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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:4.7 ( 278 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 4.7

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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 None scheduled
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationDenver, Seattle, Phoenix, Boulder, New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, 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 SkillsFund 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 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 None scheduled
    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 SkillsFund 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

Shared Review

  • Ryan Morrow • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Before I attended Hack Reactor, I had spent four years as a baker. I made a living, but it wasn't really where I'd meant to end up, and I wasn't sure where to go as someone with only years-old, rudimentary experience in any other field. It was hard to imagine what job would take me, or what school would give me a chance, but Hack Reactor was a great fit for me. I attended the remote program, which made the intense hours a lot easier to handle. 
    If you consider attending Hack Reactor, know that it's, as they say, "like drinking from a fire hose". It's a lot to take in, and at times I (and everyone else) became convinced that I wasn't learning anything, or that I wasn't cut out for the work. For 12 weeks, my whole life revolved around web development and the software industry. In half that time, I got taken from learning basic data structures to sitting down and coding a full stack application from scratch in a matter of hours, using a modern and popular JavaScript framework. That was the moment where I couldn't believe how far I'd come. The whole second half of the course was refining the skills I'd learned through self-driven projects, which was a great preparation for the unpredictable and hectic nature of the industry. The course teaches you technical concepts that you could learn elsewhere, but more importantly, it teaches you a mentality you'll need to make your way as an engineer. The ability to embrace pressure, failure, discomfort, and disagreements with your coworkers, and persevere dealing with problems you feel totally clueless about. It also gives you access to a team of kind, smart, and talented people who more than anything want you to succeed. Every peer I worked with was talented as well, and the focus on pair programming and group projects meant that I wasn't allowed to hide in my corner and try to do things in a safe, controlled way. Articulating my ideas and seeing other peoples' approaches, though difficult, were crucial aspects to my growth. 
    The biggest shoutout I can give is to their outcomes strategy. Occasional guidance meetings and lectures on the job market led up into a full week on online presence, negotiation tactics, mock interviews--everything I needed to feel ready for an on site interview. I'm not good at marketing myself or coding under pressure, but after graduation, the constant contact with their alumni network and outcomes team kept me pushing myself and adapting my job search until I found a great fit for me. In under half a year, I completely changed my career and work mentality, and I've never been happier to make a living. Job search guidance is the biggest reason I wanted to try a boot camp, and Hack Reactor didn't let me down.

  • Amazing Experience
    - 10/29/2019
    Julia  User Photo
    Julia • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated from Hack Reactor in May 2015 from the San Francisco location. At the time, I had just graduated from undergrad with a non-technical major and a CS minor.

     

    Hack Reactor was one of the best decisions I've ever made. In my college CS classes, other students just wanted to get an A whether they understood the material or not. At HR, there are no grades and the students genuinely want to learn and help each other. It's such a collaborative learning experience that it changed my entire perspective on what education could be like. To give a quick example, I took a semester of Data Structures in college, then spent one week learning data structures at HR and thought "is this what they were talking about all semester in college?" HR has figured out how to teach what you need to know.

     

    After graduation, I became a Hacker in Residence (basically a teaching assistant) and taught a few pre-camp classes (for students who have never coded before and want to eventually apply to the program) because I appreciated so much what the community did for me and I wanted to give back.

     

    Even years after graduation, I still get help from HR when applying to new jobs and negotiating salaries. Shout-out to Marlene Fong, an awesome career coach/alumni director who is incredibly supportive and super helpful for alumni figuring out their careers. This is the kind of support that even a university (which is many times more expensive!) will not give you.

     

    Is it possible for you to save your money and learn all of this for free? Of course. Are you going to know what to study, in which order, and have an entire network of other motivated learners by your side? No, and that's exactly what HR gives you. Will you learn the same amount as you would in a typical 4-year degree? Of course not, but you will be able to apply it better. CS degrees teach you theory, HR teaches you application, which is much more important for a job.

     

    Overall, I highly recommend this program. It's a life-changing experience.

     

  • Camron Stuart  User Photo
    Camron Stuart • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I was a chef with only a hobby level of experience with computers and coding, decided to take the course after hearing about it from a friend. Easily one of the better decisions I've made in my life. I'm now employed as a Software Engineer in New Hampshire making astronomically more money than I ever have in my life and loving my job. Would recommend this course to anyone (which I do just about every time someone brings up hating their job or not making enough money).

    pros:
      -no fire and forget curriculum where you just get assignments and sit on a computer alone
      -emulates a real work environment well
      -great staff
      -rapid pace
      -blends autonomy with accountability and social engagement
      -support is available but not as a crutch
    cons:
      -I actually found this to be a pro but the pace is breakneck and this program is not for the faint of heart, this lends to the program's gravitas.

