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Makers Academy

Bristol, Cambridge, London, Manchester, Online

Makers Academy

Avg Rating:4.81 ( 212 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).

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  • Web Development

    Apply
    AngularJS, HTML, Git, JavaScript, Sinatra, jQuery, Rails, CSS, React.js, Node.js, Front End, Ruby, SQL
    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
  • Becca  User Photo
    Becca • Junior Technologist • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Makers was a fantastic experience, albeit very intense! They do a lot to foster a sense of community, I met so many lovely people both in my cohort and staff members. This really pays off during the course as it is difficult and you are really pushed so having a support system within the course makes such a difference. There's also a lot of effort put into student well-being with yoga and meditation classes. The course focuses on helping you to teach yourself, you are not spoon fed very much beyond the very first steps and are taught how to find the answers yourself. Beyond coding, you also learn good practices to use while coding which I found invaluable, this works as a framework for everything you pick up. I think my only criticism would be that there is a lot of self-learning, but with perspective, it has helped me so much after graduating when I'm working on my own.

    As for employment the careers team were lovely for me and supported me all through the process. They found me relevant jobs and chased up companies who were dragging their feet.

    I came to makers with no tech background and now have a job as a developer! If you can afford it and are a hard worker I would definitely recommend it!

  • Ruan Odendaal  User Photo
    Ruan Odendaal • Full Stack Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    If you're serious about a career change and are up for a challenge then Makers Academy is for you!

    The entire course is pretty intense, 3 months of weekly topics followed by weekend challenges to really make sure you learn as much as humanly possible. It was amazing!

    This is not to scare you off but equally if the above doesn't excite you then you might struggle because every person who makes it onto the course will have signed up to this and be raring to go!

     

    The course: Like many people I wanted to make a switch into development and doing tutorials at home wasn't really cutting it. The course itself is great, every week (well most) your coach starts the week of introducing the next topic. Sometimes this may involve whiteboard sessions, talking through syntax and others just pointing you and your pair to the repository for that topic. That week you then spend working through a specific challenge focused on teaching you about this topic. Each day you switch pairs so you have the benefit of looking at different code, different ways of thinking and learning from one another.

    This is ultimately the key thing that makes Makers Academy so good. They get a whole bunch of passionate people from diverse backgrounds together, set them a challenge and support where necessary. Makers isn't an onsite tutorial because if it was you really wouldn't understand the content. If I didn't have to figure things out myself (or with my pair) I honestly don't think I'd remember half of what I do now.

     

    Career support: They have a great careers team who do everything they can to support you in your job search afterwards. But just like the course, this is driven by you and you have to be prepared to put the hours in.

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    I loved Makers Academy, but be warned, this course is not for the faint-hearted! It is really intense - it has to be, it's only 12 weeks long! So you have to be prepared to commit utterly during that time, including weekends, if you want to make progress.

    I chose to do Makers Academy because I felt that just doing online tutorials by myself was difficult to find time to do while working, demotivating and left me with a lot of questions. Makers Academy did not disappoint. The way that the course is structured means that you're not spoon fed a 'how to be a developer' syllabus but rather led to discover yourself how to be a developer - you're given signposts, if you will, rather than an actual map. So we were taught concepts, skills and behavioural practices (Agile, XP values) over the concretes of how to actually write code, as the latter is usually quite easy to find yourself.  The focus is put on learning how to learn and learn quickly in order that students can leave with a certain level of self-sufficiency when coming across a new language or coding practice after the course is over. 

    We pair programmed throughout the duration of the course - this is great for honing communication skills,  for learning how to talk clearly about unfamiliar concepts and enhancing understanding. Again, this is not for everyone - if you're a lone ranger,  get frustrated at others for being slow or resentful of people being ahead of you, then you should probably look into other courses.

    One of the really great things about Makers Academy was that we were being taught best practices on real-world applicable projects from day one. It meant that right from the beginning I knew that what I was learning I could actually use once the course was over - which sounds daft but I did a degree and have not used it since graduating. 

    I also appreciated Makers Academy's attention to the wellbeing of their students - it could be easy to burn out in such an environment, but daily meditation, twice weekly yoga and the support of the Coach and Joy Officer kept me simmering at an optimal learning temperature rather than boiling over.

    Conclusion: do this course if you want to be a software developer, are happy to put in the time, are cool with self-learning and enjoy collaborating with people to build awesome things. 

