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 4.8
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In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week11 Weeks
Deposit £800.00 FinancingLending partners include PCDL (UK Govt) and EdAid Tuition Plans Available through 3rd parties Scholarship £500 scholarship to any woman attending the course.
Minimum Skill Level We expect people to generally understand what coding is about and have some exposure to trialling simple coding challenges. Prep Work To prepare for the pairing session with one of our developers, we would ask people to complete some coding exercises at home and then come in for a pairing session. Placement Test Yes Interview Yes
Makers Academy Reviews
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- Great investment in my future!- 11/22/2016Andrea M • Junior software developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
I graduated from Makers in mid-August 2016. At the time of writing this, I have accepted one of the three job offers I have been made and am about to start working as a professional developer after only 6 months since I decided to change my career and do something I love.
Makers Academy is an amazing environment for learning, helping you develop fundamental skills that make a great developer rather than teaching a specific language or framework. Their career staff is extremely helpful, assisting everyone to find the right job for them.
If you know you want to have a career as a software developer and are looking for reasons to join or not to join Makers, just look at the biggest deliverable, which is how many people who studied here have then gone on to get a job as software developer (relatively) soon after finishing; that should give you confidence that anyone who wants to can make it and Makers is the best way to get there!!
In summary, just do it!
- Awesome- 10/18/2016Fergus O • Graduate • Campus: London
I'm really happy with my decision to go to Makers Academy - really happy. It's quite a big deal to quit a career and to start out completely fresh in something else but that is what I did and I couldn't be more pleased with my decision.
The course is fantastic and the instructors are all great and very knowledgable. They create an atmosphere which is just perfect to learn in. It's quite a fine balance as Makers walks the very thin line between giving you the space to grow by yourself whilst keeping you pointed in the right direction.
If I was going to make any criticism it would be that sometimes Makeres ered on the side of giving us too much space and maybe a bit more structure would have made people feel a bit more comfortable. Saying that though the whole course really is amazing and it is incrediable to look back at quite how much I learnt in whats really a very short amount of time.
A great foundation to kick-start my new career as a juniour developer!
- Makers Academy- 8/8/2016Wayne • Junior Mobile Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
- Challenged myself & doubled my salary!- 7/22/2016Claudia • Associate • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Probably the future of education- 7/7/2016Matthew Bridges • Junior Python Developer • Graduate
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: email@example.com
- Fantastic Online Bootcamp. Changed my life.- 6/25/2016Pablo • Graduate • Course: Remote Web Development • Campus: OnlineThis 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..- 6/23/2016HeDu • Software Engineer • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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!
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
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..:)
- The Right Way Into The Tech Industry!- 6/21/2016James Borrell • Junior Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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- 6/6/2016Zhivko • Junior Developer • Graduate • Campus: London
- Godfrey • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate • Course: Remote Web Development • Campus: Online
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!!!- 6/2/2016Harry Gordon • Junior Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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!!!
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.
- Amazing Experience- 5/7/2016Anonymous • Graduate Software Developer • Student • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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 • Course: Web Development • Campus: London100% 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.
- Best thing I've ever decided to do.- 4/6/2016Chri • Graduate • Campus: London
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.
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.
- Speaks for itself- 4/5/2016Moe Sadoon • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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 • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
- You'll get really good at using google.- 3/18/2016Anonymous • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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- 3/16/2016Harry Venables • Software Developer • Graduate • Campus: London
- Room for improvement- 3/15/2016Anonymous • Graduate • Campus: London
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- 3/13/2016Anonymous • Student • Campus: LondonI'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.
- intense and thorough- 3/2/2016Anindya Bhattacharyya • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Web Development • Campus: London
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.
- Helped Me Become a Developer- 12/18/2015Anonymous • Junior Developer • Graduate • Campus: London
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.
- Highly Selective for a Reason- 9/4/2015Sara OC • Graduate • Campus: London
Makers Academy is hard - but it is exactly what I was after when I decided to change careers. I wanted to come out with the ability to build anything I could think of, and that's what I've got. Practical, real world, immersive, challenging learning, teaching me how to craft solid code (fully tested) with in-demand languages and frameworks, how to code with people (in pairs and in teams) and also that I can actually build anything I put my mind to.
I repeat - it isn't easy but it is worth it. And, best of all, it's a wonderful family. Once you've gone through something as emotional as their 12-week program, you'll have made friends for life.
- Learn to code in 12 weeks- 9/4/2015Emily Sas • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate • Campus: London
Having taken 4 years out of the workplace to stay at home with my two young children, I decided to do a coding bootcamp in order to find challenging meritocratic work that wouldn't care about my 'career break'. I did a lot of research and felt that Makers Academy were head and shoulders above the rest of the UK bootcamps on offer. Not only do they teach you to code, they teach you how to become a good developer by drumming into you the principles of good design, testing, pairing, and agile working. The instructors were amazing and all really lovely people (a couple of whom have remained good friends). It was a very intense 3 months, but some of the most enjoyable I've had. I was offered a job within 2 weeks of finishing despite the fact I was only looking for part-time work (which is thin on the ground in this field). I would recommend Makers Academy unreservedly!