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Makers Academy

London, Online

Makers Academy

Avg Rating:4.79 ( 123 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 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 4.79

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  • Web Development

    Apply
    AngularJS, HTML, Git, JavaScript, SQL, Sinatra, jQuery, Rails, CSS, React.js, Node.js, Front End, Ruby
    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

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  • Chris • Junior Backend Developer • Graduate
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    If you are thinking of undertaking a coding bootcamp you should consider Makers Academy. Take advantage of the tours they run for prospective students to get a feel of what the place is like, and talk to current students.

    Pros:
    - Learning to learn. New concepts, languages, and frameworks come thick and fast. This hones in your process for learning quickly and being able to get projects up and running.
    - Amazing journey with peers, with a feeling of being in it together.
    - The material you cover provides you with the potential to find an entry level job in the industry.
    - The course is very tough at points for everybody. Being committed through the tough times is essential, as the style of teaching encourages you to be self-reliant, which is a good skill to build.

    Cons:
    - It can feel all consuming at points. The more you put in, the more you get out, and it can be difficult to balance your Makers journey with real life, especially over weekends.

  • Worth it!
    - 3/29/2019
    Simon • Graduate
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    Thoroughly rewarding experience if you are willing to put the effort in and collaborate with others. The only real downside is that I didn't attend earlier!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • O • Junior Developer • Graduate
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    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.

     

  • Marek • Front-End Developer • Graduate
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    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.

  • Agnes • Junior Developer • Graduate
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    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.

  • Magyar-Hunor Tamas • Junior Software Developer • Graduate
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    I can not tell anything else than if you want to become a Software Developer then there is no better solution than Makers Academy. 

    The course is tough, but the methodologies, the principles and techniques you learn during the course are in the highest demand on the market at the moment. They also keep the curriculum updated to demands. 
    I had such an amazing 14 weeks with makers ( course on site + jobhunt ) and I can only recommend it. 
    I've learnt a lot about myself thanks to their Chief Joy Officer, Dana, whose curriculum about Emotional Intelligence taught us for example how to be kind to ourself so that we can push to our really bests. 
    The onboarding team, the careers team, the whole Makers staff and of course all the students are amazing poeple. I've made friends for life here and I'd be more than happy to life my life just coming back and doing the course over and over. 

    I can not say anything else than thanks for changing my life, thanks for helping me become a Software Developer and thanks for bringing such a big value to people. 

    If anybody wants to reach out for any questions, I am more than happy to answer, find me on LinkedIn or twitter.

  • Lucas Salmins • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate
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    If you're looking for some solid coding skills and access to a new career path, Makers is the place for you. The monumental task of squeezing huge amounts of base knowledge for web development is expertly managed in the 3-month window, leaving graduates with a solid foundation to build on in a web development career. Learning how to learn is the name of the game.  I couldn't recommend it more 

  • Tom Spencer • Junior Developer • Graduate
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    This is an excellent bootcamp. The course is highly selective so you get to train with an excellent cohort of students who are driven and ambitious. The tutors are supportive and although you learn to work independently you are carefully guided if you experience any more intransigent coding issues. I am absolutely thrilled that I was able to experience this course and it is no exaggeration to say that completing the course has changed my career opportunities. The career support at the end of the course is outstanding and after graduation you automatically become part of a close community of coders who are leading the way in coding in the UK. My advice: Sign up now! You will not regret it!!

  • Suze • Graduate
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    My time at makers academy was a truly life changing experience of learning new skills, how to think about programming and learning new technologies, and forming new relationships while becoming embedded in a new industry. I cannot recommend it enough, both in terms of a rigorous curriculum and an excellent educational philosophy that offers personalised support throughout the course and after graduation
  • Will Schwier • Junior software engineer • Graduate
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    Makers academy was an amazing place and environment to learn how to code. The sense of community right from the start of the pre-course is incredible, with your cohort and the Makers community as a whole. 

    The course itself not only teaches you syntax and certain languages, but also how to teach yourself. This makes picking up new languages and technologies much easier. The methodologies taught, agile and XP, are invaluable in the real world and very sought after. 

    The careers team were so helpful in finding a job. Any issues or questions I had they were more than happy to help me. 

  • James S • Junior Software Developer • Graduate
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    I joined Makers Academy in September 2017 on their immersive coding bootcamp. There was an initial interview process to assess eligibility to the course with a basic technical interview. The first month was a 20 hour per week remote precourse which set the level of understanding needed to progress to the full course. 

