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Hack Reactor

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

Hack Reactor

Avg Rating:4.71 ( 295 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 Rolling Start Date
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationDenver, Seattle, Phoenix, Boulder, New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, San Jose, 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 Full-time Software Engineering Immersive

    Apply
    OnlineFull Time40 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    Financing
    DepositAfter you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelN/A
    Prep Workhttps://www.hackreactor.com/prep-programs
    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 Rolling Start Date
    Cost$17,980
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    Learn full-stack engineering over nine months. Same Hack Reactor curriculum, program and quality - no need to quit your job. Class is held live online with two weeknights and one half-Saturday per week plus required independent study.
    Financing
    DepositAfter you have been accepted, a small deposit is required in order to secure your spot in the class.
    Financing
    Around half of our students receive help in financing their Hack Reactor journey. We work with lending companies like SkillsFund and Climb Credit that understand the investment you are making in yourself.
    Tuition PlansApplicants who would otherwise be unable to attend Hack Reactor may split their tuition into installments and finish paying a portion of tuition up to six months after graduation.
    Refund / GuaranteeNo
    Scholarship$1.3MM Hack Reactor Scholarship Fund - visit www.hackreactor.com/scholarships to apply!
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelStudents need to demonstrate they are: fluent with JavaScript fundamentals, able to think like an engineer, are driven learners and empathic communicators. We have a free prep program to help you develop these skills.
    Prep WorkHack Reactor focuses on merit, not prior experience. We provide prep programs for students from any background to study and pass admissions. Take our free self-paced online prep program or a live online prep class to prepare.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes

Shared Review

  • Chris Wohlers  User Photo
    Chris Wohlers • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I just graduated from the remote, part-time program and had a great experience. The course is very challenging and you want to be sure you are prepared before you take the entrance exam. That's a good thing! It means that the people in your cohort deserve to be there. You will be working with them all the time, so you will learn from them and they will learn from you. The quality of the student body is one of the major reasons that I would recommend HR.

    The program does a good job of taking your through the basics and making sure that you cover all the important bases (databases, authentication, frontend frameworks). As it progresses you get less and less hand-holding. There's always help desk, and the tech mentors are readily available, but the idea is that by the time you graduate, you need to feel like an engineer. That means knowing how to read documentation yourself and debug like a pro. 

    I'm graduating now with an strong sense of accomplishment and the confidence that I can pickup any framework or web technology and make it work and I couldn't ask for more. I've worked with seasoned engineers from Google during a hackathon and been a valuable asset already. Five stars, no reservations. 

    ** Also, the part-time, remote program was perfect for me, as a full-time dad. Having 9 months to absorb all the material that folks cover in 3 months during the immersive is a serious advantage. It's also no joke. Be ready to commit all your Saturdays for 9 months straight to studying!

     

     

     

  • KIm Luu  User Photo
    KIm Luu • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Hack Reactor is a great place for very little or no computer science background people to start their journey to become a professional software engineer. I was a complete outsider in the software and computer field before HR.  From a little knowledge about Javascript when I started my cohort, I graduated being able to create full-stack applications and then got a job as a software engineer a month and a haft later. I also appreciate the soft skills I got from HR. From small things like explaining problems clearly when I need help, to pair programming skills, to be autonomous in learning new technologies, all of these skills help me so much in my day to day tasks. The career week and the job search program are big pluses since they keep you sharp with your tech skills and help with job search materials like cover letters or resumes. HR's staff is really great. From cohort leads to tech mentors, to residents, they all really care about students and try their best to help. Enrolling in HR is one of the best decisions I have made.
  • Tracy Tran  User Photo
    Tracy Tran • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    If you are here reading this right now, you've probably already done extensive research on Hack Reactor's Software Engineering Immersive program and now you're wondering, "Is it worth it?" As someone who have been through the bootcamp and have pursued a degree in Computer Science at a credited University, I can assure you that this twelve weeks bootcamp is worth a lot more than two (or more) years of college. Let me break down my ratings for you:

