Makers Academy

Bristol, Cambridge, London, Manchester

Makers Academy

Avg Rating:4.8 ( 277 reviews )

Makers Academy is a highly selective 4-month, full-time program (preceded by a four-week pre-course) which teaches web development in London, England. Makers Academy is creating a new generation of tech talent who are skilled and ready for the changing world of work. The academy is inspired by the idea of discovering and unlocking potential in people for the benefit of the 21st-century business and society. At the core, Makers combines tech education with employment possibilities that transform lives. The academy accepts only exceptional applicants into the course. And while they are highly selective, they focus on a student's passion for becoming a developer by gauging their coding experience. 

The course has been designed by a team of inspirational software engineers with strong backgrounds in educational psychology, enabling students to master any technology in today's marketplace. As big believers in self-directed learning, students will finish the course as a confident and independent software engineer ready to hit the ground running. There's a focus on life-long learning skills, while the course includes technical tests, working on open-source code or even working with the Makers engineering team on live, real-world, production code.

With one of the UK’s largest careers team dedicated to finding students a job after the end of the course, Makers Academy will introduce students to over 250 of London’s top technology companies looking to hire, including but not limited to: Deliveroo, British Gas, Starling Bank, Financial Times, Compare The, and Tesco.

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  • Web Development

    Ruby, Rails, CSS, JavaScript, HTML, Front End, Git, jQuery, Node.js, Sinatra, AngularJS, SQL, React.js
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week11 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Class size24
    The course is designed for everyone, whether a complete novice, a computer science graduate wanting practical experience, or an entrepreneur sick of looking for a technical co-founder. Students learn an incredible amount, including: Ruby on Rails; HTML5 and CSS3; Agile and Lean Development; JavaScript, jQuery and NodeJS; along with Git and Heroku, and software design best practices. Students learn through first hand experience, community-driven classrooms, pairing, and project-based work.
    Lending partners include PCDL (UK Govt) and EdAid
    Tuition PlansAvailable through 3rd parties
    Scholarship£500 scholarship to any woman attending the course.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelWe expect people to generally understand what coding is about and have some exposure to trialling simple coding challenges.
    Prep WorkTo prepare for the pairing session with one of our developers, we would ask people to complete some coding exercises at home and then come in for a pairing session.
    Placement TestYes
  • Josh Glasson • Software Developer • Graduate
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    The Makers Academy bootcamp was amazing. I started with absolutely no coding experience, but in just 12 weeks I am comfortable writing programs in various languages. Makers Academy had a very clear structured course, and offered lots of additional reading and practice outside of their course. The coaches were very supportive and always happy to help with any problems we were having. The environment at Makers was great too, it was very relaxed and strongly encouraged self-learning to enable us to continue learning after we finished the bootcamp and moved into a work environment. I would definitely recommend Makers Academy as a place to learn how to code to anyone looking to make the move into software development.

  • João • Developer • Graduate
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    My background
    Before Makers I had no coding / STEM background. I studied Fine Art at university and before that my A-levels were Philosophy, PE and Art. 

    I started coding on my own for a few months - Codecademy, Odin Project etc. - to see if I could do it and if I enjoyed it. I found that I loved it (and was not terrible at it) so started looking for a course. I chose Makers on the basis of people I knew doing the course and enjoying it, Makers' teaching ethos and also their work on increasing diversity in tech. And maybe also the misc. good vibes that seemed to come with pretty much all the material that surrounds them. After doing most of the recommended prep materials and submitting my cover letter I was asked to come in for a pairing interview. After a brief chat on my background, why I was interesting in coding etc. we jumped into some pairing. I didn't have the answers to all the questions but I had a systematic approach to solving the problem, was ok with not knowing the answer to everything (which came in handy because there were quite a few things I didn't know!) and was able to communicate my thinking. At the end of this the interviewer told me that Makers would be happy to offer me a place.

    I'm writing this review a day after accepting a full stack role in a software consultancy that I'm really excited about.

    - Holistic approach to learning. 

    Makers understand the course is incredibly challenging and do what they can to encourage devs to look after their wellbeing. This comes in the form of onsite twice-a-week yoga and daily meditation (led by the absolutely amazing Dana - believe the hype) and workshops giving you a crash course in how you can best look after yourself. Oh and there's a table tennis table for keeping you moving during breaks from the screen. Am now a complete yoga and table tennis convert.

    - Incredible peers. 

