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 4.69
Recent Hack Reactor News
- How Kevin Landed a Job at Google after Hack Reactor
- Insights on Galvanize’s New Hack Reactor Software Engineering Program
- May 2019 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
Start Date None scheduled Cost $17,980 Class size N/A Location San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, New York City, Denver, Seattle, Phoenix, Boulder, OnlineThe 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.
Deposit After you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class. Financing Tuition Plans Financing options are available. Refund / Guarantee No Scholarship $1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
OnlinePart Time20 Hours/week36 Weeks
Start Date None scheduled Cost $17,980 Class size N/A Location OnlineLearn 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.
Deposit After you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class. Financing Tuition Plans Applicants who would otherwise be unable to attend Hack Reactor may split their tuition into installments and finish paying a portion of tuition up to six months after graduation. Refund / Guarantee No Scholarship $1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
Hack Reactor Reviews
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- The experience was great and challenging- 12/4/2017Trace • Junior FullStack Engineer • Student • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Austin
I had a great experience during the boot camp and after. During the course, there was always someone there to help, and they were great at restraining themselves so you still had to learn on your own. I got enough instruction to help and motivate me to keep learning and just little enough to give me the confidence to succeed.
After the course, the staff and my classmates kept in touch weekly through video chat which is amazing for what will be a very stressful time in your life. There was a lot of support offered and the networking through Hack Reactor is very good. Everyone in my class got at least one interview through their network or from a rep invited to come to the school, and I ended up getting a job with someone who had previously gone through the program. Total time for me was 8 months, 3 months in the program and 5 months to the first day on the job (I was the last in my class to land one btw)!
- A rewarding investment- 12/1/2017Sam Olukotun • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
- Growing up I always gravitated to computers...- 11/8/2017Matt Fernandez • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
Growing up I always gravitated to computers. I was part of the ‘computer club’ growing up. I built computers, and I programmed. For one reason or the other I felt that it would be impossible for me to complete my dream of becoming a Software Engineer. Hack Reactor helped me complete my goal.
I went through Hack Reactor Prep, I interviewed, I got accepted, I went through pre-course, I went through the immersive, and I spent time as an Hacker in Residence. Now I am working as a Software Engineer. Hack Reactor works.
Remember Hack Reactor is in the business of creating Software Engineers. Traditional 4 year institutions are in the business of giving you a diploma. If your goal is to become a Software Engineer then you should go through Hack Reactor.
The Hack Reactor staff is dedicated to student growth. Your colleagues will be some of the most dedicated, and passionate folks that you will ever meet. All of them will come from different walks of life. All of them as crazy as you. All of them crazy as you about becoming a Software Engineer.
It will be one of the most challenging things that you will ever go through. I worked very long hours to not fall behind during the immersive program. Having said that, it was worth it. Hack Reactor has given me a second chance at life.
- Great education- 10/26/2017Conor • Software engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
- HR made my career- 10/26/2017Roberto Alvarez • Frontend Engineer II • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
My experience is of April 2014. I was in the 12th cohort of Hack Reactor, so things might have changed. But this is my experience:
People come from all over the world for Hack Reactor, myself included. I think that speaks for itself, but feel free to keep reading.
In the first half, you are pretty much very thirsty and start drinking. The pace is incredibly fast (remember not sleeping?) and relies on you being able to pick up on things real quick. You will try to absorb 100% of what’s going on, and then you’ll realize that’s impossible, and lower your standards a little bit. Even then, the amount of knowledge and hands on practice that you get is amazing. You will forget what day of the week it is, and start thinking of time as 2-day blocks, (in which different sprints happen, each covering key topics or new technologies/libraries). You will not realize how much you’ve grown (and will not believe it when other people and instructors tell you you’ve grown). The first half of the program, after 6 incredibly intense weeks, ends with a 2 day solo hackaton, where you get to “take yourself for a test drive” ( - Ryan Stellar), building anything from your own imagination from the ground up. Any ideas you’ve always wanted to do ? This is the time. And you can probably do it by now, and if you can’t, you can learn how to real fast.
The second half marks your transition from an eager junior to a more experienced senior student, where you get to work more in small and mid-sized teams. There’s two projects you complete in the remaining 6 weeks, and by the end you also get some very sweet guidance on job hunting efficiently. Some people choose to work for third party companies, some don’t. Whatever you choose, it will be another amazing experience, and by the end, you will have a very impressive set of projects to show off in hiring day. Hiring day takes place a few days before you graduate, and basically features a bunch of cool companies and startups getting to know you and convincing themselves on how awesome you and your friends are.
Staff and instructors:
By now I am sure you’ve heard on how awesome Marcus/Phillip/Fred/Ryan/Ruan and pretty much everyone is, but you may not be fully convinced. Well, if that’s the case I probably can’t convince you either, so just play the number’s game. All of us seem to share that opinion, so it’s probably very accurate. You will not be disappointed.
The people (classmates):
The most amazing and ridiculously brilliant people, all in the same room.
Overall, around 4.8 / 5. It’s not perfect, but it’s very close. And the people at Hack Reactor take feedback very seriously, so it just keeps getting better and better. Specific suggestions that the previous class made were already incorporated into mine. It is always innovating and searching for new ways to make it even more awesome. The amount of work that goes into user experience is impressive. If you manage to get past the technical interviewsand the cultural fit, you will have a blast going through the program.
