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Hack Reactor

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

Hack Reactor

Avg Rating:4.7 ( 282 reviews )

Founded in 2012, Hack Reactor is a 12-week immersive coding school providing software engineering education, career placement services, and a network of professional peers. Hack Reactor has campuses in San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City, as well as an online, remote immersive (full-time and part-time)​. During the first six weeks at Hack Reactor, students learn the fundamentals of development, full stack JavaScript and are introduced to developer tools and technologies. In the final six weeks, students work on personal and group projects, using the skills they have learned, and learning more. After 800+ hours of curriculum, students graduate as full-stack software engineers and JavaScript programmers.

Hack Reactor’s immersive program is known for demanding a starting skill set beyond that of a beginner, so the applicants should allow 2 to 4 months for the admissions process. Applicants should start by enrolling in one of Hack Reactor's free or paid prep programs to learn the basics of JavaScript and prepare for Hack Reactor's technical interview. The technical interview lasts an hour and covers coding problems in JavaScript related to the prep course curriculum. After passing the technical interview, students begin Hack Reactor's 80-hour precourse.

Job preparation is integrated into the curriculum, and students will build an online presence, resume and LinkedIn profile by graduation. Hack Reactor places alumni in mid-to-senior level positions at companies in tech, including Google, Salesforce & Microsoft, with an average graduate salary of $105K (2017 San Francisco student outcomes survey; 81% survey response rate).

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  • Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive

    Apply
    MySQL, AngularJS, MongoDB, HTML, Git, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Front End
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationDenver, Seattle, Phoenix, Boulder, New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, Online
    The Hack Reactor immersive coding bootcamp is focused on building autonomous, fully capable software engineers. Every unit in our curriculum has been pored over numerous times to optimize for educational power and efficiency. The first half of the course is often described as “drinking from a firehose” because of how much information it packs in. In the second half, you use your new skills to build projects, while learning new technologies on the fly. By the end you will be an autonomous engineer, capable of tackling unique, unfamiliar problems and building complex applications.
    Financing
    DepositAfter you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class.
    Financing
    Around half of our students receive help in financing their Hack Reactor journey. We work with lending companies like SkillsFund and Climb Credit that understand the investment you are making in yourself.
    Tuition PlansFinancing options are available.
    Refund / GuaranteeNo
    Scholarship$1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelStudents need to demonstrate they are: fluent with JavaScript fundamentals, able to think like an engineer, are driven learners and empathic communicators. We have a free prep program to help you develop these skills.
    Prep WorkHack Reactor focuses on merit, not prior experience. We provide prep programs for students from any background to study and pass admissions. Take our free self-paced online prep program or a live online prep class to prepare.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive

    Apply
    MySQL, AngularJS, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Front End
    OnlinePart Time20 Hours/week36 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    Learn full-stack engineering over nine months. Same Hack Reactor curriculum, program and quality - no need to quit your job. Class is held live online with two weeknights and one half-Saturday per week plus required independent study.
    Financing
    DepositAfter you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class.
    Financing
    Around half of our students receive help in financing their Hack Reactor journey. We work with lending companies like SkillsFund and Climb Credit that understand the investment you are making in yourself.
    Tuition PlansApplicants who would otherwise be unable to attend Hack Reactor may split their tuition into installments and finish paying a portion of tuition up to six months after graduation.
    Refund / GuaranteeNo
    Scholarship$1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelStudents need to demonstrate they are: fluent with JavaScript fundamentals, able to think like an engineer, are driven learners and empathic communicators. We have a free prep program to help you develop these skills.
    Prep WorkHack Reactor focuses on merit, not prior experience. We provide prep programs for students from any background to study and pass admissions. Take our free self-paced online prep program or a live online prep class to prepare.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Derek Sakamoto • CTO and Co-founder • Graduate
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    Hack Reactor was one of the most life-changing experiences of my life for the relationships I made and the life lessons it taught me. I joined Hack Reactor after the start of a successful career as a Management Consultant, and I already had a degree in Computer Science from a highly selective college. There was something that told me I just needed a life-change. 

