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Makers Academy

Bristol, Cambridge, London, Manchester

Makers Academy

Avg Rating:4.8 ( 291 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
  • Makers Academy
    - 8/8/2016
    Wayne • Junior Mobile Developer • Graduate
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    Makers Academy doesn't just teach you to code, it also makes you very employable by instilling best practices in coding and the work environment. Having been taught Agile Practices, TDD and XP among other things i believe gave me a leg up over other candidates when job hunting and helped me stand out. A great environment to learn with and meet such a wide variety of people from such differing backgrounds. Money well spent and memories firmly set in stone. 

  • Claudia • Associate • Graduate
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    I applied to Makers Academy (MA) after my younger brother had completed the course and I was, frankly, jealous of the job opportunities available to him, and that he had a literacy in something I could only dream of. 

    Having graduated from uni I was left feeling like my degree didn't really set me apart and I wanted to upskill myself so I could compete with my peers in the job market. I also wanted to make moves towards a career that would challenge me and provide lots of opportunity for growth - something I felt I didn't have in my current role.

    In summary, i've doubled my salary and wildly boosted my career opportunities in the space of 3 months, having never touched code before my interview preparation. You get out of MA as much as you put in. It's an incredibly hard course, and you're studying pretty much none stop for the 3 months. There were definitely moments where I felt like I wasn't going to make it. But I signed up to be challenged and thats exactly what I got. 

    Experience:
    The learning environment at MA is great. They acknowledge what a challenge it can be, and work really hard to create an environment that looks after people's mental and physical health whilst they're studying. It was those extra things, the focus on feedback and open lines of communciation, the ethos of supporting one another, and being surrounded by so many passionate and aspirational people is what really made it for me. 

    Instructors:
    For the most part I found the instructors/coaches great. They challenged me, often answered my question with another question which, whilst occasionally annoying, has made me a more independent thinker and confident at solving my own problems. I did feel like my cohort could have benefitted from greater contact time with the coaches. They often felt somewhat absent during the day to day runnings of the place, more so towards the latter half of the course - however, as we became more autonomous and capable their intervention was less and less neccessary. 

    Curriculum:
    The curriculum is rigorous and does what it says on the tin: gives you the skills you need to get a job as a developer. My learning is not over and I doubt it ever will be. But I felt like the structure of the course, and the sue of Ruby as a teaching lagnuage (followed by JS) gave me a fluid and comprehensive understanding of web development. The curriculum will always be a work in proress; students are encouraged to feed back on materials that they don't think are up to scratch or that aren't giving them the clearest understanding of the topic in question. There were a couple of weeks during my time on the course where I felt like that materials weren't as strong as they needed to be to thoroughly teach me that topic, however I have looked at the materials again since graduating and they have been updated and improved based on this kind of feedback.

    Job Assistance:
    I can't really comment much on this as I found a job relatively quickly after graduating based on my own networking. However, I would say that MA did a lot to encourage me into these kind of networking events, and the careers week at the end of the course in particular I found extremely useful in terms of teaching me how to approach interviews for this kind of industry. They also provide a whole wealth of resources that I will forever be able to reference back to, that cover technical interview questions and how to handle them, tech test advice, and more general guidance on how to job hunt in the tech industry. Their team is incredibly knowledgable on the tech scene in London and beyond, and they were great about advising me on the company I was applying to, and also gave me the confidence and guidance to negotiate a higher salary. I think with the job assistance you get out of it as much as you put in (ie: they won't chace you, the onus is on you to job hunt & keep them in the loop as much as you see fit) and there isn't quite as much support beyond careers week as students expect there to be. I think that MA could do to improve their connections beyond London within the UK but I am aware that they are currently working hard on this matter in particualr. 

    The course isn't cheap. But I think it is a better investment than my degree, which these days appears to just be a tick I can put in a box. I am glad I did it, it was the right decision, and I would absolutely recommend this if you're the kind of person that doesn't shy away from hard work, likes to be challenged, and is looking for a way to break into the tech industry. 

