If you’re looking to break into the tech industry in a sprint, then a coding bootcamp can serve as an excellent starting point. In recent years, coding bootcamps—or short-term and intensive skills training programs—have become game changers for aspiring software engineers. Instead of having to commit to a four-year degree program, professionals can now reskill and launch their careers in less than a year with coding bootcamps.
According to the global impact intelligence platform Holon IQ, “bootcamps reskilled and upskilled over 100,000 professionals globally in 2021.” And that number is expected to rise to 380,000 by 2025. Indeed, coding bootcamps have long dangled the promise of helping learners gain the skills to land jobs post-program. The question is: do they actually deliver?
Can You Get a Job After a Coding Bootcamp?
The short answer: yes, you can get a job after a coding bootcamp. And if you enroll in a top-tier bootcamp, you might be able to not just find a job post-program but also build a career. To expound on this, we sat down with coding bootcamp graduates Joyce Ma, Matthew Campagna, and Kent Warren.
Joyce, Matthew, and Kent are all professionals who have built careers in software. But they have more in common than just their current job titles.
For one, software engineering was not their first choice for a career. Ma was in the health and sciences field. Campagna was a former teacher-turned-startup founder, and Warren sought creative areas such as music and graphic design. Despite their different backgrounds, all three eventually became drawn to software engineering.
This is where their second similarity came in. Eager to know more about software engineering, they all enrolled, albeit at different times, in the full-time 12-week coding bootcamp at Hack Reactor by Galvanize, which is among the top-tier bootcamps in the edtech space that offers immersive software engineering programs.
In its latest student outcomes report, Hack Reactor states that over 95 percent of its graduates secured an average annual salary of $95,000. Additionally, the report mentions that many of its former students were hired by renowned companies like IBM, Google, and Amazon.
Beyond the numbers, let’s see how some of its graduates have fared in the tech industry years after completing their Hack Reactor training.
Hack Reactor Bootcamp Graduates: Where Are They Now?
Joyce Ma enrolled in Hack Reactor’s full-time Software Engineering Immersive program in 2019. With zero tech background, Joyce knew that succeeding in the bootcamp would be far from easy. She initially struggled with problem-solving, technical reading, and time management. But thanks to the close guidance provided by her cohort lead and mentor, she managed to cope with these challenges.
“I was constantly feeling so stressed about never understanding things immediately. I was very used to knowing things almost immediately… In my distress of feeling so lost all the time, I recall being told by my cohort lead, ‘Instead of saying, ‘I am so confused,’ wouldn’t it be better to say ‘I am excited to learn about a new and unfamiliar topic’?’”
“That changed my perspective. It freed me,” says Joyce. “It allowed me to be confused as well as be at peace with not knowing everything immediately.”
She also gives credit to Hack Reactor’s supportive community, which helped her build connections with mentors, alumni, and like-minded professionals. Joyce adds, “Although the community was not something I initially considered when I enrolled in the bootcamp, it became such a huge and impacting factor for my successes…Having a strong support network is essential to new engineers.”
Within three months after graduation, Joyce took an offer for a software engineering role at the customer engagement platform, Twilio, and has been working there for three years. “Hack Reactor really prepared me for this role, and I honestly feel that I now have full control over my career path…I still feel like I am in the early stages of my career, but I am growing all the time and working up the ranks within the engineering space.”
Hack Reactor reports positive outcomes for its students, with over 95% of their graduates securing an average annual salary of $95,000 post-bootcamp.Apply now and follow in their footsteps.
A self-taught web developer disillusioned with his career in commercial photography, Matthew Campagna returned to teaching English in South Korea while further developing his passion-project-turned-startup, Backlight. The Content Management System (CMS) enables photographers to publish and manage their web image galleries.
But as many startup founders would know, the biggest challenge for Matthew’s business was keeping up with the changing market demands. While he loved his job, his profits dwindled, pushing him to reconsider his career options to attain financial stability.
“A friend of mine attended Hack Reactor and was hired by Google. It seemed like a good way to get my foot in the door. Plus, as a self-taught web developer, there were aspects of programming I never had the opportunity to learn. That convinced me to enroll in the program [in 2018],” says Matthew.
Like Joyce, he describes his bootcamp experience as intense, as he grappled with complex concepts and projects. But the broad range of the program made him realize how highly relevant his training is to his job.
Offering one piece of advice for aspiring developers, Matthew recommends that students continue to develop their skills even after the bootcamp. “After Hack Reactor, I still had a lot to learn. Luckily, the first job that I landed had a supportive team. They were open to answering questions, and I was able to pair-program with more experienced engineers,” adds Matthew.
Since graduating, Matthew has consistently expanded his skills, building apps and managing teams for several companies. Now, he works for a virtual communication platform as a senior software engineer.
Kent Warren’s background is rather colorful. Formerly a traveling musician playing for US troops stationed across the globe, he enlisted in the army after completing his last tour. While on deployment in Afghanistan, he made another pivot by pursuing a degree in graphic design.
It was through Vet Tech—a program that connects veterans to tech education opportunities—that Hack Reactor came on his radar. Coming from a military background, Kent was already equipped with a can-do attitude and a strong mindset to get through the daily grind the bootcamp required. After completing his bootcamp training, Kent secured several job offers.
But he admits that there was a lot of trial and error to get to the role he loves. From working with government contractors as a web developer, he has successfully expanded his career trajectory and is now a program director for a tax preparation firm. Some of his responsibilities include redesigning API and UI architecture and working as a Scrum master for the company’s business intelligence platform. Suffice it to say, he feels right at home in tech.
Kent has come far from being a musician to working in the tech sector. His tried-and-tested tip? Have the right mindset to persevere despite the pressure. “Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. As a [tech professional], you will experience many failures as you create solutions to unique problems, and that’s part of the process.”
Start Your Software Engineering Career at Hack Reactor
Hack Reactor gives beginners and career changers the chance to break into the industry. That said, your success in launching a tech career takes a concerted effort between you and the bootcamp. While Hack Reactor offers technical programs, extra learning resources, and an ever-supportive team, it is your attitude and mindset that will eventually determine how you’ll fare in the industry.
So what are your options moving forward?
Have a look at the following programs offered by Hack Reactor:
- Software Engineering Online Immersive Full-Time
- Software Engineering Online Immersive Part-Time (Watch out for Hack Reactor’s new part-time program in spring 2023!)
The Part-Time Online Immersive is designed for beginners and does not require any preparation. But if you are taking the Full-Time Online Immersive, it is encouraged to complete the prep course and learn how to code for free! This also allows you to get a taste of what to expect from the school. Ready for a life-changing career? Apply now and join the next cohort!
If you’re still on the fence, here’s what Joyce has to say about her career since Hack Reactor: “Before Hack Reactor, my days were typically filled with dread. It was tiring. There was never any flexibility in my job, and there was a lack of support for mental health. Everything about my past life was very rough. Now, I have all the stability and freedom I’ve always wanted. I’m constantly challenged by the work I do, which makes it fulfilling. I get more support now than I have ever received. Life is really good now!”
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.