  • Diego  User Photo
    Diego • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I finished HR in San Francisco in April 2019. I had heard about it through reading reviews and hearing about other graduates' experiences online, and understood it to be one of the best bootcamps on the market. I chose HR based after speaking with a former colleague who had gone through HR a year before. What they said about the program and how it enabled them to make a transition from finance to software was the most important factor in my choice.
    After over ten years in another industry, I was eager to make a career change. I had a lot of concerns about making a mid-career shift--the sacrifice in earnings, time, and stability required to do it successfully. But I'm so glad I did! There's no other way I would've learned so much in such a short time.
    The whole process took nearly six months for me. I spent almost 3 months preparing for the bootcamp. About 1.5 doing the Structured Study Program, which is basically a pre-bootcamp bootcamp, and then another 1.5 months doing the prerequisite course for the bootcamp itself.
    I'm very glad I did the SSP. Not only did it prepare me for the bootcamp, but it was also nice to see what I was capable of before joining the bootcamp full-time. It helped validate my decision to keep moving forward with it.
    The bootcamp itself is intense. 6 days a week. 11 hours a day. But I'm not sure there's a better way to do it. I met some amazing people, and learned way more than I expected. I do think that the program would be improved by making its small group meetings and one-on-ones more productive by making the topics of those meetings be focused on technical as well as non-technical aspects of the program.
    Getting a job afterwards is the hardest part. While HR provides some resources--mock interviews and resume workshops were helpful to me--they are mainly there for support. I would encourage anyone considering this to evaluate the strength of their network: do you know enough people working in engineering or high enough up at tech companies to get a referral? If not, it's going to be tough competing against all the other bootcamp grads and CS majors and people with <1yr engineering experience.
    Companies are understandably not so eager to hire fresh bootcamp grads. A bootcamp is great preparation, but I can say my first few months in an actual role was at least as intense as the bootcamp in terms of everything I've had to learn and work on.
    My former experience and network was invaluable in terms of getting my first job out of the bootcamp. So if you're also in mid-career, know that you have a lot of valuable skills and knowledge coming into the program that make you a strong candidate when you graduate.
    And now that I'm working with other bootcamp grads, I know that I did a lot more at HR than what they did. My bootcamp experience was closer to what it's like to be an engineer and work on an engineering team.
     

     

     

     

  • Jarrod M.  User Photo
    Jarrod M. • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I’m a software engineer who graduated from Hack Reactor, and then stayed a few extra months to help teach and assist before getting hired as a full-time software developer. My salary as a Software Engineer is average for the town I work in (Austin, TX), and yet it is still twice as much as anything I ever earned while working in hospitality.

    Should you consider this program? Do you really need a program at all? It is a difficult question, especially because Hack Reactor isn’t cheap. I hope my review helps you answer these questions.

    First, should you consider Hack Reactor over other programs? This one is a resounding yes! Hack Reactor has a fantastic entrance exam that only lets in students who are strong in their programming basics, and are also decent people. Hack Reactor will have you studying with your classmates for 70 hours a week, for three months. They try to not let in anyone who isn’t aimiable or who doesn’t have a strong programming foundation. While the price tag is staggering, it also means that every student you meet will be 100% committed. As a result, the large majority of Hack Reactor students I met were fantastic people, and I have personally seen them get great jobs at companies such as IBM, Apple, Google and more. Sure, there are other great Boot Camps, but I have no doubt that Hack Reactor is one of the best.

    Helping teach after my graduation further convinced me of this - I worked with the staff for three extra months, and I got to sit in on their many weekly meetings. They discussed each student’s progress, strategies on how to get each person to excel, and ways they could improve as a team. Their success rides on the success rate of their students, and so they truly care about their student’s success. 

    Second, should you consider a boot camp at all? It is a much harder question. Hack Reactor’s mission is to provide three things: Curriculum, Capital, and Community. Curriculum is what most people already have access to, with 80% of the things taught at Hack Reactor being available online. They do have some fantastic group-based milestone projects, which would be impossible to do by yourself. Lastly, the group workflow foundation they give you (working with Git, ticketing systems) shouldn’t be underestimated. Still, I get it. FreeCodeCamp is awesome.