  • Lifetime experience
    - 10/15/2020
    Neha Singh • Software Engineer
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    I think the best part is it simulates the actual office environment. The tools used and agile methodologies adopted in group project gives feeling of working in actual office. You have to learn things by yourself and with your pairing partner or group. If you are stuck there are coaches to help out. 
  • Highly recommend
    - 10/2/2020
    Sophie Brown • Software Engineer • Student
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    I started this year as a pastry chef, having fallen into the food industry after leaving university. It has a low roof, and I knew I wanted a job that had more mobility and options. I started the year as a pastry chef, and will end the year as a software engineer for a major player in the tech industry. This would absolutely not have been possible without Makers.
      Whilst the course teaches you a lot in terms of technical scope, the greatest asset is the way that Makers primes you for the tech world, and it opens doors by having the name, and the hiring team, backing you in the job hunt. More than that, having the support of other Makers is invaluable - Makers gate-keeps so that only those who are really engaged and excited attend the course. It creates an environment that values good mental health (baked into the curriculum), but also intellectual curiosity. 
      Makers won't spoon-feed you all the knowledge you gain, but  hopefully, you will end the course as excited as I was (and continue to be!) about the technologies that exist and about starting a career in tech!
  • E Wright • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Ultimately I would recommend Makers as the best way to quickly get into the exciting world of software development. If you’re someone who loves learning and is excited to work hard at something new, then this course is for you!

    Pros

    No background in coding needed.

    Cheaper and quicker than a degree.

    Good course materials, you will learn loads in a short space of time, and have more material than you can possibly get through so you can choose bits that interest you. If you missed bits during the course, the material is always available to you after the course.
    You learn how to code in a workplace to make you as employable as possible. You’re taught Test Driven Development, Version control, good code fundamentals, how to pass interview tech tests and how to code as part of a team which are all really useful.

    Makers have a great team of coaches/staff that are lovely, both during and after the course. They are open to feedback, which has resulted in the course evolving over the years. The coaches are happy to help with problems if you’re struggling. I found the post-course coaches to be the most helpful, they have a wealth of knowledge and resources to help with all job hunt aspects.

    Emotional wellbeing focus - there is a dedicated person to provide emotional support, there to listen and help if you’re finding it stressful (and a career change can be pretty stressful). Meditation and yoga are great if you’re into that.

    Amazing network of active alumni that help out with problems and will link to mid/senior roles for later in your career
    This course is good for people who are willing and able to work hard. You don’t need to be super smart, just able to deal with situations where the work is tough and no one is providing you solutions straight away.

    There are projects to get involved in after the course to learn additional skills while you job hunt, the teamwork never has to stop!

    Macbooks provided while on the course.

    Cons

    It’s not easy. Your brain will work hard to put all this new information into it. And it doesn’t end once you land a job - you never stop learning. Be prepared.

    The course is best for people who like to work with others - you will be pairing or in teams every day on the course. If you prefer to work by yourself, this is probably not the course for you.

    The course is currently remote due to the current world situation. You will have to work a little bit harder to get to know your cohort, however there is plenty of time dedicated to working with your cohort so bonding really does happen. Also remote courses work best with a reliable internet connection for all the zoom calls.

    Course is mostly in Ruby with some Javascript, which is lovely for beginners, but there are not so many jobs in Ruby. You have to be willing to work after the course/at the start of a new job to pick up something new (this is much easier with the skills you learn from the course).

    As of September 2020, the job market is just picking up after Covid, and Makers don’t currently have as many hiring partners with open roles as they did. There are still roles, but most people will get jobs from outside of Makers. Be prepared to spend time dedicated to jobhunting after the course.

    The job offer guarantee refund isn’t automatic - to get it you need to apply to ~20 jobs a month and put in learning hours after graduating. Talking to coaches can give you flexibility and help you find a structure that works for you. If you take the refund, you will lose help from coaches so it’s not the right option for everyone.

    Graduates in Comp Sci will know more than you, especially on software and hardware background. Learning about algorithms is an option course for makers grads whereas Comp Sci grads often cover it early on. To get jobs, you have to be able to market yourself in other ways, explain non coding work experience is relevant, show you know how to code in the workplace and have made cool projects during your time at Makers. Absolutely do-able and Makers will help you do that. Makers have a good reputation in the industry which works in your favour, but there are some jobs that will favour uni grads.

