Hack Reactor is one of the best bootcamps in the tech industry for software development training. The 13-week-long bootcamp offers software engineering training in Austin, Texas and seven other major cities. It also has a fully functional remote platform for students who prefer to learn from the comfort of their own homes.
While Hack Reactor receives many glowing testimonials, you need to decide if it’s a good fit for you. This review and guide will examine all of the key factors to help you make up your mind.
Hack Reactor was founded in 2012 by tech entrepreneur Shawn Drost and his friends. Since then, over 5,600 students have graduated successfully and achieved rewarding careers in the tech industry. Over 2,500 hiring partners recruit talent directly from Hack Reactor.
Hack Reactor has a group of experts as part of its career services team. These experts provide students with one-on-one mentorship and career coaching. They also help with salary negotiation and other forms of job assistance.
The bootcamp’s job placement rate is nearly 80 percent, and graduates secure jobs in companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Visa.
Hack Reactor has different schedules for the same software engineering program. Whether you are starting from scratch or already have some tech experience, you can benefit from Hack Reactor’s software engineering program.
The course covers React, ES6, and happens to be one of the few coding bootcamps that offer Angular classes.
Location: Austin, Boulder, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle
All classes are remote. Live instructors conduct sessions using video conferencing tools.
This program was designed specifically for students who want to hold onto their full-time jobs while acquiring a new skill. You will take the same classes featured in the full-time bootcamp program. Hack Reactor doesn’t host part-time classes at its on-site locations.
Hack Reactor has a challenging application process, but students must complete it to be considered for admission. After you turn in the online application, you will automatically be sent for the coding test.
The goal of the test is to show the bootcamp that you know the basics of software engineering, and that you are a quick study. You will only be invited for an interview after you pass the coding challenge.
Hack Reactor has a single tuition rate of $17,980 for part-time and full-time programs. The bootcamp offers all the standard bootcamp payment options. These are loan financing, income share agreement (ISA), and scholarships.
If you opt for the ISA, you will only have to pay tuition when you secure a job that pays at least $60,000 annually. Loan financing is available through Ascent Funding and Climb Credit. Finally, Black students may be eligible for scholarships at Hack Reactor.
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var TLDR = ‘Hack Reactor > App Academy && Austin > San Francisco’;
My journey to becoming a Software Engineer began almost a year ago. It started with choosing which program to attend… that can be overwhelming. After a lot of research; I literally read every review I could find on App Academy and Hack Reactor. I decided to attend App Academy’s bootcamp prep course in San Francisco. The prep course wasn’t terrible, but I definitely don’t think it’s worth $3K I paid for it.
App Academy does offer a deferred payment option where you only pay for your tuition after you graduate and get a job. That seems pretty cool initially. Then I found out that if you fail two of their assessments you get kicked out of the program forever. For me that meant I would have to start all over at a different bootcamp (don’t quote me on this, but I heard anything under 90% on a test is a failing score). I just didn’t like that methodology.
After completing App Academy’s bootcamp prep program I went to an info session for Hack Reactor in SF. I immediately felt like it was a better environment. I also liked the fact that the program was split into two phases with a technical assessment taken at the end of the first phase. If you don’t pass then you just repeat the first phase again. I decided to sign up for HR’s bootcamp prep course which is called SSP. It was a MUCH better experience for me overall and it’s only $250! It’s 100% remote, but that was actually one of the best things about it. You learn how to teach yourself and when you get stuck there’s always an instructor available to get on zoom with you and walk through your cod. After completing SSP I scheduled a technical interview and was accepted, but only to the extended program. I scheduled a retake for next week and was accepted into the HRATX40 cohort.
The great thing about Hack Reactor is that they are a part of https://cirr.org (App Academy is not as transparent about their data). CIRR is a non profit organization which provides a standardized system for measuring and reporting student outcomes for multiple bootcamps. I was surprised to find out that SF grads didn’t get jobs that fast. SF is the center of the world for tech, but this also makes it EXTREMELY competitive. This data played a significant role in my decision to attend the Austin campus. Fortunately for me I had a friend in Austin who decided to go through the program with me. So in February I packed up my bags and moved to Austin and start the program.
