App Academy has done a great job of interlacing computer science knowledge with the practical skill you need to be a web developer. You can see this throughout their curriculum but also in the way they teach. They believe in real world learning so 90% of your time will be working on labs with a partner.
Expect to go through a more rigorous interview process to get in to this bootcamp. First you will submit your application and receive a coding challenge within 2 days of submission. Depending on how that goes, you might be asked to answer a second coding problem. Then you will be asked to have an interview. Expect to answer coding questions during the interview. They will get back to you within two days of the interview with a final decision. They provide resources for beginning programmers to learn how to approach these problems, but take your time! They are considered the most important parts of your application.
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App Academy programs
|Program: Bootcamp||Cities: New York, San Francisco||Duration: 12 weeks||Cost: 18% of first year salary and $5,000 refundable deposit|
App Academy reviews
Verfied answers from graduates of this school will include this badge
The code and computer science curriculum is fantastic. The staff is simply delightful to work with. The job search support is simply awful. This is surprising, as their fee structure depends on you getting a job. As it turns out, most in the program can't really afford to be out of a job for a full year in one of the most expensive places to live on earth. So, they don't really need to support the job seekers. They try with the App Academy resources for a few months, then get desperate and figure it out for themselves. That being said, I had the knowledge and was qualified for a job. I just didn't have any support in trying to break into the industry as a fresh graduate.
The course was intense and helped me learn a massive amount in a short time. My fellow classmates were top notch, and the instructors had very high standards. If someone couldn't learn (or put in the time to learn) to accomplish the course goals, they were asked to leave. This kept quality very high, which I appreciate.
App Academy provided everything I needed to prepare me for an amazing, well-paying job. I had virtually no coding experience before attending. But by the time the course was over, I felt confident about jumping into a new career that I love. The course was fun and challenging. I was extremely impressed with how well the curriculum was put together, and how talented the instructors were. I would recommend App Academy to anyone!
The instructors/TAs were there to help me understand complex topics every step of the way. They give you a path that's tough but following through provides results. They have a drink from the firehose approach when teaching during the bootcamp so it can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it's during those times that you seem to learn the most.
I think they do a great job of cultivating an environment where always look for ways to improve.
The instructor's were kind and helpful. The program is well-organized. Definitely fast-paced, but that's just how bootcamps are.
Helped me learn a Rails stack quickly
Great instructors, comprehensive course. I went from no programming experience to three software engineering job offers in 6 months.
They have an engaging and well structured curriculum, full of (what seems like so far) really useful information. They have a really agreeable payment structure, and I fell like, looking back, it was a really valuable way to spend ~3 months. The administration, coursework, and in-house curriculum tooling aren't perfect, though, which is why it's not 5/5.
App Academy provided me with the skills and knowledge I needed to begin working as software engineer. Which is what I was look for. And in a short period of time, as opposed to going through traditional college education which would take 3-4 years and cost more money.
App Academy provided me a fantastic opportunity that ultimately changed the trajectory of my career. Because I did not have to begin making payments until I found a job as a software engineer, I was given the freedom and confidence to go forward with such a drastic change in my life.
I got the kind of job I wanted (1% equity and decent salary at a ~20m company) within 2 weeks of graduating.
They did a great job teaching you the chops of web development in such a short tu
You don't have to pay them until you get a job. They're taking the risk as much as you do. Every other applicant is very motivated. They could use a cleaner office.
A comprehensive, challenging curriculum at a fast pace matched with staff and peers that expect the best from you. The combination of pairing and individual projects worked really well for me. I knew at all times what was expected, and felt that resources were available to help break apart difficult concepts. App Academy accelerated what I was trying to learn on my own, and is largely responsible for launching my career in software development. It was like a crucible: I learned how hard I could work, how much I could learn, and how well I could operate under pressure. It has been immeasurably valuable to me. I would recommend it 100% to those who feel like their learning can be boosted by doing it in a structured program in the company of incredibly smart and motivated people.
Make sure this is something you want to do. Put in the work and reap the rewards. You just have to want it.
All the students in the program are very bright and dedicated to working hard, and the curriculum is excellent. I really enjoy the job I found afterwards, which is the whole goal!
App Academy was great and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to get into software development, but the price range seems high for what you get. I also feel that while I learned a lot, there was a lot of things I did not learn that I had to quickly pick up in the work environment. It would have been nice to get an overview of agile development and common deployment practices while at App Academy.
The best thing about App Academy is its deferred payment structure and the opportunity to meet and form connections w/ people from similar backgrounds or circumstances. I think App Academy does a good job of introducing new entrants to the field and helping transplants be familiar w/ startup culture. I think though that the curriculum could use improvement at the time I attended and better management for student support. I also don't like the "safe-space" culture that aA fosters; perhaps this is a Bay Area thing, but it does make males feel unwelcome.
job search curriculum could've been stronger
Highly intensive course that really makes sure you know your stuff otherwise you are not going to make it through. Had quite a few very talented classmates not make it through the program who are currently succeeding at less vigorous programs.