  • Matthew Bridges • Junior Python Developer • Graduate
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    I had a brilliant Makers experience. I first heard about the company after placing a Makers Grad in a role while in my old job as a recruiter - immediate validation. I contacted Nikesh at Makers soon after, and from that point on Makers had my complete confidence and haven't given me any reason to doubt them since, I just accepted my first job ten weeks after graduating.

    From the get-go the Makers team were explicit about the level of commitment required to get the best experience out of the program, and ultimately - be successful in finding a job. Personally, I had always struggled in formal education; school was a non-starter, a-levels were two years of slacking off, and one year at university was the final step on the one-way road to educational disenchantment. So naturally, I was a little sceptical about whether or not I'd be able to maintain the level of dedication required to complete such an intensive course - oxbridge meets the marines they said. Actually, it's not THAT tough, however I think that's most likely testament to the way in which the course has changed since that famous line was written. 

    The syllabus of the course is split into two six-week halves, the first half consists of weekly modules laid out in a challenge-based system - "here's some information, go and see what you can do with it". I don't think it was the case for everyone who came to Makers, but for me something just clicked. I found the syllabus engaging, and the amount of assistance given is pitched at just the right level, the goldie-locks zone for learning.

    The second half of the course I am slightly less enthusiastic about (although still on the whole very positive). My week 7 consisted of the now reenvisioned "lab week", in which you were encouraged to consolidate the previous six weeks' materials, you did have the option to pursue a new technology, however I chose to consolidate. The lack of structure took the momentum out of my learning, and flitting between technologies ultimately didn't offer as much as if I had focussed on one vertical. We fed this back to the coaches and by the time the next cohort rolled around six weeks later, the syllabus had been changed (in true Agile fashion!). The impression I got was that the latter half of the course was going through a bit of a remodel to have more of an emphasis on group projects, which I think will eventually benefit the students, however at the time of my studying there were sections in between the two states that weren't at the same standard that I had come to expect.

    Evgeny has done great job of putting together a team of world class coaches, who all share in the ability to translate difficult technical problems into easy to consume explanations (although be warned, the metaphors can get a little silly!). Tackling the fundamental principles of web development in the first six weeks was made that much easier by the coaches, who are infinitely patient and enthusiastic which is remarkable given that they do it every six weeks.

    One of the few areas that still needs to be improved I think is the post-makers hiring process, a graduate portal of some form would really help maintain a good level of communication between graduates and the hiring team (rather than the current instant messaging solution). Shortly after the course I moved back to Manchester, and it did feel like I'd dropped off the radar for a while. At present the hiring team is best equipped to set you up with interviews and jobs in London, although inroads are being made in Manchester, Southampton and European tech-hubs. In spite of this reservation, two months after my graduation Ruben set me up with a fantastic company based in Manchester, who knew exactly what they were getting in hiring a Maker. I started last week, and another Maker is joining me next, brilliant!

    Seeing as everyone asks about the money, yeah it's £8,000, but it's hardly an issue versus whatever universities cost these days. I've not got a degree, and yet I have every confidence discussing tech with CS students up to a year out of university. And what Makers offers you isn't just modules you aren't terribly interested in, you've probably heard the Makers mantra "learning to learn", my new job is writing in Python, a tech I hadn't used until a week before I was completing a technical test.

    To summarise, Makers Academy puts you in an environment where you have every opportunity and the necessary resources to become a Junior Developer in 12 weeks, however without the necessary commitment of time and effort, don't expect to succeed. 

    If you are on the fence about whether or not Makers is for you, do a couple of open days, and go and visit a Makers graduation event. If it's the coding you're nervous about, check out this link: http://imgur.com/gallery/uGdaN, it's my summary of how I got started (and basically everything you'll learn up to the beginning of the precourse), work through those and you should have a good feel for the practice.

