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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- Overhauled my career and life. It works.- 10/29/2019Chagil Guiab • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedIn
I started the Hack Reactor prep program (then called Structured Study Program) in November of 2018, entered the full-time immersive in February of 2019, graduated that May, stayed on in an associate instructor role until August, and started my position as a full stack engineer in September. I hadn't touched or read about code before November of 2018 (unless a few lines of HTML in middle school counts). If your plan is to put everything else on pause and give the program and job search 100% of you, it works.
I think the critical pieces to the success of the program are: its emphasis on both hard and soft skills, its focus on community-building around shared goals, and the pivot into career readiness and support as students approach graduation.
Students spend as much time and energy leveling up their ability to communicate and collaborate with others, verbalize their technical work with accessible language, and iterate on their workflow and project planning as they do on leveling up their technical abilities. This is huge for both nailing technical interviews and performing on the job as a software engineer (which are two different beasts). It's not enough to be great at coding or communicating; both are necessary. Students are guided by technical instructors and counselors, each of who are passionate, dedicated people who genuinely care about their students' success. They do a great job of fostering a community, which certainly helps with motivation/morale, but also improves technical growth through collaborative approaches to the material. It also translates to professional networking. You're likely to meet amazing people going through such a rigorous program that places such high value on people skills. I certainly did.
The curriculum is iterative; both students and instructors are in tight feedback loops, and schedules and assignments are flexible to match the needs of students and industry trends. Side note: I think it's important to view the curriculum as a tool rather than a transformative environment-- you won't move through it and level up into a software engineer. You'll use it, along with Google and your peers, to figure out how to solve a million tiny problems and a few big ones. It (the curriculum) has some shortcomings, but I think the overall system works, and I think it serves its purpose.
The career support is huge. The career counselors meet with you regularly after graduation to coach you through the job hunt, working on/vetting doc's like resumes, covers, emails, etc., and practicing interview talking points, compensation deflection and negotiation, and general mental model/strategy work. I found this critical to my success in the job hunt. Special shout out to Lena Johnson in the Remote campus.
Overall, the program provides what it says it will: the environment, tools, resources, and people for you to figure out how to software engineer.
- Amazing Experience- 10/29/2019Julia • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I graduated from Hack Reactor in May 2015 from the San Francisco location. At the time, I had just graduated from undergrad with a non-technical major and a CS minor.
Hack Reactor was one of the best decisions I've ever made. In my college CS classes, other students just wanted to get an A whether they understood the material or not. At HR, there are no grades and the students genuinely want to learn and help each other. It's such a collaborative learning experience that it changed my entire perspective on what education could be like. To give a quick example, I took a semester of Data Structures in college, then spent one week learning data structures at HR and thought "is this what they were talking about all semester in college?" HR has figured out how to teach what you need to know.
After graduation, I became a Hacker in Residence (basically a teaching assistant) and taught a few pre-camp classes (for students who have never coded before and want to eventually apply to the program) because I appreciated so much what the community did for me and I wanted to give back.
Even years after graduation, I still get help from HR when applying to new jobs and negotiating salaries. Shout-out to Marlene Fong, an awesome career coach/alumni director who is incredibly supportive and super helpful for alumni figuring out their careers. This is the kind of support that even a university (which is many times more expensive!) will not give you.
Is it possible for you to save your money and learn all of this for free? Of course. Are you going to know what to study, in which order, and have an entire network of other motivated learners by your side? No, and that's exactly what HR gives you. Will you learn the same amount as you would in a typical 4-year degree? Of course not, but you will be able to apply it better. CS degrees teach you theory, HR teaches you application, which is much more important for a job.
Overall, I highly recommend this program. It's a life-changing experience.
- great program, life changing- 10/28/2019Camron Stuart • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online • Verified via GitHub
I was a chef with only a hobby level of experience with computers and coding, decided to take the course after hearing about it from a friend. Easily one of the better decisions I've made in my life. I'm now employed as a Software Engineer in New Hampshire making astronomically more money than I ever have in my life and loving my job. Would recommend this course to anyone (which I do just about every time someone brings up hating their job or not making enough money).
-no fire and forget curriculum where you just get assignments and sit on a computer alone
-emulates a real work environment well
-blends autonomy with accountability and social engagement
-support is available but not as a crutch
-I actually found this to be a pro but the pace is breakneck and this program is not for the faint of heart, this lends to the program's gravitas.
- Great mid-career transition experience- 10/23/2019Diego • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I finished HR in San Francisco in April 2019. I had heard about it through reading reviews and hearing about other graduates' experiences online, and understood it to be one of the best bootcamps on the market. I chose HR based after speaking with a former colleague who had gone through HR a year before. What they said about the program and how it enabled them to make a transition from finance to software was the most important factor in my choice.
After over ten years in another industry, I was eager to make a career change. I had a lot of concerns about making a mid-career shift--the sacrifice in earnings, time, and stability required to do it successfully. But I'm so glad I did! There's no other way I would've learned so much in such a short time.
The whole process took nearly six months for me. I spent almost 3 months preparing for the bootcamp. About 1.5 doing the Structured Study Program, which is basically a pre-bootcamp bootcamp, and then another 1.5 months doing the prerequisite course for the bootcamp itself.
I'm very glad I did the SSP. Not only did it prepare me for the bootcamp, but it was also nice to see what I was capable of before joining the bootcamp full-time. It helped validate my decision to keep moving forward with it.