The material is great. The teachers and TA's were excellent and extremely helpful. The only thing I think the curriculum needs is just a touch more design direction so students have a base point they can work off.
The program is very cutthroat. You get exactly what you put in. They take a chance on students based on their ability to learn simple concepts in code and then train them to be work-ready. This made them worth the risk and worth the hard effort. The curriculum is continually changing with the trends of the tech world. The TAs and instructors are by no means perfect, but they are transparent about their knowledge and what they expect you will need in the workforce. Everything else is up to you to research and learn on your own. I went in as an above-average human with decent social skills. They taught me the foundations of coding but more importantly, how to learn and study. I got a job, so it worked. The program isn't for everyone, but if you get in, it's worth the risk. 90 days of your commitment for a new outlook on life.
It delivered everything it promised.
I learned more in 3 months than I did in a full year at a prestigious university. I was able to get a job easily with the knowledge I gained from attending and my salary tripled from my previous profession.
They delivered exactly as promised.
The instructors are professional, the projects are engaging, and the curriculum is cutting-edge. The projects are crafted with clear intent - there is no "busy work", and the material is constantly improved and iterated upon. The main goal, from what I can tell, is to optimize for comprehension. The curriculum takes a reductionist approach - one recurring theme is re-building common methods and frameworks. You'll build light versions of jQuery, Rails, and ActiveRecord from scratch. Nothing is taken for granted, and nothing is magical - you'll be expected to understand, explain, demonstrate, and build everything from SQL joins to a working backend user authentication system.
Technical curriculum is spot on. Job search curriculum needs some definite revisiting and improvement.
It taught me the right tech skills and gave me lots of practice for a real life job, as opposed to the concepts taught in college that I'd never use at a real job. The network of students I met at aA was also a nice resource if I need to look for another job after my current one.
The thing that struck me as different about a/A than any other bootcamp was their payment model. They are literally tying their getting paid to your success (you pay 18% of your first year's salary though there is an up-front deposit). I was very skeptical of bootcamps in general, but decided to give a/A a shot. As I progressed through the curriculum, it became apparent that the main thing driving almost all of the instructors and TAs was their desire to teach and to teach well. The entire staff went out of their way to assure (to the best of their ability) positive outcomes for everyone who started down the a/A path. Overall, I consider a/A to be one of the most intellectually challenging and most rewarding experiences of my life. It has been the gateway to getting my foot in the door in an industry I truly love working in.
At the time I went(September 2015) I really enjoyed the coding curriculum, however the job search could use more attention(from what I've noticed, they now have more staff for job search, so thats a step in the right direction)
I went from not knowing any programming to landing my dream job. It was also one of the most intense and demanding things I ever did.
Great instructors. Always have job-relevant information. Only bootcamp that guarantees a job.
Great instructors. Always have job-relevant information. Only bootcamp that guarantees a job.
They certainly know what they're doing and train you well for the job search and workplace. That said, if you are struggling to keep up, there is little support for you. App Academy is definitely a sink or swim experience.
Incredible experience, great culture. I learned more in my 3 months with App Academy than I could've taught myself in a year. Most important isn't the material you learn, but coming out of App Academy with the ability to pick any new language or library in very short time.
A great experience, taught me great fundamentals to get me jump started in my first job. Great instructors, good curriculum, strong alumni network.
A very solid curriculum. It might be tough and intense. But it's a great one. Stuffs are infinitely helpful and genuinely care about your success. And a plus is, you can make life long friends here in the industry.
Every instructor was supportive and gave personal attention but gave us space to problem solve on our own. And as promised, everyone in my class got awesome jobs and had fun doing it.
I was very happy with it. I was able to switch over from a goal of studying history and philosophy in academia over to joining an interesting fast paced startup over the course of a few months. The TAs were helpful and the curriculum was pretty thorough. I also liked that the curriculum was constantly under development. It felt like the heads of it actually did care about teaching. Also, the pay style was incredibly helpful, where I paid over the course of my first 6 months on the job rather than all up front. It gave me confidence that they weren't just scamming me and also gave me the ability to do it (I didn't have the full 18k beforehand)
Very bad. Once you reach the part of your contract where you are obligated to pay them no matter what, they completely toss you aside. The job search curriculum is a total joke, with all the advice basically boiling down to "just apply to as many jobs as you can". Why would they care? If you quit at that point, you owe them the full 18k. If you find a job outside of tech, you owe them the full 18k. If you don't find a job, you owe them the full 18k. To make room for people whose money wasn't quite locked down yet, we were moved to an office with no amenities whatsoever, not even enough computers and monitors for everyone to use. We had to drink water from the sink, and they were too cheap to get key fobs as well, so we had to wait to be let in. On top of that, despite being promised 24/7 access to the offices to work on our projects (which many, like myself, relied on), they started kicking us out right after class ended to make room for night classes. Overall, this was a terrible and un-educational experience. I would STRONGLY advise a different boot camp.
