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 your passion for becoming a developer by gauging your 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.
Makers Academy also offers a software engineering apprenticeship and fellowship as a pathway to a long-term career as a software developer. You don’t pay tuition and on completion of the course, you will become a Makers employee for 12 months and will work on site with a hiring partner with continued support from the Makers Academy coaches and careers team. Fellowship applicants must demonstrate a technical ability that outshines other candidates — Makers is looking to invest in outstanding individuals and a more inclusive tech future.
With one of the UK’s largest Careers team dedicated to finding you 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). Also, Makers Academy guarantees a job offer within 6 months of graduation after successful completion of job hunting program activities.
Recent Makers Academy Reviews: Rating 4.77
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- June 2019 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
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In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week11 Weeks
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- Lending partners include PCDL (UK Govt) and EdAid
- Tuition Plans
- Available through 3rd parties
- £500 scholarship to any woman attending the course.
- Minimum Skill Level
- We expect people to generally understand what coding is about and have some exposure to trialling simple coding challenges.
- Prep Work
- To 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 Test
Makers Academy Reviews
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- Makers graduate - September 2019- 10/14/2019Rianne McCartney • Software engineer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
I decided at the beginning of 2019 to leave my career as a criminal solicitor and attempt to become a software developer instead. I knew absolutely zero about coding so it was quite a big step for me.
Fast forward 5 months and I'm now about to start my first role as a software developer so Makers has certainly done the job, and to be honest I never thought I'd be in this position so quickly.
The course was intense and requires a lot of work, both onsite at Makers and in your free time, so you can't sign up half-heartedly. However, because of this you do learn a crazy amount in a short period of time. I enjoyed every day of the course and haven't once regretted my decision to leave my previous job. In addition to being a great learning experience, it was also really fun. I met some great people in my cohort and there was a lot of socialising which meant that our group projects towards the end of the course didn't feel like work at all. The standard of work that our cohort produced by the end of the 12 weeks was pretty impressive.
At one point we were told that we should expect to find a job within 3-6 months after completing the course which terrified a few people, but it turns out a good handful of our cohort had jobs within 4 weeks. However, I would advise budgeting for the full 6 months, or having a back-up plan, just in case. The careers team are very helpful and supportive and the careers fair which is held every month generates some good opportunities.
- Over in a flash- 9/19/2019Ruth Baker • Software Developer • Graduate • Campus: London
IMO the things that work most in Makers' favour are:
- careers support
- behaviours practiced during the course
- momentum of exposure to technical content
- the community
Most important is behaviours, you will leave Makers with plenty of experience working in successful and challenging team/pair situations, and hours of pairing and collaboration on tech projects. Doing these things well and with purpose I think is one of the hardest things to achieve learning on your own, and additional support from Dana the Joy Officer at Makers is excellent.
The curriculum gives students wide exposure to a range of technologies and tools _quickly_. A lot of students felt like this learning style was too fast and surface level understanding. It's only 12 weeks!
My experience at Makers was heavily impacted by my cohort. If you are not lucky to have open diligent learners around you there may be additional challenges to be ready for. Students should be prepared for self-directed learning; Makers doesn't 'teach' you to code - pro-actively get what you need from the coaches to meet your goals.
I attended Makers as a Fellow: there were no course fees, and I found a job on the Pathway which is a fixed salary 12month contract with a Makers hiring partner. I wouldn't do it a second time!! But, I would recommend the fellowship to those getting started in coding careers.
- Lucy • Student • Campus: London
- the careers team is super competent, they work really hard to get good companies to come to the careers fair and help motivate you after the course is done. I would say that this proactive careers service is a lot of what justifies the course fees. It was by far the simplest job application process I have had to do, also as only a limited number of people get shortlisted you are up against a much smaller number of candidates than you would normally be when applying for a job (e.g. maybe you versus 8-10 other people)
- there is a fellowship option where you can do the course for free (definitely worth looking into)
- it is much cheaper than university and is probably more likely to get you into a decently paying job
- the atmosphere at Makers is very good. Makers, and especially its joy officer Dana, have gone out of their way to create a supportive and friendly environment. It did help that my cohort were also super lovely and collaborative.
