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 4.68
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 December 9, 2019 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. FinancingAround half of our students receive help in financing their Hack Reactor journey. We work with lending companies that understand the investment you are making in yourself. Tuition Plans Financing options are available. Refund / Guarantee No Scholarship $1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
More Start DatesDecember 9, 2019 - New York City Apply by November 2, 2019December 9, 2019 - Los Angeles Apply by November 2, 2019December 9, 2019 - Austin Apply by November 2, 2019December 9, 2019 - San Francisco Apply by November 2, 2019
OnlinePart Time20 Hours/week36 Weeks
Start Date December 9, 2019 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. FinancingAround half of our students receive help in financing their Hack Reactor journey. We work with lending companies that understand the investment you are making in yourself. Tuition Plans Applicants who would otherwise be unable to attend Hack Reactor may split their tuition into installments and finish paying a portion of tuition up to six months after graduation. Refund / Guarantee No Scholarship $1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
More Start DatesDecember 9, 2019 - Online Apply by November 2, 2019
Hack Reactor Reviews
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- Powerful, peer-driven experience- 12/16/2016Bill Zito • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
Tldr; Hack Reactor provides the curriculum and the right people (motivated and smart) for you to learn web development concepts in pairs and by yourself. I can only speak of the staff in the SF office, but they were both experienced and helpful, although anyone expecting to be a software engineer should get comfortable with directing their own learning (aka not leaning on staff to figure questions out unless you're really stuck).
Going into Hack Reactor (HR), I wanted to learn to code as quickly as possible and to try to get to a top tier company. I chose HR because I know I wanted an intense / all-day everyday experience, and looking on LinkedIn I found that HR had way more graduates at top tier companies (Uber, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Stripe, etc.) than other bootcamps.
Within the first week of attending, I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of my peers. They were more motivated and experienced than I expected, with several having graduated with Computer Science or Mechanical Engineering degress, and a couple having prior industry experience. Given that Hack Reactor is largely pair programming with your peers, they made a huge difference in how much I learned each day.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the curriculum. It provided some direction, while letting us figure out the key concepts via code. In my experience, the only way to really learn coding concepts is to code them yourself, and then recode them. After finishing the curriculum the right way, and reviewing the concepts you didn't understand (by recoding them), you should be able to do both.
When deciding on a bootcamp, it matters what your best alternative option is. I'll lay out the decision in my eyes from those perspectives as well.
1. Bootcamp or self-study?
After having gone through the program, I think that the people and curriculum in particular make a huge difference in the rate of learning. While it's conceivable that you could learn tht much on your own, you would need to be dedicated enough to work 10-12 hrs a day for 6 days a week, find your own curriculum to learn the key concepts, and to have smart and motivated peers to bounce your ideas off of every hour or two. If that sounds daunting, then Hack Reactor may be a good way to get the right structure to learn.
2. Hack Reactor or another bootcamp?
Several bootcamps suggest that they can help get you a job in software engineering. I read up on what the student experience was actually like, and saw that some of the bootcamps clearly had more intense experiences than others, which from my experience leads to more learning. Additionally, LinkedIn searches confirmed that only a couple of the bootcamps actually had graduates working in large numbers in software engineering.
Note: you should expect to get guidance on the job search, but realize that you will not be at the bootcamp for most of your job search, and will need to stay motivated / focused enough to find a job.
- Very productive- 12/16/2016Jace Zhu • Graduate • Campus: San Francisco
Hack Reactor was a truly unique experience and I can't think of a better way to get into programming if you had no background in CS. As a student, I stayed there past 10 PM almost every day because I just didn't want to leave. I was surrounded by very intelligent and motivated individuals and that really pushed me to work harder than I ever did.
If you are unsure about the program, you can message any of the grads on linkedIn and I'm sure they'd be willing to answer your questions. Or you can message me. I definitely don't think it's for everyone, but if you're the type of person that would enjoy going to (winning) a math competition or something, you'll love the place.
- Hack Reactor was an awesome experience for me- 12/14/2016Xiao Zeng • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
I graduated Hack Reactor recently and it was a great experience for me.
I have to say up front, if you are looking for very detailed long lectures on various topics and step by step instructions to teach you how to do everything, then you will not get what you imagined. The whole spirit is to learn by struggling and solving problems and form a logical and systematically way to approach unknown issues like a software engineer. You will spend most of the time working on problems with your fellow students, especially in the second half of the program. Support was provided to guide you not to give you answers.
Also the contents of the program were not the most recent releases. For example, Angular 2 was released recently, but it was not taught in the program because the program only taught you popular technologies that the job market is looking for. In this example, AngularJS is still more adopted than Angular 2.
Overall, you will be pushing yourself to learn the technologies and you will get what you put in. I am very satisfied with what I have accomplished.
- Hack Reactor Experience- 12/14/2016Sam Sherman • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
I really enjoyed my time at Hack Reactor. I was surrounded by smart, hard-working people, which was wonderful. In addition to specific programming concepts and technologies, they taught intrinsically valuable skills such as how to learn a new technology. Now, I'm confident that if I get a job using a technology I'm not familiar with, I'll be able to learn it quickly and effectively.
My biggest complaint is the lack of job assistance. They spend a week at the end of the course giving advice on resume, interview prep, etc., which is definitely a positive thing. However, once the course is over, they kind of just sent me out on my own and said "good luck getting hired". I wish they would have provided some connections to companies or at least give me a nice list of jobs to apply for.
They also made it clear that having Hack Reactor on one's resume is not a huge benefit. Coming in, I was thinking that the "degree" from Hack Reactor would be worth something on its own, but apparently that's not the case.
