Photo of a review of Hack Reactor as a software engineering bootcamp

A review of Hack Reactor as a software engineering bootcamp

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

What does Hack Reactor do?

Hack Reactor is a bootcamp that helps people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job as a software engineer. They offer a full-time onsite bootcamp as well as a full-time or part-time online bootcamp. They make use of Galvanize campuses in Austin, Boulder, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle. Their New York campus is pending approval. Students from New York cannot join the online bootcamp.

The full-time bootcamp, both onsite and online, takes 12 weeks to complete with class from 9am-8pm. Before participating in the course, though, students are required to do 80 hours of pre-work on their own. They can also take a 5-7 week Hack Reactor Prep course for an additional fee before doing the pre-work.

The part-time online bootcamp takes 9 months to complete. Class is held live online – 2 weeknights and 1 half-Saturday per week. With the homework, part-time bootcamp students should expect to spend 20 hours per week on the program. There is also over 100 hours of pre-work that is required to be done before beginning the live course. 

Who is Hack Reactor for?

People who have no experience in software engineering but are looking to move into this career path could benefit from Hack Reactor. With their on campus and online options as well as a more flexible part-time option, they can help people who need extra guidance on certain topics.

What does Hack Reactor cost? How much work is involved?

The full-time and part-time bootcamps cost the same: $17,980. Students can choose to pay upfront or finance their payments over 60 months. Hack Reactor will also introduce an income share agreement option in the near future for students in the full-time bootcamps, in which they will pay a $2,000 deposit and then 10% of their salary for 48 months after they get a job.

The admissions process starts with the candidate showing that they are beginning their journey to learn to code. They need to either take the Premium Hack Reactor Prep course, which is Monday-Thursday from 6:30-9:30pm and Saturday & Sunday from 10am-5pm or they need to take a self-paced course. Prior to these courses, they need to 10 hours of pre-work. Once they finish the course, they will take a 60-75 minute Hack Reactor technical assessment. If they pass this assessment, they must take 80 hours of pre-course work. Once they finish the pre-course, they can join the actual program.

Ratings and reviews

The reviews online of Hack Reactor are mixed, but fairly positive. They are on SwitchUp’s list of best bootcamps. On CourseReport, students felt like they learned a lot, but the speed with which they went through the curriculum and the amount of hours spent in class made it very intense. Another issue came with the job assistance, which they did not feel was adequate.

Some reviewers found that the program was best suited for finding web developer roles, rather than software engineer roles, which is important to note. One alumnus who wrote about his experience explained that a lot of the extra help beyond the instruction is provided by very recent graduates of the program. He felt that they did not have enough knowledge, having just been in his shoes 3 months before.

Alternatives to Hack Reactor

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

  • Lambda School is probably the most well known. It is a 9-month bootcamp where students can learn the fundamentals of software engineering, UX design, data science, and iOS development while deferring payment through an ISA.
  • 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 the goal of preparing students for mid- and senior-level software engineering roles.
  • Codeacademy teaches courses in computer science and coding for free and also offers membership that are around $20-$40 per month.
  • Similarly, there is Coursera, which provides free and low-cost college courses from $29 all the way to $25,000.
  • Udemy, which is an online learning platform with over 100,000 online video courses in a wide variety of topics. Udemy students can pick & choose classes, often paying around $10 per class.
  • Those interested in learning different tech skills can also check out Udacity, which offers a mix of free and paid resources
  • Springboard is a popular online education tool for people interested in learning or advancing their current tech skills.
  • The Tech Academy is an online and onsite bootcamp that helps people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job as a (junior) software developer or data scientist.

How does Hack Reactor compare to Pathrise?

Hack Reactor is a bootcamp, with courses for people who are interested in learning the skills needed to become a software engineer from scratch. At Pathrise, fellows 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 fellows 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 fellows need them. Our curriculum is 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. Fellows in Pathrise find a job, on average, within 3-5 months of joining the program. The Pathrise income share agreement is just 9% of their first year’s salary and we never require upfront payments or deposits.

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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