The bootcamp itself is intense. 6 days a week. 11 hours a day. But I'm not sure there's a better way to do it. I met some amazing people, and learned way more than I expected. I do think that the program would be improved by making its small group meetings and one-on-ones more productive by making the topics of those meetings be focused on technical as well as non-technical aspects of the program.
Getting a job afterwards is the hardest part. While HR provides some resources--mock interviews and resume workshops were helpful to me--they are mainly there for support. I would encourage anyone considering this to evaluate the strength of their network: do you know enough people working in engineering or high enough up at tech companies to get a referral? If not, it's going to be tough competing against all the other bootcamp grads and CS majors and people with <1yr engineering experience.
Companies are understandably not so eager to hire fresh bootcamp grads. A bootcamp is great preparation, but I can say my first few months in an actual role was at least as intense as the bootcamp in terms of everything I've had to learn and work on.
My former experience and network was invaluable in terms of getting my first job out of the bootcamp. So if you're also in mid-career, know that you have a lot of valuable skills and knowledge coming into the program that make you a strong candidate when you graduate.
And now that I'm working with other bootcamp grads, I know that I did a lot more at HR than what they did. My bootcamp experience was closer to what it's like to be an engineer and work on an engineering team.
- Great Culture - You Get What You Pay For- 10/19/2019Jarrod M. • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Austin • Verified via LinkedIn
I’m a software engineer who graduated from Hack Reactor, and then stayed a few extra months to help teach and assist before getting hired as a full-time software developer. My salary as a Software Engineer is average for the town I work in (Austin, TX), and yet it is still twice as much as anything I ever earned while working in hospitality.
Should you consider this program? Do you really need a program at all? It is a difficult question, especially because Hack Reactor isn’t cheap. I hope my review helps you answer these questions.
First, should you consider Hack Reactor over other programs? This one is a resounding yes! Hack Reactor has a fantastic entrance exam that only lets in students who are strong in their programming basics, and are also decent people. Hack Reactor will have you studying with your classmates for 70 hours a week, for three months. They try to not let in anyone who isn’t aimiable or who doesn’t have a strong programming foundation. While the price tag is staggering, it also means that every student you meet will be 100% committed. As a result, the large majority of Hack Reactor students I met were fantastic people, and I have personally seen them get great jobs at companies such as IBM, Apple, Google and more. Sure, there are other great Boot Camps, but I have no doubt that Hack Reactor is one of the best.
Helping teach after my graduation further convinced me of this - I worked with the staff for three extra months, and I got to sit in on their many weekly meetings. They discussed each student’s progress, strategies on how to get each person to excel, and ways they could improve as a team. Their success rides on the success rate of their students, and so they truly care about their student’s success.
Second, should you consider a boot camp at all? It is a much harder question. Hack Reactor’s mission is to provide three things: Curriculum, Capital, and Community. Curriculum is what most people already have access to, with 80% of the things taught at Hack Reactor being available online. They do have some fantastic group-based milestone projects, which would be impossible to do by yourself. Lastly, the group workflow foundation they give you (working with Git, ticketing systems) shouldn’t be underestimated. Still, I get it. FreeCodeCamp is awesome.
Capital and Community - these are the two things I’d reckon most people are lacking. If you have a strong connections to the tech industry, or if you have the capacity to go back to a good university, this program may not be for you. As for me, I loved programming, but I was overworked and underpaid at the hotel I worked at. I didn’t know any other programmers, and I was too busy being an adult to consistently self study. On top of all that, I had no freaking clue how to sell myself for a tech job! Hack Reactor’s grueling course allowed me to devote 100% of my time to becoming a better programmer, an opportunity I am truly grateful for. I made a ton of awesome connections along the way... I even competed in a Hackathon with three new friends after the program, and our team won first place!
Should you consider a boot camp? It really is a tough question, but I’m glad I did it. You may hear online that you can do it by yourself, and some people definitely can. However, it is within six months of my graduation, and at least 90% of my class are now employed as software engineers. We all met for pizza this last week. I’m not fluffing these numbers up - check out Hack Reactor’s website for real success rates. I bet their success rates are some of the strongest, and I am 100% certain their success rates trounce the self-taught crowd’s success rate.
If you are still on the fence, try taking the entrance exam. You won’t regret it
- Well-polished preparation for a new career- 10/19/2019Adam Gipril • Associate Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online • Verified via GitHub
When I enrolled in Hack Reactor, I had been working as a professional bicycle mechanic full-time for about seven years following a loss of interest in pursuing a career in my electrical engineering degree. Despite being reasonably well-paid for the bike industry, living in a relatively expensive area and making payments toward student loans meant I was still living paycheck-to-paycheck. Hack Reactor's accelerated program was just what I needed to take a minimal loan while pursuing a change in passion from bikes to software. The organization and pace of the program allowed me to learn the best and most-relevant skills at a much more rapid rate than I ever could have alone.
- Well-polished program
- Rapidly learn software engineering beyond just the basics — learn some best practices while mimicking a real work environment
- Excellent technical and emotional support when it's needed
- Learn alongside fellow excellent people
- Great balance of autonomy (super-valuable) and direction
- I loved the pace personally, but it can be a struggle at times
- Alumni benefits- 10/6/2019Louis • Software Engineer • Student • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedIn
- David • Software Engineer • Graduate • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via GitHub
TL, DR: Pretty decent curriculum. Could be better, but I would recommend it as it still has solid curriculum that makes you a good candidate during tech interviews. A lot of other boot camps don't put emphasis on group projects - which is critical in technical behavioral interviews at bigger companies.