- You learn more than you thought you were ever capable of, the speed of the learning leaves you with a mindset that you can learn and pick up anything
- the coaches don't do a lot of coaches, they are mainly there to facilitate the course, and I found that the most helpful resources during the course were my cohort and google. If you struggle with independent work or a lack of guidance/vague guidance then this course is probably not for you.
- the organisation can be quite vague, the phrase 'trust the process' is used quite regularly although the process is not really explained. Aspects of the course, especially the review process, were in flux during my time at Makers which led to a lot of confusion and uncertainty as to what you needed to do to sucessfully graduate
- If you end up at Makers make sure to leave time for yourself to wind down. I forced myself to only spend one of the weekend days on the weekend challenge, and for the most part I didn't do any work when I left Makers at the end of the day. I didn't regret this at all and I think it helped me keep going during a very challenging but rewarding course. Also, if you are ever struggling go and see Dana, she really is very good at her job and has a real talent for making you feel better!
- junior software engineer- 8/16/2019Stuart Pethurst • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
Hands down best boot camp to attend..you will learn the best industry standards, how to solve problems, self learning for the future (as code never sleeps and it’s a continual learning journey). Make new best friends and have the best time of your life. Learn from the best to become the best, and get the right tuition for the real world.
- Amazing learning opportunity- 7/5/2019Connor • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
- You'll learn a lot in a short amount of time
- Teaches you how to work in pairs and in a team
- Friendly environment
- Gives you the tools and the confidence to learn anything by yourself
- Very supportive post course with hiring partners coming by every month looking for junior developers
- Very intense and time consuming
- I personally found the review/portfolio process at the end of the course quite challenging but can see the value of it
- Clare Pinder • Junior Software Developer • Student • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
The good stuff:
- Most of the coaches are very helpful and pretty knowledgable. If you push for it, you can get some useful support/critique of your work. It would be great if there was more of this, but presumably, the course would then cost more.
- I think the course gives a good mix of learning stuff on your own, pairing and agile group work and covers some key technologies.
- I enjoyed some of the softer side of the course - focus on learning techniques, meditation, yoga, blogging workshops etc.
- They've recently introduced a Review which is basically a document you need to fill in about how you've achieved the course goals and a pairing session. I found this a really useful way to consolidate my learning from the course and to know I was ready to apply for jobs.
- I got the job I wanted after the course, so it seems Makers gave me the skills necessary to be a credible candidate in the job market.
The bad stuff:
- There was little if any support on the pre-course (4 weeks work from home) and you need to pass each challenge before you can see the next. That meant it was incredibly stressful if I got stuck on a stage - sometimes I didn't move forwards for days. Coach responses were disorganised and unhelpful e.g. the Friday before we were due to start, a friend of mine on the course got told that she wouldn't be allowed onto the on-site course but wasn't told why. She had to re-do the whole of a weeks work in a weekend and found that she had named a file wrongly, and then was allowed on.
- Be wary of claims that you'll be job ready in 12 weeks. There is an additional 4 weeks from home before you start the course, and students take up to 4 weeks after the course to complete the Review (so they can start applying for jobs through Makers), although motivated students usually complete the review in a couple of weeks.
Some advice if you join:
- Do as much coding as you possibly can before you start the course (see if you can get hold of the curriculum and prepare for that). In my cohort, about half of people had done some coding before meaning that those who hadn't started on the backfoot and it was difficult to make up ground.
- Overall I found the course incredibly stressful - I think in large part due to the way the pre-course was handled as well as my own anxious tendencies during big life changes. If you are prone to stress and anxiety, have a think in advance about how you can manage the course in the best way for you.
- It can be difficult to get time with coaches - you have to be persistent and assertive to get feedback on your work. It's well worth it.
- You will get the most out of it if you really take ownership of your own learning - look at the curriculum and goals each week and plan how to meet them
- Amazing 12 week coding bootcamp!- 6/3/2019Deanna Green • Associate Engineer • Graduate • Campus: London
Makers is an amazing 12 week bootcamp that teaches you so much about coding. I would highly recommend it if you are thinking of making the move. You get support when you need it and the curriculum is well thought out to teach you certain skills. You will be in awe of how much you can learn in such a short amount of time at Makers and it is the best thing I have every done. To go from not having much coding knowledge to producing a group project in less than 2 weeks is unbelievable.
The only thing that I found slightly difficult to adjust to is in Makers you make a lot of your projects from scratch and they are very small projects but once you are at your company you are working on much larger code bases and finding your way around legacy code can be a bit difficult to grasp.