Definitely Type II Fun - You work crazy hard, are utterly exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and you drop off the face of the Earth from all your family and friends. But once it's over, you realize it was the most fun, amazing, and rewarding thing you've ever done with your life.
Great. It laid an excellent foundation for me as a developer. Their focus on exercises that give you a conceptual model of how the framework operates is super helpful, as well as their assistance with job searching. The fact that their incentive model is tied to your success is a killer feature, gamed to keep them focused on your success.
Excellent full stack development course. Really focused on allowing students to learn very quickly regardless if they have prior development experience or not. Challenging but well worth it.
Good; I went, I learned, I got a job. Most of cohort-mates were really solid workers and students. Some were weaker, and I appreciate that App Academy would take a risk on such candidates; most of them wound up gainfully employed, too.
It was an invaluable experience and taught me an incredible amount of content in a short amount of time. A lot of that can be owed to the high expectations and the quality of the teachers / curriculum. I think the greatest asset they have is the level of attention they put into getting students to pair and work together to solve problems. It sounds like a very basic concept, but, App Academy's philosophy about pairing helped many of us think critically in a way that they might not have had to in previous experiences.
a/A is a great but demanding school. I would recommend it to anyone, but at the same time I would warn that it'd likely be the hardest you have ever worked in your life (definitely was for me). Bottom line, it's effective at getting you that first job. Most of my classmates didn't have much difficulty getting dev jobs after it. Emphasis on best practices helped too - in my experience employers valued that in the interviews.
It was a top choice for me, so I went in with high expectations. I think they mostly met those: the curriculum was generally challenging, the technologies were (for the most part) quite current, and the program worked — I'm employed as a full-stack engineer and feel quite competent.
I thought it was a very good program that effectively teaches the most important aspects of web development and provides strong building blocks for later learning.
App Academy does a really great job at teaching people how to build web apps. At App Academy, I became very comfortable with coding and debugging, and I was exposed to a variety of different problems.
App Academy was an excellent and life changing experience for me. Sure there are some things that weren't perfect, but in the grand scheme of things, they are doing some really amazing stuff. As far as outcome, I got a job as a Full Stack Software Engineer at $105K, and it took me about 1.5 months out of the program to land the job.
5 stars. Best education I have ever had for the money. They have strict contracts you must sign pertaining to how you pay and search for jobs and attend class. However they are lienent if you are having unexpected or special circumstances.
App Academy was amazing. It helped me meet some amazing people, and helped transition me into the job I wanted. And all in only 3 months--compared to a 4 year university degree.
Excellent curriculum and pace to give you the skills to contribute to a company within 2-3 months. If you want to learn how to program web applications with deep understanding of concepts and as quickly as possible, this is a great option.
It was one of the hardest things I've done, it was incredibly stressful and I was full of self doubt (entirely self imposed, they did a lot to let us know that we were learning what was necessary and becoming good engineers), but in the end I had a job in less than 3 weeks after completing the program. There were some little bits of bureaucratic annoyances that I could have done without during the process, but if I had to do it again, I would. It was the fastest way I could have changed careers.
I was consistently surprised by App Academy's high standards of professionalism, quality of instruction, the students, and the amount of fun I had throughout the 12 week program. Choosing App Academy was one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Awesome, I don't know where I'd be without it. It was a difficult but incredibly rewarding experience and I truly believe that getting accepted is an achievement all in itself.
Talk with App Academy graduates
- Are the advertisements for the percentage of graduates that get coding jobs accurate? Is it actually true that 98% of grads get hired as developers or did you notice that not as many people were finding jobs?
- How would you describe the culture at App Academy?
- What advice would you give a new student?
- How effective were your instructors?
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This varies from cohort to cohort - mine was less competitive than most, but there was plenty of Bro culture. Several of the females in my cohort were significantly held back due to micro-aggression and outright sexist behavior from some of the students.
The culture is great at App Academy. Every student is super-smart and pleasant to work with. I felt challenged and inspired every day.
Everyone was nice and willing to help others learn
They really value respect, tolerance and kindness. I really liked the vibe I got from the people there.
Everyone worked hard. Strike system was a little much
Students/instructors were incredibly respectful, open minded, and supportive.
The culture is hard to describe because each cohort can be completely different. Overall I'd say it's a very fast paced and great environment for learning because everybody is working towards the same thing and are very open to helping each other out when stuck on something.
There was a strong bond amongst the people in my cohort, where collaboration was encouraged and ideas were shared not guarded. It definitely felt like App Academy had tried to select students that were very self-motivated, which is ultimately the most telling factor in whether you can succeed in the industry coming out of a bootcamp.