- Really valuable experience- 12/14/2016Charlotte Willens • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
If you enjoy coding and are willing to work really hard, Hack Reactor will be maybe the most intense, rewarding 3 months of your life. People come into it from all kinds of backgrounds and the curriculum is such that if you can think analytically and put in enough effort, you'll make it through just fine and come out with an insane amount of knowledge and skill.
Also, the people. I've met and worked with some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, fascinating people that I've ever met and I expect to stay friends with them for a long time. As a girl in STEM (I studied math in college and have worked in all technical jobs) there's always a bit of apprehension going into a mostly male working environment, but Marcus stressed on day 1 that any sort of bad attitude toward minorities would not be tolerated, and HR ended up being one of the most fair, supportive environments I've ever worked in. (I say 'worked' because the second half of the course basically feels like you're at a job).
As others have mentioned, there's a technical assessment half-way through that you have to pass to move on to the second half of the course. I think people worry about this more than is necessary. If you work hard to master the material during the first 6 weeks, you'll probably be fine.
- Super intense, super worth it- 12/14/2016Kristian Magda • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Austin
Its been about 2 months since I graduated from Hack Reactor Austin. I am currently working as a full stack engineer at a great company. I pretty much got all that I wanted.
It hasn't been easy tho, just getting into the program requires dedication and hard work. The program itself is super intense and there were tears and stressfull moments, but in the end it really prepares you to hit the ground running on your new job. It is incredibly helpful wether its learning fundamentals, learning how to learn or preparing you for the job market and it is worth every penny. I had my doubts when I was first reading the reviews about 6 months ago because it sounded too good to be true. I know my review sounds super positive but if you work super hard and you have passion Hack Reactor is the way to go.
- Ashley Smith • Associate Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Austin
I went through the prep program in Austin, TX, then the immersive bootcamp, then worked as a fellow and I have nothing but amazing things to report from the experience. You learn more than you thought to be possible in only 13 weeks time, and the curriculum and overall experience is perfectly aligned with what you need to succeed as an up-and-coming software engineer. The curriculum is constantly iterating based on the job market and feedback from students and graduates which makes the whole expreience a lot like it really is in the work force and ensures what you're learning is very relevant. I believe really makes Hack Reactor really stand out from other bootcamps. Now at my first job I am regularly amazed by how much the bootcamp has prepared me not only to ace the interviews to get the job but also to know what to expect out of the industry and how to handle it.
While it was very challenging work I felt supported the whole time and I learned more than I would have studying by myself for years. It's not only technical knowledge you gain, but working on real applications in a team environment (a big part of the experience you need to land your first job which would be impossible to achieve through self study). Staff at Hack Reactor truly wants what is best for each and every student that passes through the school, and the interview process helps to make sure each class is full of driven, smart, nice people that you will want to work with for 13 weeks straight.
If you put the work in you will absolutely learn the skills you need to ace a job interview and excel in the industry, and I can't imagine a better bootcamp with regards to the culture and the curriculum (and for me the location of Austin which is amazing).
- Best decision of my life- 12/14/2016Ricardo D'Alessandro • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Austin
I was sick and tired of my high stress, thankless, engineering career and had a calling to learn to code. I applied and got accepted to the Austin bootcamp. I took a leap of faith by quitting my high paying job and moving to another state, but it was the best decision of my life.
The entire experience was challenging and exciting. I learned more in three months than I thought I ever could. This bootcamp was the real deal! One month after graduation I landed my first software engineering job which paid more money, had a way better company culture and was a lot lower stress than my old job. I actually look forward every day to going to work and interacting with my kickass coworkers. The value of actually loving your job cannot be overstated!
- They give you a spear, not a spoon- 12/13/2016Lucas Hawes • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
The key to understanding Hack Reactor's philosophy, and by extension the positive and negative reviews seen here is their guiding principle of teaching you to hunt instead of spoon feeding the program to you.
In classical education, subjects and materials are feed to you in a perscribed order where you later regurgitate them on a test or prompt. The course is meant to completely encompass ALL material for the course. However, real life and developer jobs aren't like that at all. Every day you come to work you don't know how to do your job. You are paid to figure it out, build things no one has before, and find solutions.
Hack Reactor takes a different approach toward creating engineers. One, where everything you do is in real world, developing skills that you will use every day in your job. There are no safety nets like classical education, there are also no tests or grades like in classical education. The course is NOT all encompassing, like in any dev job (I've had several) you have to look for outside resources. Maybe you can't understand the material from a tutorial, so instead you look for another that helps you grasp the material better.
Failure doesn't mean you have to retake the course to keep your GPA high, it means you need to go back and get better at what you had a hard time in. At Hack Reactor, failure is to be celebrated, because you've found your absolute limits and with your classmates and a little guidance YOU can overcome them. It doesn't matter what your GPA is or how much you've memorized when programming, what matters is that you have the skills to either build it or figure out how to.
The double edged sword of continous course refinement. You get the LATEST tech to learn that is relevant to the industry. But there were some hickups with videos and lectures. Still 4.5/5
Helpdesk was hit or miss, I ended up going my own way and feel that my debugging skills are better because of it. I also learned to take everything with a grain of salt. 4/5, day to day instructors went above and beyond every time.
The Job assistance has been fantastic. I graduated HR and am in the job search, and feel I have the skills to negotiate effectively. I won't always have the support net of HR, but their team has given me skills so that in the future I won't need it. 5/5
I had a great experience that really transformed me and propelled me on the path I wanted to go. I would highly recommend Hack Reactor. 5/5
Can you learn everything they teach for free(ish)? Absolutely, the developer community is amazing like that. Free tutorials, guides, documentation and tools are provided everywhere. But let me counter with why would you skip the course to learn on your own? Think of learning to fish. You could buy a pole or even just get some string and a stick and teach yourself to fish. It would take a long time but it's free right? On the other hand you could shell out for a fishing book, learn where the fish will be, what bait to use, techniques etc. You learn to fish at an excellerated rate because you are getting all the lesson you would learn in a fraction of the time. That's what tech courses are selling you, not knowledge, but time.
