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Hack Reactor

Austin, Boulder, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Online, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Francisco, Seattle

Hack Reactor

Avg Rating:4.67 ( 249 reviews )

Founded in 2012, Hack Reactor is a 12-week immersive coding school providing software engineering education, career placement services, and a network of professional peers. Hack Reactor has campuses in San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City, as well as an online, remote immersive (full-time and part-time)​. During the first six weeks at Hack Reactor, students learn the fundamentals of development, full stack JavaScript and are introduced to developer tools and technologies. In the final six weeks, students work on personal and group projects, using the skills they have learned, and learning more. After 800+ hours of curriculum, students graduate as full-stack software engineers and JavaScript programmers.

Hack Reactor’s immersive program is known for demanding a starting skill set beyond that of a beginner, so the applicants should allow 2 to 4 months for the admissions process. Applicants should start by enrolling in one of Hack Reactor's free or paid prep programs to learn the basics of JavaScript and prepare for Hack Reactor's technical interview. The technical interview lasts an hour and covers coding problems in JavaScript related to the prep course curriculum. After passing the technical interview, students begin Hack Reactor's 80-hour precourse.

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 4.67

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  • Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive

    Apply
    MySQL, AngularJS, MongoDB, HTML, Git, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Front End
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date
    October 21, 2019
    Cost
    $17,980
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, New York City, Denver, Seattle, Phoenix, Boulder, Online
    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.
    Financing
    Deposit
    After you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class.
    Financing
    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
    No
    Scholarship
    $1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Students need to demonstrate they are: fluent with JavaScript fundamentals, able to think like an engineer, are driven learners and empathic communicators. We have a free prep program to help you develop these skills.
    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
    Yes
    Interview
    Yes
    More Start Dates
    October 21, 2019 - AustinApply by September 14, 2019
    December 9, 2019 - AustinApply by November 2, 2019
    October 21, 2019 - New York CityApply by September 14, 2019
    December 9, 2019 - New York CityApply by November 2, 2019
    October 21, 2019 - San FranciscoApply by September 14, 2019
    December 9, 2019 - San FranciscoApply by November 2, 2019
    October 21, 2019 - Los AngelesApply by September 14, 2019
    December 9, 2019 - Los AngelesApply by November 2, 2019
  • Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive

    Apply
    MySQL, AngularJS, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Front End
    OnlinePart Time20 Hours/week36 Weeks
    Start Date
    October 29, 2019
    Cost
    $17,980
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online
    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.
    Financing
    Deposit
    After you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class.
    Financing
    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
    No
    Scholarship
    $1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Students need to demonstrate they are: fluent with JavaScript fundamentals, able to think like an engineer, are driven learners and empathic communicators. We have a free prep program to help you develop these skills.
    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
    Yes
    Interview
    Yes
    More Start Dates
    October 29, 2019 - Online
    December 9, 2019 - OnlineApply by November 2, 2019

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Shared Review

  • Aprianto Wiwarsono • Full Stack Software Engineer • Graduate
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    My decision to attend Hack Reactor was something that I would gladly make again. It prepared me really well to start contributing to my new role as a Software Engineer. The programme itself wasn't easy. It doesn't spoonfeed you if that's what you are looking for. The path is prepared, and it is entirely up to you to work hard and be successful. One thing that made it easier for me is that the mentors and coordinators are all very approachable and always motivating. 

    Now that you have decided to attend Hack Reactor make sure that you are prepared for it. Be comfortable with JavaScript and general programming at least. Practice some coding challenges, which you can find online through Leetcode, Codewars, etc. If you have more time to prepare, try to look at some framework or tools that you are interested in. Also, be very sure that you can commit 3 months of your life to Hack Reactor. The last thing you want is to start HR and have to do something else.

    Hopefully, I managed to convince you to attend Hack Reactor. If you want to know more or have a specific question, feel free to reach out to me.

  • Hack Reactor
    - 12/11/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    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.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    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.

  • Anonymous • Recent Remote Grad, Software Engineer • Graduate
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    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. 

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    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

  • The kitchen
    - 12/8/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    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.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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??
    3. "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
    Title: COO
    Friday, Dec 09 2016
    Thanks for taking the time to give a detailed review of your experience. We’ve learned from it and reported our action items in this post: http://www.hackreactor.com/blog/hack-reactors-response-to-recent-november-2016-course-report-reviews. We want to deliver an amazing program to every student, and we're sorry we didn't get there for you.

    In short, your point about the quality of video lectures needing to be improved is legit. The video lectures have certainly worked, but they can definitely be improved upon. We’re accelerating the pace of re-recording them in a 1 on 1 format - one where the lecturer is talking to the video viewer instead of the classroom. Thanks for your feedback. 