I have had 2 jobs since Hack Reactor, one at a bigger tech company (LinkedIn) and currently in a start-up. I have had multiple promotions in these ~3 years since graduating HR. Hack Reactor helped me achieve my true potential (cliche, I know)
- Adrian • Applicant • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
tldr - go to app academy
I was accepted into Hack Reactor, then 6 days before I was supposed to enter the program, I was told I couldn't come anymore. I passed the technical assessment, even did the Pre-course work, but a week before my cohort was supposed to start, we were told we had to have a "counselor check" (which was never part of the admissions process until we were notified). Then after the counselor check, I get an email saying I was "provisionally accepted." Keep in mind, that was AFTER I was already accepted. So I send a reply email, then get a call, and I was told that reply email was totally inappropriate. I disagreed and then I was told I wouldn't be able to come to this cohort after all. So I just withdrew completely from Hack Reactor at that point. There are a bunch of reasons this was really unprofessional, but the first is that this "counselor check" could have EASILY been done after the technical assessment (MONTHS before the starting cohort date), thereby letting me know months in advance if I was fully accepted. This is why people think coding bootcamps are sketchy, and I have to say, after my experience, they are right to think that. My advice, check out App Academy, which seems like a legit and trustworthy bootcamp.
- Jason Kim • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Los Angeles
This program was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. Let me tell you a little bit about my background before joining Hack Reactor. I was a network engineer for close to 5 years and was really unsatisifed with what I was doing with my career. I wanted to be more creative and have a bigger impact on things I use everyday. I still wanted to be in tech so the next logical career path was probably becoming a software engineer. I quit my job in June of 2016 and moved to LA to persue Hack Reactor. I had very little experience with Coding before Hack Reactor, and when I say very little I mean none..
I started to study for Hack Reactor in December 2016 by doing codecademy, reading eloquent JS, and most importantly finishing Hack Reactor prep program. I learned so much about programming in the few months leading up to Hack Reactor.
I thought the admissions interview was going to be by far the hardest thing and once I got into the program It would be a breeze. Boy was I WRONG WRONG WRONG. Compared to the actual program, the admissions interview was a cake walk(hopefully this doesnt discourage you!).
I bust my ass off and pass my admissions interview and get accepted to the January 2017 cohort. I ended up delaying until March because I felt I wasn't ready and needed more time to study(which i did).
The first half of HR was super tough but it taught me a lot about myself. You honestly get what you put into this program. If you are willing to put in 90+ hours a week like I did, then I can promise you can get to wherever you want to be. There were many times I wanted to quit but the support staff are great and keep you motivated and on track. Looking back, HR teaches you basically all the fundementals you need to be a sucessful programmer and software engineer. HR isn't something you can half ass and expect to get a job coming out of the program.
AUTONOMY AUTONOMY AUTONOMY this is what they preach in this program. You have to be willing to figure out problems without the instructors spoon feeding you. Honestly it's the best and fastest way to learn.
Second half of HR was the most enjoyable and gratifying part of the program. I learned so much and was able to build awesome apps by the time the program was ready to end. I felt I was industry ready!
Without HR I would not have found a job as a software engieer and would not have the tools and knowledge to jump start my new career. And yes I did get a job but that process was a beast of its own. Dont expect to get a job out of this program unless you are willing to put in the same amount of hours applying and studying you did during the program. Nothing is given to you! You have to earn it.
If you don't have a cs degree and you are interested in programming as a career, take this bootcamp because its basically an accelerated college program that teaches you everything you need to know to start and be a well rounded programmer.
- Best decision ever- 8/23/2017Wyatt Lindsey • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
I want to add to the choir of praise for Hack Reactor from my own experience as a student in their remote program. In short, it was the best professional decision of my life. I was stalled out in a career for which I had nearly zero enthusiasm when I decided to apply. People at work who learned about the admittedly hefty price tag were shocked. "For a three-month program? Why don't you save a bundle and teach yourself?" I had been working on that for years, but competing priorities like my full-time job kept pushing that learning until everything else was completed in my day. I was making solid but slow progress on random disciplines. It felt kind of like learning a foreign language with just a phrasebook.
The remote program empowered me to meet my three basic goals. Specifically, those were to build applications with technologies I like, work remotely from home, and make an abundant income doing what I love. Maybe those goals were too ambitious for someone with no professional software experience. I am thrilled to tell you that the program delivered and I achieved my dream only a month after graduation. Despite my high expectations of the outcome, I was surprised by how soon I was choosing between multiple awesome job offers.
I'm currently rounding six months working as a software engineer at a great startup. I realize now that during the Hack Reactor program I didn't fully understand the many ways that the curriculum prepared me for the exact experience of doing this work professionally, e.g. sifting through a mountain of code you don't understand. No spoilers, but their methods remind me of Daniel-san's work with "wax on, wax off" in The Karate Kid. Writing production-grade applications professionally has made me appreciate the curriculum and methods much more. I feel like I can approach problems as a true engineer with a firm grasp of fundamentals, both abstract and concrete. I'm still noticing the unexpected ways I draw from my Hack Reactor training when tackling day-to-day problems as an engineer. The program changed the way I approach any technical challenge, on both intellectual and instinctual levels.
One other thing that surprised me about the program was its unique way of teaching you the social aspects of development. I think some aspiring programmers don't realize just how much collaboration goes into a large prime-time application. I'm thankful for the practice solving problems with other people and working through pain points like "merge hell" in Git, for example. Hack Reactor addresses the interpersonal aspects of working as a software developer, one of the things that makes this bootcamp peerless.