    Wow, this was longer than I expected, and has probably gotten a little incongruent at this point, if you still have any questions, do feel free to drop me an email at: mattbridgesbusiness@gmail.com

  • Pablo • Graduate
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    This review might be useful for those thinking of joining Makers Academy remotely from another european country. I am from Spain and I lived in Cambridge for a year and a half before joining Makers. At the beginning I was looking for an on-site bootcamp in London, but when I discovered the Makers Academy remote bootcamp I decided to change my plans. I joined the couse, packed all my stuffs and left the U.K. I didn't even have to go to the MA offices (I have actually never been there), everything from the very start was arranged using skype, emails and Slack.
     
    I went back to Cádiz, my home town city in Spain as it was easier for me in terms of housing and money and I accomplished the whole course from there without any impediment. Actually it was fantastic enjoying the course while being in my sunny city. I never had the feeling I could have learnt more if I would have been in London.

    It is a really intense course and you really need to be 100% focused on it. From 9am to 6-7pm I was coding online with my pair partner. The fact that you are pair programming really push you to do your best everyday. The philosophy of the course is that you have to be autonomous from the beginning which I think it helps in the long run. Don't expect long technical explanations. People asks questions at the meeting, but then you and your partner have to code and try to solve the problems on your own before asking for help . Sometimes you need to stop and read part of a book or watch some videos about a subject but this is something you do on your own.
     
    The negative aspect of not being in London comes when the course is finished and you have to start the job hunting stage. It is obviusly a handicap. London in one of the most important cities in the world and is full of professional opportunities. MA is based in London and most of their partner companies are based in the UK, but I know they are doing a big effort to expand their influence. However, sometimes you can be warned of a position in Spain, Belgium or other european country. They don't do magic, they will help you as much as they can but at the end you have to find the job. My personal experience is that by showing all the projects you have developed during the course people get interested in knowing more about you.

    I am now working in Paris as a junior developer, it took me about 3 month to get my job after finishing the course. Sometimes I think of myself 9 months ago before joining Makers Academy, when I was doing a job I didn't like. It just brings a smile on my face.

  • Changed my life..
    - 6/22/2016
    HeDu • Software Engineer
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    Few months ago I did not know what a "Hello world!" was.. now I have an amazing job in the start up I wanted to work for.

    My experience.. in one word.. intense!
    To get to the point where I am.. I worked from November to April about 12-15hours a day(the course was actually on december the precourse and then from january to april the course..).. I took one day off some weekends.. but in exchange.. the day I did work.. I work double! So it is possible.. but it is on you, you can work s much as you can.. even less is ok too..but it is not like something that just happens.. you are there to learn and this is your responsibility.. Makers is not there to teach you but you are there to learn.. they give you the tools and you need to use them:) all that efford.. pay off and at the end, I ENJOYED doing it!

    Job hunting

    They will not find a job for you.. this is the real life.. you need to find a job yourself.. but they will help you with references, tricks.. many stuff that make the difference in the job hunting etc.. but forget about you finishing the course and start to work for google.. ¬¬ it is on you too, and it is important you keep this in mind.. but I can say, I got an AWESOME job and I feel... happines!!! when the alarm wake me up early in the morning everyday! :D

    Instructors
    I did Ronin, so basically I had only one coach, SAM, do not forget that name because if you are lucky enough to be his student, you will fall in love with coding and you will not get just an instructor but a friend, he is an AWESOME DEVELOPER and a PERFECT teacher. The workshops with him were amazing, the way he explains stuff is great.

    Well.. if you want to change your life.. they will give you the tools to make it possible..:)

  • James Borrell • Junior Developer • Graduate
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    With the world becoming more and more reliant upon technology & software systems there is no better time to get into the industry than right now. Makers Academy is the perfect stepping stone into the world of computers where you're surrounded by peers who geniunely want to learn, staff & coaches who exude the same passion and excitement they teach the students and very relevant material that applies to a real life working tech environment. I had high expectations joining Makers but they were completely blown away and I'm still thoroughly impressed by how much what I learned during my time there is helping me now working as a software developer!

  • Go no further
    - 6/6/2016
    Zhivko • Junior Developer • Graduate
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    If you are considering a career change then go no further and join Makers Academy. 8k might seem a lot but believe me, you will enjoy every moment and when you start your new job, you will have no regrets!