    We would also like to correct some misconceptions that readers might wind up with. 

    1) You mention that the instruction team has no industry experience. Hack Reactor’s curriculum and program structure has been built by engineers with long careers in Software Development (Google, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Adobe, and the like). There are many contributors to a student’s education: curriculum developers, program developers, lecturers, instructors, technical mentors, counselors, and HiRs. Each person requires a specific skill set. For lecturers, and instructors, they have to be individuals who know the curriculum forwards and backwards, and who excel at working with students. 

    2) “You don't get connected with anyone, and there's no hiring day as others have mentioned. You are basically on your own.” You are right that there is no longer a Hiring Day, but we want to clear up that you are not on your own during your job search. We noticed that more students were getting jobs faster through personalized introductions rather than just one hiring day. Having that Hiring Day took away the resources that otherwise would have been on the phone with companies pitching graduates to instead try to get people to show up to an event. As such, we sat down and re-crafted a more efficient match-making solution. We are rolling out a new revamped Hiring Day soon and will continue to give our students job search support.

    3) Last but not least, I’d like to address the claim “you won't be employable at [the mid-senior] level". The average HR grad gets a job that calls for 2-3 years of prior experience, and when we release our 2016 report, it won't be far from our (audited) 2015 report, which you can read here: http://www.hackreactor.com/student-outcomes-2015

    Thanks again for leaving your thoughts. Read more in our blog post where we address your concerns and provide the actions we are taking.

  • Anonymous • Front-End Development • Graduate
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    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. 

  • Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    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.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    N/A

    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:

    1. HR loves it students (they really do, too bad the premise of this bootcamp is flawed and outdated)
    2. It is very social (with classmates)
    3. Everyone is super smart and willing to go above and beyond (just classmates)
    4. 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
    Title: COO
    Friday, Dec 09 2016
    Thank you for this honest review -- we appreciate the feedback.  We’ve learned from it and here’s what we’re doing about it: http://www.hackreactor.com/blog/hack-reactors-response-to-recent-november-2016-course-report-reviews.  We aim to deliver an amazing program to every student, and we're sorry we didn't get there for you.

    We would also like to address & correct some of the concerns mentioned above. 

    1. 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.

    2. 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. 

    Thank you again for leaving your feedback. You can more in our blog post if you’re like to learn in more detail what we plan to do.

  • Anonymous • Software Engineer (several people) • Student
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    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:

    http://imgur.com/a/qfcfO

    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."

    Outdated Curriculum

    MongoDB 3.2.11 was released on November 18, 2016.

    Current Hack Reactor students definitely did not learn MongoDB 3.2.11.

    https://docs.mongodb.com/v3.2/release-notes/3.2/ 

    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.

    https://facebook.github.io/react/blog/2016/04/07/react-v15.html

    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

    -1 month to review JavaScript technology stacks (MEAN + Backbone.js + React.js) via Free Code Camp, Udemy, etc. 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).

    Our advice:

    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
    Title: COO
    Friday, Dec 09 2016
    Thank you all so much for taking the time to write such a detailed review. We rely on this feedback to make updates to our program. It's one of four recent negative reviews on our Remote program, which, frankly,  is the worst streak in the history of our company.  Our team has taken your feedback to heart and in Hack Reactor fashion learned what we can from it and documented our action items in this post: http://www.hackreactor.com/blog/hack-reactors-response-to-recent-november-2016-course-report-reviews. There, we address many of the issues you brought up, including HiRs, the adoption of new curriculum, our admissions process and student reviews.  We aim to deliver an amazing program to every student, and we're sorry you didn’t have a top notch experience.

    Thanks also for providing the positive factors in your review. It’s very helpful for us as it tells us from your perspective, what went really right with the program. We know we are never done iterating on the program and experience, and feedback like yours helps shape future iterations. Thank you. 

    We would also like to take a moment to correct some misconceptions that readers might wind up with.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. This review claims that Hack Reactor borrowed content from Udemy. This is false. 
    4. 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..
    5. 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.

    Thank you again for leaving your feedback. Read more in our blog post where we address your concerns and provide our action items.
  • Anonymous • Student
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    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.

    First week is great, in terms of the planning and the recorded material that they have and they give you good understanding of javascript fundamentals. So more than 95% decide to stay. Actually you can get similar to week one from Marcus in this youtube channel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D136tQ2ngmE&index=2&list=PLAwxTw4SYaPmRCRPu9EjK-fWSccPwTOnc

    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
    Title: COO
    Friday, Dec 09 2016
    Thank you for this honest feedback -- we appreciate it.  Our team has learned a lot about what we can do and documented our action items in this post: http://www.hackreactor.com/blog/hack-reactors-response-to-recent-november-2016-course-report-reviews. We want to deliver an amazing program to every student, and we're sorry that in this case we missed the mark.

