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Makers Academy

Bristol, Cambridge, London, Manchester, Online

Makers Academy

Avg Rating:4.78 ( 354 reviews )

Makers Academy is a highly selective, 16-week, full-time program which teaches web development online and in hybrid cohorts at their campus 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. While they are highly selective, they focus on a student's passion for becoming a developer by gauging their coding experience. Makers Academy also offers apprenticeships in Software Engineering and DevOps.

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/week16 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost£8,500
    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£850.00
    Financing
    StepEx, Lendwise, Coursebud.
    Tuition PlansAvailable through 3rd parties
    Scholarship£850 discount to women and gender minorities.
    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
  • 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.  
  • Chri • Graduate
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    I had been working in the hospitality industry for around 7 years before I realised that enough was enough and decided to change my career. I became aware of the concept of coding bootcamps and did some investigation. There are a few other companies out there other than Makers that offer a similar product, but I decided that Makers Academy was the one for me. It was the right choice.

    The course is tough, but manageable. You can't walk into it thinking that you'll breeze through it, it takes a lot of time and effort. But if you put the work in you'll reap the rewards.

    In my opinion, the best thing about the course is that they teach you the basic principles right from the VERY beginning. OOP, TDD, BDD and a whole bunch more acronyms. The reason this is good is because whilst the main languages you'll be working with on the course (and become most familiar with) are Ruby and JavaScript, when you leave to enter the big wide world, you'll be able to take those (highly valued in the industry) principles and apply them to other languages. The syntax changes, the principles don't.

    Bad stuff? Not much. Milk would sometimes run out on a Friday. Same with peanut butter. For me, the course was a means to an end. That 'end' being a change of career. If I wasn't able to get a job then I would probably have a different opinion. That being said, due to the quality of the course, I'm 5 weeks out of Makers and have just had to turn down a job offer from a very well respected company, in favour of another, equally well respected company. Not a bad position to be in, and all thanks to Makers.

    tl;dr. S'good, do it.

  • Moe Sadoon • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Went into Makers with a huge amount of skepticism but I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only did I learn how to code, but I learnt how to learn...as peculiar as that sounds. Walking out of Makers has not only given me a dream job as a developer, but its also given me this surreal feeling of being able to learn and tackle anything, even outside the domain of coding. The atmosphere was incredible and support was also very good on both the technical side with the passionate coaches, as well as the human side with Dana being a superb joy officer looking our mental and physical wellbeing.

    I don't like to make dramatic statements but easily the best decision I've made in my life so far.

  • Edward Withers • Junior Software Developer • Graduate
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    A little about me: I studied politics at university, co-managed a martial arts school, tutored english & maths, and wanted more intellectual challenge. I was looking for a way into the industry, prompted by a developer friend and was stuck between a more traditional masters CS conversion course or a bootcamp.

    I got offered a job last week as a junior software developer working in Ruby which allowed me a moment of massive validation that the career-change gamble I took actually worked. I couldn't be more excited! However, Makers could have done a better job in setting good expectations for how long it would take to get a job. Budget on 3 months job-hunting after you finish Makers. I was among the first few in my cohort to get jobs and i'm 2+ months into the magic 'three months'. (Of course, there are a host of factors involved)

    Makers Academy is not just a place to learn to code(in fact i'd say it's a place to learn how to problem-solve), it's a place of community and friendship and self-development. The educational philosophy that Makers seems to follow is to enable you you to learn as much as possible. The traditional model of timed lectures at fixed points during the day or course doesn't work for them. Instead I felt constantly encouraged to find answers myself and then given tools to do so. Standups twice a day and retrospectives at the end of the week help keep the communication flow up, not to mention the constant pair programming which has made me grow immeasurably as a communicator and as a coder. There is a set escalation process when struggling through a challenging part of the syllabus. Online research, then the peer group, and the assistants, and then the coaches. If the coaches are being asked similar questions a breakout lecture inevitably happens. The whole place breathes Agile practices to give a better feedback loop to students and to staff.

