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MakerSquare

Austin, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco

MakerSquare

Avg Rating:4.41 ( 88 reviews )

MakerSquare is a 12-week immersive career accelerator program in Austin and San Francisco that aims to turn ambitious beginners looking to learn computer programming into marketable software engineers. MakerSquare's curriculum focuses solely on JavaScript with a large focus on software engineering fundamentals. NodeJS, Angular, Meteor and Express are just a few of the libraries, frameworks and platforms students work with. Additionally, throughout the program, MakerSquare hosts a variety of interactive events like mentorship night, weekly Makerstories sessions, Demos 'n' Drinks nights, hackathons, and career prep events. MakerSquare hosts a Career Day at the end of every class and also provides ongoing graduate career support to help students get interviews with partner companies. MakerSquare is looking for students who are passionate, tenacious, curious, patient and critical thinkers.

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  • No brainer.
    - 1/15/2016
    Garrett • Cloud Software Engineer • Graduate
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    When my startup blew up, I didn't know really what to do. 

    I tried applying for jobs in marketing, but realized I'd be starting from the bottom all over again after two years of hard work, sacrifice, and not enough pay.

    When I found MakerSquare, it reignited a passion about programming that was sleeping inside me for over ten years - only I had been on the outside looking in.  During my application process, I realized that 'this was what I was meant to do'.

    I made amazing friends. Everyday there were tough problems, funny jokes, and good times. That made the long hours a lot easier. 

    Three months later, I had my first job. I doubled my salary.

    One month later, I took my second job. I tripled my salary, and received a $5,000 signing bonus. I bought a new car.

    There's a couple of reasons why I tell people to go to MakerSquare.

    It's an amazing return on investment. Not only on starting salary, but on how quickly you can move up in earning potential.

    It's a powerful skill. You can start a company, work for yourself, add value to any organization. From anywhere in the world. You just need your laptop.

    It's in a great industry, in great, economically strong cities. You will be always needed.

    You just need to enjoy solving puzzles and want to work hard, and sky's the limit.

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    To be fair, I was in one of the first cohorts, but it came with some pain.  I personally believe the curriculum was poorly thought out, especially since I can look at it almost 2 years later.  Of all the teachers I had, none of them are left except one of the co-founders if that is any indicator.  

    They tried hard, but most of the teachers had 1 year max, if any, of working experience in the field.  Could they teach you the basics? Yes, but it took a lot more than that to get a job, namely 1 more year of coding every day, doing online course work, and going way passed the base coverage MKS provided.

    I talked with a fellow grad half of year after the graduation, and she said that she only knew of one student from our MKS group who had a job through MKS job assistance.  

    I cannot speak to how it has turned out since the merger with Hack Reactor.  However, I can say a lot has changed after they starting churning new students into the program every 3 weeks.

  • Joey • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I was in an IT job and my company was laying people off like crazy. I was writing a lot of bash, powershell, and vbscripts and decided that I really enjoyed the problem solving invloved in writing code and wanted to make a career change. I rolled the dice, did the MakerSquare full-time program, and in 13 days I was in my first developer job. The difference in salary between my old job and new job is roughly what I paid to go to MakerSquare. Recently I've been in touch with their job placement people and am getting assistance finding my next developer position and I'm excited about the companies they've told me about. I couldn't be happier with my decision to attend!

  • Marco • C# ASP .NET Developer • Graduate
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    MakerSquare is an accelerated learning course that provides the tools and the means to understand the ever changing world of web development. The staff and curriculum excel at adapting to the most current and on demand technologies. By completing MakerSquare you will have a firm understanding on programming languages, access to a very competitive Career Center and a constantly growing network of Alumni.

  • Jimmy Pocock • Lead Front End Developer • Student
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    On July 10th, 2014, I heard for the first time the word "Ruby" used as a name for a programming language by a cofounder of MakerSquare. On August 25th, 2014, I started my first day as a MakerSquare student. On November 17th, 2014, the Monday after the Friday I graduated, I became employee number 2 at an Austin-based startup writing Ruby code for a living. 

    A very quick transition to coding for a living is absolutely possible, as I'm a testament of it. Looking back on the time and money I've spent to learn, MakerSquare is the investment that unquestionably impacted my future as a developer to the largest degree.

    To anyone looking to become a developer for a living, here's some insight into my personal MakerSquare experience and some advice my reflections leave me with:

    1) The only way to learn is to act on your desire to learn. From mid-July to late August, I did nothing but learn the basics. I did every Code School course, I did the Complete Web Developer Course by Rob Percival on Udemy, I read the Pickaxe (Programming Ruby), I read all the way through HTML & CSS and JavaScript & jQuery by Jon Duckett, and I completed every single exercise (even the optional ones) of the pre-work, so that by the time I got to class, not only did I have a small foundation built for web development but I was in the habit of learning rapidly. You hear "You get back what you put in," a lot around MakerSquare, and applied to this, there really are no better words to describe the investment you make.

    2) Big investments are scary, as is the future, but the reward quickly outweighs the risk. I saw a great review of MakerSquare online (much like this one) and took a leap of faith on the organization. All it really took was for me to act was my want to learn and for me to allow myself to be convinced by an online review. But, while I didn't personally know anyone in or around the organization to give me an inside perspective at the time, the investment was guaranteed to pay off because I knew I would do everything I could to come out an exceptional (and employable) developer. I found out in the first week that I had made the right decision, which leads me to 3).