    Our class of 17 students were tutored for around 2 hours per day at the start of the course with afternoons reserved for challenges we worked on in pairs, aimed at cementing the knowledge gained in the morning workshops. This combination of traditional classroom and challenge based learning led to an excellent understanding of test driven, agile software development fundamentals and also promoted solid self learning principles.

    Students at Makers get to enjoy a lot of comforts including a fully stocked kitchen, daily guided mediation sessions and yoga classes. Everything is there to be enjoyed and there is no pressure to take part if it's not your thing.

    After the 4 months spent with Makers Academy I was able to successfully land my first job within a week. My time there had fully prepared me for the reality of making the career change into software development and the careers team were on hand to help with the transition in the build up to leaving.

    I would fully recommend Makers to anyone who's considering making the move into development. It can be daunting to take the leap but it's the experience of a lifetime for those who take the risk.

  • Veni Vidi Vici
    - 11/14/2017
    Alessio • Full Stack Developer • Graduate
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    Makers lived up to their promise and exceeded my expectations. 

    I built the product I had always dreamt of, met a bunch of great people, been welcomed everywhere thanks to their great reputation, and got a job within 8 days from finishing the course! What's not to like? Alessio

  • Remote graduate
    - 10/20/2017
    James Turner • Graduate
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    I have only had the opportunity to attend a single coding Bootcamp, I'm glad it was Makers Academy.

    The most impressive part of the course for me, besides the excellent coaching and learning environment, is the post-course support team! they worked tirelessly for as long as it took to get me lots of job Leads both with the massive selection of hiring partners they've built up and helped me improve my interview skills and methods. 

    The main reason I went to makers over other any similar boot camps is the quality of the post-course support.

  • Great experience
    - 10/10/2017
    Alison • Associate Engineer • Graduate
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    I had a great experience at Makers Academy! It's very intensive and you get to learn a huge amount over 4 months. I'd recommend it to people looking to transition into software development - the course was very focussed on teaching skills that would be beneficial in that environment and ultimately helping you to get a job as a developer. That said, the process of getting to that point was really fun, the coaches were supportive and excited to transfer their knowledge, and I only started to be encouraged to think about jobs about 6 weeks from the end of the course.

  • Amazing experience
    - 10/2/2017
    Enrico • Junior Sw engineer • Student
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    The school is amazing, there is good support but don't expect anybody trying to stick knowledge in your brain - they learn you how to be a knowledge worker, you will have to make the learning by yourself!

    I was very pleased by the support before, during (with an amazing student's emotional support) and expecially after the course - they really try to be there at every step of your career, from starting the course to getting a job.

    I was convinced doing the live (not online) course was going to make a huge difference.
    I attended it and it really worked for me, expecially regarding team working skills.

    Although, if you fill you got a good set of those skills already, you can save lots of money by taking the online courses - many remote students have been hired already but don't ask me the stats!

    Also, if you have a good base you could even try without the course and save those money alltogether.

  • Great experience
    - 9/12/2017
    Colin • Software Consultant • Graduate
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    Makers Academy was a tough but really rewarding experience. The course requires you to take a certain responsibility for your own learning but is structured in such a way as to continually build up your skills and confidence. The weekly exercises introduce important concepts through the applications you build. The concepts are not handed to you on a plate and do require you to figure some things out yourself, but I found real value in this process. The coaches really know their stuff and are on hand to help if you are really stuck - again they won't give you the answer on your plate but will help you develop a way forward and solution yourself.

    One thing I did not really appreciate before the course at all was that I would gain experience in areas of development best practice - things like test-driven development, pair programming, or daily standups and retros when working in groups. Getting exposure to these was valuable in its own right, and is also something that I found really interested potential employers.

    The course strucutre was really good and building up my confidence in my own skills - after the first few weeks I felt empowered to try new things with the training wheels firmly off, completing projects in areas such as machine learning and blockchain. At the start of the course I never could have imagined I'd feel confident enough to take on subject matter like that. Again I won't claim it was easy, but we felt we could embrace the struggle and build as we learnt!

    In terms of outcome, I've secured a job with a software consultancy, which I'm really pleased with. The careers team provided good support in helping to put me in contact with potential employers and briefing me on areas to focus on for interview.

    Makers Academy has given me a fantastic foundation as a developer and both a desire and curiosity to keep building my skills.

