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

A review of Hack Reactor as a software engineering bootcamp – 2023 update

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job. Check out my review of Hack Reactor.

Updated in 2023

What does Hack Reactor do?

Hack Reactor is a bootcamp that helps people learn the technical skills necessary to get a software engineering job. 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, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle.

The full-time bootcamp, both onsite and online, takes 12 weeks to complete with class from 9am-8pm. Students are required to do 80 hours of pre-work before the course. 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 live online on 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. Since they have on campus and online options as well as a more flexible part-time option, they can help people regardless of situation.

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 also offers an income share agreement option for students in the full-time bootcamps. Those who participate will pay a $2,000 deposit. Then, the ISA is 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

Photo of Hack Reactor

The reviews online of Hack Reactor are mixed, but fairly positive. They are on SwitchUp’s list of best bootcamps and rated very highly by graduates on Career Karma.

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. 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you are looking to defer payments, you can check out Lambda School and Rithm School. Both offer income share agreements (ISAs) to finance the tuition of the bootcamp.
  • Codesmith, Nucamp, Actualize, Fullstack Academy, Turing, Launch Academy, Zip Code Wilmington, and The Software Guild are software engineering bootcamps with online and on-campus options. Codesmith focuses on preparing people for mid-to-senior engineering roles.
  • Codeacademy teaches courses in computer science and coding for free and also offers membership that are around $20-$40 per month.
  • For students looking to do a part-time or full-time bootcamp, Galvanize, Covalence, Byte Academy, Code Fellows, devCodeCamp, and Coding Dojo offer both choices. Altcademy has a flexible, self-paced software engineering program.
  • 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.
  • Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.
More alternatives
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 can also consider Coursera, Udemy, Treehouse, Ruby Koans, egghead, and Pluralsight. These are popular online education tools with courses in a variety of software engineering topics.
  • The Tech Academy and Codeworks are online and onsite bootcamps that helps people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job as a (junior) software developer or data scientist.
  • SoloLearn, freeCodeCamp, and W3Schools are free alternatives for people looking to learn programming languages.
  • You can also check out Bubble no-code bootcamps to learn how to make products without coding. Learn more about Bubble in our review.

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 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 2-4 hours of 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 (ISA) means that fellows don’t pay anything until they are hired and start working at a job they love 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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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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