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Makers Academy

Bristol, Cambridge, London, Manchester

Makers Academy

Avg Rating:4.8 ( 301 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 Market.com, and Tesco.

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  • Web Development

    Apply
    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
    Cost£8,000
    Class size24
    LocationLondon
    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.
    Financing
    Deposit£800.00
    Financing
    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
    InterviewYes
  • 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.

    Pros:

    - 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.

    Cons:

    - 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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    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. 
    Pros:
    - 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.

    Cons:
    - 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.

    Pros:
    - 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.

    Cons:
    - 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!

  • Max Stevenson • Apprentice Software Developer • Graduate
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    I completed the Makers Academy bootcamp as part of a government software developer apprenticeship scheme. This scheme sought to re-skill existing civil servants into software developers to help grow the talent pool and bring about value for money on large government IT projects. I had no prior professional coding or IT experience before starting the course. This was a complete career change for me and something of a step into the unknown - with all the nerves that accompany such a dramatic upheaval.

    I did however have a keen interest in the IT industry which had led me to undertake some web development courses on platforms like Udemy, along with some minor (and largely unsuccessful) dabbling in Java and C++ during my free time. I would strongly recommend that a personal interest or passion for IT is an important component for being successful in the course.

    The first thing I would say is that while it might seem daunting at first - to learn a discipline that you might have little or no experience with - don’t panic! Trust in the Makers selection process. It is rigorous for a reason, they are very adept at selecting only those who they think will make it through the course.

    Makers is about a lot more than just typing away at a keyboard writing code. They very much take a holistic approach to learning, with a great deal of emphasis placed on mental wellbeing. There was onsite meditation and yoga coaches for instance, and regular social events such as pizza or climbing nights. All of this helped build a comfortable learning environment that is designed to take as much of the stress out off learning a technical subject as is possible.

    The course began with a very gentle easing in over a period of about 4 weeks. During this time we got our feet wet with Ruby - a language that was used extensively throughout the course. We completed some pretty simple coding problems that steadily increased in complexity and helped ground us in the basic features of the language. Additionally during this time we were introduced to the terminal interface and some basic commands useful for development on a Linux or UNIX based Operating System along with version control via Github.

    The course truly began in earnest when we started onsite training for 12 weeks. I personally was based at the Barbican campus, but there is a second, slightly larger campus at Aldgate East. Both facilities were excellent (better than every government workplace I have ever seen) with fully equipped and stocked kitchens, adjustable / standing desks with monitors.

    The first two weeks of the course was essentially an introduction to Test Driven Development and this was one of the key coding practices that Makers sought to instil in us. The language we used during this time was Ruby. We would spend the first half of the day with a workshop led by a coach, before working on coding problems that were provided via Github and Maker’s very own workflow tracker Diode. In the afternoons we did pair programming on whatever that week’s afternoon challenge was. The pairing was randomised and you were very rarely with the same person twice. On Fridays we spent the whole day working individually on mini projects - like building a twitter clone or takeaway ordering app.

    Next up was a two week introduction to all things web based. We did an overview of basic web communication and protocols, before getting to grips learning the Sinatra web framework for Ruby. Accordingly the projects were web based during this part of the course - building a Twitter and Airbnb clone. Following that we then switched things up and started doing Javascript - both vanilla and jQuery, which again lasted for about two weeks.

    Towards the end of the course we started what were personally my favourite parts - the two engineering projects. At this stage we started learning and coding in whatever programming language - often referred to as a tech stack - our employers had informed Makers we would be using during our placement. In my case it was Java. We spent two weeks building a Facebook clone in our respective tech stacks before moving on to the final project - which is self selected.

    In summary I would say the course was incredibly useful in giving me the skills and confidence to be able to go away and learn any programming language independently. IT is a difficult industry to break into, especially when you are attempting to do so self taught. Makers helps provide a structured and guided learning experience. The level of tuition was adjusted as we progressed through the curriculum - with regular, class sized lessons given by the coaches in the early stages of the course; which steadily tapered off as time went on and gave way to more ad hoc sessions as and when requested by particular students.