I graduated in October 2018 right before Hack Reactor was bought out by Galvanize. Nowadays there are a lot of resources online to teach yourself, and many would be debating if $18k is worth it.
If you are serious about the career change - it is.
- Project-Based Curriculum: Hack Reactor dedicates almost half of the time to group projects. I believe this experience is critical for technical behavioral interviews, which is much harder to get if you take the self-teach route. Granted, you can self-teach, work as a free-lancer for couple months, then leverage that experience.
- Network: you will make some good friends, and they will help you keep sane during the job search.
- Resume and cover-letter critique: my career coach was really available to perefect my resume and cover letters. A lot of my softwar engineering friends said my resume looked solid.
- Stupid rules: I hated their check-in rules. They can kick you out after 9 tardies or 3 no-shows. I was always on time, but forgot to check-in couple of times. Almost got kicked out cuz of this.
- Over-emphasis on applying over studying: after the Hack Reactor management change, the career service is not the same. They over-emphasized applying for jobs over studying after graduation. Hack Reactor tells you are interview ready on week 1 and tells you to "GO GET 'EM!" I was definitely not ready. See why below.
- Need more leetcode: I think you need to do at least 100 leetcode problems (50 easy/ 50 medium) for you get comfortable with technical challenges. You do about 30-ish leetcode-ish problems over 3 months at HR. 30 is not enough and you will for a lot of them by the time you graduate. I recommend grinding leetcode for a month after graduation before tech screens. I personally used interviewcake.com and algoexpert.io in conjunction with leetcode.
- Investment that continues to pay back- 9/18/2019TL • Senior Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
Job assistance is outstanding. Yes, is. They don't stop. Ever. You will find out what Marlene is all about when applying for your first job. No nonsense, all business, let's get you hired soldier! Already have a job and feeling like you can conquer the world on your own? Go for it... but what if you need a shoulder to cry on... don't look for Marlene, she is all about getting you what you need to succeed as a job applicant--just kidding! She is there for you. Need to vent about that company who is wasting candidates with their silly recruiting games? Marlene is there. Need to shake off the interviewing rust before jumping back into the job market? Yes Marlene is there.
Hack Reactor will give back as much as you put into it. And on top of that, job assistance is the gift that keeps on giving.
- Alumni Services / Job Search Review- 8/27/2019Amogh • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Hack Reactor Remote (Part Time) • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedIn
This review is specifically about the alumni services/job search support. I graduated in August 2018 from the part-time-program. I entered in my second job search in April 2019 feeling uncertain because my first job out of Hack Reactor was not pure software engineering.
The alumni team was really helpful in ensuring my resume and experience would be enough to interest recruiters, and they connected me with a number of companies off the bat which was hugely helpful in building my job search pipeline.
The alumni team checked in with me regularly on my progress, always offering helpful advice and guidance. Negotiation help at the end was hugely helpful in not getting myself stuck with low offers and bad deals. Overall, the biggest thing that helped me was just having someone who understood the industry and job market really well. Quite a bit was different with my preferences from the first job search to the second. I can say with confidence that the Hack Reactor alumni team can and will adequately prepare you for both and beyond.
- So worth it, in every way- 8/23/2019Christian • Web Developer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Austin • Verified via GitHub
Years later now, I still look back very fondly on my time in Hack Reactor (now Galvanize). The instructors were great, my cohort was fantastic, and I learned more in a short period than I ever have before in my life (this from someone with a PhD!). They chose the curriculum based on what gave the best fundamentals and what were the most popular frameworks and libraries in jobs, combining the practicality and thoroughness you need to be a great developer. And they were always updating it (I even got to help update it as a Hacker in Residence) to keep it current.
It's scary to apply, scary to interview to get in, and scary during the bootcamp not knowing whether you can cut it. Don't sell yourself short by doing one of the easier bootcamps with no entrance exam or a slower pace. Let me tell you, it's so absolutely worth the money and the worry once you're on the other side with a great job and a start in a huge new career. And as an investment, it's immeasurable. I am now making more than would ever have been thinkable in my previous line of work, and honestly enjoying it much more.
Speaking of good investments, one thing I did not consider at all when looking at bootcamps but has honestly been the best ROI of the whole process has been the Alumni job search support. You know they'll help you with your first job search when you're done with the bootcamp, but I somehow missed that they'll support you in all your job searches for the rest of your career! Specifically I have to praise Marlene Tang, their alumni director. Literally her advice alone, pushing me to get multiple offers, always negotiate, and know what to say to negotiate in a way that's not going to alienate anyone, has literally more than paid for the entire cost of the bootcamp in salary raises.
I can't recommend the Hack Reactor program enough, and as I've been given to understand it, they've continued all the best parts of that under the new banner as Galvanize. I actually figured they would kind of let all the old alumni drop once the name/company changed, but they haven't at all! So one more nice perk: in this shifting bootcamp landscape, where companies get bought out and change hands all the time, these guys have provided a consistency that's hard to find elsewhere! I saw it first hand as it was just shifting from MakerSquare to Hack Reactor during my time at the bootcamp, and it's clearly continued since then.
- Fantastic alumni support!- 8/12/2019Richard • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
I graduated from Hack Reactor in 2015 and have worked with the alumni team there -- most prominently Marlene -- for all of my job searches. They've been incredibly helpful with introducing me to partner companeis and helping coach me through the negotiation process.