    Capital and Community - these are the two things I’d reckon most people are lacking. If you have a strong connections to the tech industry, or if you have the capacity to go back to a good university, this program may not be for you. As for me, I loved programming, but I was overworked and underpaid at the hotel I worked at. I didn’t know any other programmers, and I was too busy being an adult to consistently self study. On top of all that, I had no freaking clue how to sell myself for a tech job! Hack Reactor’s grueling course allowed me to devote 100% of my time to becoming a better programmer, an opportunity I am truly grateful for. I made a ton of awesome connections along the way... I even competed in a Hackathon with three new friends after the program, and our team won first place!

    Should you consider a boot camp? It really is a tough question, but I’m glad I did it. You may hear online that you can do it by yourself, and some people definitely can. However, it is within six months of my graduation, and at least 90% of my class are now employed as software engineers. We all met for pizza this last week. I’m not fluffing these numbers up - check out Hack Reactor’s website for real success rates. I bet their success rates are some of the strongest, and I am 100% certain their success rates trounce the self-taught crowd’s success rate.

    If you are still on the fence, try taking the entrance exam. You won’t regret it

  • Adam Gipril  User Photo
    Adam Gipril • Associate Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    When I enrolled in Hack Reactor, I had been working as a professional bicycle mechanic full-time for about seven years following a loss of interest in pursuing a career in my electrical engineering degree. Despite being reasonably well-paid for the bike industry, living in a relatively expensive area and making payments toward student loans meant I was still living paycheck-to-paycheck. Hack Reactor's accelerated program was just what I needed to take a minimal loan while pursuing a change in passion from bikes to software. The organization and pace of the program allowed me to learn the best and most-relevant skills at a much more rapid rate than I ever could have alone.

    Pros:

    • Well-polished program
    • Rapidly learn software engineering beyond just the basics — learn some best practices while mimicking a real work environment
    • Excellent technical and emotional support when it's needed
    • Learn alongside fellow excellent people
    • Great balance of autonomy (super-valuable) and direction

    Cons:

    • I loved the pace personally, but it can be a struggle at times
  • Alumni benefits
    - 10/6/2019
    Louis  User Photo
    Louis • Software Engineer • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    The Hack Reactor community and alumni team provided many resources that made my job search much easier. Connecting with others who went through the program and are at different stages of their careers is a great deal of fun.

  • David  User Photo
    David • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    TL, DR: Pretty decent curriculum. Could be better, but I would recommend it as it still has solid curriculum that makes you a good candidate during tech interviews. A lot of other boot camps don't put emphasis on group projects - which is critical in technical behavioral interviews at bigger companies.

    I graduated in October 2018 right before Hack Reactor was bought out by Galvanize. Nowadays there are a lot of resources online to teach yourself, and many would be debating if $18k is worth it.

    If you are serious about the career change - it is. 

    Pros:
    - Project-Based Curriculum: Hack Reactor dedicates almost half of the time to group projects. I believe this experience is critical for technical behavioral interviews, which is much harder to get if you take the self-teach route. Granted, you can self-teach, work as a free-lancer for couple months, then leverage that experience.
    - Network: you will make some good friends, and they will help you keep sane during the job search.
    - Resume and cover-letter critique: my career coach was really available to perefect my resume and cover letters. A lot of my softwar engineering friends said my resume looked solid. 

    Cons:
    - Stupid rules: I hated their check-in rules. They can kick you out after 9 tardies or 3 no-shows. I was always on time, but forgot to check-in couple of times. Almost got kicked out cuz of this.
    - Over-emphasis on applying over studying: after the Hack Reactor management change, the career service is not the same. They over-emphasized applying for jobs over studying after graduation. Hack Reactor tells you are interview ready on week 1 and tells you to "GO GET 'EM!" I was definitely not ready. See why below.
    - Need more leetcode: I think you need to do at least 100 leetcode problems (50 easy/ 50 medium) for you get comfortable with technical challenges. You do about 30-ish leetcode-ish problems over 3 months at HR. 30 is not enough and you will for a lot of them by the time you graduate. I recommend grinding leetcode for a month after graduation before tech screens. I personally used interviewcake.com and algoexpert.io in conjunction with leetcode.

  • TL  User Photo
    TL • Senior Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Hack Reactor was the best investment I ever made in myself. Excellent all around. Great curriculum focused on the skills you need most to become a Frontend developer, a problem solver, and a JavaScript connoisseur. Prodigious instructors who believed in their students, had high expectations of them, and were very approachable. It was easy to find the motivation to put in the work with the culture of this program.

