Job preparation is integrated into the curriculum, and students will build an online presence, resume and LinkedIn profile by graduation. Hack Reactor places alumni in mid-to-senior level positions at companies in tech, including Google, Salesforce & Microsoft, with an average graduate salary of $105K (2017 San Francisco student outcomes survey; 81% survey response rate).
Recent Hack Reactor Reviews: Rating 4.66
Recent Hack Reactor News
- Insights on Galvanize’s New Hack Reactor Software Engineering Program
- May 2019 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
- What are Data Structures? A Guide for Beginners
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
The Hack Reactor immersive coding bootcamp is focused on building autonomous, fully capable software engineers. Every unit in our curriculum has been pored over numerous times to optimize for educational power and efficiency. The first half of the course is often described as “drinking from a firehose” because of how much information it packs in. In the second half, you use your new skills to build projects, while learning new technologies on the fly. By the end you will be an autonomous engineer, capable of tackling unique, unfamiliar problems and building complex applications.
- Start Date
- September 2, 2019
- Class size
- San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, New York City, Denver, Seattle, Phoenix, Boulder, Online
- After you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class.
- Around half of our students receive help in financing their Hack Reactor journey. We work with lending companies that understand the investment you are making in yourself.
- Tuition Plans
- Financing options are available.
- Refund / Guarantee
- $1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- Hack Reactor focuses on merit, not prior experience. We provide prep programs for students from any background to study and pass admissions. Take our free self-paced online prep program or a live online prep class to prepare.
- Placement Test
More Start DatesSeptember 2, 2019 - New York CityApply by July 27, 2019October 21, 2019 - New York CityApply by September 14, 2019December 9, 2019 - New York CityApply by November 2, 2019September 2, 2019 - Los AngelesApply by July 27, 2019October 21, 2019 - Los AngelesApply by September 14, 2019December 9, 2019 - Los AngelesApply by November 2, 2019September 2, 2019 - San FranciscoApply by July 27, 2019October 21, 2019 - San FranciscoApply by September 14, 2019December 9, 2019 - San FranciscoApply by November 2, 2019September 2, 2019 - AustinApply by July 27, 2019October 21, 2019 - AustinApply by September 14, 2019December 9, 2019 - AustinApply by November 2, 2019
OnlinePart Time20 Hours/week36 Weeks
Learn full-stack engineering over nine months. Same Hack Reactor curriculum, program and quality - no need to quit your job. Class is held live online with two weeknights and one half-Saturday per week plus required independent study.
- Start Date
- July 23, 2019
- Class size
- After you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class.
- Around half of our students receive help in financing their Hack Reactor journey. We work with lending companies that understand the investment you are making in yourself.
- Tuition Plans
- Applicants who would otherwise be unable to attend Hack Reactor may split their tuition into installments and finish paying a portion of tuition up to six months after graduation.
- Refund / Guarantee
- $1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- Hack Reactor focuses on merit, not prior experience. We provide prep programs for students from any background to study and pass admissions. Take our free self-paced online prep program or a live online prep class to prepare.
- Placement Test
More Start DatesJuly 23, 2019 - OnlineSeptember 9, 2019 - OnlineOctober 29, 2019 - OnlineDecember 9, 2019 - OnlineApply by November 2, 2019
Hack Reactor Reviews
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My time at Hack Reactor was most certainly time well spent. I come from a background that involved ZERO coding/programming/CS of any kind. When I first heard about Hack Reactor, I seriously doubted that 3 months in a program could prepared me for mid-senior level engineering positions. But, the more I researched, the more I realized it was possible. After my 3 months at HR, I can honestly say that I am leaving with the skills I need to be a very successfuly software engineer. I have learned different frameworks and technologies, but more importantly, I have learned how to learn (and at a very fast pace). I can work successfully on both teams and independently. Hack Reactor might not teach you how to build everything from start to finish, but they certainly provide you with all of the tools you need to figure it out.
If you're looking for a challenging program that requires you to dig deep and work hard, Hack Reactor can do just that. It was by far the most challenging, and rewarding, experience I've ever had.
I recently graduated from HR. My background is a little different from that of my cohort-mates - I graduated from Stanford CS many years ago and have worked as a software engineer at two of Glassdoor's "Top 50 large companies to work for in 2017". I attended HR because 1) I was transitioning away from a non-technical role back into software engineering and needed a refresher and 2) because I wanted to grow in my ability to quickly hack together impressive/useful things from nothing.
Bearing in mind that I am not Hack Reactor's target demographic, I'll try to provide some high-level takeaways regarding my experience.
- What Hack Reactor provides that you can get for free (with lots of research and discernment): a high-level transition plan, good curriculum, good instruction, well-crafted projects, toy problems, job advice
- What Hack Reactor provides that you can't get for free: a shared co-working space, talented and highly-motivated and like-minded peers, an inclusive and supportive community (crucial during transition periods), emotional/technical support, accountability, etc...
- HR teaches what contributes to a successful career as a software engineer (autonomy, good learning techniques, growth mindset, etc...), outlines deadly risks (dependence, complaining, poor learning habits, retention/focus problems, etc...) and gives you a safe place and 12 weeks to practice the right attitudes and learning techniques
- Despite my experience, I emerged as a stronger engineer. I went from being a 'scribe', an engineer who prefers to understand details deeply and build carefully, to a 'conjurer' who can whip up full-stack apps in no time, using whatever libraries, frameworks, and languages I please (we built our thesis app using Go and Python). I'm still a scribe at heart but can now flex my conjurer muscles at will.
It's hard to compare HR ($20K, three months) to a college degree ($200K, four years) but I can confidently assert that the average HR graduate is better-equipped to contribute immediately as a fullstack software engineer than the average student who only took the Stanford CS core (CS106A/B/X, CS107, CS108, CS161) and web applications (CS142).
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Hack Reactor. To give some background, I recently graduated with a mechanical engineering degree and I wanted to get into software engineering. I considered either getting a masters in CS or going to a bootcamp. I chose to go to a bootcamp because I wanted to be with a group of like-minded people during the learning process (+ get a job), rather than just finishing the courses required by my university. I think it was a good choice.
My favorite part of the experience was the people. In college, I had a lot of situations where studied on my own, because I couldn't find like-minded people with the same desire to learn/etc. This cause a lot of stress, exhaustion, and low accountability. At Hack Reactor I was learning with and from a group of encouraging, smart, and positive people for over 11 hours a day. This made the whole learning process stress free and maximized the number of hours that I was learning. I stayed until 10-11pm everyday because I wanted to keep learning. This was in contrast to college where I felt exhausted and stressed after a couple hours, took a lot of breaks, and wanted to be done ASAP.
I learned a lot, but I can't say that for everyone. You get what you put in during the time you are at the program. Hack Reactor can help you build the right community to be productive (there is some luck of the draw, since your cohort may/may not fit your vibes). But the amount of knowledge you acquire during that time is all up to you.
I am a recent Hack Reactor grad who's just beginning the job search. I came into the program with very little actual coding experience (most of which was preparing for the Hack Reactor interview) and left the program feeling fully prepared for a job in industry. It's impossible to know if I truly am until I actually begin working as a software engineer, but having worked in Silicon Valley for several years (in a non-technical role) has given me a large technical network to draw from, and those in my network are also confident in my abilities now that I'm an HR grad.
I recently graduated from HR and am about to begin my job search. Now obviously I can't speak about success rate in terms of employment, since I have no firsthand experience, but I can say that I have definitiely learned a ton.
The curriculum definitely pushes your limits. You need to be ready to dive into something new every other day, work well with others, and be autonomous. My understanding of the "real world" in software engineering is that it will encompass all three of this, and HR makes it a point to drive this home from day one. The program picks up exactly where traditional education falls short, in terms of technical preparedness.
Along with the curriculum, your peers will be one of your biggest assets if you choose to join. You will be surrounded by intelligent, highly motivated students and that should only push you even more to be the best engineer you can possibly be. The environment is set up up for community building, so make sure to take advantage.
A couple critiques that I have include the cost; it is a lot of money. I honestly believe it was well worth it, however, because I am confident that I am now up to par with many of the existing engineers currently already in the job market. After a few years of work experience, I am sure that we will make that money back in now time. Another critique is in the level of job support. They do a great job on the last week of letting us know what we are jumping into, they don't suger-coat our job search experience (bluntly letting us know that it will suck for most of the time), and they offer us plenty of help reviewing and perfecting resumes, cover letters, and personal statements. Although, just as some of my peers have commented, I would have appreciate more guidance in terms of which companies to apply or something of the sort. They left all of the research up to us, which is understandable given we independent adults, but at the same time we are paying for a career change (which entails the education as well as the jump into the industry).
All in all great experience. We'll see after the job search... but hands down I would do it again if I was given the chance to do it over.
