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Makers Academy

Bristol, Cambridge, London, Manchester

Makers Academy

Avg Rating:4.82 ( 230 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

Shared Review

  • Claudia • Associate • Graduate
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    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. 

    Experience:
    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. 

    Instructors:
    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. 

    Curriculum:
    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.

    Job Assistance:
    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. 

  • Minsi Yang  User Photo
    Minsi Yang • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Pros: 
    - Women and Gender Minorities Discount to promote diversity
    - A holistic approach learning process meaning that I have to be very clear with my learning goal in order to progress
    - Emotional curriculum that ensures the progress of inner development
    - Great post bootcamp career support with helpful workshops for interview methods and job application methods
    - Great alumni community to network, ask questions and learn new trending technology
    - Dedicated and caring coaches 
    Cons:
    - The curriculum could be very intense for a learner who has no prior coding experience
    - Some parts of the curriculum are outdated, it would be great to have constant updates

    It was a very intense journey for me during the pandemic and having a three-year-old running around at home. However, looking back at it, I am glad that I made it. I didn't only learn about new technologies, but also the process to learn a new thing, the process to work in an agile team and most importantly -- the process to understand myself. I also got the chance to meet a world of people and professions that I wouldn't have come across from my old job, and gained some long-lasting friendships. 

    Learning a new thing is hard, but it is only because it is NEW. So go ahead, start now :) We all can do it!
  • Arabella  User Photo
    Arabella • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    It is really challenging but I think that is the fun of it. The things you are doing in your final weeks you would never conceive of doing 12 weeks before. The speed of growth is absolutely incredible. The makers community is also so great, everyone is so keen to help each other even years after they have left.  Having been remote I thought it may have impacted the dynamic of our cohort but it didn't, everyone has made some solid friendships coming out of the course. 
  • Fantastic Course
    - 1/16/2021
    Emily  User Photo
    Emily • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    The coaches are excellent and there's always somebody available when needed, but figuring things out yourself first is encouraged. I became more self-sufficient and learnt more than I thought I'd have been able to in 12 weeks. Most importantly, it was fun. The time flew by and I'd do it all again if I could. The job support afterwards is also great, plenty of workshops, one-to-ones available and plenty of hiring partners offering lot's of opportunities.

  • Just do it!
    - 1/8/2021
    Ellis Tricktt  User Photo
    Ellis Tricktt • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Deciding to change career and start my tech journey at Makers was by far the best decision I have ever made and the friend of mine who convinced me to go with Makers said the exact same thing. It is not a coincidence.

    Despite joining in April 2020 at the begining of the pandemic and the course moving remotely, I still feel that I learnt all that was needed to become a successful software developer. 

    The curriculum is spot on for the types of roles/companies that you want to be working for when applying for your first job. The senior coaches are experts in their field and always on hand to answer any questions you may have, even months after you have finished the course. And the learning environment is unique. Makers is a special place and if you do decide to join you will quickly appreciate the "we're all in this together" ethos that is developed among your colleagues in your cohort.

    It's not a quick fix by all means and it is not easy, but if you are willing to put in the hours and completely dedicate the next 4+ months of your life to the cause, look no further - Makers is the place for you! 

    Good luck!
  • Harry Lingard-Bright  User Photo
    Harry Lingard-Bright • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    A great way to learn to code and wonderful colleagues and coaches to help you on the way. Trains you to be a developer rather than just learning a coding language, and really sets you up well for that first coding job in a relatively short amount of time. A great course! 
  • Gina Frankel   User Photo
    Gina Frankel • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Overview:
    - Self-led + collaborative learning with peers
    - Experiential learning through challenges and group work
    - Workshops
    - Coach support
    - Focus on process and problem-solving
    - Focus on code quality

    Learning Style and support:
    I really liked self-learning. But it does not suit everybody, especially if you are not used to this method. The coaches are very valuable resources, and they will spend a lot of time helping you. They will you guide you on solving a problem if you are stuck and will review your code. I found I learnt the most by getting code reviews. But you need to be pro-active and seek their support. You are also encouraged to work together with your cohort to learn. This makes learning much more fun, and also forces you to work on your communication skills.

    Code Quality:
    Makers has a large focus on writing code that is readable and can be changed easily. They have a large focus teach on Test Driven Development and teaching you problem-solving techniques specific to coding to ensure that that code you write is of high quality as well as best practices to use when working in an agile team. This is definitely one of the things that set makers apart from just studying yourself. Whenever I have done tutorials they have taught me how to apply technology, but they have not taught me anything about object-oriented principles, clean code, or git.