    Makers selection process means that if you're on the course you'll likely be surrounded by a group of driven, diverse and collaborative peers. A lot of friendships are made here and if not that, at the very least you'll have a strong network you can lean on in the future for information and advice in your new profession.

    - You learn how to learn.
    With technology constantly in flux, the most important skill you can have for a lifelong career as a dev is not learning a particular technology but instead being able to pick up any new technology quickly. Makers is a baptism of fire for developing this process. It is quite painful but it is incredibly effective.

    - Industry best practices and skills.

    That being said, what you practice your learning-how-to-learn systems on are exactly what the industry is after. The Makers business models relies on them producing developers who get hired. They ensure this happens by asking their hiring partners what skills and outlooks they most value in junior developers. This feedback is then implemented as content for the course. Knowing this gives you confidence that what you're learning is desirable and valued by the industry.

    - The staff 
    An organisation is nothing without its people, and Makers people are seriously high grade. The cleaning, coaching, events, facilities, careers and marketing teams are full of people passionate about the Makers ethos and doing their best for everyone on the course. It's a genuine pleasure spending time with them, from small interactions in the hallways to longer heavier conversations, the people really shine. This isn't to say that it's the land of milk and honey, as with any organisation / educational system there are problems. The thing that makes Makers really stand out is that when these arise they are willing to put their hands up, acknowledge if they've dropped the ball and focus on resolving the issue through open dialogue. There were some tense meetings for my cohort and some of the Makers team and they did an outstanding job of addressing everyone's concerns while maintaining professional conduct. 
    - Confidence

    The focus on independent learning, the difficulty of the problems, the lack of time to solve them all make for a super intense learning environment. The upshot of getting through this is that you come out with stronger processes for learning new things and your growth mindset becomes more ingrained, you're less bothered by not knowing the answer immediately or coming across a project that you have no idea how to do - you just get stuck in with the processes and mindsets you learnt on the course and you can lean in hard on these to iteratively solve each problem one by one until the project's completed!

    - Can be all consuming

    You kind of have to put your life on hold for the duration of the Makers in order to get the most out of the course. Even with reducing a lot of external commitments it can still be difficult to balance the workload with what you need to stay healthy and happy (sleep, exercise, socialising, general downtime etc. ). Sometimes you do just have to have faith in the system, because everyone has their moments when things are looking pretty bleak!

  • Jules • Junior Full-Stack Developer • Graduate
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    I came to Makers with a non-technical background after teaching abroad for a couple of years, but otherwise having no graduate experience. I'd tried some online courses but only picked up basics, and didn't seem qualified for anything. I got a job offer in my fourth week after the course, with a company who had hired Makers grads before.

    Course Pros:
    - 1 month pre-course gets everyone familiar with basic tools like command line and git, as well as basic Ruby programming
    - Solo weekend projects consolidate and build on what was learned during the week
    - Intensive, you will learn a huge range of techs needed to make you full-stack in the first half of the course, and apply it in group projects in the second half
    - Largely self-directed learning and group projects so that you learn to rely on yourself and your teammates, not the coaches
    - Gives you all of the skills that the industry wants, like TDD, Agile, pair-programming, and the ability to learn new things quickly
    - Immersive extras like regular lunchtime talks from companies, and evening/weekend events e.g. Makers unconference
    - Ongoing post-course support and access to Makers
    - Careers team experienced and visible
    - They're always trying new things and ask for honest feedback about everything

    Broader Pros:
    - Generally transparent
    - Lots of companies want to hire more Makers grads
    - Some companies retrain employees through this course
    - A really positive atmosphere, and everyone is always happy to be there
    - A supportive community with lots of resources so you can find whatever you need
    - Focus on self-care and longevity so that you don't burn out (meditation after lunch, yoga, table tennis, game nights, cheese and wine, beer and pizza, Monday night climbing group)
    - Free bread, cereal, fruit, nuts as well as the usual tea, coffee, water coolers
    - Shower facilities, bike storage
    - Generally life-enhancing, you will learn how to learn, how to work in teams and pairs, how to push through tough situations

    - The course is always being updated, so it can be hard to get the information you need
    - Things like the portfolio and review process can be unclear; an infographic would be great
    - Full on due to the weekend projects on top of the full-time course
    - That table-tennis table is in high demand, as are the rooms it's stored in

    I recommend this course to anyone who wants to start/resume a career in tech, as you are so much more employable once you've graduated Makers.
    Be prepared to put in a lot of time, and to not be told all of the answers. It's hard, and it's up to you, but everything you need is there.