I am sad to see some of the negative reviews that recently popped up, but I can honestly say that people who complain that you have to wade through ambiguity, teach yourself how to handle new technologies and be responsible for your own education simply dont understand the point of hack reactor. Yes, all of this info is out there on the internet somewhere, but if you want a focused approach to get you to where you can get a job in only 3 months, HR is for you. Also, I would point out, this review is only for the on campus course, I did not take the Remote course and so am not sure how the two would differ.
But I CAN and WILL say, HR earned these 5 star ratings, and I only am here to express my gratitude and excitement for this new career journey I am embarking on as of today!
My 3 months at Hack Reactor were the most productive and intense 3 months of my life so far. Their approach to teaching is very unique, in that you are never given an answer directly, but instead guided to figure out the solution by yourself. I was sceptical at first, but as the course progressed, I realised how quickly I was picking up new material. Having now graduated, I feel confident I can learn any new technology with ease by myself.
If you are not a self-driven and motivated individual, Hack Reactor is not for you. You are not paying for the teaching material, you can easily find similar content online by yourself. What you're paying for is access to a vast network of software engineers, working space, a community of highly motivated and like-minded individuals to work on projects with, great job assistance, and the brand name. Yes, could probably teach yourself similar material on your own, over a longer period of time, but Hack Reactor will get you a higher paying job faster, so the tuition quickly pays for itself.
Okay, I want to start by saying that I would honestly consider HRR a major turning point in my life. On multiple levels, this program has bettered me: as a software engineer, as a confident adult and as a competent human being. As much as I would like to say this is entirely due to the program and the instruction given, it wasn't. Like a workplace, the people that are in your cohort are a defining variable in the successful outcome of the program. I was lucky enough to be part of HRR-19 and genuinely feel that I have made a lasting group of friends who actually care about me as a human and as a professional. As a group, we are supportive, honest and open - a winning trifecta that I think made a strong program truly transcendental.
The counselors are quite honest about what to expect when you finish the program, but I will reiterate it here - this program will not guarantee you a six-figure salary, it won't even guarantee you a job, but it will work hard to make sure you are prepared for the pressure of looking for one, no matter where you are. The most important aspect of this is that you will get what you put in. 3 months is honestly not a long time, but it is enough to change the course of your life if you embrace it.
I am not jaded enough to believe that the program is perfect, there are definite places for improvement, and I agree with some of the things that have been said - so I will start with those.
1) I know the instructors work very hard to put together lecture material - but given the cost and effort that these students are putting into the work, I would at least expect up to date slides - not recorded on-site lectures from 2014. I also think it would be more effective if we had a clean lecture - no questions from students or time spent listening to hustle and bustle of on-site... if I wanted that experience I would have actually gone on-site. I think this would help reduce the time input of lectures, and, if we had quick townhalls right after - it would allow us to ask the immediately relevant questions to us - rather than on-site stuff.
2) There is a pretty apparent gap between instructors level of skill and care of students. I have reached out to staff to discuss this specific issue in hopes that it will be addressed at some point, so that is where I will leave that.
Okay, now for the things that have been blown way out of proportion to me:
1) The sweatshirt thing. Seriously, we spend 20k to go this program... do you know how many sweatshirt you can buy for that? I think that pretending that we care enough about that sweatshirt to be dishonest about our experience is not only hysterical, it is actually insulting. As I said, this program has taught me self-respect on a level that traditional education was wholly incapable of, and I have no need for a sweatshirt to prove that I went here. Moreover, if you didn't enjoy the program, or find it worthwhile, why would you want the sweatshirt?
2) The stats on hiring rate. We actually had a very honest and frank discussion about the way these are calculated, they are more upfront than I was expecting. Anyone who says that they are falsified clearly was either not given that discussion or chose to ignore that for their own personal issues with the program - either way unprofessional and wholly untrue.
3) The people who complain about the level of instruction given at HRR aren't being honest with themselves about what it takes to cut it in the industry. They were very honest about the curriculum, stating that you would get less and less help especially after week 1. This isn't because they are trying to save money, they actually want you to learn to struggle with a problem and figure out the solution on your own. This is one of the reasons I am actually as confident as I am now - I don't need you to show me a solution, I need to be able to come up with one on my own, probably for a problem that hasn't been thought of yet.
4) To those complaining about not learning the newest material. You should know that most companies, even big once don't instantaneously switch over material and many times they are using older software, teaching you to do this isn't unhelpful, and they don't pigeonhole you into that version, in fact, because they give you so much space, they actually don't even know what version of software you are using. For those complaining about angular 1 when angular 2 exists (or anything similar) - both are still used, in fact, angular 1 is still more widely used than angular 2, so if you are asking for a useful skill then they are doing what they should. Regardless of any of this, the junior phase (first 6 weeks) isn't about learning the specific material, it is learning how to learn and be autonomous. If you didn't get it, this autonomy is the thing that actually makes you a strong engineer.
If you really want to get everything you can from this program and are willing to put in the effort it will be effective for you. If you want to be spoon fed information go get a CS degree - it won't get you as far as fast (or possibly period). If you want a sweater - go spend the 20k tuition on some sweaters.
I attended Hack Reactor from September to December of 2016, overall it was an amazing experience and I am really glad I made the huge jump to attend. A lot of people worry about the hours, but I really didn't find any issues with it, my life was wake up at 7:30, be at school by 8:30, stay at school until 9-10pm, go home and sleep then repeat. You get into a rythm and actually get used to this schedule and anything less just feels weird.
For the first six weeks of the program you basically learn all of your frameworks, and libraries, all of the "real" learning comes in the first six weeks pair programming with a different partner every two days.
The last six weeks of the program is working in a group environment on a team on a project that is entirely up to you to create from ideation all the way through deployment. There is no guidelines and students are allowed to create whatever they please, I really enjoyed this part of the course as I wasn't held to any sort of guidelines or unit tests to complete rather I had a goal for a end product and was able to work towards that goal on a team.
In closing I really though Hack Reactor was a great choice for me and the people who were successful were those who put in the time and really liked to code.
As cliché as it sounds, you really do get what you put into the Hack Reactor program.
As for the last six weeks, students are put into groups and work on applications from scratch for the rest of their time. It's all up to you how much time and effort you want to put into these applications.
Up to this point, I've tried to objectively recap my experience at Hack Reactor. So, now I'll expand on why I rated my overall experience 5 stars. The reason is because of the people in my cohort. While working on applications with them, there were so many things we learned from each other based on the problems we encountered together. The connections and, more importantly, friendships I made are invaluable and irreplaceable.
So, all of this to say, I am happy with my investment in Hack Reactor and I hope this review can help others better understand what they're potentially investing in.
Current student here.
If you are the type of person who gives it its all, is willing to go the extra mile by yourself, shutup and look for your own answers while learning through video lectures mostly then you are the candidate for HR but I would argue that is a sad excuse for paying 20,000 dollars (now they lowered it to around 18000 since no one was applying) not having quality help at hand and for that much I should have just put the high gear on "Self autonomous" and do it all myself going through Free Code Camp and other resourses and making study groups on meetup.
Just pointing out last couple of reviews were negative so suspeciously in the last 2 days there have been 7 positive ones of 4-5 stars.
They sound a big shaidy if you ask me becuse in the last month they barely had 7 reviews total and 7 reviews in 2 days saying HR is the best thing in the world. Does not make sense.
I also talked with some HR alumni grads from previous cohorts and they said HR is going through some serious challenges and they are finding it hard to get a job anywhere. HR focus has shifted to squezing profits to the detrament of quality of education. It is also packed like a chicken farm.
Maybe the job market has shrinked, maybe there are a gazillion bootcamps now pumping out graduates competing for the same jobs, maybe HR quality has gone down and they are teaching outdated stuff. I think its all of the above. Latter is HR's job to fix.
And sorry but I dont buy the whole SELF AUTONOMOUS thing. I went to App Academy for their jumpstart before HR and they were so so helpful and colaborative. Its almost like HR is a stab in the back situation if you ask questions. Thats not a good learning envirenment.
HR are going through serous challenges so I would stay away until they get their act sorted.
I attended Hack Reactor in San Francisco from September-December. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to attend the program, and it truly did change my outlook on learning and success. Yes, you can teach yourself to program. In fact, you have to teach yourself some basic programming in order to pass their admissions process.
However, Hack Reactor is so much more than learning how to code. Rather, I truly believe they teach you how to think and work like an engineer. Prior to attending Hack Reactor, not knowing an answer was an extremely frustrating experience for me. I always meticulously prepared for exams in college, just to avoid that feeling. The exciting thing about software development is that there really is no way to prepare for every problem that comes your way. I quickly had to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable and adopt a growth mindset. I am not exaggerating when I say that I fundamentally changed in this way in just 3 months. I see challenges as opportunities to learn something new, and I attribute this mindset to the instruction and atmosphere at Hack Reactor.
If you are considering this program, here’s my advice:
-If preparing to get into HR isn’t enjoyable for you, you are probably not going to enjoy it. You have to really love to program.