You probably know this, but the program isn't for everyone. You could potentially have a bad time. This work is difficult and can be discouraging before it's rewarding. If you haven't at least dabbled with programming or read some books, you should make sure you enjoy writing your own code, beyond prepackaged tutorials. Hack Reactor reminds me of a catapult. It will launch your skills and career a great distance in a short time, but having at least hobby experience will wind that catapult tighter. The more you bring to the program, the further it will launch you. If you're a person who gets really frustrated or panicky when something doesn't work correctly the first, tenth or fiftieth time, you're probably going to burn out. Expect to spend a lot of time scrolling through threatening error messages. You'll watch your hard work crumble into oblivion after a tiny code change. You'll run up against issues and conflicts for which there is not yet a solution. Hack Reactor of course has great people and resources to help get you out of a jam, but you should be ready to tear through documentation, GitHub Issues and StackOverflow discussions so you can competently solve your own problems. In short, the experience is intense and often painful. However, as I've heard it said, you're not going to find a life with no pain or problems; the secret to happiness is choosing the problems you enjoy solving.
I'm obviously blown away by how this program rocket launched me into the life I wanted. That said, there are going to be rough edges in the remote program. The methods and teaching are superb, but the production value isn't super glossy. They're not Treehouse or Lynda. You might see the occasional mismatch between links and materials for example. Since the curriculum is continually refactored to reflect the present (looking at you, ES7+), it makes sense that the instruction delivery and materials aren't going to have a high gloss finish. You might even think to yourself, "for this money, it should be perfect." But keep in mind that you're not paying for a traditional online instruction program. You're paying for a well designed and super effective remote "container" in which you'll do the best learning of your life. You're paying for talented and supportive staff who bring amazing value to the experience. They are the backbone of the program, giving shape and accountability to the container. I owe my success, during and after Hack Reactor, to the dedication and skill they bring to their individual roles as mentors, coaches and coordinators.
To sum up, my Hack Reactor Remote experience was a crucible, a transformation and a dress-rehearsal for my new career, all rolled into one. I can't recommend it enough for the dedicated and disciplined individual aspiring to start or accelerate a career in software.
- Hack Reactor is not for the weak- 8/17/2017Burk • Developer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Austin
It was not easy. It took months of self-study just to pass the entrance interview. Once accepted, there was more work to do before I was allowed in the door. All in all, I was coding near full time for four months before I started Hack Reactor. Once in, I was putting in 60+ hour weeks for three months. It was brutal.
It was also not cheap. On top of the price tag, there is the cost of being unemployed for three months. I tried to work mornings while in the bootcamp, but the hours piled up and I just couldn't maintin. After graduation, I spent almost three months unemployed before I was working. I took out loans and ended up maxing out credit cards to make this happen. I was debt-free walking into Hack Reactor. Not anymore.
It was devastating to my social life. There was no work-life balance. There isn't time. Hanging out with friends and family became work. I was always calculating how much going to a friend's house was going to cost me in class the next day. I have a wife and kids that I rarely saw except on Sundays. I used up a lot of social capitol that I had to rebuild.
All that said, for my first job as a Software Developer I'm working at an incredible company making six figures. That goes a long way in Austin. I'll have paid off my debt in a year and a half or so on top of an upgrade in quality of life. Sure, I lost three months of my life (and six months of paychecks) and probably aged a few years, but the RoI was huge. I'm the first bootcamp graduate that my company has hired because I'm the first one that could pass their coding challenge. All bootcamps are not created equal. This one is worth it.
- Dailen Spencer • Senior Integration Engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Los Angeles
I began coding when I was introduced to the Computer Science Engineering field at my university. I quickly came to understand that I had found my passion and art. However, overtime, the synthetic and standardized environment of the university began to take a toll on my learning experince and day to day life in general. Slowly, I transitioned more and more to utilizing resources and documentation provided by third party sources like Treehouse, StackOverflow, etc. Overtime it became clear to me that the knowledge and material I was being taught through the university was well out of date. Further, there was no pratical application of the material being taught. Every course was focused on the theory of the field rather than developing pratical skills to acquire a job.
So, at 18 years of age, I decided to abandon the traditional route of education. I departed from the University of Florida in the hopes of pursuing something greater than the standardized classroom environemnt. Looking back, this was the greatest decision I have made thus far in my life. I was accepted into the HackReactor program shortly after. I went though 3 months of ups and downs, adventurous learning, and autonomous development, and was was offered a role as a remote senior integration engineering position at ClickTripz, LLC. At 21 years old, my salary of 90k, placed me in the top 10% income bracket of the United States.
I could write a novel about the intricaces of the HackReactor program and everything they will provide you with. On a deep level, they taught me how to learn autonomously and adapt to the tremendous changes that are ocurring not on the in the tech field, but in our society as a whole. I have no doubt in my mind that I will be able to tackle any commplex problems I am confronted with in the future, due to HackReactors incredible system. I work on a system that has an average daily user base of 1.5 million users and my work flow changes on a daily basis. My ability to keep up to engineers that have been embedded in the tech field for decades was provided by HackReactor's program.
In summary, HackReactor is an incredible program if you are an individual looking for an alternative and reliable path to a great career. The tech industry is booming and will continue to rise in the forseable future. HackRector will provide you with the skills and mindset you need to succeed.
- A Worthwhile Experience- 8/2/2017Regina Lee • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Los Angeles
I am a career switcher and prior to attending Hack Reactor I had very little experience and exposure to programming and was deciding between General Assembly and HR. After researching and asking around, it was clear that HR had the better reputation and I ultimately went with it- and what a great decision that turned out to be.
Hack Reactor was the best environment for me to grow and become a developer. They do their best to foster autonomy but still provide the support needed if you are struggling. Having come from a traditional education background, it definitely took some time getting used to the curriculum (not your typical, lecture-test-lecture-test format), but once I adapted it was the perfect way to learn software engineering.