90% friendly and helpful. 5% has been taken care of since I went (smelly people who were sleeping on campus - no longer allowed). The last 5% can't be helped - not all people are pro-social.
Ugh. When I attended in 2013, the gender balance was a disaster. There were 5 women in a cohort of 40. Most of my classmates were boys in their early 20s, with all the naivety and arrogance that implies. There was a huge emphasis on working every waking hour. A guy I was frequently paired with could not understand why I wanted to go home and have dinner when class hours were over. The place was filthy. In many lectures, I was pushing dirty socks off the couch so I could have a place to sit. There was trash everywhere, it smelled awful, and the bathrooms were never cleaned. The instructors seemed totally oblivious to this.
Everyone's friendly and its very collaborative, as you are all working towards the same goal.
Open, collaborative culture.
I really enjoyed the culture at App Academy. There were a lot of opportunities to have fun and the TAs were serious, but knew when to have fun. I would say the culture was focused and driven but not overbearing and didn't take itself too seriously.
App Academy was very friendly and did foster rapport between students. I think they emphasized culture fit and I believe this is important, esp. since a lot of what we did was cooperative work. Having a driven and cooperative group really raises the level of learning we received. I would like to re-emphasize though that I had issues w/ aA's "safe-space" values.
geared towards learning, lot of smart people (like ivy leaguers)
Highly motivated. Since it is all done in pair programing you don't want to get behind on material least you slow your partner down.
Everyone is really, really smart. There weren't any bad eggs.
Different cohorts have different results, obviously. People vary no matter where you are. It was pretty much a young group of employees and students. When I was there, and from what I have heard after, the school is inexperienced in dealing with prejudices and sexism within the cohort. That's not to say they aren't trying their best to counteract it, but more should be done to deal with this.
Everyone is, for the most part, very excited about transitioning into tech. Most people have genuine motivations and seemed very intelligent.
Friendly and intelligent people at App Academy make the culture and learning environment amazing.
The culture was work oriented. I accomplished a ton while I was there.
Everyone is there for the same reason, and the environment is extremely motivating by itself. In my experience, everyone had a competitive yet collaborative mindset. Staff and students alike come from a very diverse range of backgrounds, yet share many similar qualities (analytical, curious, and smart as hell). Students are encouraged to give lunchtime lectures (attendance is optional) on anything they want - a former math professor gave us a history of number theory one day, and we had hip-hop lessons the next. It's not uncommon to see two students discussing highly scalable architecture over a game of ping-pong, or drilling each other on common interview questions in their free time. If you had even an ounce of laziness coming into this school (bless your heart), expect it to be drilled right out of you.
Friendly, open, accessible. No issues.
Students are open to each other, and we would discuss concepts in class or just chat about life in general. I felt like I was back in college. It was also pretty similar to the general startup culture, with an open workspace and people willing to hear you out when you need help with something.
The cohort as a whole was very respectful of each other. As for the TAs and instructors, they are also very respectful of the students as well, but the general atmosphere is a very casual one. TAs and instructors are very accessible and willing to talk about concepts beyond just the curriculum or things that they are passionate about and working on in their own time.
being a non Science, Technology, Engineering, nor Math major, I felt a little out of place, however after a few weeks, my peers started to feel a lot like high-school. there were cliques, and everyone respected everyone. Very nostalgic
Everyone was friendly and willing to work together. The instructors care about you. Classmates love to share and want everyone to succeed.
The students and teachers were some of the smartest and hard working people I've ever met. Everyone was professional.
Upbeat yet relaxed. Students and instructors alike are friendly, approachable, and all are enchanted by web development in one way or another.
A little nerdy, a little quirky (as are most people who I think want to be programmers). There was a strong sense of bonding and community when I attended, but class sizes have grown since.
Success driven, supportive, intensive, tech centric.
Inclusive, if not diverse (only complaint I have). Everything is focused on learning and getting you a job with no frills. They demand a lot but give you all the support you need to meet their expectations.
Some people were very intense. Others were not. Some stayed late nights to work. Others felt comfortable going out for drinks together regularly. I was somewhere in the middle, putting in a lot of work on some topics, and less on others. Additionally, there wasn't too much competition between the students that detracted from learning, which helped a lot.
Vindictive is a word that comes to mind. One of the students was not well liked by the instructors due to a tendency to joke around a lot, and he was eventually expelled on trumped up charges. They waited until the last day to do so, of course, because if they expelled the student a second before that, they would be entitled to return his deposit.
It was definitely hard work with challenging subject matter. But the instructors managed to keep things casual and laid back, which helped you relax just enough to not freak out about the constant influx of new information.
Welcoming, inclusive, supportive. It's a pretty warm and friendly place. There's a happy hour about once every 2 weeks. The interesting thing about it is that an overwhelming majority of people choose to stay several hours late on a Friday even though it's the end of the week and you've gotten maybe 20 hours of sleep cumulative the whole week. But nobody's eager to go home.