Thanks to their guidance, I've been fortunate enough to negotiate up an extra ~50k during the four years that I've been working and know that I can always count on them to help out for my future job searches.
- Great!- 8/8/2019Merary • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedIn
I cannot thank Hack Reactor Remote enough. At every stage, HRR provided the support I needed while keeping things very transparent about where I could improve.
My journey with Hack Reactor was an extensive one, all the way from the prep course till now, after landing my ideal job as a software engineer. HRR is tough...but well worth it. If you're ready to go "all in" then HRR is for you. The community is close-knit and emphasizes both great soft skills and great technical skills. I admire that HRR stays up to date with the curriculum, always updating and curating fearlessly. The entire instruction team (Hailey, Annah, Robin, and Cody) does a stellar job of communicating with the students to make sure they're progressing on pace. After graduation, the job support counselors also guide you through the job search process, and they're very attentive about finding opportunities that are tailored for your interests. My counselor was Nicole and she was such a key part of the process. Overall, amazing!
- Stephen • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: San Francisco • Verified via LinkedIn
Hack reactor was an amazing program, and I can attribute my success in the field to it. It was fun, and intense, and I distinctly remember it being a work hard, get rewarded type of scenario. The instructors were fantastic, and the curriculum really taught you what you needed to know to succeed as an engineer in the valley. As grateful to the program as I am for what I learned there, what really amazes me is the support I continue to get from its Alumni Director, Marlene Tang.
Marlene is truly a lighthouse in the dark when it comes to actually functioning as a software engineer in the industry. Sure, Hack Reactor had gotten me in the door, but Marlene not only keeps me in the building, she pushes me to climb to the top. She gives support in working, learning, growing, promoting... you name it, she's there. Recently, I left my previous company and started looking for my next home. I brought it up, and as usual, without hesitation, she dove right in, set up meetings with companies, reviewed resumes, emails, and made sure I stayed on track. I just signed my offer, and she was a huge part of it. All I had to do was study! I honestly don't know how she does it all with an ever growing network of Alumni.
In addition to being a tremendous resource when you reach out to her, Marlene actively reaches out to the Alumni network to collect feedback and make it even better. She is ever present and if for some reason a HR graduate forgot about the immense support system available to them, it won't be long before Marlene is there to offer her precious time and energy.
All in all, Hack Reactor was an amazing experience and I'll never forget it. The real start of the show, and the one thing that continues to provide immense value on a consistent basis is it's extremely dedicated Alumni Director, Marlene, and her superhuman program. I can't emphasize enough that this is the one thing that puts Hack Reactor leaps and bounds ahead competition. Whether you're thinking about which boot camp to go to, or are currently a student, or have graduated long ago, you can rest assured that Marlene will take care of you.
- Drew Lockliear • Associate Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Austin • Verified via LinkedIn
var TLDR = ‘Hack Reactor > App Academy && Austin > San Francisco’;
My journey to becoming a Software Engineer began almost a year ago. It started with choosing which program to attend... that can be overwhelming. After a lot of research; I literally read every review I could find on App Academy and Hack Reactor. I decided to attend App Academy’s bootcamp prep course in San Francisco. The prep course wasn’t terrible, but I definitely don’t think it’s worth $3K I paid for it.
App Academy does offer a deferred payment option where you only pay for your tuition after you graduate and get a job. That seems pretty cool initially. Then I found out that if you fail two of their assessments you get kicked out of the program forever. For me that meant I would have to start all over at a different bootcamp (don’t quote me on this, but I heard anything under 90% on a test is a failing score). I just didn’t like that methodology.
After completing App Academy's bootcamp prep program I went to an info session for Hack Reactor in SF. I immediately felt like it was a better environment. I also liked the fact that the program was split into two phases with a technical assessment taken at the end of the first phase. If you don’t pass then you just repeat the first phase again. I decided to sign up for HR’s bootcamp prep course which is called SSP. It was a MUCH better experience for me overall and it’s only $250! It’s 100% remote, but that was actually one of the best things about it. You learn how to teach yourself and when you get stuck there’s always an instructor available to get on zoom with you and walk through your cod. After completing SSP I scheduled a technical interview and was accepted, but only to the extended program. I scheduled a retake for next week and was accepted into the HRATX40 cohort.
The great thing about Hack Reactor is that they are a part of https://cirr.org (App Academy is not as transparent about their data). CIRR is a non profit organization which provides a standardized system for measuring and reporting student outcomes for multiple bootcamps. I was surprised to find out that SF grads didn’t get jobs that fast. SF is the center of the world for tech, but this also makes it EXTREMELY competitive. This data played a significant role in my decision to attend the Austin campus. Fortunately for me I had a friend in Austin who decided to go through the program with me. So in February I packed up my bags and moved to Austin and start the program.
Hack Reactor is an intense program. Expect to spend at least seventy hours a week there. That being said I genuinely enjoyed being their every day. I can’t possibly descibe to you in words how incredible the staff at the Austin campus are. They go above and beyond to empower you to succeed. I can’t say enough great things about Linden, Zubair, Justin, and Nick.
Now let's talk numbers. There are twelve of us in my cohort. Three of them accepted Software Engineering Immersive Resident positions at HR before they finished the program. It’s been a little over a month since we graduated and only one person hasn’t received an offer yet. Offers for full time positions have ranged from $70k to $120k with the average being somewhere around $80k. That goes a long way living in Austin though. I’m currently writing this upon completing my first week as an Associate Software Engineer at a well funded startup in ATX. This program changed my life and it will change yours too.
