makersquare-logo

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.

Recent MakerSquare Reviews: Rating 4.41

all (89) reviews for MakerSquare →

Recent MakerSquare News

Read all (27) articles about MakerSquare →

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.

Shared Review

  • Daniel Sato • Front-End Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    My experience with MakerSquare was enormously positive, and I'd recommend it to anyone with a genuine commitment to pursuing software engineering as a career. I was reasonably well-established in my previous career in sales before attending MakerSquare, and I'd like to think I did my due-diligence in terms of researching outcomes and comparison-shopping with similar programs - I even went all the way through the admissions process with one of the others. I chose MakerSquare because it seemed like the most rigorous, and I wasn't disappointed. I showed the pre-course work to a friend who'd attended another program, and she was blown away by the depth of knowledge we were required to have just going in.
     
    The curriculum was well-designed, and it included a lot of fundamental CS topics that I've heard employers express concern about when discussing boot-camp candidates - in fact, most of the topics that seemed at all abstract or esoteric came up in interviews during my job search. I think in that way, MakerSquare responds very well to the market conditions for its graduates.
     
    The program is loosely divided into the a curriculum phase and a project phase, and the curriculum phase wisely avoids delving too deeply into the hot modern frameworks (though when I attended, it included Backbone, and a quick introduction to Angular at the end). The project phase gave us broad latitude to select and learn the technologies we thought would be most relevant, and ultimately the ones we thought would look best on a resume.
     
    MakerSquare also provided a great deal of guidance during the job search, which I was grateful for. I ended up with three offers on the table, and I couldn't be happier in my new job as an engineer. MakerSquare suggests budgeting for a 3-month job search, and all of my cohort-mates that I've kept in touch had jobs within that time frame.
     
    My only criticism, and it's a small one, comes from the project phase, where I felt in retrospect that the instructors could have been more proactive in steering us away from less marketable technologies. The flip-side, of course, is that we were able to take advantage of full autonomy. One group wrote their back-end in Go instead of Node; my group pursued mobile-first development using Meteor and Cordova. The skills ultimately translated well to more widely-adopted technology stacks in the workplace, and so I don't see it as much of a negative at all.
  • Dan  User Photo
    Dan • Full Stack Software Engineer • Student Verified via GitHub
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I was a student in LA back in Jan 2016-March 2016. I graduated with a $95k base salary with benefits that exceed $120k (like paid lunches, ubers to and from work, health+vision+dental, bonuses + monthly paid out profit sharing of $1000 [untaxed] per month). So if you're questioning whether it works or not, it definitely works from my perspective. I was nervous at first when taking the dive - afterall $17-18k is a lot to trust in a school that is less than a decade old. But that's a better option than paying anyhwre from $65-200k on a 4 year degree. The dollar per time spent is a much higher value.

    As I like to say: you take YOUR brain (no one else's) to job interviews, so it's your responsibility for what is inside it by the time you start your job search after the program. Like anything in life, you are responsible for what you know and what you don't. Anyone who expects to passively take the 12 week course and get good offers floodiing in afterwards without a spiffy online portfolio and stories of lessons learned while building applications during the program are fooling themselves. After you're done, you need to hunt for your livelihood in the real world - and it's a game of selling your skills and negotiating for the best offer after your time spent learning during the program.

    While at Makersquare (hack reactor) you will need to put in 8-12 hrs per day to gain the skills necessary to earn a job in the field. Tha'ts what's great though - Makersquare gives you the focused cirriculum and support needed during the uncertain time of learning a trade to get you from novice to professional. If you learn on your own, it's hard to tell what is a waste of time and what will actually help you gain professional profficiency. For this guidance - Makersquare (aka hack reactor now) is very valuable. The students you are with are equally motivated to learn and they will help you discover tools / tricks of the trade. You will undoubtedly give back to them too with your unique perspective. 

    A lot of people complain about the video lectures, and that makes sense. The video lectures are just about as good as you can get online (if not as good). But that's not really the point of going to a bootcamp. The real value you gain is from struggling on real projects during the program using modern javsacript/(fontend and backend) frameworks and tools with real people who know more or less the same amount about software engineering as you do. You can't rely on someone who is more knoweldgable than you to get things done (just like the real world). You make mistakes, you get lost, and you learn through collective struggle. My brain hurt a lot through all 12 weeks. It felt like that ache that you get in my muscles after I work out, but in my brain. Through this process, I became a better individual problem sovler, and a better teammate. 