It definitely isn't for everyone- the program demands long hours and information (esp in the first 6 weeks) is dispersed very quickly. As a student, you learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable, a skill that I'm now utilizing in the industry. You are also taught how to conjure code and pick up new tools quickly, another skillset that is proving invaluable in the workforce. I especially enjoyed the second six weeks, where you are put into groups of 3 or 4 to develop a full stack application from scratch. To think that I went from struggling to write a for loop to building a full stack mobile app, demonstrates Hack Reactor's strong curriculum. The program is not perfect, but the core staff, instructors, and teaching fellows are always open to hearing suggestions and act quickly on them to ensure that each cohort has an improved experience.
Overall my experience at Hack Reactor was more than worthwhile and it definitely helped me achieve my end goal of becoming a software engineer.
- Amazing!- 7/13/2017Forrest Miller • Web Developer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Austin
About 10 months ago I started my path towards becoming a web developer by attending Reactor Prep, followed a month later with enterence into the rigerous program. During my time time at HR my brain experienced an overhaul, during the day it fealt as if I were drinking from a firehose, and at night I would dream only of code. The amount of knowledge you take in, in such a short amount of time, is staggering and also rewarding.
I'm writing this about 4 months after my graduation, at my desk in a new office, and as an employed web dev.
If you are thinking of attending a bootcamp, HR is an excelent choice!
- A Wonderfully Exhausting Experience- 7/12/2017Nathan Turinski • Software Engineer • Graduate • Campus: Austin
I will reiterate what a classmate of mine already wrote, "This class is not for everyone."
It's a reallly difficult, unique thing to drop your social obligations for 90 days and be in a solitary, confined space for 60 hours a week. If you value your alone time, it'll be excruiating to be around people 6 out of 7 days of the week without really anywhere to escape to.
That being said, through the exhaustion, there lies a wonderful, rewarding experience where you will learn a lot about not just programming, but about yourself as well. Linden is the most wonderful support system (yes, she by herself is a system). However, as is with most experiences in life, you get what you put in. You have to be willing to open up and speak your mind or you may feel like the sessions aren't a productive use of time.
I waited 2 months after my graduation date to write a review, waiting until I accepted an offer. Now that I have officially accepted a position, I can candidly promote the success of Hack Reactor.
The actual cirriculum does its job and is constantly adapting to new needs and feedback. That being said, this cannot fit everybody's learning styles. I'm sure most people have ready other reviews, but if you haven't, the course is broken up into 2 parts: junior and senior phases. The junior phase is broken up into (mostly) 2-day sprints where you cycle through a new partner each sprint. Together, you tackle a programming challenge with only one computer. If you have control issues, (whether you are too controlling or too passive) this will an awful time, but a great learning experience. You can't rely on these sprints to actually learn the frameworks-- they're intended to just give you a taste of what the framework can do and its syntax.
The senior phase breaks you into 3-4 people groups where you will collorborate to create anything that your team decides. This is by far the bulk of your learning and why you will want to invest the money in this program. All of the sprints lend itself to allow you to choose a frameworks to really utilize and learn intimately. After interviewing for a couple of months, it seems that having an open-source Github where you have colloborated and worked with other people is essential. It demonstrates two things: 1.) You can actually code and 2.) You can work with others. A startling amount of new grads can't do either of these things so this eases the mind of the interviewers and recruiters.
The last week of class is dedicated to job seeking process. While this was very useful and gave all of the tools to succeed in the job search, the post graduation job assistance was a bit of a mixed bag for me. However, I feel that job assitance is more of a courtesey service, considering you are paying for the 3 months in class, and don't think I should be very harsh. I also acknowledge that I didn't really need the service to stay motivated (my wallet was enough of a motivator), but if you are a person who does, maybe you will utilize the job assistance way more effectively than I did.
If this program sounds appealing to you, then I wholeheartedly suggest that you invest in yourself and take the course. Part of the reason I enjoyed my experience so much is because of the dynamic group of people this class atrracted. Maybe it's unique to my class, but the program attracted people of varying ages, backgrounds, and personalities; however we all had something in common. We wanted to better ourselves and our lives, and we were willing to work hard to get there. So if that's you, take a chance on Hack Reactor.
- Excellent program, but not for everyone- 6/23/2017Elijah Schow • Front End Developer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Austin
I enrolled in the program looking for help in three areas, and Hack Reactor delivered.
Skill: the course teaches you through practice rather than memorization. The are lectures were mediocre, but I spent most of the time on code challenges and projects, which is where the real value lies. For the first half of the program, we completed a series of two-day "sprints" in which we finished incomplete programs until they passed all the tests. For the second part of the program, we built on a series of projects from the ground up. Throughout the program, we worked on a toy problem for about an hour every morning. In total, I spent over 450 hours coding.
Teamwork: During the first half of the program, I worked in pairs to solve programming challenges, which was exhausting but good practice for communication. During the last half of the program I worked on group projects, but these didn't feel like horrible group projects in school. Instead of working for a grade, we were just trying to learn and get stuff done. The group projects felt a lot like working in a real company.
Job Search: There's only one week at the end of the program for career coaching, but that we plenty. Even after 50+ rejected job applications, I wasn't discouraged because the outcomes team did a great job of setting expectations for how job searches usually work. I also couldn't have written my cover letter and resume without their help.
At Hack Reactor, I developed the skill and confidence I needed to find a job. A month an half after graduation, I accepted an offer and start working next Monday!
Huge Commitment: This program isn't a good fit for everyone. It costs ~$18,000 plus living expenses and consumes 60+ hours a week. I had to drop everything for 3 months. This worked out great for me because I have good credit and don't have children or a social life, but it's a lot more stressful for people in different circumstances.