    Curriculum:
    I won't dive too deeply into the tech stacks because technology changes everyday and great programs should adapt to those changes and provide you with the best curriculum to keep you updated on the current tech stacks. What is really important is not WHAT you learn but HOW you learn it. Hack Reactor instills autonomy into its students and at first you might feel like you're just thrown to the wolves but trust me, it is a valuable skill to have. Hack Reactor provides a professional experience in an educational environment by putting you in the same situations that you would find yourself in the professional career and they prepare you by forcing you to learn autonomously. You are going to have vague lectures, vague assignment requirements, vague directions, vague answers...well, you get the point. If you are like me then your first thought would be "I didn't pay $20,000 to learn and do everything on my own" and you would be kind of correct. Hack Reactor wants you to learn and do MOST of everything on your own (or in a team) because you are not going to be handheld in a professional working environment, but this is where Hack Reactor shines. They provide you guidance and show you HOW to figure things out on your own so that when the time comes and you're at your first engineering job and you have no clue what to do, you're going to be able to overcome those moments of uncertainty. Hack Reactor provides students with all of the technical support a student needs to not only excel in the program, but in their future career.

    TLDR; You might definitely will have moments where you have to learn and figure things out on your own, but Hack Reactor will help you figure out how to do that efficiently and effectively. 

    Job Assistance: 
    "Does this program guarantee me a job?" No, it does not guarantee you a job and I've had to explain this to my fellow friends a few times. Hack Reactor can't force a company to hire you, give you an interview, or read your job application. What Hack Reactor does is help shape each student into an ideal candidate and shares best practices to strengthen your chances of being seen by companies. Hack Reactor will provide you a Career Service Mentor along with Career Services to guide you during your job search and provide support before and during your job search and it extends after you graduate from the bootcamp! Hack Reactor also introduced its new Job Search Program that any graduate can opt into but I did not opt into it so I cannot provide a review. My Career Service Mentor, Marah, is a game changer and she helped open my eyes on how the technical world works in term of job search. After you graduate, you will still meet up with your Career Service Mentor weekly then bi-weekly and you can always talk to them when you have questions!

    TDLR: Hack Reactor will make sure you graduate with an all-star LinkedIn account, a job ready resume, a well revised cover letter, and other materials that will help you stand out during your job search. They also provide support before and after your graduation because they truly care about each and every one of their students. 

    Instructors:
    (Bare in mind that these were my instructors for the LA campus)

    Hilary Upton - Cohort Lead:  5/5 stars. She truly cares about every student and she makes sure to provide a safe space for all students to voice their concerns. We would have weekly retrospectives where Hilary would get our inputs/thoughts on how the week went and if we had any concerns/comments that we wanted to share. It made us feel heard and it showed how much Hack Reactor values its students and their well-being.

    Julian Yuen - Program Lead:  5/5 stars. Julian might show up to the first day in a suit but don't worry, he's not scary at all. Whenever Julian taught/led a lecture, it would feel as if my brain was being cuddled and nursed to health with amazing, well explained information. Julian will refer to himself as "Uncle J" and that's what he really is, the kind loving uncle that cares about his nieces and nephews. I remember not feeling so great about myself, my skills, and my work and I remember some of my cohort mates feeling the same way. Some of us started to succumb to imposter syndrome and when I brought it up to Julian, he immediately made time out of his busy schedule to have a personal talk with us. Honestly, I wanted to give up at one point because I felt like I was not good enough but Julian was the reason why I stayed. Going back to why I only pursued a Computer Science degree but never finished it, the reason was that my professors (and the department head) instilled in the class and me that if we were not in the top 10% of the class, that we were not good enough to make it in the field. It was demoralizing after two years of hearing "No one is going to hire you if you don't get an A. Change your major." and I honestly felt like my efforts during college was all for naught. My professors never saw my passion, my hard work, my desperate attempts to stay awake in class because I stayed up all night to finish an impossible assignment, and they placed me as (and most of my class) "unworthy". During the bootcamp, I started to feel that same feeling of "unworthy" and Julian stopped me in my tracks when I humorously voiced my concerns. He shared his personal experiences with imposter syndrome, assured me that I was enough and that I deserved to be where I am. It wasn't a "one time thing" either because every single time Julian sent me an email, he would remind me to not let imposter syndrome get the best of me and he made sure to remind me that I am enough. That should go to show the dedication and care that the Hack Reactor staff has for its students and I am forever grateful for them and Julian. Thanks Uncle J and sorry for the cheesy description if you are reading this. You really changed my outlook on myself and it has kept me motivated throughout my job search and I know it will keep me motivated for the rest of my career.

