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Actualize In-Person

The original part-time coding bootcamp

Our Program

Prework

4 weeks of at-home exercises

To help you get ramped up for the main course, you’ll be watching our videos that introduce you to fundamentals of computer programming. You’ll also submit exercises to our teaching assistants, who will leave constructive feedback on your work, and answer questions via video conferencing and email.

Live Training

12 weeks of in-class instruction

The Live Training is the main course, led by your Lead Instructor. Every concept is taught and immediately followed by exercises that allow you to truly grasp what you’ve just learned. You'll also work on an individual Capstone Project, which is demonstrated at your cohort's graduate Showcase. Check out some examples of our graduates' Capstone projects!

Apprenticeship

4 months of professional experience

The guaranteed apprenticeship with the non-profit The Difference Engine gives you the chance to put your skills to work. For up to four months, you will develop web applications for real-world clients while working with experienced developers. This unique opportunity provides you the chance to develop the skills, experience, and portfolio that employers look for.

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Prework

During Prework, you’ll be ramping up for class by watching videos of our CEO, Jay Wengrow, teaching the fundamentals of coding. Due to Jay’s quirky sense of humor, these videos may arguably be the most entertaining coding videos you’ll have ever seen. More importantly, though, Jay’s experience as both an educator and developer come to the fore as he breaks down each concept into a digestible chunk before moving onto the next.

Each video is also accompanied by a series of exercises, which you’ll submit via a specialized application called the Student Portal. Each exercise is reviewed by a Teaching Assistant, and you’ll receive constructive feedback where necessary.

You can complete prework on your own schedule, although you should block off at least 20 hours to dedicate towards it.

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4 Week Prework Schedule

The 4 weeks of prework are done remotely on your own schedule. Exercises are due at the end of each week.

Open Schedule

Up to 20 hours / week

Weekly Due Dates

Exercises due each Saturday

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Live Training

During the Live Training, the Lead Instructor flips back and forth between instruction and exercises. Instruction is more than lecture; the Lead Instructor demos a new concept by sharing the screen with the class on a large projector, and leads an interactive discussion on the subject.

Immediately after the new concept is taught, students are presented with exercises that give them the chance to utilize the new concept in various scenarios, allowing them to truly grasp it. During the exercise, the Lead Instructor and Teaching Assistants are available to help out when any student gets stuck. And right after the exercises, the class goes back into Instruction mode and moves onto the next concept.

This model of an instruction-driven class is very different than the typical coding bootcamp, which are exercise-driven. That is, in other bootcamps, students are taught new concepts by being given exercises, and the staff is on site to help students when they need help. There may be some ad-hoc lectures, but the students are essentially teaching themselves most of the material through exercises. The Actualize approach is to teach every concept through expert instruction, and follow the instruction with exercises on that concept. This approach allows us to cover the same amount of material as other bootcamp in a fraction of the time.

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Curriculum

During the Live Training, we teach software engineering using full stack web development. While we teach with specific technologies, what you’ll really learn is how to think like a developer, and be able to pick up anything software-related on your own.

While the particular languages and frameworks we use to teach are those that we feel are best suited towards teaching, they also happen to be very popular in the industry today. They include Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, VueJS, HTML, CSS, SQL, and Git. You’ll learn back end development by utilizing and creating APIs, delving into database design, and working with Ruby on Rails. You’ll learn front-end development using JavaScript and VueJS, a powerful JavaScript framework.

12 Week Live Training Schedule

The 12 weeks of live training takes place on Monday through Thursday evenings and all-day Sunday, which means you'll be able to keep a full time job while attending the program.

Sundays

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Mon - Thu

6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

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Apprenticeship

After the Live Training, Actualize graduates have the option to become an apprentice for The Difference Engine for up to 4 months while seeking their first software engineering job. The Difference Engine does web development work for other non-profits at no cost, and is a win-win for everybody.

Each apprentice is assigned to a team that works on a particular project. Teammates work in pairs (known as pair programming) and are also supervised by a Tech Lead, a more experienced developer who provides additional guidance.

Every day apprenticing makes you more competitive in the industry and more likely to land the software development position of your dreams. In particular, apprentices gain real-world experience in their new profession and build a portfolio of real client projects that are impressive to prospective hiring managers. In addition, apprentices learn skills that one just can't get in a classroom, including team collaboration, working professionally with clients, and agile development.

Apprentices and their Tech Leads meet two nights a week, although many apprentices do additional work on their own time when they can.

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4 Month Apprenticeship Schedule

The apprenticeship meets in the evenings twice a week in-person on Mondays and Thursdays. Apprentices also work remotely based on real-world project needs. Each apprentice can work up to 4 months.

Mondays

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Thursdays

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Actualize HQ

We've made our Chicago campus at 215 W. Ohio St. a fun and exciting environment, conducive for learning and creating a family-like atmosphere.

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What Actualize grads have to say

  • Attending Actualize literally changed my life. I had been stuck in a dead end job for years and was just going through the motions. Not only did I have a great experience learning, I also made some life long friends along the way. I now have a great job at a startup and the opportunities to continue learning and growing are endless.

    Jason
    Support Engineer
  • Not only was it perfect for me as I was not in a position to leave my job, but the support and teachers there were undeniably the best I could have asked for. All the teachers are former educators who also have a deep breadth of coding knowledge. I can't rave about this enough!

    Caroline
    API Specialist
  • I've gone from student to teachers assistant to software engineer to tech lead and I'm currently in control of my own destiny in a way that I've never been able to brag about before. This was completely life-changing.

    Jamie
    Associate Software Engineer

Tuition and financing

Next start date: October 1, 2017
Tuition: $13,900
Early Bird Special! Enroll by September 1 and recieve $1000 off tuition.

The tuition covers the complete program - 4 weeks of prework, 12 weeks of live training, and 4 months of apprenticeship. Scholarships and financing options may be available upon request.