  • Daniele • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I spent a couple of years trying to learn coding on my own, but never really got to a point where I could have been employable. Makers Academy was the perfect place for me to learn in a structured way. The curriculum focus a lot on "learning how to learn" and learning by doing, so don't expect to be spon fed. We coded from day one and were taught about TDD and Agile practices, stuff that I never heard of before during my self studies. They prepared me for being part of a real working environment, it's not just about coding. After 3 very intense, challenging and rewarding months I found my first job as software engineer for a company that I thought would never even consider me as a candidate.
    To sum it up, if you like to work hard, and learn a tons and be part of an amazing community Makers Academy is the place for you!

  • Charlotte Fereday • Graduate Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I found Makers Academy to be a brilliant experience that fast tracked my programming knowledge in the space of 3 months. I was taught industry best practice, alongside the skills of learning how to learn effectively in an industry that is constantly changing.  We carried out pair programming every day, and were well supported by our coach who went above & beyond to help us learn. I got a job one week after graduating. It's a well respected course within the tech industry & has amazing hiring partners. 

  • Ahmed Shehab • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Before starting my journey in software engineering; I searched around for the best bootcamps in the U.K. Makers academy was simply outstanding in terms of what it had to offer and so I went for it.

    So here I'am a month after finishing the course about to start a job as a software engineer and nearly double my pay from my previous job. If you are the thinking about studying programming / coding, there's no better place than Makers Academy, they don't set limits to what you can achieve and you are constantly challenged to improve and be your best. 

    In terms of languages, by the time I had done with Makers; I'd touched on C#, JavaScript, Ruby and Swift aswell as some of the most popular frameworks out there, again these are not all in the course modules but you are encouraged to explore new things through project work. You learn from day one industry best practices and the fundamentals of programming, and by the time you are done; you'll have a solid portfolio of projects and a great grasp of programming.

    This course is as intense as it gets, and you will get out of it what you put in. This course is for you if your a hard worker, passionate about code and serious about changing your career. Don't expect to be spoon fed and you must have the right mentality to be successful.

    The Makers career team are second to none, and they really do have very strong links with the industry. I got my job through them in a very prestigious company. So if your looking to work in the industry after finishing, this is the right place to study. 

    This has been an amazing experience and it has truly changed my life, if you serious about making a change; then Makers Academy is the place to be.

  • Isabel Larner • Web Developer • Graduate
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    As a testament to the course: I entered Makers Academy with very limited knowledge of software development. I accepted a job offer within three weeks of graduating. 

    • ​There is a lot of focus on care both for yourself and fellow students, including daily meditation and bi-weekly yoga. Both the Joy Officer and the coaches are often around to speak directly about your concerns, and there is a strong, open feedback culture that Makers seem to take very seriously. There is a lot of emphasis on everyone feeling safe and supported. ​
    • The support in getting a job is absolutely fantastic, as long as you put in the effort from your side as well. That means building a rapport with the careers team and helping them to help you find something suitable. They will help you for as long as you need to get a job, though that might mean supporting you in finding one for yourself, as the number of jobs available via hiring partners at any one time will inevitably be fewer than the graduates applying. 
    • The focus on agile practices, software craftsmanship and projects emulating the real world was great. Learning to work like a programmer, think like a programmer and collaborate like a programmer are by far the most important skills Makers can give you - much more than just learning the actual languages, which is something you could probably go at alone with enough time and dedication. These are the skills that will make you employable beyond the code!
    • ​The focus on 'learning by doing' was indispensable in propelling my learning forward. This, along with the 'growth mindset' that is integral to the Makers learning philosophy, was one of the most useful lessons that I will continue to apply not only to my career but to any challenge in life. 
    • The course is set up to promote total self-learning. What little structure you have is slowly pulled back until you are working in a completely self-directed manner. As such, you will have to rely on yourself to progress forward. The coaches are there to keep the ball rolling, but they won't chase you if you fall behind. The onus is very much on you to make it known if you are struggling or need specific guidance. Don't expect to be graded, or even receive much feedback without asking for it.​ This can be very frustrating, especially at first, but is quite good for encouraging self-sufficiency and self-assurance (which will be pretty essential post-course). 
    • There is a sense in which you are at the mercy of your cohort more than your coach. Pair programming happens every day, if not group projects, and programming alone is discouraged. This is fantastic for letting you get a taste of coding collaboratively, actively thinking about a problem and knowledge-sharing, but does also mean you are reliant on each other to maintain a level of commitment and motivation.

