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Hack Reactor

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

Hack Reactor

Avg Rating:4.71 ( 302 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).

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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 Rolling Start Date
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationDenver, Seattle, Phoenix, Boulder, New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, San Jose, 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
    DepositAfter 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 like Ascent Funding and Climb Credit that understand the investment you are making in yourself.
    Tuition PlansFinancing options are available.
    Refund / GuaranteeNo
    Scholarship$1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelStudents 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 WorkHack 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 TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Remote Full-time Software Engineering Immersive

    Apply
    OnlineFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    Financing
    DepositAfter 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 like Ascent Funding and Climb Credit that understand the investment you are making in yourself.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelN/A
    Prep Workhttps://www.hackreactor.com/prep-programs
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • 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 Rolling Start Date
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    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
    DepositAfter 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 like Ascent Funding and Climb Credit that understand the investment you are making in yourself.
    Tuition PlansApplicants 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 / GuaranteeNo
    Scholarship$1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelStudents 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 WorkHack 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 TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Nancy D • Graduate
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    I was surprised to learn that there are only a handful of Canadians that decided to attend Hack Reactor. I feel like a lot has been said about the general experience of the program so I thought I will write about my experience in hopes of helping those of you from out of the US whose thinking about attending. 

    I was very hesitant about choosing Hack Reactor at first and did extensive research before I decided it was the choice for me. I can't speak about other countries, but there were other coding bootcamps around the area I was living that was definitely a cheaper alternative. The reason why I picked HR over these other cheaper and closer alternatives is that the HR curriculum covered significantly more content in a shorter amount of time than any of its competitors (where I lived). If you are looking for a program that's there to push you to get the most done in the least amount of time, HR is the right place for you.

    The second biggest thing that I was very worried about was whether the whole remote experience will live up to the onsite experience. Now that I have completed the remote program, I am really glad that I didn't decide to move to SF to attend the onsite class. Not only will you be saving a lot of money since you won't need to rent a place in SF but you will be working out of the comfort of your own home. For me, this was a big plus because I get to stay close to family and attending class just means rolling out of bed 10 minutes before class started! I also really enjoyed the recorded lecture because it allowed me to speed them up, rewind, and rewatch them anytime I wanted. But what about not actually seeing your classmates and instructors in real life? To be honest, I have made some amazing, life long friends that I didn't expect to make. I don't think that strong bonds between people are formed from just being in the same room together.

    One thing I do have to admit is that being outside of the US, the amount of support you will be getting during the job search will not be as effective. You will most likely be facing a completely different job market and not everything you learn during job search will be applicable in your case. With that being said, I still believe that technically, HR prepares you very well to enter the job market, no matter where you are from. My biggest resource during the job search has been the HR alumni network, where you can get insight about your job market from HR grads who has gone through it before you.

    This is just my prespective on the remote program and it might not be for everyone. I advise you to do your research before making your decision but don't be afraid to take the leap!

  • Bill Zito • Graduate
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    Tldr; Hack Reactor provides the curriculum and the right people (motivated and smart) for you to learn web development concepts in pairs and by yourself. I can only speak of the staff in the SF office, but they were both experienced and helpful, although anyone expecting to be a software engineer should get comfortable with directing their own learning (aka not leaning on staff to figure questions out unless you're really stuck). 

    Long answer:

    Going into Hack Reactor (HR), I wanted to learn to code as quickly as possible and to try to get to a top tier company. I chose HR because I know I wanted an intense / all-day everyday experience, and looking on LinkedIn I found that HR had way more graduates at top tier companies (Uber, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Stripe, etc.) than other bootcamps. 

    Within the first week of attending, I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of my peers. They were more motivated and experienced than I expected, with several having graduated with Computer Science or Mechanical Engineering degress, and a couple having prior industry experience. Given that Hack Reactor is largely pair programming with your peers, they made a huge difference in how much I learned each day.