- The Best Choice I Ever Made- 6/26/2019Jonathan B • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Austin • Verified via GitHub
Hack Reactor will change your life! I can't recommend this program enough, every single member of the staff is an amazing person that I'd be more than happy to maintain a connection with.
BE WARNED: This course is intense! You're going to be going about 70 hours a week for nearly 3 months straight. You'll probably constantly feel like you're behind, but making it all the way through is amazing! I'll never look back to my old life, attending Hack Reactor was the best decision I ever made.
- Brock • Front End Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedIn
TL;DR: Hack Reactor deserves its reputation as the best software engineering program on the market.
I'll talk briefly about three aspects of my experience: instructors/staff, curriculum, and career support.
From the paid prep course I took, all the way through the career support post-graduation, my instructors and coaches were absolutely top-notch. In any interaction with Robin (tech mentor), his respect for the students' investment is deeply evident: He is always extremely prepared. His skills and his ability to articulate them are razor sharp, and always current. And his teaching approach displays a keen instinct--he knows what you have within you, and he won't let you get away with anything less. He also won't let you drown. Annah (lead counselor) similarly does an excellent job balancing encouragement with accountability. She is meticulous about tracking your progress and your setbacks and being proactive to resolve them with you. Very early in the program, she makes it clear that you don't need to worry about your progress; she's taking care of that, and will keep you abreast of any pitfalls to watch for--you can save your mental energy for wrestling the immensely challenging material. Together, they make a stellar pair, and I cannot recommend them highly enough.
As for the curriculum: it is indeed immensely challenging. You will ride an emotional roller coaster, in whose plunging valleys you'll question your life choices, and on whose soaring peaks you will bask in the exhilaration of rapid, explosive personal growth. Hack Reactor is as much a bootcamp in time management, morale management, self-care, asking for help, and sheer grit as it is a bootcamp in software engineering. Over and over through those 12 weeks, you will look backward in abject shock at the heights to which you've grown in 2 weeks, then a month, then 6 weeks, then 12. What felt infuriatingly arcane and out-of-reach only days ago is suddenly crystal clear. Suddenly, you can make a full-stack app from scratch. Suddenly, new technologies aren't the least bit intimidating; you're totally assured of your own ability to learn them, quickly. And on the subject of the difficulty, I should mention: it's a level playing field. Everyone in my cohort came from diverse backgrounds, including computer science, music, mathematics, theater, law, painting, and medicine. Though our individual strengths and weaknesses matched up differently with different parts of the material, every last one of us had to struggle and wrestle and fight our way through--a shared experience which forged deep bonds amongst all of us.
Finally, career support. Put simply, it's outstanding. My career counselor was truly passionate about her job, and so, so good at it. Like a true coach, she pushed me to overcome the (sometimes excruciating) social anxiety of negotiation, she helped me reframe my perspective about self-marketing, she knew where to offer a pep talk and where to call me out on BS. The offer she helped me secure is honestly beyond my wildest dreams. I could not be more thankful for both the technical excellence Hack Reactor gave me, and the coaching she gave me to leverage that excellence in the real world.
I hope my glowing review doesn't read as improbable--Hack Reactor is not perfect. I ran into frustrations with curriculum organization, as well as some of the staff, including some frustrations which were non-trivial. However, my feedback was openly requested and graciously accepted, and I've seen the staff prove that meaningful changes are made to the program based upon student feedback. That's as much as you could ask of any program--especially one which prides itself on being ever-growing, ever-iterating, ever-improving.
If you're considering a career change into software engineering, Hack Reactor is the best investment you can make in yourself. Their outcomes stats paint a clear picture of excellence, and I'm ecstatic to be a new brushstroke of that picture. If you have questions about any part of the experience--prep, price, difficulty, job hunt experience, etc--I'd love to talk! Send me a message.
- You Get What You Give- 5/26/2019Nathan Vang • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedIn
Let me state this ahead of time, if you are not capable of giving Hack Reactor 100% then do yourself a favor and save your money. Otherwise, if you are willing to devote 13 weeks to the program without any distractions and possibly another 6 months for the job search, then feel free to read about my experience with the Remote program at Hack Reactor.
Hack Reactor does its best job to express that the program itself is not for an absolute greenhorn. They will be expecting you to be at 20% once the program begins. They will then assist you from 20% to 90%.
THEY WILL NOT HOLD YOUR HAND.
They will lead you and assist you when you need help, but they will never just hand you the answer. They will make sure you've exhausted all of your resources before pointing you in the right direction. This is for your best interest, as it teaches you how to learn at an advanced pace and to appreciate the field.
YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF WHAT YOU GET OUT OF THIS PROGRAM.
From the moment you begin to the end of your job hunt, you have to be 100% dedicated. There are people who can complete the program by just doing the bare minimum, but that is not doing the program or you any justice. You have to be willing to isolate yourself from the world to focus solely on the program. Ask questions, read articles, explore related topics, break things, and find the multiple ways to fix what you broke. Jump into the many rabbit holes that they may present to you, and especially the ones that you find yourself. By the end of it you will be thanking yourself for fully committing to the program.
