You know how I researched coding bootcamps and the reason I chose Hack Reactor from here. I applied for four bootcamps in the Bay Area, and this post is about my application experience.
I finalized my application list to these four bootcamps: Hack Reactor, Dev Bootcamp, RocketU, and Coding Dojo. Because Hack Reactor was on the top of my list, I first went through Coding Dojo and RocketU’s applications (to practice and prepare myself).
My interviewer was a recent graduate from Coding Dojo. He was really nice and seemed to have learned lot from the bootcamp. He asked me mostly non-technical questions about my background. I guess my previous job in a startup really interested him. He asked me how I did on the quiz (I only answered one question wrong) and, without confirming my test results, seemed satisfied and told me I would a be great fit for their bootcamp. I didn’t get very satisfactory answers on the questions I had regarding placement rate and connection. I think Coding Dojo is a relatively young bootcamp, and is still building their reputation at the moment.
Coding Dojo Summary: Coding Dojo seems to look mainly for people who fit their bootcamp culture, I think. They don’t ask you technical questions during their interview. Might be a good fit for a complete beginner in coding?!
Anyway, I interviewed with RocketU’s program manager. She is a nice and passionate person. However, because she is not an alumnus or a technical person, I couldn’t ask her technical questions, like why they chose the language or framework they use. Overall, it went well. She asked if I googled during the quiz (apparently I did great?!), and I said yes. She wanted me to take the quiz again (without googling), and told me she would let me know the result afterwards.
RocketU summary: RocketU’s application process is really…long. I don’t know why it took so long to get an interview with them. I didn’t re-take the quiz because I was applying for Hack Reactor (and got accepted), but I kind of feel that I could have gotten into RocketU.
The interview was quite intense. I heard that it would be hard, but I didn’t know that it would be REALLY HARD! I did well in the first 20 minutes, but then I got stuck on one question and became very nervous, and got stuck even more …The interviewer was really nice, and said he felt that I knew my stuff but didn’t perform well on the test. He explained the last part in the test and asked that I study more. I was really eager to get into Hack Reactor, so I asked if I studied more, when I could interview again. He didn’t give me an exact date, but said he will let the admission team know. Three days later, I got a letter from Hack Reactor telling me I was so close. They were willing to give me another chance to interview if I did a web app to show them. That’s the reason I made the Mood Reactor (blog intro here). I had another interview one week after I showed Hack Reactor Mood Reactor. This time I knew I would be nervous if I got stuck, so I asked my developer friend to give me a mock interview. The mock interview really helped! I got challenged by my friend during the interview, and I learned how to approach questions if I got stuck. The second interview ended up going quite well. I could feel I did much better than the first time.
Hack Reactor Summary: BE PREPARED!!!! You should spend a good amount of time to go through the study material. The interviewers are all Hack Reactor recent graduates, so they were able to answer all the questions I had. I really felt their passion through the interview, and I ended up liking Hack Reactor even more after the interview!
Dev Bootcamp: Dev Bootcamp is also a renowned bootcamp with several branches in the US. Their bootcamp is only 9 weeks long, though. Their application seems like a job application; I needed to upload my resume! After submitting my resume, I can choose a date to interview. Because the studying material is Ruby, I needed to learn from the beginning. I didn’t want to confuse myself during the Hack Reactor application process, so I waited until I was done with Hack Reactor’s interview. And then I got accepted to Hack Reactor, so I didn’t interview with Dev Bootcamp.
That’s my story of applying to bootcamps. I will be at Hack Reactor’s 2015 February cohort. The class is 11+ hours per day, 6 days per week for 3 months. I can’t wait till it starts!!
P.S. There are other bootcamps like Makersquare, gSchool, App Academy, General Assembly that I didn’t consider. I think you can find a good fit for you through proper research!