    I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the curriculum. It provided some direction, while letting us figure out the key concepts via code. In my experience, the only way to really learn coding concepts is to code them yourself, and then recode them. After finishing the curriculum the right way, and reviewing the concepts you didn't understand (by recoding them), you should be able to do both.

     

    When deciding on a bootcamp, it matters what your best alternative option is. I'll lay out the decision in my eyes from those perspectives as well.

    1. Bootcamp or self-study?

    There are cool opportunties like Free Code Camp that allow you to learn some javascript on your own--providing curriculum and peers via Slack to help you learn.  I was seriously considerig these opportunities, but decided to attend Hack Reactor because I believed I would become profficient at least 2-3 months faster with Hack Reactor's support. Calculating this tradeoff financially, if you take the median/mean ~100k salary/year for 2-3 months that you would have had to continue learning for to reach the same level, the upfront 18k fee becomes a really good deal if you can afford it.

    After having gone through the program, I think that the people and curriculum in particular make a huge difference in the rate of learning. While it's conceivable that you could learn tht much on your own, you would need to be dedicated enough to work 10-12 hrs a day for 6 days a week, find your own curriculum to learn the key concepts, and to have smart and motivated peers to bounce your ideas off of every hour or two. If that sounds daunting, then Hack Reactor may be a good way to get the right structure to learn.

    2. Hack Reactor or another bootcamp? 

    Several bootcamps suggest that they can help get you a job in software engineering. I read up on what the student experience was actually like, and saw that some of the bootcamps clearly had more intense experiences than others, which from my experience leads to more learning. Additionally, LinkedIn searches confirmed that only a couple of the bootcamps actually had graduates working in large numbers in software engineering. 

     

    Note: you should expect to get guidance on the job search, but realize that you will not be at the bootcamp for most of your job search, and will need to stay motivated / focused enough to find a job.

  • Very productive
    - 12/15/2016
    Jace Zhu • Graduate
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    Hack Reactor was a truly unique experience and I can't think of a better way to get into programming if you had no background in CS. As a student, I stayed there past 10 PM almost every day because I just didn't want to leave. I was surrounded by very intelligent and motivated individuals and that really pushed me to work harder than I ever did.

    By the end of the course I felt like a true Javascript Ninja, concepts that were so foreign to me like recursion and functional programming comes to me so naturally now, it's almost like breathing. I can create a simple game like connect-4 in an hour and deploy it in the next 30 minutes, which would be unfathomable before I started the program. 

    If you are unsure about the program, you can message any of the grads on linkedIn and I'm sure they'd be willing to answer your questions. Or you can message me. I definitely don't think it's for everyone, but if you're the type of person that would enjoy going to (winning) a math competition or something, you'll love the place.

  • Xiao Zeng • Graduate
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    I graduated Hack Reactor recently and it was a great experience for me.

    I have to say up front, if you are looking for very detailed long lectures on various topics and step by step instructions to teach you how to do everything, then you will not get what you imagined. The whole spirit is to learn by struggling and solving problems and form a logical and systematically way to approach unknown issues like a software engineer. You will spend most of the time working on problems with your fellow students, especially in the second half of the program. Support was provided to guide you not to give you answers.

    Also the contents of the program were not the most recent releases. For example, Angular 2 was released recently, but it was not taught in the program because the program only taught you popular technologies that the job market is looking for. In this example, AngularJS is still more adopted than Angular 2.

    Overall, you will be pushing yourself to learn the technologies and you will get what you put in. I am very satisfied with what I have accomplished.

  • Sam Sherman • Graduate
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    I really enjoyed my time at Hack Reactor. I was surrounded by smart, hard-working people, which was wonderful. In addition to specific programming concepts and technologies, they taught intrinsically valuable skills such as how to learn a new technology. Now, I'm confident that if I get a job using a technology I'm not familiar with, I'll be able to learn it quickly and effectively.

    My biggest complaint is the lack of job assistance. They spend a week at the end of the course giving advice on resume, interview prep, etc., which is definitely a positive thing. However, once the course is over, they kind of just sent me out on my own and said "good luck getting hired". I wish they would have provided some connections to companies or at least give me a nice list of jobs to apply for.