Again, I can't express how important it is for you to give it 100%. If you can make that promise then I highly recommend Hack Reactor, specifically the Remote program. You get a similar experience as those on campus, but with an added opportunity of working with people from all over the world, and not just those from the U.S. The program itself is grueling, but I can promise you that in the end it will all be worth it as long as you give it you all. You owe it to yourself to not skip out on any of the many tools Hack Reactor offers you.
- Nicolas Turner • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedIn
I did Hack Reactor Remote from July-October, 2018. This was by far the most intensive training program I have ever been through and this is coming from a guy who worked on 2 master's degrees simultaneously in grad school (seriously don't do 2 degrees at once). After graduating from Hack Reactor I spent 5 months job searching before landing multiple offers and ultimately accepting a role with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in their Technical Apprentice program. Without a doubt Hack Reactor accelerated my programming skills, but more importantly it required me to build things as a team or during pair programming. This may come as a surprise to some, but software engineering is all about team work. The image of a lone wolf programmer hacking away in a dimly lit cave surrounded by empty cans of monster energy is just a myth. Real-world software requires you to work well with others, communicate, resolve conflicts, and learn how to use version control effectively (hint: learn how to use git).
Life at Hack Reactor
The actual program is intense and you will absolutely need to put everything else in your life on hold. The schedule is 6 days a week and many of us would also spend Sunday reviewing material in preparation for the next week. The day officially ends at 8pm, but I would usually continue working til about 10pm or 11pm on average. This program is not like sitting through a semester in college, you will be required to eat, breathe, and dream about code. I won't sugar coat things, I felt burned out about halfway through the program (in hindsight I should have forced myself to take Sundays off), but thanks to the incredible staff they really lifted my spirits and encouraged me to keep pushing forward. I'm incredibly grateful for their moral support during the program. The good news is, while it's a lot of work, it's also incredibly fun and you'll hopefully make some great friends along the way. My cohort still meets up once a month informally and we regularly chat with each other over slack along with thousands of other alumni. It's a very strong alumni network to be a part of and it's very common for alumni to refer others at their company.
I won't sugar coat this part either, the job search is incredibly hard. Everyone, and I mean everyone experiences rejection along the way. You will get discouraged after sending out application after application only to get an automated rejection or to never hear anything at all. Don't get me wrong, there is extremely high demand for software engineers, the problem is most companies want experienced developers with a few years under their belt. Hack Reactor provides you with a career coach during your job search. I personally think the career coach brings 50% of the total value to the program. Her advice and help with negotiations was incredibly important. You also form job search groups with your peers so that you can study together and share advice/experiences with coding interviews.
I have three things that you should do prior to Hack Reactor.
1) Get your finances in order. You will need to expect to be jobless for at least 6 - 9 months (I'm counting the 3 months of training here). While some of my peers landed jobs immediately, the bulk of us took around 4 - 5 months to land jobs, and some took even longer than that. The more time you have for the job search the better otherwise you may have to take a position less desirable or worse- drop out of the job search all together. Don't do this to yourself, you worked too hard to get to this point, so make sure you have the savings/loans to get you through 6 - 9 months of unemployment. The interview process at tech companies (especially big ones like Google/Amazon) are slow and have multiple stages (recruiter screens, technical phone screens, on-sites, leadership interviews etc.).
2) Study hard prior to starting Hack Reactor. I would recommend going through the Free Code Camp curriculum (https://www.freecodecamp.org/) and doing practice problems on Code Wars and maybe LeetCode. Because Hack Reactor covers a lot of ground in such a short time period, I find that I grasp the material much better the second time that I am exposed to it. In short, build yourself a solid programming foundation before you start the program and you will fare much better. It also probably wouldn't hurt to start learning about common Data Structures, Algorithms, and Big O notation (important stuff for coding interviews later on).
3) Relocate to a tech hub. I moved from Hawaii to Seattle and I firmly believe that if I had stayed in Hawaii I would not have successfully broken into the tech industry. Tech jobs are concentrated around key cities such as Seattle, Bay Area (SF + Palo Alto), L.A., Austin, New York, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, and Denver. If you do not currently live near a tech hub, I would highly recommend that you consider moving to one either before or after you go through Hack Reactor.
Hack Reactor is absolutely worth it. As someone who decided to do both a CS degree and Hack Reactor they both have their merits, but in terms of learning practical programming skills that you will be able to apply immediately, Hack Reactor wins hands down. To use a workout analogy, think of a coding bootcamp as akin to doing intense HIIT training. You spend less time doing it, but due to the intensity of the program you accelerate your learning rate. Or here's another one, say you wanted to learn a foreign language, what is more statistically successful- taking a Spanish class 3 days a week at your local university for an hour or saying to hell with it and moving to Spain for 3 months and speaking only Spanish? The immersion option is always much more optimal for the amount of time invested.
- Sarah Silva • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedIn
The TLDR version is that I attended Hack Reactor Remote (July - Oct 2018), and 5 months after graduating I started my new job as a Google Software Engineer. I highly recommend Hack Reactor.
HACK REACTOR: This program is not for the weak, but it works! I studied 9am-10pm 6 days a week for 3 months. The staff is really knowledgeable and compassionate. I fully expected the intense program to feel torturous, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually quite fun and pleasant. Although it was incredibly challenging and some days I felt discouraged, overall I really enjoyed the program and the people. I learned so much through lectures, Q&A sessions, videos, pair programming, team projects, reading documentation, and just googling stuff. The second half is less structured than the first and more like a real world work experience. After 3 months, I could build full stack web applications, I had learned how to teach myself new technologies, I learned how to debug and find answers, I had a pretty good understanding of data structures and algorithms, I knew a bit about system design, and I had gotten some practice for technical interviews under my belt.