-If you DO love to program, it doesn’t matter what you were doing before this. I promise. I came in with the least technical background you can imagine, and here I am.
-Be prepared to work very very very hard.
-As with anything, you get out what you put in. So put a lot into it.
-Tell your family and friends that you will see them in 3 months.
-Don’t assume that the hard work is over after HR. It is never over.
If you don't want to read the whole review - here's the conclusion: you will never be able get a better experience rather than in HR. For all others, keep reading.
To begin with, the general atmosphere of the school is incredible. I can't imagine the place, where you can meet so many educated, talented and intelligent people. Every staff member works incredibly hard and dedicates all his energy and emotions to create the incredible atmosphere of HR.
Curriculum is very intense, but every time I struggled and needed help, not only my cohort-mates were ready to help, but also wonderful and cheerful fellows provided an incredible support. And to my mind, they played one of the greatest parts in creating the overall impression and atmosphere of the program. The material of the course is so well written and structured, I started to appreciate it even more after the graduation, because it's now really easy to understand tricky concepts and patterns, which had been clearly explained in class before.
Project part of the course simulated atmosphere of the real job as closely as possible, even though it seemed boring at first. I still can't believe that only a few months ago I wasn't capable of doing such an amazing things I can do now! All your projects are the visual representation of your 12 week hard work, and this is the best measurement of what this program has given you.
If I could, I would have started everything all over again, I would go through every day of school again..and again..and again. It was the most productive, enjoyable, challenging, impostor syndrome provoking, fun and happiest time of my life, I cannot express enough how grateful I am.
Thanks to all the HR team, staff, fellows, students, everybody who has been working hard to create all of it.
If you're considering attending HR and still hesitating, take a campus tour - you will be inspired enough to make the right decision.
Hack Reactor Remote is literally the best thing to happen in my life. The staff rock, the students are amazing, the experience is literally life changing. Do your homework, talk to a lot of graduates, you'll hear the same thing.
I’m a recent HRR grad and these negative review below could not be farther from the truth when it relates to my experience, and MANY of my peers (all?). The negative reviews are so extremely biased, so much so that it frustrates me. Let me break it down.
“HiRs just tell you to google stuff” - Yeah, that’s what you want. I want to learn to fish, not just be given the fish.
- It seems this point is overly-exaggerated for maximum effect by the negative reviewer. Yes HiRs have told me to google things in the past, but only after helping me arrive at a specific bug and error message that is Google-able.
- Developing the skill of debugging is everything. I actually don’t like when an HiR will tell me “ah I know exactly what’s wrong, here it is”. I know that’s not useful for me, even though it’s nice in the moment.
“The videos are bad” - Nope they are mostly just fine.
- From my perspective, the videos make up <5% of my experience. Sure there are old videos, and videos that I think could be improved, no doubt. But that’s not the point. The videos don’t need to be ridiculously polished or perfect. They are a great jumping off point to the work that is to be done. I learn most with my peers and getting help from help desk. There are several video lectures that were amazing.
- Oh and by the way, the freaking awesome tech mentors answer live questions after the videos too, so whatever.
“The hoodie for a review program is a scam - the positive reviews are a scam” - No, it’s actually a great encouragement. I actually really like it, b/c it gets me to get off my lazy butt and tell the world about this life changing experience.
- Yeah the hoodie for review program was delivered just fine to the students. I got this email as well as the lecture and the way it came off was basically “Hey we want the word out there about what the program is like. We legit are okay with you giving a 1 star review, coming to us and asking for your hoodie. That is totally fine.”
- I actually have a friend who went through HR and left a 3 star review, and got his hoodie and his Outcomes Coach helped him just as much. There wasn’t any drop in service for writing a 3 star review. That’s bs.
- I’m just lazy. It takes someone to write a 1 star review for me to write my 5 star review because it’s easier to just sit around and have a great experience and not come on here and talk about it. In fact, I’m happy that there’s a slight push for it. There are SO MANY STUDENTS who have a 5 star experience who just don’t write about it. Literally hundreds. Me included if I hadn’t seen these negative ones.
“All the teachers are former students” - Not really true, and also they’re amazing. So who cares? Maybe it’s better this way.
- The video lectures had a ton of awesome material from Fred, Allen, and Marcus. Between them they have a crazy amount of industry experience.
- The tech mentors are past graduates, but whatever. Who cares. The program works. Hell, maybe it’s better this way. Oh and I have no doubt that they could leave HR and go get a badass dev job. They don’t want to do that, they love their job, and love working with students. They are great teachers, and know their stuff. Seriously. They are humble, they help you when you want, and they’re super respectful. I can’t say the same for most hotshot people with 20 years of industry experience that I've met.
All in all, I felt compelled to write this due to the negative reviews of what I believe to be people who just had a bad experience for w/e reason.
Do your homework, talk to a bunch of graduates, and I’m sure you’ll independently conclude that you should go to Hack Reactor. It’s amazing.
Ok, back to writing code (at the software engineering job that I got because of Hack Reactor Remote). So yeah. This is an amazing program. I don't doubt that very few people had a negative experience, but that shouldn't take away from the 99% of people who had an absolutely amazing one like me.
By the way, my boss told me after I was hired that he really only hires bootcamp grads from Hack Reactor.
I could go on and on. Just do your homework if you're considering a bootcamp, especially a remote one, and you'll find that 99% of people at HRR had a fantastic experience.
Part 3, well Tony was supposed to make an entrance but he'll have to wait as I see Mr Harsh Patel coming in and answering to negative reviews.
Power of social media so HR are now listening...., so Mr Harsh I am replying to your response If you had read my review , I said I was from HRR18 and check your paper work we started on July 25th 2016 and we were Remote Beta and that excerpt from the email is true (check your hrr.communication mailbox and there will be a something called <sent items> and you will find it there) . On other point again it was after HRR18 started that you decided to have a single brand with a single interview for all campuses.
If Mr Harsh you still don't remember HRR18 dates then let me remind you that during this HRR18 course, within I think the first month you took over the responsibilty from Bianca who used to be incharge of the remote program. I saw you during the handover with Bianca as you were taking over and guess what when she left YOU NEVER SHOWN YOUR FACE AFTER THAT (HR saving money in front us , taking away a resourse). Bianca used to give some extra lessons after hours but you, well the first time I heard from you after that was when you sent an email talking about having a single brand for the multiple school and now replying to these responses.
If you had taken time attending and addressing the issues in the container, the same way you are giving responses then maybe it can benefit the students.......
Lets come to outcomes, someone in our cohort asked the outcomes coach if she placed anyone with the Big Four. She replied NO but someone did join Amazon but in a different field as a project Manager. When you are in HR they make you think you are a hotshot but when you go out you realize your just a JUNIOR. The data structures at HR are very basic with basic bigO. The big four interview starts at maybe AVL or red black trees and that is no where to be found at HR. HR is too caught up with its outdated n-queens and even worse backbone , who no one in the industry I 've seen cares about now.(again my view)
This course doesn't come even near to 10% of a CS degree, its just milking the gap.
HR interview for joining the program is based on basic functional logical programming so HR knows that if you pass that then there is a good chance you will get a junior to mid level job at the normal software companies out there (because they use the same sort of tests). So now it doesn't matter for HR , how well they prepare you as long as they keep you updated with toy problems.
Save yourselves money, praticse codewars and take a css class, you'll get one of those jobs....
stay tuned for part 4
What can I say that hasn't been said before. I think I was cheated as I joined because of all the postive reviews I saw on this site. Before starting Bianca from HR remote told me think of a five start restaurant, the setup may not be five star but the kitchen is five star.
After graduating from HR, let me tell you, if you have seen Gordon Ramsays Kitchen from Hell, then that is your comparision. The owner (caught up in his own fantasy world) thinks he's five star but in reality they are serving up microwaved food. Old lectures in form of video's served up with make do chefs
What a scam!!! Pay few hundred dollars and get better and upto date lectures from pluralsight or uda or lynda as thats what's being served up.
If I could get my money back then I would be first in queue.
RESPONSE TO HR'S RESPONSE: I'm not sure if you fully read my reviews, because I went into the specifics about each point that you addressed. I pointed out that there were stellar instructors, for instance, and I gave that category 4 stars, mind you. I also mentioned the outcome person that I do get to work with and that he is great, but you are still basically on your own(which is fine, but don't say you have great job assistance).
What I'm really trying to say in this review is that I wholeheartedly believe in the "what you get is what you put in" that people say about HR all the time. I really do, and I did learn a lot from my experience at HR with some great mentors. HOWEVER, there were practices that I was not comfortable with, and I think prospective students deserve to know just how much one has to "put in" that has absolutely nothing to do with HR. For 18K, it's not really worth what I received, hence, 2 stars. My main issue is with the marketing material and strategy. There are things that are misleading, where others are just plain lies. Even something as small as "800+ of curriculum", why bother lying about something like that? The truth is, you have to learn a lot on your own, which is fine with me! The problem is that HR takes credit for that too, and people need to know what they are getting themselves into.
