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Hack Reactor

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Hack Reactor

Avg Rating:4.69 ( 325 reviews )

Founded in 2012, Hack Reactor provides immersive full-time and part-time online coding programs. Hack Reactor’s bootcamps include a 12-week Software Engineering Immersive, a 36-week Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive, and a 19-week Software Engineering Immersive with JavaScript and Python. Led by passionate and experienced instructors, engineers, and career advisors, Hack Reactor graduates become job-ready software engineers that companies want to hire. Hack Reactor coding bootcamps are challenging, life-changing, and designed to fit a student’s schedule and skill level. Hack Reactor trains students using a computer science and coding curriculum that models the exciting work being done in the software engineering industry. 

Applicants to the 12-week and 36-week Software Engineering Immersives will need to pass a Technical Admissions Assessment (TAA), which tests for intermediate coding competency. Those applying for the 19-week program do not need to pass the TAA. Hack Reactor offers test prep programs to help prepare applicants for this assessment.

Hack Reactor provides students with a large network of professional peers, 1:1 coaching, mock interviews and job training, and building a student’s online presence. All students graduate as autonomous, full-stack software engineers, fully capable of tackling unique problems and building complex applications on the job. To date, the school has more than 7,900 graduates who’ve been hired by more than 2,500 companies around the world.

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  • 12-Week Software Engineering Immersive

    Apply
    CSS, HTML, JavaScript, AngularJS, Express.js, Front End, Git, jQuery, MySQL, Node.js, React.js
    In PersonFull Time60 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    After our 12-week coding bootcamp, you'll be what you want to be: a software engineer, fully capable of tackling unique and unfamiliar problems and building complex applications on the job. During the program, you can expect: 1) Real engineering work, right away: You'll work through hundreds of hours of problems designed to prepare you for success in technical interviews and in the workplace. 2) Real tools and practices to build job-ready skills: You'll gain the skills to plan, scope, build, and manage applications. You'll learn cutting-edge tech like React and ES6, along with Full Stack JavaScript and computer science fundamentals. 3) Real-world expectations to help launch your career: We'll challenge you to meet deadlines and requirements, build autonomy, communicate with precision, and collaborate effectively. Then we'll help you land the job you've worked so hard to prepare for. Learn more: https://www.hackreactor.com/coding-bootcamp
    Financing
    DepositAfter acceptance, a non-refundable $100 deposit is required in order to secure your spot.
    Financing
    Galvanize is proud to offer Hack Reactor students a variety of tuition assistance options including full-tuition scholarships, Income Share Agreements, and working with lending partners like Ascent Funding and Climb Credit.
    Tuition PlansPlease see the Financing section above.
    ScholarshipYes, we’re proud to offer scholarships for Hack Reactor Software Engineering Immersive students. Learn more: https://www.hackreactor.com/scholarships
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelStudents need to demonstrate fluency in JavaScript fundamentals and are driven learners and communicators. (Our Prep programs help you develop these skills.)
    Prep WorkOnce accepted and prior to your start date, plan to spend about 90-120 hours on our Precourse curriculum. When you're done, you'll have a strong foundation in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and more, and you'll be ready for Day 1.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • 12-Week Software Engineering Online Immersive