Attendance: Their attendence policy is extremely annoying. You don't want to be late. Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes early every morning to account for traffic, parking, and exploding bicycle tires.
- A life-changing experience- 5/15/2017Marc • software engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
I've read my fair share of controversial opinions about Hack Reactor before joining. Having been through the ringer, I've come out firmly believing that the school has its priorities straight. I've spoken with staff at all levels, from the CEO to hackers in residence (temporary positions filled by recent graduates), and I have found the staff to be focused on their students' success and very far from the cynical, short term, take-the-money-and-run type of mentality that is sometimes associated with bootcamps at large.
The bottom line is that Hack Reactor delivered on its promise to help me transition to a software engineering career. Making this transition is difficult and requires enormous effort. Hack Reactor does not substitute for that effort, but it fosters an environment where students can put out their best work for a sustained period. Hack Reactor builds a community of like-minded risk-takers 100% focused on learning and changing their lives, and I can say with certainty that I would never have achieved this change so quickly if it weren't for Hack Reactor.
In terms of downsides, I found the sheer size of their larger campuses intimidating. These campuses are abuzz with energy. It's a regimented learning environment that results from the pressures of graduate output and a high bar in terms of desired skill sets. It's an intense environments to be in, day in day out, and might feel alienating to some.
It's important to realize that learning is only half the battle. While Hack Reactor provides some structure and support for the job search in the form of a career coach and advice building a resume / cover letter / online profile / set of job seeking tactics, the period after graduating is critical to a successful transition. Hack Reactor will not provide a job on a silver platter. That's just not where the job market is at right now. Prolonging the structure of Hack Reactor into your personal life after graduating and before starting a job is key to success.
At the end of the day, I was able to transition careers with an $18,500 investment and 9 months of my time (including 3+ at Hack Reactor). No college I know of can provide that. The value is hard to beat. If you're driven by making this change, Hack Reactor is a great launchpad to guide your efforts.
- Whips you into shape!- 5/14/2017Michael Daof • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
Hack Reactor is a unique educational opportunity. The intensity, cutting edge curriculum, and inspired staff made for an utterly transformative experience.
Hack Reactor have gone out of their way to discover exactly what it takes to take on the big bad world of Software Engineering. The team and curriculum department are clearly in-to-win-it and they only accept those with a similar spirit. They come from tech start-up culture and are guided by Silicon Valley tech talent. The education is non-stop, right down to their Outcomes program. I was caught off gaurd to know that beyond the code there is still more to know! Like, the real world concerns for Software Engineers while navigating the industry. It just goes to show, there's always so much to learn, and Hack Reactor never lets you forget that.
On a personal level, I am deeply moved by their mission: to create opportunities. I had no idea that an organization could be so dedicated to transforming individuals one person at a time. The staff is genuinely motivated by the reward of seeing the success of their students. What they do, what the students do is not easy, and that itself is the draw of the program.
I encourage anyone to discover the unique work at Hack Reactor. The investment is large and should be recommended on an individual basis, BUT do yourself a favor and inquire as to what's going on within the Hack Reactor walls. It is not typical by any standard, and I hope to see their model infect other fields. It's people-driven, and that's a sum-total win for everybody. Check out the Prep program. You will skill-up, but more importantly, you'll get a peek into what possible adventure could await you. Or better yet, ask around, because their community is growing, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
Oh, yeah -- and the tech stack is off the hook.
- Tough, Fulfilling, Enjoyable- 5/10/2017Mike F. • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
I attended Hack Reactor Remote from January to April 2016. I was a Hacker-in-Residence immediately following the program for three months. My experience with the remote program was different than those in my cohort. I participated in a pilot program, Remote Community, in Chicago. I attended classes with another student. I had the opportunity to speak with the other student, Mobile Maker students and instructors, and one of the founders of Hack Reactor. The founder helped immensely during the first six weeks.
Hack Reactor presents daily challenges. There is little to no hand holding. Prior to getting accepted to the program, I interviewed three times. Each time, I progressed a bit further than the previous attempt. After the interviews, I was given a list of concepts to study for the next time, but no example problems to test my knowledge against. It was my responsibility to keep improving and discover the gaps in my knowledge before trying again. The focus of the program is develop an engineer’s ability to be self-directed, autonomous, and unafraid to ask for help. These skills take time to learn and master. Throughout the 12 weeks, there are many opportunities to put these skills into practice during pair programming, toy problems and larger project work.
The instructional format was good for my learning style. I had tried watching videos with little success and retention. Combining video learning with “face-to-face” question and answer sessions helped solidify my understanding. I also benefited from having peers, of differing skills and backgrounds, going through the same challenges. We created a learning group to review content, which allowed us to share what we learned. Again, the focus is to develop an engineer’s ability to be self-directed and autonomous. You will truly get out what you put in. You must be willing to work with others, participate in knowledge transfers (in both the senior and junior roles) and ask for help when you need it.
Now, a year later, I am in a new city working in a brand new space. In my current role, I am working with Angular 2 and TypeScript. I believe that the instructional sprints helped me to get up to speed on working with two brand new technologies. Using a mix of tutorials, blogs, documentation, and videos, I was able to quickly learn the skills needed to contribute quickly. I have since become confident in providing input and taking responsibility for larger features. The autonomy I learned through the program prepared me to jump into a problem without feeling like I needed a senior dev to monitor my progress.
- Software Engineer- 5/4/2017Jennica Goo • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
I highly recommend Hack Reactor. I do admit that it's not for everyone. The pressure is very high and the course load is heavy. However, if you are the kind of person who's really good at figuring things out on your own with the right resources, and will relentlessly work to keep yourself afloat, then this program is the right one for you. Make sure to be pro-active. Hack Reactor goes above and beyond with providing you with relevant material and successful ways to incorporate all of that knowledge into your toolbelt. They not only teach you a good broad range of knowledge for software engineering, but they also teach you how to absorb that material and apply it immediately.