  • Godfrey • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate
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    At the time of writing this review, I've just completed three days at my new workplace as a full stack engineer. The self-realisation is still setting in that I'm no longer on the course (I graduated in April and started working in June) and I'm actually coding for a living!

    I enrolled on Ronin (January 2016 cohort) and I can honestly say that both my ROI and EV from taking this course are quite something! I was one of two Roniners chosen to produce a weekly video log series to document our individual experiences - these can be found on MA's youtube page, if you're interested in hearing my thoughts during the course. Shout out to Jordan for giving me this unique opportunity, thanks for believing in me!

    My experience on the Ronin course has completely changed my perspective on learning. Credit goes to Sam Morgan, the Ronin facilitator whose coaching put me on the correct path of a growth mindset, which in my opinion is a fundamental requirement to getting the most out of the course and knowing how to overcome the inevitable difficulties when faced with learning so many new languages and concepts in such a short period of time. It was at Makers that I discovered that the joys and pains of coding are not mutually exclusive, and that's the reason why I found it immensely rewarding.

    Prior to Makers, I had tried to teach myself coding for a career change at the start of 2015. I'll spare you the details but I figured that the quickest route to success is to surround yourself with similarly motivated people, work alongside them with the knowledge and support from an experienced coach. Sure, all the information is out there on the web but time is money and you'll also save yourself a lot of frustration from going down the wrong paths (bad coding habits are the toughest to unlearn).

    That's why Makers Academy is so great - I got to pair program regularly with a diverse group of people - so many shared experiences (mostly good and some bad) that are like mini life-lessons to learn from. Upon reflection, I wouldn't want to change anything - the last time I'd worked in a team was 2008, and the long period in between was a solitary existence as a professional online poker player. Hence why this course was literally a game changer for me.

    Some opinions on the course curriculum - overall it's very good but far from perfect, and is constantly evolving (mostly for the better). I would say that the coaches aren't afraid of experimentation, however student feedback is always taken into consideration and their efforts are always coming from a place of Kaizen (continuous improvement). Emphasis is placed on understanding and not finishing the material/challenges; there's always time to do that afterwards (especially during the job hunting period, where the challenges are modelled very similar to real company tech tests).

    Finally, some words on the post course careers support. I took the time to attend the careers fair on the last day alongside a few other Roniners based around London, and from talking to some of their hiring partners directly, I was invited for an interview the very next week - although unsuccessful, I was impressed by the quick turnaround made by this particular company. The careers team were good in that they constantly gave me opportunities to take tech tests for companies suiting my criteria - in this regard I made the effort to keep them updated on my search efforts. Fortunately I managed to be successful early on in my job hunt - I remember it being the second job I applied to - and I have Ruben to thank for helping me during the post offer phase.

    Ultimately, I feel that Ronin and Makers Academy has far exceeded my original expectations. The 12 weeks that I have experienced have been life changing for me, and the memories and lessons learned will stay with me throughout my career. Thank you so much!

  • It was EPIC!!!
    - 6/2/2016
    Harry Gordon • Junior Software Developer • Graduate
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    The course was fantastic. I learnt a huge amount in a very short period of time. The tuition was great and there was a perfect balance of lecturing and self taught work. Everyone was very friendly and approachable, meaning I was never afraid to ask stupid questions. There was loads of ping pong and yoga, which I thoroughly enjoyed. At the end of the week, beer was provided and the office turns into a party... what more could you want? Most important of all, they helped me get a job within 3 weeks of graduating. I couldn't recommend this course more highly!!!

  • Barry Grubb • Junior JavaScript Developer • Graduate
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    The title sums up my thoughts perfectly. Four months ago I was still working my non-coding job, and I had very little (almost no) coding experience. Now I'm employed as a developer, and it's due to the Makers Academy process that I've managed to become employable so quickly.

