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About Us

Makers Academy is a fully immersive, full-time computer programming course in London, designed to turn people with no knowledge of web development into job-ready junior developers in just 12 weeks. We’re Europe’s #1 Developer Bootcamp, running new classes of 30 students every 6 weeks, and we’re based in the heart of London’s Tech City.

Life at Makers

Being a student at Makers Academy is a very emotional journey. Eating, sleeping and breathing code becomes a huge part of your life, but looking after your wellbeing is also critical to becoming a great developer. On site we have Dana, our Chief Joy Officer - a certified yoga instructor who runs daily yoga and meditation classes and is here to look after your well being.

It’s also important to unwind and bond socially with your cohort. We're surrounded by some of London's quirkiest cafes, yummiest street food and busiest pubs. We also host regular events such as Petcha Kutcha lightning talks, games nights, karaoke nights, as well as organising group activities like climbing, go-karting and going to the theatre.

Our Team

Our mission is to teach as many people as possible to create amazing products using beautiful code. Since we started in early 2013, we’ve grown from two people to a team of twenty. We are not just colleagues: we’re a family. The Makers Academy team is a diverse bunch who work hard and play hard.

Our Story

Makers Academy was founded by Evgeny Shadchnev and Rob Johnson when they met at Forward labs. Evgeny was a classically trained software developer and as he was trying to build out his team he discovered a lack of qualified developers on the market. At the same time, Rob had been teaching himself to program through a book on Objective C and it took him 9 months and 30 hours a week to get through it. A conversation between the two made them realise that while computer science programs were good at drilling students with theory, they were training people to become computer science professors instead of programmers, and something had to be done.

About 4 months after that conversation they started their first cohort ‐ in February 2013 - creating Makers Academy - an alternative to university and a vocational route into a job as a web developer, allowing people to switch careers and learn to code in 3 hyper-intensive months. Makers Academy has now been going for over 2 years and has graduated over 500 students.



More About Makers

Why is it called Makers Academy?

Paul Graham, the tech startup visionary behind YCombinator coined the term Maker for those individuals that truly produce. The Makers Academy mission is to give every student the skills to call themselves a Maker.

Where does Makers Academy take place?

Makers Academy officially runs 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday at the Makers Academy studio in Shoreditch at 50-52 Commercial St – right at the centre of the tech startup community, a few minutes away from Shoreditch High Street station and Google Campus. We welcome anyone who wants to arrange a visit to see how we operate.

Can I really learn to program in 12 weeks?

Absolutely. Programming expertise takes years to master, but that's not the point of Makers Academy. We want to give you a foundation so that you can be a top candidate for an entry-level position at a world class startup or technology company. Whether you're looking to change careers or you want to start your own startup but can't find a technical co-founder, Makers Academy is for you. To learn more about the underlying research, see this essay on Why Learning to Code is So Hard.

Do you help people navigate their way around getting housing in London?

At the moment we do not have a dedicated housing department but members of our team can assist you with finding short term accommodation in London. In the past students have used sites like Gumtree, Zoopla, Spareroom.co.uk and many others to find a house. In London it's pretty easy to find a room at short notice if you put your mind to it.

Do you have hacking events?

Indeed we do. Sign up to our mailing list to be notified when tickets go on sale.

How long has the service been running?

The company was formed in November 2012, and we ran our first course in February 2013.

Can I come to see you?

Of course. Our doors are open for anyone to come and visit. Book an appointment with Ollie here.

Applying to Makers

What percentage of applicants do you accept?

While we don't set specific limits on how many students we accept, typically about 10% of applicants end up studying at Makers Academy. We have a rigorous selection process, designed to find the most capable, driven and passionate people, and we aren't afraid to turn people away if we don't think they have what it takes to succeed at Makers Academy. It's not called "Oxbridge meets the Marines, but for Developers" for nothing!

What does the application process look like?

After submitting your online application, we'll invite you for an interview. In the interview we'll ask a few questions and do a bit of simple pair programming. You have no need to be afraid - we're not testing to see if you can already code. We're testing to see how you handle stressful situations where you're navigating the unknown. It'll be fun - we promise!

What can I do to improve my chances of getting a place on one of your courses?

In truth, there isn't a huge amount you can do to improve your chances at the interview stage - other than following the instructions we give you and studying the materials that we recommend. It's designed to find people who have natural reasoning skills, bags of drive and clear passion for learning to code. We're not testing whether you've memorised syntax - we're testing whether you can follow instructions and have the passion to learn some basic code without our support.

Having said that, if you do already have some coding experience, even if you only went through a few introductory tutorials, this will be to your advantage. We recommend the following resources to get started as a web developer, regardless of whether you want to join Makers Academy or not:

What’s the best way to prepare for the interview?

