of the alumni. The majority of them didn't have full-time employment after the program. Most only had The Difference Engine listed in their profile(which I assume is an unpaid internship) with the job title of Web Developer(which is very deceptive if you ask me). You don't need to take my word on this. Go on Linkedin and search for "Actualize" under company and you will see the same thing

     

    Verdict: This is probably a good program if you know nothing about development and want an intro. If you want to find employment in the field, do 3-9 months of intensive self-study and apply to selective program that has a history of good outcomes(and don't take their word for it either. Do the research yourself). If you do it right, you may not even need to attend a coding bootcamp to become employable.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    I was most drawn to Actualize because it was a part time course that claimed to teach you how to become a full stack web developer in the same amount of time as a full time immersive course. I didn't have the luxury of quitting my job and devoting my entire time to learning how to code so I went with actualize. I worked 40 hours full time while attending 22 hours of bootcamp as well. It was a good idea at first but as the course went on and the material grew more and more complicated, I become exhausted and burned out. I went into the class with no experience or knowledge about coding. The instructor was friendly and nice and the TA's were great additions because I felt I bonded better with them than the instructor. I felt like the environment wasn't conducive to asking questions or making everyone feel comfortable enough to ask dumb questions. Talking with others in my cohort, we were all kind of blindly flailing around but nobody really knew what to do about it but keep on going. I would recommend it but not to someone working full time. It's exhausting and grueling. Save up your money for a full time immersive or get a part time job. It's not healthy to do both at the same time. 

     

    And like with everything in life, you get out what you put in and if you're working 40 hours on top of part time class, there's not much time to put in anymore effort. 

  • Great school
    - 7/29/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    Anyone Can Learn To Code was a great experience for me. I found a software engineering job almost immediately after graduating.

    The structure of the course, at the moment, is a few week period of pre-work with video lectures, office hours, and remote work. The remainder of the course is in person at nights. This was very helpful for me, as it allowed me to continue my day job. At the end of the program, there is a showcase for the personal capstone projects that we started work on in the middle of the course. Following the program, there is a multiple week apprenticeship program.

    I came from an unrelated work background, but had taken some Computer Science courses in College. I ended up learning a lot from the course. The teaching staff was excellent and knowledgable and are directly responsible for this fact. They are always willing to help and are all around friendly people. The pacing of the course was just about right as well.

    Anyone Can Learn To Code is directly responsible for my job placement. I landed an interview during the showcase with a small start up located in downtown San Francisco. I was hired a couple of weeks after. Two of my classmates were landed software development gigs within a couple of months from the course ending (three students of eleven).

    I do have some concerns with how things were managed after the program ended however. The recruiting officer who is supposed to have connections within the industry was laid off during my time there. While they are actively looking to fill his role with a suitable candidate, this does not help my classmates who are still looking for work.

    Additionally, the apprenticeship could use more structure. It is a new program for the school, and kinks are still being worked out of the system. The class is separated into groups, where they work alongside one another & a mentor (in our case a professional software dev & TA). Some of us are given additional roles, like project manager for example. I feel that while this provides exposure to other areas in the software development cycle, these are not the skills that we came to learn. It takes away from the time and effort of the actual development work. However, I do have to say that the apprenticeship is overall very helpful. Working in a team environment is very different from the work we did in class, and I have learned a lot from the few weeks I've spent with the apprenticeship.

    Overall, I enjoyed my time at Anyone Can Learn To Code. I always looked forward to class, despite it being tough. I learned a lot, and I was able to find a job because of it.

Thanks!