    3) The interest to learn a similar subject brings about a community that could've otherwise never have existed. MakerSquare isn't just where I learned to code. MakerSquare is where I found the guidance and support I needed to be an exceptional (and again, employable) developer. During the course, I lived with MakerSquare students, I rode the bus to class with MakerSquare students, I ate lunch and dinner with MakerSquare students and faculty. I went to meetups and happy hours with MakerSquare students and faculty. I stayed up until the wee hours every night at coffee shops sitting across the table from MakerSquare students. For a year after I graduated, my roommates were MakerSquare students, the Lead Back End Developer of RoverPass (the startup I still work at) was a MakerSquare student. MakerSquare (at least for me) isn't just a place to learn to code, it is and always will be to me the place I found a community of people eager to learn to code, and eager to support and encourage others to learn to code. 

    If I write anymore, I fear you wouldn't continue reading. So, I'll finish by saying, my decision to join MakerSquare made sense for me. So often, people ask me if they should join MakerSquare or a similar school for coding. My answer is the same to you as it is to them. MakerSquare built the road, it's your job to walk down it. If it feels like the right path, then the chances are it is. If you've come to the decision that you want to learn to code and you want a career out of it, then as someone who has completely first hand knowledge of that situation, I give my full recommendation into MakerSquare. It gave me everything I wanted and more.

  • Awesome!
    - 1/9/2016
    Wes Tyler • Associate Software Engineer (XO Group Inc) • Graduate
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    I came through MakerSquare ATX June-September of 2015. I cannot say enough good things about this program or the people involved in making it happen. From the founders to the instructors and the awesome people supporting the job search side, the staff is truly invested in us not only as students, but as alumni as well. The coursework is rigorous and immersive, focusing on the most up-to-date and cutting edge tech. The curriculum is constantly undergoing iterative reviews and updates, which I think is one of the reasons they are able to stay on top of the game so well. And on a personal note, the program was hard, but worth it 100%. I made some great friends, learned more than I honestly thought was possible, and ended up in a job that I absolutely love.

  • Great Investment
    - 1/6/2016
    CJM • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I would first like to say that this program was extremely difficult, more difficult than I thought, but one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I was originally between Hack Reactor and MakerSquare and decided on MakerSquare due to the smaller class sizes and after visiting the campus I felt like I would get a great deal of 1 on 1 attention. 

    I graduated with a double major in Philosophy and Political Science and after spending several years working in politics I wanted to make a career change. My first encounter with MakerSquare was speaking to Mike in Admissions. He was great at helping create a timeline and plan for me. He was also really upbeat and happy to answer any of my questions. He recommended that I take MakerPrep then apply to the program shortly after. All of my tuition for MakerPrep was taken off the immersive tuition, which was great! It is important to realize that MakerPrep is not designed to help you pass the technical interview, it did a great job at teaching me the basics and made Eloquent JS make a lot more sense.

    The technical interview was mainly functional programming and really focused on chapter 5 of Eloquent JS. You really have to hammer down your higher order functions. My interview was done by one of their "fellows" who was a previous graduate of the program. Melinda was a great resource to ask questions and she really made me feel like this was going to be a good decision. 

    Once I was accepted I was sent the precourse work, which took me about 2.5 weeks to do. It was harder than the interview, but I was able to get help from one of the fellows to help make sense of it all. My advice is to give yourself enough time to really understand it. This is not something to procrastinate. 

    They say the program runs from 9am-8pm, but I was often there until 11 most nights. The curriculum moves really quickly, but Alex our lead instructor was amazing. He spent a ton of time with us to make sure that we understood everything. I felt like everyone in the program both staff and students were really helpful. There were times that I really felt down and didn't understand everything, but you have to trust the process. We worked mostly in pair programming for the first 6 weeks and that was really useful. 

    The last 6 weeks of the program we worked on 3 main projects. The first was a smaller group project that they called the greenfield project, the second was a project where we worked with legacy code and the last was the larger thesis project. 

    I feel like the end of the program comes up really quickly and I was initially worried about being prepared to do this for a living. Once I started working with the outcomes team I felt much more comfortable. Yes they hold us to 5 applications a day and that can be tough at times, but the more I listened to their advice the more results I saw during my job search. The helped me with my interview skills and coached me through things as basic as writing my cover letter. When I had my first offer they helped me realize that I could do better, without their advice I would have probably accepted a much lower offer. I currently work as a software engineer making 105k 

    The bottom line is I had a great experience and would recommend MakerSquare LA to friends or family. I feel like I made some lifelong friends in the program and I'm really happy to call myself a MakerSquare graduate. 

     

     

  • Richard Artoul • Software Engineer at Uber
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    Full Disclosure: I was a student at MakerSquare for three months, and I also stayed on as a fellow (essentially a teaching assistant) for a 3-month period after that.

    After pursuing programming in my free time for 8 months, I realized that only learning nights and weekends wasn't going to get me where I wanted to be. I quit my job and enrolled in MakerSquare. The experience I had there was nothing short of incredible. I learned more in my first week then I did in 8 months of studying on my own.

    This is going to sound cheesy, but MakerSquare changed my life. Whenever people ask me about bootcamps and which one they should attend, I always recommend MakerSquare. The experience I had was so phenomenal, especially compared to what I've heard from people who attended different schools, that I can't help but recommend it to everyone. Like all things in life worth doing, you get out of MakerSquare exactly what you put into it. Before I went to MakerSquare, I knew where I wanted to be and I had the drive and passion to get there, but I didn't know how. MakerSquare provided me a clear path, and all I had to do was put in the work.