- Brilliant Course in 12 Short Weeks- 6/2/2019Josh Glasson • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
- Tough, rewarding and amazing.- 5/30/2019João • Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.Pros- 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.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.
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!Cons- 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 • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
- 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
- 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- 5/24/2019Kate Morris • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
- Great environment to learn in- 5/14/2019Jethro • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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 • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
- Great course, amazing people- 4/30/2019Brooke • Junior Developer • Student • Campus: London
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.
- Learning software fundamentals- 4/26/2019mGg • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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!
- Best career decision I've made!- 4/18/2019Mel • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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!
- The most rewarding thing I've ever done- 4/5/2019Alex H • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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 • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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!- 3/29/2019Simon • Graduate • Campus: London
- Fantastic Course!- 3/9/2019Max Stevenson • Apprentice Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
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.
- Best decision of my life- 3/4/2019Darryl Banks • Junior Full Stack Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
- Makers Academy as an Apprentice- 2/6/2019Samuel • Student • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
- Not for the faint of heart!- 11/1/2018O • Junior Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
Expect to take out four months of your life. This course is absoloutely amazing but it will consume your everything. The PreCourse is a great taster as to what to expect, with numerous Ruby challenges and the bare basics which lay a great foundation for the in house 12 week course. The Coaches are all fantastic, but I will say if you're looking to be spoonfed then Makers is not for you. The majority of the learning is independent, there are group projects along the way but please understand that you must become comfortable with setting your own work plan each day.
The location is perfect and easy to get to, any equipment you need is easily available and Dana (Chief Joy Officer) offers the perfect balance to unwind after a hard day of coding.
If you're looking for a real experience of what to expect as a newbie joining the world of world of tech then Makers is really for you. The Careers Team are a force to be reckoned with. They organise amazing careers talks and are available for talks whenever you need them. In my opinion, this is where the £8000 fee pays off. The advice and knowledge they provide is just fantastic and all the online blogs in the world cannot match them.
However, you still need to be proactive. A job will not just land at your feet.
The curriculum is fast paced so you need to be strict with yourself but also very organised.
Overall, Makers is the only bootcamp in London really worth your time. If you are umming and ahhring about whether to do, be like Nike: Just Do It.
- Amazingly enjoyable and transformative 12 weeks- 10/30/2018Marek • Front-End Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
I live in the United States but I attended Makers in July 2018. Makers provided me with the most fun and knowledge-filled experience I have had in my life. The course moves at a fantastic pace - just fast enough to keep you in that magical zone between comfort and panic. Everyone I met at Makers was an absolutely pleasure to get to know which speaks volumes about their selection process. The staff is extremely receptive to suggestions on how to improve the course and it is obvious that the course is improving constantly. Makers provides each student with a fantastic location and sense of family both throughout the course and after - allowing for continued 'post-course' direction from both coaches and the career team, as well as a great network of alumni and events to attend. I was quite sad to have to leave back to the United States after graduating, and was a bit nervous that the Makers reputation would not carry over to my local companies, but I received an interview within the first week of applying as well as multiple others that I had to cancel after getting a great offer from the very first company. I'm beyond impressed with Makers and the results I have witnessed since attending and I would recommend this course to anyone willing to make an effort to change their lives.
- The most well spent 16 weeks of my life- 6/4/2018Agnes • Junior Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
Makers Academy is the place to be if you want to bring change into your life. It does not matter where you have come from if you are committed and determined you will achieve your goals. I was surrounded by wonderful, motivated people from different walks of life but Makers also attracts like-minded people when it comes to persistence, work ethic, and open-mindedness. The curriculum was very hard sometimes, and I strongly recommend reading blog posts about the experience because it is a very intense course. The weekly and weekend challenges were diverse and they were regularly updated based on feedback from previous cohorts. We were introduced to quite a few technologies as well as encouraged to look into things interesting to us. The coaches are great and very helpful but the students need to know when to ask for help. This is a skill that's worth practicing during the course. Other than showing us the best practices for coding, this boot camp also stands out because of its fantastic emotional intelligence curriculum, daily meditation and twice a week yoga session. After finishing the course, the careers team supported me all the way to make sure I was ready for the interviews. Their optimism and energy inspired me every day, and they worked really hard to find the places that are perfect fits for juniors.