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Makers Academy

Bristol, Cambridge, London, Manchester

Makers Academy

Avg Rating:4.8 ( 290 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
  • Nicole
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    I would start by saying that attending Makers (September 2014 - December 2015) is by far one of the best experiences of my life from so many different perspectives. The learning curve is insane, the people on my cohort and the staff are inspirational and I had the time of my life. 

    I chose Makers for a couple of reasons, one of the biggest reasons was simply the feeling I got after having interviewed at a number colleges. The Makers process for entry is a lot more selective, giving me confidence in the marketing message and the course content they would eventually deliver. The atmosphere was collaborative, positive and I felt at 'home'. 

    Having now completed the course and started on my journey as an active member of the London developer community, I can also say that Makers take teaching best practices seriously and are actually pretty unique for this approach in the education sphere. At the core of the syllabus is a test driven (TDD) approach, something which not only makes your resulting code more maintainable and adaptable but also makes you a hot commodity in the job space. 

    The best  part of the course is the intense learning experience, you do get pushed to the limit! I was at college from 8.30am to 9pm every day for three months and also coding on weekends, so expect to get addicted! 

    At this point I need to give a big shout out to their Chief Joy Officer, Dana, who is absolutely crucial (at least from my personal perspective) to your experience on the course. She offers regular meditation and yoga and is there to talk you through any difficulties you are having, both course related and personal. She was a huge support to me throughout the course and is now one of my close friends. 

    The only downside I can honestly say is that Makers live and breathe agile (a well used industry practice), what this means is that they are constantly iterating and so every cohorts experience on the course is quite different and course materials that are perhaps not always polished. It does however mean that they are keeping up with what your eventual employers would like to see on your CV and gives you the opportunity to truly learn like a developer.  

    The support on the course and post-course, while looking for a job, is one of the big reasons I am still a familiar face at Makers Academy. It has become a hub for my development, and the placements team at Makers are my first port of call for any career related questions I have.  

  • Denise • Graduate
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    I was on the course from September to December 2014. I had three of the most fun, intellectually stimulating months in recent memory when I was on the course. I loved my cohort, the teaching style under Enrique's leadership was well-suited to my learning style, and Makers provided a focused, work-like environment without which I never would have learned to code. The CEO, Evgeny, is very receptive to criticism and promotes a culture of openness within the company, among both the staff and the students.

    I also cannot say enough good things about the placements team. Samantha, Ruben, and Will really, really go to bat for you. Makers has only been around for two years, but when a group of us went to Silicon Milkroundabout earlier in the year, we attracted a lot of interest because employers could pick out that we're Makers students. I think it says a lot that so far (and it's a tremendous reflection on the placements team) Makers has done a reasonably good job of churning out grads of consistently high caliber.

    I've been reading about a bubbling backlash against bootcamps like Makers Academy in recent months, and I think a lot of it is caused by misplaced expectations on the part of students. It's not a magic pill that will turn you into a great coder in 12 (or 16, now, with the precourse work) weeks. That's impossible. The Makers system works really well for people who are reasonably smart, but much more importantly, hard-working, self-aware, and willing to help those around them. You don't need to be a genius to succeed in a coding boot camp. It's precisely because these are the qualities that are found again and again in good developers. If you walk in the door on Day One with the mindset, "I've paid £8000 to be here, I expect these people to make me a developer in three months," you are probably not going to do too well.

    You're probably wondering, what is Makers' distinguishing point from General Assembly, or any of the numerous boot camps in North America? I don't know enough about Dev Bootcamp or Hack Reactor, but Makers is much more discerning than GA, particulary when it comes to Test-Driven Development (TDD). Do some research on what TDD and Behavior-Driven Development means before you make your decision. Learning to write automated tests alongside your code is a painful process the first few times, but it is incredibly valuable -- it is often the difference between building something maintainable and extensible versus just hacking together 200 lines of spaghetti code that somebody else has to spend a week untangling later down the line. When you have junior devs who have been coding for 8 weeks already thinking about technical debt before they've written a single line of production code... I think that's pretty awesome.

    But, since this is a review, I'm gonna be honest about where Makers still needs improvement. I feel extremely fortunate to have been on the course when I was, in large part because of Enrique's teaching. However, as of November 2014, Enrique is no longer with the company. Neither is Alex Peattie, who left in September 2014. There is currently a lack of experienced senior developers with industry experience on the permanent teaching staff. 