They provide little/no help for job search, and the school doesn't give you enough to get a job after. Completely false, I have interviewed and seen hired people with a fraction of the experience and tech ability that HR gives you. But I understand, I'm in the same boat as you guys, looking for a job and it's tough. Hack Reactor is not a be all, end all development bootcamp. Nowhere will teach you everything you need to know, not even your job. Instead you learn the tools necessary to build yourself up.
You only get what you put in, HR does little to teach you, it's mostly the other students that help you learn. As with everything in life, you only get what you put in and your mileage may vary. I learned a lot from my peers, I also learned a lot from the instructors who are there at every step to take extra time to help you understand the concepts being taught. You will not be spoon fed material and you are encouraged to strike out and learn on your own. There's a review about how Hack Reactor is misleading with less than 800 hrs of coding. I don't know about you but I experienced easily over 1000 hours of programming. If you put in the bare minimum you get the bare minimum.
You will not be spoon fed information, tests, everything an employer could ever want, and a job. You are given a spear, shown how to use it and told to go hunt.
- Worthwhile, but be prepared- 12/13/2016Meredith • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
I read through the reviews on here a few days ago, and while I definitely agree with some of the criticisms, and have made some of the same criticisms myself, I arrived at the end of Hack Reactor onsite with an incredible appreciation for the work that everyone put in, students and staff included, and a sense that it is going to turn out well. I am just starting the job search, so we'll see, but I am glad I did the program, but it was rough -- and I say this as someone very experienced in working my ass off for crazy hours.
HR doesn't do a great job of deciding who to let in, and there is a huge disparity in ability and previous experience among the students. HR kicked three of our cohort out, and I'm not sure how many from the other floor. This was after at least four left voluntarily earlier on in the course because they were worried about failing the mid-term exam and getting kicked out and losing all their tuition. (HR has to keep their job placement stats up, so they don't graduate anyone who doesn't seem like they are going to get good jobs.) Apparently the current junior cohort is in danger of losing a lot more students. If you are a really fast learner, you can come in and get through the course without knowing more at the outset than they require for admission. However, it is going to be really painful and scary the entire time. Most of your fellow students will have worked with servers and databases before. Many will have worked with React or Backbone. If you have not done any of these things, be prepared to be overwhelmed. It is worth your while, if you want to get the most out of the course and have the best job prospects afterwards, to learn more than the bare minimum required to be admitted. Being good at algorithms and toy problems is important, but it's not what the bulk of the material is, and you'll be well served to learn a little more of the nitty gritty before diving in. Wait one more cohort than you think you need to and go through some full stack tutorials. Skip the CSS and JQuery. You'll barely use this at all at HR. Know the other stuff, the stuff they tell you you don't need to know in advance. At HR you will teach yourself a lot. This is only going to work for you if you already have enough knowledge to know where to start with that.
I really came to appreciate everyone in my cohort. There's a real sense of community, especially in the second half of the program, after people pass the exam and know they aren't getting kicked out. It's a total sausage fest, and there's definitely an annoying amount of competition among the boys at times, but there's also an enormous amount of humor and camaraderie. It's a program that is definitely worth your while, as long as you approach it in a smart way. Learn more than you think you need to know, more than they tell you you need to know, and you'll get a ton out of this course.
- Not magic- but super worthwhile- 12/13/2016Jon • Software Engineer • Student • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
I recently finished Hack Reactor Remote and am leaving a review about the remote experience specifically. I originally planned on attending onsite HR, but job/ personal circumstances didn't let me move to attend the course. So I enrolled in remote with a little trepidation- my goal in attending HR was to grow really fast as a software engineer and to be constantly pushed to be better. I wasn't sure if a remote course could motivate me in the same way as seeing my classmates in person.
I was wrong.
REMOTE IS AWESOME! There is a distinct culture in the remote program and it feels intensely social. Even though your classmates are all over the country (we had one guy in Europe too) you still feel closely connected with them and you're together 12 hours a day in lecture, pair programming, and hangouts. You know how being in a constant groupchat/ snap session with your friends feels like you're always with them even though you're in different cities? HR Remote is like that, except you're getting things done, and your classmates are always pushing you to be better (in a super nice positive way).
Before starting HRR, there were 3 areas that I was concerned about that I'd like to address in my review- CULTURE, LEARNING, OUTCOMES.
Hack Reactor purposefully has a very positive atmosphere. Everybody supports each other and I never felt weird asking a classmate to jump on video chat with me to help me work through a problem or technology that I knew they were a superstar in.
Even though you're distributed, through chat and meetings you quickly get a good idea of everyone's personality and interests. That makes it easy to find people who share your specific programming interests to pursue topics together. Hack Reactor students are really committed to being good web developers and will pursue various topics they're interested in outside of class (i.e. functional programming, 3D canvas animations, systems programming languages) and the culture of exploration is infectious.
The course is challenging at times and both the staff and other students are awesome at cheering you up and getting motivated again.
We graduated with a lot of good in-jokes (which is a good sign of a close knit team).
I was a self-taught programmer for 9 months before starting HR and one of the primary reasons I wanted to do a bootcamp was that I felt that I wasn't moving fast enough by myself. I'd work on Udacity courses, or projects from online tutorials and then I would hit a place where I WOULD BE STUCK.