In short, don't expect Hack Reactor to teach you everything you need to know to get a decent software engineering job. You will learn a lot in the program, but it simply isn't enough.
I'm not saying Hack Reactor is useless, but if you expect to find a job right out of the bootcamp without a significant amount of additional work (unless you have a CS degree or prior SWE experience), you are grossly misguided by HR's marketing material. Also, I suspect the main reason that you don't see negative reviews, and the reason why it took me so long to post one, is that no one wants to burn bridges with HR, especially when they are still job searching.
Let me start by breaking down the different ratings:
Instructors: four stars, out of respect for the real expert instructors
The instructors who had real, solid industry experience were awesome. Honestly, you cannot hope for better in college professors. They were professional and knowledgeable. For those instructors, I would definitely give five stars. However, it seems to be the trend that they are adding more and more instructors that are graduates of the course, without ANY industry experience whatsoever. While they are very nice, they are not as professional, and you can tell that the quality of the lectures are much much lower. From what I can tell, there are now fewer of the former and more of the latter leading live lectures now.
By the way, for every live lecture, you'll probably watch 2 video ones, which would be fine if they were actually good and concise, but the quality of those are poor, especially since they include the occasional awkward silence and Q&A(instructor: who can tell me what x is? [goes through a number of students to get the right answer, then explain]). They could be 15 minute videos, but instead, they are 45 minutes because of that. Waste of my time. Also, I didn't pay tens of thousands to watch videos that are worse than free ones I can find online. I wish I was exaggerating, but I'm not.
Curriculum: three stars, tldr - not nearly enough to get you a job
First six weeks: I learned a lot in these six weeks, even with the extremely fast pace. You will be able to create a simple full stack app by the end of it. For this part of the curriculum, I would give it 5 stars. While we don't get much time with the good instructors, you learn a lot from working with your peers, and I actually really enjoyed pair programming. The HiRs(HR TAs) also have the most to offer during this time.
Last six weeks: this is the part where you get essentially no lectures, and no help from the HiRs. The HiRs can help you in the first six weeks because they are familiar with the sprint, but since they are recent graduates themselves, they cannot help you during your thesis because you may be using tech they are not familiar with, and your projects are more complicated and your questions more specific. As the other reviews mentioned, your success depends on your peers, or you have to do all the work if they let you (since you can have useless teammates that won't let you touch "their part").
After graduation: while they tell you to start job search immediately, you quickly realize that you don't know enough. When you express that, their solution? "you have imposter syndrome". Things you realize you have to work on before feeling comfortable with the interview process: fundamental web development concepts, CSS (HR doesn’t teach you any of this), CS fundamentals(things expected from CS grads that you don't know), data structures(HR spends 4 days on it at the beginning of the course, but it's not close to enough), algorithms strategies, and anything you missed during the course because the pace was too fast or you werent responsible for a certain technology in group projects.
Job Assistance: two stars, not one only because our outcomes guy is a Rockstar
Basically, don't expect much. Our outcomes guy is really great(but seriously over worked, wtf HR), and we get good help with resumes and job search strategies. But again, when you don't feel prepared, its not enough. I shouldn't feel so dishonest for saying I am a solid web developer when there are still so many holes in my knowledge that I have to search through the internet on my own to learn.
You don't get connected with anyone, and there's no hiring day as others have mentioned. You are basically on your own. You have to go out of your way to network, cold contact people, apply to hundreds of jobs, all of which you have to do on your own. You get added to the HR alumni slack channel though, again, what you get is all on you, they don't help much.
In conclusion, Hack Reactor is not completely useless, but they are not honest. They make it sound like they can get you a job soon after graduation or you get a job because of them, but in reality, you have to do a lot more of your own work than you expect. Just a few examples of their misleading practices:
- They claim to be an 800+ hour course: doing the math (11 hours x 6 days/week x 12 weeks = 792 hours), yet they conveniently forget 2 hours of lunch/dinner breaks a day and an additional 1 hr break ("workout hour") three times a week. On Saturdays, you get out at 5:30, not to mention that you don't get any real lectures on Saturdays ever. That's 200 hours that they include in their supposed course time when it's just breaks, or Saturday nights at home. Most of the last six weeks, you don’t get any instruction either, and you are learning on your own. You go there, code all day on your own, that's it. I suppose everyone can make their own judgements on this one.
- They make it sound like they teach you everything you need to know: this is a little bit more ambiguous and abstract. My main beef with this is that it's so misleading. I went into the process knowing that I have to do a lot of work on my own, and what I achieve will be based on what I put in, not due to HR's hand holding, yet I still feel misguided. The reality is that you have to learn SO MUCH on your own. Case in point: we all used React/Redux in our thesis projects, and since no one learned nearly enough in the sprint, we all had to take a week to learn it on our own, using pirated Udemy videos that the staff felt comfortable distributing to us. WTF??
- "In addition to being employable in mid- to senior-level engineering roles upon graduation, our students learn fundamentals that will last them throughout their career. "(http://www.hackreactor.com/blog/which-hack-reactor-course-is-right-for-you-heres-how-to-find-out) A, you won't be employable at that level unless you have a CS degree or work your ass off from other materials outside of HR. B, you don't learn nearly enough fundamentals to be ready for a front end position, don't even think about a full stack one. Again, you can get a good job, but that depends on how hard you work outside the curriculum, not HR itself.
One succeeds because of their own hard work, not because of Hack Reactor. HR is only one part of your journey. I definitely learned a lot from the bootcamp, but I need to put it out there that it is not what it seems. It is not a replacement for a proper degree, nor will it prepare you enough to get a job. You prepare yourself. You work hard to earn it.
Response From: Harsh Patel of Hack Reactor
This school does a good job installing the whole aspect of autonomist learning. Yes, it is possible to self teach yourself web developement, but HR guided me through the right steps on getting there. Along the way you will definitely build relationships with your cohort and maybe even become really great friends.
If you want to go to a school that will definitely teach you not only technical skills, but also personal skills where it really does shape you as a person, this is the place to be. I have learned a lot more about myself during this program as I was learning and sharpening technical skills as well.
The hacker in residence are super friendly and willing to help you in any cases. At times, they might not help you SO much but its only because they do wanna see you push through and see if you can figure that part on your own because they know what you're capable of.
Instructors! I have never met such patient and kind people who had to deal with me like that before. Yes, I definitely was a cry baby, but it definitely did shape me for the better and for that I appreciate everything to even the worse news Ive heard.
Now as far as the job assisting, I barely got help. In fact, my resume during career week was so bad, that a lot of my friends who are mid-level engineers laughed at it. So I definitely had to really tear it to pieces and treat a more professionally well-written and well designed resume. How long did it take for me to get a job? 3 weeks. How many meetings have I had with the student outcomes after graduation? None.
Now, this may not be like that for everyone seeing that I have seen them receive help from student outcomes, but this was just my experience only.
I graduated from Hack Reactor a while ago, but to be honest I'm only writing this because a prospective student linked me to this page recently and I saw the recent negative reviews. All I can say is, wow, this person has an axe to grind. A lot of what they said is either untrue or spun in a negative way. They did a great job pointing out how to upvote the same negative review multiple times. Like I'm sure you didn't do that to your own reviews, genius.
I am a real HR alumni now working as a fulltime software engineer, and I couldn't be happier with my experience at HR. I want to make something clear: Never once were we "bribed" to leave good reviews for the program. We got a free t-shirt on the morning of graduation day, and a free hoodie using a coupon code provided without prompting, by the HR alumni coordinator to recent grads. I was never asked to leave a review for Hack Reactor — and I graduated in 2016.
Personally, Hack Reactor was one of my best life experiences to date, and I ended up with a great job to boot. From what I can tell, all of my classmates had a wonderful experience as well. If you are skeptical about the program, here's a surefire way to learn honest opinions of Hack Reactor:
Go on LinkedIn and message actual Hack Reactor alumni. There are over 2000 real, former students on there.
I did this myself before I joined and connected with some friendly, helpful people who raved about the program. Do this youself if you are skeptical. Good luck!
Edit: I want to mention that Hack Reactor, or any bootcamp for that matter, is not an easy ticket to getting a well-paying job. It requires a LOT of hard work and dedication, and I would really only recommend it if you LOVE CODING and are reasonably smart. If you don't find joy and beauty in software and algorithms, and you expect TAs to hand answers to you on a silver platter without pushing yourself to solve difficult problems, you will burn out and have a poor attitude (much like the 1-star reviewers) once you start doing it 12 hours a day.