    There are three things that separate MakerSquare from other bootcamps:

    1. The quality of the curriculum. The curriculum is very well designed and covers all the fundamental Computer Science concepts that you'll need, as well as guiding you from almost no programming experience to building full-stack web applications. In addition, I think MakerSquare made a very wise decision to teach only JavaScript and here's why: If you're new to web development and you have to pick one language to learn, it should be JavaScript. JavaScript is the ONLY langauge that runs in the browser which means you HAVE to know it if you want any kind of front-end role. On top of that, Node.js growing in popularity, so you'll find that you're not limited to front-end roles. A lot of companies in Silicon Valley are using Node on the backend, so you'll be able to work across the full-stack. Other bootcamps will tell you that they'll teach you 2-3 different stacks / languages which is "better", but I don't believe that. Three months is simply not enough time to learn multiple languages in depth, especially when you're also trying to learn web development and computer science for the first time. When you leave MakerSquare you may not know Ruby and Python, but you will know JavaScript inside and out, and MakerSquare does such a great job of teaching you the fundamentals, that picking up a new language after that will be a breeze. My first job after MakerSquare was actually a back-end Python role. I didn't know Python very well when I interviewed, but I displayed enough mastery of JavaScript and CS fundamentals that the company was confident I would pick up python in a few weeks.

    2. The sense of community. MakerSquare works very hard to encourage a strong sense of community among its students and staff. Going through a coding bootcamp is a grueling process. It challenges you physically, mentally, and emotionally; but I looked forward to it everyday because of the great people I was surrounded with. Even on my worst morning, when I didn't get enough sleep the night before and I was completely drained from the non-stop 11 hour days, my mood always perked up as soon I walked through the door and saw all my friends. Very quickly, it begins to feel like family.

    3. The quality of the instructors. The instructors at MakerSquare are very talented, and more importantly, passionate about what they do. Every instructor at MakerSquare turned down higher salaries in the industry because they're passionate about the work that they are doing and they believe in MakerSquare's mission. On numerous occasions, I've seen MakerSquare instructors cry after watching a student who had been struggling for months finally succeed and flourish. The instructors at MakerSquare pour their heart and souls into the students and the curriculum, and they want nothing more than to watch every single student be successful and happy in their career change.

    If you really really really want to be a software engineer, and you're not afraid to work hard, then go to MakerSquare. I promise you that if you pour your hard work and passion into the program, then you will get back ten times what you put into it and come out the other side exactly where you wanted to be: a software engineer.

  • Anonymous
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    They Scam you for Money, It was a waste of time. I would have been better off watching YouTube Videos at Home and not wasting $17000 for 12 Weeks. The instructors were the worst. They just tell you to look everything up on Google and figure it all out for yourself. They are rude also. I will never recommend anyone in their right mind to go to Maker LA. Childish Teaching. They don't guarantee anything but say you should be getting a $120000 Job after going through 12 weeks where they lecture you half the day and send you with to pair program with another newbie to figure it all out later in the day. Then you do a stupid group project. You don't get a job after it, you are on your own to then send out 5 resumes a day at Linkedin and say you should get a Mid Level Software Engineering Job within 3-4 Months. All Lies basically. They have had 5 or more Cohorts and talk about 98% job placement, but each cohort has like 30+ packed like sardines students and so out of 150 people they can name like 3 people who have jobs, and always it's the guy working for JPL story that has a physics degree lol So if you want to waste all your money and 3 months of your time in Los Angeles and get nothing from it, make sure to go to MakerSquare. 

  • Travis • Software Engineer • Student
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    I attended MakerSquare as a student from March - June 2015 and then stayed on for the fellowship program until September 2015. I had nothing short of a fantastic experience there as a student and fellow and can not recommend this program highly enough to anyone who is interested in a career in software development.

    MakerSquare is a very intensive and demanding 3 month program that taught me everything I needed to know to feel very prepared for my first job as a software engineer. I was happily surprised to find that while the curriculum is JavaScript focused, there is a consistently strong emphasis on computer science fundamentals such as time and space complexity of algorithms, various data structures and their uses, and well organized and clearly written code. Perhaps just as valuable as learning to code however was all the "extra" knowledge I gained that is much more of a vital piece of the MakerSquare education than they advertise. Rarely during my time as a student did I write code alone, and if I did it was a small piece of a larger team project that was always planned with, and code reviewed, by my peers. This team-oriented approach to education was a great way to learn how to communicate complex, technical ideas to others clearly and simply as well as understand how a team-built software application is developed using version control software, a task board/bug log, and following a scrum development cycle. When my time as a student came to an end, I had 4 completed projects for my portfolio, experience doing countless toy problem challenges (which prepared me very well for interviews), and a group of like-minded students and alumni with whom I'm networked.

    As for the fellowship, I would encourage anyone who attends MakerSquare to strongly consider it. The entire staff is incredibly supportive and inspiring and I gained more from my time as a fellow than I thought was possible. I'll leave it at that.

    While your experience may vary, I was fortunate enough to have a ridiculously awesome job lined up 3 weeks before the fellowship ended thanks in large part to the career services support of MakerSquare.

    I'd recommend MakerSquare to anyone with a passion for programming and who is serious about a career in software. It is not for everyone and was very trying at times but if you want to go to the best coding school in the Bay Area, MakerSquare is it.