REMOTE: I live in the Bay Area, but I decided to do the remote program rather than commute to San Francisco every day. I loved it! I studied from the comfort of my own home but got to collaborate with my cohort around the world through video calls and other tools. We got to know one another and work together in many of the same ways that you would in a physical classroom. During the last week several of us met up IRL in San Francisco.
JOB SEARCH: My career coach was amazing! Hack Reactor helped me with my resume, behavioral interview questions, technical interviews, and even negotiation. It was nice to have a career coach (as well as my cohort mates and other alumni) to ask questions and get encouragement even after graduating. The job search is hard and frustrating because you get rejected, and some companies aren’t even willing to give you a technical challenge because you don’t have X years of experience. I continued studying after graduation in order to do better in interviews. I mostly studied data structures and algorithms and practice interview problems. In the end I got a job and pay better than I could have imagined.
Hack Reactor changed my life, and I’m really enjoying my new career.
- Happy to Be A Resource- 5/6/2019Hayden Betts • Student • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via LinkedIn
Hack Reactor LA was a really worthwhile investment me for me. I thought the curiculum and environment were excellent. That said, it is a huge investment, and like with any major expenditure, you should do lots of your own due dilligence about the pros, cons, and alternatives before making a decision.
In the run-up to attending, I used LinkedIn to reach out to people who had been through the program. These one-on-one conversations were by far the most informative part of my research. I'm happy to be a resource for you! Just reach out on LinkedIn :). I can also put you in touch with others I know from HRLA so you can hear a wider range of experiences.
- Graduate- 5/1/2019Devin James Elder • Full stack engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
- Danny Lu • Junior Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via LinkedIn
BEFORE YOU READ: If you are not a diligent, self-motivated person, or if you think you can just easily get 100k+ salary right after you finish the bootcamp, then don’t even bother go to ANY bootcamps. But if you think you have the determination to take the challenges, read my SUPER HONEST review below. If you do read, please read it all. I know it’s long but they are useful information
Q1: Can I get a job after the bootcamp? Will I waste all my money and time going to bootcamp? This is the most frequently asked question and I will answer this first.
A: I graduated from Hack Reactor (Los Angeles) in September 2018 and landed a job in Downtown L.A on November 2018. There are people saying L.A has few openings for new developers. Yes, that is true but there are still tons of opportunities, you just don’t touch the opportunities that easily. And that also means you have less competition.
If the way you are looking for jobs is just sending resume on Indeed, you will have a super HARD time looking for a job. You need to connect with people! Go on linkedin, connect developers and recruiter, keep sending greetings (Hack Reactor will teach you all the career stuff in the last week entire week), go to meetups, go to tech events.
Another thing is don’t always look for Junior Devs, start as an Intern (even unpaid), put your self-ego down a little bit even you finish one of the best bootcamps in the country. I am pretty sure an intern’s skill level in a tech company can easily beat the top students in your cohort. Many companies are looking for Interns to do the easy but annoying tasks! I can 100% ensure you will learn a lot more doing those ‘easy but annoying tasks’ than learning from Udemy at your place!
Q2: How is Hack Reactor? Is the material good? Is it a good bootcamp?
The 2nd half the course is project-base, one frontend and one backend. You will learn database optimization, AWS, Docker, Load Balancer, Agile Methodology, etc. THIS IS THE TIME YOU NEED TO WORK EXTRA HARD! Remember to take notes and get through as many possible tasks as you can! EMPLOYERS LOVE TO HEAR YOUR WAR STORIES IN THE PROJECTS! NOT JUST YOU LEARNED HOW TO BUILD A FULL STACK APP!
Q3: I heard some people say there is not much supervising, especially during the project phase, is that a bad sign?
A: NOT AT ALL! Tech Mentors will check all your work and there will be exams. Additionally, in your real developer job, YOU ARE MOSTLY ON YOUR OWN! Your supervisor will just give you a task and not much information to guide you through. Even you may work on group projects, NO ONE WILL WORK ON THE SAME TASK! People will work on different pieces and merge them together. Many real developers spend almost 50% of their time researching. Hack Reactor will train you to do that by only giving few instructions.
When I was in the boot camp, I was desperate for help and kinda think Hack Reactor is doing a bad job teaching without telling me the answer. However, when I got into the industry, I finally understand why they do this -- to train you to be independent, figuring out stuff on your own. I can also 100% ensure if you always ask for help after you get a job, you will be fired because people will see you as not independent.
SOME OTHER INFO ABOUT HACK REACTOR
They are always changing their course material to suit the most updated technology. They do a townhall every week to gather comments / criticism / advice from all students and they will try their best to change the operation based on people’s opinion.
Overall, I will 100% recommend Hack Reactor if you really prepare to work hard. If you can work super hard in Hack Reactor and reaching out to people in the industry after graduation, I am sure you can get your foot in the developer industry!
- Justin Bui • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via LinkedIn
Before attending Hack Reactor, I had anxiety and imposter syndrome. I wasn't sure if I was able to succeed in computer science. However, after the first day of the program I was immediately supported by the HR faculty and my cohort mates. Every Hacker in Residence (HiR) who had gone through the program before had a similar story and experience to what we were going through and assisted us with understanding and kindness. The instructors were always encouraging and extremely knowledgable. By the end of the program, many of my peers had become some of my best friends.