Regarding "outdated curriculum"/"HiRs don't give me the answer!": It's clear that the person who wrote this missed the point of Hack Reactor. Sure, there are subtle differences between Node 6 and Node 7, or Express 3 or 5 or whatever. Though you will not find a company using (non-LTS) Node 7 in production, I guarantee it. But this is besides the point. These technologies are merely teaching tools in support of the real point of Hack Reactor: to learn how to be an independent, self-directed software engineer that functions well on the job. The real value of Hack Reactor is an intense, structured environment that allows you learn solid fundamentals while communicating fluently with peers and pushing yourself to become a solid, automous engineer. If you understand this, you will not give a crap about what version you're learning, because believe it or not, new software comes out all the time, and you'll have to learn it yourself. And you probably won't be using the exact same stack as HR anyway, but it doesn't matter — you'll be confident that you can find the answers and solve the problem yourself — as a real engineer must do.
My first SWE job required me to learn Java, Go, Protocol Buffers, Ember, and a host of other technologies. No, I did not have an HiR by my side as a personal tutor while I learned these things (and I didn't have to know Node 7, lol). And I didn't care, because I can learn whatever I want, and solve any difficult problem by myself. This is the real value of Hack Reactor, and it's very unfortunate that a few people seem to have missed it.
I will graduate from Hack Reactor this December. I must say it was far far below my expectations. Huge Disclaimer: At the end of the course they ask you to write a review of Hack Reactor, if you want a Hack Reactor Branded sweatshirt. 2nd Disclaimer: I will not comment about Job search or Job Help because my goal of joining Hack Reactor was to launch a startup.
So here is mine:
Firstly, the video lectures from Udemy, Udacity, EggHead, CodeSchool etc are ALL far far superior than HR’s in every single way you can think of. Most of Hack Reactor's videos are recorded from 2014 and maybe 5% of them after 2015. I found myself constantly spending additional money on videos from other companies. This is crazy considering I just spent close to 20k on this bootcamp. Their teaching materials are outdated, Why are we learning express 3.0 still when express 5.0 is already close to complete? Why are we learning angular1 when angular2 is released? React 15+ -- Yeah just the basics only, barely. The course is still in ES5, not ES6! (they give you a preview of it for 2 days out of the 3 months) And so on..
Second, there is a huge lack of support. I spent more FaceTime talking to non-technical class managers and counselors than actual teachers. And Yes the Hacker in residents are more a waste of time than helpful. Honestly, I could have just studied this alone, 75% of materials are available free. You just have to know what to search for (really thats the secret sauce). About a third of the way through the class support from non-peers was close to 0%. Yes this is a fact. 100% OF THE HELP I RECIEVED WAS FROM MY CLASSMATES....WHY bother spending so money then for a bootcamp?!? Some HIR's ask me to google things or "I can't tell you that, you need to figure it out yourself"
Third, the instructors are bad. HR teachers are no longer the founders of the company. Its a shame, when we look at precorded video lectures everyone in the cohort is thinking "I wish this co-founder was around to teach us, not our current mentor". One of the technical mentors was so bad, that 75% of the cohort made fun of him when we were just chatting amongst ourselves. He barely answered our questions and gave off the vibe he hated his job.
I would not be doing justice if I didn’t give a couple of PROS, so here they are:
- HR loves it students (they really do, too bad the premise of this bootcamp is flawed and outdated)
- It is very social (with classmates)
- Everyone is super smart and willing to go above and beyond (just classmates)
- They make you a good human and understand what it means to be a collaborator.
TLDR - I would not recommend Hack Reactor. The competion has caught up really well. If I took this course in 2014 or 2015, probably then it would make sense. But given its almost the end of 2016, take your money and spend it elsewhere. You will thank me. Yes Hack Reactor has a good name, but what good is a name if you are not happy with the outcome? I learned a lot but seriously felt ripped off and cheated, and that I could have joined FreeCodeCamp for free.
Response From: Harsh Patel of Hack Reactor
- The points made regarding new technologies are accurate, and intentional. In no world do we want to be teaching Angular 2.1.0 so close to its release. We optimize the curriculum for what employers want. The vast majority of Angular usage in the world is Angular 1.x, and NOT Angular 2.1.0. This is a deliberate decision to make sure graduates are prepared for the workforce.
- I understand your frustration noted above as a huge lack of support and HIRs tell you to Google things. One of the main goals of Hack Reactor is for students to become “Autonomous” by the time they graduate. The single most hireable characteristic for a Software Engineer is their ability to be autonomous on a feature, product, or project. Autonomy is developed both technically and non-technically. As a result, when training HiRs how to answer student questions during the curriculum, HiRs are trained to help you find the answer instead of telling you the answer. Therefore, I don’t doubt that you did hear from an HiR that you should Google X, Y or Z question. It’s their responsibility to help students develop the skillset of debugging, which oftentimes requires learning exactly what to google, or how to incorporate Google into your debugging workflow. We do our best to balance supporting and guiding students, while also making sure they can succeed in an autonomous workforce. However, what we’re learning from your experience is that there could be a more supportive way of helping students debug instead of telling them the answer. We’re now actively working on better training on this front.
These are opinions from more than 1 student from more than 1 cohort (both onsite and Remote). Instead of writing several negative reviews and skewing the average number of stars, we have decided to combine and collect all of our opinions into 1 review. Individually speaking, we do not all agree on all contents in this review. In fact, one of us wanted to give this review 5 stars for "Overall Experience." We encourage you to come back to this review to check for updates. Writing this may even hurt us because we may damage our future job prospects. Some of our classmates are still unemployed even after 6 months of job searching.
Do not believe most positive reviews about Hack Reactor that you read on the Internet (Yelp, Quora, Course Report, Switch Up, etc.) from mid-2016 Hack Reactor graduates. Several positive reviews written by 2016 Hack Reactor graduates are fake. What we mean by this is that the positive reviews are not fake because staff members created fake accounts to boost their ratings, but rather, what makes these reviews fake is that in order to get a free Hack Reactor hoodier at the end, you must write a review (positive, negative, or neutral) with your name attached to it (attached to the Google survey [so the job coach can know who to send it to and not have students cheat Hack Reactor with duplicate reviews for duplicate free hoodies] not directly on the review itself) and show it to your job coach. As you can imagine, even though the job coach does not directly "bribe" you with a free Hack Reactor hoodie (by directly claiming that the review must be positive), most people would not want to write a negative review with their name attached to it (on the Google survey not on the review itself) due to fear of retaliation from the Hack Reactor Outcomes Team (not receiving optimal job support such as whiteboarding help, interviewing help, fixing resume, etc.).
We like how Hack Reactor claimed:
"Please write a review (positive, negative or a mixture of both) on the site listed below" implying that they would be okay with honest negative reviews detracting future applicants to their software engineering bootcamp when in fact, Hack Reactor is a first-and-formost a for-profit school. In Economics 101, a business stays in business to make money. A business that fails to optimize profit is not a business. Do not let the fact that Hack Reactor is giving out several full-rides (by creating a video that teaches someone a new skill) fool you into thinking that their top priority is not to optimize profit. This is all public relations strategies to market their software engineering bootcamp.
As far as we know, Hack Reactor did not ask for reviews in exchange for free Hack Reactor hoodies until recently in mid-2016 or so, so ignore any Hack Reactor alumni who graduated 2012-2015 and or early 2016 who claim that our allegations are false.
Here is our evidence that Hack Reactor engages in such behavior:
As these people did not graduate from Hack Reactor in mid-2016 specifically, they were not asked to write a review with their names attached in exchange for a free Hack Reactor hoodie. Hack Reactor graduates from 2012-2015 and early 2016 are completely out of touch with reality of the new mid-2016 Hack Reactor quality. They had several $100k+ salary job offers within 3 months of graduating, so they are living in their own echo chamber while mid-2016 graduates and onwards are struggling with dismal job prospects. As such, to the eyes of prospective Hack Reactor applicants, their reviews and opinions are no longer applicable. However, some mid-2016 Hack Reactor graduates are definitely not getting $100k+ job offers within 3 months of graduation.
This is incredibly unreasonable as most prospective Hack Reactor applicants depend on honest reviews to help them make an informed life-changing decision that could negatively affect their mental health, finances, relationships, etc. These students do not realize that Hack Reactor is an unsafe bet until they become unemployed for 6 months.
In fact, some of us were discussing amonst each other to plan to initially give Hack Reactor positive reviews with all 5 stars, wait a month for the free Hack Reactor hoodie to ship to our houses, go back and decrease all of the 5 stars positive reviews back down to 1 star negative reviews. Course Report allows the reviewer to infinitely edit the written review and change the number of stars as well.
Notice how all of the positive reviews on Course Report have 0-1 points of "This review is helpful" whereas most of the negative reviews on Course Report have 20+ points of "This review is helpful." This analysis should tell the Hack Reactor applicant that more people agree with the negative reviews than the positive reviews. Quality over quantitiy. The high number of positive 5-star reviews (which are mostly fake anyways because Hack Reactor alumni are easily bribed with a free Hack Reactor sweater) do not mean much if few people upvote them (agree with them).