    Makers is very much what you make of it. Frankly, it is quite easy to go through the course without much effort, though unsurprisingly the pay-off will be minimal-to-nonexistent. And, of course, it's possible to go at it 24/7 and make coding your life, though I think the necessity of this is over-stated. Maintaining a not-insane work-life balance won't ruin you, as long as you work smart and are mindful of your own progress (it's true, though, that you will need to give up some of your weekends!) Seek help for your weaknesses, engage thoughtfully, be a considerate pair, and you're already halfway there.

  • Bailey Kursar • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Disclaimer: I am writing this review in return for a free hoodie (I do love free hoodies), but apparently I can be as honest as I like 😋

    I was part of the April 2017 cohort at Makers and finished at the end of June. It took me about two weeks to get a job as a Software Engineer afterwards. Before Makers I was a marketer and only had a tiny amount of coding knowledge, all front end.

    I joined Makers because I was making a conscious career change. Before the course I was sceptical that I'd be able to get a job coding straight after, but I've been proved wrong 🙌

    The biggest thing I've got out of Makers is a mindset change. Whereas before I wasn't confident about learning new things, especially technical things, I feel way more confident now. Get yourself a growth mindset 📈 

     

    What's good about Makers Academy?

    • The learning methodology is great; it's all about 'learning how to learn' which focuses attention on feedback and reflection over learning by rote, perfect for getting into good habits as a Software Engineer;
    • The culture is very open and friendly; they take their Code of Conduct seriously in order to create a geniunely inclusive environment;
    • Pair programming every day replicates the environment you'll be in when you get a job after the course, and also helps peers share knowledge without too much interference from coaches;
    • Learning Ruby, then TDD, then about web apps, then JavaScript; the curriculum flows nicely and each week for the first half of the course builds on the knowledge you already have;
    • The careers team are great, friendly and highly motivated to get you a job ASAP after you finish; the jobs are generally good jobs and well paid compared to other graduate-type roles

     

    What's not so good about Makers Academy?

    Firstly – during the application and selection process, they can be a bit pushy. Although they make a big deal of the fact that you've been 'selected' and try and make you feel special, they are clearly under pressure to get you to commit ASAP and pay your deposit. It's a huge life decision to leave your job (if you have one), take three months out, spend £8k etc., and I think they should make more of an effort to not put so much pressure on people at that stage.

    Secondly – your cohort will very much a peer-led learning group. The coach is there as a guide and to give you some structure early on ('leave the stabilizers on') before you're confident enough by yourself. As a consequence you're reliant on your fellow learners to (a) show up, (b) be attentive and engaged, (c) be forgiving if necessary. Undoubtedly, not all of your cohort will match this profile. 

    As an prospective student, if you're hoping for lots of structure and lots of teacher/student type coaching and quantitative feedback, then Makers is not for you. You need to be confident enough to ask for help if you think you need it, too.

     

    Top Tips for Applying to Makers Academy

    Don't freak out. When they invite you for face-to-face interview, read the email they send you with instructions (from memory it's about doing some Ruby on Codeacademy and a couple of other things). What they ask of you is not hard and it doesn't take a huge amount of time. Just make you prepare by doing all the things on their list and you'll be fine.

     

    Final thoughts

    If you know that you're interested in coding, this is a great place to start (if you have the money and the time). It's expensive but if you look at the salaries for the roles from the careers team, a lot of the time it will pay off very quickly. 

    If you don't yet know that you're interested in coding, do some more Codeacademy or similar, or check out free coding meetups like Codebar.

    From what I can see so far, programming is creative, thoughtful and challenging work, and Makers gives you a good taste of that. It's intense only if you want it to be; there's no pressure from the coaches to be working all hours. Take your time and you'll be all the more confident for it.

    Any other questions? I'm on Twitter as @baileytalks – tweet or DM me. Always happy to have an honest chat 👍

  • Basile Koko • Junior Python/Django Developer • Graduate
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    I came to Makers with 3 years experience as a technical support engineer. 
    My goal was to change career into web development.

    3 months after the course, I got a job as a junior Python/Django developer. 
    I wrote a blog about my journey at Makers Academy : https://bkjourneytocoding.wordpress.com/

    What I can say about my experience is that you get out what you put in. 
    Makers has the materials, the curriculum and a dedicated team to help you along the way but you have to put in a lot of work.

Thanks!