Recent MakerSquare Reviews: Rating 4.41
Recent MakerSquare News
- Hack Reactor + MakerSquare Rebrand: Everything You Need to Know
- Student Spotlight: Ricardo D'Alessandro of MakerSquare
- August 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast
89 reviews sorted by:
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.
- Horrible- 8/18/2016Anonymous • Graduate • Course: MakerPrep • Campus: New York City
Despite paying for in person education, the instruction from MakerSquare is primarily delivered through their online portal and the quality of their exercises is not as good as Free Code Camp or other online education platforms. The only benefit from the MakerSquare program is having a deadline, and because of that I recommend setting your own deadlines or doing any of the other less expensive programs.Their statistics for graduate performance are heavily skewed through data manipulation, and not a single one of the instructors I encountered had actually working in the industry.The people who are successful here would be successful anywhere they went, so they should take a cheaper option.
- Helpful Launchpad- 7/28/2016Anonymous • Student • Campus: Austin
With all the free and low cost training resources available online these days, enrolling in a bootcamp like MakerSquare is not required to learn how to code, but the program certainly can expedite your learning. If you read through the other reviews you probably can find arguments about how the program is a waste of time --- if you're convinced by such arguments then you certainly shouldn't waste your time because your mindset plays a big factor in how much value you can glean from MakerSquare (or really any other bootcamp). At the end of the day, most of these programs have only been around for a few years- they don't carry the institutional weight of a degree program, so yes, they can feel like a startup at times. Isn't that the type of environment most grads will end up in? Tolerance for ambiguity is probably the most valuable trait you can hone in a program like this - when you're on the job and there is no clear map, no clear Stack Exchange article or other resource to offer an easy answer to your problem, you'll have to lean on whatever resourcefulness you've learned in less than perfect environments where your success mainly depends on your own drive, not on the hand holding you feel you are entitled to because you dropped a few thousand on it. No one will hand you anything for free once you list MakerSquare on your resume, but an immersive experience like this just might get you into the industry faster than if you only had to rely on whatever hours of free online training you could squeeze into an already overloaded 9to5 schedule.
As for the program, here is what they actually offer in terms of value:
- It’s kind of a cult- when you spend basically every waking second of your life (except Sundays) with the same people in the same room for 3 months, of course you’re likely to come out on the other side having drunk the Kool-aid.
- You’ll probably get a job - but who knows how long that will last because it is possible to finish a bootcamp without actually learning anything, and I think companies are going to start figuring that out
- I’m not positive about this, but I believe that the people who had great experiences are being reached out to and asked to leave reviews.
And here’s the problems:
- They will teach you how to make an excellent resume. It gets crowdsourced by your classmates and it has buzzwords for days. I actually went to an interview where the person interviewing me said something along the lines of: “Did Makersquare teach you how to manipulate your resume, too?” Bottom line - everyone had a lot of things on their resume that maybe they only even saw one time.
- An okay (albeit confusing) curriculum. But, no one will help you with any questions you have regarding it, so hopefully you have smart classmates.
- Someone to complain to on a weekly basis who can’t/won't actually change anything, at least not while you’re there.
- A workspace, even though it’s not a great one. Tables, chairs, whiteboards, and some desktop computers. For at least half of the program you use your own laptop, and good luck using the shared workspace (couches, tables, etc) with the amount of students they are cramming in there.
- Free beer, cold brew, and snacks? Seriously, maybe this is why people loved it so much?
By the way, I also took the Maker Prep course. I won’t go into detail, as I feel I’ve made my point already, but I will say that if I had paid $750 for this course (it comes out of the bootcamp tuition if you get in) I would have been very, very, very disappointed.To sum it up, my advice to anyone considering a bootcamp is this:If you can’t teach yourself how to code, their is literally no way you will succeed at a bootcamp. So you might as well save yourself the $18,000, take six months off of work, buy yourself all the beer, cold brew, and snacks you want and work your way through free code camp. Build some apps on your own, join local meetups, etc. The only reason I would say do the bootcamp is if you can’t find the motivation to teach yourself, in which case, maybe the fact that you paid $18,000 to be stuck in a room for three months with a bunch of people as clueless as you are will get you motivated enough to learn just enough to trick someone into thinking you know enough to hire you. Good luck.