The only reason we attended Hack Reactor Remote / Hack Reactor Onsite was due to the postive reviews we have read on Quora, Course Report, Switch, Yelp, etc. (which we later found out some recent ones to be fake because the students were being bribed with free Hack Reactor hoodies).
Coming into Hack Reactor, we had high expectations as Hack Reactor claimed to be "the CS degree for the 21st century" as well as "The Harvard of the Software Engineering Bootcamps." They advertised that their student outcomes were better than other software engineering bootcamps, BS CS programs from UCs, BS CS programs from CSUs, etc.
The Remote Prep and Fulcrum are also useless with minimal help from HIRs with just slides.
Once you pass the technical interview, you must complete the precourse homework by yourself with no help from HIRs.
The HIRs, technical mentors, class sheperd, etc. do not have any previous industrial software engineering experience. The HIRs get paid $22 per hour, so most of us did not even apply. The technical mentors get paid $80k-$100k (as advertised on Angel List). The HIRs from Thinkful have previous industrial software engineering experience and get paid $35 per hour based on what my friends tell me. During sprints, you are forbidden from asking technical mentors for help. You are only allowed to ask HIRs for help.
We asked help from the HIRs, and most HIRs just told us the following:
"You must Google the answer yourself. I will watch you via screenshare to see your Googling methodology. If there are any errors in your Googling methodology, we will correct you and point you in the correct path in terms of knowing what correct terms to Google."
"Did you try Googling it before submitting the Help Desk Ticket"?
"My goal is not to give you direct answers, but rather, my goal is to point you in the correct direction and help you get unstuck. Once you get unstuck, you Google the rest."
"Here is some documentation, blogs, videos, etc. for you to read. These resources will solve your questions. If you still need help, use Google. If you still need help, submit another help desk ticket."
"These concepts were covered in the videos. Rewatch videos X, Y, Z on the MakerPass interface. You should also Google some blogs to help you. You can use money to buy Udemy videos as well."
MongoDB 3.2.11 was released on November 18, 2016.
Current Hack Reactor students definitely did not learn MongoDB 3.2.11.
Express 5.0 is in the alpha stage, yet one recent Hack Reactor graduate whom we met at a software company recruiting meet and greet event in downtown SF claim that he or she was still solving the half of the Express sprints in Express 3.0 and the second half of the Express sprints in Express 4.0. This shows that Hack Reactor was too lazy to update their curriculum to be consistent.
Google released Angular 2.1.0 on October 12, 2016. https://angular.io/news.html We are still learning Angular 1.0.
Node 7.2.0 was released on November 22, 2016. https://nodejs.org/en/download/releases/ A recent Hack Reactor graduate said that he or she was still learning Node 6.
Facebook just released React 15.4.0 on November 16, 2016.
The version of React.js that one recent Hack Reactor graduate was learning was definitely not 15.4.0.
What are we even paying $17,780 for then?
After realizing how insulting the HIRs were, by around Week 4, 95%+ of us stopped submitting tickets for help desk to ask HIRs for help, and we just simply started to search the Internet when we got stuck.
Many of Hack Reactor's contents look similar to online free sources. This could also be due to other sources reusing Hack Reactor's contents (which is clearly not Hack Reactor's fault at all). It can also be previous Hack Reactor students uploading Hack Reactor sprints onto their public respositories on GitHub and other sources copying off of them (which is clearly not Hack Reactor's fault at all). Our HIRs told us to consult Udemy, Youtube, etc. before doing each sprint. So we did. When we were doing the sprints, we were saying to ourselves, "Wait, did we not do something similar to this before?" The HIRs did not tell us why there were no solution videos for Recastly nor Siskel. While we do not accuse Hack Reactor of plagiarism or copyright infringement under DMCA laws, it begs the question of:
"Why pay $17,780 to study at Hack Reactor when so many resources are available online for free"?
Someone can just clone the Hack Reactor experience by gathering a group of 4 Hack Reactor accepted students, use Udemy, Internet, Free Code Camp, etc., and just build projects as a group. The real value in Hack Reactor are the portfolios and the alumni connections which can be replicated via Meetup groups.
We give Hack Reactor the benefit of the doubt and assume that it was possible that another Youtube video was recycling material from Hack Reactor instead or that neither were reusing contents from each other and they both independently created the similar content. It is incredibly difficult to create super 100% original content from scratch. Mr. Harsh Patel claimed that all sprints are designed independently, so we believe him. We are glad that Hack Reactor is committed to honesty and that Mr. Harsh Patel responded. We wish Hack Reactor and Mr. Harsh Patel the best in optimizing Hack Reactor for future students. However, Mr. Harsh Patel still failed to explain to us why Recastly and Siskel do not have prepared solution videos. These solutions lectures had to be given live in person.
How much you learn depends on how smart your sprint partners / project partners. Despite claiming a 3% acceptance rate, Hack Reactor still accepts low-quality students. It is incredibly easy to cheat on the technical admissions interview, precourse homework, weekly assessments, sprints, summary assessment, etc. In fact, it may even be possible to cheat your way through the entire Hack Reactor curriculum (onsite or Remote) if someone is clever enough (although we do not believe there has been a case where someone has cheated their way through the entire Hack Reactor curriculum). The reason why people cheat in Hack Reactor is because they quit their job and spent $17,780 and do not want to put their spent money to waste.
On Week 6 Saturday, you must pass a Summary Assessment. If you fail miserably, you are permanently kicked out of Hack Reactor where you have no option to defer to a subsequent Hack Reactor cohort cycle. You are still given a prorated refund of around $8k though. The Summary Assessment covers the MEARN stack.
The thesis project phase is useless because everyone builds their projects differently using their own technology stacks, so there is no way for the HIRs to help you get unstuck as each HIR is specialized in a different technology stack and each HIR does not know your game plan for your thesis project as they were not there when you are theorycrafting your thesis project at the beginning. If you are stuck on a part of the thesis project, you basically have no recourse whatsoever. Most groups do not even finish their thesis project by Saturday of Week 13 and they must spend several months after their Hack Reactor cohort has ended to wrap up their projects before interviewing. This means that some people's (the 2% in 2015 that are unable to obtain at least 1 software engineering job within 6 months of graduation from Hack Reactor) timelines are as follows:
-1 month to study JS on your own for the technical admissions interview
-1 month to re-interview if you get soft rejected
-1 month for precourse homework
-2 months to defer to the next cohort if you fail the technical check-in during the precourse phase
-3 months for the actual software engineering immersive
-1 month to finish / fix / polish your projects (MVP, Greenfield, Legacy, Thesis) on your own even after Hack Reactor is finished because your team members could be incompetent, code everything wrong, let you do most of the work, etc. (If you do not have a BS CS degree [which most Hack Reactor students do not], remember that you must have an interview-viable project before an employer will even give you a phone screen.) without any help from Hack Reactor
-2 months to review data structures and algorithms via Cracking the Coding Interview, Interview Cake, Coderbyte, Code Wars, Leet Code, Top Coder, etc. due to how poorly data structures and algorithms are taught at Hack Reactor without any help from Hack Reactor
-6 months to find a job (applying, getting rejected, phone screens, take home coding challenges, Skype interviews, onsite interviews, negotiation, etc.).
We are aware that 98% of 2015 Hack Reactor graduates receive an offer within 6 months of graduation from Hack Reactor (as a 3rd party independent accounting firm verified), but if you are in the 2% from 2015 that were unable to get a software engineering job within 6 months, your entire career change to software engineering via Hack Reactor might take upwards of 17 months. Being unemployed for 17 or more months will negatively affect your relationships, finances, etc. because the interest on the loans will accumulate while you are unemployed. Some long-term unemployed Hack Reactor graduates who have completely given up on their software engineering career change have gone back to their previous jobs.
The job coaches are more like cheerleaders. They do not help you connect with jobs.
When people read the phrase "job placement," people usually interpret it as "the organization connecting the students with interviews directly where the students skip the application submission process and jump straight to the interview."
As Hack Reactor does not connect its students with interviews directly where the students skip the application submission process and jump straight to the interview, their outcomes team's goal is incredibly misleading.
Hack Reactor has cancelled their hiring day where they brought in hiring partners to observe the students' projects and hire on the spot. Nowadays, Hack Reactor alumni just apply randomly and hope to get jobs. Codesmith in LA and App Academy in SF still have their hiring days.
App Academy and Viking School are safer bets as you only pay them X% of your 1st year's salary over a span of Y months if they help you get a job.
Thinkful, Career Foundry, Udacity Nanodegree+ refunds your tuition if you fail to find a job after 6 months.
Hack Reactor keeps the entire $17,780 tuition even if you are unemployed for more than 6 months.