Prior to HR, I would try to solve my problem, inevitably get frustrated, and generally take a long time to move past my obstacles. After HR, problems no longer last that long. I have the confidence that I can learn new paradigms, look up Stack Overflow, and learn new frameworks without getting stuck.
There are previous negative reviews of Course Report where a student complained the Hackers in Residence (the TAs of Hack Reactor) would just tell them to Google a solution to their problem. Well...yeeaaah- how else do you expect to find an answer?
Don't go to Hack Reactor if you would want an answer handed to you everytime you get stuck at a bug. These aren't the droids you're looking for. The staff will be very good about jumping on a call with you, talking over the problem space with you, and offer helpful suggestions about where to look for a solution. They won't just tell you the answer.
The magic of Hack Reactor isn't in the course material. It's high quality and always iterating to stay close to the current state of web tech. However, in my opinion it's only like 10-15% better than stuff you could find online for free.
The value of Hack Reactor is all the training in how to solve problems, and not giving you any slack when you'd rather be handed an answer. It's the classmates who will help solve problems with you. It's the thrill of discovery when you finally get your code to work and you've learned new in the process.
Regardless of whether you do a bootcamp, I would argue the most essential skill for a developer is to be able to view a bug as a learning opportunity to learn new paradigms or to correct a fundamental misunderstanding.
This is one of the most important metrics when evaluating a bootcamp, and one of the fuzziest. When I applied for HR, the hiring metrics seemed unbelievable to me and I think they may create unrealistic expectations for applicants.
The short answer is yes, you will almost for sure get a software engineering job somewhere within 3-6 months of graduating a program. It may not be the ideal job, but it will be a place that you can develop your skills.
I think a lot of the negative feedback comes from students' expectations not being met. Going from not programming at all to working at Google/Amazon/Microsoft/Facebook after three months of Hack Reactor is not a realistic goal. Yes, it's possible for certain students with prior experience and certain students who work their @sses off- but it's not the expected outcome.
The expected outcome is you get a decent job at a dev shop somewhere, and if you really care about working at a unicorn, you can interview there after a year. I would argue that the Hack Reactor marketing doesn't make the expected outcome clear and it leads to some disappointment.
That said, even though I just graduated, I feel very prepared for the job search. For the handful of applications I sent out last week, I've gotten past a few phone screens and got past a coding challenge (to build a Node server in a few hours) sent by a company.
Hack Reactor is not magic. If you're not completely committed to being a developer, it's not 10x better than just learning on your own. Its value is that it puts you in an intense environment with other committed classmates where you can quickly develop the meta-skills that will make you a good engineer. What you do with those skills and how you leverage them into getting a job is mostly on your own (with staff support).
I chose Hack Reactor because I wanted a challenging program where I could accelerate my learning. There is no credential or diploma that you get at the end, but I do feel much more confident approaching the job search and learning new things. I continue to view myself fundamentally as a self-taught developer, but Hack Reactor was an accelerator for my personal progress (kind of like young startups going through YC- not guaranteed success, but you learn a lot and get good networks).
If that is your goal and you can afford it- Hack Reactor is super worth it.
- Hack Reactor SF Onsite Review- 12/13/2016Travis Wood • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
I just graduated from the Hack Reactor onsite program last Friday, December 9th.
Don't expect to be spoon fed instructions while you're here. If you want to passively absorb lectures all day long and be told the answer to everything, Hack Reactor probably isn't the right boot camp for you. At Hack Reactor, the vast majority of the day is spent making stuff with cool people, and that's where the learning happens.
The people are one of the best parts of Hack Reactor. We had a friendly, collaborative group of students working round the clock to make each other better. I'll keep in touch with lots of them long past our graduation. The environment and energy here are unparalleled. It makes you want to get shit done.
At Hack Reactor, I learned at a rate that far exceeding what I did during undergrad at UCSD or while getting my master's degree. But don't expect it to be easy. Don't expect it to always be comfortable.
Expect it to be hard. Expect it to be stressful when you're trying to meet a tight deadline. Expect it to be frustrating when things don't work. Expect it to be immensely gratifying when they finally do. Expect to meet 40+ bright, motivated, like-minded people. Expect to spend 11+ hours a day programming, 6+ days a week. Expect to learn a ton.
If you're worried about the validity of users' posts here, I'd recommend that you search for Hack Reactor alumni on linked in and reach out with some targeted questions. Most of us are friendly ;)
- Fantastic 13 weeks- 12/13/2016Aaron Stevens • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
Hack Reactor is a demanding 13 weeks of hard work, but if you put in the time it pays off beyond all expectations. I went from a guy obsessively pouring over google/quora/course report reviews and working on code wars prompts, to attaining proficient skills across the full stack in just 3 months (it is a real thing). In Hack Reactor, the name of the is exposure and they do an incredible job of introducing you to the universe of software engineering in a remarkably short period of time. By the end of the course, you'll find that you have learned how to learn and all you really need to pick up any new language or framework is a couple of days and some docs. If you're on the fence about joining, get off of it and do it already. You'll make great friends, great products, and come out on the other side ready for a career change into the lucrative field of software development.
- Masashi Swingle • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
I can't speak on behalf of HR Remote that has received a lot of recent hate, but my experience at HR Onsite from Sept - Dec of 2016 was fantastic.
HR's Most Valuable Assets to me
Instructors and Staff: 5 Stars easily.. to name a few
- Josh: Really really smart and compassionate. Makes sure no one falls behind, provides additional lectures or 1on1s, and genuinely cares about every students' success.
- Benji, Zak: Helped me out tremendously especially right before the cumulative assessment. Gave 1on1s, advice, additional lectures, and kept me on the tracks to success.
Location: 5 Stars: Easy commute.