Hack Reactor is an intense program. Expect to spend at least seventy hours a week there. That being said I genuinely enjoyed being their every day. I can’t possibly descibe to you in words how incredible the staff at the Austin campus are. They go above and beyond to empower you to succeed. I can’t say enough great things about Linden, Zubair, Justin, and Nick.
Now let’s talk numbers. There are twelve of us in my cohort. Three of them accepted Software Engineering Immersive Resident positions at HR before they finished the program. It’s been a little over a month since we graduated and only one person hasn’t received an offer yet. Offers for full time positions have ranged from $70k to $120k with the average being somewhere around $80k. That goes a long way living in Austin though. I’m currently writing this upon completing my first week as an Associate Software Engineer at a well funded startup in ATX. This program changed my life and it will change yours too.
September 2, 2019
I attended Hack Reactor and graduated at the beginning of July, 2019. Before attending I had been programming in my spare time for a couple years, but I was never able to maintain any kind of structure or rigor to my learning. I wanted to make a career change and work as a software developer, and when it became apparent that my current method of self-teaching was not working out for me, I decided to enroll in Hack Reactor.
The course is divided in to two phases, a “Junior” phase and a “Senior” phase. During the former, you spend a lot of time pair programming and working to complete various coding projects. A lot of it is centered around learning to pick up and become productive with technologies that you may not be familiar with, and getting comfortable referencing documentation. The Senior phase is more centered around larger applications and larger teams. By the end you feel very comfortable building, testing, and deploying full stack applications. I also felt like I learned enough domain knowledge about web development to be able to pick up just about anything I need to learn on my own. That was not always the case when I was studying on my own.
In the end, enrolling in Hack Reactor payed off for me. Within a few weeks of graduating I had two job offers and a few other very promising leads that I didn’t continue to pursue because I accepted a job offer that I couldn’t be happier with. I never got a coding challenge from a company that I didn’t feel prepared for, even if the problem required me to use a technology that I didn’t use previously. You get so much repetition picking up new stuff when you are going through the program, that a lot of the stuff I was asked to do for an interview just felt like another sprint.
Up to date. They teach you stuff with will help you get a job.
Great environment conductive to learning. Everyone is there for the same reason and it makes grind a lot more bearable.
You learn a lot. Having been self taught for a while before enrolling, for me personally it would have taken me years to learn on my own what I learned in three months. They spend a lot of time perfecting their curriculum and getting the most out of every hour.
Sometimes got too busy. The building was big and very nice, but depending on what else was going on that day it wasn’t always easy to find a nice spot to do your work. This was only an issue maybe 5% of the time, but it was still annoying when it happened.
October 4, 2019
This review is specifically about the alumni services/job search support. I graduated in August 2018 from the part-time-program. I entered in my second job search in April 2019 feeling uncertain because my first job out of Hack Reactor was not pure software engineering. The alumni team was really helpful in ensuring my resume and experience would be enough to interest recruiters, and they connected me with a number of companies off the bat which was hugely helpful in building my job search pipeline.
The alumni team checked in with me regularly on my progress, always offering helpful advice and guidance. Negotiation help at the end was hugely helpful in not getting myself stuck with low offers and bad deals. Overall, the biggest thing that helped me was just having someone who understood the industry and job market really well. Quite a bit was different with my preferences from the first job search to the second. I can say with confidence that the Hack Reactor alumni team can and will adequately prepare you for both and beyond.
February 26, 2020
Years later now, I still look back very fondly on my time in Hack Reactor (now Galvanize). The instructors were great, my cohort was fantastic, and I learned more in a short period than I ever have before in my life (this from someone with a PhD!). They chose the curriculum based on what gave the best fundamentals and what were the most popular frameworks and libraries in jobs, combining the practicality and thoroughness you need to be a great developer. And they were always updating it (I even got to help update it as a Hacker in Residence) to keep it current.