    I would say that in order to succeed in this course self-discipline and a willingness to dictate your own study is very much needed - Makers teach you how go about learning a new language, but they cannot and do not teach you everything there is to know about said language. This detached teaching style might not suit everyone - but seemed to work well for my cohort. In terms of criticism I would say that perhaps too much time is spent focused on Ruby - which is great if that is the language you will be using professionally, but not so great if it is not. Secondly given that so much of professional development work is now cloud based or severless it would have been nice to have a week dedicated to this aspect of programming.

  • Darryl Banks • Junior Full Stack Developer • Graduate
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    A recent graduate of Makers, I accepted a position as a Junior JavaScript Developer within 1 month of completing the course. I am a career-changer and had wanted to make the move into software development for years, and finally took the plunge in late 2018. I am SO glad I did! The course is very intense (it's called a bootcamp for a reason!) but I had a lot of fun and met some awesome people on the same journey as me. The technology they provide instruction on begins with Ruby (including Sinatra and Rails) before moving to JavaScript. This provides a solid groundwork for understanding the key principles of programming and provides a platform for 'learning how to learn' so that transitioning to a different technology or language is a smooth process.

    It is very much a self-lead learning environment and you get out as much as you put in, but the coaches are approachable and knowledgable. Makers promotes best-practice methodologies such as Test-Driven Development, Agile workflows and Pair Programming throughout the course which means that graduates have experience in collaborative environments ready to join professional development teams.

    Although I am yet to start my new job (I begin this coming Monday), I feel that Makers has provided me with the skills and confidence to succeed and am looking forward to my new career in software development.

  • Samuel • Student
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    I attended this course as part of my Software Dev Apprenticeship. This means I applied for the course through work, and once I'd finished the course, I returned to where I worked to complete my apprenticeship. Before starting this course, I'd already been interested in being a developer, but it's not the easiest industry to get into, and there's a whole lot of stuff you need to cover before you can really get to work. This course was exceptionally good at explaining that, and in no way avoided the reality of the situation. It forced me to tackle subjects that I'd avoided because I didn't get them easily, and introduced me to things I didn't know existed.

    Before starting the course, I'd already done stuff online in order to try and get into development - this involved online courses on Codecademy, doing the edX CS50 course for an introduction to computer science, and trying to work on my own small projects. It's one thing to teach yourself about servers, but it's entirely different when you consider how they'd be functioning in a massive organisation, and all the different moving parts that need to be maintained and kept track of. There's a gap between how I thought about software development before the course, and how I think about now. And this is all down to the course - it's introduced me to topics and concepts at a suitable pace, and each week has brought in a new layer of understanding that fits on top of all the previous ones. 

    For example, the first two weeks are spent learning about Object-oriented programming. This involves separating out your code into small chunks that can be handled in isolation - so far so good. The next week is spent learning about databases, and how to create a small code chunk that can interact with a database. You can start building up an application that has one small chunk that's dedicated to accessing a database, and fits in with the other stuff you've already done. 

    Throughout these weeks, we were working in pairs, changing who I was with daily. Pairing is a somewhat standard format for developers to work in, so it made sense to practice it - although there were times where it felt a bit forced, and that the stuff we were working on didn't really require pairing. In particular, there'd be days where we were pretty much learning about a new topic entirely, and doing that in a pair didn't really smooth the process out. 

    The course continues along this vein for about 7 weeks, building up the scope of what you can do, and making sure it can all fit together. I found this approach to be perfect for software development. A lot of the time you'll be working on a smaller part of a project, and you'll want to understand how and where it fits in, without getting sidetracked by how the rest of the project works. It's a really sensible way to structure your learning, and at no point did I feel like I'd missed something, or that there were bits of what I was doing that I couldn't explain in sufficient detail. 

    The remaining 5 weeks of the course are primarily group projects - we did two weeks building a facebook-like application, complete with user accounts, profiles, friends and messages. The final two weeks were a group project that we got to choose ourselves. This also introduced us to some group work concepts, like organising work packages, and demonstrating newly built stuff to each other. Although this is all done in the context of the course, it felt really organic, and it was quite a genuine experience of working with people on code. 

    I'm overall extremely satisfied with the course, though there are a few topics that I feel weren't covered. In particular, security didn't seem to be much of a feature, and I'm pretty sure a lot of the stuff we built would have been entirely unusable in the real world as a result. Additionally, the first part of the course involved a bunch of workshops where we'd be taught about key concepts, but these dropped off towards the end, and it felt like there were still some topics that could have been interesting in that format. 

Thanks!