    We would also like to address some misconceptions that readers might wind up with.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.

    Thank you again for leaving your thoughts and criticisms -- we use this feedback to continue in our goal to prepare our students for the workforce. Read more in our blog post where we address your concerns and provide our action items.
  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    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. 

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    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!

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    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.

    Which is not to say that you won't learn to code. You will, and you'll be shocked by how much you'll internalize over the course of three months. But, with the JavaScript ecosystem changing so rapidly, it isn't about 'learning to code' with any specific framework or technology - it's about learning patterns and design paradigms, data structures and algorithms, so that you'll be capable of picking up and teaching yourself any new library or programming language.

    By the time you graduate, you won't just know JavaScript - you'll know how to function as a software engineer and a member of a development team. You will have scoped and tested and architected full stack applications within tight deadlines. You will be a Git ninja. These skills are far more valuable on the job market than knowing such-a-framework or building some kind of jQuery shopping cart.

    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.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    As someone with some software experience, I was originally skeptical of the whole bootcamp thing. After having gone through the program, I am very happy with my decision to do it and feel like a stronger engineer for having gone through HR. The school does a great job of going in-depth where necessary and slowly increasing the autonomy as you progress. More than anything, the people (both instructors and cohort mates) are what really make HR special. If you are able to get into HR, I highly recommend attending.

  • Anonymous • Student
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    I wish I had read an honest review specifically the one by Nori Maki Arare before spending around 20k dollars.

    No one tells you that instructions are recorded from 2014 when Marcus used to teach. Now all you get are those old sprints and recorded lectures and help from students who themselves have just graduated as HiR's or some who have been hired  permanantely from previous cohorts.

    Often found them lacking in knowledge during the sprints. For the thesis forget about getting any help from them. I actually never bothered using any help and just struggled through the thesis.

    Seen a number of students struggle through the course as they thought entering the course meant they will become programmers, a number always drop, a number just remain poor till the end.

    Your study begins once the course is finished as you've spent 20k , now go all out on your own studying till you are good enough to get a job, can take upto 6 months 

    Don't think its a 3 month course to get a job

    one month pre-course,  3 months course and HR publishes audited reports for students taking upto 6 months to find jobs. So we could have done it on our own in 10 months with our money intact.

    Join free code camp, get udemey coupon vouchers, make a schedule, then all you need are cohort mates so you can pair program. If you want to get to know the tools, take a hack reactor or anyother bootcamp prep course for 600 odd dollars.

    Its just a money making machine with a pumped up outcomes phase. I wish they had invested our money in great teachers which makes great students.

    As more and more of these bootcamps are springing, I've found that the job market for new engineers is overcrowded so lets see if it takes our cohort 6 months or more ??

    Response From: Harsh Patel of Hack Reactor
    Title: COO
    Friday, Dec 09 2016
    Hi - thank you for your detailed review. Our team has learned what we can from your feedback and documented our action items in this post: http://www.hackreactor.com/blog/hack-reactors-response-to-recent-november-2016-course-report-reviews. We aim to deliver an amazing program to every student, and we're sorry we didn't get there in this case.
     
    We would also like to correct some misconceptions that readers might wind up with. 
    1. It is true that we have lecture videos from 2014. However, our lecture recordings are constantly being revised. We maintain a spreadsheet of all lectures, and stack rank them for priority for re-recording or revision. There are some lectures around that were recorded in 2014, which are, by design, still used as part of the curriculum. Oftentimes, the flow of the lecture was so good, the questions students asked during the lecture were so relevant and on-point, that we de-prioritize improving those. Eventually, they will get re-recorded just like the rest. However, I mention this to give insight into how we process video lecture recordings, and to give confidence that it’s intentional, and not an afterthought. 
    2. Regarding FreeCodeCamp and Udemy - yes, all the content required to become a Software Engineer can be found online. Thanks to freely available resources, it’s now easier than ever to become a software engineer. We often have students who go through components of FreeCodeCamp prior to an interview, nail the interview, and succeed wildly during the course. The reason people come to Hack Reactor is to accelerate their knowledge, become a part of a positive and encouraging learning community, kickstart a professional network in software development, and gain an underlying comprehension of the material that will allow them to quickly adopt new technologies and perform autonomously on the job.
    3. The review mentions “Don't think it’s a 3 month course to get a job”. People come to Hack Reactor to accelerate the process. They are interested in turning one year of self-study into 3 months, and 1-2 years of job searching into 3-6 months. We have the success metrics to back that up. in June 2016, Hack Reactor launched the Standard Student Outcomes Methodology (SSOM) as a transparent, systematic way of quantifying and reporting student outcomes. This is the first in the industry and allows bootcamps to classify each student according to clear definitions and strict documentation standards, and provides formulas for calculating placement rate, graduation rate and average graduate salary. Hack Reactor’s 2015 Audited Report was conducted in accordance to the attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. We invite any school to adopt this method to give honest information to prospective students. 