    They also made it clear that having Hack Reactor on one's resume is not a huge benefit. Coming in, I was thinking that the "degree" from Hack Reactor would be worth something on its own, but apparently that's not the case.

  • Charlotte Willens • Graduate
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    If you enjoy coding and are willing to work really hard, Hack Reactor will be maybe the most intense, rewarding 3 months of your life. People come into it from all kinds of backgrounds and the curriculum is such that if you can think analytically and put in enough effort, you'll make it through just fine and come out with an insane amount of knowledge and skill. 

    HR really stresses autonomy. If you're expecting to be spoon-fed information, this is definitely not the program for you. They give you the right amount of content to figure it out, but you do have to work hard and make use of google to master the material. This can feel frustrating at times but it's excellent preparation for being on the job. HR puts an insane amount of thought, intention, and time into their curriculum and if it feels like you you don't have enough information to figure something out, it's probably intentional. They have really good material for understanding the Javascript fundamentals, the autonomy mostly comes in with learning new frameworks.

    Also, the people. I've met and worked with some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, fascinating people that I've ever met and I expect to stay friends with them for a long time. As a girl in STEM (I studied math in college and have worked in all technical jobs) there's always a bit of apprehension going into a mostly male working environment, but Marcus stressed on day 1 that any sort of bad attitude toward minorities would not be tolerated, and HR ended up being one of the most fair, supportive environments I've ever worked in. (I say 'worked' because the second half of the course basically feels like you're at a job).

    As others have mentioned, there's a technical assessment half-way through that you have to pass to move on to the second half of the course. I think people worry about this more than is necessary. If you work hard to master the material during the first 6 weeks, you'll probably be fine.

  • Kristian Magda • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate
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    Its been about 2 months since I graduated from Hack Reactor Austin. I am currently working as a full stack engineer at a great company. I pretty much got all that I wanted. 

    It hasn't been easy tho, just getting into the program requires dedication and hard work. The program itself is super intense and there were tears and stressfull moments, but in the end it really prepares you to hit the ground running on your new job. It is incredibly helpful wether its learning fundamentals, learning how to learn or preparing you for the job market and it is worth every penny. I had my doubts when I was first reading the reviews about 6 months ago because it sounded too good to be true. I know my review sounds super positive but if you work super hard and you have passion Hack Reactor is the way to go.

  • Ashley Smith • Associate Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I went through the prep program in Austin, TX, then the immersive bootcamp, then worked as a fellow and I have nothing but amazing things to report from the experience. You learn more than you thought to be possible in only 13 weeks time, and the curriculum and overall experience is perfectly aligned with what you need to succeed as an up-and-coming software engineer. The curriculum is constantly iterating based on the job market and feedback from students and graduates which makes the whole expreience a lot like it really is in the work force and ensures what you're learning is very relevant. I believe really makes Hack Reactor really stand out from other bootcamps. Now at my first job I am regularly amazed by how much the bootcamp has prepared me not only to ace the interviews to get the job but also to know what to expect out of the industry and how to handle it.

    While it was very challenging work I felt supported the whole time and I learned more than I would have studying by myself for years. It's not only technical knowledge you gain, but working on real applications in a team environment (a big part of the experience you need to land your first job which would be impossible to achieve through self study). Staff at Hack Reactor truly wants what is best for each and every student that passes through the school, and the interview process helps to make sure each class is full of driven, smart, nice people that you will want to work with for 13 weeks straight. 

    If you put the work in you will absolutely learn the skills you need to ace a job interview and excel in the industry, and I can't imagine a better bootcamp with regards to the culture and the curriculum (and for me the location of Austin which is amazing). 

  • Ricardo D'Alessandro • Software Developer • Graduate
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    I was sick and tired of my high stress, thankless, engineering career and had a calling to learn to code. I applied and got accepted to the Austin bootcamp. I took a leap of faith by quitting my high paying job and moving to another state, but it was the best decision of my life.