    Each week's topic is broken down into challenges which we complete as much as we can each day in pairs. and the weekend has a related challenge to be completed by yourself. And the syllabus then keeps marching on. The rest week in the middle of the course was fantastic to catch up on sleep and revisit some earlier challenges and even get started learning other things. The coaches are fantastic and have different strengths and weaknesses, and yet combine together to give an all-round solid net to catch and resolve any question we've thrown at them. My advice is to always ask the coaches as much as you want or need.

    Not everyone is suited for Makers Academy. A couple of the reviews here seem to show this. The strength of the course is in the highly selection process that whittles down candidates into a cohort of roughly 30 students. Sometimes the recruitment process makes mistakes. You live and breathe code with the guys and gals for 8-10hours every day for 12 weeks. Now I was the type to be first in the door and last out the door and always trying to find the answers myself. Others aren't quite like that and expect to be handed information. So if you're looking for lots of lectures and lots of 1:1 time each day with the coaches, this is definitely not the course for you. If you're looking for a course that challenges you to rely on yourself until you've banged your head against the wall for an hour trying to understand dependency injection and you finally crack it or trying to debug some omniauth authentication errors but can't but there's a system in place to help you resolve it, and this constant struggle while learning excites you, then this is definitely the course.

    Because that's as close a resemblance of the real world as Makers gets in order to train you to be a job-ready dev when you finish. And it's crazy and intense and filled with a wonderful array of personalities from all over the place. Make sure you understand what Makers is, come for a graduation day, speak to us grads, and then make your mind up! And if you are accepted, study hard during the precourse, and study hard during the course!

    Definitely, no holds barred, recommended.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    So 12 weeks and 8k later, what have I got going on after going through Makers Academy? Well I’ve gotten really good at googling stuff, that’s for sure. 

     
    Going in to the course I was really pumped up and perhaps a little guilty myself of believing all the hype. I don’t know what previous cohorts were like but I don’t think I got value for money and feel like a lot of time was wasted. Time that could have been used to give us a really solid education.
     
    The biggest problem for me was the lack of trainers. The first few weeks were fine but it got to the point where all the staff were working on other things or unavailable for some reason. It’s really hard to learn a subject properly if there’s no one around to teach it.
     
    I got so fed up of being told to go away and google everything. When I asked what would we do if google wasnt an option, I was told to use bing or yahoo. I’m not sure if this was a joke or not. I understand as a new developer we will have to rely on google a lot but I want to at least understand the basics and have the ability to solve simple problems.
     
    When you add up all the time spent clapping, meditating and other non related events you realise you’ve spent half of your 12 weeks doing nothing that is related to the actual course subject. Do we really need so much relaxation and stress management. The only thing stressing me out was not doing the course i’d paid for.
     
    One thing that is probably just me but still stood out was the staff and trainers swearing. Now swearing doesn’t offend me and I understand that the odd word here and there is usual in the workplace. The problem is when you swear all the time people don’t hear what you’re saying, they just hear a bunch of swear words. It’s basically very distracting.
     
    So, have I walked away as a junior full stack web developer? No. Have I walked away with a solid foundation in ruby and pair programming skills? Yes. Would I recommend based on my course? No.
  • Awesome
    - 3/16/2016
    Harry Venables • Software Developer • Graduate
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    awesome awesome awesome. Cant recommend this life changing experience enough

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    I'll start by saying that I quickly found a development job after graduating from Makers Academy, so in that respect if you're looking to make a career change and break into the web development arena, it's certainly an option, however I'm not convinced if Makers is the best option when it comes to the bootcamp experience...

    The on-site portion of the course is broken down into two sections where students are classified as either Juniors or Seniors. Both sections of the course are six weeks long. I found the first six weeks of the course to be to a great standard; learning was well structured, the instructors (Sam, Leo and Roi) were passionate, engaging and knowledgeable in their field. I honestly could not fault this portion of the course.

    In contrast, the final six weeks of the course leaves a lot to be desired. I found that the new set of 'Senior' coaches may well have been non-existant as a means of developing our skill set. They were often missing in action, late to stand-ups, unable to explain concepts concisely or convincingly, etc. When posed with a question, the go-to response always seems to be 'Google it', which is palmed off as being a means of improving your investigation skills as a developer. While I can appreciate this to a certain extent, I feel that the coaches should have been more involved in helping to solidify our understanding of certain concepts. Had I the intention of spending the majority of my time 'Googling' issues, I would not have attended the course. 