    What I found was really the most talented group of peers I ever come across. My cohort and the neighboring cohorts had some of the brightest people I met in my life coming from all walks of life. This diversity really pushed me to form great relationships that turned into life-long friendships and valuable career connections. This was my favorite part because my relationships with the staff (Marlene Tang and Blake) and my peers are the most valuable thing to me.

    For a curriculum, I felt that HR taught me everything I needed to know to be a full-stack software engineer. It gave a high-profile startup in the autonomous car & IoT industry the confidence to make me their first software engineering hire, where I built the MVP for their fleet management app: the company now has a private valuation over $1B.

    As I mentioned above, I also made lasting relationships with the staff Blake and Marlene Tang. Marlene looked out for everything and held people to be accountable to what they said they were going to do. Her care for each student is reflected in how much we all love her, and she is a driving force in keeping the alumni group together. 

    While I only spent a short stint of my career as a software engineer, before moving onto Product and Founder, Hack Reactor was one of the most memorable experiences of my life and changed my already charmed life for the better.
  • Katherine Manning • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I attended the Hack Reactor in-person software engineering immersive in late 2017, graduating in January 2018 and it was one of the best choices I ever made. At a high level: I got quality instruction, made lifelong friendships, and prepared to start in a brand new industry. Let's break it down:

    The Challenges:

    1. Programming is not for everyone. If you're looking at attending a bootcamp to get into the industry, so that you can make lots of money, then think again. Not everyone who graduates gets a job and not everyone who gets a job makes a huge salary, especially at first. Also, coding is a mind-numbing job if you don't already love it. If the prospect of spending days figuring out a tricky bug doesn't fill you with delight and excitement, this isn't the career for you.

    2. Bootcamps are not for everyone. Learning at a bootcamp is like drinking from a firehose. You get a ton of information in a very short period of time and you have to do your best to slot it into your mental model at an insane speed. If you're the kind of person who needs to read every word in a book or understand every single line in a program before you're comfortable moving on, then this is not the kind of learning for you. You might do better with a part time program or courses through a university or community college. A full time bootcamp will cram a year or more of information into your brain in 3 months or less. Time to process is a luxury you will not have until after you graduate.

    3. The hours are long and hard. You're present for a minimum of 11 hours.a day 5 days a week and 8 hours a day on the 6th day (63 hours minimum). That doesn't include after hours study time, which you will need if you want to succeed. If you can't commit to 80 hour weeks (plus commute), then this probably isn't the right option for you.

    4. You get out of the program what you put in. If you do the minimum, skip days or exercises, and generally act like you're cool with getting just enough done to finish, then you're going to be woefully underprepared after graduation. There are some gatekeeping exercises to remove those who just can't keep up, but passing those isn't a measure of success, just survival. The staff and curriculum are very good, but they don't have the time to make you care. If you're not motivated to put in the necessary time and effort, you'll probably just be wasting your money.

    5. Jobs are not guaranteed. Once you graduate, you have to find a job. While there are career coaches to help, they work with lots of new grads and most of the effort is up to you. Job hunting is a skill completely separate from coding -- there are lots of great engineers who interview very badly -- and you won't have the same benefit of the doubt or track record to point to when you're a new grad. Career changers actually tend to do better than recent college grads because they have previous experience they can point to and draw from, even if it's not engineering experience. Soft skills matter just as much as technical ones and they're largely transferable from previous careers.

    The Benefits:

    1. The instructors are great. We had some amazing instructors with lots of real-world engineering experience teaching us. They helped us debug our code and guided us on our projects. They put in long hours to make sure we understood recursion and sat with us while we figured out why Elasticache wouldn't run on the t2.micro we set up.

    2. The curriculum is best in class. I know a lot of bootcamp grads (I'm married to one, in fact -- he's the one who convinced me to try this out) and HR grads regularly outperform the other bootcamps in the area. I graduated with a better knowledge of dev ops (CI/CD, AWS, Docker, etc.) than some mid-level full stack devs I knew at the time.