    The entire experience was challenging and exciting. I learned more in three months than I thought I ever could. This bootcamp was the real deal! One month after graduation I landed my first software engineering job which paid more money, had a way better company culture and was a lot lower stress than my old job. I actually look forward every day to going to work and interacting with my kickass coworkers. The value of actually loving your job cannot be overstated!

  • Lucas Hawes • Graduate
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    The key to understanding Hack Reactor's philosophy, and by extension the positive and negative reviews seen here is their guiding principle of teaching you to hunt instead of spoon feeding the program to you.

    In classical education, subjects and materials are feed to you in a perscribed order where you later regurgitate them on a test or prompt. The course is meant to completely encompass ALL material for the course. However, real life and developer jobs aren't like that at all. Every day you come to work you don't know how to do your job. You are paid to figure it out, build things no one has before, and find solutions. 

    Hack Reactor takes a different approach toward creating engineers. One, where everything you do is in real world, developing skills that you will use every day in your job. There are no safety nets like classical education, there are also no tests or grades like in classical education. The course is NOT all encompassing, like in any dev job (I've had several) you have to look for outside resources. Maybe you can't understand the material from a tutorial, so instead you look for another that helps you grasp the material better.

    Failure doesn't mean you have to retake the course to keep your GPA high, it means you need to go back and get better at what you had a hard time in. At Hack Reactor, failure is to be celebrated, because you've found your absolute limits and with your classmates and a little guidance YOU can overcome them. It doesn't matter what your GPA is or how much you've memorized when programming, what matters is that you have the skills to either build it or figure out how to.

    Course Ratings:

    The double edged sword of continous course refinement. You get the LATEST tech to learn that is relevant to the industry. But there were some hickups with videos and lectures. Still 4.5/5 

    Helpdesk was hit or miss, I ended up going my own way and feel that my debugging skills are better because of it. I also learned to take everything with a grain of salt. 4/5, day to day instructors went above and beyond every time.

    The Job assistance has been fantastic. I graduated HR and am in the job search, and feel I have the skills to negotiate effectively. I won't always have the support net of HR, but their team has given me skills so that in the future I won't need it. 5/5

    I had a great experience that really transformed me and propelled me on the path I wanted to go. I would highly recommend Hack Reactor. 5/5

    Responses:

    Can you learn everything they teach for free(ish)? Absolutely, the developer community is amazing like that. Free tutorials, guides, documentation and tools are provided everywhere. But let me counter with why would you skip the course to learn on your own? Think of learning to fish. You could buy a pole or even just get some string and a stick and teach yourself to fish. It would take a long time but it's free right? On the other hand you could shell out for a fishing book, learn where the fish will be, what bait to use, techniques etc. You learn to fish at an excellerated rate because you are getting all the lesson you would learn in a fraction of the time. That's what tech courses are selling you, not knowledge, but time.

    They provide little/no help for job search, and the school doesn't give you enough to get a job after. Completely false, I have interviewed and seen hired people with a fraction of the experience and tech ability that HR gives you. But I understand, I'm in the same boat as you guys, looking for a job and it's tough. Hack Reactor is not a be all, end all development bootcamp. Nowhere will teach you everything you need to know, not even your job. Instead you learn the tools necessary to build yourself up.

    You only get what you put in, HR does little to teach you, it's mostly the other students that help you learn. As with everything in life, you only get what you put in and your mileage may vary. I learned a lot from my peers, I also learned a lot from the instructors who are there at every step to take extra time to help you understand the concepts being taught. You will not be spoon fed material and you are encouraged to strike out and learn on your own. There's a review about how Hack Reactor is misleading with less than 800 hrs of coding. I don't know about you but I experienced easily over 1000 hours of programming. If you put in the bare minimum you get the bare minimum.

    You will not be spoon fed information, tests, everything an employer could ever want, and a job. You are given a spear, shown how to use it and told to go hunt.