    Apply
    AngularJS, Front End, JavaScript, Express.js, Git, HTML, jQuery, MySQL, Node.js, React.js
    OnlineFull Time60 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    After our 12-week online coding bootcamp, you'll be what you want to be: a software engineer, fully capable of tackling unique and unfamiliar problems and building complex applications on the job. During the program, you can expect: 1) Real engineering work, right away: You'll work through hundreds of hours of problems designed to prepare you for success in technical interviews and in the workplace. 2) Real tools and practices to build job-ready skills: You'll gain the skills to plan, scope, build, and manage applications. You'll learn cutting-edge tech like React and ES6, along with Full Stack JavaScript and computer science fundamentals. 3) Real-world expectations to help launch your career: We'll challenge you to meet deadlines and requirements, build autonomy, communicate with precision, and collaborate effectively. Then we'll help you land the job you've worked so hard to prepare for. 4) As a remote learner, you can also expect live online instruction and interaction. Learn to code in real-time from world-class instructors, pair program with your classmates, and build your network during after-hours online events. You’ll also have access to our team 6 days a week. As questions arise, you'll have the support you need, inside and outside of class time. Reach out to instructors and mentors to set up real-time videoconferences, and stay in touch with your peers on Slack at any hour. Learn more: https://www.hackreactor.com/online-coding-bootcamp
    Financing
    DepositAfter acceptance, a non-refundable $100 deposit is required in order to secure your spot.
    Financing
    Galvanize is proud to offer Hack Reactor students a variety of tuition assistance options including full-tuition scholarships, Income Share Agreements, and working with lending partners like Ascent Funding and Climb Credit.
    Tuition PlansPlease see the Financing section above.
    ScholarshipYes, we’re proud to offer scholarships for Hack Reactor Software engineering Immersive students. Learn more: https://www.hackreactor.com/scholarships
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelAll applicants must pass a coding challenge and Technical Admissions Assessment (TAA), which tests for intermediate coding competency. Our Prep programs will help you get there: https://www.hackreactor.com/prep-programs
    Prep WorkOnce accepted and prior to your start date, incoming students should plan to spend about 90-120 hours on our Precourse curriculum. When done, you'll have a strong foundation in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and more, and you'll be ready for Day 1.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • 19-Week Software Engineering Immersive with JavaScript & Python

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    SQL, React.js, Python, Node.js, MySQL, HTML, Front End, Express.js, CSS, AngularJS
    OnlineFull Time45 Hours/week19 Weeks
    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    Through this 19-week online coding bootcamp, you’ll be able to start thriving in a new career -- even if you have no coding experience. Students commit 45 hours per week for 19 weeks, and can expect: 1) In-demand technology and computer science. Our curriculum includes algorithms, data structures, networking, and databases. You’ll also learn Python and JavaScript, the two most in-demand programming languages, plus state-of-the-art practices such as microservices, CI/CD, and network security. 2) Expert instruction using a mastery learning model. We crafted a modern curriculum using the mastery learning model to ensure you grasp, internalize, and master every learning module. This includes the ability to retake modules as needed, and each module culminates in a project so you can build an impressive portfolio to show future employers. 3) Training for long-term career health. We cover skills that lead to career sustainability, including how to establish and maintain healthy and supportive work relationships, use stress management to reduce fatigue and frustration, and have confidence in your decisions. 4) Career services. We don’t wait until the end of the program to talk about jobs. Throughout your 19 weeks, our experienced Career Services team will help you land the job and career you want. Get 1:1 coaching tailored to your skills and needs, go through mock interviews, build your professional resume, and more. Learn more: https://www.hackreactor.com/learn-python-learn-javascript
    Financing
    DepositAfter acceptance, a non-refundable $100 deposit is required in order to secure your spot.
    Financing
    Galvanize is proud to offer Hack Reactor students a variety of tuition assistance options including full-tuition scholarships, Income Share Agreements, and working with lending partners like Ascent Funding and Climb Credit.
    Tuition PlansPlease see the Financing section above.
    ScholarshipYes, we’re proud to offer scholarships for Hack Reactor Software engineering Immersive students. Learn more: https://www.hackreactor.com/scholarships
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelNone. No coding experience is needed.
    Prep WorkApplicants are required to pass a typing test and non-technical cognitive assessment. Once accepted, students are given Course Primers (not required but highly encouraged), which help everyone refresh on computer literacy and high school math.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • 36-Week Software Engineering Online Immersive