  • MakerPrep Course
    - 11/12/2015
    DL • Applicant
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    I thought the MakerPrep course was decent if you weren't working full time because it was quite intensive on information, and you had no coding experience.  The instructors were great for the most part, but the dynamics of the class was a bit unorganized.  I think the class could have been more structured.

    I did not get in, and the reason for that was because I did the MakerPrep course, so by their philosophy I should have been given a harder interview because I sought an advantage from their preparation course(This was said directly to us from MakerSquare). I didn't think this was exactly the most fair position, however I still tried and failed to get in.  Soon afterwards, I believe MakerSquare realized it wasn't a fair position, and changed their interview process for the rest of my classmates.  A lot of them got in afterwards. 

    My opinion is quite twisted because I believe the overall structure of the MakerSquare LA was a bit more flexible than anticipated.  If I had known I was going to be given a harder interview I would not have signed up for the MakerPrep course and instead I would have chosen the self-taught route prior to the interview.

    I gave them my opinion afterwards and told them I thought the process was unfair, not to be given another chance, but hoping to enlighten them of the situation so people who go out of their way are not given more obstacles to get in.  It's a life changing opportunity, but they added an extra road block for people who sought their professional help to get into their immersive course.

    Summing up my story, I still think they're a fantastic opportunity.  Perhaps they need to work on their structure a bit more, and making things more fair.  Although, the result of not getting in has put me in a much better position.  I'm a co-founder of a startup, and I've gotten a lot farther now.  Best of luck to everyone trying to become a developer.  I know you can do it, don't let these things bring you down!

  • Anonymous
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    They count internships and contracted jobs into their numbers and pressure you to take jobs that you don't want or feel excited about so that they can keep their "numbers."

    I attended MakerSquare a few months back and have bounced around from contract job to unemployment to contract job. MakerSquare has not helped me get a job in the slightest and has all but forgotten about me even when I ask for help. I guess once you've been included into their numbers they don't care about you anymore.

    My advice. Go to Hack Reactor instead. I had friends that went their and they said they received a good amount of job help. Also, be warned about some of these reviews! MakerSquare bribes their students with a "free" t-shirt for good reviews!

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    Ok so I'm saying go to Hack Reactor over MakerSquare because even though they share the same curriculum, the job network is Hack Reactor's and Hack Reactor is a much better reputation. That reputation will open doors that MakerSquare's name won't.

    Aside from that, I feel like most students "drink the coolaid" at MakerSquare. They blindly trust the system and tend to praise MakerSquare and its staff when they get results rather than seeing that it was because they worked so god damn hard.

    Here's a list of pros and cons I compiled about MakerSquare while attending the course.

    Pros

    • Surrounded by motivated people
    • Organized access to the materials (i.e. better than self learning because you don't have to search for what to learn)
    • Management is friendly

    Cons

    • The provided monitors are needlessly close and bright so a lot of people get bad eye fatigue in the first month and a half
    • Very little job help; sharing the Hack Reactor network means nothing since those companies are only looking at Hack Reactor not MakerSquare
    • They sacrifice some students by weighting teams very unevenly when group projects come along; this causes certain students to have terrible projects they aren't proud of on their resume
    • The "Fellows (former students turned teaching aid)" are pretty useless when group projects come around
    • The feedback we give to MakerSquare does nothing
    • Cost a ridiculous amount for what you get
    • They don't teach React
    • They don't go over sorting and search algorithms
    • SQL is brushed over
    • They don't really teach the back end very well (most companies are looking for Django, Rails)
    • They don't teach CSS (which evidently is necessarry to getting a Front End position)
    • Did I mention a lack of job help???
    • No one cares that you know how to use MongoDB since it isn't scalable and it's easy to learn
    • They don't teach Express at all
    • Learning testing frameworks is optional even though knowing how to test would be one of your largest selling points 
    • They let in scam companies into the hiring day
    • You only get one behavioral interview and one technical interview as preparation for the job hunt
    • They say a lot about helping with negotiating but from my experience Savrut did very little to help me get a higher pay. What actually got me a higher pay was disregarding what he told me to do.

    Overall, these are my thoughts. MakerSquare promises a lot but delivers little. Don't expect to get into large companies. MakerSquare does not prepare you for that. Go to Hack Reactor instead of MakerSquare for the reputation and actual use of the network.

  • Jimmy D. • Graduate
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    One of the biggest things I was scared of when I got into MakerSquare was that people would think that I was a Hack Reactor reject. "Why would you go to MakerSquare unless you were rejected by Hack Reactor? They have the same curriculum; why not go to the Harvard of bootcamps?"

    At this point, it really doesn't make a difference. You can spend an hour on Quora looking this up and even Shawn, one of the co-founders of Hack Reactor, will say it doesn't matter. People "in the know" realize the curriculum are the same and that attendance is really based off timing.

    If the tuition scares you (it scared me), you can look into their lending partners (Pave, Climb, and WeFinance.co). I personally went with WeFinance since I got to set my own interest rate (#win) and gave myself a 1 year deferral period. You do have to spend a week or two doing a crowdfunding campaign, but it was worth it imo.

    My experience? It was great! The one thing to remember is to be proactive with your job search. Yes, some companies will come to you, but you need to be proactive.

    TLDR: I'm working a dream job as at a stealth startup that's doing awesome stuff because of MakerSquare.

