Is Smoothstack a “Revature-esque” scam?

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Smoothstack a “Revature-esque” – Smoothstack is a company that has been compared to Revature, another company known for its controversial employment practices. 

The comparison is based on the red flags and concerns raised by individuals who have interacted with Smoothstack.

A user on Reddit posted about their experience with Smoothstack, stating that they were contacted by the company after applying to a job posting on Indeed. 

The user mentioned that they were contacted via phone call and that the conversation raised several red flags, similar to those they experienced with Revature. 

The user asked several questions to clarify the terms and conditions of working with Smoothstack, including whether they would be allowed to review all legal documents before signing, if there was a training fee, and what the terms and conditions surrounding it were. 

They also inquired about whether they would work directly for Smoothstack or be handed off to the company that hires them.

The user’s concerns are similar to those raised about Revature, which has been criticized for its employment contract. 

The Revature contract includes clauses that are seen as restrictive and potentially exploitative, such as a $20,000 training fee, confidentiality agreements, and restrictions on discussing the company or its clients.

Overall, the comparison between Smoothstack and Revature suggests that Smoothstack may also have questionable employment practices, and individuals considering working with the company should be cautious and ask detailed questions about the terms and conditions before committing.

Detailing my experience thus far at ‘Smoothstack’ – Based On True Events

One of the people shared his life experience in “Smoothstack”. 

Let’s discuss it.

I wanted to share my experience with a company called Smoothstack. I found very little information about it online, so I decided to document my journey to answer the question: Is Smoothstack a legitimate opportunity?

I applied for a Cloud Engineer apprenticeship on their website. After that, I had a programming challenge where I had to solve tasks related to Bash, SQL, and algorithms. I did well on it.

Then, I had a phone interview where I talked about my behavior and skills. However, I took too long to schedule it. They offered me another challenge, this time in C++. I barely passed it because I wasn’t very familiar with C++.

After that, I had a technical screening where I had to solve programming questions and talk about my projects. They accepted me despite my limited knowledge of C++.

Now, I’m in a two-week trial training period to see how well I can handle their apprenticeship course, which lasts for about 3-4 months. After that, I might be sent to work for a company in Virginia for two years.

I recently had a meet-and-greet where I learned about the training structure. There are two types of classes: open cohort, where everyone trains for general positions, and closed cohort, where Smoothstack finds developers for specific clients.

The class is fast-paced, with daily lectures and projects. I’m learning a lot, but it’s challenging, especially since I’m new to C++. Unfortunately, I failed a project and won’t be continuing past the trial period. But they encouraged me to reapply once I gain more experience.

That’s my experience with Smoothstack so far. I hope this helps others considering joining the company.

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Is anyone able to share their recent experience working with Smoothstack in 2024? 

I’m considering joining the company as they seem to offer good training in development and job placement with client companies. 

However, I’m concerned about potential layoffs, given recent experiences with similar companies like FDM. 

  1. Can anyone provide insight into whether there have been any layoffs at Smoothstack? 
  1. Additionally, how long is the typical wait before starting work with a client? 
  1. And which client companies have people worked for, and how has their experience been so far?


Sure! I’ve heard from others that there haven’t been any layoffs at Smoothstack unless someone’s performance wasn’t up to par. The time you spend waiting before starting work with a client can vary a lot. 

It seems like those training for cloud-related roles get placed faster than those in front end or Java development. Some of the client companies people have worked for include Accenture, Swift, and Morgan Stanley. 

Expect to work more than 40 hours a week, but since you’re being paid to learn, many think it’s worth it.

Smoothstack vs Revature

Smoothstack’s model deviates significantly from industry norms:

Training Repayment ClauseYesYes, but uniquely harsh
Training Payback Amount$10,000 – $30,000Up to $23,875
Commitment Length after Training1-2 years2 years firm
Early Exit PenaltiesPro-rated payback amountFull amount due regardless of tenure

Smoothstack’s model is more restrictive than Revature’s, with a higher training payback amount and a longer commitment period. 

This combination of soaring debt and multi-year commitments outpaces rivals and angers both employees and regulators.

Red flags have been raised by several Reddit users regarding interactions with Smoothstack

Do you know what more users raised red flags in Reddit forums about smoothstack?