    3. The alumni network is great. We have a Slack instance with more than 5000 alumni registered. While not everyone participates, there are lots of us who do. You get lively debate in the #bikeshedding channel, help in the #career-advice channel, and job leads in #whos-hiring. We have grads who are senior engineers who help the newbies, both with technical and life decisions. Many of us who didn't attend the program together (different campuses, different cohorts) have still become friends through the alumni network. (And this also helps you find jobs, especially after your first -- our friends are always going to be our strongest referrals and leads.)

    It's been 2.5 years since I've graduated. I'm at my 2nd engineering job, which I love, doing work that I'm consistently happy about. I'm well paid and valued by my company and given lots of opportunities for continued education and growth. I can see a bright future for myself in this industry. It took a lot of hard work and some luck to get here, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. 

    Does this mean that you should go to Hack Reactor? Only you can answer that. Attending a bootcamp is always a risk and hard work, while a requirement, is not a guarantee of success. But if you've truthfully looked at the 5 challenges above and believe that a coding bootcamp is the right choice for you, then there's no better place to do it than Hack Reactor.
  • David Goldberg • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I went through Hack Reactor's software engineering immersive program in 2015 and it was hands down the best decision I've ever made. The program is world class in terms of quality, structure, and preparing you to hit the ground running as a software engineer at your job on day 1. Not only did I develop the skills needed to hit the ground running but I met several of my closest friends that I'll have for the rest of my career and life. The alumni network has been valuable as well. Would highly recommend to anyone and if you're trying to get into software engineering the program is amazing. I found my job within weeks of graduating. It does take a lot of work and effort and I tell people that you get out of it what you put in which is relevant here. 
  • Luke Davis • Graduate
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    I graduated from Hack Reactor in 2015, and have since then worked at startups (Planet and Patreon), tech giants (Google), and even started my own company (Babylon House), and I can say with no reservations: Hack Reactor is the best of the best. The instruction is top notch, the leadership is excellent, and the alumni community, thanks to the endless energy and enthusiasm of Marlene Tang, is better than even an Ivy League school or Google. Had I a chance to go back in time and advise my high-school self, I wouldn't tell him to get a CS degree; I'd tell him about Hack Reactor.
  • Highly Recommended
    - 4/17/2020
    Patrick Bennett • Graduate
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    Simply put, Hack Reactor's Software Engineering Immersive program in Seattle in my opinion was and still is the best bootcamp out there.  After speaking with numerous grads and students from other bootcamps in the area I feel absolutely comfortable in saying that it's curriculum provides a far more in-depth study of both fundamental CS concepts as well as work on software engineering projects in the senior phase actually mimic real on-the-job engineering work.  This program requires you to actually to work in an agile-like environment implementing full-stack core concepts on a daily basis instead of just being told about them, which may not seem like a difference between other schools but I have yet to see another program that works this way.

    I will put in some words of warning however, that this program is not a suitable option for everyone who is deciding to attend a bootcamp to switch careers or brush up and hone their previously existing skills.  The coursework is rigorous and seemingly never-ending.  On one hand you cover so much material this way that it puts you in a fantastic position for your job search, but on the other, no matter your skill level, it does require 100% percent of your attention and focus for the entire time that you spend in the program.  You will have late nights.  You will code through your lunches.  You will work an absolute bare minimum of 60 hour weeks (I have never seen a student across several cohorts who spent that little time each and every week.). You will be required to pick up and retain core concepts at lightning speed.  You will be overwhelmed.  You will struggle.  But, you will ultimately pick up so much more information this way.

    What truly separates this particular bootcamp from the rest besides the material covered and the manner of the course's educational model is the staff, specifically for when I was in the program - the tech mentor/campus lead.  Because of the low acceptance rate and the program's relative infancy physically located in Seattle, class sizes are low which allows for much more interaction with the on-campus instructor.  Each location exercises a considerable amount of autonomy in coursework across all of Hack Reactor's campuses and I believe that the Seattle campus truly provides a better overall experience because of it's instructor's ability to directly interface with students far more often than on other campuses.