    I almost felt like some suggestions went in one ear and out the other, as your questions or suggestions would often be met with an unconcerned shrug (given that one such coach was only recently a former Makers student and quickly left the organisation after I graduated, I'd argue that this is an issue with the Makers hiring process and that they need to more carefully select their staff).

    One particularly irritating point was that, upon offerring suggestions on how the coaches could be utilised more effectively, my cohort was often told 'the coaches are busy doing other things, such as working on the curriculum'. Please bear in mind that the curriculum in question is the curriculum that the next Cohort will be using, i.e. it benefits the current Cohort in no way, and as such, is not our concern. From my point of view, the coaches' primary concern should be addressing the needs of their current students. 

    The after-course careers support service is also, unfortunately, very poor. Makers works in coordination with hiring partners that often employ Makers Alumni, and while this works for some, I found that there were a small number of companies hiring for an equally small number of roles, some of which are based in obscure locations that I can't feasibly see many people being in a position to take. I found that the majority of people are finding work outside of Maker's partner circle.

    Now onto the positives; what are you getting for your £8k? You're getting a structured (albeit incomplete) curriculum that progressively builds upon concepts that help to solidify your u nderstanding of the product development lifecycle. You're getting access to equipment and a space occupied by like-minded individuals who you can partner with to solve a common problem - in essence, you're learning from and with your peers. Personally I did not find the course as challenging as others have made it out to be, however if you find yourself in this position the more spirtual aspects of the course (such as yoga and meditation) are there to support your health of mind and body.

    Despite the above rant, I've given Makers a 3/5 in recognition of the fact that I was able to obtain a job quickly after graduating. I honestly had a great time on the course, spending time with a fabulous bunch of people, however my critiques are in view of the fact that I, and others, paid a large sum of money to attend the course and therefore expect extremely high standards. Had the second half of the course been in line with the standards of the first half, this would have been a 5 star review without a question.

    Makers is capable of great things so I hope they do not allow standards to slip; I only hope that the negative portions of my experience were a result of on-going, unexpected change in the organisation and not reflective of what is to come.

    I would urge Makers to strive for improvement and not be content with the current service that they are offering. There needs to be more engagement between coach and student, the curriculum needs to be improved (which I understand is a work in progress), more practical demonstrations should be offerred (whenever they were, I found that they were greatly beneficial in accelerating our learning). There also needs to be more transparency over the careers support, which I hope I have highlighted in this review. 

     

     

  • Makers Academy
    - 3/13/2016
    Anonymous • Student
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    I've had a poor experience with Makers Academy.
    There is a lack of quality communication and general support with learning to code. 
    The emphasis is more on learning to pair code rather than the code itself.
    I've finished the course still feeling like I don't know how to code on my own.
    My advice to anyone thinking of applying is to decide whether you actually want to learn to code or just get a new job and be a pair programming drone. If you just want a job then at least make sure it is paid.
    If you're going to attend the sample event day then make sure you pay the lowest price. I think it's unfair to charge people different amounts for the same event.
    Be careful with the after course recruitment help. Don't take an unpaid position just because of pressure and that it gives you experience. 
    I'm out of pocket and left dissatisfied.  I wanted to feel confident about coding.
  • Anindya Bhattacharyya • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I took the Makers course in September 2015 and would thoroughly recommend it as a way of learning the basics of software development and the standards expected in the industry. The course is very much a hands-on experience, structured around pair programming and weekly challenges as opposed to formal lessons. I found it exhilarating and extremely effective but also very hard work. The post-course assistance with job hunting was first class and just what I needed.

  • Anonymous • Junior Developer • Graduate
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    After teacing myself coding for several years and working in IT support I applied to Makers Academy to accelerate my learning. After a week of graduating I'd won over £2000 in a hackathon and several weeks later and a lot of interviews I accepted a job as a Junior Developer.

    They taught me concepts including TDD and OOP that I was not able to grasp though books and tutorials. The most important thing they teach us how to approach complex problems.

    The course is hard, intense and they are long days and weekends. The more you put in the more you get out.

Thanks!