Want to Level Up Your Career? Try Coding School

This article was sponsored by Hack Reactor. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make SitePoint possible.

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that we here at SitePoint are pretty keen on this whole “everyone should learn to code” idea. That’s kind of our whole thing.

While we’ve been into it for a long time, in recent years the rest of the world seems to have caught up. There are many, many articles, books and presentations arguing that coding is the new literacy, and that it should be taught in primary school along with English and math.

This is usually presented as an inherently good thing — in a world run by algorithms, being able to “speak computer” is hugely beneficial, arguably essential, and learning code can help with learning to think logically and break down problems to their essence. But there’s also no doubt coding is a good way to earn a living.

Right now, competent mid- to senior-level developers are hugely sought-after, with tech firms ready to bend over backwards to court them.

A recent New Yorker article detailed how one gaming company, Scopely, rewards new hires with the following smorgasbord of gifts: USD $11,000 wrapped in bacon, an oil portrait of the hire, and a harpoon gun.

Tech companies want the best developers, they want them now, and they’re prepared to pay well for them.

How do you become a part of this club? Well, there are a few options.

Depending on how you learn best, or what you want to achieve, you could learn a language by reading up on it in popular books, watching a series of videos on a site like Learnable, reading articles like those on SitePoint, or by diving in and getting your hands dirty on your own, with a bit of trial and error.

But if you want results (and employment) fast, consider a course in the real world.

Enter: Coding Schools

San Francisco-based start-up Hack Reactor, which has been described as “the Harvard of coding schools”, should definitely be on your shortlist.

Hack Reactor offers an immersive 12-week course in a state-of-the-art classroom setting. Six days a week, 9am to 8pm, you’ll be put through your paces with classes and project-based instruction.

The program’s emphasis is on continually learning new skills, approaches and languages, as well as how to collaborate and problem-solve in the real world. While it’s an intense schedule, students’ emotional, physical and social well-being is monitored and emphasized throughout the course.

HackReactor in progress

This level of intensity requires an investment — standard tuition for the three-month program is $17,780 — but it pays off, with 99% of Hack Reactor graduates achieving employment as mid- to senior-level engineers at an average starting salary of USD $105,000. Grads have gone on to work for major companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Adobe and PayPal.

In its quest to build a network of renowned educational programs, Hack Reactor recently acquired MakerSquare, another top-tier bootcamp, with footholds in Austin and San Francisco, as its first “extension school“.

Classes start every seven weeks onsite in San Francisco or online through Hack Reactor Remote Beta. Apply today.

Check out more information about the program here, and maybe you’ll even end up with your own speargun, oil painting, or bundle of bacon-wrapped cash. Good luck!

Have you considered a coding school? What courses would you focus on?


  1. ralphm says:

    Sounds like an exhausting but exciting and rewarding course. O to be young again! smiley

  2. simo_k says:

    Great article! Does anyone know of any reputable coding schools in Sydney?

  3. AMA3_ says:

    I've been a professional IT trainer for 15 years, and in my experience, eleven hours of training is too much even for a single day, let alone for twelve weeks straight. I teach immersive, hands-on classes that last only 7.5 hours per day, and by the seventh hour, I can see the brains and attention span of the attendees shutting down.

    At times, I've been asked to teach a four-day class in only three days with extended hours, and participants consistently say that they are less satisfied and learn fewer skills than when the same material is learned over four days.

    In addition, a Dr. Pimsleur determined years ago that to really learn something, you must repeatedly review it at regular intervals, to commit it to your long term memory. If you're spending 11 hours per day learning new things, that doesn't leave much time and energy to review.

  4. Adam says:

    Thanks for commenting, that's a really interesting perspective.

    I'd imagine HackReactor's approach is based on "kickstarting" a lifelong (or at least, career-long) learning cycle, with this building a solid foundation which can be built on over time with other courses or on-the-job experience.

    But there's no doubt that everyone learns differently, and this kind of boot camp isn't for everyone! I'm not sure I could handle even 7.5 hours!

  5. dev77 says:

    I went through something similar. The reason I joined EDS about a hundred years ago (owned by Ross Perot at the time) is that they put everyone though an intensive 3 month course to teach programming. Six days a week, 16 hours a day of class and homework. All you did was go to class, do homework, eat (quickly) and sleep (not enough!) (One major advantage was that the company paid full salary as well as put us up in company apartments in Dallas for free.... no wives, no kids... like boot camp.)

    Each new class started with about 20 people and at the end of the 3 months there might be 12 of us left (the others who washed out where given jobs in other non-tech parts of the company.)

    Back then we started with IBM ALC, JCL, Procs, Macros, ISAM, VSAM, dump-debugging and ended with a couple of weeks of COBOL.

    When you came out of the school you were assigned an account somewhere in the US or abroad (I went to San Francisco) and after about four months of further on the job training, the head-hunters knew that you were very, very good at programming and called you night and day hoping to poach you for one of their tech clients.... you could write your own ticket.

    This was 1976 but it's still the same... perhaps more so today.

    If you want to guarantee your future and make enough to not only live well but to sock away a lot of money for retirement, an intensive coding school might be something you should consider. It could be the best investment you ever made.

    It's what I'd do... because it's what I did.