    The only minor quibble that I have with the program is that while the career services instructor is very accessible, and a fantastic resource, they inherited a broken system from the previous program that Hack Reactor took over relatively recently that they are in the process of constantly adding to. The networking in both the physical location as well as through a nation-wide alumni is great though.  Many of the people that I met through the Seattle campus have gone on to work with the likes of some of the big players in the industry (Amazon, IBM, Atlassian, etc..) while others have gone on to smaller companies (with some eye-popping salaries.)

    If you are serious about putting in any amount of work required to switch careers, are confident in your ability to completely dedicate several months of life to learning the skills required to actually navigate a very competitive job market, and have a detail-oriented, disciplined, but creative analytical mind, then this program is for you.  If you do not match up to each and every one of those criteria, or if you are looking for a program that allows you to have a balance with your personal life then I would suggest to look at other options.
  • Fawn Bertram • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Back when I had my mid-20s career crisis, I decided to narrow down the industries I was interested in to Tech and Real Estate. Discovered Tech was far easier to enter and earn high pay in, and it dominated the area that I live in, SF, so I chose Tech. I figured the most valuable skillset in Tech is programming, and the best coding bootcamp was HR, so I went to Hack Reactor. Google even paid for 2/3 of the cost due to our educational benefit, and the fact that I didn't leave long enough to lose my benefits, and then I came back to do a rotation as an engineer. HR had a great curriculum, teachers (Alan and Frank), impressive peers, and an extremely valuable outcomes team that taught me how to job search before and after my rotation was over. After my rotation was over and long after I graduated, I still got support from Marlene Fong on the outcomes team, even though she wasn't assigned to assist alumni, in order to find my new job at Adobe. HR is one big family in the end, and I'm so grateful to everyone I encountered along this journey for making my life possible.
  • Matt Conrad • Senior Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Before Hack Reactor, I'd gone to some great schools for undergrad and grad school, but Hack Reactor provided some of the best instruction I've received and placed me among some of the smartest, most engaged classmates I've known. I loved my time there and have remained close to my classmates, who are working across some of the largest companies in the Bay Area and some of the coolest startups. 

    I was impressed by how quickly my classmates and I found jobs--within a month or two. It's amazing to think about how much Hack Reactor was an inflection point in my life, when I learned to put together all of the things that fascinated me. That 3-month period and the tuition are easily some of the best investments I've made in myself--and this is after going to an ivy league school for undergrad and a top-14 law school. Learning to program takes a lot of self-guided study, but Hack Reactor taught me how to find what I needed in order to get started. I'm very grateful to the Hack Reactor program and its inspiring, energetic, and tight-knit community that stays with you after you graduate.
  • Paul • Graduate
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    I attended Hack Reactor back in 2014 and had a great experience. It was quite a while ago so I can't really speak to the quality of the program now, but I will say that I have been very impressed with their alumni support. I went through a job search recently and I was not really sure how much support the alumni program would offer to someone who finished the program over 5 years ago. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Marlene Fong, the alumni director, was extremely helpful. Through her network, she was able to connect me with Hack Reactor alumni at companies I was interested in interviewing which led to me getting some first round interviews. When I started receiving offers, Marlene guided me through the negotiation process, going out of her way to help me even after her work hours. Her advice was invaluable and I can't thank her enough.

  • Stephen Saunders • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Nearly four years later, attending Hack Reactor has proven to be one of the best decisions I could have made for my career and personal life.  As time passes, I get to see the immense value of what the Hack Reactor community provides to its members and the marketplace of employers.

    I went to Hack Reactor to level-up in my software engineering career.  As a junior developer and someone that benefits from a classroom environment, it was the perfect springboard to understanding programming concepts that eluded me during my year and half of 'on-the-job' training. Upon graduating with a combination of industry experience,  technical training, and job search support, Side, Inc. hired me as one of its founding engineers.  Within three and a half years, the company grew from four to nearly 125 people; from barely seed-funded, to well-funded series C.