    As for career advice, i think the program was lacking here - but at the same time the confidence and negotiation tactics (aka learning the bravado necessary to make $100K/yr demands from employers) I got from the program did help me. They basically taught me how to look past the BS that recruiters will tell you, and how to defer saying a number first when negotiating for a salary (and what to ask for aka 100k/yr). I quickly learned while on the job search that recruiters are basically amateurs that dont know how to code that assume that they know everything about tech. It's best to avoid them, because they suffer from the Dunning Kreuger effect worst of all (which sadlly, we all suffer from but have to recognize in ourselves).  They trick themselves into thinking they know what companies value, when in reality, they dont truly know what it takes to provide value to these companies (or else they would know how to code).

    Anyway, I've talked too much already. In my opinion, you should do it because it lead to a great path for me. But if you're that baller that you can learn software engineering all on your own (see Dunning Kreuger effect) then by all means, go it alone. I'm proud to say this program helped me, and I dont need to listen to anyone else that doubts. 

  • Front End Engineer
    - 6/15/2020
    Jon Lee • Front End Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    Spring 2016, MKSLA. 

    NOTE: MKS later became part of Hack Reactor. Your experience w/ HR will likely be much different in terms of curriculum. 

    My time at Makersquare was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I've done. The reviews aren't kidding that the program was 6 days/week, 11 hrs / day. Often students put in 6-7 days/week and 11+ hours a day. I know I did. 

    The program really teaches you the fundamentals of JS and relevant modern technologies (ex. React). Also exposes students to the challenges of data structures and algorithms. 

    The instructors were awesome. They pushed us in class and after class. Also providing support and encouragement along the way. 

    IMO, this program does not create someone who is already mid level or senior level unless they have some experience already or have some transferrable background (I had neither). What it does a great job of is prepare you for the rigors of looking for a job and the curriculum prepares you for the challenge of being successful at your first job. If there's one thing I took off in my rating it is for this. I don't know if things have changed but this was my impression after graduating. 

    It's not an easy path to take, the curriculum is fast paced and if you don't keep up you will struggle. But! It is possible to keep up and succeed and change your life. It changed mine. Best of luck!
  • Well Worth it
    - 7/29/2016
    Davis Martin • UI Engineer • Student
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I was in the 3rd Cohort at MakerSquare back when they still taught Ruby on Rails and JS.  The main thing I can say is it is well worth it in terms of value.  Learned everything I needed to to get a job at a company I had always dreamed of working at.  As far as the job placement / interview process it was definitely rough at times during the tech interview part, but overall not that much worse then when I first got out of College with my batchelor's degree.   Also I am sure their connections have gotten a lot better since I graduated.

  • Brian Boyko • Software Development Engineer in Test • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    My name is Brian Boyko - you can reach me at brian.boyko@gmail.com, so you know I'm a real person, real student, real everything. 

    I'm going to give an unqualified, enthusiastic recommendation for MakerSquare. 

    But, you have to come into MakerSquare with the attitude that you are there to learn.  You will be coached and pushed along by your peers and your instructors, but you only get out of the course what you put into it.  

    And yes, you do need to *actually like* coding.  This is important: I think that the promise of bootcamps is not that "anyone can code" but that the potential for learning to be a good coder can be found in unlikely places. I'm kind of a "prototypical" example:  Before MakerSquare I was a liberal arts major and marketing consultant who thought he could never program because he was "bad at math", and had even tried to major in programing in the 1990s, only to be told by professors that I'd never succeed. 

    But I always had an analytical mind, and if it wasn't for a (crazy) few life events, I never would have learned I had the talent, never would have gone to MakerSquare... never would be where I am now: an engineer. 

    That said, it *is* possible to do everything in MakerSquare with something like FreeCodeCamp.  I actually like and recommend FreeCodeCamp for just about anyone considering a bootcamp program.  But there are a few things that MakerSquare offers that FCC doesn't:

    * Free Code Camp is almost always done by one person, themselves. MakerSquare is structured so that the first half is dedicated to pair programming.  Both FCC and MS will teach you the technical stuff, but MakerSquare also makes sure you can communicate those ideas to your partners and teammates. 

    * Free Code Camp relies entirely on self-discipline.  That can be difficult for many.  MakerSquare's structure and required attendance helps you stay on track. 

    * MakerSquare prepares you for the job search, giving you guidance and advice for how to present yourself to employers, as well as lifetime career support.  

    Here's my thought: If you're on the fence about joining a bootcamp, go to FreeCodeCamp.com and give it a try.  If you hate coding, you just found out for free that it isn't for you.  

    If you are self-motivated enough to do it and have all the projects: Great! You saved a lot of money.  If you are happy doing this kind of work but maybe don't have the self-motivation?  That's where MakerSquare can help out. 

    Ultimately, I consider MakerSquare one of the most transformative experiences of my life. 