  • MakerPrep Review
    - 8/31/2015
    Anonymous
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    I would not recommend MakerPrep to anyone who has been studying JavaScript/HTML/CSS for 2-3 months. The class is mostly for people with little to no coding experience so it felt very slow and a huge waste of time and $750 for me. 

  • Great experience
    - 5/7/2015
    Stasi • Web Developer • Graduate
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    I was in the third cohort at MakerSquare SF. I had a great experience (though trying experience) and a great outcome too.

    Highlights:
    - Great staff and instructors

    - Engaging and evolving curriculum

    - They Helped me find amazing jobs, I just had to focus on crafting my skills

  • Jeff Louie • Enterprise Applications Software Engineer I • Graduate
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    My name is Jeff Louie. I recently graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor in Physics and Economics. After graduating, I tried looking for a job as a data analyst, but realized that was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I always had an interest in Software Engineering so I did some research. I found MakerSquare online and decided to give it a shot.

    I expected to learn a lot about web development and software engineering from MakerSquare.  My expectations were exceeded; each week at MakerSquare as a student was filled with new concepts and technologies.

    I chose MakerSquare because of its reputation amongst the other coding boot camps in San Francisco and because of the culture there.  During my interviews while applying to MakerSquare, I found that the people there were very friendly and welcoming, but also had the drive to succeed.

    The environment at MakerSquare had both a serious and relaxing environment.  During class and project time, the environment was serious, where people were determined to get work done.  During lunch time and at the end of the day, people would just hangout at MakerSquare and talk or play ping pong and darts.  It was a place where people could come to learn and get work done, but also have some fun.

    I also made great friendships with my classmates that I know will last a long time. My cohort got along very well.  Outside of class, we would hang out almost every weekend, whether it was at the dev house or somewhere else in San Francisco.

    I really enjoyed working with the MakerSquare instructors and staff. The instructors and staff at MakerSquare are very open and helpful. Whenever I had questions or concerns, they would personally address them. I really appreciated the efforts they made to make us all feel comfortable. I don't wish that MakerSquare did a better job at anything;  I liked the program as it was when I took it.

    MakerSquare Career Service did a great job. My job search process was very short given the efforts of Career Services.  I was able to set up all my interviews through hired.com or MakerSquare. Shortly after I became a fellow for MakerSquare, a recruiter who was looking for an entry level software engineer from JPL contacted Savrut. Since he knew that I had majored in Physics during college and was interested in their work, he referred me to the recruiter.  From there, I was able to set up a first round interview and get the ball rolling on my application process. Savrut helped me throughout the whole process, from the initial phone screen all the way to salary negotiations. My current position is an Enterprise Applications Software Engineer I at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).  As a student, MakerSquare was able to prepare me technically for my current position.  As a fellow at MakerSquare, I was able to learn how to explain the concepts that I learned as a student. By taking MakerSquare, not only am I ready to start my career, but I was able to land my dream job right off the bat. I wish the Career Services at the UC Davis had similar standards.

    MakerSquare was a great ride, however I would not recommend it to everyone. I would recommend the program to anybody that has an interest in web development and has a decent grasp of JavaScript.  I would not recommend MakerSquare people that have no programming experience.  I think that the people who already know the basics of JavaScript are able to learn a lot more from the program.  They will not struggle with the things that beginners struggle with, which allows them to spend their time more efficiently at MakerSquare, learning about all the different technologies used in web development.

  • Jeremy Warren • Graduate
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    My expectations coming into MakerSquare were that I would get access to many resources and learn the necessary skills to get a job in the tech industry as a web developer.

    Why I chose MakerSquare.

    I chose MakerSquare because it was in Austin and had many positive reviews from prior students. Also, I was getting frustrated at my old job and always wanted to learn how to code.

    Environment - interactive and fun!

    The environment at MakerSquare was great for learning and very fun. It was very hands-on with a lot of interaction and discussion between students and teachers! I was very happy with all of my classmates because the other students were just as passionate about learning. The instructors were better than the majority of my engineering teachers in college. They were all incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. The staff was very organized and supportive throughout the entire program.

    Feedback

    I wish MakerSquare did more short one-on-ones with students, and held students a little more accountable for completing assignments. I know the time is short, but I found these very helpful because I could fully review solutions and concepts.

    Career Services

    I felt MakerSquare prepared us extremely well for our job search. All of the talks from hiring-partners and other people in the industry were very helpful. Also, the knowledge about having an online presence and how to market yourself was great.

    Summary

    I would recommend the program to anyone who is passionate about learning code and improving their life.

    The course is challenging, so make sure you work hard. The program will only be valuable if you put in the time and effort every day. Don't expect people to teach you things or do things for you. You must be willing to take initiative and do a lot of work and research on your own.

  • Makersquare Review
    - 1/20/2015
    Taylor Donner • Graduate
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    I came in knowing basically nothing and gained a really strong foundation in programming... So much so, that I managed to land a Javascript/C# apprenticeship 8.5 weeks (out of 10) after writing my first line of RUBY. Everything you learn in this program can be applied to writing other languages and is a great stepping stone for self-led instruction when the program ends. The instructors are amazing and so so helpful, I would recommend this program to anyone who has been let down by online tutorials and really wants to land a job as a developer.