    Apply
    JavaScript, HTML, CSS, AngularJS, Express.js, Front End, jQuery, MySQL, Node.js, React.js
    OnlinePart Time20 Hours/week36 Weeks
    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    The carefully designed pace of our part-time online coding bootcamp allows for work-life balance as you train for a new career. Become a software engineer in 36 weeks; learn to code nights and weekends. Afterward, you'll be what you want to be: a software engineer, fully capable of tackling unique and unfamiliar problems and building complex applications on the job. During the program, you can expect: Real engineering work, right away: You'll work through hundreds of hours of problems designed to prepare you for success in technical interviews and in the workplace. Real tools and practices to build job-ready skills: You'll gain the skills to plan, scope, build, and manage applications. You'll learn cutting-edge tech like React and ES6, along with Full Stack JavaScript and computer science fundamentals. Real-world expectations to help launch your career: We'll challenge you to meet deadlines and requirements, build autonomy, communicate with precision, and collaborate effectively. Then we'll help you land the job you've worked so hard to prepare for. Learn more: https://www.hackreactor.com/part-time-coding-bootcamp
    Financing
    DepositAfter acceptance, a non-refundable $100 deposit is required in order to secure your spot.
    Financing
    Galvanize is proud to offer Hack Reactor students a variety of tuition assistance options including full-tuition scholarships, Income Share Agreements, and working with lending partners like Ascent Funding and Climb Credit.
    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.
    ScholarshipYes, we’re proud to offer scholarships for Hack Reactor Software engineering Immersive students. Learn more: https://www.hackreactor.com/scholarships
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelAll applicants must pass a coding challenge and Technical Admissions Assessment (TAA), which tests for intermediate coding competency. Our Prep programs will help you get there: https://www.hackreactor.com/prep-programs
    Prep WorkOnce accepted and prior to your start date, incoming students should plan to spend about 90-120 hours on our Precourse curriculum. When done, you'll have a strong foundation in JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and more, and you'll be ready for Day 1.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Pavan Ravipati  User Photo
    Pavan Ravipati • Principal Solutions Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    If you're already working in tech, and are concerned about the opportunity cost of taking time off to deepen your technical expertise, I suggest that you take the leap. Prior to Hack Reactor I worked in a traditional software sales role (in the marketing automation space). I chose to go to hack reactor primarily out of curiosity, and looking back 5 years, I am happy to say that the ROI was definitely there for me. 

    Coming out of Hack Reactor, I did a short stint as a programmer at a small startup and then went on to work at GitHub as a Solutions / Sales Engineer. I've now been at GitHub for the last 4 years, and Hack Reactor was an amazing launching point for me to develop the skills and curiosity that I use in my job every day. 

    The community I gained from Hack Reactor has also been huge for me — I still talk to several of my fellow students almost daily. It's been a great resource for continued learning and idea-sharing. I'd like to also give a special shoutout to Marlene Fong, who is a cornerstone of the Hack Reactor community. Marlene helped me with my two job hunts coming out of Hack Reactor and has been there as a great alumni resource for negotiating promotions / other offers. 


  • Shabnam Mokhtarani  User Photo
    Shabnam Mokhtarani • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Attending HRs Bootcamp was one of the best decisions in my adult life. The staff was so helpful and the curriculum is very relevant to industry needs. I was able to find a job as a full-stack engineer within four months of graduating. Tip: make sure you have Javascript fundamentals down, as you'll get more out of the course.
  • Daniel Kim  User Photo
    Daniel Kim • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    To truly provide my experience, let me start with some context: I attended another boot camp and felt like I was pumped out of a factory. I was able to obtain a job but I was creating personal technical debt. I was barely getting by with the skills I gained but with no foundational knowledge. It was creating a huge stressor in my life that I had decided to attend another boot camp. An advanced boot camp. I truly mean it.

    There is an unofficial motto that I heard about Hack Reactor. "We don't take you from 0 - 60, we take you from 20 - 120."  Truer words hasn't been spoken about a coding boot camp. From the moment you reach out to the program to the day you graduate, you are familiarize with the process of applying and working within the software engineer industry. As a veteran, I was able to use the newly introduced Vet Tech, which saved me from using my own funds and my GI Bill. To be recognized by the VA as a prestigious school definitely reassured me, as well.

    Prior to the being admitted to the school, there is a prep course, a technical interview and pre-course work. The school shows that they are looking for a high-level of commitment and allows like-minded students to be together for 13 weeks.