    Fast-forward nearly four years.  I hadn't interviewed. I am back on the job market for the first time since I graduated.   I let my interviewing skills and algorithm design skills atrophy.   I had been all in on the startup life and didn't invest time in my ability to re-enter the job market. I scarcely even updated my résume.  I didn't notice that I was making progress on developing an application for a company without at the same time keeping my tools sharp.

    The time came to find another job.  Frankly, it was daunting.  It was at this moment that I called on my Hack Reactor network.  I reached out to cohort-mates, but more importantly, I reached out to the Alumni network through the Alumni director, Marlene Tang.  She was by far the most supportive resource available to get oriented in the job search.  I was able to reconnect with fellow grads who had recently returned to the job market.  I was even able to receive mentorship from another grad to help me with algorithms and whiteboarding, a skill which feels like it had all but disappeared. I received in-network leads of opportunities for which I could apply.  The Alumni director had a keen sense of who was where and could essentially facilitate matchmaking with companies that were looking.

    In the end, I found a new opportunity that really is a dream job.  It so happens that it turned out to be one of the companies where another Hack Reactor grad was working.  I can't tell you how grateful I am for the ongoing perks of being part of the Hack Reactor community.  This next move is a big step in my career, unlocking doors to tracks that didn't exist before.

    Interviewing is grueling, even if you are experienced and well-connected.  The interviewing process for engineers involves all sorts of assessments.  There are short, automated, timed coding challenges.  I have experienced technical trivia questionnaire and odd thought experiments.  I have spent hours on takehomes; I have devoted days to multi-session technical interviews; it is as though the list goes on.  It is tiring and discouraging.  I cannot overstate the privilege of having a support system like the Hack Reactor Alumni Network, and being able to work with someone like Marlene.

    This relationship I invested in four years ago has made all the difference for me. The success I have experienced is in no small part due to the support of a fantastic community, led by a passionate, competent leader, Marlene Tang.  Thank you, Hack Reactor. Thank you, fellow grads, for being awesome people and making the community what it is.

  • Alex Kim • Front End Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I attended Hack Reactor back in early 2017 before Hack Reactor was acquired by Galvanize. 

    Back in 2017, the program praised the concept of being an autonomous problem solver. I believe that this concept alone is what separates Hack Reactor from any other boot camp out there because of how well Hack Reactor simulates the 'on-the-job' experience without skimping out on the material to kick start your Software Engineering career. However, from my experience, I felt that the curriculum felt too short... Especially the career week portion of the curriculum. The job search is a grind and even with experience, it is hard to transition from job to job due to the market being saturated. Because there is a lot of competition at times, and because the hiring process is difficult, Hack Reactor provides life-time support for job assistance which I believe is what makes the investment worth it. I had the pleasure to work with Yu-lin and Marlene, and without them, I don't think I would have survived the job search let alone even attempt to apply to some of them due to the imposter syndrome that many would face during the search and even while on-the-job.

    Hack Reactor is an exhilarating experience especially if the student attends the on-site cohort. You establish lifetime relationships with your cohort mates that can make or break your career and with continuous support, you are already ahead of the curve. I would highly recommend attending Hack Reactor for the experience if you are serious about becoming a Software Engineer, it is not for everyone but if this is something that has been on your mind, Hack Reactor is the place for you.
     

  • Very effective
    - 11/19/2019
    Akul Aggarwal • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Review of Hack Reactor from 2016 Fall alumni

    I tried for a while to self-teach coding. I knew of Hack Reactor, but hesitated to throw in the towel and fork over the tuition - I wish I hadn't waited as long as I did, I lost a lot of time. I did make progress on my own, but it was undirected, and at best, likely would have led to jobs which weren't very good in terms of learning, impact, or even work-life balanace.

    1. Confidence - Their comittment to helping you stay motivated, and belaying fears of being unemployable after the program, is an indespensible part of the program. Many students suffer from imposter syndrome, especially those starting to code more or less for the first time, and HR's staff is not only great at handling this, but they have dedicated people who help manage this. It really helps a lot.