  • Harsh Patel • Graduate
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    I had joined the 2nd cohort at MakerSquare in fall of 2013. Prior to MakerSquare, I had tried learning Ruby and JS on my own, through countless books and online tutorials. Having completed a few guides, I realized that my ability to learn "how to code" was hindered simply by my style of learning. I love interactive q/a style learning, which is what led me to MakerSquare.

    Of the different programs out there, the one thing I would urge others to consider is that they place a heavy amount of weight onto prework completed (how much work you've done ahead of time) and community-fit. If you're a solo worker and not a fan of collaborative environments, you may want to consider other programs.

    Anyways, long story short, I would whole heartedly recommend this program. As classmates, I had former programmers, retail store workers, a professional photographer and even a former elementary teacher. Out of the program, each of the students were working as professional front-end engineers (junior developers) within weeks of graduating. So safe to say, MakerSquare has a great professional network, and they know how to teach code.

    The classroom environment (the location on Congress ave) was a bit cramped at times. But from what I've heard the class size is now capped at 18, vs. 30 or so when I went through.

    All the 'issues' I had (space constraints, less than ideal student:instructor ratio, and focus on advanced concepts (algorithms and data structures) has been completely addressed. According to the staff, Cohort 5 is operating on an almost night/day difference of curriculum than what I had.

    So not only do I give the program 5 stars, I would (and likely will) retake the course to take advantage of their newest curriculum.

     
  • MKS Review
    - 1/20/2015
    Neil Mithipathi • Graduate
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    MakerSquare was a very rewarding experience. I discovered a new way to solve problems, learned the fundamentals of computer science, and now I'm off to starting a new life in SF.

    I recently graduated from MakerSquare a couple weeks ago and am interviewing at a handful of companies in San Francisco. A few days ago a prospective student asked me a bunch of questions about my experience. I thought it would be helpful to share.

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    How was MakerSquare’s Career Services?

    Careers services after graduation is the most crucial time for them. Through their connections with companies in both Austin and San Francisco they have a list ‘Hot Leads’ compiled, which are employers interested in hiring students from MakerSquare. I have been introduced to several employers through MakerSquare and have set up 4 interviews within a week here in San Francisco. They will also set up a live portfolio for you, showcasing all your projects, Linkedin, GitHub, etc. which was very helpful when I was communicating with employers.

    What did you learn?

    One of the most important concepts I learned from MKS was a solid understanding of how computer languages work. I came into the program ready to make web applications and see what I could do. Before being able to do that, the first step was to understand the software design and the inner workings of each multiple languages: JavaScript, Ruby, HTML5, and CSS3. Now that I am comfortable with Object-oriented programming and software engineering fundaments (we did this with Ruby and JavaScript), I am confident I can now set out to learn other languages such as Objective-C, Java, Python, etc. You will be able to draw patterns between the languages allowing you to pick them up sooner rather than later.

    How was the quality of teaching?

    The teacher-to-student ratio is what helped me the most to grasp the computer science topics being taught at MKS. There was about one teacher per six students. Each teacher had a general knowledge of each topic but were mainly specialized in a single language, such as Ruby. The teachers offer office hours that you can set up as many times as you like. Office hours were helpful especially when the course picked up in pace.

    Did you live in their DevHouse?

    Ya. For me, it was a great decision. Whether I was at MKS or at home in the DevHouse I was always surrounded by students. This really helped me stay on track and keep focus throughout the 12 weeks. If I had questions about any material after class I could just collaborate with fellow students at the DevHouse. Studying and learning became easier living in that environment.

    Did you receive mentorship? Was it valuable?

    I thought the mentorship program at MakerSquare was very helpful. Mainly because I used our weekly mentor meetups as an opportunity to focus on my weaknesses. Coming into the program I was more comfortable with writing in Ruby rather than JavaScript. Maybe it was because Ruby read more like english or that they're were so many helpful methods I could use, I do not recollect. But what I do recollect was that my JavaScript skills needed an extra boost.

    So, during the Mentorship night, where all the mentors visit MKS prior to being assigned mentees, I made an effort to find someone that was dealing with JavaScript and could help me become better. Each week my mentor and I focused on what I was weak in within JavaScript. By the time final projects came around I was writing solely in JavaScript using Node.js on my backend and Angular.js on my frontend.

    Aside from the technical skills you learned, what newly acquired skills do you like to wave to prospective employers?

    My ability to continue to learn new languages. One strength I gained from coming out of MKS was an interest in learning new technologies. Before MKS, computer programming seemed pretty daunting and cryptic at the same time. Once I became comfortable with the fundamentals of Ruby and JavaScript I was more excited to expand upon it. In other words, once you fully understand one language you can start to draw parallels and recognize patterns in other languages making them easier to pick up. I did not set out to learn a new language, and I would not recommend it during the program, but I used this new way of thinking to learn multiple JavaScript frameworks during class (i.e. Backbone.js and Riot.js, two frameworks that MKS will cover). When learning these frameworks I always sought out patterns and anything similar while keeping the differences clear in my mind.

    So now when I reach out to employers I ensure them that I will be able to fulfill my role as well as consistently learn on the side.

  • MakerSquare Review
    - 12/7/2014
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    What were your expectations coming to MakerSquare?

    I expected an intensive 3-month program focusing on the full-stack web development with also supplementary topics including Agile methodology, algorithms, and special topics. I did get all of what I expected but only by inputting hard work and making full use of the available resources (instructors, meetups, networking, feedback from projects, etc.) will one expect to get full value from this program.


    Why did you choose MakerSquare?