    The students' dedication is definitely tested with its' 6 days a week and 11 hour days. The course is split into two phases: junior and senior. In the junior phase, it lays down exceptional, foundational knowledge regarding data structures and algorithms that you will utilize for the rest of your career. Senior phases does not just focuses on entry-level skills but it covers senior-level skills from infrastructure to operations and system design. The curriculum adapts to the current market needs understanding that technology changes frequently while maintaining the core foundational classes..

    The instructors are the same instructors that teach every cohort with its' rigorous curriculum, which establishes a strong baseline amongst graduates. It allows collaboration/mentorship across multiple cohort graduates, creating a vibrant and progressive alumni community. For veterans, At one point of the course, there were administrative problems with the VA and I was concerned about my enrollment... One of my instructors took on the additional responsibility as the company VA liaison to ensure I continued my education. Wouldn't you want to be in a community like this? (Thank you if you're reading this!) Even today, I can reach out to my instructors and they have never turned down an opportunity to assist me.

    The alumni community is active, all the time. There are topics about forming study groups to re-solidify their base knowledge to prepare for an interview, collaborate on a new technology such as AI or ML, or even just network for happy hour. I may not have met a lot of them but I know they are hard working, smart individuals just from the fact that they've passed the assessment to be admitted into the course, in the first place.

    I put N/A for job assistance because I was able to secure a job during my senior phase with the new added knowledge from Hack Reactor. Today, we are right at the 6 month mark from graduation and we are at 95% employment rate as software engineers. In my previous boot camp, it has been a year out and only half were employed and out of those half, majority were not employed as software engineers. 

    I don't regret taking another 3 months to attend Hack Reactor. It was well worth the investment. Make the right choice, if you are reading this as prospective student!
  • S Shin  User Photo
    S Shin • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I graduated from Hack Reactor in late January 2020. For context for this review, I came into the program with 8 years of work experience in a STEM field. But basically no code experience outside one intro class in college a decade prior. My classmates had a large spectrum of past experience, from those with months or years of exposure to people without college degrees who had never coded before.

    Curriculum: The curriculum is broken down into two halves - "junior" and "senior". In the "junior" half, we pair-programmed in 2-day sprints. Looking back, I think the topics of the sprints were spot-on for learning the important topics in the job market. The structure of the sprints also emphasized the right mindset - figuring things out yourself (being autonomous without spoonfed instructions/answers) and working collaboratively with a partner. On the "senior" side, we worked on 3 meaty projects that served as most people's resume centerpieces upon graduation.

    Instructors: The instruction in the program included Zoom conferences by very experienced senior staff that we did not interact with outside of those lectures, as well as occasional workshops by the cohort's Technical Mentor(s) who were the assigned staff for our cohort. I found most of the Zoom lectures to be high quality though I found the electronic format less effective than in-person could have been. The cohort staff were supportive and really cared about students' success, but the philosophy of the bootcamp was to learn things on your own, so while I learned some from the cohort staff, it didn't become a centerpiece of my experience. I actually felt like a lot of learning was through interacting with my peers. So I would give 5 stars to our wonderful, hardworking staff but 4 stars for the program structure which I felt lacked direct interface with senior technical experts that could provide code review feedback (our cohort staff were recent graduates of the program and very sharp but lacked the battle scars to convey best practices from years of coding in industry).

    Job Assistance: They will not get you a job. That will be on you. But they will provide lots of support in the form of a job coach, support group, and active Slack community that posts resources and word-of-mouth job postings. The job hunt was grueling and in my opinion, in some ways harder than the program itself, because there were so many factors that were more about luck and timing than skill, and especially exacerbated due to the exceptional circumstances of trying to find a job amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic (hiring freezes, a flooded candidate pool due to recent layoffs, fully remote processes negating hard-earned whiteboarding practice/skills).