Focused. Each cohort is very different though - a/A does work to make the culture inclusive and kind, kicking out people who make the environment toxic.
The culture reminded me of college classes where everyone felt that they were in it together. Almost anyone was willing to provide a helping hand or even grab drinks at the end of the course (not during the cohort, no free time)
My cohort was competitive and engaged, but somewhat less family-like than the next cohort. I was friendly with them while we were there but I don't remain in contact with any of them. Of course, I could've done more to make that happen.
Learning is a top priority. Working together to turn code into something tangible. Understanding the code you're writing instead of cargo culting code from READMEs to the text editor.
Organized, to the point, fairly strict about punctuality and other house rules. Devoid of anything that doesn't directly bring you closer to the primary goal of learning and finding a job. E.g. very few cultural events, guest speakers and community events.
It's cooperative. People are obviously pretty motivated, so you'll see people at all different hours working together on stuff. Sometimes I felt like it was a little *too* social, at least for some folks. Overall, it seemed like a healthy culture.
The challenging curriculum and long hours mixed with the level of camaraderie with your fellow classmates makes it both competitive and fun.
People code 8+ hours a day and everyone is working hard. Be prepared to put in the time, because the more you put into App Academy, the more you will get out. The best part of App Academy is how collaborative it is. Everyone is learning from each other, and the environment is not competitive at all. Everyone wants everyone to be their best.
Prepare to work your ass off for up to 6 months, possibly more, during the program and probably even more during the job search. The culture is very hard working and focused on the main goal.
Cutthroat, but not competitive. You will definitely feel pressure to succeed and complete all your assignments during assessments and during class, because as you know if you don't keep up you're likely to flunk out. However, you and 30 others are in the same boat, so you bond with your classmates very quickly because of that.
Broad. App Academy invited people from all different backgrounds which invites all sorts of people--and a majority of my conversations were with other students. App Academy was a friendly environment and encouraged getting to know my peers, simply by making us code together.
It is intense and focused; the people are extremely smart and come in with an ambitious agenda to be completely devoted to learning development for the bootcamp duration.
It was very intense. There was a lot of work, lots of late nights and early mornings, and a fair bit of lost sleep. However, the environment that was cultivated with my peers was fantastic. It was extremely supportive, we all did our best to teach each other and push each other at all times. The best thing I can say is that in my cohort I made some lifelong friends and that I learned a great deal from them.
Friendly, collaborative, nerdy, academic, fun, and often surprisingly playful... Most of the students and all of the instructors came from diverse professional backgrounds and struck me as being genuinely interesting people .
Invigorating. Only smart people were accepted to a/A and it really shows that they were above average and interesting to work with. As I follow my old cohort members through their careers it's clear that they're really excelling.
Dedicate yourself. Be aggressive in asking for help. Do whatever it takes to pass the assessments, and fight for support during job search.
Study, practice, and be nice to your fellow students.
Be prepared to work very hard! If you do, you'll do just fine.
Study up prior to the course, the more you know going in the more you'll be able to concentrate on more complex topics
At times, it will be very overwhelming, but just take a breath and know you aren't alone. Also, never be afraid to ask questions
Don't worry about finishing the daily work at night
I would recommend studying the topics covered in advance a bit just to reduce stress during the program
You have to be willing to put a lot of time in to get the most out of App Academy. Always prepare as much as you can for each day. It will be very tiring and challenging at times. But, it's only 3 months.
Stay vigilant in your studies, as it is hard to fall behind even just a day and be able to keep up with the rest of the cohort, but don't lose sight of the aspects of programming that are enjoyable to you. This joy can be your greatest source of energy through a difficult four months of training. If you don't enjoy the problem solving inherent in this work, I would think twice about this program.
If you have time, the more time you spend programming on your own before the start, the better your experience will be.
You'll need to manage your own work-life balance. Before you start, know what things keep you centered and able to deal with stress. During App Academy, do those things, even if it means leaving some homework unfinished. App Academy will be the primary thing you're working on. Most waking hours will be put towards App Academy work. Breaks are important though. They help you think and to see solutions you wouldn't have otherwise.
It's not as intimidating as it sounds
Prepare well before you go to App Academy. It will definitely help you succeed.
Make friends, ask questions and try to soak in as much as possible.
It's not as hard as you think it is. Yes App Academy is for real; they are not a scam. What they promise is true; it really is really easy to get a job in SF's startup environment. So don't be worried, have faith, and study hard.
you're always working with others so focus on your people skills if you're lacking
You don't know what a 100 week feels like until you are in it. If you did 10 hours a day 7 days a week that would only be 70 hours a week, think about that.
Live close by. Commuting gets exhausting.
Study and take everything seriously.
