March 20, 2020

Codesmith vs Hack Reactor on SwitchUp


Codesmith and Hack Reactor are two coding bootcamps boasting high graduation rates, impressive student salaries and the curriculum to help students succeed. Hack Reactor, founded in 2012, and Codesmith, founded in 2015, have both earned a name for themselves as top-quality bootcamps, thanks to their impressive job and salary outcomes. These institutions have students working for Google, Amazon, Netflix and Facebook. So if you're aiming for an intense, high-quality program, how can you choose which is best for you? In our guide below, we compare and contrast the Codesmith and Hack Reactor immersive programs to help you find your perfect fit:


Rating on SwitchUp: Codesmith currently has a 4.97 out of 5 star rating on SwitchUp, averaged from 69 total verified alumni reviews.

Description: Codesmith is a selective, need-blind 12 week program teaching software engineering and machine learning with locations at LA, NY and Oxford University. Graduates of the program typically earn between $95k and $120k (average salary $103k), build projects that have been featured at Google I/O earning 20,000+ Github stars and are advised by top engineers from Netflix, Facebook and Google. Graduates are transforming healthcare at Heal and Impact Health, mental health at UCLA, and drone technology at Airmap, while others work on large systems at the top technology companies in the country including Amazon, Microsoft and LinkedIn.

Focusing largely on computer science fundamentals and fullstack JavaScript, with an emphasis on the most valuable contemporary technologies - React, Redux, Node, build tools, and machine learning - this program enables Codesmith students (known as Residents) to build compelling open-source projects and ultimately move on to positions as leading software engineers.

Residents become engineers, not technicians, through a deep understanding of advanced JavaScript practices, fundamental computer science concepts (such as algorithms & data structures), and object oriented & functional programming. The curriculum drives Residents to develop strong problem-solving ability and technical communication skills, the most valued capacities in a software engineer.

In addition to its core curriculum, Codesmith offers an extensive hiring support program that guides Residents through whiteboarding, advanced technical interview practice, resume and profile development, and interview and networking strategies. Support continues upon graduation with bi-weekly check-ins and, after offers, negotiation support. Overall, 25% of graduates receive offers for Senior Engineer positions and above, and about 70% receive offers for Mid-level Engineer.

Cost: The full-time, in-person courses at Codesmith cost $17,700.

Location: Los Angeles, New York City

Verified Alumni Review: "Best Bootcamp in the Universe"
I'm very grateful to Codesmith as it accelerated me from junior to mid level in my time there and provided me the tools and mindset to jump from mid level to senior at my first full time job in the time span of 2 months. YMMV but you will at least be a mid level developer out of Codesmith.From what I know, the hiring support and tips and tricks to get mid level positions even without any developer experience puts Codesmith head and shoulders above any other bootcamp out there.

Things to note: With the exception of their online prep program, Codesmith is solely an in-person bootcamp program. Codesmith also focuses on hiring days, groundbreaking projects, intimate community experiences, and individual student focus. Because there are only two locations for this program, it is easy for Codesmith staff to keep the community tight-knit and focused. Based on alumni reviews, graduates of the Codesmith program feel they have a family after leaving this institution.

Hack Reactor

Rating on SwitchUp: Hack Reactor currently has a 4.69 out of 5-star rating on SwitchUp, averaged from 84 total verified alumni reviews.

Description: Founded in 2012, Hack Reactor is a 12-week immersive coding school providing software engineering education, career placement services, and a lifelong network of professional peers. Hack Reactor has campuses in San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City, as well as an online, remote immersive (full-time and part-time) After 800+ hours of curriculum, students graduate as full-stack software engineers and JavaScript programmers.

During the first six weeks at Hack Reactor, students learn the fundamentals of development, JavaScript and are introduced to developer tools and technologies. In the final six weeks, students work on both personal and group projects. Job preparation is integrated into the curriculum, and students build an online presence, resume and LinkedIn profile by graduation.

Hack Reactor's immersive program is known for its exceptional quality and for demanding a starting skill set beyond that of a beginner. In 2017 Hack Reactor introduced a variety of prep programs to help beginners ramp up their skills to the level required for its immersive program. The most popular prep program is Live-Guided (also called SSP) and is currently offered in 4 week, 5 week and 7 week modules to accommodate a variety of schedules. A self-guided program is also available for free or with premium features for paying students.

Hack Reactor places alumni in mid-to-senior level positions at companies in tech, including Google, Salesforce & Microsoft, with an average graduate salary of $105K (2017 San Francisco student outcomes survey; 81% survey response rate).

Cost: The full-time courses at Hack Reactor costs $17,980.

Location: San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, New York City, Online

Verified Alumni Review: "Worth the Effort"
Hack Reactor's program is very intensive but worth the challenge. To succeed you should plan on this program being your whole life while you are attending. That's not to say you won't enjoy your time there. Every day introduces new challenges and new things to learn. The environment encourages a sense of community within your cohort. They have a great staff that cares about your success. After completing the program you will continue to receive support and assistance from their staff. If you embrace the program and everything they have to offer, it will set you up to succeed.


Codesmith and Hack Reactor share a desire to help individuals become leaders in the world of technology. Thanks to their rigorous programs, both Codesmith and Hack Reactor graduate classes of mid-to-senior level professionals ready to work for some of the top tech companies around the globe. Students of both programs are able to build noteworthy projects and present impressive portfolios after completing these programs.

Difference in location:

Although Codesmith and Hack Reactor both operate out of major cities, Codesmith only offers two locations in Los Angeles and NYC. When deciding where to attend a bootcamp, keep in mind the cost-of-living and potential career options available after the program ends. Los Angeles vs San Francisco alone could mean a vastly different bootcamp experience, so be sure to explore the city you'll likely be living in after graduation.


  • The salary outcomes between Codesmith in Los Angeles and Hack Reactor in San Francisco are quite similar with the average Codesmith salary currently at $103,000 and (Hack Reactor's at $104,000.
  • Both programs teach JavaScript as well as Computer Science fundamentals.
  • At over $17,500 each, these programs are both considered quite costly in the bootcamp space.
  • When all is said and done, both of these programs are highly-rated and respected by their graduating alumni.


If you are looking for a transformative, intense, coding bootcamp experience, both Codesmith and Hack Reactor can offer strong skill-building, community, and great job success. Make sure the working spaces, classroom environments, teaching staff and other elements fit your needs by attending an information session at either program, speaking to a career advisor, and also by reading what more alumni have said on SwitchUp.

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