  • Game Changer
    - 5/24/2019
    Kate Morris • Software Developer • Graduate
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    I was a professional developer before having children but found returning to tech almost impossible. 
    Recruiters didn't know what to do with me and my skill set seemed to be out of date. 
    16 weeks at Makers taught me about all of the current practices and 2 languages I hadn't used before. 
    That is the vanilla answer but the broader experience was considerably more enriching. 
    During the 12 weeks on site, I learned many things.
    I learned more about self-teaching than either of my degrees, more about working in teams than I ever had working in teams and how important self-care is.
    By the end of the course, I felt confident re-entering the tech world and secured several offers within two weeks of completion.

  • Jethro • Graduate
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    The Makers environment is one in which you are expected to be in control of your own learning. There is no one chasing you up, there is no hand holding. But there is a lot of support when you need it. I loved the environment of Makers academy - I think I thrived by being in a structured learning situation where you have the freedom to explore, make mistakes and choose your path. Being surrounded by people on the same journey as you is super inspiring, and there's an energy and drive like nowhere else I've ever studied.

    The coaching team has some truly excellent teachers with a real depth of knowledge. They spend their time answering your questions with more questions, which is really effective when they lead you in right direction. The course structure is varied and the focus is less on teaching you about a particular language and more about learning how to learn effectively. One aspect which is less positive is the eternal hunt for feedback. Feedback, especially coach feedback, is something which Makers places a really high value on and is necessary for passing your portfolio and review (the metrics by which you get access to the careers team towards the end of the course). Actually getting this feedback can be really tricky and drawn out, which can be frustrating. When you do finally get it, it is usually very helpful and incisive, however.

    The careers team work with you from midway through the course, increasing in contact time. There is advice on how to find jobs, how to write a tech cv, technical coaching and general wellbeing chat. I feel like the careers team are as valuable as the coaches and were so helpful with me finding employment after the course. They support you and care about your journey beyond Makers, which is a real shining light when you are struggling to motivate yourself whilst job hunting.

    The MVP of Makers Academy is the Chief Joy Officer. Before I started I was so skeptical of this job title, but my opinions changed swiftly. She is in charge of student well being - there for personal coaching/therapy, leads yoga classes and meditation, and is just generally a great presence. So appreciated in a highly pressured, fast paced stressful environment.

    The Friday evening drinks, the ping pong, and the events that they put on (free and with pizza, normally) show how much they care about the Makers/tech/learning community. There is a vast network of Alumni, many of whom are open and willing to help each other out which is really helpful when you're struggling with a new technology or need some advice from someone further along the path than yourself.

    What I've learnt at Makers is obviously applicable to coding, but I also think that it is applicable to almost anything I put my mind to. I think applying to the course was one of the best decisions I've made, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who has the drive and energy to work hard and learn loads.

  • Elliot • Graduate
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    Everyone there has decided to make a big commitment and change career. Everyone is so different but come together due to a mutual want and desire to be a software developer in one sense or another. This drive makes the people great to work with.

    Makers isn’t simply teaching you a tech stack or a certain language. They ‘change the way you learn’. By this they emphasis that after 3 months they are not going to be there to hold your hand. This bootcamp is more about helping you have a process to fall back on when you are stuck. This is what will make you a great dev, not that you have learnt all the syntax in the world.

    Due to this however, it means coach feedback is gold dust and you need to be very proactive by making sure you are getting all the feedback you need. It would be easy to go a long time and not know you were making the same mistake over and over. You are reliant a lot of the time on your peers and therefore small things can slip by unnoticed. This has been improved by the fact that you now need to collect evidence including your coaches feedback in order to pass your review (portfolio of evidence and a process review) which forces you to chase the coaches.

    There are so many positives from the amazement you will have from seeing your own progression over the 3 months through to the atmosphere of the building daily with weekly celebrations on a Friday (and of course when you finally get the job you have been working for!). There are also cons such as the frustration at what feels like a lack of coaching at the start (but is actually a conscious choice) through to the lack of HDMI cables in a tech bootcamp.

    But there is a job offer guarantee for a reason - Makers backs themselves and they have the stats to prove why.

  • Brooke • Junior Developer • Student
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    This is a life-changing course which I am very glad I signed up for.  It's hard work, you need to be very self-motivated and driven to get through it as you will not be held accountable by anyone except yourself.  If you considering it I would strongly recommend attending a Q&A and demo day.