    Overall Experience: Overall, Hack Reactor was a great way to learn all I needed to pivot into Software Engineering. I personally would not have been able to get to where I am now without it. And one of the best parts for me was meeting a group of new lifelong friends.
  • Michael Scanza  User Photo
    Michael Scanza • UX Designer II • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I recently attended the Hack Reactor Extended Immersive program in the Fall of 2019. (HRR41) Prior to this, I have been and still am a professional musician and teacher. Originally I was set to attend the onsite program in Los Angeles, but the commute was rough and I had already met some awesome people in the initial extended portion who were doing remote, so I took the plunge. I decided quite late and the cohort was already full, but the remote team was willing to accept me. I met the counselor, Annah, and right away I knew I had made a good decision. She was so welcoming along with the whole team and I felt like I was in good hands. When we met Robin, the lead tech mentor, we all were immediately blown away. This guy is smart. He doesn't just know code. He knows right away the weaknesses in YOUR code. He knows how to push you to learn the hard parts that you may be struggling with. In this way, the program felt very tailored to ME. In addition, Annah was right there to push me on my soft skills. I tend to be a perfectionist, and she made me realize that coding can be a challenge, but it is about the long haul. She taught me to pace myself and to keep calm and centered. Hack Reactor is not an easy program. But if you find you have a passion for coding, or just find it fun, you can succeed. In addition, the career services are amazing at Hack Reactor. I consider myself to be a self-motivated learner, but I would never have had the confidence to enter the field if not for this amazing part of the program. Shout out to Lena, she is so amazing. She helped with my resume, confidence, and gives you the tools to succeed in your job search. She really imparted a "make them say no" approach which I believe helped me land my first job. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a coding challenge for a position at Amazon Game Studios. Immediately it felt like a Hack Reactor sprint, and even though I didn't really know how to start, the feeling was familiar. I worked hard, got through the interview process, and ultimately got the position. It has been such a rewarding career and I love what I get to do for a living. If you have a passion for coding and are considering a boot camp, Hack Reactor is amazing. It literally changed my life. Big thank you to Robin, Annah, Lena, and Hack Reactor for helping me reach my goals.
  • Worth it
    - 4/26/2020
    Greg  User Photo
    Greg • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    If you are looking to break into Silicon Valley, Hack Reactor is a great way to do it. 

    You master JavaScript, learn how to best work as a team and deep dive into data structures/algorithms to pass tough interview processes. On top of that, Hack Reactor takes many hard-working, dedicated students, so the connections you make along can be even more valuable than the coursework.

    Once you graduate, the school just doesn’t forget about you. Hack Reactor has an excellent Alumni Director in Marlene Fong, who stays with each student the entire way in finding employment. Just wish I didn’t take this long to say thank you to her, because she and the school overall made unbelievable difference to the direction of my career. 

    Keep up the great work.
  • Shanan Sussman  User Photo
    Shanan Sussman • Senior Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    For context, I graduated in 2015 and I realize the school, curriculum, and even the industry have changed since then.

    Hack Reactor radically shifted the entire trajectory of my life in the most positive way. I was able to go from being a "failed" artist to beginning my career as a Software Engineer. I look back on the time spent there as one of the pivotal moments in my life. 

    I had expected the program to be challenging, but honestly, nothing prepared me for how much of a whirlwind of work it would be. It was easily the most challenging educational endeavor i'd ever taken on. While it easily pushed me to my limits, being surrounded by equally motivated, driven, and enjoyable cohort-mates helped me tackle the challenges presented by the curriculum. 

    More importantly, the ongoing career support through the Alumni program, facilitated by the one and only Marlene, has been an absolute game changer that continues to pay dividends all these years later. Marlene isn't just one of the most caring and compassionate people I know, she has more experience helping people prepare and secure jobs than anyone I have ever met. Every question, concern, and anxiety that surrounds the job search are deftly answered by her and often with suggestions of entirely different approaches I never would have imagined on my own. 

    Hack Reactor gave me an opportunity and a career I would have never imagined for myself and I will forever be indebted to the program for what it provided me.
  • Anthony Chung  User Photo
    Anthony Chung • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Hack Reactor was unlike any education I've experienced: it teaches you autonomous learning and you still get support after graduating!