1. Training Fee

Smoothstack reportedly imposes a significant training fee akin to Revature. Though the exact amount remains undisclosed, applicants have mentioned inquiries about such fees during initial discussions.

2. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure

Similar to Revature’s practices, Smoothstack’s contract allegedly contains clauses that prohibit discussion of confidential information and the training’s contents.

3. Work Assignments and Relocation

Smoothstack’s contract purportedly mandates acceptance of work assignments and relocation, echoing Revature’s terms.

4. Restrictive Clauses

Allegedly, Smoothstack’s contract contains clauses that restrict employee freedom, mirroring Revature’s policies.

5.  Limited Transparency

Smoothstack’s contract details are not readily accessible, posing challenges for potential employees seeking clarity on terms and conditions before commitment.

Is Smoothstack Is A Real Company?

What Discussion Going On In Reddit Forums About Smoothstack?

One user, Immediate_Choice_563, cautioned about the possibility of being locked into a two-year commitment with low pay and potential credit repercussions if leaving prematurely.

Another user, rockonaissance, offered a more balanced perspective, confirming Smoothstack’s legitimacy but suggesting that higher-paying options might exist. They shared a personal account of someone successfully placed at Morgan Stanley after training with Smoothstack.

Additional comments highlighted concerns about pay during training, potential relocation requirements, and the quality of training provided by Smoothstack. 

Some users recommended asking specific questions about contract terms and conditions, such as training fees and employment arrangements

What are the points discussed In Reddit Forums About Smootstack’s “Revature-esque” scam?

It seems like Smoothstack operates on a similar model to Revature, offering training followed by placement at client companies. 

Here’s a summary of the key points:

Training: Smoothstack offers a 3-month crash course in the IT field.

Payment during training: Trainees are paid minimum wage during the training period.

Contract employment: Trainees are placed as contract employees at client companies.


There may be obligations to stay with Smoothstack for a certain period or pay back training costs if leaving early.

Lack of information: There is limited information available about Smoothstack online, raising concerns for some individuals.

Ultimately, it’s advised to conduct thorough research and ask pertinent questions before committing to any program like this, especially considering the potential financial and career implications.

People Also Ask

Is Smoothstack a legitimate company for someone interested in starting a career in software engineering?

Yes, Smoothstack is a legitimate company that offers training and job placement opportunities for individuals looking to enter the software engineering field.

What type of training does Smoothstack provide?

Smoothstack provides training programs in various areas of software engineering, including cloud computing, front-end development, Java development, and more.

How does Smoothstack’s job placement process work?

Smoothstack places individuals in client companies where they can gain real-world experience after completing their training program successfully.

What are some potential client companies that Smoothstack works with?

Some client companies that Smoothstack may work with include Accenture, Swift, Morgan Stanley, and others.

Are there any risks associated with joining Smoothstack?

While Smoothstack offers valuable training and job placement services, individuals should consider factors such as potential layoffs and the time it takes to start working with a client.

How long does it typically take to start working with a client after completing training with Smoothstack?

The time it takes to start working with a client can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s skill level and the demand for specific roles in the market.

What is the general feedback from individuals who have completed training with Smoothstack?

Feedback from individuals who have completed training with Smoothstack may vary, but many appreciate the opportunity to gain practical experience and start their careers in software engineering.

Does Smoothstack offer support or assistance during the job placement process?

Smoothstack typically provides support and assistance to individuals during the job placement process, helping them prepare for interviews and connecting them with potential employers.

Is Smoothstack suitable for individuals with limited programming experience?

Yes, Smoothstack offers training programs for individuals with varying levels of programming experience, including those with limited experience who are looking to start a career in software engineering.

What should individuals consider before deciding to join Smoothstack?

Before joining Smoothstack, individuals should research the company, consider their career goals, weigh the risks and benefits, and evaluate whether Smoothstack’s training programs align with their interests and aspirations in software engineering.

Final Words

While Smoothstack is similar to Revature in how it trains and places people in jobs, there are worries from individuals, especially on Reddit, about how it operates. 

People are concerned about things like possible fees for training, strict rules in contracts, and lack of transparency. Some folks have had good experiences, but others warn about potential problems. 

Whether Smoothstack is as risky as Revature depends on what each person thinks. But it’s really important for anyone thinking about joining to do their own research, ask lots of questions, and carefully think about the terms before deciding.

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