Another spot that I think HR really shines is the outcomes program. After you graduate, they give you counselors, referrals, and general help to get you that job. The job hunt can be brutal, but it's nice that they at least don't send you out into that hunt without any tools.
- Amazing Experience!- 5/3/2017Wes Young • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
I went through the Hack Reactor Remote program last fall and it was by far the best educational experience I have ever had. It was a rigorous 12 weeks and took a good deal of preparation leading up to it but overall it was definitely worth it. Everyone I went through the program with along with all of the instructors and staff members went above and beyond to make the program the best that it could be. The job support team upon graduating was amazing as well and provided excellent resources to guide me through the job search. I was able to get an awesome job as a Full Stack Software Engineer within 4 weeks of graduating and I love what I do.
If you are willing to put in the work and love code, Hack Reactor is definitely worth the investment!
- Boya • Fullstack Developer • Student • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
Hack Reactor is a results-driven curriculum, so I'm here to tell you if and how you can get the results you want. If you work your ass off and you have a decent education/resume, you shouldn't have too much of a problem getting your desired returns from Hack Reactor. I was formerly an attorney that was very frustrated with the legal market, so I pivoted to software and HR had the best reputation. It wasn't easy to get admitted, but if you get admitted to the San Francisco main campus, I'd definitely recommend going. It is important to keep in mind that it seems like the bubble for developers is growing, and it's not entirely certain whether there will be further forseeable growth in the market (although now that it's harder to get work visas, it might help). It's not a sure thing, I think a couple of people in my cohort had a tougher time finding a job, but most everyone found one. The curriculum is great, but it relies all on you to power your engine through it. No one is going to hold your hand through the learning process; be prepared to teach yourself. The BIGGEST asset that hack reactor has is that you will be surrounded by very driven, talented, and friendly individuals. My cohort (HR39) worked together and left no man behind, and we are very close even after the experience is over. If I could do it over again, I would do the exact same thing. After working about 75 hours a week at Hack Reactor, I received an offer for $120k base in San Jose in under a month. Again, it takes hard work though to achieve your dreams. I sent out almost 200 applications in the single month using angellist, hired, linkedin, ziprecruiter and application portals on websites. If you are smart, driven, and feel that you are being underutilized at your current job, I would highly recommend Hack Reactor. Be aware though that nothing is guaranteed no matter how gaudy the numbers were. Everyone works very hard to make it so, and the students, staff and Space Ops crew is amazing (despite underpaid). A handful of students seemed to have problems finding jobs. Most of them didn't apply to enough in my opinion, as it's a numbers game (i did 200 apps in a month and so can you). A handful, despite being good programmers, had pretty weak professional or academic resumes though, and seemed to find the market harder to break into. If you're talented, hard working, and having somewhat of a proven track record as a good human being, Hack Reactor is a vehicle that can help you successfully transition into web development.
- Not worth 18000 dollars.- 2/28/2017Se Yo Honth Othxd • Engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
In this age of refined open source and cost effective online materials you dont need Hack Reactor to teach you how to code.
Anyways the best way to learn is by using it in a project. Like you will best learn how to cook is by making your favorite dish and in the process you will google recipes, ingredients, best practice and then you will start putting them in place to make your super uber dish. First time it will not be great but will give you a base to improve upon until you get it right.
Apply the principles above to learning to code and make a portfolio of projects (not just tutorials but something actually most you have done yourself)
It will greatly enhance your experience if you find a friend or meetup to code along.
Boom, a couple of months of incremental progress leads to a solid skill you can take to your new job.
Hack Reactor is just a streamlined path of doing the above, and in no means a right of passage or even the best/right way of becoming a successful engineer. (I chuckle when they say Software Engineer. Even CS degree majors do not qualify as Engineers) but that is what you will want to become I am guessing in going to HR.
If this was 10-12 thousand dollars, it would have been worth it, probabily. 18-20 grand, common. Maybe 4 years ago when the best you could get online was a bunch of scrappy blogs. Someone can sue them for claiming to train Software Engineers, because that implies a lot more than going to a germ infested incubator of jam packed students puffed up with false hope after learning basic stuff about data structures, algorithms, a few libraries and frameworks, half of which are old redundant stuff. In the end even they will tell you not to mention HR in an interview, the real reason I will tell you after coming out on the other end is no one gives a c rp about HR, not because there is a bias which there is but because it is just bs that HR is teaching Software Engineering and any good engineer will hire you based on your skills, NOT coz you went to HR unless they are grads.
Staff are pretty awesome, building sucks, curriculum needs major over hawl not only because of old tech but also because for the first half you are learning mindlessly ie passing tests without knowing what the technology is or how its used. A better way would be that students implement a basic app after the two day sprints indivisibly. Fellow students are possibly the best thing about HR.
Seriously find friends who are doing the same thing and go through one of the online courses like the nano degree at udacity for 150 bucks or so is pretty good place, codeacadmy is a good place to start learning languages, freeBootCamp is a good one. Pick one, finish it. Boom Save 18000 bucks.
As far as the 105 grand salary, most people come to HR from strong CS back ground. Quarter have CS degrees, Quarter have some other engineering or relevant degrees, 10% are Berkley or similar grads. 30+% have significant prior experience from job as a developer and 10% have little background and take significant time to build up skills and get lower income spectrum jobs. Compounding all of this gives 105 grand average which is smart on their hand, only admit people who know how to code and this is what you get.
