| ||Derek Velzy || |
| ||Anonymous || |
I graduated from Hack Reactor last month and I am currently on the job search. I will update this review when I get a job. My review in summary: HR is an excellently run program and does what it promises, which is transforming students into career-ready software engineers who can tackle new projects and technologies autonomously. That said, it might not be for everyone. Unlike some bootcamps, HR requires students to undergo a fair amount of preparation before the immersive program actually begins. After passing a technical interview admissions assessment, students spend roughly a month doing precourse material. This is a great time to figure out whether HR is a good fit for you. Students work individually on a series of “deliverables” with their own deadlines. The material ramps up quickly, and you have to figure out much of it on your own. Going through the precourse involves lurching between moments of feeling totally lost and then getting that hard-won clarity. There is excellent support from technical mentors but they will not give you the answers and cannot accomplish the process of learning so much in such a short time for you. The software immersive itself is a similar process of rapid learning but you are not alone. Not only are there lectures and more explicit instructions for the materials you work through, you will be paired with someone else or in a group. There are staff manning a help desk that can help answer questions, and the program instructors offer excellent one-on-one instruction for those struggling with certain concepts. Hack Reactor has a successful formula for making students into self-sufficient software engineers. Hack Reactor teaches every student two main things: a basic competency in creating full-stack software applications and an ability to learn what you don’t know but need to. The first half of the program is dedicated to the former. In the second half, once you know how to build full-stack applications, you develop your self-teaching skills. By the end, you will feel confident about your abilities. There is a lot I don’t know how to do and a lot of technologies I don’t know. But I feel confident that I could take on just about any project because of the skills I’ve learned at HR. The experience itself is also very rewarding. The instructors are smart and caring. The material is exciting. Despite the long hours, I often wished it had gone longer and would eagerly forward to starting each day. Because of the intensity of the experience, it is also likely that you will form close bonds with the peers in your cohort.
| ||Tyler Bailey || |
I recently graduated from Hack Reactor and have a number of positive things to say about the program as a whole. The program is definitely difficult and you should try your best to prepare as much as possible before starting it. The staff is supportive but won’t hold your hand, and the course curriculum moves at such a fast pace that it feels like you’re learning at least one new and relevant thing almost every single day. There’s an emphasis on process and thinking about problems methodically, which means that understanding why a solution works is almost always more important than simply achieving a working solution. Additionally, the staff proves consistently impressive throughout the immersive. They are the bedrock that makes this program, and each staff member brings a unique perspective and set of skills to the program to create a team that consistently and effectively meets the learning needs of each cohort’s students. From the cohort leads to the tech mentors to the career services team you meet with at the program’s end, the team at Hack Reactor genuinely wants to see their students succeed, and they often go above and beyond responsibilities to ensure that this happens. I personally received help from staff on numerous occasions outside of the program’s container hours, and staff members also proactively check in with students to ensure that learning needs and objectives are met. I can walk away from Hack Reactor and say I’m glad to have been part of it. The experience was transformative in a number of ways, and at this point my biggest regret regarding Hack Reactor is not having discovered it earlier.