    Compared to the other bootcamps (https://www.coursereport.com/cities/austin), I met and knew some of the MakerSquare alumni and felt confident that I could do the same. MakerSquare's humble beginnings and teacher-founder concepts attracted me to their reputation despite their novice delve into programming bootcamps. The cost, although high, was comparative and the conversion rate from student to jobs was high as well (my biggest factor in deciding to join).


    What was the environment at MakerSquare?

    Quite open yet competitive. Yes, its true that your classmates are also some of your competitors but that doesn't mean you can't network and learn from them. One must constantly remind themselves that the true competition is how much you knew before the program and what your true motivation is after the program. Do I really want to be a developer? Do I really want to program/design? Am I still attracted to this area of interest? MakerSquare's relaxed attitude for drinks/snacks/language helped me feel at home too haha.

    Interacting with other students
    All of the students come from a wide background, most in their mid 20s to young 30s, but almost everyone had a unique background. Secretary, english majors, accountants, engineers, still-in-school students, novice programmers, and more. All the students were filtered/screened before they entered MakerSquare making them quite knowledgeable, smart, resourceful, and creative. Each person also had some quirk to them that made everyone quite memorable lol.


    Working with instructors and staff

    All the instructors and staff were quite knowledgeable and ready to help, which made me feel comfortable despite my shyness to ask questions sometimes. I was glad for their help.


    What do you wish MakerSquare did a better job at?

    Giving more of the true work environment ranging from startup to enterprise. What is the typical workday like? How do you use typical project management tools (Atlassian (Jira, Bamboo, Crucible, etc.))? 
     
    Also, good vs. bad programming styles/tips when working with various front-end and back-end frameworks. Sometimes I do things just because that's all I know but is this hindering me from knowing that there could be a better way? Sometimes I feel afraid to deviate because that's all I know and I become befuddled by what I tried to experiment with and when I deviated from my learnings to test new things and expand my horizon as a programmer.
     
    Another things, perhaps more tutorials on how to setup typical apps: e-commerce/store, applicant/project tracking, super complex CRUD-app, how to make a bad website (good details to show how optimization works), data science integration and visualization, etc. providing a springboard for any of these ideas would be awesome to encourage beyond-the-classroom studies.


    What was your job search process like? 

    Job search wasn't too bad but it can be difficult if you don't understand the playing field. You are probably a non-CS major with a novice background competing against CS majors with good internship experience. You must play to your strengths: self-motivated learner for several months learning extensive materials (in breadth and depth) for full-stack development with proven portfolio of these skills. Then pick and choose all the companies from the meetups, job fairs, company sponsored events, job boards (there are a TON), 3rd-party recruiters (Especially these guys!), friends of friends, LinkedIn, Facebook groups' Austin Digital Jobs and Capital Factory Jobs, and any kind of networking. Looking for a job is a full-time job!! You must stay up to date in technologies and the community as well: Twitter feeds, all those free tutorial websites, and meetups.


    What is your current position and how did your MakerSquare experience prepare your current position?

    I am a front-end developer for a nation-wide financial company (NetSpend). MakerSquare prepared me with the fundamental concepts and project management skills to make suitable for the job. If anything, they taught me and showed me the basics on documentation reading, how to find resources, and get me used to the terminology and tools available.


    To whom would you recommend the program? Who should not take MakerSquare, and why?

    I recommend the program for anyone is loves to make things, appreciates the problem-solving nature of programming, loves to learn new things, and loves to break things. You don't need heavy math/science background. In fact, I think it may hinder you like it did for me (engineering).
     
    Don't take MakerSquare if you aren't willing to constantly google for resources or answers to your questions. Don't bother if you are only doing it in hopes of getting a job easily once you complete the program. You will set yourself up for failure if you don't understand the competition inherent to software programming.
  • MakerSquare Review
    - 9/15/2014
    Anonymous
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    Why MakerSquare over the other 5 bootcamps I was accepted to? I applied to, and got accepted to six different bootcamps, but I chose MakerSquare for a lot of reasons. All of my expectations were surpassed and I couldn’t be any happier. I’ll first tell you why I chose MakerSquare, then describe my (amazing) experience.

    1) Interview Process. During the interview, I was asked more questions that stumped me compared to other bootcamps. They were very engaging and enthusiastic about the conversation, and very prompt in responding to any questions or concerns I had throughout the process.

    2) Career Services. Most of the other bootcamps that I applied to had some sort of financial gimmick tied to their career services or you were only allowed access to the career services team for a certain period of time. The career services team doesn't have a time constrain or financial tie to your next job, they are just a group of people who are really passionate about finding you a job.