The interview is designed to test how you think, rather than what you know, but going through ‘Learn to Program’ by Chris Pine or the ‘Ruby Essentials’ course on lynda.com will put you in a great position when it comes to the pair programming part of the interview.

Do I need to know how to program already?

No. All you need is passion and the ability to unlearn the word 'quit'.

If I already know how to program a little, is Makers Academy for me?

Absolutely. Makers Academy is more than just learning how to program — it's learning how to be a developer. It's learning how to build your own prototypes. It's learning where to go to find answers. It's learning about what the atmosphere of working in a startup is really like. It's learning to be a Maker from some of the best Makers in the world.

Do you consider applications from outside the EU?

Absolutely. We’ve had students from all over Europe, the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and even Venezuela.

What's the deal for International Students?

We welcome International Students. We've had people join us from France, Germany, The USA, even South Africa. The course cost is the same wherever you're from and you apply in the normal way. We are not legally able to assist or advise on visa related issues, so we would advise you to obtain the services of a professional visa organisation.

How much maths do I need to know?

It’s a bit of a cliche that coding is all about Maths (Computer Science is Maths heavy… Writing code, not so much!). In reality, anything above If/Else statements and simple AND/OR logic is done largely by the computer. It’s more important that you have the right sort of mentality, that you’re comfortable working in ‘the unknown’ and that you aren’t afraid to fail. So long as you have a rudimentary understanding of basic maths, you’ve got everything you need.

What if I have learning difficulties?

There is a huge spectrum of learning difficulties, and we would never generalize to say that any learning difficulty would make our course unattainable. We've had a number of students with dyslexia do very well on the course, but please feel free to get in touch to discuss your personal requirements. While we're not experts in this field, we will do everything we can to support anyone who is serious about learning to code.

How many international students attend the program?

We don’t track the number specifically, but we’ve had students from all over Europe, the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and even Venezuela

More About The Course

Who are the instructors?

Makers Academy is taught by a cadre of world-class technologists and entrepreneurs. They have founded various technology startups and have decades of educational experience between them. In addition, Makers Academy brings in world class speakers from top London technology companies.

Do you offer part-time courses?

Currently we only offer our full-time course because we don't believe we could deliver a world-class result on a part-time basis - yet. One of the main problems people have in teaching themselves to code is the inconsistency in learning. The 12-week program provides full immersion to overcome this barrier and we're not yet certain how we could deliver that with a part-time regiment…but we're working on it. Stay tuned!

Do I need to bring my own laptop?

No. Makers Academy will provide all of the equipment needed. That being said, feel free to bring your own laptop if you'd like as long as it's a Mac or a Linux (the software you'll be using is really hard to use on a PC).

Do you have to commit to being in London full-time for 12 weeks?

By far the best way to learn to code in such a short amount of time is to live and breathe it. You would need to attend Makers Academy from 9am-6pm, Monday-Friday, for the 12 weeks that you're studying. Bear in mind that this is a minimum requirement - the more time you give to the course the better the results will be! If you absolutely cannot make it to London, we have a new full-time online program that mirrors our off-line course. Find out more about Ronin.

What's the schedule and the learning atmosphere?

Students will be at Makers Academy from 9am until 6pm (although many stay well into the evening), Monday through Friday for the duration of the 12 week course. We use a combination of self-study, class-based instruction, hands-on exercises and pair programming to give you a well-rounded overview of how to apply each new concept.

Do you have a more detailed breakdown of what I'll learn?

Our agile approach means we improve our course and curriculum with each cohort, but you can get a flavour of the structure from our curriculum.

Do students have to do a preliminary study before starting the course?

Yes. We have developed a part time PreCourse that needs to be completed before starting the course. We focus on the foundations: command-line, version control and the basics of Ruby. The PreCourse requires an average of 15-20 hours per week to complete successfully.

Is it really possible to learn to code in 12 weeks?

The fact that we’ve had over 400 students graduate from Makers Academy, and our track record in getting students hired at companies like BSkyB, Pivotal Labs, New Bamboo and many other top tech companies mean that YES, it is possible to learn to code in 12 Weeks. Make no mistake - it will be tough. It will take hard work and dedication, but if you really want it, it’s there to be had.

Why does the course focus on Ruby on Rails?

The course doesn’t just focus on Ruby on Rails. You'll learn a number of languages such as Ruby, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery and more, but you're right in saying that you will leave Makers Academy with Ruby as your strongest language. However, we focus much of our efforts on teaching you the skills to think like a Developer (note the capital D!), and our graduates have gone on to work in a number of programming languages after leaving Makers Academy.