    Soft Skills:
    There is a large focus on soft skills such as communication and emotional intelligence. There are lots of workshops on helping you with this, and there is a wellbeing coach too who can help you if you are feeling overwhelmed. At first, I thought all this focus on wellbeing is really nice and important to me but is it actually going to help me get a job. But it turns out companies really value this.

    Job Support:
    There is a lot of support in helping you get a job. There are 2 career coaches who will help you write your CV and perfect your cover letter. For the first month, they offer workshops on how to write technical CV's, cover letter and use LinkedIn. Also there is an option to join group projects, which are facilitated by one of the Makers coaches. You can join these if you want to ensure you are upskilling. Makers also have companies who directly go to them. These companies range in size from startups to very large companies. They are of high quality and really understand what you as a Bootcamp student can offer and also know what they need to invest in you. From my experience, it was much easier to get an interview with these companies than applying externally. However, because of Covid, there are a lot fewer jobs, and thus a lot fewer companies going through makers. I did find though, in the last 2 months, Makers was getting a lot more companies. Again with the job support you have to be pro-active, especially after the first month and ask the job coaches to help you.

    Summary:
    If you are someone who is pro-active and can self-learn then Makers is perfect, as it will ensure you learn best practices and will give you a great foundation in software development.

  • Dillon Barker  User Photo
    Dillon Barker • Test Analyst • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I was a grad who wanted to get into coding more, but wasn't able to pick up any jobs with my little experience in coding. This course provided me with the fundamentals to learn more and more and get a job.

    The staff are lovely, friendly and helpful. But it is on you as the student (as it should be, and always is) to make the most of the opportunities they provide.

    The course is intense, I coded pretty much everyday for 12 weeks as well as doing the 4 weeks pre-course. But there is no better way to learn and this certainly proved that. You have to be prepared to put the time in to learn and improve, especially on weekends to consolidate what you learnt in the week.


  • Zsofia Szonyi  User Photo
    Zsofia Szonyi • Associate Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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     Joining Makers was the best decision I've made recently. 

    When I decided to change my career I started to teach myself to code on the frontend. I was hitting walls during my learning but I was hesitant at first to take it further and enrol a bootcamp because of the price. Now I know it was totally worth it. 

    I based the decision to join Makers on the unique curriculum that contains topics that make you stand out among all the aspiring software engineers (TDD, Agile methodology, modelling, extreme programming and more). In addition, during the course I learnt how to effectively work in a software engineering team, how to plan and track my learning, and about good processes in general. Learning is mostly self-led with workshops and tutor's support when required. This means you effectively learn how to learn, but it can be frustrating and it may not be everyone's learning style. 

    Makers have an amazing career support system for graduates, and they really try to help you find that first software engineering role. There are workshops on writing CVs, cover letters, interviewing etc, and coaching sessions after the course. 

  • Victor Vallet  User Photo
    Victor Vallet • Founder & CTO • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Joining Makers in May 2020 has been the best decision I made in my life, and here are the reasons :

    Teamwork. In my whole educational background, from Business School to University, I never learned how to properly work in a team. At Makers, from Day 1, we are taught to work with different people from different backgrounds through peer group check-ins in the mornings/afternoon, and of course through intensive coding pairing sessions!
    Not only did I learn how to work and code with other people, but I also improved my communication skills. One particular point that was crucial during those sessions was to be able to share our feelings, introspect, and share ideas and thoughts. Of course, another big thing was to help others with something and to be helped with another one. 
    Now, I feel really better about working with people. I know how to listen to people's ideas, give them my point of view, lead if appropriate, or even challenge their ideas to go further. 

    Track learning. In the same way, I have never been taught how to properly keep track of my learning before Makers. We discovered a wide range of tools such as Trello or GitHub to be able to write down our new learnings, our daily and weekly goals, and even our areas of further development. I'm now CTO of my own startup, and I could not imagine working without my Trello board now! 

    Self-learning. Although the course focuses on teamwork, it also required us to work a lot on our own. This involved reading a lot (articles, GitHub courses), looking up a lot of concepts and issues on StackOverflow, watching videos, and online courses to go always further! Being curious and motivated is also the clue when joining Makers and is part of the journey. 

    Support. During the whole course, I have been helped by a lot of people at Makers. Firstly, by my peer group, when I was not feeling really good or experienced issues with something. Then, the whole May cohort on daily issues. And finally by the coaches that gave me advice on both course-related issues and personal ones. After the course, I also took benefit from the Slack community which was the perfect way to reach out to the coaches or my fellow Makers!

