Recent HackDojo Reviews: Rating 1.17
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I also was told HackDojo was formerly known as School of Devs, but they went through a lot of issues, including inability to pay rent for office space, students dropping out before the bootcamp was over, etc. so it might not be the best source to trust. However, for comparison, I have gotten offers for candidates coming out of alternate bootcamps, the three I would recommend (as of now) based on the candidates I have represented have been Hack Reactor (in SF), General Assembly (LA), and Sabio.la. If you are looking to invest money and are serious about a career in programming, I recommend choosing one of the three schools I listed above.
I would give this bootcamp negative stars on everything if this site allowed it.
After reading these reviews, I just want to say that it's all TRUE. I was in the same cohort as these fine people here so I won't repeat most of what they said since our experiences are pretty much the same. If you want to get a more accurate idea of what goes on at this school, just imagine you're at a meetup all day long (9-5) with a group of people who are mostly new to coding, and an industry newbie with zero teaching experience attempting to explain to you blocks of code that were written by teams of veteran programmers. The only difference is that you are paying thousands of dollars for this "bootcamp".
As the previous reviewer stated, make sure to get everything in writing. ANYTHING they present/promise, make sure to get a copy of it. Make sure there is a CLEAR refund/drop policy that you are comfortable with. If they don't present a CONCISE contract to you by the first day of class, DEMAND YOUR MONEY BACK. They say that no programming experience is necessary. That is true if you want to be completely lost and frustrated at all times. If school of devs present the instructors/mentors on their powerpoint during the info sessions, make sure to google them to the max. Demand for their contact info. Our instructor, Adam, turns out was arrested and has a record. They got rid of all the good teachers but saved the criminal. Ironic since the school was at a church.
I'm also from the same cohort as the other two reviewers.
To say that I was disappointed with this program is an understatement. I tend to look at things from a "whats the worst case scenario? Well, whatever happens has to be better thant THAT" perspective. Unfortunately, this was one of the few times where the reality was actually worse than my worst case scenario.
Initially it was supposed to be at an office space in a business park in Irvine. We were to have 24/7 access to the facility. 5 days before the start of the cohort, and weeks after we all paid for the class, we find out that they're chaning venues. Now, it's at a church in Newport Beach. We no longer had 24/7 access as promised. In fact, due to the habitual lateness of the staff, we have had to wait past the 9:30AM start time, locked out of the facility. We were never given keys to be able to access the facility when we wanted to. It was uncomfortable for me to have the reverand of the church walk by with other church affliated people to seemingly watch and discuss our class.
I paid to be taught to be a developer, and I paid for it to happen at a professional setting. Now I'm being "taught (if you could call it that...)" in a church and apparently we are not part of their PR. I was extremely uncomforable when they mentioned "We can't wait to see what you'll do for us", making me wonder what the deal was that led to the school being at the church.
The bigger issue though is that there was no communication prior to the change that there would even BE a change. There was one student who moved to Irvine from LA with the explicit purpose and understanding that the school would be in Irivine. It was absolutely disrespectful to him and others to not even mention, less than month before it happened, that they were thinking of moving venues.
At the info session, we were promised two full time instructors and a number of TA's. In truth, we had 1 full time instructor and 1 TA for first 3 weeks.
We were also promised no more than 1 to 8 teacher-student ratio from the director of the program, Ounie. In the end, if you factor in the TA it fluctuated between 1 to 13 or 1 to 26.
Our teacher, Adam, is unfortunately not cut out for teaching. He's habitually late, he doesn't seem to have any lesson plans or materials, drinks during 2 hour lunches leaving people waiting for him to get back. The drinking can be forgiven if he was able to teach effectively but either due to a lack of time to prepare, laziness or a lack of supervision on the curriculum from the director, he was unable to present ideas in a coherent manner or any course materials. He would go on tangents referencing topics that are far above what most of us had any idea about, using terminology we had never heard before without explaining it, and expecting us to follow and understand. We had students who had previous experience at front end development telling us they couldn't understand what he was saying.