Multiply the amount of money you need to save before hand by at least 1.5, be ready for a potentially long and unpleasant job search. Mine was 3 or 4 months, but I came out with a job I am very happy with. The hardest part is getting an onsite, once you are onsite it isn't too difficult (at least that was my experience). Also, don't burn yourself out too hard before you get the job. Your first months will require some of that vigor.
DO THE PREP WORK. Not just once, do it a few times and then practice more!
Ask lots of questions
Be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life. Daily projects, readings, and weekly assessments are only the bare minimum - if you want to get ahead, spend extra time to finish each day's project, dive deep into the curriculum, and work hard to understand everything. Don't put anything off for another day - there will be no time to revisit old material, and you'll quickly fall behind. Also - get plenty of exercise. It will do wonders for your mental agility.
Do everything they tell you to do in the first 10 weeks. Then in the next two weeks only listen to the algorithms lectures, go out on your own for the job search stuff.
Perhaps try to pair with someone before starting aA, because that was the biggest learning curve for me (as I had never pair programmed before).
Get plenty of sleep. It's tempting, with so much material being presented so quickly, to want to stay up all night trying to finish all the homework, etc. Don't do it. Try to get your 6-8 hours every night. Trust me.
Plan to not do anything on the weekends for 3 months and you should be able to get through it. Theres gonna be people who come off better than you, and people who come off worse. don't judge anyone because some days you do great, some days you do terribly. And then there's a few days where everyone struggles.
Be prepared to work all of the time (100 hour weeks).
Focus and stick it out. It's an intense program, but everyone there wants to help you succeed.
Make sure you're ready to dedicate your 100% to this program when you start. There's no other way through it. If you're looking for your hand to be held through the process, look elsewhere.
Do everything they tell you. Read everything they give you. The methodology at App Academy will only yield fruit if you follow it. It's a lot of tough work and long nights but the outcome is phenomenal.
Do all the homework as well as you can, and work as much as you can on your final projects as well as your personal site as early as possible.
work hard and trust app academy. don't worry about anything else but the curriculum until job search. job search could be the toughest process, but the number game will work.
Prepare as much as you can in advance. Attend meet ups, study with friends, work on projects. For any bootcamp student, I recommend being self taught for a year before classes, to make sure you really like programming.
Do the readings. Try to be prepared before the lectures. The lectures were fine, but they weren't the main place to learn things unless you had already tried some stuff out. And of course, take advantage of having the TAs there. Beat your head against a wall for awhile trying to figure things out (sometimes this actually works), but don't spend more than 20-30 minutes on something that is pretty small. Keeping moving and getting a familiarity with a breadth of topics is more important than knowing everything little detail immediately. You can always go back and try to figure it out again later.
I would advise them not to start in the first place, and instead look towards a less money hungry boot camp to enroll in. I am extremely sad that I owe these people money; the education and treatment they have given to us is abysmal at best.
You get out what you put in. There is a good amount of prep work before you start, and a lot of home work that includes readings and videos. You'll probably end up going in early and/or staying late to get things done, especially subjects that you don't quite grasp right away. But if you stick with it, you'll be very glad you did so. At the end of every week you can look back and be amazed at all the new things you learned in just a few days.
Prepare to lose 3 months of your live. A season will probably change and you'll have no idea it's happening. But stick with it. And you'll form some really strong bonds with the people who are going through it with you.
Simply put, with App Academy you get out of it what you put into it. Make sure you really want to learn about development before starting because it will be a full time job for 3 months.
Learn what good code looks like: read their solutions. Minimize your commute. Hang around. Engage your peers. Get ahead before the cohort starts. Don't fall behind.
Live and breathe what you're working on for the next 3 months. Even those that are coming from CS backgrounds need to learn how to apply it to web development. Diving into the deep end of web development is very jarring and disorienting in the beginning, but, you'll work on projects that not many full time developers get the opportunity to practice.
Prepare to give it 100% of your time, but remember to get enough sleep. Don't underestimate any prep that they give you before the start date - do it all. There were some students that didn't and they had a rough start, because the program is fast paced.
Don't go into this bootcamp (or, honestly, *any* bootcamp) without significant upfront learning. I self-taught for 18 months before joining a cohort, and it made a massive, overwhelming difference in my experience vs people who just learned enough to pass through the admissions process. You want to be comfortable with what you're learning before your first lecture on the topic, otherwise you're working hard to stay above water instead of mastering the material. Seriously, don't worry about the saturation in the bootcamp grad market or the impending tech bubble burst or whatever else makes you feel like you need to hurry — the time you spend upfront will more than make up for any changes in the marketplace you beat out by rushing your process.
Put in as much work as possible PRIOR to starting the course in order to get the most out of it. It's easy to fall behind and miss important things.
Do as much work beforehand as you can. The more you know going in, the more you will get out of it. Also, make sure to keep up with your blog, and try to finish the assignments every day.