    3) DevHouse. I thought the DevHouse would help me make my transition to Austin from Ohio much easier. I didn’t want to get suck in a long term lease or live in a neighborhood that wasn't safe. I Had High Expectations I had pretty high expectations for MakerSquare before I got there, and they surpassed them within the first day. Everyone introduced themselves to me and was super friendly. My mom is a teacher, so I know some basics about teaching techniques and how to tell if your instructor actual cares about your experience. Every instructor that I met at MakerSquare was highly motivated and dedicated to my learning experience while I was there. I didn't enjoy struggling through every lesson, but it really is the best way to learn something, and I felt I learned more than I could ever imagine during my time there. Amazing Career Services Support I thought the career services team would be similar to the ones at a college or university, which aren't very helpful, but they too exceeded my expectations. They sit down with you individually and go over your resume, LinkedIn, and anything else you want to cover to make sure you are presented correctly online. I was also impressed they had numerous potential jobs lined up for us before we even graduated. Right now I am looking for a job and MakerSquare has definitely helped me during the process of finding a job. Many companies are impressed at what I accomplished in just three months. They do an excellent job at reaching out to companies that would be a good match for a particular student. I had one instance where a company reached out to me on Indeed after seeing my resume and the very next day a career services member told me that my information was sent over to them. I thought that was very impressive. The Environment - Great Instructors & Great Peers The environment at MakerSquare is what makes it such a great program. I is extremely hard for me to be on time for things. I am one of those people that you have tell me to be there at 3:30 if you want me to show up at

    4) I was not late a single day during my time at MakerSquare. I showed up every day excited to be there because everyone there was excited to be there too. MakerSquare did a great job of picking out a group of students for me to learn with during the program. They were all intelligent and I found myself many times talking to them about intellectual things that didn't just involve programming. We all came from very diverse backgrounds, but our common vision of becoming programmers brought us all together. Anyone who has written even a few lines of code knows the frustration you get when something isn't working. I ran into hundreds of errors in my code during my time at MakerSquare and the instructors were always willing to help. It was hard enough for me to not get frustrated over my errors, and I applaud the instructors that can come in everyday and fix numerous for other people's code. There wasn't a single problem that I ran into that my instructors couldn't figure out, and I had multiple situations where someone would sit down with me individually for an hour or more until the problem was solved. Compare this to college: I was lucky to get 20 minutes of my instructor's undivided time. Some Room for Improvement MakerSquare does a great job of finding really good instructors, but I think they could benefit from having more instructors. Most of the time there were definitely enough instructors available to answer questions, but sometimes it felt like even having 5 instructors wouldn’t have been enough. I think they are expanding rather rapidly because they do such a good job. They should continue to do a lot of hiring to help out with this expansion.

    Who should take MakerSquare? Who shouldn’t? I would recommend the program to people who love to learn everything, even things that aren't coding related. We code for everyone, not just other coders, so you have to be able to relate to clients from different areas and backgrounds. You should also be someone who is not afraid of failure. Becoming a great programmer comes after learning from many failures. It is inevitable that you will fail numerous times, so if you can accept this fact and not let it deter you from reaching your goal of becoming a programmer, you should be fine. You should also be someone who is a social person. I consider myself an introvert, but I still enjoy talking and getting to know people. If you are the type of person who likes to work alone and not talk to many people, then MakerSquare is not for you. I also wouldn't recommend the program to people who can't dedicate more than three months of time to this. You will never again be able to experience such an amazing learning experience when you are at MakerSquare, so it's important that you get the most out of it while you are there. There were many people who had families in the program, and that's okay, but just be aware that it will take up a significant amount of time. You will have to make sacrifices in some areas. You shouldn’t expect to get a job the day after you graduate (some students did though). It’s important you spend your time there learning, and waiting for going head first into job hunting directly after graduation. Overall It was the best learning experience of my life. Study hard before so you can get accepted, and consider it strongly compared to other bootcamps. I did and it was definitely worth it.

  • Robert Smith • Graduate
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    There were a few reasons why I chose MakerSquare over the many other programming bootcamps. To me MakerSquare seemed like a no-nonsense boot camp. There wasn’t any filler, the entire curriculum was centered on real world necessary skills for working in web development. Their program was practical for the skills needed to be a professional web developer. Over the three months at MakerSquare we all became a family, not just the students but also the instructors and all the other people making the school run behind the scenes. I can safely say that anyone there would go out of his or her way to help anyone else. It’s like belonging to a lifelong fraternity that is growing bigger and bigger with every cohort.

    The instructors and staff want nothing more than to see each student thrive and they made themselves available at all times to ensure that. The mentorship program added an extra layer of help and support. It was great having an outside perspective on projects, questions, and what life is like as a professional web developer. There is a great job search support system at MakerSquare. The career services team makes sure you know what you need to do to navigate the tech job market, they help get your online presence where it needs to be, and ease any concern or answer any question you may have. The staff prepared us for how to quickly and effectively send in a job application tailored specifically to each company. We also had professionals in the web development field come speak to us about things such as preparing for a technical interviews and working with third party recruiters.

    Looking for a job can be a daunting task but as MakerSquare alumni you don’t have to go into alone. MakerSquare is a great program but it isn’t for everybody. You need to be able to devote yourself 100% to this for three months. If you aren’t willing to or can’t do that then this boot camp might not be for you. However, the staff and instructors there want nothing more than for you to succeed and will do anything they can to make that happen. This is going to be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do in your life. You’ll experience the highest of highs and lowest of lows, but that’s normal. When you’re standing in front of your computer with the amazing projects that you made on open house night it’ll all click and that doubt will start to wither away. If you truly, truly want to web developer then MakerSquare is for you. Being that there is such a large amount of topics and information you need to learn while at MakerSquare it would be nice to have a more structured course schedule. Sometimes the jumping around from topic to topic made it difficult to commit to memory what you learned earlier in the day. Also, knowing ahead of time what the next week looked like could give you some time to prepare for the upcoming lessons with some reading so you aren’t going in blind. I know they are always improving their curriculum from each class, so in a way it’s a good thing that things are different, but it could help still to have some heads up each week. Overall it was excellent. If you get accepted, you should do it.