    Anthony Kim - Tech Mentor: 5/5 stars. Anthony runs the junior phase during Hack Reactor and he does his best to make sure that every student makes it to the senior phase. Whenever I struggled with the material, I would bombard Anthony with questions and he would always answer me with kindness and guidance. He made time to review code with me and to further elaborate on topics that I was not 100% sure of and I am forever grateful for his dedication. Anthony, if you are reading this, I'm sorry for asking so many questions and I don't think you're scary! (maybe a little)

    SEIRS / Other instructors: 5/5 stars. The staff is well picked and they're all caring and attentive to you. They just want to see you succeed!

    Overall Experience:
    Hack Reactor not only strengthened my skills as a Software Engineer, but it also strengthened me as a person. From the staff to the curriculum to the job assistance, it is a well versed program that provides you will all of the tools you need to succeed in your professional career. "Is it worth it?" That is up to you to decide. I came in with an open mind and I took the program as more than just a classroom where you learn the fundamentals and ins&outs of a technology because Hack Reactor teaches you how to be a strong engineer that can take on any technology and that to me makes Hack Reactor worth it. 
  • Elana  User Photo
    Elana • Job seeker • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I started prepping for Hack Reactor with the intention of joining the full-time, in-person immersive in San Francisco. COVID changed my plans along with everyone else's, and I delayed my start by three cohorts hoping for an in-person experience. I finally gave in and did the program remotely, and in the end I'm so glad it all worked out this way. The remote program completely exceeded all of my expectations, and Hack Reactor as an organization as really nailed down how to grow and foster community through Zoom and Slack. Each cohort is assigned a set of staff that includes technical mentors, psychological/social mentors, a career coach, and a team of recent grads selected for both personality traits and technical skills, and they do a fantastic job selecting all these people. There are tons of free resources you can use to teach yourself Javascript, so why pay so much for a program like this? Far and away, what made the experience for me was the people, and Hack Reactor absolutely nails hiring support staff who are the right combination of tough, caring, honest, and helpful to keep you on track while still letting you pull your own weight. 

    An example: On more than one occasion our tech mentor had almost preternatural patience with me when I was struggling with certain concepts and asked him for help understanding them. A lesser mortal would probably have broken down in a frustrated rage and just given me the final answer after enough time had passed, depriving me of the chance to make the connection for myself, but he gave me all the time I needed to get there without betraying even a hint of frustration. From the top down, the staff genuinely wants to help you learn, and help you learn how to learn, and they do it with just the right amount of assistance. 

    This program pushes you, and pushes hard. This was a formative program for me because of how stretched I felt, which was a new feeling. I am still in the job search process now, and while it can alternate between being demoralizing, terrifying, or just a plain slog to get through, I feel very well supported by both staff and the alumni community. There is an active community of alums who offer motivation, encouragement, tips, and sympathetic ears, and between direct conversation and getting to be spectator to some of their conversations, I feel like I'm constantly being buoyed by the system. The support during the job search and alumni community might alone be worth the price of the program.  Whenever I get an offer I know they'll have my back for the negotiation process as well. I'm really glad I found this community and I feel like I'm in good hands going forward. 
  • Edmond Lee  User Photo
    Edmond Lee • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Unlike most applicants and my cohortmates, I decided to apply and attend the Hack Reactor program as someone who graduated with a computer engineering degree and had a bit of software developer experience. At the time it was two years after I graduated and my job search wasn't going well due to behavioral issues I had.