Good people. I would say that for sure. A lot of good iterative stuff going on. 10-12 thousand is a worth it experience.
- Literally Career Defining and Life Changing- 1/5/2017Kevin • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
I'm going to let you all know that I was 120% skeptical about the whole coding bootcamp experience. I mean, how can anyone expect to come out of a 3 month bootcamp with enough knowledge to be a mid or senior level software engineer? And how the heck did Hack Reactor skew their numbers to get such insane statistics?
Who I am:
- Business major in college coming from reputable and decent paying account manager type jobs
- Questioned if I was good at coding because I'd never done anything remotely technical besides some math, econ, and stats
The Bread and Butter of this Review:
- The remote experience requires intense self-discipline, but the curriculum is so well structured that you will definitely feel the pressure to be present and be on top of your game.
- Software engineering and programming is all about learning to be independent and figuring out creative solutions to the problem. I kid you not, I think i spent half the time during coding on Stack Overflow or becoming a pro Googler.
- Programming is not cookie cutter - it's like a language so sometimes you can express it in ways that aren't great, but still get the job done. Therefore, you will often find that the 2 day sprints in Hack Reactor don't necessarily explain solutions exactly in the way you want it. However, they really take a lot of time to explain methodology and do walkthroughs if you are struggling.
- You have to bust your butt every day. This is a unique time period in your life if you choose to follow through with the program. It's only 90 days long. Do whatever it takes and learn the material.
I got a job before my program even ended at an awesome company doing fullstack software development (senior to midlevel) and I didn't even know how to program a year ago:
Many of cohortmates have already gotten AWESOME software engineering jobs in line with Hack Reactor's statistics. If you are remotely competent and feel like you need someone to give you guidance and help boost your career towards something you really feel passionate about - DO HACK REACTOR.
- Maher D • UI Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Austin
I attended Hack Reactor (at the time still MakerSquare) from April to July of 2016. I then stayed on 3 months longer as a fellow, but this review will only focus on my student experience.
At first my research focused on traditional higher education. CS master's programs, mostly. However, I had little desire to do research or otherwise re-enter academia, so the value of a traditional graduate degree did not at all warrant the cost for me. Eventually, a serendipitous browse through alternative options led me to coding bootcamps, and eventually MakerSquare which had a campus conveniently located in my hometown. My honest first reaction to their claims (and the tuition) was “yeah, right.” I binged on all reviews, good and bad, before deciding to go the self-study route. Besides, I was already a developer. What could a costly 3-month program teach me that I can’t learn for free on the internet?
Fast-forward a year to early 2016, and I had barely gotten off the ground. I had more responsibilities at my old job and had little residual willpower to learn web on my own. Sure, I convinced myself a few nights a week to put in a couple extra hours and work through online tutorials, but it was a half-assed effort at best. At that point I realized I was missing a few key factors: accountability, structure, and a collaborative environment. I finally admitted to myself I'm the kind of person who needs the pressure to thrive and learn. That’s when I decided to go for it. After all, it's exactly that kind of environment HR seemed to be good at providing. Another major selling point for me was the networking potential. In my experience the tech industry is smaller than you think, and making many new connections can prove helpful in unexpected ways.
A recurring theme you’ll notice in coding bootcamp reviews is that you get out of it what you put in. This applies to Hack Reactor even more so because of the volume of information coming your way combined with the ambitious 3 month timeline.
I soon learned that head start was marginal, because the course hits the ground running with only a few intro lectures to get you acquainted with the staff, facilities, etc. After that you jump right into alternating between lectures and partnered assignments (sprints). In fact, the entire first half consists of sprints spanning a couple days each. Again, it’s easy to hit information overload in this time - your brain can only absorb so much - but building as solid a foundation as you can prior to starting can make all the difference in how well you understand the assignments. I used the help desk sparingly, but when I did need it I found it sometimes slowed me down more. I took the route of trying to figure it out myself unless I was truly desperate. But even when you do put in a ticket, there’s a chance your fellows (who just finished undergoing the program themselves) might not know the answer either. In the end, I always managed to find an answer either from fellows or others in my cohort. This wasn’t the case for everyone, though, and a common complaint is that fellows aren’t as knowledgeable as trained instructors. I didn’t share this frustration, because having a background in development has taught me that’s how the industry really is. You’ll sometimes get feedback on what to do, but it’s mostly up to you to figure out how. Overall, HR specializes in fostering this kind of “struggling" environment, and not necessarily one where answers are readily and conveniently available the moment you get stuck. As a result I learned how to form better questions to ask and where to find certain information, both essential skills in any highly technical position.
The second half of the course revolved entirely around group projects. What app to build was entirely up to us. HR did the grouping for us in an attempt to keep skills/proficiencies balanced across teams. It’s during this time I held the most grievances as a student, but mostly due to group/people dynamics which is largely out of HR's control. The silver lining is that learning to work with difficult people is in itself a valuable skill. Another grievance was that there was less structure/accountability in this half of the course. How much you can accomplish largely depends on how motivated/focused your group is, which can also stem from how exciting of a project you choose. As for choice of project, it was entirely up to us. It ended up working out for my groups, but I felt a little too much time was spent picking and scoping a project so that it was achievable in the given time. I wished they'd offered a list to choose from for groups who didn't necessarily have an idea off the bat. Finally, once we did choose a project, I felt there was little staff/instructor interaction. This wouldnt have been a problem except that I had to constantly split my time between project management and programming when I would have preferred to just do the latter.
