Photo of a review of Actualize as a software engineering bootcamp

A review of Actualize as a software engineering bootcamp – 2023 update

Updated in 2023

What does Actualize do?

Actualize is a software engineering bootcamp with a 12-week online and on-campus program in Chicago. The online course is done live. That means that remote students get the same experience as those who attend on-campus.

The bootcamp is a mix of instruction and exercises. Students who are attending online can ask questions to the instructor. Then, they switch into a private video chat to get the answers. Actualize teaches students full stack web development through Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, VueJS, HTML, CSS, SQL, and Git. Students also learn to utilize and create APIs and delve into database design.

Students spend 5 hours a day Monday through Friday on the course. Since the online course is live, students participate from 9am-2pm PST / noon-5pm EST. They could also choose to do the nights and weekends online course. This option takes place from 7am-3pm PST / 11am-7pm EST on Sundays and Monday through Thursday from 4pm-7:30pm PST / 7pm-10:30pm EST. After the 12 week bootcamp has ended, students can get career support Mondays and Thursdays.

Who is Actualize for?

Aspiring software engineers who have no experience or background in the field could benefit from the Actualize bootcamp. People who are willing to put in the work and time to learn will succeed. The program is likely a good fit for people who live in Chicago or want to work there.

What does Actualize cost? How much work is involved?

To apply, students submit an application on the website, then participate in two interviews with admissions advisors. There are no coding challenges or assessments. 

If accepted, students must take part in 4 weeks of pre-work. They watch videos that introduce them to the fundamentals of computer programming and submit exercises to the teaching assistants. Then, the TAs provide feedback and answer questions via video conferencing and email.

Both the online and on-campus bootcamp cost $14,900. Plus, students are required to pay a $1,000 non-refundable deposit. There are a few options for financing. If students choose to pay upfront, they receive a $500 discount. They can also choose to pay in 3 installments without accruing interest or take out a loan to pay the tuition back in 3 years.

Ratings and reviews

Photo of Actualize review

The reviews online of Actualize are mainly positive. They are on SwitchUp’s list of best bootcamps. On CourseReport, students enjoyed the community and they felt like the curriculum was well planned. It is a little interesting to note that all of the reviews in 2020 were posted on the same date. In 2021, students finishing the cohorts gave high marks and praised the program.

Alternatives to Actualize

As a bootcamp with a focus on software engineering, there are a fair number of alternatives. 

  • Students can also consider Kenzie Academy. A full-time tech bootcamp, Kenzie offers in-person and online courses in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Likewise, Prime Digital Academy has full-time and part-time courses in UX design and software engineering.
  • Hack Reactor, App Academy, Nucamp, Fullstack Academy, Turing, Launch Academy, Zip Code Wilmington, and The Software Guild also offer online and on-campus courses for their software engineering bootcamp.
  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly. They offer full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • Students looking to defer payments until after they get a job could check out Lambda School and Rithm School. Both offer income share agreements (ISAs) to finance the tuition of the bootcamp.
  • For students looking to do a part-time or full-time bootcamp, Galvanize, Covalence, and Coding Dojo offer both choices. Altcademy is a part-time, flexible software engineering bootcamp.
  • Codesmith, Code Fellows, devCodeCamp, and Codeworks are software engineering bootcamps with online and on-campus programs.
  • You can also check out Bubble no-code bootcamps to learn how to make products without coding. Learn more about Bubble in our review.
More alternatives
  • Aspiring software engineers and web developers can also consider CodeX Academy, a self-paced coding bootcamp with mentorship opportunities. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • Another option is Grand Circus, which teaches courses on Java, front-end, and C# .NET. Their campuses are in Michigan, but they also offer online options.
  • Likewise, Tech Elevator, Epicodus, and Redwood Code Academy are software engineering bootcamps with online and on-campus options.
  • edX is one of the largest online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard. These are online educational platforms that students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • Students can also consider Coursera, Udemy, Treehouse, Ruby Koans, egghead, and Pluralsight online learning tools with over 100,000 online video courses in a wide variety of topics.
  • SoloLearn, freeCodeCamp, and W3Schools are free alternatives for people looking to learn programming languages.
  • Similarly, Nashville Software School has courses in full stack web dev and data science.
  • Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.

How does Actualize compare to Pathrise?

Actualize is a bootcamp with courses for people who are interested in learning how to become a software engineer. At Pathrise, job-seekers in our program should already have a background in the field they are interested in so that they can participate in and fully benefit from our technical curriculum, which is based on what they will see in their interviews.

All of our sessions at Pathrise are live, as well as recorded, so that job-seekers in our program can review them afterwards and continue learning. Our program is flexible. There are only 2-4 hours of sessions per week and fellows can schedule 1-on-1s as needed.

Specifically, Pathrise focuses on technical and behavioral interviewing as well as resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building and strengthening, cold email and reverse recruiting lessons, and negotiation templates and guidance. Fellows in Pathrise find a job, on average, within 3-5 months of joining the program. We offer an income share agreement, so fellows don’t need to pay until they land a great job and start working.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. If you want to work with any of our mentors to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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Brian Wong

Brian Wong is an experienced senior software engineer and has worked at top bay area startups and organizations. In his free time, Brian works with Pathrise SWE fellows to help them land their dream job and learn insider tips on how to ace technical interviews.

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