    The course is tough, that's something that you'll probably see written about most intensive bootcamps, I certainly had, and it still didn't prepare me for quite how intensive the course would be. I took the course as a Ronin student, which meant that I studied from home, and even though I live with my wife and son, it's fair to say that for the three month duration I hardly saw them. From the moment I woke until the moment I fell in to bed, seven days a week, all I would do is code, learn about code, and code some more. To be entirely fair to Makers Academy, while the course is intentionally intense they do recommend that you find some time during the day to relax; meditation is highly recommended, as is simply going outside and getting some fresh air. However I think that those suggestions are easier to fulfill without a family/commitments, and I certainly noticed during the course that those like myself who had commitments outside of the course seemed to suffer the most.

    If the intensive nature of the course doesn't dissuade you then you'll be in for an awesome journey.  A common criticism of coding bootcamps is that it's easy to simply teach yourself to code using online tutorials. However I found that the structured curriculum of the course, along with the ever patient guidance of the coaches provided an enormous boost to the effectiveness of the learning when compared with self-teaching methods. It's important to note that the curriculum doesn't simply focus on the practicalities of coding, but importantly on best practices also, so that once you're out in the real world and seeking employment, your tech test submissions to employers will stand out for their clean, concise and easily extendable code, something which I suspect many self-taught coders do not focus on.

    The lifestyle of the course was fun. Even as a remote student the sense of belonging and being a part of the cohort is strong. Several chat, screen share and video meeting solutions are implemented, such that it can be easy to forget that you've never actually met any other members of your cohort in person, you'll feel that you know each other very well, due in part to spending so much time working together. For much of the course the focus is on pair coding, so that each new day you will work as a pair with one other person randomly selected from your cohort. I found this a very effective way to learn, it's great to have somebody else to work with, and importantly to bounce ideas off of, and to help each other out.

    Socialising is also perfectly manageable on the course. Sure, it's easier for the on-site students to socialise, they can simply go to the pub together, or play table tennis (they often did), however us Ronin students held several video meetings throughout the course simply to chat with one another. 

    Once the course has come to an end the careers team take great care of you. They stay in regular contact, and work hard to provide a long list of job vacancies with their hiring partners for you to apply to. However you're not pushed to apply for any jobs, the team really do listen to you and try to find placements which meet your own criteria. 

    Sure, it's a bit of a cliche, but Makers Academy really did change my life. It's allowed me to step in to a world that I knew little about beforehand, and it's provided me with all of the tools that I need to build a very successful career as a developer. 

    A final point worth mentioning is that the association with Makers Academy doesn't end once the course does, or even once you've gained employment. After graduating you are invited to become a part of the Makers Academy alumni, where (primarily for those with convenient access to London) you'll be welcome to attend regular meet-ups, talks from industry experts, and so on. It's not just a three month course, if you want it to be, it can be a life long club.

  • Anonymous • Graduate Software Developer • Student
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    Makers is not just a bootcamp, it's a community of passionate developers.
    They provide you all the tools and support you need to start a developer career.

    If you really want to become a coder Makers is definitely the right starting point.
     

    From Bartender to ThoughtWorkers in about 6 months... 
    Probably one of the best decisions I have ever took in my life.

  • Heather • Software Developer • Graduate
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    100% worthwhile in terms of being able to totally change your career and land a job in under 4 months but, understand that all of the hard work will come from you. I landed a well paid job less than 2 weeks after graduating with one of Makers hiring partners. 
     
    If you're a procrastinator like me, Makers is great at forcing you to code all day, every day. There is no escape and you will learn a lot very quickly! This includes all of the best practices that employers are looking for so will put you in a strong position on graduating. 
     
    However, it is a lot of money for the amount of access you get to coaches. If you do the course, do not expect to be spoon fed. The coaches are amazing, but seem overworked and with not enough time to give full attention to their students.  
     
    Essentially you are given the course material and you work your way through it with the rest of the students but, with little feedback from coaches. This does of course have its benefits in terms of teaching you to be a very independent learner and find the solution yourself but can be very frustrating when you consider the cost. 
     
    There is quite a lot of focus placed on the social side of things as well, if this appeals to you then you'll have a lot of fun. Work hard, play hard.
     
    Also, the intensity level is overplayed and don’t let it put you off. If you’ve worked in a fast-paced environment before this is no different.  

Thanks!