I graduated in September from the Hack Reactor Remote program. Since then I’ve been an HiR doing personal tech coaching and interviews, and I recently accepted a fantastic offer from a really cool company.
I really can’t recommend HR enough. What really... Read More
They’ll also help you A LOT with resume writing. That’s also the bane of my existence, but with their coaching and help I produced a fantastic resume that got me in to a phone screen easily with several companies. I didn’t even need to attend the last week of the program (since I got a job :D) that goes really intensely over writing cover letters, resume review, job application support and white boarding practice.
Ok, aside from the job stuff, the quality of the course is amazing. You’re working on functioning code bases, mostly to add new features or implement required ones. You’re building web apps from day 1 (Ok, maybe not until day 7 when the sprints start). You are really plunged into the deep end from day one and forced to swim. Be warned: you must be an autonomous person who is goal oriented to take this course. Yes, there is guidance and structure, but it’s ultimately up to you to get what you need done to succeed in the course. There will invariably be extra work you need to do outside of class in order to keep up since it is so fast-paced.
I found the sprints challenging, but not overly-so. I found week 4 to be particularly challenging, and really doubted my skills, but the counseling and tech mentors helped me get where I needed to be. It seems crazy that 12 weeks is enough to get people all the skills they need to succeed, but I found that it was more than sufficient to get me into a job. I was even a bit over-prepared. I barely sent out applications; I applied for one, and was asked to interview for a second that I met at a job fair who had seen my resume. I received an offer from both, and ultimately went with the first one that I had applied to. I’m still completely astounded at how easy, painless and quick the job search was, but that’s because I was impeccably prepared and supported throughout (mix some dumb luck in there too). Granted, the jobs I applied for were both to startups, who value more practical skills to get you in the door. I didn’t have to do any white boarding or algorithm problems, just really practical stuff that I found (frankly) really easy.
By and large, your classmates will be fantastic. Hack Reactor goes to great lengths to make sure it admits people who are not only intellectually capable of the rigorous pace and difficult concepts, but those who will be enjoyable to collaborate with. I had so many helpful classmates that made a huge impact on my success in the course.
I would recommend that if you take the course, you set up after-hours study groups early and often. They were instrumental in helping me understand the material.
I’m a female in tech which isn’t always easy, but the support I received from Hack Reactor makes that much easier. I’ll be the first female engineer at my new job. If you’re wondering if you’ll be a good fit for Hack Reactor specifically because you’re a woman/unconfident about your skills or your ability, don’t worry. If you can get into Hack Reactor and get past the pre-course work, you’ve got what it takes to succeed in the program and on the job. You might be judged by dumb guys from time to time, but that just helps you build up a thick skin. For the most part everyone has been great.
This course is HARD and it will kick your ass. But (at least in my case) you might go from zero coding knowledge, to teaching yourself coding, to Hack Reactor, to an amazing job in less than a year. I can confidently say it was the absolute best decision I have ever made in my life, as well as the hardest thing I have ever done. I am incredibly grateful not only to the founders for starting the school, but to all the tech mentors, counselors, coordinators and cohort mates who put in so much hard work and care to make the program amazing.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to respond.
Unbeatable job support, insane value for the money, challenging but doable sprints, awesome cohort mates, fantastic tech and morale support/mentoring, insane outcomes (yes, those numbers are accurate). The most difficult thing I have ever done, and the best decision I have ever made. DOOO IIIT! IT WORKS! Regarding a few negative reviews I have read... really? 98% employment after 6 months is not impressive? Do you have any idea what the rate is for a 4 year college? I went to college and NEVER got a job in what I studied, let alone 6 months later.
And yes, there's a lot of self-teaching during the program -- they're trying not to set you up to need your hand held through every bit of code you have to work with. I've been working as professional frontend engineer for 6 months now, and I can say that the real world is very similar to how life feels at hack reactor -- you're thrown into an unfamiliar situation, without any expertise about the code, and you need to figure out how to find your way out of the problem. I'm grateful that they didn't hold my hand through the course-- it would have been a rude awakening to move into the job and suddenly have little support and no skills to figure things out by myself.