It is not a golden ticket into a job, but a helpful foot in the door of the industry, and the fastest possible way to go from zero to being able to write and understand code.
If you're nervous, you should be. If you want the best education in Web Development available and plan to continue to work hard looking for a job after and doing well at that job, then this is for you. STUDY STUDY STUDY those assessments UNTIL YOU KNOW THE PRACTICE ONES LIKE THE BACK OF YOUR HAND.
Don't slack off. App Academy's curriculum is incredibly fast-paced. The tests aren't hard: they tell you everything that will be on it. If you don't study however, these tests will hurt, and a failing grade might get you the boot.
Take their prework seriously; You want to come into the bootcamp well-versed in the concepts that you will master during the bootcamp, because there is very little breathing room once the program starts to digest completely new material on a daily basis. Preparing diligently beforehand will give you the knowledge base to slow down the insane pace of a development bootcamp because nothing will be completely out of your element.
Make sure you do as much practice and prep work as you can. The more you know the faster you can be beneficial to the other students in your cohort. Also, make sure to do your homework/readings. The worst thing is when your partner for the day is unprepared. It is common for you to be uncertain about some topics, but not having any idea means much less learning will occur.
Do your readings and know your code, but don't stress out too much. If you're cut out for a career as a developer, you'll love the whole curriculum and have fun throughout the whole process.
Enter App Academy prepared. Don't be the one in the class that shows up on the first day and hasn't looked at Ruby code in a few weeks. Those people don't make it through the first few weeks
The instructors are the golden jewel of App Academy. They are so intelligent, love what they do, they can relate to the students because most have been through the program themselves. They are encouraging and helpful and friendly and so so knowledgable. I love all of them.
They were very knowledgeable and good teachers.
The instructors were awesome! With any question that I had, they could provide great help and feedback.
They would always seem to ask the right questions and move me along in a way that allowed me to learn how to learn, not just how to solve the assignment.
I think they were all pretty great. I like that they would admit when they didn't know the answer and we would try and solve it together. You're never going to know everything and I respect honesty.
The instructors were good. There are instructors and then TAs. Instructors are more experienced and able to explain harder concepts more clearly. But, the TAs were also very helpful during daily assignments.
My instructor, Jonathan, was an extremely talented programmer, but more importantly a compassionate and enthusiastic educator.
Effective. Usually able to debug a problem in minutes. Only time they were less helpful was during the final project, when they had to understand our entire codebase to help us out. Also, one of the instructors was unnecessarily mean (well intentioned though).
They were generally effective. No strong opinions or stories here.
Once you transition from the curriculum to job search help is basically absent
The instructors did a great job. They are former attendants. So they know what you're going through. For some lectures it would have been great to get someone with a teaching degree.
The instructors were very effective. While I felt like some instructors were not as helpful as others, overall the level of instruction was very high.
A lot of the learning we received was cooperative self-learning w/ advice from TAs. It was learning through example. The TAs and some of the instructors were former students. I feel there could be a bubble though, were the staff is only familiar w/ the stack taught in the curriculum, as for a lot of the TAs, the only experience in the industry is what is taught in the curriculum.
i already knew a lot of the stuff coming in, but they almost always had a good answer if you asked a question
Amazing, they have huge resources of video lectures and do a great job in person explaining all the concepts both on a theoretical level and a practical level. All the TA's really care about you succeeding and go above and beyond to try and help you.
They were all top-notch. Very knowledgeable and understanding, nice, smart people.
There were good instructors and bad ones. All in all, they each imparted something on me. It's definitely weird being taught by people younger or the same age as you, but desperation to get through the program made them invaluable.
Instruction was good, but don't buy into the sales pitch that they've revolutionized learning; the lectures aren't anything special. You learn a lot because of the sheer amount of time you will spend, the fact that there is always someone to keep you on task (always pair programming) and there are usually enough instructors to get you unstuck.
Super effective, but you have to be willing to be proactive and teach yourself a ton too.
The TAs were extremely helpful. I leaned on their assistance heavily.
Extremely effective. Whenever you and your partner get stuck, you just click a button and a TA comes to your desk almost immediately (most of the time). Very little time is wasted, whenever technical errors are encountered in the system or the curriculum, the staff has it fixed ASAP. I really like Anthony's style of coding up a quick example to illustrate some particular behavior. Jeff's lectures are hilarious and enlightening.
Most instructors were very effective although the practice of hiring instructors from the student pool inevitably led to instructors who were less competent than the students they were teaching.
They were very helpful when I needed help with anything; I would definitely say they're knowledgeable, as they are handpicked by the instructors from each class's top graduates.
In my case, I generally found one-on-one (or two-on-one in the case of pair programming) interactions with TAs/instructors helpful. Occasionally there was a disconnect where it was difficult for me to understand what they were saying, but this is to be expected when so much material is being presented so quickly; there were simply some concepts of the curriculum that I didn't fully grasp until the curriculum was over and I had time to work on them in my own time.