    I think Makers also need to better define its target audience. There are generally two categories of people who sign up for Makers: those who want to become developers and those who want to become entrepreneurs of tech startups. Makers is successful at meeting the needs of the first category, but is currently not well-suited to the second category, particularly with the introduction of an entire week dedicated to finding a job placement at the end of the course. If you are just looking to prototype a web app, I would say that Makers is probably overkill.

    Overall, I had a great experience at Makers and would recommend it to anyone who wants to make a career change and is willing to put in the effort and time.

  • Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate
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    This is an intense and expensive course.  It is a worthwhile investment if you want to find the 'quick' way into the world of software (however do be prepared to not have that software job for several months after the course - I picked up part time work to cover my expenses during the job hunt and eventually landed a role after 4 months, which was earlier than most).
    The 4 weeks pre-course is relatively tough but can just about be done whilst holding down a full time job.  The main 12 weeks of the course is very intense and participants should commit fully to this.  Also, when studying the codecademy course beforehand, I will point out that 'Lambdas' and 'Procs' have never cropped up for me since.
    I spent the entire 16 weeks feeling out of my depth, but in a good way - whenever I looked back on previous work I was confident with my abilities regarding that topic.  It is also easy to feel that others are progressing more than you, but remember that you will be progressing more than others, and in the wide scheme of things everyone knows barely anything compared to a professional software developer.
    There are a lot of online resources available for students during the course (sometimes too much!), but the students who excel the most appeared to be those who would constantly communicate with both the coaches and other students.  This can feel daunting at first, but you'll soon get used to asking for help and having someone point out that a word in your code has a small typo!  Proactivity is also a must - there are some weeks where you are left to your own devices and it is easy to take the foot off the pedal... beware!  Give yourself plenty of down time so that you can crush it during office hours.
    During the job hunt, the resources available are excellent, but very much in a 'you get out what you put in' manner.  There are coaches available to help you prepare for tech tests, write applications etc. along with Makers linking up with hiring partners to advertise roles to you.  You just need to be proactive about engaging with the resources to get the most out of them.
    Finally, I would say that you should try coding yourself a lot before committing to this course, even paying a few £'s to have a go at an online class.  It's a big commitment to make so make sure you would be willing to do it as a career i.e. screen time, chair time etc.  Also, reach out to previous Makers students.  I have had several people contact me through LinkedIn and have had several calls with these people to discuss their expectations.
    For me, if your finances and personal situation allows for it, and you have found coding to be compelling and interesting, then you should give serious thought to signing up to this course.
  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    + Great support during/post course
    + Invaluable resources available throughout your journey
    + Amazing sense of community
    + Resources available on mindfulness and EQ
    + Yoga
    - Remote learning needs polishing (would have preferred on site learning)
    - Javascript sections feel rushed and could do with better resources
    - £8k is a big investment especially for remote learning

    If you get accepted, prepare for a challenging but rewarding 16 weeks!
  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    Pros:
    - Huge amount of resources available during the course (you can choose the topics you want to focus on).
    - Post course careers support (writing CVs, cover letters and building up necessary skills for a job).
    - Hiring partners give access to jobs specifically targeting bootcamp graduates.