Ounie told us this program was for beginners, but someone failed to tell Adam that.
Most damning is how little we coded. It was mostly looking at big, giant blocks of code and having it explained so quickly we couldn't keep up. And then we'd move to the next one, the next one, and then hey, you have a 2 days to complete this project creating a POS system with user authentication and a shopping cart when the most you've coded up to that point was var = animal and then giving that animal a name, feet and color!
During this period our TA Sylvester was a godsend. He knew how to break things down into their component parts, explain it, and then build on it. If it wasn't for him about 10 of the original 26 would have never learned to code before dropping out. Unfortunately, he was unable to come after week 3. We had heard there was disagreement over his teaching style, that he was focusing too much on the basics (which most students didn't have because we hadn't been properly taught up to that point), but I never had confirmation from anyone.
Adam resumed teaching. The first two days were spent trying to get yeoman working on our computers. Yeoman is a framework that takes maybe 5 minutes at the very latest to set up if you know what you are doing. It took Adam 7 hours to get it working on everyone's computer...
At this point, the remaining students decided they would be better off teaching themselves. They moved to another room and students would research and present topics individually. Students, who had paid for full time programming instruction, were now left to fend for themselves and teach each other. And the sad part is, this was far more effective than what they were "taught" by our actual main instructor.
School of Devs is bad program. If this was the first failed cohort, it would be somewhat forgiveable. It's not. It's the 3rd, out of 4, that failed. Only the first cohort was a success and that was due to the presence of a dedicated teaching staff. Since then, School of Devs has changed instructors and location every cohort. Instead of learning from their mistake, they seem to keep repeating it over and over, taking tens of thousands of dollars from hopeful students in the process. Last I heard, Ounie was making his brother the new director of the school. This might be a sign he's trying to improve it, recognizing he hasn't been able to run a school. Or maybe he's trying to distance himself from it and rebrand so reviews won't follow it.
Either way, use EXTREME caution with this course. They will promise you the world at the info session. They'll say they have a dedicated staff to teach you. That you'll have mentors available to advise and help you. That any beginner would be able to keep up with their program.
These were all false.
ANYTHING that School of Devs promises you, get in writing on the spot before any money changes hand. They don't like to leave records so they'll verbally promise you things and then not follow through. If they say "Oh I'll send it to you later", you need to say "No, I want in writing now." Especially in regards to any money changing hands, follow through on this. They'll promise to send you a contract later. They wont.
This was a consistent problem for us. We didn't even get a freaking contract to look at. We never got a syllabus. And they change their website quite frequently to reflect what's happening so take screenshots and timestamp it.
If you must go to School of Devs, make sure you are protected with EVERY promise in writing, with a clear refund policy of when you can get one (say, such as when they don't have teachers, mentors, location access, etc that they promised as happened to us).
But I will say this. I paid for industry professionals to teach me. I got a 23 year old contractor who has never worked in a full time capacity. I paid for instruction from 9:30 - 5:30, 5 days a week. Classes would often start between 10:00 and 10:30, instructor would be gone 2 hour plus lunches and we'd left waiting for someone to finally return. We were promised mentors after 6PM to help us. Instead, our "mentors" only came about 3 times total, and most had no idea they were mentors. One guy in particular was listed as a mentor on the info session slides, and he was surprised since no one told him about it.
Basically, every promise that we had paid for was broken by this school.
It's better to be safe and just not go here. There are better options even in Orange County.
I am also from the same cohort as Coder 123, and everything that was written in the previous post was all true. I don't know how you could take someone's money, tell people they're going to receive all these promises, and fulfill none of it. Even after the 3rd week after we talked to him, the director did not fulfill what he promised to give us by the deadline we gave him. He gave an excuse that he got sick. One of the things we asked for were curtains. I honestly don't think he took it seriously, because how hard could it be to get curtains? He did not even talk to the instructors on the situation. We had to wait around for another week of doing nothing, and having the lead instructor attempt to teach subjects that no one could understand.
