Hack Reactor Remote: The Student Experience

Our immersive educational offerings are unique in many ways and prospective students have lots of questions, but for our Hack Reactor Remote program, perhaps the most common query is also the most fundamental: what’s it like?

It’s an excellent question, because there may not be another experience out there quite like it. The closest analog is our immersive onsite program--much more so than self-guided online courses, like Codecademy, or scheduled online courses like those offered by Coursera. Both Hack Reactor and Hack Reactor Remote require students to be present and learning 11 hours a day, six days a week, and their curricula are identical. That said, there are many nuances to doing an intensive course from home.

Do Remote classmates get to know each other?

Yes, to a surprising degree. Students quickly move past the barriers of distance and develop relationships that often outlast the program.

“I made lots of strong friendships really quickly. It’s so great to come out of this, not just with skills, but with lasting connections,” says one student, shortly after graduating.

While students may be physically located on different continents, they spend 66 hours a week, learning and coding together.

“You get close to [your classmates] really quickly because you’ve done a lot of intense work together,” says Hack Reactor Remote graduate Kate Jefferson.

The class Slack channel provides instant access to everyone in the course. Students get to know each other on an individual level through pair programming and project work, while Slack maintains group cohesion across the entire cohort.

If you send out a message [on Slack] like, ‘who has 2 minutes to help me?’ you get a ton of responses,” says Remote graduate Nissa Wollum.

The Remote staff also makes time for students to get to know each other on a personal level.

“We had a really fun show and tell night,” Jefferson recalls. “We got to see people’s living space, their pets, and more. We had the first Remote talent night. People were reciting Shakespeare and someone rapped about our cohort. I sang. Hack Reactor really has the hang of making people who were in Korea, Colombia and Newfoundland feel like one group.”

Often these online friendships result in physical get-togethers. One group of students recently convened in New Orleans, and another group took a road trip from San Diego to the Bay Area. They met up with a student who flew from his home in Switzerland and all went skydiving!

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Hack Reactor Remote students took a skydiving trip together. This is the highest known elevation of the Hack Reactor logo.

Do Remote students work on projects together?

Yes, as with our onsite program, collaboration is a crucial component. This is facilitated by apps that allow for pair programming and video chats. The projects students build are impressive in scope and size.

“When I first started programming, [building a framework] was one of those larger goals that seemed monolithic,” says Hack Reactor Remote graduate Gunnari Auvinen. “It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a group of people with like-minded drive in just three or four weeks. I got everything I could have gotten out of Hack Reactor Remote and more. Having achieved that feels pretty good.” Auvinen and his team built a React and Flux framework that made it to the front page of the popular tech news aggregator Hacker News.

What are the outcomes for the Hack Reactor Remote program?

The program outcomes show that this is an elite coding bootcamp. 95% of job-seeking students receive an offer within three months at an average starting salary of $94,000. Given that many Hack Reactor Remote graduates are geographically anchored outside the Bay Area and other tech industry centers, these numbers show the program has effectively equal value to our industry-leading onsite coding bootcamp. Just as they do during the program, our online students have the full support of our staff and classmates throughout the job search process.

What are some advantages to the online digital classroom over a traditional onsite set up?

Decoupling a top-level coding education from a specific location is a huge boon to some students.

“Many students are reporting that Remote is uniquely a fit for their needs,” says Remote Class Lead Liz Penny. “They’re in Europe or Asia. They have family responsibilities and need or want to stay at home. Or they just love their region or town but also want to learn coding.”

Many Remote students conclude that they would not trade their education for any other option, including an onsite program. Without the constraints of physical space, students have a refined, streamlined learning experience.

“I’ve learned a ton and all the people are smart and motivated,” noted recent graduate Eric King. “The staff is super supportive--they push you to do more. I feel really connected to the group through Slack and Google Hangouts, but the flip side is that I’m at home where I have more downtime. I feel like I’ve had a better experience doing Remote than I would have had doing an onsite program.”

Ready to take the plunge? Apply to Hack Reactor Remote. Need to spend more time preparing? There’s no more effective way than Remote Prep (for beginners) or Fulcrum (for intermediate coders).

Read more:

Which Hack Reactor Course is Right for You? Here’s How to Find Out

Remote Student Highlighted by President Obama

Remote Student's 6 Month Journey From Student to Teacher