How much help is given when choosing a project?

In the final 2 weeks of the course, students work in teams on a project. In recent cohorts, we have even invited in charities to pitch their project ideas and this gives our students experience with real clients and time limits.

Does the course look at any other programming languages such as Python or C#?

While you’ll get a taste of many languages while studying, we offer one course and one course only, and Ruby forms its backbone. If you’re sure that you want to learn a language like Python or C# then the course may not be for you.

Does the course cover project management skills such as Agile methodologies?

We do touch on Agile working methodologies and even some Lean Startup principles, but this isn’t the main focus of the course, nor is design. You will learn some basic principles in all these areas, but this is primarily a course where you will learn to code.

How satisfied are students after completing the program?

Our Net Promoter Score (as decided by feedback from Graduating Students over the past year) is 93. The highest you can get is a 100, and anything above 50 is considered to be ‘Excellent’.

What is the drop out rate/failure of the course?

Out of around 400 students so far we have had around 25 drop out, for various reasons. We have an application/interview process at Makers Academy that is designed to only accept people who are serious about learning to code, but we can’t always get it right!

Getting a Job

Do you offer any kind of post-graduation assistance?

Absolutely. We want to help in any way that we can - be that helping a student find their first (or second or third) position or just merely providing advice. We have built an extensive alumni network for all graduates. We now have a full time team to look after all post course arrangements and ensure you get a job.

What is the target placement rate for coding positions?

While it's really complicated publishing our success metrics we're committed to fully supporting you until you're happy in your new job as a developer.

Do you offer any kind of certification at the end of the course?

No. Certifications would require us to bend our curriculum to a governing body, thus reducing our agility to teach what's most relevant and to stay at the bleeding edge of what's important to the technology community. Also, the employers pay little attention to certificates but they value the skills, so we focus on the latter.

On average how quickly do graduates find a developer job after doing this course?

On average it takes 1-3 months to get a job after graduation.

What level of training do we offer?

We train you to a level of proficiency that will allow you to build your own prototypes (if you’re an entrepreneur) or to get a job as Junior Developer.

Which language is in demand the most?

The tech landscape moves fast. There are jobs available in every language - from C and Java right through Python and Ruby to Node and Clojure. With demand for Devs growing an average of 20% every year, and the supply of devs flatlining at 1% YoY, the reality is that if you’re a good programmer, you’ll always be in demand.

Does the Academy provide any support to students who wish to establish their own startup?

We don’t offer any formal support but most of the team have extensive experience in startups and we're happy to talk to the students about their ideas.

Paying For The Course

I can't afford to do the course... What should I do?

There are a number of ways you can raise funds. Check our payments page to see how previous students have done this.

Is food and lodging included in the price of tuition?

Unfortunately not. We will however assist with making arrangements in any way that we can – feel free to email us with any questions or requests that you may have.

Why do I have to pay a deposit?

Due to high demand for spaces, we ask that, once accepted, students pay a non-refundable £800 deposit to lock-down their spot on the course. This is to ensure that every place is taken by someone who actually intends to study at Makers Academy. Many courses end up with a waiting list and it isn't fair on waiting students for people to reserve a spot and not show up.

What if I don't have the deposit?

Once a student is accepted on to the course, their spot will be guaranteed until 28 days before the course start-date. In this time the seat will not be offered to anyone else. If the deposit is not paid within 28 days of the course start-date, the spot will be opened up to students on the waiting list. While this doesn't necessarily mean that you will lose your seat, so long as you have not paid your deposit you're liable to be moved to a later cohort at any time.

Do I need to buy books?

Books are kind of outdated in the fast-paced world of software development. You won't need any on the course but we can recommend some if you're really after some physical materials.

Can I pay in Bitcoin, if so how?

Yes - we welcome payment in Bitcoin. If you want to do so, we can talk about how to do so when you come for an interview.

Is there any chance to get any type of scholarship?

We offer scholarships from time to time, usually in partnership with another company. By far the best way to hear about these things is by signing up to our newsletter and keeping an eye out for any new opportunities.

Why Makers Academy?

Learning cutting edge coding techniques such as agile & TDD Located at the heart of Silicon Roundabout with a big work space
Job support – our service isn't complete until you're hired Community of learners – because it's easier when you aren't alone
Macbook Pro with Retina Display & 24" display for the duration of the course Our space is open from 8.30am – 9.00pm, Mon – Fri
Access to speakers, events and meetups in the office Breakfast, coffee and snacks

Apply Now

The full 16-week programme costs £8,000. We run cohorts every 6 weeks, and applications are highly competitive. We offer numerous payment options.

Our prices for Makers Academy and Ronin are changing.