    Hack Reactor not only allowed me to move up but importantly to move out of where I was. The staff in the San Francisco campus were very respectful of everyone's needs and contributed to a bootcamp culture and curriculum that is challenging, rigorous, yet also personalized for everyone through weekly one-on-ones with the cohort lead. When I attended the program there was another cohort that started at the same time and both cohorts had incredible diversity. There were people from all sorts of backgrounds including two PhDs and a few others with computer science backgrounds, yet all motivated as prospective software engineers.

    Naturally, Hack Reactor bootcampers don't always know the solution to problems they're facing and seek out help. The program has a help desk that handles this pretty well. It's a ticketing queue that gets responded to by Software Engineering Immersive Residents (SEIRs), and they are guided in such a way that steers them towards the right direction and being encouraged to follow techniques such as timeboxing and web searching instead of being given an answer.

    Before I found my first position after graduation, I decided to apply and become a SEIR near the end of the program, because I was very motivated to share my knowledge and to help my peers. Thus I worked part-time for Hack Reactor for three months to interview applicants to the program, to run the help desk, and to engage with students. The SEIRs make up much of the teaching ability in a cohort, but they don't necessarily have software engineering experience beyond the program. The tech mentors for each cohort may or may not have that as well, so I'm giving 4 stars for instructors because they could be improved on especially at a time when most or all of HR has gone remote.

    Although the program explicitly does not guarantee any student a job after graduating, the resources you receive are well worth the cost of the program, whether paying up front or after the program. In the first six months after graduation you are assigned a career coach and given resources for a job seeking routine. More importantly you are given access to the alumni Slack group to be able to connect with thousands of other graduates. I am starting to truly appreciate the value of the alumni group a year after I started my position and am looking to make a second job search.
  • Ashwin Aravindan  User Photo
    Ashwin Aravindan • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I even came in with previous software development experience, and still learned much more than I originally hoped for. They don't just transform you into a competent software engineer, but also help improve your all-around character. I've learned to present myself better to both employers and friends, and have become someone that (hopefully) anyone would love to work with. 
     
    I graduated 5 years ago now (summer of 2015), but still keep in touch with everyone from my cohort, and I am fairly certain I speak for all of them when I say that Hack Reactor transformed their lives for the better. I myself have been working at Facebook now for 2 years and love it - and my others cohort-mates are at Google, Uber, LinkedIn, Lyft, Square, and other top companies! The alumni network is especially outstanding, and I want to call out Marlene Tang for always being responsive and available to help. She helped me land my first job right out of Hack Reactor at Pivotal Labs by introducing me to another alumni that worked there. Even years later right before I landed my job at Facebook, she helped me through my interview prep and introduced me to other alumni at Twitch and LinkedIn to help me get strong competing offers. I don’t live in the Bay Area anymore but every time I visit, my cohort-mates and Marlene always come out for a reunion and make me feel right at home - you really do develop life-long relationships over the course of those 3 months. 
     
    Speaking from my experience, I would definitely recommend Hack Reactor to anyone looking to make the switch to software engineering. 
  • Jen  User Photo
    Jen • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    It’s been almost four years since I’ve graduated from the program (SF onsite, June - September 2016), but enough people have reached out to me since then that I felt like it was worth the time to summarize my thoughts and experiences for others. 

    Hack Reactor was, by far, one of the best decisions I’ve made to jumpstart my career. I did pretty extensive research beforehand to try to figure out which bootcamp was right for me, and HR stood out immediately because of how structured and intense it was. I was serious about making the career pivot as quickly as possible, and I wanted to be surrounded by people who would push me to be my best. 