If you're looking into a coding bootcamp, I would make sure to steer clear from this one for a while. I tried to give the director the benefit of the doubt numerous amounts of time, but he never lived up to what he promised. It also works out for him, because he only gave us verbal false promises, which makes it hard to file any formal disputes over. Make sure you get documentation if he addresses anything.
I know at least 5 students filing for chargeback with their credit card companies. The class was extremely disorganized with a bad teacher who couldn’t prepare a lesson plan before class or make it on time to class and then later on an industry professional teacher who left after not being paid on time by the director. The director knew how unorganizezd the class was and then on the 8th or 9th week in, he finally said we didn’t have to pay the 15% of our first year’s salary anymore…it was that bad.
Unless the school could produce a syllabus with resources and lesson plans on it as well as a teacher who is a responsible enough to prepare exercises and daily lesson plans, DON’T GO.
I’m from the 4th cohort of School of Devs. I heard the first one went well as instructors had a lot of experience and came from General Assembly. I heard that the second cohort ended weeks before it should have and the third lasted maybe 2 weeks but since everyone was preoccupied with the holidays in winter, it didn’t last. So now onto my cohort.
We started in Jan, and I would say we started off with about 26 people perhaps on a payment of plan of either paying $12,500 or another option that most people took of paying $2,500 + 15% of your first year’s salary.
The first week, I found our class wasting at least 6 hours throughout the first few days installing programs (Sublime, WebStorm, SourceTree, HipChat). Although the teacher could have just told us what to download beforehand, he couldn’t even prepare a day in advance. There seemed like no preparation for our class and no syllabus was ever provided despite multiple students asking for it multiple times. The teacher kept telling us to ask the director for it.
Our teacher, Adam, would come to class consistently late with an excuse that he doesn’t have a car so has to wait for a ride, who was another student and his friend in the class. Not only that, he would come back from lunches late as well, sometimes drinking beer during lunch. It wasn’t fair to the students who PAID for the class and came on time.
Also, when he would troubleshoot a person’s computer issue or code, I’ve seen him spend up to 2 hours on it, and forget about the rest of the class with nothing assigned to do, in essence wasting everyone else’s time instead of sticking to a schedule and moving forward.
When we would ask questions, he had a tendency to answer a different question, and told us to go online and look for the answers for ourselves and ask our classmates before asking him, which defeats the purpose of paying for the class in my opinion. When we asked him for examples, he rarely had any prepared and he would respond with, “it depends on what you’re doing and you have to know what you’re doing first,” leaving most of us confused still. When he would lecture, he would quickly go over concepts and use a lot of terminology that he never taught us and rarely did he have us code along. I think we all finally gave up listening to him and instead would ask the teaching assistant for a lot of help to learn or look up online tutorials because they were more understandable than he was. I don’t think he realized that the school was for beginners.
Excellent Teaching Assistant
The third week in, the students met with the director, Ounie, as a group and individually to voice their concerns about how unhappy we were with the lack of teaching by the teacher and how unprepared and disorganized the class was. Most days were not planned and it seemed like the teacher was just going in and “winging it.”
Discounts and Chargebacks
I think Ounie knew how royally he f***** up so he said that we no longer had to pay the 15% of first year’s salary. Then back to Adam teaching us or just helping us as we work on “projects” or do whatever we want (still no lesson plan), and Ounie coming in a few days a week to lecture. I know at least 5 students filing for a chargeback on their credit card.
A lot of the class consisted of motivated students looking for resources online, asking each other, and then eventually even getting together to present topics they know or have researched for each other (Yeoman template, SEO, Wordpress, etc.). Although I have learned a lot, I definitely could have learned more, and this was really disappointing how little effort and organization was put into this class, especially since it’s a paid class that people left their jobs for to devote to full-time for 12 weeks.