Hack Reactor shuts down curriculum access after 3 months. Thinkful lets you keep infinite access to the Thinkful curriculum for a lifetime even if Thinkful refunds the student the entire $14,000 due to failing to find at least 1 market-rate software engineering job in his or her location. Some Thinkful students even feel bad that Thinkful is being this generous. A Thinkful alumnus claimed that this is Thinkful's method of giving a gift as gratitude for at least trying out Thinkful. To make this review honest and fair, since we claimed that Hack Reactor uses free scholarships via creating "Teach a new skill" videos to market their school, this may also be used to market Thinkful.
The Hack Reactor curriculum is incredibly outdated. Hack Reactor claims to be better than other software engineering bootcamps because other software engineering bootcamps takes you from 0 - 100 whereas Hack Reactor takes you from 20 - 120. However, the current job market for junior / mid software engineers is oversaturated. Most of the software engineering job market is geared towards senior and above (lead, staff, director, VP, CTO, etc.). However, being at 120 is not enough to get a senior software engineering role. To be a senior software engineer, you need to be at least at 150-180. Some Hack Reactor alumni have submitted 500+ applications, but they are still unemployed (assuming their claims are true). To make this review fair, this could also mean that they are bad interviewers which is clearly not Hack Reactor's fault.
Some employers in 2016 and onwards want to see a completely self-made project with only the job applicant making 100% of the commits on said project on GitHub, but Hack Reactor forces students to build projects in groups of 3-5. Previous Hack Reactor job seekers have told my classmates that employers generally do not give interviews to those who do not have at least 1 full-stack application that is completely built by themselves because the employers do not want to risk wasting time interviewing an applicant who could be incompetent who might have let his or her teammates do all of the work and take all the credit in the end (remember that in the thesis project phase, the HIRs / technical mentors do not check individual progress of each member on each thesis team before letting them graduate). This means that it is entirely possible to graduate from Hack Reactor by barely making any commits at all to your group's thesis project.
Our main reasoning for writing this review is to help others make an informed decision, so that they do not quit their job and take out $42k in loans ($25k from Pave + $17k from Earnest) (remember that you also need living expenses for 9 months [3 months for Hack Reactor and 6 months for job search]). In order to have our negative review be taken seriously by as many people as possible, we have carefully edited this negative review to remove all sentences related emotions and only focus on the cold hard logic.
We would not recommend Hack Reactor (onsite or Remote) to anyone at all even if he or she won the full-ride Hack Reactor scholarship $17,780 where you must make a Youtube video of yourself teaching someone a new skill because this person who attends Hack Reactor with a full-ride would still be wasting his or her time.
We hope the Hack Reactor employees had an excellent Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday season because they surely ruined ours.
Some alternatives to Hack Reactor would be Udemy, Youtube, blogs, Stack Overflow, Free Code Camp, Free Code Camp meetups where you have access to a live tutor volunteer, Interview Cake, Cracking the Coding Interview, etc. The secret is knowing what to study. The only reason why people attend software engineering bootcamps is that they find self-studying to be difficult due to not having a game plan curriculum. Once you figure out exactly what you must study in order to be a successful software engineer, attending any software engineering bootcamp makes absolutely zero sense.
The founders of Telegraph Academy have both left Telegraph Academy, and Telegraph Academy has now been converted to The Telegraph Track which is a mentorship program for people of color, women, LGBTQ people, etc. in the software industry. One Telegraph Academy cofounder is now a diversity specialist at Hack Reactor, and the other Telegraph Academy cofounde is now the interim director of Hack Reactor Remote. Notice how there is no Hack Reactor site in Berkeley, CA. The reason why the Telegraph Academy was not converted to Hack Reactor Berkeley is because they received some negative reviews on Yelp and Course Report. The Reactor Core Network just decided to let the Telegraph Academy name die out to protect the Hack Reactor brand name.
As of 11-29-16, after only 4 days, this honest negative review received 30 upvotes. It is possible to upvote the same review on Course Report more than once after clearing cookies, but even if we took into account that each person upvoted this honest negative review 3 times each, that is still ~10 unique upvotes. We did upvote some of the previous negative reviews (only once each), but we have only upvoted our own negative review once (after writing the 1st draft) since it is more than 1 person writng this review. We are extremely pleased to know that this review has made an impact on some prospective students' decisions. It is only a matter of time until Hack Reactor is forced to create a directory of students' LinkedIn profiles where they encourage prospective applicants to message random alumni for opinions and or take the "you only pay us X% of your 1st year's salary until you find a job within Y months" approach towards tuition.
We are so glad that Course Report only has an upvote button and no downvote button.
Can you imagine what would happen if Course Report had a downvote button?
If Course Report had a downvote button, lots of Hack Reactor alumni who had a positive experience to comb through past negative reviews and downvote them.
One thing to note is that the next cycle ends around Saturday 12-10-16, and this exact time is when the fake reviews from Hack Reactor graduates (who are easily bribed with a free Hack Reactor hoodie and who have sold their soul to the devil by knowingly deceiving future Hack Reactor applicants by writing fake positive reviews just to get a free Hack Reactor hoodie) start pouring in.
We will probably write our final draft before Saturday 12-10-16, so that this honest negative review can be seen by many prospective applicants before a sea of fake positive reviews (by Hack Reactor alumni who are easily bribed by a free Hack Reactor hoodie) eclipses this honest negative review.
Make sure you share this honest negative review with as many people as you know.
If we can even convince at least one person reading this honest negative review to reject Hack Reactor to self-study software engineering via Udemy or Free Code Camp, our job here is done.
To make this honest review fair, we will still list some positive factors about Hack Reactor:
-The classmates are nice and social.
-You will probably be friends with your project partners for life.
-The program is somewhat selective to a certain extent, so the top classmates are all very smart.
-The atmosphere is positive.
-The top students get jobs at top companies.
-Almost all classmates are willing to help each other.
-You have guaranteed partners for software engineering projects.
-Hack Reactor hired an independent accounting firm to verify their student outcomes (in 2015, 98% of job-seekers found a software engineering job within 6 months of graduation from Hack Reactor).
If you want a completely objective view point of Hack Reactor, we strongly encourage you to go on LinkedIn and message 10+ people from Hack Reactor mid-2016 and ask them for their opinions on Hack Reactor. All of them will say that they were offered a Hack Reactor sweater in exchange for an Internet review with their name attached to it. Most people fear giving opinions with paper trail as these can be traced back to them. Offer to buy them lunch / beer / lunch / a gift card in exchange for taking the time to sit down with them for X minutes asking them for their real honest opinions of Hack Reactor in person where there is no paper trail of their opinions leading back to them.
To the people claiming that this is a fake review from a competitor software engineering bootcamp designed to attract prospective applicants to their own software engineering bootcamp, if we are not Hack Reactor alumni, then how do we know super specific details about the Hack Reactor syllabus (which are not publically available anywhere on the Internet at the time of this review) such as Siskel (Backbone.js sprint) and Recastly (React.js sprint with Youtube API) not having prepared recorded posted solution videos on the Hack Reactor contents interface (at the time of this posting)? Explain that. Feel free to ask any current Hack Reactor student to verify this specific fact (at the time of this posting). Actually, ask any other future Hack Reactor students in subsequent cohorts to verify this fact because given Hack Reactor's previous track record of failing to update their online videos in a timely manner, Hack Reactor will most likely still be using 2014 video lectures in 2017 and still fail to update a single aspect on their outdated MakerPass interface. It is incredibly unfortunate that we even had to provide some sort of circumstantial evidence to convince future Hack Reactor prospective applicants that this is a real review. It looks to us like none of the positive reviewers had any logical rebuttal to our review and just resorts to calling all negative reviews fake because they have nothing else to back up their claims. Several of the rebuttals to this review had to resort to italicizing and or bolding their main arguments. With the exception of subtopic headlines, we never had to resort to bolding or italicizing any text within this review. We let the evidence, rationale, logic, etc. speak for itself.
Assuming Hack Reactor brings back hiring day, we will increase the job support category of this review to 3 stars.
Response From: Harsh Patel of Hack Reactor
- It’s mentioned above that, in order to get a free Hack Reactor sweater at the end, you must write a review with your name attached to it and show it to your job coach. This is misconstrued: we explicitly ask for honest reviews and never “bribe” students. We never examine or audit the review before it goes live nor do we require them to post with their name attached. Students are welcome to post anonymously. The hoodie is purely a token of our appreciation for taking the time to share their Hack Reactor story. Furthermore, we have offered this deal off and on throughout our history (including before 2016) with no effect on the quality of reviews we have received. The assertion that all other graduates “sell their souls” for a free sweater does not fit the parameters of the offer or the available evidence.
- It’s suggested that our graduates are unprepared for the job search, that many are unsuccessful, and that our outcome numbers are made up. We have always held ourselves to strict tracking and reporting standards, and in 2016, we released our full outcomes methodology--the most stringent in the coding bootcamp space--and our audited student outcomes for 2015. These reports provide third-party verified results for every enrolled student, which are consistent with our self-reported numbers. The 2016 report, when completed, will show similar outcomes to our historical numbers.