    Cons:
    -  A lot of work during the course, especially if you go in with zero experience (I'd recommend spending time to learn basic syntax and be able to write simple script eg. on codewars)
  • Anonymous • Full Stack Developer • Graduate
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    I really enjoyed my time at Makers Academy. You learn so much and it’s great that you can get in with very little coding knowledge.
    It’s an intense course where you learn new things every day and can be draining but Makers offer great support and are genuinely passionate about mental well-being. 
    I did the remote course which was good but I feel I would’ve benefited more from being there in person so if you have the chance to do the course on campus I would say do that.
  • Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Makers has a well-defined program, which works through the various facets of software development in an organised way. There are extensive banks of learning exercises, along with good access to coaches. I would say that there is space for some additional resources that teach you the topic, rather than just provide exercises for you to practice it.
    The decision to use Ruby as the primary language is sensible in many ways - it is a straightforward language, and, with the addition of Sinatra or Rails, allows you to build websites. However there didn't seem to be many junior developer roles in Ruby. The course also teaches JavaScript, by translation from Ruby, and encourages students to branch out to new languages/frameworks for their final projects.
    The after-course support from the careers team is where Makers really shines. Help is available for graduates to consolidate their learning, apply for jobs or interview for jobs, with regular workshops run for each. There are also careers coaches available for 1:1 advice and support. The coaches are interested in graduates as individuals, and focus on helping them to understand and display their most marketable skills.
    I learnt so much on the course!
  • Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate
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    I undertook the Makers course as my career was stagnating. I learnt so much in a challenging and engaging environment and Makers go above and beyond to make sure the new entrants of the white, male world of tech are diverse and know to be inclusive. Even though it was remote I felt connected and have made lots of new friends and perhaps most importantly am now employed within three months of completion!
  • Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Pros:
    - Enforces habits and rituals of engineering environments that it would be really hard to achieve self-led (e.g. diagramming, TDD, BDD, Agile, CICD). My technical interview questions were based on these! 
    - Amazing emotional support - they want you to challenge yourself but to also practice self-care above all else which is excellent.
    - Great people; both coaches and jobhunting team - every one who works there is smart, so supportive and keen to help you succeed.
    - Really is a transformative experience. I knew next-to-nothing about software developing in November, enrolled in February and then got my first dev job in May - three weeks out of the bootcamp, with a Makers hiring partner. Not everyone has been that lucky though and some have been searching a long time for the right role. 
    - Alumni community is amazing. 

    Cons:
    - Zoom fatigue: you pair every afternoon for 3-4 hours which can be exhausting, and there are a lot of group projects. Also there is little time for you to do self-led learning (which is my personal preference).
    - Syllabus needs a bit of love - the links are out of date on a lot of the curriculum. 
  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    I started this course with only two weeks of experience in coding, and now, 5 months later I'm about to start my first role as a software developer. 
    Pros:
    - The coaches are great, super helpful and keen to ensure you've understood the concepts but you need to reach out and ask for help.
    - You are in a cohort with like-minded people of all abilities so you'll find yourself sometimes learning from others or taking on a teacher-role. 
    - The job-hunting support is great, lots of workshops on offer with great career coaches. 
    Cons:
    - The curriculum could use an update, especially the front-end material. We spent about 7 weeks on Ruby/Rails, 2 weeks on Javascript, 1 week on consolidating and 2 weeks on the final project. The 4-week pre course material was also on Ruby. I think a bit more of a back-end/front-end balance would make graduates truly feel like full-stack developers. 
  • Anonymous • Associate Software Developer • Graduate
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     The coaches were excellent throughout, very patient and forthcoming whenever I reached out to them (in the designated times to do so). At times it felt like the course was moving at breakneck speed however I felt fully supported throughout and enjoyed every second. I met some amazing people and built lasting relationships with cohort members to take with me into industry.
    After the course ended I was amazed by the partnerships team who provided excellent feedback in regards to my applications. The internal hiring system was infinitely more effective (and ultimately rewarding) than spending hours trawling through LinkedIn and other job boards (which I did do and had some success with). The feedback I received on my applications was very insightful and helpful, by the careers team members and coaches alike and led to me receiving an offer from an industry leading company.
    The Alumni network was also incredible and I cannot wait to give back to those who enrolled at Makers to change their career/life.
    Also I landed a job in a language not formally covered by the course and this is super typical so do not think you will be pigeon holed by the course material. 
  • Anonymous • Test Automation Engineer • Graduate
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    I went to Makers so I could get a job as a developer within 5 months - and that happened, even during Covid! For this reason, despite the fact that there were things that certainly could have been better (support from coaches & curriculum), I was still able to achieve my end goal, and will soon be starting at a very famous company - with room to grow and develop and a decent starting salary!

    There were certainly some aspects that were infuriating - Makers focus on "self-learning", but the lack of direction from the coaches is frustrating when you've paid to be taught - not to constantly learn independently (which you can do for free). As annoying as this felt, at the end of the course, when you get that job, it's worth it! There are certainly things that could have been better and I'm not sure what the coaches are doing to only be available in the mornings, but to be honest, Makers opens the door to a lot of large companies with BIG names. The career coaching team were epic  - the advice before interviews was great, and they were always happy to help. In summary, the experience wasn't what I imagined, but who cares when it leads to a job in coding - in the end of the day, that's what we're here for - and that's what Makers does.

Thanks!