The reason I didn’t dock any stars is the fact that the HR curriculum is not set in stone. It’s constantly evolving and adjusting based on student feedback, and it’s one of the reasons I admire the program so much. In the time I stayed on as a fellow, I personally saw all my grievances addressed along with any new ones raised by subsequent classes. Instructors (and even staff) began taking more of the project management role, freeing up the students to just code. Also, they began to provide a pre-defined list of projects for groups who didn't want to come up with their own. Regardless, I still came out of the second half having built complex apps from front to back that I could show off to employers and even study before coding interviews. In fact, it’s the proficiencies I gained working with the frameworks for those projects that helped me get hired quickly. So all in all, the group work was well worth it and a crucial part of the curriculum despite the few shortcomings.
Finally, I'd to mention the HR staff. Opinions vary wildly but in the end, I came out of the course feeling like every single person on staff would go miles out of their way to help me out, whether it be the instructors, administration, fellows or hiring team. I could tell they cared and believed in the program, so much so that they'd do their absolute best to ensure you get your money’s worth. But again, much of the work and learning is up to you in the end, and that can affect your perception. When I had grievances about the group projects, the administration took detailed notes and refined the structure for the next cohort. When I had difficult technical questions, the fellows would spend as much time as they could spare sharing what they knew, even if they didn’t have an answer on hand. When I needed general career advice, even the instructors would set up a 1v1 with me and spend hours of their time sharing their own experiences and suggestions. Then of course there’s hiring. I expected that making such a drastic career shift would mean I’d have to start over as a junior software engineer. Instead, I ended up being able to translate most of my experience from the hardware world with just a bit of careful wording on my resume. I was able to land an ideal position at my #1 choice within a couple of weeks of entering the job search. Some of that success was due to a lucky connection, and some due to the extended depth I gained from staying on 3 more months as a fellow. Regardless, the hiring team was in lockstep with me throughout each step of the interview process, helping me review what went well, what to communicate, and even how to negotiate an offer. I tend towards overcommunication as you can tell by the length of this review, yet they were more than patient with me. In short, there’s nothing I learned in the course that wasn’t relevant in the job interviews, and in fact I was able to blow my interviewers out of the water because there was little hesitation answering technical questions.
If you spent the time reading this whole thing, then I can only assume you’re on the fence about undergoing the program. While it’s easy to just say “go for it,” I’d rather suggest that you first separate the questions “do I want to be a software developer?” and “how do I become a web developer”? Hack Reactor will be a major asset in answering the latter, but the former is one you'll have to figure out on your own before you take the plunge.
Though at times imperfect, the HR curriculum continues to evolve, refine, and balance between employer and student needs. The elasticity of the program helps to ensure it’ll only get better in the long run. The first half is overwhelming and will spread you a mile wide and only an inch deep with the intent of providing comprehensive exposure. The second half, however, gives you the opportunity to dig deeper in a smaller set of topics and build practical resume fodder. And all the while, you have a motivated staff guiding you each step of the way.
Overall, the program worked as advertised for me. I put in my all and then some, so I feel like the value received in return exceeded my expectations. I’m now working at a wonderful company in the city I wanted to live in, at a better paying and more interesting position than I had under a year ago. I've successfully shifted my career and am way more excited about where it might take me. I also made numerous connections with both existing and future developers along the way, all who I’m better for having worked with and hope to work alongside again in the future. There isn’t a career goal I set that HR didn’t help me achieve, so it’s safe to say this investment paid off big time and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
- HR helps convert hard work into software skills- 12/21/2016Nico Barry • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
I cannot recommend Hack Reactor more strongly to anyone who wants to get into full stack software engineering, but isn't quite ready to get a job yet. If you're able to get into the program, and willing to put in a lot of effort over three months, it's a terrific accelerator.
People may have been different levels in terms of background knowledge or familiarity with coding concepts, but one of my favorite things about the program was how smart and motivated my peers were. A lot of the work in the program is project-based work, in pairs or groups, so having really awesome peers was just as important to me as having great instructors.
I did the program over the summer, when it was still called MakerSquare, and then continued for another three months as a teaching assistant, during which time MakerSquare, owned by Hack Reactor, went through a re-brand process to bring MKS under the HR name.
As a graduating TA, my job search experience is a bit different than other students', since I have more experience (and a few months more of skills) under my belt, so you can take my comments on my job search with a grain of salt if you like :)
As a TA, you start work while the rest of your cohort goes into their "Career Week". Then at the end of your TA period, you join the Career Week of the cohort that's graduating at that time. During career week, you get a lot of help developing your resume, cover letter, practicing interviewing, discussing salary negotiation tactics, etc. Asif was our on-campus outcomes staff member, and he's awesome.
About half of my cohort (which graduated at the end of August) is employed by now. Maybe a bit more; I'm not sure exactly. Some folks get jobs right away, especially if they really hustle (one guy only had one month left on his visa, and got a job offer from a sponsoring company within that time). Of the four of we TAs who "graduated" a couple of weeks ago, I have an offer already, and another one of us is employed (by another one of our cohort-mates, actually).
I'll explain my ratings a bit:
- Overall Experience: It was really fun, challenging, and I came out of it able to build complex web applications from scratch. My job prospects are great. What more could I ask for?
- Instructors: Very smart, and very good at teaching.
- Curriculum: Top notch. The projects were very well designed to introduce us to important concepts we'd need to learn.
- Job Assistance: What I think HR does really well: Giving us guidance about our portfolio; helping prepare us for interviews. What could be better: Doing more to connect us to companies. I can't completely speak to this, though, because my job search so far has been so brief, and so hurried because I've had a very quick process with a couple of companies. I know HR does offer some resources, and I haven't had time to look into them and figure out how to use all those resources. I would have given a 5 score if the HR partnerships team had proactively reached out to me to try connecting me to partner companies.