Note: most instructors at a/A are students who were 'top of the class' or very good at explanations and helpful according to peer reviews. At my time there, a majority of my instructors have been instructors for about a year, so they knew everything that could happen about the curriculum. It was easy for them to explain what I did right and not so right.
Instructors were always incredibly helpful. They were willing to answer every question in appropriate ways.
The instructors were great though it should be noted that only one of the instructors (when I went through the program) had worked as a software developer. Only one person had ever written code for money.
My instructors were incredibly smart and patient. They make a point of not giving away too much of an answer while still helping you figure it out on your own. Not to mention most instructors were App Academy students themselves, they've got the material down cold.
Primary instructor was very knowledgeable and a great lecturer (though I hear the program has switched to canned video lectures due to scaling, a shame!). TAs were very sharp and deftly guided us to the right answers without just giving it to us.
I was lucky since we had some of the best instructors at our time. They were willing to help, and really good at what they were doing. And the best thing was they all had different strength.
The proof is in the pudding. They were accommodating when they needed to be, but not afraid to let us stumble if that's what it took. Some of the weakest students are the start left the strongest.
For me, very. They struck a balance between giving answers out when you are stuck and helping you figure them out more slowly. They also were clearly very knowledgeable and would occasionally, for a more in depth question, bring over a big white board and give a mini lecture.
Extremely ineffective. They are ostensibly available to help you learn the material, but 99% of the time their advice is simply "google it" or "look on MDN".
I think they were extremely effective and knowledgable. They were also easy to approach with any questions that you had, no matter how elementary it may have been. I think it also helped that they clearly all had a passion for coding and treated it as such.
Most instructors are incredible and awesome. They're definitely not here just because they know how to code. A fair chunk of them are also great at leading engaging and awesome lectures.
The instructors cared about the students and wanted to make sure that they fully understood the material that was provided. But since they worked hard, they expected you to work hard as well.
Jonathan was fantastic. Constance and Tommy were helpful and knowledgable, but didn't have an air of dedication to teaching that Jonathan did.
My instructors were very encouraging. I think it's a common feeling to be overwhelmed by the workload, but, App Academy and their instructors opened up many channels to give feedback and ask for advice. AA set up a system for students to give daily feedback to the instructors, which was an invaluable tool in helping students retrospectively think about the material they just worked on, and if they were able to grok the material.
I felt lucky to have a/A's head instructor Jonathan and all the TAs. The school doesn't emphasize 1-on-1 time with TAs, but they are there rather to help you out when you get stuck. Most of the time at a/A you will spend on pair programming with other students, which helps when you get stuck. All the TAs knew the material pretty well, so when they did come over, it was quick and efficient interactions.
They were variable. Some instructors are naturally really great teachers. Some were really experienced in the topics they were teaching. Others...not so much. But in those cases, I felt okay about it because if you're only relying on lecture to learn the material, you're doomed anyways. You just have to be able to build to the right level of comfort with the material from whatever foundation lecture gives you.
Some were incredible, the majority were very effective, and a few still had some weaknesses. There is a system in place that requires constant (anonymous) review of both peers and instructors.
Teachers are the best resource there. The teachers were phenomenal at answering questions, debugging, giving students 1-on-1 attention, and finding the balance between helping you while also forcing you to think of a solution on your own. App Academy teachers are highly qualified.
Very effective. It was great to be able to get help immediately when you are blocked on something. It really speeds up the learning process.
The instructors were certainly experts, and if you are patient with them, they will be patient with you. They will make you feel like an idiot when you ask a question sometimes, but that's only so you try harder to solve it yourself. If you do ask a question, it will definitely be answered to the fullest. The lectures are well done and we'll paced for the most part.
Great. They stayed out of your way when I needed to think, and offered helpful advice when I needed it. They were never degrading or patronizing, no matter how foolish of a question I asked.
Incredibly effective in their roles. The bulk of the learning came from working with our peers and struggling/learning together, but in their roles of introducing concepts briefly (<1 hour/class), answering questions, and providing guidance without giving away too much so that we learn, they were great.
An important thing to keep in mind about app academy is that while you do have instructors that know a great deal, much of the point of it is to get a feel for what it is like to be a software engineer. We didn't spend a great deal of time in lecture, we spent most of our day working on projects. While they gave us great assistance when requested (and therefore were quite effective instructors) much of our learning came down to us. This is important, because in such an accelerated environment it was very important that we all learned how to seek out solutions online and debug on our own, since that is what we have to do all the time in our jobs.
Very effective... Excellent feedback process for instructors, so any issues are quickly fixed. All instructors and TAs are very sharp, friendly, and hardworking.
Very helpful, eager to assist, and able to break down the problems that we were facing into a different way that we could all understand. I still feel like I have much to learn from them.