Environment: 5 Stars: HR does a great job picking out people that can get along with each other to spend 13 stressful weeks with.
Self Autonomy: 5 Stars: I don't have that mentality anymore where I look at the problem and tell myself "I don't know how the ***k to do this"
Things to improve:
Job search prep: I wish we were able to have more than just a couple of mock coding interview sessions with an instructor. If there was an additional week of practicing alogorithms, schemas, data structures, and anything else that would show up on an interview, HR would be about perfect.
Toilet Paper: I hate 1 ply.
Live Lectures > Recorded: Our class was fortunate enough to receive a lot of in-person lectures (scheduled and unscheduled) and even one from the co-founder of npm, Laurie Voss. Make sure to keep it this way.
Take advantage of the resources provided and you'll be in good hands.
One misconception I can maybe address
"Hacker in Residence are recent graduates who couldn't get jobs"
From what I saw, many of the top students in my cohort were the ones that became Hackers in Residence. Extremely knowledgable and were usually the ones to go to to ask a quick question.
If anyone wants an honest answer, shoot me an email.
- Over and above- 12/12/2016Guy • Student • Campus: San Francisco
Walking into hack reactor I was skeptical that it could live up to the hype. It seemed way too good to be true. I can assure you it is even better than anything that you could ever expect.
Over the 3 months I was able to transform my skills from basic coding challenges into being fully capable of building any web application that I want. They build your skillset to be able to pick up any framework or language - and the stuff our cohort built was quite incredible. We had a mixture of vr apps, mobile apps, and web apps.
I thought it would be gruelling with such long hours. But I never felt like I was working. It felt like I was with some of my closest friends solving puzzles all day. I didn't want to be anywhere else in the world.
So if you're in doubt. Take the plunge, you won't regret it.
- Just graduated from Hack Reactor- 12/12/2016Amad Khan • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
I came to Hack Reactor to learn how to build full stack apps and not simple front end websites. And at every level Hack Reactor has given me the knowledge and training I need to build amazing things.
At Hack Reactor, I built:
- Mobile applications (https://github.com/smartiecereals/glazedgallopers)
- A photo-sharing virtual reality app (https://github.com/lowtalkers/escape-reality)
- A trip planning collaboration tool (https://github.com/smartiecereals/glampr)
All of these were made using technologies that are being used at startups and big companies right now. Before Hack Reactor, the most I could make was a to-do list website using simple jQuery and after Hack Reactor I was able build virtual reality apps with multiple backend technologies. The difference is evident.
But, they don't just teach you programming, they also teach you how to learn, how to communicate, how to collaborate in a team and how to apply for jobs.
I highly recommend Hack Reactor to anyone who is interested in software, looking for a career upgrade or anyone who wants to start a technology company.
Thank you for listening!
- Stop Whining and Start Coding- 12/11/2016Natasha Che • Graduate • Course: Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online
Before I begin my review, I want to mention that I signed up for Hack Reactor not to seek engineering jobs, but to build my own startup projects. You can say that every review on here is a subjective assessment of HR. But since I don’t need anything from Hack Reactor after graduation (you know, things like job search support, recommendations, etc.), I feel my review is as impartial as it can get. Judge for yourself, of course.
Hack Reactor is the Navy SEALs of coding schools. Navy SEALs is wonderful. But Navy SEALs is not for everybody. Neither is Hack Reactor. If you are driven, self-reliant, have a good head on your shoulders, and are prepared to go the extra 100 miles and more, Hack Reactor is your school. If you want work-life balance and are more comfortable having teachers spoon-feed you, or if you think by paying an expensive tuition you’ve somehow “paid the dues” and can just expect magical success thereafter, then look elsewhere. (Actually, if you are the last kind, no need to look. No school will fit your bill.)
The admission interview for me was a drama-free event, because Fulcrum gave me a pretty efficient roadmap as to what to prepare for the interview. I also had the incentive to prepare hard, because their policy was if I didn’t get accepted by one of their schools, I wouldn’t get my Fulcrum tuition refunded.
The remote classes are all conducted online of course. I said “classes”. But actually you don’t spend too much time listening to a teacher talk. Most of our time is spent doing things, i.e. coding. This is something you don't get by just hacking together a study plan with online tutorials. Coding is an activity you learn by actually practicing it, not by watching someone else do it. And the HR's framework gives you the maximum hands-on opportunity to practice actual coding with challening, realistic projects.
For the first half of the curriculum, the schedule is broken down to mostly two-day sprints. On the first day of a sprint, you get the instructions about what you are expected to code/build. After exploring the problem on your own for a short period, you get together with a classmate (your sprint partner) and start writing code. You communicate with each other through video conferencing and share your code through an app that allows you to write to the same file online realtime. On the second day, after you’ve tried as much as you can at your tasks, HR releases suggested solution codes for the sprint. You study those. The day after that, the same process repeats, with a different coding partner and sprint subject.
HR provides some materials (e.g. videos) about the specific frameworks/concepts you should know in order to work on a sprint. But you are expected to go find whatever materials you need on your own to get the job done (e.g. googling, stack overflow, online tutorials, blogs, tips from your classmates, proceeds from selling your soul. Ok, the last one probably won’t help you much). You get some support from the help desk, which is manned by recent grads. But most time you won’t be given straightforward answers even if your helper knows the answer. You’re expected to problem-solve as much as possible on your own.
Now depending on your personality, this could be an unpleasant and chaotic experience (apparently the case according to some negative reviewers). Or it can be an exciting and efficient way to learn. You’re constantly being thrown in at the deep end and feeling like you’re drowning much of the time. At least that was the case for me, especially during Weeks 3-4. But I LOVED this style of learning. I loved the challenge, the autonomy, the discovery, and the fact that I’m in control of my own learning, all within a well-defined framework, so that I don’t proceed blindly while still having plenty of freedom. And the pressure to finish the sprints on time keep me on my toes all the time so that I really have to pick up new information at the maximum speed. Is it stressful? Yes. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Is it amazing? YES!!