The second half of the course consisted of two projects where we were split into groups of 3-5. During this time, we gradually increased the amount of interview practice along with learning some industry practices and technologies. Some valuable technologies/concepts they had taught us were that of Docker containerization, system design, AWS tools, and Agile Methodologies. This portion of the course was essentially a ramp up to let us out into the real world. Autonomy and time management was a key portion because of the freedom gained in the second half of the course, so self discipline and motivation is definitely key. If you did not have the motivation and self discipline to apply yourself in this part of the course, you were more likely to not absorb the material. Since it is largely self-motivated, several people who were not as focused struggled in this aspect.
The last week of the course consisted of job coaching from resume/cover letter writing to behavioral interview practice and even as far as negotiating a job offer. This instilled an extremely high level of confidence in my job search process and helped me interview.
I would also like to state that not all of the technologies and format may be correct if you were to attend now. Hack Reactor rapidly iterates their curriculum to keep up with the changing demand of skills in the web development field. One such change is the implementation of Docker. When we had an alumni panel, one of the alumni had stated that Docker was not incorporated into the curriculum when he attended the program a year before I had attended. With this, you can confidently be reassured that Hack Reactor are constantly on the lookout to make you the most desirable software engineer possible.
Why did I remove a star? Unfortunately, not many of my cohort mates were as lucky as me - someone else mentioned it already, but Los Angeles is not a great market for junior devs. If you are considering HR, I highly recommend you expand your job search to be outside of LA. I found a job because I moved to Seattle which had more junior dev openings than LA. Another cohort mate was able to find one in Boston.
The 2nd half of the program, since it was largely self driven, felt like we were all headless chickens trying to program. I sincerely wish they could have taught us more in the time since a lot of time was wasted. Upper management for the LA HR group was also lackluster and felt disconnected from the group as a result.
Overall, I would highly recommend Hack Reactor as a coding bootcamp. I gained so much confidence in myself both technically and socially because of this software engineering immersive, and have even obtained a job as a software engineer within the average time expected of a Hack Reactor grad (3 months).
WHO IS HR FOR?
Attend HR if you are able to be self-driven, motivated, and have a strong work ethic and passion for coding. I do not recommend this course if you are coming in half-assed and are expecting a fat paycheck to be handed to you at the end of the course. Many of my cohort mates and I have had to slave away for months applying, interviewing, and coding to be successful. Although HR does try its best to help you get a job, at the end of the day, that will be up to you on how much you want to apply yourself and how much you're willing to sacrifice sleep to succeed. There is only so much HR can do for you. They can teach you the skills, but the rest is up to you.
- Good education but dont believe the hype- 1/24/2019Alexander Berman • n/a • Student • Course: Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
I attended Hack Reactor Los Angeles in summer of 18 and I had a very mixed and eye-opening experience. First off, id like to say that the educational portion of the corriculum is only done in the first half of the program. I dropped out after the first half, receieved half my money back (almost 9k), and finished the second half at home. I even managed to finish it faster than if I had stayed in the program thanks to most of the material being availabe on websites like Udemy for $10 (my cohort-mates filled me in on every topic I needed to cover to finish my front-end and back-end capstones).
Many of my ex-cohort mates complained that the majority of their time was wasted in the second half, and because it was mostly unsupervised, some even played LAN video games all day instead of coding because they were "stuck" and were just waiting for the smartest kids in the cohort to figure it out for everyone else (which is usually what happened).
What I believe is most important to say, is that the numbers they adverties are completely false. It is not as exclusive as you might think, and the number of students who get jobs afterwards is far fewer than they say. During my time there, the head of oporations told us that 25%, not 3% of applicants are accepted, demeaning the exclusivity of the entire experience. Next, Id like to say that at the time that I had been accepted (around early May 2018), Hack Reactor LA official stats stated that 53% of graduates got jobs in the first 3 months, and that number went up to the mid-70's at 6 months. It has been 5 months since my cohort (LA23, about 17 ppl) graduated (not including me obv) and only 2 have secured jobs so far. The cohort after me (LA24, about 19 ppl) graduated in Oct 2018 and as of writing this, only about 4 people have found jobs. I actually met a graduate from LA20 at a job interview in October and he still hadnt found a job yet, meaning he had been looking for somewhere around a year.
This is mostly due to what appears to be a severe lack in junior level and mid-level jobs in the LA area, but it also proves that now-a-days, going to an expensive coding bootcamp will not increase your chances of getting a job. They do well to tell you that when you sign up -- "dont think you're guatenteed a job", and in fact, sometimes they tell you not to even mention that you ever attended a coding bootcamp. Employers are weary of bootcampers now, and with another 20 engineers being pumped out every 3 months, the market for fresh engineers seems to be pretty much at capacity in LA. It seems to be more about who you already know that what your skillset is. Most of the smartest kids still dont have jobs.
I will say that, if you have the money to spend, that attending Hack Reactor will be the fastest way to get a broad range of skills and a general understanding of how to work with a basic MEAN/MERN stack. Before I attended Hack Reactor, my main problem was simply managing to code through projects autonomaously. meaning, If i ran into a big enough problem, I had no idea where to turn to solve it. After hack reactor, I can say that I was mostly autonomous and could finally start to figure out tough issues by myself. Hack Reactor gave me confidence, but unfortunately, it seems like the resume is what counts in this game. No job experience means no job. For this reason, many people in the cohorts I was familiar with are now turning to searching for unpaid internships...