    Job assistance is outstanding. Yes, is. They don't stop. Ever. You will find out what Marlene is all about when applying for your first job. No nonsense, all business, let's get you hired soldier! Already have a job and feeling like you can conquer the world on your own? Go for it... but what if you need a shoulder to cry on... don't look for Marlene, she is all about getting you what you need to succeed as a job applicant--just kidding! She is there for you. Need to vent about that company who is wasting candidates with their silly recruiting games? Marlene is there. Need to shake off the interviewing rust before jumping back into the job market? Yes Marlene is there.

    Hack Reactor will give back as much as you put into it. And on top of that, job assistance is the gift that keeps on giving.

  • Amogh  User Photo
    Amogh • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    This review is specifically about the alumni services/job search support. I graduated in August 2018 from the part-time-program. I entered in my second job search in April 2019 feeling uncertain because my first job out of Hack Reactor was not pure software engineering.

    The alumni team was really helpful in ensuring my resume and experience would be enough to interest recruiters, and they connected me with a number of companies off the bat which was hugely helpful in building my job search pipeline.

    The alumni team checked in with me regularly on my progress, always offering helpful advice and guidance. Negotiation help at the end was hugely helpful in not getting myself stuck with low offers and bad deals. Overall, the biggest thing that helped me was just having someone who understood the industry and job market really well. Quite a bit was different with my preferences from the first job search to the second. I can say with confidence that the Hack Reactor alumni team can and will adequately prepare you for both and beyond.

  • Christian  User Photo
    Christian • Web Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Years later now, I still look back very fondly on my time in Hack Reactor (now Galvanize). The instructors were great, my cohort was fantastic, and I learned more in a short period than I ever have before in my life (this from someone with a PhD!). They chose the curriculum based on what gave the best fundamentals and what were the most popular frameworks and libraries in jobs, combining the practicality and thoroughness you need to be a great developer. And they were always updating it (I even got to help update it as a Hacker in Residence) to keep it current.

    It's scary to apply, scary to interview to get in, and scary during the bootcamp not knowing whether you can cut it. Don't sell yourself short by doing one of the easier bootcamps with no entrance exam or a slower pace. Let me tell you, it's so absolutely worth the money and the worry once you're on the other side with a great job and a start in a huge new career. And as an investment, it's immeasurable. I am now making more than would ever have been thinkable in my previous line of work, and honestly enjoying it much more.

    Speaking of good investments, one thing I did not consider at all when looking at bootcamps but has honestly been the best ROI of the whole process has been the Alumni job search support. You know they'll help you with your first job search when you're done with the bootcamp, but I somehow missed that they'll support you in all your job searches for the rest of your career! Specifically I have to praise Marlene Tang, their alumni director. Literally her advice alone, pushing me to get multiple offers, always negotiate, and know what to say to negotiate in a way that's not going to alienate anyone, has literally more than paid for the entire cost of the bootcamp in salary raises.

    I can't recommend the Hack Reactor program enough, and as I've been given to understand it, they've continued all the best parts of that under the new banner as Galvanize. I actually figured they would kind of let all the old alumni drop once the name/company changed, but they haven't at all! So one more nice perk: in this shifting bootcamp landscape, where companies get bought out and change hands all the time, these guys have provided a consistency that's hard to find elsewhere! I saw it first hand as it was just shifting from MakerSquare to Hack Reactor during my time at the bootcamp, and it's clearly continued since then.

  • Richard  User Photo
    Richard • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated from Hack Reactor in 2015 and have worked with the alumni team there -- most prominently Marlene -- for all of my job searches. They've been incredibly helpful with introducing me to partner companeis and helping coach me through the negotiation process.

    Thanks to their guidance, I've been fortunate enough to negotiate up an extra ~50k during the four years that I've been working and know that I can always count on them to help out for my future job searches.

  • Great!
    - 8/8/2019
    Merary  User Photo
    Merary • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I cannot thank Hack Reactor Remote enough. At every stage, HRR provided the support I needed while keeping things very transparent about where I could improve. 

    My journey with Hack Reactor was an extensive one, all the way from the prep course till now, after landing my ideal job as a software engineer. HRR is tough...but well worth it. If you're ready to go "all in" then HRR is for you. The community is close-knit and emphasizes both great soft skills and great technical skills. I admire that HRR stays up to date with the curriculum, always updating and curating fearlessly. The entire instruction team (Hailey, Annah, Robin, and Cody) does a stellar job of communicating with the students to make sure they're progressing on pace. After graduation, the job support counselors also guide you through the job search process, and they're very attentive about finding opportunities that are tailored for your interests. My counselor was Nicole and she was such a key part of the process. Overall, amazing!

Thanks!