  • SOMEONE IMPORTANT • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I recently graduated from MakerSquare and received employment about 1.5 months after. More than just the curriculum, which was excelllent, the big thing I noticed about MakerSquare was that the instructors all care about the students and help in any way they can. They know that bootcamps are stressful and they offer any support they can. 

    If you're willing to put in the time it's definitely worth it. That Ricky Walker sure is a dreamboat. 

  • Outstanding!
    - 7/11/2016
    Bryan Buitrago
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    N/A

    This Review is about the initial phaze of getting into the Fullstack Immersive program in NYC.

    I recently just started the process of getting into Makersquare Fullstack Immersive program in NYC. I was really impressed with the clarity of the steps, and the resources available to bring you up to par with what starting the program requires. They, not only provide you with the guide that you need, but also provide free workshops, so you that you can get a feeling of what the program is about. I am starting today the MakerPrep: Introduction to JavaScrip that lasts about 1 month, 3 days a week. 

    Although, I haven't finished the program yet, I have to say that of all the other coding bootcamps that I applied to in NYC, Makersquare has definitely been the best. I took one of the free workshops offered bt the school, and I loved it. The day following the free workshop, I signed up for a tour of the school, I was lucky enough to be given the tour by Omar Mohammed, who up to this day, has provided me with excellent guidance, as well as providing me with info about all the tools available by the school in super sincere manner, going above and beyond to help me. I also got to meet and speak with Tyler Lamber, who is the Managing Director. He is unbelieably friendly, and you can feel his possitive energy, and his willingness to make you feel warm and at home. Mr. Lambe was also present during the free workshop, overseeing the lecture, and helping prospect students with questions, and inquires about the program.

    I applied to some of the most popular coding bootcamps in NYC, and in most of these programs, everything has been more of a guessing game, and a gruesome and lenghty process, leaving you frustrated most of the time, with little or no guidance on the application process, with the exception of very few. This is where MakerSquare in my opinion, so far, succeeds, and exceeds. I am looking forward to finishing the program, and provide a more comprehensive review. I highly suggest that you start out by trying Makersquare. 

     

  • Anonymous • Developer
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Great experience, even though I had to drive almost 2 hours every day it was worth being around an awesome group. The people are the difference here. The curriculum was challenging, but the staff, especially the fellows, were supportive and helped get me get through technical and non-technical challenges. The job support after graduation was effective, I had my first offer after 4 weeks. My suggestion to job seekers is to not apply to their first choice positions at the beginning of the search. Even though we did mock interviews and whiteboarding during the class, I underperformed on my first few interviews and I wish I would have gotten that practice for a position I was less excited about. At the end of the day, I'm at a company I like with a salary that is far beyond what I was making before so everything worked out.

  • It works!
    - 5/15/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Makersquare is hands down one of the best experiences I've ever had. The awesome community built upon an already awesome community is what makes this bootcamp so special. From the initial moment you see your classmates faces on day one, you know you're in for a unforgettable ride. Furthermore, the instructors and staff are genuinely excited to meet you and assist you on your path to a software engineer.

    But to describe Makersquare in a few words, it's almost like an intricate and beautiful timepiece with numerous parts working together to achieve one common goal. Cheesy I know, but it's honestly how my experience felt like.

    Almost all the pieces of this program are present in order to craft you into a software engineer: top of the line instructors, equipment, and community. But it can't finish the job until it has the last missing component, your endless hunger to learn and improve. You have to go beyond 100%. The moment you step out of your comfort zone and solve a problem, you're hooked. You look forward to the next day of being bombarded with unknown alien code and jargon for 10 hours because you know the feeling is amazing once you figure it out. If you stay hungry and are genuinely curious about the full spectrum of web development, then the program will take care of you because it did for me.

  • Grant Redfearn • Software Developer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I'd like to preface this review with this: If you are not ready to work and give a school 110%, MakerSquare might not be the place for you. Though it is only 3 months, It definitely takes a lot out of you. But what you get in return is much more than I could have ever imagined. 

    The staff was amazing. So many resources there to help you in constructive ways. Instead of giving flat answers, they worked with you until you would came up with the correct logic to the puzzle. 

    One of the toughest challenges in learning any programming language is getting passed the basics. Learning where and how to take that next step can take years. At MakerSquare, within a month I was learning advanced concepts, bleeding edge frameworks and technologies, and solving complex algorithms on a daily basis. 

    Upon completion of the program, I felt very prepared in every aspect for my future career as a Software Developer. Not only did I have the required technical and interview skills, but I learned how to properly work in a team to develop dynamic applications. 

    I was able to land an amazing job within about a month of graduating the course. It was the best career move I could have ever made. 