  • Karla • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Makers provided a really great environment to learn how to become a professional software developer. It catered to all styles of learning and had a good balance between directing our learning and forcing us to learn by ourselves. Experiencing this process with a group of like-minded people also created a fun and supportive environment which helped to maintain motivation throughout the course.

    Makers also offered amazing support after graduating to help us find a job. I attended free workshops to further my coding skills, a hackathon and I participated in a group project that was lead by one of Maker's coaches. Makers also offered loads of 121 support with coaches, interview practice, and so on. Job hunting during a pandemic was tough at the best of times, but Makers put in a lot of effort to help us be successful despite this.
  • Nick Butler • Graduate
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    I had a fantastic time at Makers, so much so that I have regularly said to people that I wouldn't mind starting again!  
    It is a really supportive positive environment where the main takeaway for me was that the key was "Learning to learn".  The coaches offer just the right amount of guidance and support without holding your hand. This allows you to learn to unblock yourself and find your own answers which is ultimately the key skill which will see you succeed. 
  • Alex Lewis • Student
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    To sum up, the approach at Makers is to help you learn to learn better. You will not be spoon-fed, they will teach you the basics and from there it is up to you to find the answers where you do not already know them. This is important, as one of the aims of the course (although not stated) is to get you to a point where you feel comfortable being uncomfortable. A point where you feel comfortable not knowing something and then being able to use the process they give you to find the answers. This is better than other courses that follow a 'we demonstrate and then you replicate' approach. You will be constantly stretched throughout the course, simply because of the time constraints. As soon as you think you are getting to grips with a concept, you have to move on to the next thing. You cannot hope to learn all the material available on the course and one of the toughest things was to be at peace with that.

    The curriculum is good overall. They start you off using Ruby due to its accessible nature, you then move onto learning JavaScript which is a fairly smooth transition because of most of the things you know from Ruby translate to JavaScript. You also look at other areas such as databases and the HTTP response cycle. In our course, there was a two-week project that used Ruby on Rails which I personally felt was wasted time. Although there are plenty of companies using Rails, two weeks would almost certainly be better spent building a full-stack JavaScript application using a framework like React or Vue. These skills are simply much more in demand. There are other technologies or concepts that would be great if they could include in the curriculum but I think considering the time constraints it is a very useful and complete grounding in web development.

    The coaches are all very personable and are genuinely determined to make you better. As I touched on previously, if you can't work something out, they won't give you an answer, they will start by asking you what your process is and making you go through the process so that you can arrive at an answer. For sure this is the right way to go about things. Occasionally, however, you simply just don't understand a concept, you've tried your best to find out the answer and you really need someone to explain it to you like you are a dummy. I found the coaches could be a little blind to that, and on occasion somewhat resistant to helping. Indeed there were some frustrated conversations where we wondered what we were getting for our money as we may only get 3-4 hours worth of workshops in a week, and otherwise, we were teaching ourselves everything (again I acknowledge self-teaching, overall, is a pro of this course). I also think that the coaches are a little overstretched. It could take a while to get feedback or help with something. I believe there are some moves being made to get some extra coaches in, which should help this. 

    All Bootcamps are naturally intense experiences and one of the things that Makers do best is look after you. There is an emotional intelligence curriculum to help you manage your emotions better and also to work with others. The coaches are all very empathetic and approachable but there is also a coach dedicated to the emotional well being of students who gives fantastic, constructive methods so that you can finish the course without excess stress. I know for a fact that Makers supported people who needed substantial help to overcome some serious difficulties and for this, I cannot commend them enough.

    The careers team is great and very supportive. You feel they are genuinely in your corner and rooting for you all the way. Again I think they could do with more technical coaches for post-course but I believe steps are being taken to increase numbers here.

    A final minor point is there were a couple of moments where I felt that political opinions were given by Makers staff which I felt were shared in the assumption that everyone would agree with them and whilst I don't think organisations have to be apolitical, I think care should be taken over this. 

    Overall I would definitely recommend this Bootcamp. The curriculum is good, the coaches are great and I've definitely made some good friends who I've shared the experience with. I mentioned that at points we wondered what we were getting for our money. The price tag is hefty (but cheaper than some others), but so much of the value of that is being put with a group of fellow students who share your ambition. You drive each other on. By being with like-minded people you are so much more likely to achieve your goal rather than going it alone. I think there are things to improve upon and I have had no problem with writing my critiques publicly because as an organisation they are very open to constructive feedback.

    If you want to change career, this won't be easy, but commit to it and you will get the rewards.