    The curriculum (and industry) changes enough that it’s probably not worth me focusing on the education side of it, so instead, I want to talk about the job placement support afterwards. Both jobs that I’ve gotten since graduating are due to the Hack Reactor network, and specifically, the alumni support program. I truly believe that the resources available after graduation is worth the entire financial investment and more. I was assigned Marlene as my career coach, and I seriously lucked out. She truly goes above and beyond the scope of her duties to ensure that she is accessible at all hours and under all circumstances. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve reached out minutes before phone interviews for last-minute pep talks, or spent hours of her time getting her help to draft the perfect response during salary negotiations. When I started my second job search, I reached out to Marlene on a whim to see if she might be able to give some job search advice, but she went even further to connect me with other alumni, the corporate partnership program, and personally coached me through each one of the offers I landed. I was one and a half years past my graduation date, and she wasn’t even a full-time career coach anymore, but it didn’t matter to her. However, it truly made a huge difference for me to not have to go through the job search and interview process on my own. 

    Everyone’s post-graduation experience is different, but what I truly think makes Hack Reactor stand out is that they actually have dedicated resources to make sure your successes don’t end after you finish your classes. Having Marlene by my side during the most life-altering job search of my career is something that I will be forever grateful for and why I consistently recommend Hack Reactor to others who are seriously considering coding bootcamps to make the career shift. It’s worth the investment a thousand times over. 

  • Matthew Ma  User Photo
    Matthew Ma • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Going in, I had set the parameters of my expectations somewhat strictly. I simply wanted to learn what it takes to become an employable software engineer- some who removes, rather than contributes to, technical debt.

    Hack Reactor was so much more than just that.

    Of course, the curriculum gave me enough experience that I could figure my way around any web development projects. The junior phase strengthened my confidence with various specific technologies through challenging sprints. The senior phase allowed me to consolidate my understanding of web frameworks + database technologies into viable products, as well as flesh out communication skills by coordinating development with peers, who at this point were working with me as partners.

    But it takes much more than only technical expertise to excel in the tech industry. Hack Reactor provided networking opportunities and informative talks from experienced software engineers that grants new grads with the assurance of mentorship and community, making even life-changing transformations far less scary.

    Something I deeply appreciated about the organization of the cohorts was the stimulating diversity of my peers. People truly came from all walks of life. This aspect of the program sets it apart from traditional university programs in that you are no longer immersed in your same age stratum. I was the youngest in my cohort, so I went through the program with the mindset that I'll have the most to learn from the life experiences of others. This made Hack Reactor more than just an education. It was a life experience.
  • Austen  User Photo
    Austen • Senior Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I went through Hack Reactor in 2014 and had a great time back then. My original experience with the program is less relevant than the more recent reviews you see, so I want to talk about job and negotiation help that I received 6 years after graduating during my third job search in 2020.

    I received offers from Amazon, Box, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Square and was having a hard time making the final call between joining Facebook and Netflix. I'd been discussing my decision in the alumni Slack group, and Marlene, the alumni director, reached out to me to see if she could help. It's definitely nice to have a total pro on your side when you're talking with recruiters. Marlene gave me some invaluable advice over the final week of my negotiations and helped me seal the deal with Netflix. Before all of this, I gained huge benefits by practicing for interviews with members of the alumni community. I can't think of a better group to be in to get such a good pulse on working in the tech industry.

    All this to say, Hack Reactor isn't just a one-time thing you go through for a few months and forget about. There's a huge and growing community of people who want to help you throughout your career, and every year, I'm more glad I joined this community.
  • Ralph  User Photo
    Ralph • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I have done a lot of educational programs, but this was by far the best educational experience of my life. The program is so hands on and concrete--there's no extra stuff that you can just coast through. Instead, you learn actionable skills and apply them immediately on projects. Staff is brilliant and very good at what they do, curriculum is well-tailored for anyone trying to get into the coding field, and facility was clean and well-maintained. You graduate with a body of work that you can use to start applying immediately. It's all full-stack JavaScript, which is good for applying to start-ups and more "high tech" (Google, Paypal, etc) but they teach you fundamentals well enough that I actually ended up with two Java developer job offers in the middle of the pandemic! Best part of the program is the people though--just incredible and smart people who you get really close to. Can't wait to see what they end up doing!
  • Tammy Treit  User Photo
    Tammy Treit • Student Verified via GitHub
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    I'm halfway through the remote part time program and I am 100% happy with my decision to go to Hack Reactor. The staff are fantastic, the curriculum is challenging, you learn rapidly, and fellow students are great. The culture and community aspects are even better than I could have hoped for. The staff are equal parts demanding and encouraging. The organization is constantly tweaking the curriculum and teaching methods to improve student outcomes. Above all they genuinely care about each and every student and are so supportive. 