    10/10 would learn JavaScript again

  • Worth It
    - 4/28/2016
    Anonymous • Web Developer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    As a graduate of MKS27 I had a very good experience overall.  My main purpose in writing this review though is to not rehash all the stuff you've already read about them, but maybe offer some encouragement for a different group that might be considering applying.  

    I think alot of the reviews are coming from the type of person you're likely to see at Makersquare, namely  "unmarried, 20 somethings, that have some college or a less useful college degree".  All in all they are great people, hell they were me 10 years ago, but how many more reviews can you read from that same person. 

    I was not the typical MKS student.  I'm married with two children and was looking for a better future for my family.  If you are concerned about something similar, just know it's doable.  Budget, plan accordingly, lean on your family and friends, and just knock it out.

    The rest is like everyone says, namely it works.  Yes it can be difficult at times, but you learn enough to land a job relatively quickly that pays pretty well.

  • Student
    - 4/26/2016
    Alexander Navarrete • Software Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    I attended MakerSquare as a student from July to October and stayed on as a Fellow until February 2016. Before I start telling you about how the many ways that MakerSquare has changed my life let me preface ALL of this with I came to MakerSquare with no technical background. I studied for a few months before I applied with the resources they suggested. 
     
    After reading all of the other reviews of MakerSquare, San Francisco on here I completely agree with everything they say. The quality of the curriculum, the sense of community, and the quality of instructors will all exceed your expectations(**you can read other reviews for more details on those areas). But I want to share with you a two things that I feel are key differences that separate MKS from other programs.  
     
    1) Passionate and Dedicated Staff - Every program can argue why their curriculum is superior (curriculum is less important, but rather how to think about solving the problem which is what MKS teaches), but one fact that I feel is not up for debate is that MakerSquare has the most committed, dedicated, and passionate team in the country. I would put the effort, love, and passion of the MKS team up against any team and I know they would win. This is infectious and will be a large part of the your experience. They regularly went out of their way to work with each student, stayed late, provided additional support (emotionally and technically), all the way until you get your first job as an engineer. 
     
    2) Career Services and Outcomes - Once the program ends and you begin the job hunt it i, but the outcomes team is there for you at every step of the process checking in, following up, and regularly giving you feedback to help you tackle all the hurdles that come along with the job search. The network, the hiring partners, the support, and the wealth of knowledge that they have on the interview/hiring process is priceless.  Friends from other programs were blown away when I shared the details of our career services. I once was in a position like you wondering...is this real? Those numbers? It is! I feel so lucky to have landed my dream job with a nap room and masseuse on site, but I know it would not have been possible with out all of the support from MKS and Outcomes!
     
    MakerSquare will not only equip you (they have already equipped 100's of other students) with the technical skills to succeed, but more importantly they will teach you how to value yourselves, your actual self worth, and how to believe in yourselves. From teaching you how to think about problems, to how to present yourselves online, to how to negotiate(**to this day still the scariest thing I have ever done!) -- essentially giving you all the tools you need to succeed in becoming a software engineer and in life! 
     
    MakerSquare will help you turn your dreams into memories!! 
  • Stella
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I graduated from MakerSquare in December 2015 and got the first job in my life three months after that. Many friends of mine showed great interests in MKS and asked me tons of questions. Here is a list of questions one of them asked. I hope this could provide you with some help.

    1. When do you attend MakerSquare?  
    09/2015  
    2. What things you like and dislike about it?  
    In general, I like everything about it. 
    3. How do you like the learning environment there?  
    It is intense. 
    4. They cover lots of thing in the program, do you think you have enough time to digest and master all? 
    It depends on your previous background. For me, I spent a little bit time after class and I was able to keep up with the curriculum  
    5. How do they deal with people who fall behind in the program? How many percent of people drop out from the program? 
    It didn't happen in my cohort, but as I remember if it happens, they won't count you as a graduate of MakerSquare.  
    6. They claim they have high placement rate within three months. Are the placement result real? 
    I don't have the exact number of the placement rate. But based on what I learnt about the last cohort and my cohort, the placement rate is indeed high.  
    7. Most developer jobs required experience, how can MakerSquare help you to overcome this issue, to help you to get a job?  
    The job market is promising. Currently the demand is more than the supply. As long as you are willing to study hard, you should be able to find a job.  
    8. What advice you will give your friend before they attend MakerSquare or bootcamp in general? 
    Make sure you like coding. Work hard.  
    9. If you have to re-do the program again, what would you do differently?  
    Probably nothing. 
    10. If you have another chance, will you still choose attend MakerSquare over other bootcamp or choose another path? 
    I would still choose MakerSquare. 
    11. Overall, do you recommended MakerSquare to friends?  
    Yes, definitely.