    Coding the good way. Before joining Makers, I started to learn JavaScript on my own to develop the platform of our business. I followed Udemy and Code Academy courses, did some reading, and learned by doing. Yet, I knew I was not really coding the good way: my code was not DRY at all, had some repetitions, and above all, it was not tested... At Makers, I learned that before writing a single line of code, you NEED to test it. Then you can build a code that is perfectly tested and performant. This was a  totally new approach for me and when I went back to my business it helped a lot!

    Modeling. In the same way, I used to code straight without really knowing the variables at stake or even the main goal. During the course, I have been taught to write down every variables (classes, methods, objects) involved in my program before writing my first line of code. This has been so so useful in my personal project, and I always start with modeling before coding now!


    In short, joining Makers Academy has really been the best experience I ever had. I totally change my way of thinking, working, coding, and approaching an issue. A warm thank you to everyone that contributed to this amazing journey with me. 

  • Steven  User Photo
    Steven • Klavins • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Intro 
    Considering attending Makers? Well, you're in the right place! Hopefully, my review can help give you some valuable insight and help you make a decision with confidence.

    Last year I took a huge risk and left the stability of my job to pursue a career in software development. It was a really tough ride going at it alone so I reached out to a fellow developer for advice, it was not long into the conversation he recommended Makers. He's a senior technical consultant and stated; "You should try Makers, some of the best developers I've known came from there". Needless to say, I was sold and attended a Makers open day to find out more. I highly recommend doing so if you're on the fence or have questions about the curriculum, I went to 3 open days prior to enrolling and applied with confidence I was making the right decision. 

    So, what was it like joining Makers? 
    I knew early on my experience at Makers would differ largely from previous cohorts. The semester commenced right as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK hard, we were officially in full lockdown. Ultimately this resulted in my cohort only physically being on campus for one day, the remainder of the lectures were hosted via Zoom calls. This said, if you're reading this further down the line, your experience could differ largely from mine! 
    Prior to attending the course, you are required to complete a fairly easy-going interview. This interview consists of an introduction and some very basic questions about the Ruby language. (You will be using Ruby for the first half of the course and later be introduced to JavaScript. Ultimately however you can explore any tech you want for your final project.) 

    Following the interview, clear instructions are provided and you will be assigned some basic technical tests. Providing you complete your tests you will then be enrolled to attend the main portion of the course. I highly recommend you take advantage of this time to get to know your cohort. During this time my fellow Makers were a wonderful source of support and I had the chance to form some very meaningful friendships. 
    As previously mentioned you start the course using Ruby and I was admittedly a little put off by this. If you are London based and know the job market Ruby is not a popular choice, however, I was missing the point. Ruby is used by Makers to illustrate the concepts of programming as it's a clear and simple language to get to grips with. The further you get into your development career the more you will realize the concepts of programming play a much larger role than syntax does.

    What you cover in the main portion of the course
    You will cover;
    Object orientated programming, Test-driven development
    Agile/XP principles
    Ruby, JavaScript
    Rails, NodeJs, 
    PostgreSQL, SQL, Mongo DB
    RSpec, Jasmine, Capybara
    Anything else you wish to learn 

    A friendly warning: as the main portion of the course is only 3 months long it is very intense. You will have to work very hard during this time to keep up, however, you will be provided with a lot of support too. During your time at Makers, you will learn not only how to code, but you will also learn how to look after yourself and manage workloads. Makers emphasize the importance of looking after your mental health, daily meditation sessions were on offer, and prior to lockdown yoga sessions too! You will address subjects such as imposters syndrome, burnout, and anxiety as it's something we all deal with at some point in our career.

    During the course I found Makers did something very unique, you learn how to learn. Yes, you heard that right! The tech industry is a very fast-moving one and having an effective learning process is paramount, 'What do I need to learn?' is a very ambiguous question. I feel a lot of courses out there neglect this factor and Makers does a great job of addressing the subject. 

    Preparing yourself for the job market 
    Makers did a fantastic job at helping us write a good CV, every job I got a response for would comment on how well written it was. We had workshops on platforms such as LinkedIn and support preparing for interviews. However, I have to confess I felt a little out of the loop during the job hunting process. Morning check-ins were available but ultimately it felt like a rather isolated task searching for work. It would have been great if there were more post-course up-skilling workshops, just something to help prevent people from stagnating. 