Again, I think how well you would take this learning approach depends on who you are. For example, there’re some negative reviews on here that said HR videos were not good, HR materials are not original, HR didn’t teach you enough, HR course hours are less then they claimed, etc. Here’s my reaction to those critiques. 1. Frankly I skipped half of those course videos. Because watching videos is slow and I prefer just googling some tutorials up fast so that I could get to the sprint. Those videos may be mediocre. But so what? You’re not supposed to get all you need from the HR materials. And to me, HR strikes a good balance between giving you directions and teaching you to be independent. You’re expected to find whatever materials that suit you to crack the sprint. 2. Same thing goes with the “they don’t teach you enough” claim. Guess what? HR taught me very little, except they taught me how to learn programming (my googling skill was improving at warp speed). And because of that, I learned what I needed on my own quickly. 3. As for course hours, I don’t see why that’s relevant because in HR I was spending 13 hours a day coding anyway, official course hour or not. Nobody tells you how much you should work in HR. It’s all about what you produce.
The bottomline is that your personality and values will determine your expectation for yourself and for HR, and that will determine your outcome. That's why if you decide to apply, make sure you're well prepared with at least the JS fundamentals and preferably went through, say, Free Code Camp, and built a toy app BEFORE you join HR. (Free Code Camp is a good pre-course for HR. I went through most of it before HR, thought I learned a lot, and then realized HR was on a whole different level.) You may cheat your way through the HR admission. But if you're not prepared enough, you'll struggle a lot because the curriculum moves fast. So do yourself a favor and come prepared. Otherwise you end up wasting your time in HR and wondering why you're not getting your money's worth! If that happens you have no one else to blame but yourself!
Not everyone is sufficiently prepared in my cohort or takes the HR learning approach well. By the halfway point there were several people dropped out from my cohort, voluntarily and involuntarily. Every time our class counselor announced a dropout, I would hear the Hunger Games theme music playing in my head (the one they played when a tribute went down). It’s not that far-off an analogy, except in the Hack Reactor Games, you don’t kill each other. You help each other instead.
This brings me to the next thing I want to tell you about— your classmates. My classmates are amazing people. And I suspect when I look back at this experience a few years from now, my classmates would be my biggest reward from HR. Although they are from all walks of life before joining HR, they share some commonalities— smart, determined, multi-talented, hard-working, extremely kind and helpful. And hilarious, too. I don’t remember another three months in my life when I had laughed so much every day, despite being under constant pressure to perform. And that is what HR surprised me the most. With the classes being remote, I hadn’t expected to build much relationship with fellow students. But after three months, the kind of community and bonding that had emerged from my cohort was nothing short of amazing. If this site has an option to rate “communities and peers”, I would have given it 10 stars!
If you ask any MBA graduates from Ivy League schools, many of them will tell you that the most useful thing they got out of their MBA is not academic knowledge, but a network of successful peers. I don’t think the tech industry is all that different. Having worked with my classmates, I have no doubt that many of them will be rising stars in their future jobs and become successful engineers. I’m proud to be their classmate. If I had paid the HR tuition just to gain this peer network of talented engineers and nothing else, I would have considered my money well spent!
There were a couple reviews on this site that mentioned “you learned more from your classmates than from HR”. For those reviewers, that was a negative thing. But by now, I’m sure you can already guess my position on this. That’s right, I learned a lot from my classmates. And I can’t be happier about that.
And finally, the result. I can’t tell you much about job search, because as mentioned, I did HR to build my own projects. And also, my cohort just graduated yesterday (Dec 10th 2016), and job search has just begun for most of my classmates. What I can tell you is that one person in my thesis group got hired already, for a job that pays >$100k, two weeks before graduation (He’s a smart guy, but had little coding experience before HR, and is definitely not top of class. He has great personality and people skills, though. And that’s quite important in job search). I’m not saying his case is the norm. It’s NOT. I just want to tell you what is possible.
Again, whether HR is for you depends on the type of person you are. The same experience can be perceived in different ways. How do you find out which type you are? That’s easy. You’ve read my review. I gave you my most honest opinion from my perspective. You’ve also read some of the negative reviews from former students. I trust they gave their honest opinion based on their perspective as well. All you have to do is to look within and see which perspective you can most naturally identify with. That’s your type right there. Good luck!
- Fortunately unconventional- 12/11/2016Nick E. • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
I attended Hack Reactor because I was unhappy with my current career path and wanted to break into the software engineering industry. I feel confident in saying that HR has thoroughly prepared me for this transition in a way that no other experience could. It is easy to be put off by the seemingly outlandish success statistics and the high cost and the short time. I know these were all red flags for me at the outset. What I have found, though, is that HR is a well-polished program run by passionate educators with a deep understanding of the software industry. It's not a free ride to a great job, but if you put in the work, you end up with a solid set of skills and a newfound appreciation for the power of good education. I never thought that I would learn so much in so little time, and I definitely didn't think that I would feel so ready to learn new topics. Beyond the core curriculum, the greatest thing you gain from HR is the ability to learn new software topics on your own. It's not for everyone, but if you think it may be for you I strongly encourage you to give it a try.
- Excellent Experience- 12/10/2016Mike S. • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
As a former mechanical engineer, it's in my opinion that one of the most important skill sets every engineer needs is autonomy. Hack Reactor does a great job of building your autonomy. As you move along through the curriculum, they systematically remove more and more scaffolding until you're building full stack applications on your own and solving real engineering challenges.