    That said... it's HARD. Even if you are a working dev who wants to level up your skills I promise it will be challenging. I came into HR as a beginner so for me, meeting the basic minimum requirements is plenty hard. But each project has advanced content and if that isn't enough there's another section called 'nightmare mode.'  The staff will make sure you are being challenged - but for most of us the basic curriculum and speed at which you need to finish things is plenty.

    I love the part-time program. Some of my cohort mates have kids. Some are working full time. Some are managing both. The part-time program is the exact same curriculum as the full time program but instead of doing it over 13 weeks you do it over 36 weeks. There are 20 hours per week of time required. So you can keep your job and do Hack Reactor at the same time. Personally I'm not working while going through Hack Reactor. I'm an older student (almost 50) and having more time for my brain to absorb content is helpful. 

    HR helps prep you for coding interviews by requiring you to practice toy problems. For full time folks you'll do one every day. For part-time you usually do two per week. By the time you finish HR you will have done 60 of them. So they build in interview prep into the entire program. 

    The curriculum is frequently frustrating but I have to admit it's absolutely necessary. Having studied the best way to teach coding, HR has learned that it's through doing not lectures. There are some lectures which will give you a base to jump off of but every new project you're jumping in the deep end. So frequently students feel frustrated. But it's also in that frustration that you learn. There are plenty of tools to help you get unstuck and they teach you to use them. You can schedule office hours with staff or call the help desk when you're stuck. Help desk is great. It's staffed by recent graduates who just went through what you are going through. They are trained to not take away too much of your pain (since that's where learning happens) but rather to help point you to documentation or ask you questions about your code. 'What is line 12 doing? Why do you think that? Have you checked to make sure it's really doing what you think it's doing?' etc. You also do pair programming in most of the junior phase (first half of the program). This brings its own frustrations but also joys as you work with a partner to complete a project. You learn how to work with people who think differently than you do. 

    I was skeptical at first about the remote program. In fact I went to the in person program in Seattle in Februray 2020 to start. After three days I decided I needed to bone up on my JS skills more. So I rolled back to the next cohort. Then COVID hit and my housing situation changed and I was no longer in commutable distance for the in person program (and they ended up having to go online b/c of Covid anyhow). Well I have met some amazing friends in the remote program and I think it's just as good as the in-person program. I probably would not have believed that if I hadn't experienced it for myself. There are some big pros too - like you don't have to commute so the time you save packing food, traveling, etc can be used for sleeping. This is especially important if you do the full time program. And you really do get to know people, not just from your cohort but from the 5 other remote part time cohorts as well - watching people from more senior cohorts graduate and get six figure jobs is inspiring.  

    HR's #1 goal is to turn out autonomous engineers and I believe they do a great job. Is it the best bootcamp out there? I think without going to more than one bootcamp it's hard to say. But is it a top, even elite, bootcamp? Absolutely.
  • Pavan Ravipati  User Photo
    Pavan Ravipati • Principal Solutions Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    If you're already working in tech, and are concerned about the opportunity cost of taking time off to deepen your technical expertise, I suggest that you take the leap. Prior to Hack Reactor I worked in a traditional software sales role (in the marketing automation space). I chose to go to hack reactor primarily out of curiosity, and looking back 5 years, I am happy to say that the ROI was definitely there for me. 