  • Meredith • Graduate
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    I read through the reviews on here a few days ago, and while I definitely agree with some of the criticisms, and have made some of the same criticisms myself, I arrived at the end of Hack Reactor onsite with an incredible appreciation for the work that everyone put in, students and staff included, and a sense that it is going to turn out well.  I am just starting the job search, so we'll see, but I am glad I did the program, but it was rough -- and I say this as someone very experienced in working my ass off for crazy hours.  

    HR doesn't do a great job of deciding who to let in, and there is a huge disparity in ability and previous experience among the students.  HR kicked three of our cohort out, and I'm not sure how many from the other floor.  This was after at least four left voluntarily earlier on in the course because they were worried about failing the mid-term exam and getting kicked out and losing all their tuition.  (HR has to keep their job placement stats up, so they don't graduate anyone who doesn't seem like they are going to get good jobs.)  Apparently the current junior cohort is in danger of losing a lot more students.  If you are a really fast learner, you can come in and get through the course without knowing more at the outset than they require for admission.  However, it is going to be really painful and scary the entire time.  Most of your fellow students will have worked with servers and databases before.  Many will have worked with React or Backbone.  If you have not done any of these things, be prepared to be overwhelmed.  It is worth your while, if you want to get the most out of the course and have the best job prospects afterwards, to learn more than the bare minimum required to be admitted.  Being good at algorithms and toy problems is important, but it's not what the bulk of the material is, and you'll be well served to learn a little more of the nitty gritty before diving in.  Wait one more cohort than you think you need to and go through some full stack tutorials.  Skip the CSS and JQuery.  You'll barely use this at all at HR.  Know the other stuff, the stuff they tell you you don't need to know in advance.  At HR you will teach yourself a lot.  This is only going to work for you if you already have enough knowledge to know where to start with that.  

    I really came to appreciate everyone in my cohort.  There's a real sense of community, especially in the second half of the program, after people pass the exam and know they aren't getting kicked out.  It's a total sausage fest, and there's definitely an annoying amount of competition among the boys at times, but there's also an enormous amount of humor and camaraderie.  It's a program that is definitely worth your while, as long as you approach it in a smart way.  Learn more than you think you need to know, more than they tell you you need to know, and you'll get a ton out of this course.  

  • Jon • Software Engineer • Student
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    I recently finished Hack Reactor Remote and am leaving a review about the remote experience specifically.  I originally planned on attending onsite HR, but job/ personal circumstances didn't let me move to attend the course.  So I enrolled in remote with a little trepidation- my goal in attending HR was to grow really fast as a software engineer and to be constantly pushed to be better.  I wasn't sure if a remote course could motivate me in the same way as seeing my classmates in person.

    I was wrong.

    REMOTE IS AWESOME! There is a distinct culture in the remote program and it feels intensely social.  Even though your classmates are all over the country (we had one guy in Europe too) you still feel closely connected with them and you're together 12 hours a day in lecture, pair programming, and hangouts.  You know how being in a constant groupchat/ snap session with your friends feels like you're always with them even though you're in different cities?  HR Remote is like that, except you're getting things done, and your classmates are always pushing you to be better (in a super nice positive way).

    Before starting HRR, there were 3 areas that I was concerned about that I'd like to address in my review- CULTURE, LEARNING, OUTCOMES.

    CULTURE

    Hack Reactor purposefully has a very positive atmosphere.  Everybody supports each other and I never felt weird asking a classmate to jump on video chat with me to help me work through a problem or technology that I knew they were a superstar in.

    Even though you're distributed, through chat and meetings you quickly get a good idea of everyone's personality and interests. That makes it easy to find people who share your specific programming interests to pursue topics together.  Hack Reactor students are really committed to being good web developers and will pursue various topics they're interested in outside of class (i.e. functional programming, 3D canvas animations, systems programming languages) and the culture of exploration is infectious.

    The course is challenging at times and both the staff and other students are awesome at cheering you up and getting motivated again.

    We graduated with a lot of good in-jokes (which is a good sign of a close knit team).

    LEARNING

    Whoa.