The staff is great, and they all have invaluable industry experience. The lecturers have a commanding knowledge of the curriculum and they practically beg you to ask questions because they want everyone to understand the material. The mentors, coaches, and counselors are all very eager to help out. In only three months, they build a relationship with you where you feel like you're part of a family.
Some of the previous low-ratings on Course Report are a little confusing. The tone of some of these reviews reflect feelings of neglect and animosity. I'm not sure why this is because the Hack Reactor staff are very upfront with the program's intentions, and their business model is directly tied to the success of their students. Because of the transparency of their SSOM standards, there really isn't any way around this.
I had a great experience at Hack Reactor. I received the guidance that I wasn't getting from self-study, I learned to push myself further than I thought was possible, and I made some life-long friends along the way. That being said, you'll get what you put into it. There is an endless amount of information out there. They teach you to explore new concepts, and they challenge you to go beyond the core curriculum.
That was my experience at Hack Reactor, and I hope my review helps others get a clearer picture of what Hack Reactor life can be like.
- Honestly Kick Ass- 12/10/2016Jeff Christian II • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
Like everyone else I was VERY skeptical of the bootcamp model. I ended doing my research and contacting about 20 grads directly on LinkedIn. All of them loved it. I decided what the heck, college sucks, and I want to learn faster. I ended up moving out to San Francisco and devoted every ounce of my time to development. Literally between 14 -16 hours per day were spent in the Hack Reactor building.
Anyway you want to know how much I learned and how the experience was. It was great! The curriculum was VERY strong. I can say that it provided me with the knowledge to build and deploy a Full Stack Web Application. However, the real value is not really the curriculum or the instructors. Both of which I endorse for their merits. The real value is in the people. I ended up learning more from other peers in my community than I did from the course material by at least 3x. Many people venture away from the taught frameworks and language. Many people learned Python, Go, and some of the languages for mobile development. I learned Swift and React Native. It all worked out very well.
In terms of getting a job. People will take you seriously if you present and sell yourself well. If you act and can code like an engineer in the field with four years experience, if you graduate you definitely have the programming down, then companies will treat you as such. There are a lot of mind games in getting a job, you just have to overcome them.
I endorse Hack Reactor and would advise anyone trying to get into programming or filling in gaps of knowledge to try it!
- Waste of Time and Money!- 11/21/2016Danny • UNEMPLOYED!!! • Student • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: Los Angeles
Ill make this short and sweet. I completed 6.5 weeks at the MakerPrep course in LA.
This school is a complete scam. They have many 5 star ratings but that is only because they have reviewed themselves many many many times. They are all fake reviews to give the appearance of quality. The instructors are previous graduates who cant make it in the real world. They are lazy and are just there punching a clock. Everyone was led to believe that they would have support for when they needed it through resources online and 1 on 1.
I was there EARLY every day to have just minutes of time with the instructor, (i was early about 3-4 hours early EVERY DAY! ) They asked us to Slack them with any questions and they would get back to us. That never happened! My entire experiance was spent trying to get the instructors attention. There were way too many students all fighting over the instructors time. He never had a clear lesson plan, and was always late to class. It was almost as if they had no idea that we were paying good money for this. They changed the material all the time and everyone there was completely lost. Ive never heard so many complaints before. I would try to set up appointments and use their spreedsheet to book office hours they they never showed up to.How convienat for sappovive "expert programmers" to not be able to figure out how to fix a simple shared excel spredsheet. Absolutley rediculous.
They admitted that the class didnt go as they had hoped and that I would be able to attend the class over again so that I could get my moneys worth. THAT NEVER HAPPENED! IM SO PISSED! Do they even know what it take to scrape together the money it takes to take this course when you are UNEMPLOYED!!!
- NOT A GOOD INVESTMENT- 11/20/2016Shawn Baker • Campus: Online
Hello, Shawn here.
I will phrase my review in two parts:
I work in financial securities, and I rigourously research all of these bootcamp schools in the same manner that my employer pays me to research stocks.
My analysis is that Hack Reactor is an over priced work of fiction that has a great SEO campaign and Google Adwords account that places them at the top whenever you type in "top coding bootcamps" into Google.
They charge you almost 20k for materials that are available 100% free online.
They have so called "Instructors" that are really just former students who were not smart enough to get a job...and the Founders are people with absolutely no verifiable professional working experience - NONE.
If this was a stock I would short it.
Has anyone else noticed the large amount of 5 star reviews?
Is it just my imagination or is the Hack Reactor marketing team trying to flood this blog with fake reviews?
There are 65 total reviews so far, and every negative review has immediately been swamped by "5 star reviews"...but they dont give their names.
No details are provided in these 5 star reviews...no instructor names, no course reviews, not even any reports on trying to find a job.
Thanks for proving everything I mentioned in this article, Hack Reactor marketing team :)
Response From: Harsh Patel of Hack ReactorTitle: COOFriday, Dec 09 2016Hi Shawn - we appreciate your honest feedback. It's one of four recent negative reviews on our Remote program, which is the worst streak in the history of our company. Our team has learned from it and documented our action items in this post: http://www.hackreactor.com/blog/hack-reactors-response-to-recent-november-2016-course-report-reviews. We aim to deliver an amazing program to every student, and we're sorry we didn't get there in this case.We would also like to correct some misconceptions that readers might wind up with.
Thank you again for leaving your thoughts. Read more about what we are doing as a result of everyone’s feedback in our blog post where we address many concerns and provide our action items.
