Howdy online review reader! I've just completed Makers Academy as part of their first Ronin cohort (Ronin is completed remotely - not at their London HQ), and accepted one of four job offers received through them after 7 weeks of finishing...
My advice... Read More
I spent a year knowing that I wanted to do Makers, but feeling perhaps i needed to prepare more before doing it. Looking back - I can honestly say the only regret i have is not doing it sooner! Yes prepare, and take courses online before hand if you like - but don't feel you need to 'be incredible' even before starting. Their precourse and course will ensure your success given your willing to give 100%.
That said i did feel getting half way into Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial online, gave me a good overview and 'lay of the land' to approach the course if your looking for recommendations!
Looking back I guess, i also always thought coding required some sort of 'genius' or super math skills. Having come out the other side, I look back and see coding as just like any skill - conquerable for anyone. You don't need to be a genius, you just need to be passionate about tech (hey - there's not much at life you can do if your not passionate about it!), and willing to work hard for the 12 weeks surrounded by the teachers and environment at Makers. I'm terrible at math - and honestly it makes no difference. I see the reputation that 'it takes some sort of special genius to be a coder' as a damaging myth now - it stops people doing it, and the world needs a tonne more developers. I'm pretty sure anyone that wants to code can - it's only the myth which stops people from trying/committing. Honestly - anyone can do it! :)
That's another thing Makers gives you - the realisation that you can learn anything, even outside of coding!
Other bits of advice:
- Do everything you can to commit to the course. It really is something special to be surrounded by so many passionate amazing people, all wanting your success. It fly's by - so even on the hard days when your tired etc and your friends are all going out and calling you - remember that. If your in Makers, you have a once in a life time opportunity - make the most of it - work your ass off each week to understand each weeks concepts. Keep your calendar free for the 12 weeks - Drink Makers in! :) It's so rare in life to have such passionate people teaching you, and to be surrounded by people all sharing your goal, and your not going to do it twice!
(If you feel you've never worked that hard before - i'd say don't worry - Makers seems to bring out the best in everyone.)
- Doing Ronin, I'd recommend extending this to your environment. Make sure you have a room where you won't be disturbed during the day, make sure you have the surroundings free from temptation and distraction to do intense learning. Kindly explain to your loved ones how important it is to you to have this space and time for 12 weeks, and maybe be able to skip chores etc
- Grab a macbook - I know right they're expensive. But going forwards this is your tool of the trade - it makes it a whole lot easier if your using the same equipment as everyone. (And hey once you graduate you'd end up buying one anyway!).
Review wise, i find it hard to put into words. Makers has literally been one of the best experiences of my life. The atmosphere (even doing it remotely in Ronin!) is incredible. The knowledge - you can't put a price on, and the introduction to so many (great) companies and people (who all become friends!) all going into the industry - is invaluable, the coaches and staff - honestly cannot do enough for you - they must have a secret rule somewhere to always over deliver - they also become like friends.
Makers also puts so much effort connecting you to companies that are doing the right things in tech. Yes there's developer jobs everywhere - but the companies Makers partners with are literally at the top of the game.
That's another thing Makers has taught me - how to do development professionally. It's not impossible or perhaps even hard to teach yourself online and get a job at a company - but they make a real effort on distinguishing you as a professional - not just a 'hacker'. In my experience - each interviewer i met was blown away by the best practices, skills and knowledge of tools/frameworks that Makers instilled in us from day 1. This is something that comes from their close relationship with top companies. Makers knows exactly what they want and use, and passes this on to you. :) When it comes to applying for jobs, you really are at the top of the stack, you really can work at the best of companies.
This is another thing - sometimes perhaps on hard days, people doubt or worry that for some reason the Makers way won't work for them. That getting a job will for some reason will be harder for them. It's not true - it works, have faith in Makers Academy's expertise, their process, and their curriculum. Trust them - you get everything their website promises.
Coming out - it was just a case of picking which job ticked the right boxes for you: money, culture, location, big or small etc. Makers really does open doors no matter your background, age, experience or even location! (Makers is a wonderful mix of students from around the world, of all ages and backgrounds, all with one shared passion.)
So i don't know what more to say. It's hard to review something that becomes such a special part of your life for three months. I also never normally write reviews online!
I say if you've taken the time to read this, your obviously passionate enough about tech, so just go ahead and do it! :) Coding really is the skill of the current century - don't be a bystander - join in and help take the world into the digital future! Makers will make your dream a reality.