    I was a self-taught programmer for 9 months before starting HR and one of the primary reasons I wanted to do a bootcamp was that I felt that I wasn't moving fast enough by myself. I'd work on Udacity courses, or projects from online tutorials and then I would hit a place where I WOULD BE STUCK.

    Prior to HR, I would try to solve my problem, inevitably get frustrated, and generally take a long time to move past my obstacles. After HR, problems no longer last that long.  I have the confidence that I can learn new paradigms, look up Stack Overflow, and learn new frameworks without getting stuck.

    There are previous negative reviews of Course Report where a student complained the Hackers in Residence (the TAs of Hack Reactor) would just tell them to Google a solution to their problem.  Well...yeeaaah- how else do you expect to find an answer?  

    Don't go to Hack Reactor if you would want an answer handed to you everytime you get stuck at a bug. These aren't the droids you're looking for.  The staff will be very good about jumping on a call with you, talking over the problem space with you, and offer helpful suggestions about where to look for a solution.  They won't just tell you the answer.

    Why?  The most valuable part of HR for me wasn't learning JavaScript and Node and JS frameworks- it was the meta-learning.  You learn how to solve software problems on your own by researching and liberally applying trial and error. You learn how to debug and understand error messages and test your assumptions.  You learn how to learn how to traverse up the call stack.  If that fails, you learn how to ask good questions to a senior engineer so that they'll be the most helpful to you.

    The magic of Hack Reactor isn't in the course material.  It's high quality and always iterating to stay close to the current state of web tech.  However, in my opinion it's only like 10-15% better than stuff you could find online for free.

    The value of Hack Reactor is all the training in how to solve problems, and not giving you any slack when you'd rather be handed an answer.  It's the classmates who will help solve problems with you.  It's the thrill of discovery when you finally get your code to work and you've learned new in the process.

    Regardless of whether you do a bootcamp, I would argue the most essential skill for a developer is to be able to view a bug as a learning opportunity to learn new paradigms or to correct a fundamental misunderstanding.

    Oh- and you'll become a JavaScript, React, Angular, Node ninja too in Hack Reactor.

    OUTCOMES

    This is one of the most important metrics when evaluating a bootcamp, and one of the fuzziest. When I applied for HR, the hiring metrics seemed unbelievable to me and I think they may create unrealistic expectations for applicants.

    The short answer is yes, you will almost for sure get a software engineering job somewhere within 3-6 months of graduating a program.  It may not be the ideal job, but it will be a place that you can develop your skills.

    I think a lot of the negative feedback comes from students' expectations not being met.  Going from not programming at all to working at Google/Amazon/Microsoft/Facebook after three months of Hack Reactor is not a realistic goal. Yes, it's possible for certain students with prior experience and certain students who work their @sses off- but it's not the expected outcome.

    The expected outcome is you get a decent job at a dev shop somewhere, and if you really care about working at a unicorn, you can interview there after a year. I would argue that the Hack Reactor marketing doesn't make the expected outcome clear and it leads to some disappointment.

    That said, even though I just graduated, I feel very prepared for the job search.  For the handful of applications I sent out last week, I've gotten past a few phone screens and got past a coding challenge (to build a Node server in a few hours) sent by a company.

    CONCLUSION

    Hack Reactor is not magic.  If you're not completely committed to being a developer, it's not 10x better than just learning  on your own.  Its value is that it puts you in an intense environment with other committed classmates where you can quickly develop the meta-skills that will make you a good engineer.  What you do with those skills and how you leverage them into getting a job is mostly on your own (with staff support).

    I chose Hack Reactor because I wanted a challenging program where I could accelerate my learning.  There is no credential or diploma that you get at the end, but I do feel much more confident approaching the job search and learning new things.  I continue to view myself fundamentally as a self-taught developer, but Hack Reactor was an accelerator for my personal progress (kind of like young startups going through YC- not guaranteed success, but you learn a lot and get good networks).

    If that is your goal and you can afford it- Hack Reactor is super worth it.

     

     

Thanks!