Photo of a review of Actualize as a software engineering bootcamp

A review of Actualize as a software engineering bootcamp

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering advisor at Pathrise. I work with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job.

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, so 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 and then 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. Students could also choose to do the nights and weekends online course, which 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 from 4pm-7pm PST / 7pm-10pm EST.

Who is Actualize for?

Aspiring software engineers who have no experience or background in the field could benefit from the Actualize bootcamp as long as they are willing to put in the work and time to learn. 

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. 

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, who provide feedback and answer questions via video conferencing and email.

Both the online and on-campus bootcamp cost $13,900 and a $1,000 non-refundable deposit is required. 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

The reviews online of Actualize are mixed, but mainly positive. They are on SwitchUp’s list of best bootcamps. On CourseReport, students enjoyed the community and 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. Otherwise, there are not many reviews online of Actualize.

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 that 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.
  • Hack Reactor, App Academy, 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, which offers 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.
  • Codeacademy teaches online courses in computer science and coding for free and also offers membership that are around $20-$40 per month.
  • Students looking to defer payments until after they get a job could check out Lambda School and Rithm School, which 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 is a software engineering bootcamp with online prep and intro courses and on-campus immersive programs in New York City and Los Angeles.
  • With a time commitment of 12-24 months, Launch School is an option for aspiring software engineers willing to spend a lot of time on a program.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard, which 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.

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 workshops, where we provide a more specific curriculum based on what they will see in their interviews.

All of our workshops and 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, with only 4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1 sessions that can be scheduled whenever job-seekers need them. It is also completely personalized to work on the specific skills that people struggle with the most.

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. Job-seekers in Pathrise find a job, on average, within 3-5 months of joining the program. The Pathrise income share agreement is 9% of their first year’s salary.

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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