  • Nima Soufiani • Full stack software engineer • Graduate
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    Having programmed as a hobby for around a year before joining Makers, I couldn't say I was completely new to software development. Everything was self taught up until that point and I had wanted to make a career switch from Structural Engineering to Software Engineering.

    After failing a few tech tests before Makers I realised I had quite large knowledge gaps and needed a way to fill them. Having spoke to a graduate of Makers from around a year and a half ago, I decided to go all in on Makers. What attracted me were 3 things:

    1) learning best practices
    2) careers fair
    3) Job offer guarantee

    What followed was 1 month of learning on site and the 2 last months was spent entirely remote working.

    The 1 month spent on site was honestly the best experience I ever had learning. You are on site with other people who are aiming for the same goal and there is a sense of camaraderie as everyone encourages and helps one another. Plus, there is a kitchen and there is a table tennis table. The  time spent playing table tennis and eating peanut butter in the kitchen is sorely missed!

    The last 2 months were spent being entirely remote. It was difficult to adjust at first. Having experienced how good Makers was on site, the first 2 weeks spent remotely just felt like a major bummer in comparison. It helped to remind myself of a dream of mine, which is to travel and work at the same time so I tried to see this as training for that dream. The coaches still provided lots of support and everyone was getting better with remote working as the days went by. So in terms of the level of education you'll receive, it is still consistent with being on site. Though whether you feel you can work better on site or remotely entirely depends on yourself. I will say that working remotely seems to be the present and the future so getting some experience with working remotely is a great opportunity you'll receive at Makers. 

    The course was entirely self led which is important because things move very fast in this industry and you need to learn to learn. I can understand why some people may be frustrated that coaches won't always just give you an answer to your question. It's like "I paid so much money, why can't I just get an answer?". Just realise that the indirect answers you get is on purpose and it is to make you find the answers by yourself. That is an important skill to develop and I feel Makers tries their best to promote that.

    Anyway, You'll still get workshops and you are encouraged to join the workshops. I've been to some of these workshops and they are well worth going to. A lot of knowledge can be gained from there and it'll definitely make you think! 

    By far the best thing about Makers are the people in your cohort. You'll be pairing on problems throughout the course and this really is a fantastic experience. You'll also work on group projects and this is an opportunity to see what it's like to work in a dev like environment. You'll need to work as a team to create certain projects which is very fun!

    And finally there is the demo day which will involve you and your team thinking of an idea and creating it! We had just over a week to make our own application. Given the time constraint we were under, we were under a lot of stress but it all came together at the end because of good team work. The moments spent creating this application I will cherish for a long time.

    The careers support team are sensational really. They encourage you and support you all the way. One of the reasons I joined Makers was for the careers fair, as stated earlier. Because of the whole covid situation, we never got a chance to experience careers fair which I hear is an amazing way for juniors to get noticed by these companies. So that was a real shame and I hope Makers can make the whole careers thing happen again one day.

    So even though the Makers course has moved remotely, for now, I still recommend Makers. Hopefully people can experience what it's like to work on site again but you'll still get the same level of support from everyone there. 

    Thank you Makers!
  • Anna Maria • Graduate
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    I had such an amazing experience learning to develop at Makers. The program itself is high-paced, fun, social, and challenging, and you really do learn something new every single day. I actually am very confident that this is the best program for career changers out there, as it has a great reputation in the industry, but also I personally find that it prepared me really well for my software development apprenticeship. I can't recommend Makers enough if you are thinking of changing careers; trust me it really has a great reputation for a reason. 
  • Excellent
    - 7/25/2020
    Josh Blumberg • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I absolutely loved Makers, and the experience is exactly what they say it will be. There's something to be said for having a bunch of driven, likeminded people in the same room, and you instantly form a bond as you are working very hard to gain these new skills together. It is certainly intense, but there is support there for you both academically and emotionally. I would encourage anyone considering doing it to spend a few days (straight) coding, and see if you enjoy it. Because it is significantly different from what you experience playing around with CodeAcademy and the like, and it's important to be sure you enjoy it before taking the plunge. The only thing that I think could be improved is the JavaScript portion of the course (2 weeks out of 12), as it was slightly outdated and therefore not super well aligned with industry best-practices. The job support was brilliant, with coaches on hand to help with things like CV's/Cover Letters, and interview prep. They are also adding new services to bolster job support given that it has become a bit more difficult in the current circumstances. 

Thanks!