    Hack Reactor provided the foundational work and community necessary to learn at a faster rate than before. When picking up a breadth of technical concepts in a short period of time, this is key! 

    The meta-skill of learning that will quickly outpace the utility of whatever library/technology you learn when you attend.

    Post-graduation support! I've always gotten help from Marlene whenever transitioning roles. More than that, she knows and anticipates your needs on the job search. Whether it's connecting you for algorithm practice, finding the right warm intro to make, or giving you the right negotiation move, she is out to guide you for career success.

    Consider how many offer letters she has helped secure and negotiate: she's becoming AlphaGo for job market/support.
  • Sunyoung Kim  User Photo
    Sunyoung Kim • Software Engineer • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Hack Reactor is such a unique and structured immersive course. I came from Hospitality which was not STEM major. From the beginning, they help us out how to start with programming but as we go further, they guide us but let us know how to find the resources by ourselves and search the materials to solve real-world problems. Daily data structure & algorithm toy problems were extremely helpful as well. Last but not least, my favorite part was the active help from the HR. It was my first job searching but I knew that I could always ask people at HR to discuss how to make my resume more competitive and how to keep working on projects and interview preps during my job searching. Even after the first job searching, I still keep in touch with the people I met from HR and getting advise which is amazing. I highly recommend Hack Reactor for people who has passionates in tech but have not get a chance to start it yet.
  • Cynthia  User Photo
    Cynthia • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I wanted a bootcamp that offered a rigorous program that would teach me the skills and knowledge needed to become a software engineer.  Hack Reactor definitely delivered that. Since the program is only three months, there were many things I didn't learn during the bootcamp and had to learn on the job. However, Hack Reactor taught me how to learn and problem solve on my own, which, I believe, is the main benefit of attending. In addition to teaching the technical skills and knowledge, they provide great career services that prepare and support students for and during their job searches. Marlene supported me a lot during the negotiation process for both my first and second job. She coached and advised me on what to say and how to counter, which was super helpful since I had never negotiated an offer before. Lastly, Hack Reactor has a large alumni network and community, which is very beneficial for career opportunities or advice.
  • Great experience!
    - 12/21/2019
    Beth  User Photo
    Beth • Software Engineer • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Hack Reactor was an exhausting but wonderful three months. I really enjoyed the semi-structured aspect of the sprints (first half) and being able to dig deeper into the things that were interesting to me. The pairing was useful as well - I frequently learned tips from my classmates and was able to reinforce my own understanding by having to talk about code. The second half was much less structured, and while I enjoyed it a little less, it was a great opportunity to practice developing in the same repo with other engineers and tackle more complex problems. I found the interview prep that occured throughout the program to be well aligned to interviews that I experienced in the job search.

    While Hack Reactor didn't teach me everything I needed to know to do my eventual job, it provided great foundational knowledge that I was able to use to learn other things, and in a shorter timeframe than I would have been able to do all by myself. The things I use most today (5 years later!) are the deep dive into JS internals and the debugging process.

    Instructors were super smart and were great at breaking down concepts. I'd happily take more courses from Marcus or Fred in the future. The career search staff was energetic and invested in our success, and while most of the staff from my cohort are no longer with the company, Marlene (who does alumni job support) is awesome - no-nonsense, caring, and focused.

    Overall, if I could go back and time and do it again, I would. :)

  • KD Zheng  User Photo
    KD Zheng • Full Stack Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated from HRSF in September 2018, right as they were acquired by Galvanize. 3.5 stars. It was an overall rewarding experience and I don't regret it, but my general opinion is that the experience left a lot to be desired. I'll spare you the details of what you hear over and over (hard work, cameraderie, life changer) and provide you with my unabashed opinion on what was once considered SF's premier immersive program.

