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MakerSquare

Austin, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco

MakerSquare

Avg Rating:4.41 ( 89 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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Hey there! As of 11/1/16 MakerSquare is now Hack Reactor. If you graduated from MakerSquare prior to October 2016, Please leave your review for MakerSquare. Otherwise, please leave your review for Hack Reactor.

  • 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.