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Reviewer Name Review Body
Joe Buono

TLDR - Hack Reactor is the real deal, but you should only apply if you’re willing to prepare for it thoroughly. First of all, I cannot offer enough positive adjectives to describe my experience at Hack Reactor. The pace of the program is optimally challenging and rewarding, the curriculum is carefully designed and up-to-date, and most importantly, it’s the people in the program who really make it special. Everyone on the staff is bright, devoted, and actually cares about the students. And the vast majority of the students are also smart and enjoyable to work with. The focus of this review is really on you, the reader. The question you’re asking is: should I attend this bootcamp? The answer is a resounding… it depends. In my opinion, it depends on how much preparation you’re willing to put in before attending this intense immersive. When I was in the trenches, I noticed that my cohort mates who had started coding just two months or less before the start of the bootcamp generally had a really rough time, especially for the first 5 weeks. They dealt with lots of anxiety, stress, questioning, etc. The people who had been coding for half a year or more (including me) excelled and reaped tremendous benefits from the program that we wouldn’t have received from just self-study alone. Here’s the thing: programming concepts take time to marinate in your mind before they really sink in. Despite being a professional musician and educator who really loves logical problem-solving, I had to start from ground zero with computer science. I spent many, many hours studying the fundamentals of programming before I attended Hack Reactor, and I am so grateful that I did. Ok, enough talk. If you’re still reading, then you’re probably wondering how you can effectively prepare yourself. Here is the path I followed that set me up for success at Hack Reactor and beyond: First, hop on Code Academy and check out a few of their courses in web development. - You don’t need to finish any of these courses. They’re more to give you a beginner-friendly taste of programming. Personally, I found HTML and CSS to be pretty boring. Trust me, the fun stuff comes later. Most importantly, you'll want to become as confident as you possibly can with programming in JavaScript before attending Hack Reactor. These are the Udemy courses I did in preparation for Hack Reactor (I suggest that you wait until these courses go on sale and then buy them for around $10-$15 each. Udemy has sales about twice a month): "The Complete Web Developer in 2021: Zero to Mastery" - This course is worth completing. It’s a good first run through of the full stack. "The Complete JavaScript Course 2021: From Zero to Expert!" - This course is similar to the first, but more rigorous and comprehensive in its explanation of JavaScript. "Codewars" - Once you’re more comfortable with JavaScript, start solving some puzzles with it. - Start by solving the 8kyu katas, then you should aim to be solving 5-6kyu katas before starting Hack Reactor. "JavaScript: Understanding the Weird Parts" - This course should absolutely be a requirement before attending Hack Reactor. "The Modern JavaScript Tutorial" - This free read-through guide goes through the fine-grain details of JavaScript in a very thorough way. React - Main Concepts: - Practical tutorial: You need to understand JavaScript before you can understand React, and you need to understand React to be successful in Hack Reactor. "The Complete SQL Bootcamp 2021: Go from Zero to Hero" - A solid introduction to writing database queries that will serve you well. "Node.js, Express, MongoDB and More: The Complete Bootcamp 2021" - Complete everything through the MongoDB lectures. The content on Node.js is very helpful and critical to become familiar with before attending Hack Reactor. “JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Masterclass” - The section on data structures will be crucial in setting you up for success during the first week of the immersive. - The algorithms section is essential in preparing you for toy problems during the problem. LeetCode - Only start doing LeetCode problems after you’ve completed the Colt Steele course above. - This is similar to Codewars, but more rigorous and difficult. You will do problems like these every day during Hack Reactor, and companies use these problems in their technical interviews. It will take time for the patterns to sink in, but you should aim to get really good at these. Things to get familiar with in general: - GitHub - The command line (terminal) - Chrome Devtools Regarding your actual study time, I would highly recommend the Pomodoro technique. Basically, set a timer, focus intensely for 25 minutes, rest for 5 minutes, and repeat 6 times. Ok, that was a lot, and I hope it was helpful. If you do all or even most of what I listed above, then you will be phenomenally successful at Hack Reactor and set yourself up for a lucrative and rewarding career in tech. Best of luck to you!