Why I Chose Hack Reactor

First off, for those who don’t know, Hack Reactor is a coding bootcamp. What does that mean? It means that you spend a full three months, around 11 hours a day, programming with a group of thirty other people, developing the real-world skills needed to work in software engineering today. Hack Reactor focuses on Javascript, used primarily in web applications, and as of late, just about anything else you can imagine due to the language’s popularity.

So now, that we have the what out of the way, I’ll dive into the why.

Hack Reactor is the Best

You can find about a million coding bootcamps out there today. Each one offers the same bait: give us a certain amount of money, three months of your time, and you’ll be able to walk out of here with a job. And maybe that’s true for most of them. I don’t know. But as I did my research, Hack Reactor stood out in the crowded field of bootcamps. First, they are very transparent about their data. Want to know their hiring rates? Salaries averages? Check out their website. You don’t have to click around long to find the information. If that seems the way it should be, you’re right. Except not all bootcamps offer that information so freely. And if you were to compare those hiring rates and salaries to the other bootcamps, I doubt you’d find anyone else able to replicate Hack Reactor’s results. Granted, hiring stats aren’t the only reliable metric, but they are the most visible and they are indicative of the quality of the education recieved in real-world terms. They communicate how desirable a graduate is once she embarks on the job search. ##H ack Reactor Specializes in Javascript This might not sound like a such a big deal now because more and more programs are picking up on Javascript, but when Hack Reactor chose to specialize in Javascript a few years ago, most of the other schools were betting on Ruby. As the job market has shown, Hack Reactor made the right choice.

At Hack Reactor, You Don’t Learn Just Learn a Single Language

You learn how to learn. And you learn how to learn quickly. For me, this is huge. Trends in the programming world change all the time. Right now, Javascript benefits from massive popularity. But, in five to ten to fifteen years, those trends will change. The programmers and engineers that thrive when the change happens are those who are able to adapt, who are able to adopt new languages and paradigms. It’s not about making the right language choice now, it’s about positioning yourself to evolve when the tides inevitably shift.

Hack Reactor is Background-Agnostic (Mostly)

What does that mean? Well, prior to starting this journey, I was a writer who worked in student financial aid(not as a writer, as an advisor). Did Hack Reactor ask me about my background? Absolutely. But I got into Hack Reactor because I passed the technical interview. My resume did not affect my outcome. Now, obviously a tech background would likely make it easier to pass the technical interview because of experience, but the biggest factor is what you are able to do, now what you have done in the past. For me, it was a challenge (a fun one) to begin learning a new skill set while working. So, if you’re from an unrelated field, with no experience, you can do this. It might be harder, but then again, what about this entire setup ever sounded easy? ___ If you’re interested in Hack Reactor, I’d do some research, start coding, and don’t be afraid to apply once you’ve followed the steps they post on their website to prepare. The interview itself was a fantastic experience. And if you don’t get in on the first try, don’t worry: a rejection here is only an opportunity to improve.

Written on January 11, 2016