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

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


  • Jonathan  User Photo
    Jonathan • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated Hack Reactor in 2015. I wanted to share my current perspective on the program, and how it has affected my life and career.

    Summary
    HR is an excellent choice if you can get in. It's the real deal.

    Curriculum
    The HR team cares about their students. Once you’ve made it into the program, they will bend over backwards to help you succeed through the curriculum, during the job search, and beyond.

    I was used to intense academic environments where everything hinges on tests that rely on memorizing enormous amounts of facts. I started HR all fired up to apply the same intensity I applied in university to the HR program, and then I saw quickly how different HR is.

    In contrast to my academic experiences, Hack Reactor is focused on you learning optimally in a small group setting without grades. The environment is supportive and encouraging, which helps students get through the challenges.

    Time Commitment
    I personally never had any issue with the per-day time commitment. I structured my life around the program, so during the program there was nothing else really going on in my life. My friends knew I would be busy and to expect delays (sometimes weeks) to respond to a text. I kept up exercise, healthy eating, etc. during the program which I think was important.

    The time commitment is a bit like going to a foreign country to learn that country’s language. Yes, you can absolutely learn a foreign language to a near-native level without having stepped foot in the country. However, being in the country forces your mind to learn the language as a survival mechanism - supplemented by language materials like courses. In a similar way, HR is like going to a foreign programming land where there’s a beautifully sloped learning path to learn the language. When you stop, take a breath, and look around, you’re completely surrounded by others speaking this strange language. The technical jargon and problem solving is inescapable in the best way possible.

    Results
    Does HR prepare you for the job search?
    Yes, definitely. I haven’t looked at the HR site in awhile, but I’m sure it describes how they prepare you for algorithm problems, whiteboarding, discussing your accomplishments, etc. This is true. If you want to aim for the top companies like Google, Facebook, etc. then you’ll need extra studying, but you’re well prepared to put in that extra study and have incredible momentum as you graduate HR that you can utilize for it.

    Does HR prepare you for the job?
    Yes, even more so than the job search. The curriculum and experience deliver key components that I look for in a new team member: general problem solving ability, communication, familiarity with the JS ecosystem, JS knowledge, and (most importantly) the ability to learn new things very quickly and enthusiastically. HR filters, somehow in ways I don’t understand, for the seeds of these qualities during the admissions process. Then, somehow in more ways I don’t understand, they nurture those qualities over 3 months into an engineer capable of contributing to a team almost immediately. After a few years as a software engineer, I now realize how incredible and rare this feat is.

    Has going to HR helped me succeed in the job over the years?
    Absolutely. I still use the skills I learned at HR to debug and pick up new technologies quickly. Both of these are invaluable. I’m sure there are other skills that I’ve internalized and don’t realize I use or did not realize they came from HR. The HR curriculum is an excellent foundation for a career.

    How much did going to HR change your life?
    Going to HR allowed me to fundamentally change the direction of my life for the better. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity. I still proudly wear my Hack Reactor t-shirt and talk about HR with anyone that asks.

    Alumni Community
    The HR alumni community is great! It’s a genuine community that is a great place to ask questions about interviews, frameworks, career direction, etc. Marlene Tang, the Alumni Director, has had a powerful positive influence on the alumni community and helped so many people achieve their goals. She's oft-praised, but it's hard to describe just how much of a positive impact she's had on so many graduate's lives.

    In-person immersive experience
    The in-person HR immersive experience was probably the most concentrated 3 months of fun that I've ever had. I look back fondly on the experience, and especially my amazing cohort-mates that are still friends.

    Shout-outs
    I just want to leave a shout-out to Marcus Philips and Fred Zirdung in case they ever see this. They’re both enormously talented and knowledgeable teachers. I still think of Marcus’s jokes after all these years and they make me laugh. Fred was my first view of the professional expert: humble, deep knowledge, and incredible communication skills to explain complex concepts in a simple way calibrated for the listener. Thank you both, and of course Marlene.

Thanks!