    - You will learn best practices but most importantly you will learn how to learn.  I have the confidence to approach any new technology now.
    - The coaches: I had some great support where I really needed it.
    - The careers team: these wonderful people are absolutely brilliant at their job.  Supportive, responsive and ready to give you interview practice, CV reviews, whatever you think you need.  I secured a job with a great company within a month of finishing.
    - Dana, the Chief Joy Officer: a bit of a lifesaver.
    - Course structure: this builds upon itself in a really sensible way so that you are iterating over the key learning points.  
    - Social: i've met a wonderful bunch of people I hope I can stay in touch with.  You will get to know every single person in your cohort as you change pairs (pair programming) every day.  
    - The alumni network seems pretty great with mentoring, coffee buddies and talks evenings.


    - You are unable to access the hiring partners until you pass your review.  I think this is made clear to new joiners now but this process wasn't in place when I signed up.
    -  Access to coaches can be quite tricky, particularly towards the end of the course when you're seeking feedback during tech test week and for your portfolio.  
    - The portfolio is a bit of a PITA but I can really see the value of it having now finished it!  My advice is to chip away at it.

  • mGg • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Job Assistance:

    Makers gave me a new career and desire to keep learning new things. during my time at Makers, I learned software fundamentals through pair programming and several agile team projects. The Makers staff are great people and everyone coming to Makers have such a positive vibe. Technologies and methodologies I have come across throughout makers were: object-oriented design (OOD), test-driven development (TDD), model-view-controller (MVC), Agile software development, Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, Node.js, React, RSpec, Jasmine, Jest, Enzyme, Cypress.
    If you keen to enroll at Makers, I would advise contacting an Alumni or going to meet the team and the students during an event and you will be convinced! 

  • Mel • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Makers academy was amazing and the I can't recommend it enough!

    Having had little technical experience prior to Makers Academy, they did a really good job of developing my software engineering capabilities and increasing my confidence in this field from the start.

    It was an intense bootcamp but thoroughly rewarding. The course is structured really well to optimise your learning and ensure you feel comfortable in all areas of software engineering. The coaches offer enough support so that you don't feel stranded, but don't overload you with help either, as there is a strong emphasis on self-learning. It is a lot of hard work, but as long as you go in with a determined and positive mentality, you won't regret it.

    The community once you've finished your course is great as well - you never really leave Makers.

    The only cons I could mention would be that sometimes it can feel like there aren't enough coaches on hand to support the amount of students, but this is a minor point compared to how great Makers is overall, and it does encourage you to work out how to deal with problems yourself or to go to other sources (such as fellow students) for support.

    Overall, it's a truly rewarding experience which can take you from little-to-no coding experience to a software engineer ready to face the world of work in just a few short months. If you're considering attending Makers Academy then I definitely recommend that you do so!

  • Alex H • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I can honestly say that the last 3 months at Makers Academy have been the most intense and rewarding months of my life. I still can't believe how much I've learnt about Software Development and myself as a person in such a short space of time. 
    - Learnt how to build a full-stack web app, and gained exposure to a lot of different technologies.
    - Learnt how to learn effectively, which is far better than just learning how to code. It's given me the ability to take any problem, any new tech stack, and figure out for myself how to move forward.
    - Both the technical and non-technical coaches are all fantastic, and gave all the support I needed to grow.
    - Got into meditation and yoga, which were important to keep me focused. Wellbeing can be just as important as the learning.
    - Had loads of fun, and got to know and work with some pretty amazing people.

    - None. Seriously. I can't fault them. They know how to do a bootcamp!

    If you're reading this and wondering whether to apply, I would 100% recommend going for it.

  • Chris • Junior Backend Developer • Graduate
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    If you are thinking of undertaking a coding bootcamp you should consider Makers Academy. Take advantage of the tours they run for prospective students to get a feel of what the place is like, and talk to current students.

    - Learning to learn. New concepts, languages, and frameworks come thick and fast. This hones in your process for learning quickly and being able to get projects up and running.
    - Amazing journey with peers, with a feeling of being in it together.
    - The material you cover provides you with the potential to find an entry level job in the industry.
    - The course is very tough at points for everybody. Being committed through the tough times is essential, as the style of teaching encourages you to be self-reliant, which is a good skill to build.

    - It can feel all consuming at points. The more you put in, the more you get out, and it can be difficult to balance your Makers journey with real life, especially over weekends.

  • Worth it!
    - 3/29/2019
    Simon • Graduate
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    Thoroughly rewarding experience if you are willing to put the effort in and collaborate with others. The only real downside is that I didn't attend earlier!