    2. Alumni network - My brother attended HR as well, and he commented that the alumni network and support are worth the tuition alone. I agree: through HR, I have become a part of a network of highly motivated people in IT comprising of thousands of people - and it's constantly growing. This opens up tremendous opportunity for your career, and for people who don't have a network of coders (say from taking college classes or a previous job or two), looking to get into IT, this is very difficult to quantify,  and hard to build independantly.

    3. Learning - The most important part of HR is what they teach you. Through this program, I got an understanding of different parts of the application layer - from database to server to client. The program is a little more geared towards front end, as we learned multiple JS frameworks, and everything was taught in Javascript (nodeJS for server, and SQL and Mongo for DB), but you get hands on experience in all parts of the stack, and have to hook everything up. The teaching is done exceptionally well: The course starts with lots of instruction, and transitions over time to fullt time hands on coding. The very first week, you work on coding sprints with your peers, to deliver assignments. The senior project at the end was extremely valuable. This combination of instruction, private support, and lots and lots of coding assignments, is the way to go. By the end, you deliver a fully functioning app, available to use through a public web address. This is direct evidence to others (and yourself) that you are employable.

    Life after HR - I found a job within about 3 months (definitely under 4). I had the ability to learn everything I needed after the course for interviews, to build whatever potential employers wanted. It was a leg up, though still a lot of work. HR also helped me a lot with salary negotiation. But if you're looking to get into some of the best tech companies, or build useful stuff for customers at a fast paced startup, then hard work is an expecation anyway. This course prepares you for that as well. After my first job, the wonderful HR Alumni support network (directly employed by the institution) helped me land interviews in no time, and matched me to companies which matched my preferences. I had a 2nd job within weeks of starting my search, and have been very very happy with my current employment since.

    One comment - This program is very challenging. I liken it to my last few months in my Engineering curriculum in college, during which we had to build an actual usable device for a company. Suffice it to say, it's rigorous. You're coding a lot, at least 6 days a week. But, you will get out of it what you put in. If you choose to do the bare minimum to contribute and pass the midterm assesment, that's what you'll get. If you choose to optimize your time, learn the most challenging stuff in painful detail, you will come out of it better.

  • Naomi • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I attended Hack Reactor in August-November 2015 (HR33), and then stayed for another cycle as an HIR (hacker-in-residence, essentially a TA for the next cohort). I got a job as a full-time programmer three weeks after finishing HIR, and had two other offers. I'm still in the field and am 1.5 years into my current job, and loving it.

    The pros:

    - I loved the teaching staff and the curriculum; Fred and Alan were some of the best instructors I've ever had. The tech mentor staff was also great and helped us in our day-to-day work; Beth was one of the best explainers and kept me sane.

    - The Outcomes staff was amazing. Way more of the course than I had expected was devoted to interview prep and how to conduct a job hunt. Marlene was my guide, and she made sure I was applying to at least 5 jobs a day, and would hunt me down if I didn't! She will kick your resume and interviewing skills into shape, and she helped me negotiate through some tricky offer conversations, literally helping me compose emails to get me a higher salary.

    - The curriculum was challenging and taught me just enough to get jobs. It was very rigorous (6 days a week, ~12 hours a day most days), but when you're with a bunch of other people going through the same thing, it's really fun.

     

    The cons:

    - When I was an HIR back in 2015, it seemed like they were effectively lowering the admissions bar by introducing the Fulcrum & related programs, which I assume was to get more "qualified" applicants through the door to make money. I genuinely believe that most people can learn to code, but not everyone can do it at a breakneck speed in just 3 months, and letting in people who are unlikely to succeed in a 12-week program is doing a disservice to the bootcamp, and an even greater one to the students themselves. I have no idea what admissions are like now, especially now that they've been acquired by Galvanize, so it's probably pretty different these days. It's hard for me to draw any conclusions, but when people ask me, "Should I go to a bootcamp?" I always tell them that they should do all the prep work on their own (without a program) and make sure they can pass the admissions test, because if they can't pass the admissions test on their own, I'd have a lot less confidence that they could make it through the program successfully (not to say students who do pre-programs can't be successful! Just that if you can't make it in without doing the program, it's an indication that you might struggle in the real thing).

Thanks!