    Thank you again for leaving your thoughts. Read more in our blog post where we address your concerns and provide our action items.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    tldr; Hack Reactor is great.

    Me from two years ago: I don't WANT to pay someone to learn this stuff. I already have a job!

    I spent a year fitting in jQuery and building websites for work projects as much as possilbe. I spent intermittent weekends trying to cobble together full stack apps. I had a variety of small projects with inconsistent code. The resources are already out there after all. 

    Hack Reactor gives you tools to handle those resources better. Or, more accurately, Hack Reactor gives you a place to build your own damn tools. You work with great people in an environment that is always supportive and always challenging.

    Thanks to my ~year, I walked in with a good grasp of basic JavaScript. In the first two weeks my understanding of recursion, closure, and other concepts that can easily be taken for granted were vastly improved. That's because Hack Reactor is a place where conversations happen. Comparison with my year of solitary learning shows why this is important.

    When I was on my own and teaching myself mongoDB with the node.js driver, I spent a few weekends bashing my head against a wall of callbacks. Finally, I was able to solve the problem because of a conversation where someone helped me conceptually walk through the process. If I had been able to reach out sooner, I would have spent more time building node.js apps instead of feeling crushed by a basic concept.

    At Hack Reactor you build apps, play with code, and talk with great people. Almost as a magical side effect, you learn. You learn a lot and you learn fast. 

  • Hack Reactor Review
    - 10/28/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    Overall, I had a great experience.  Hack Reactor surrounds you with the best and the brightest people from around the world and challenges you on a daily basis to become the best version of yourself.  There are multiple levels of support in place to ensure you succeed: your cohort, technical mentors, counselors, career coaches, etc.  Even after you graduate Hack Reactor provides support to make sure you are maximizing your potential on the first or second job search.  

  • Great Program
    - 10/25/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    If you want to be capable of building web apps on your own but you don't know where to start, this is definitely the right place. After the program, you will learn how to build a full-stack app and show it to the world. The staff are really nice and dependable. However, the curriculum is really intense and the path moves so fast. So don't expect to be in a comfortable environment. It's also a good place to meet so many brilliant and passionate people here. There's no internal referral program so you still need to work hard to get a job. But the career coach will assist you in job hunting. All in all, it's a awesome program and I'm glad that I made the decision.

  • Hack Reactor
    - 10/24/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    Hack Reactor is a program that is geared towards getting students to an employable form as quick as possible. Needless to say I feel very prepared for the job market.

    The system is very feedback based and is constantly trying to improve. This is why it is so effective because previous students have a large impact on the future curriculum. This iterative cycle of improvement will push Hack Reactor to becoming a better and better product.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    No hand holding. Students must be self-motivated and be willing to ask any and all questions that would quash either self doubt in technical abilities or trouble incurred by personal issues. The mentors at hack reactor are always open to help in teaching technical details as well as support emotional/personal growth so that upon finishing the program, students are not only technically but also psychologically prepared. Side note: San Francisco housing may get a little frustrating. Talk to peers and mentors to find reliable and suitable housing.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    For those of you thinking about joining Hack Reactor, I suggest you buckle down, skill up, and apply. If you are accepted, HR will be one of the most fruitful and meaningful experiences of your lives. 

    When I began my studies about 4 months prior to applying, I could barely understand basic Javascript expressions but now, after graduating from HR, I am able to build incredible applications regarding things that I love. HR iterative curriculum is incredible but the pace is breakneck. It may not be for everyone but for those who are able to learn and adapt quickly, this is a great path towards becoming a software engineer. In addition to the curriculum, I've met some of the most intelligent and compassionate people. Friends that I will surely keep for years to come.

    If your passion is to become a software engineer and build amazing things, HR is the place where your journey begins.

  • Luna K • Graduate
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    A life changing experience. I not only gained the technical skills I needed to change my career, but I also made great connections with the people I learned with. It's truly an experience different from a traditional higher education experience (in an amazing way). Everything is focused on your growth and being able to apply your learning immediately! It's fast-paced and challenging but definitely an investment I don't regret!

Thanks!