    My Hack Reactor journey took place over an entire year. I started the part time structured study program in Jan, got admitted into the April cohort, attended for a week and was (rightfully) deemed underprepared, attended the HREXT program for 6 weeks and got readmitted in June, graduated in Sept, and held fellowship that finished up in Dec. I was fortunate enough to have an entire year (plus months of job searching) where I could dedicate my time and energy in going from someone who enjoyed programming but had little knowledge outside of online free courses to a graduate. So my first caveat is that your journey may be longer than just 3 months; be aware of your learning pace and take your time, because it's better to do that than get by with the "C's get degrees" mindset.

    That said, one great thing about this program is that they won't let you through the gates unless they deem you to be ready (in the beginning, anyway. Will get into more details later). They were able to catch the fact that I was going to fall through the cracks within the first 3 days(!) and suggested that I enroll in the HREXT program to get back on track for the next cohort. I am SO thankful for that, because I knew that I have a high learning curve and still felt shaky with the fundamentals when they admitted me--I was pretty sure that I could catch up by putting in extra effort and extra hours, and they gave me a chance to prove it.

    The biggest flaw I've found with the program is the unrealistic amounts of autonomy that are expected from you in the program, especially in the second half. When you're a junior engineer at a company, you are usually not expected to "know everything" and will generally receive some sort of mentorship beyond "just Google it". Yes, it's true that HR wants to emphasize becoming self-sufficient as an engineer and I totally support that, but some things just can't be Googled without priming. Things like bugs, error messages, function signatures, etc should definitely be independently researched, but certain things (design patterns, best practices) are much harder to research. One example: business logic should generally not be stored on the client; this idea didn't come naturally to me, and as a new engineer, I wouldn't even have known the term "business logic." Since we had such a high emphasis on client-side work, it seemed logical to me to have the client handle it, and my group mates and I didn't even realize that it could be handled by the server! It wasn't until I had friends who work in the field who code reviewed me and pointed out this antipattern. The TL;DR is, by the second half, no one looks at your code besides your equally inexperienced teammates, and no one will inform you if your code is full of antipatterns, inefficiencies, and other bad practices that aren't intuitively searchable.

    Lastly, I want to say that your cohort-mates make all the difference. As I mentioned, I got the rare experience of being in two cohorts (granted, only a week with the first one), but the difference was night and day. My first cohort was <25 people, mature, and most people were considerate. The cohort I graduated with was a wreck. I really wanted to avoid the summer cohorts because I knew it would be flooded with college students on summer break, and I was right to make that judgment. It was ~40 people, rowdy/loud, and ridiculously difficult to learn. People were terribly behaved and I felt bad for our cohort lead, who had to spend time disciplining our cohort as if it were middle school detention. Maybe half the students were serious about working and learning, the other half were being outwardly inconsiderate, playing DoTA, chatting on the phone, vaping indoors, leetcoding, and doing phone interviews. I don't care that these people were doing other things, but I DO care that I spent 18K and was being bothered left and right by people who don't realize that they're in a common space and lack the courtesy to not be disruptive to others who actually take their work seriously. Imagine if you were in a college lecture next to someone blabbering on the phone and you'll get the picture. If you think I'm some ol' curmudgeon...I was 23 at the time.

    Lastly, job searching. I knew I would take longer than average to find a job because of my low confidence and learning curve, but I promise if you put in the effort it can be done! The job search behavioral tip lectures were helpful, but I didn't really get much out of connecting with my career coach after graduation. The micromanaging, constant checkin thing just didn't work out for me and I am glad my coach respected my decision to go at it at my own pace. I think they focused too much on the "behavioral" side (seriously, there's a calendar for how you should spend your job search days) and not enough on the technical aspects of getting a job (aka what really counts).

    I would like to give a shoutout to the HREXT team though--that program was AMAZING. You'll learn and get actual support and encouragementand actual advice on coding cleanly and idiomatically rather than some hand-wavy non-answer.

    Background about me: taken HS programming course, BS+MS in Biotechnology, some college work. Shy, introverted, low confidence, not particularly well inclined toward math/engineering and slower learner, but love learning about technology and algorithms nonetheless.

Thanks!