- This review claims that Hack Reactor borrowed content from Udemy. This is false.
- The 17-month timeline provided in the review contains a number of misconceptions, namely that graduates would need to spend months teaching themselves new material before applying for a job. Of the over 2,000 students who have taken our course, few if any have experienced anything like what the reviewer describes..
- We welcome the suggestion that prospective students reach out to our graduates on LinkedIn. This is for the same reason that we encourage reviews: the vast majority of our students have an excellent experience and a high return on their investment.
I was a HRR18 student in the online HackReactor course graduated end of October
For the benefit of the future coders I would like to give my experiences so you can make an informed choice. I will at the same time during the story , give my judegements which I accumulated over the course.
My journey started in early in the year when I decided to become a coder as a change of career as I found it interesting when I experimented with it.
I started with the remote prep, cost around 700 dollars but worth it as it gives you a direction.
Next step is passing the admissions challenge, what I found at the time (again my judgement which could be wrong) was hardest was HR onsite, then HR remote, then MakerPass then Telegraph Academy. Basically they had different tiers where they wanted to catch the tutions fees from all types of students with various talent levels.
I managed to pass the harder HR remote test after a few tries. What they do after a failed test, is to judge if you have potential, If yes then they will put you on a ptc program where an instructor will help you pass the test by practising similar questions to the test.
So what they are doing is picking students who they think are logically sound so that given the practise, they can get good in programming and get a job and improve their numbers.
So if you pass their test, given that you do learn and practise coding full time then you have the potential to get a coding job whether you go the bootcamp or do it on your own.Knowing what I know now, I would have used free code camp, lynda, uda , udemy to do it myself and be BETTER than what I am now.
Once selected, you a month long pre-course, where there is no teaching but they give you material to get you started on the basics, some they have developed, some from the internet, but nothing special. Before the course starts they test you again and if you fail, they will delay you to the next session.
Once started, intimidation starts, that they can ask anyone to leave during the first week based on their performance or not being continualy punctual and anyone can leave less their 2k deposit.
!!! HR if you are listening, People have left jobs and taken out a loan to come on the course and you have tested them twice and instead of taking responsibility, you threaten them.
But all that planning and making you understand the material STOPS after week one. They put you in pairs on sprints with little understanding and little time, so you struggle and concentrate on passing the tests that are pre-written for you. End result you and your pair struggle together, the one who understand more, ends up doing it and the weaker just sees it happening and wishes the stronger could part some knowledge on him. We never got to know how to write any tests during the sprints, as they were pre-written and never really understood the topic but somehow using helpdesk managed to complete the basic requirements. I mentioned Helpdesk, yes you get to use the helpdesk (which are former HR graduates) to get you out of a situation but don't expect they will make you understand as they are just meant to just point you in the right direction. As for the instructors (ours were former graduates), well you are not meant to direct email or slack them during the sprint as they are off limits and they give us their presence during a 30 minute townhall where you ask general questions before and after the sprint.
stayed tuned for part 2.
Before I start, let me answer what I read a couple of reviews back about refuting the hoodies for review claim. Well this person may have attended some previous year HR class when they were more of a learning institution than a business concerned more about bottom line.
Below is part of the email to HRR18, well after graduation as we were not being told about when hoodies were to be given.
How to Get Your Hack Reactor Hoodie
Some of you have asked about getting Hack Reactor hoodies, and here's the scoop:
Use this link (https://goo.gl/forms/amHidingTheLink) to complete a survey including the URL to a Quora review you have written about your experience at Hack Reactor Remote.
Here are a couple key points outlined in the header of the survey:
1.Please write your review on Quora (https://www.quora.com/Reviews-of-Hack-Reactor-Remote-Beta)
2. Please leave a star rating. Note: You will need to copy/paste "★★★★★” (or however many stars you would like to give) into your review.
Please note that hoodies are shipped out in bulk every several weeks. You'll receive an email letting you know once your hoodie has been shipped.
So HR you can keep my hoodie with you, maybe it'll help your bottom line. Actually we never got anything from HR, not even a completion certification.
Now lets get to part2.
The part where they leave you alone in groups with no pratical help and they start the outcomes phase on writing a one page resume.(great but recruiters can spot that bootcamp resume from a mile)
Enough already said by others about the sad phase 2, I really felt for some of our cohort mates who were struggling and trying to find material on the internet but couldn't help them as I was also under pressure to finish.
At the end of the thesis we got a 15 minute code review. What only 15 mins....yes... and what a shame, he was more concerned about white spaces and length of the files than the actual code. To his defence I'll blame HR for putting him in this situation as how can you review code written by a team over 3-4 weeks in 15 mins so I guess best thing to do is be a code linter ( An idea you could train our beloved bot :) to do it for you)
Apart from this 15 mins , we never had a code review one to one for the whole course...you know why, it's because it costs time so they would have to pay for extra instructors. You had assessments and unless something wrong, you would never hear about them. When asked, they said no News is good News.What!!! is this a learning institute, where they dont even give you a grade. Yes, no grade given to you. If you are still insisting then book office hours.
Finishing the code review bit, now after HR that I've started the real learning and seen some application reviews, I can say our code was lacking in the proper way of writing a professional frontend code and now understand why a lot of companies were not replying back after seeing our github code.
One advise, Skills shortage is why you'll get a job and not HR (HR are just milking the gap)
I'll leave the rest for part 3 --(stay tuned for the episode where Tony makes an entrance)
Response From: Harsh Patel of Hack Reactor
- Above it’s mentioned that we have different admission challenges and different tiers by campus. This is incorrect; Hack Reactor does not have different tiers or different admissions challenges. All campuses have the same challenge, same application process, and same tuition. We also give applicants the opportunity to interview for one campus but enroll into another if plans change.
- The Hoodies for Review sample that is shared is outdated and we’ve refurbished the review program. The Quora link lists Hack Reactor Remote Beta but we proudly launched out of Beta in July 2016. We do have an updated review system live, and continue to refine it to give students an open outlet for feedback.
- Regarding code review, tech mentors meet with each team at least once if not more per project. During the Thesis phase, this is minimally 1 per week. Additionally, Technical and Non-Technical Staff are both available daily during the program for Office Hours. The tech mentors average an hour of office hours per day and frequently add additional hours as needed.
A great but rigorous program that demands 100% of your time for the 3 months you're there. The sacrifice is large but if you're serious about a career switch to software engineering, then it's a wortwhile investment.
Expect to leave with a good grasp of coding fundamentals and the ability to create full-stack applications in the most popular frameworks. Most importantly though, you'll leave with the skills to keep learning far more on your own and a great group of like-minded coders you'll probably be friends with for life.
Attending Hack Reactor was one of the best/smartest decisions I have ever made! During the 12 weeks, you will be pushed in ways you never expected, and it is 100% worth it! Having support during the program and creating friendships with your peers is essential. Hack Reactor has a tough curriculum and although there were times that I struggled, the support from everyone around me helped me get through it.
I had taken a few computer science courses at my university and I learned more during the three months at HR than I did in a year doing my CS degree! You will learn about relevant topics that companies today are looking for and gain experience building your own products. If you're thinking about a career change, want to accelerate your web development knowledge, or simply have a passion for coding, I highly recommend Hack Reactor!
I came to Hack Reactor following several positive experiences attending massive open online courses (MOOCs) through sites like Edx.org and Udacity. I have an affinity for this type of online learning, which is not for everyone - holding yourself to a regimented schedule and taking ownership of your accomplishments, while mantaining a level of satisfaction for your work without direct feedback from instructors, is difficult. Even the best courses I have taken through other sites have suffered from a lack of interactivity with other students and teaching staff.
This is not the case with Hack Reactor Remote, where you will be in direct contact with fellow classmates and a team of instructors, mentors, and counsellors nearly 12 hours a day, for six days a week, for three months. You get to know each other, you form serious relationships, and you bond with a network of the most talented individuals you will ever meet. This is the real value of Hack Reactor - the opportunity to join a community of lifelong learners, and a network of alumni that spans the globe.
My one and only gripe about Hack Reactor is that some of the curriculum did feel slightly out of date. This is understandible given how fast the technology is changing, however there were times when I questioned whether it was appropriate to have retained some older material. And while I am sharing this out of a desire for full disclosure, I will also say with all honesty that any of these instances were offset by discussions and live lectures delivered in tandem with the pre-recorded ones. There was a vibrant blend of content throughout, and the inclusion of just a few older lecture videos in no way overshadows my experience.
As with any genuine learning experience, what you get out of Hack Reactor will be commensurate with the effort you apply over the course of the three months. If you're a driven, self-directed learner, you will do very well with Hack Rector, which out of any academic program or course of study I have taken - online or otherwise - I consider to have been the most compelling and rewarding. Highly recommended.