    During this period I recommend continuing to pursue projects with your cohort and supporting each other. Keep in touch, don't drop off the grid, and keep learning!  

    Pros and cons

    Pros 
    You will be fast-tracked to getting your first developer role, providing you put in the work.
    Wonderful culture and friendly staff. 
    Internal job applications are available via Makers recruiters.
    You have the chance to meet industry experts. 
    You get to meet like-minded people and form meaningful friendships. 
    You remain part of the Makers alumnus even after the course is finished.
    You get support writing a great CV for your first job.

    Cons
    The course is a very intense experience and may be overwhelming for some. 
    The course cost is a fairly hefty lump of cash, however a similar price to others of its kind. (£8000).
    No option to work on-site at present (11/11/20) (However this is out of Maker's hands due to Covid in fairness).
    The course is aimed at web development, which may be a pro or con depending on what you're looking for. 
    There were few jobs to apply for through Makers (Again I believe this to be due to the Covid pandemic).

    In summary, would I recommend makers? 
    The short answer is yes, I would, but it depends. 
    Are you dedicated and enthusiastic about development?
    Are you looking for a challenging career with continuous up-skilling? 
    Are you willing to put the time in to learn the skills?

    If your answer is no to any of these questions, I would say with all honesty this is not the course for you. If your answers are all yes go for it and don't look back!

    I hope you found this review helpful and informative, I am at present employed leaving the course and my career prospects are looking very bright.
    Thank you for reading!

  • Daniel Morris  User Photo
    Daniel Morris • Web Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Pros

    Fantastic fast-paced curriculum covering the practical side of development so you can produce applications as quickly as possible.
    Great collaborative techniques and online hub for resources.
    Dedicated, skilful and patient coaching staff (Thanks Eoin, Katarina, Alice, Tatsiana and everyone else who helped me!)
    Fantastic mental health and wellbeing management (Thanks Dana!)
    Emphasis on balancing delivery, learning and fun.
    Really teaches you invaluable best practices and design patterns  and tools to land you in a job quickly.
    Accepting, inclusive and motivating environment. 

    Improvements

    A bit too many pairing sessions. Outside of special weeks, you are allocated another developer to work with in the afternoon every day. While I absolutely enjoyed pairing and saw great value in the process, five out of five days on occasion felt like a lot!

    Little theoretical teaching on topics like advanced data structures and algorithms. They do however, for free, provide this as extra work outside of the course. You will have to ask or look for it though.
  • Rich Ewin  User Photo
    Rich Ewin Verified via GitHub
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    If you are thinking of learning how to code, DO IT. If you are thinking of joining a bootcamp, join Makers Academy! 

    In my previous life I was a Technical Recruiter and had always been interested in the tech world, especially software dev, as I found it fascinating how engineers can solve real world problems by writing code and creating applications. 

    My initial idea was to return to University and complete a CS degree, however after speaking to engineers they said a bootcamp may be a better option. This is because bootcamps teach you the everyday skills of a dev, for example: writing clean code, working within agile methodology (pair programming, sprints, CI/CD, TDD), understanding git/version control and knowing how to work in a dev team.

    Here are my overall thoughts on Makers Academy. 

    -The admissions experience is incredible, I knew exactly what was going on and what I needed to do to succeed. There is a technical test to get into Makers, but they provide you with the required learning material to succeed. 

    -It's a bootcamp, it's intense. You will work 7 days a week, you will work 12 hour days. Some people didn't work as many hours and still achieved similar results so it's up to you and how much effort you put in.

    -The curriculum is great for learning OOP, TDD and starting with Ruby helps understand/engrain this. You will start learning JS in week9 ( i think?) and theres a sprinkle of HTML/CSS. I would say the bootcamp is more focussed on back end that front end. I wanted to learn REACT but it was not in the curriculum so needed to learn outside of bootcamp hours. You will work on various projects which allow you to have exposure to different tech, for my final team project we worked within REACT which was cool.

    -The coaches are awesome. They have experience working in large tech firms (Deloitte, Facebook). They have extensive knowledge to share but be warned, they are not there to provide answers to when you are stuck. It is a course that teaches you how to learn, how to break down problems and find solutions independently. This is how the real dev world works. 

    -The partnerships team are incredible, they provide so much support to you when you are job hunting. I was lucky to get a job via Makers and I can't thank them enough. 

    -There is a strong focus on mental health which is awesome. They have a full time joy officer (!) who teaches yoga daily and helps with any emotional stress <3

    Please attend Makers, it's amazing.

Thanks!