- It’s mentioned above that our Instructors are just former students who are not smart enough to get a job. Hack Reactor’s curriculum and program structure has been built by engineers with long careers in Software Development. We’re talking people who, at any given point in their career, worked as Software Engineers at Google, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Adobe, and the likes. There are many contributors to a student’s education: Curriculum developers, program developers, lecturers, instructors, technical mentors, counselors, and HiRs. Each person requires a specific skillet. For lecturers, and instructors, they have to be individuals who know the curriculum forwards and backwards, and who excel at working with students. Sometimes, those are the cream of the crop of graduates from the program. In fact, many students would tell you that they are some of the best teachers of software engineering on the planet. Statistically, out of roughly 2,000 graduates, <10 work as full time instructors across all the Hack Reactor campuses. That’s a < 0.05% hire rate. You can imagine how good they must have been to stand out amongst 2,000 peers.
- We want to stress that Hack Reactor never has and never will solicit or write fake reviews. I recommend that people scroll through our 5 star reviews, there are many names associated and specific details on the course. You can also see our Google reviews which are all associated with individual google accounts. It’s also easy to see the career progression of thousands of our graduates with a LinkedIn search.
- Excellent Software Engineering Immersive!- 11/9/2016Keith W. • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: New York City
Before I joined Hack Reactor’s (formally MakerSquare) Software Engineering immersive program, I have been a front-end web developer with 8 years of working experience. While I have learned valuable skills in that time-frame, my skill level to be an effective, multi-tooled full-stack Engineer was preventing me from moving forward as a Senior or Tech Lead. While I have personally worked on online web developer tutorials, I was still missing two important factors: Being aware of what tech stacks the industry is doing and learning not just the tech, but the approach on how to effectively learn and understand them.
This is where Hack Reactor helps you the most in becoming a super-competent Software Engineer.
And don’t forget the friendship and connections with your fellow cohorts!The full-time staff - this includes the instructors, code support team (recent graduates of the program), Technical Mentors, and even opportunities to talk with previous alum is one of its reasons why Hack Reactor is the best at what they do. They are all extremely knowledgable and helpful, and have no second thoughts to stop and help you figure out issues you have in your code.I applied (and accepted) to join two other coding schools. But with their mission statement and A++ staff and and awesome tech start up-like environment, I am more than happy I chose Hack Reactor.If you are looking to change your career, or you need to sharpen your current skills as a Software Engineer, take the time to speak with someone at Hack Reactor and join the team!
- Better options - dont waste your time- 11/5/2016Harry K • student • Applicant • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: New York City
So whenever I write a review, I try to keep things factual and transparent...mainly because I'm just a regular non-IT guy trying to get into fulltime web development. I've mastered HTML and CSS but its time to get serious about Immersive.
I first contacted Hack Reactor through the number on their website. This turned out to be a gigantic waste of time...as calls kept getting routed to someone called "MakerSquare"...and the Chinese guy who answered had no clue about any kind of Bootcamp.
So then I contacted them through their facebook website, facebook has this live messenger type thing, kind of like live customer support.
The lady who was typing in the chatbox let me know that most of the instructors are HIR...Hackers In Residence...which is just a fancy way of saying "Former Graduates".
I was like, seriously? You want me to pay 20k tuition to be trained by someone who used to work at Walmart or used to make sandwiches at Panera Bread?
Complete and total scam...all their placement numbers on their website are un-verified and probably unrealistic.
You can get the same education for 50% less anywhere else.
Stay away from these guys.
Response From: Harsh Patel of Hack ReactorTitle: COOFriday, Dec 09 2016Hi Harry - thank you for taking the time to write a review. Our team has learned what we can from it and documented our action items in this post: http://www.hackreactor.com/blog/hack-reactors-response-to-recent-november-2016-course-report-reviews. We work hard to deliver an amazing program to every student, and we're sorry we didn't get there for you.We would also like to correct a couple misconceptions that readers might wind up with.
Thank you again for leaving your feedback. Read more in our blog post where we address your concerns and provide our action items.
- It’s mentioned that HiRs are just a fancy way of saying “former graduates”. You are right that they are fancy and former grads, but HiRs are also the top students from the cohort, the cream of the crop if you will, and are subsequently chosen to stay at HR to contribute to the experience here. HiRs are students who have gone through the curriculum successfully, and are generally ones who love helping their peers. Typically, these are students who otherwise would have had no problem in the job search. They are actively seeking to stay a part of the positive and encouraging community because they love it.
- Regarding our placement numbers being un-verified and unrealistic, this is absolutely not true. The only way we can uphold the highest form of integrity, is through a third-party validation of data. In fact, in June 2016, Hack Reactor launched the Standard Student Outcomes Methodology (SSOM) as a transparent, systematic way of quantifying and reporting student outcomes. This is the first of its kind and allows bootcamps to classify each student according to clear definitions and strict documentation standards, and provides formulas for calculating placement rate, graduation rate and average graduate salary. Hack Reactor’s 2015 Audited Report was conducted in accordance to the attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. We invite any school to adopt this method to give honest information to prospective students.
- Very happy with my decision to attend Hack Reactor- 10/31/2016Kevin • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor • Campus: San Francisco
Hack Reactor is a life-changing program that I would recommend to anyone that is motivated willing to work hard to achieve their goals of becoming a software engineer. Throughout the first half there were times that I struggled, however as we entered the project phases in the second half, I felt prepared to learn and tackle problems without the guidance of a structured curriculum. Our cohort had a new curriculum that was changed for week 12, with more of a focus on the types of things that previous graduates had struggled with in the job searching phase. This was still a bit rough around the edges since it was new, however it was very valuable to find out the spots that needed to be improved on as I begin my own job search. Finally the best takeaway from Hack Reactor is the amazing people I met and worked with, this is what made the program special, being surrounded by motivated and like-minded people all helping each other work towards our future goals.