It’s scary to apply, scary to interview to get in, and scary during the bootcamp not knowing whether you can cut it. Don’t sell yourself short by doing one of the easier bootcamps with no entrance exam or a slower pace. Let me tell you, it’s so absolutely worth the money and the worry once you’re on the other side with a great job and a start in a huge new career. And as an investment, it’s immeasurable. I am now making more than would ever have been thinkable in my previous line of work, and honestly enjoying it much more.
Speaking of good investments, one thing I did not consider at all when looking at bootcamps but has honestly been the best ROI of the whole process has been the Alumni job search support. You know they’ll help you with your first job search when you’re done with the bootcamp, but I somehow missed that they’ll support you in all your job searches for the rest of your career! Specifically I have to praise Marlene Tang, their alumni director. Literally her advice alone, pushing me to get multiple offers, always negotiate, and know what to say to negotiate in a way that’s not going to alienate anyone, has literally more than paid for the entire cost of the bootcamp in salary raises.
I can’t recommend the Hack Reactor program enough, and as I’ve been given to understand it, they’ve continued all the best parts of that under the new banner as Galvanize. I actually figured they would kind of let all the old alumni drop once the name/company changed, but they haven’t at all! So one more nice perk: in this shifting bootcamp landscape, where companies get bought out and change hands all the time, these guys have provided a consistency that’s hard to find elsewhere! I saw it first hand as it was just shifting from MakerSquare to Hack Reactor during my time at the bootcamp, and it’s clearly continued since then.
March 9, 2020
Hack React was a fantastic, but extremely challenging boot camp. 12 weeks may seem like a short time, but it felt like I was in a two year program at a traditional university. The speed, intensity and amount of knowledge learned in a short period is not for the faint of heart, but if you are dedicated and willing to give it your all then this is the program for you.
The curriculum is extremely up to date, the instructors are very knowledgeable on the latest tech and are constantly making sure they are up to date with the industry. I also appreciated the support given from the counseling staff. They clearly understand the mental and physical demands of taking a coding bootcamp and they do an amazing job of checking in and supporting you throughout the program. I was also impressed with the time dedicated to job preparation and coaching — daily whiteboarding, interview prep, resume review, and one-on-one coaching really helped when I jumped into the job hunt.
Overall, I am extremely happy I chose Hack Reactor and proud of myself for completing.
May 27, 2020
I graduated from Hack Reactor in 2015 and have worked with the alumni team there — most prominently Marlene — for all of my job searches. They’ve been incredibly helpful with introducing me to partner companies and helping coach me through the negotiation process.
Thanks to their guidance, I’ve been fortunate enough to negotiate up an extra ~50k during the four years that I’ve been working and know that I can always count on them to help out for my future job searches.
June 12, 2020
Hack Reactor Remote program is everything that it was described as. It was very challenging and demands ALOT on you as a student. That being said – if you are willing to work hard you can have such a fun and rewarding experience!! I learned so much in this course, not only about software engineering, but about myself about myself and how I best learn. I found the staff to alway have my best interest in mind every step of the way – all the way from my first day through my job hunt and accepting my first position.
HR may be more expensive than other schools – however in talking to friends and coworkers that attended other bootcamps – HR offer a better curriculum, more job hunting support, and foster a tight knit community no matter where you are located. I would 100% recommend this course for anyone who is serious about taking the next step in their engineering career.
July 19, 2020
I cannot thank Hack Reactor Remote enough. At every stage, HRR provided the support I needed while keeping things very transparent about where I could improve.
My journey with Hack Reactor was an extensive one, all the way from the prep course till now, after landing my ideal job as a software engineer. HRR is tough…but well worth it. If you’re ready to go “all in” then HRR is for you. The community is close-knit and emphasizes both great soft skills and great technical skills. I admire that HRR stays up to date with the curriculum, always updating and curating fearlessly. The entire instruction team (Hailey, Annah, Robin, and Cody) does a stellar job of communicating with the students to make sure they’re progressing on pace. After graduation, the job support counselors also guide you through the job search process, and they’re very attentive about finding opportunities that are tailored for your interests. My counselor was Nicole and she was such a key part of the process. Overall, amazing!
July 23, 2020
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