- It’s unorganized. Very much a start up culture. Things change last minute, and when the one instructor they have is sick you don’t get a live lesson.
- There’s no diversity. It’s basically all rich, white males, and a very small handful of rich, white girls.
- On that note, I honestly believe the way the admissions work is horrendous. A fellow does the interview, and others have mentioned, their credentials are slim to none. I was led to believe I was some kind of genius for being let in, when in reality it was probably just luck of the draw, not enough tuition coming in for that specific cohort, and/or the fact that I’m a woman and they realize the problem they have with diversity.
- There’s very little actual instruction. I can count on one hand the amount of lectures we had that were actually related to coding.
- Speaking of which, there’s a ton of time waste. Meetings every week to talk about what we all hate about the program so they can eventually change it, redundant lectures, lectures entirely dedicated to giving instructions, etc.
- People can get through to the end of the program and have learned absolutely nothing. So if you think that just “graduating” means you nailed it, you’re way wrong.
- During sprints, if your partner knows more than you do, good luck learning anything or getting a chance to even type. People are so full of themselves that they are competitive about everything. Not to mention, THEY AREN’T INSTRUCTORS. It’s the blind leading the blind here.
- There is hardly any feedback at any point. You take tests every week and never ever hear back about how you did. There was someone in my cohort that was told a few weeks before the end that she did badly on her hiring assessment and that if she didn’t learn everything in a week she’d get kicked out. That was after she’d continually asked for additional assistance for the first few months and had everyone tell her she was doing fine and to relax and stop having imposter syndrome.
- The reason people who ask for help don’t receive it, I’m assuming, is because there’s only ONE instructor and he’s busy making and fixing all the flaws in their materials. The only other help comes from the fellows, who are just as clueless as you- their only credentials being that they “graduated” from the program a few weeks earlier.
- The hiring board they talked up the entire time we were in the program was worthless. It had maybe 25 positions on it, and once you wasted time applying to the few that you were eligible to apply for you’d get an email saying the company actually wasn’t hiring anymore.
I'll start by saying that I got exactly what I came to MakerSquare for. I have an awesome job. I got that job quickly and easily after finishing. I felt qualified starting it.
In my six months at MakerSquare (3 as a student, 3 as a fellow) not everyone had as easy of a time and there were a handful of things I didn't like. This isn't meant to be a negative review. I learned a lot, got a great job, and met a ton of wonderful, intelligent people. But I do want to highlight a couple points that no one seems to be talking about on here.
The Instruction Team...
There are only two actual instructors. Most of your one on one time is happening with fellows, who are recent graduates of the program. Depending on the fellow and the question, sometimes they are really helpful and sometimes they're more lost than you. Also only one of the two actual instructors does any instructing for some reason.
The Junior Phase...
The first half on the program (the junior phase) consists of pair programming your way through various 2-day sprints (basically mini-projects). You receive a code base and then have to write/fix code to accomplish various goals. The curriculum can be sloppy and poorly thought out. There are more than a few moments where things are needlessly confusing. You usually get there eventually, but in a rather graceless manner. There also doesn't seem to be too much energy going into tightening these. When I have seen changes, they would change a sprint completely and in a way that was not necessarily positive.
The Senior Phase...
There is no curriculum. You'll just be working in groups doing larger projects. Totally self directed. On one hand, this is a great way to improve yourself as a coder. On the other hand, you're basically just paying for an excuse to get up every morning and go code all day.
Outcomes & Online Reviews...
They definitely put a lot of energy into curating a certain image of themselves, which is understandable. But there are a few questionable practices here. One is that the outcomes numbers you see only refer to students who decide to pursue full time developer jobs. If a student had a bad experience with MakerSquare and afterwards decided to just go back to their old career, they wouldn't be counted in the stats. If a student wanted a full time dev job but were having trouble finding it and decided to take an internship or part time position instead, they wouldn't be counted in the stats.
Also, every student receives an email after graduation asking them to please leave a review online, but only if they think it deserved 5/5 stars.