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A review of Ada Developers Academy as a coding bootcamp

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now industry mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of web developers and software engineers to help them land their dream jobs in tech. Check out my review of  Ada Developers Academy.

What does Ada Developers Academy do?

Ada Developers Academy aims to diversify the tech industry by offering a coding bootcamp to people underrepresented in tech. Classes usually meet full-time in Seattle for 24 weeks. After completing the 6-month coding bootcamp, students participate in a 5-month paid internship.

Cohorts usually have about 48 students, split into 2 different classes. All students participate in live lectures, hands-on exercises, group activities, advocacy workshops, weekly projects, and 1-on-1 tutoring sessions. The program culminates in a capstone project that students can add to their portfolios. While building capstone projects, students implement all of the technologies that they learned in the course as well as utilize Agile practices, and go through the entire product lifecycle from conception to delivery. Photo of Ada Developers Academy The 24-week bootcamp teaches students the full-stack web development and software skills they need to become junior developers. The curriculum covers coding, advocacy, and fundamental engineering skills students can use on the job. Students work with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, SQL, Flask, web APIs, React, and even more conceptual computer science fundamentals such as sequences, selections, and loops. For the software engineering readiness phase of the curriculum, students practice test-driven development, pair programming, Agile methodologies, and career readiness skills like networking. The advocacy curriculum includes training in leadership, allyship, identifying microaggressions, racial caucusing, diversity, and inclusion. Photo of Ada Developers Academy Curriculum Towards the end of the bootcamp, students participate in an interview week where they meet with 6 different companies. Based on student preference and performance, they are placed with one of the companies for a 5-month paid internship. Interns get a manager and a mentor to support them in their new roles. When the 5 months are up, 78% of interns get full-time offers from their company.

Who is Ada Developers Academy for?

People with little to no coding experience who are looking to launch a career as a web developer or software engineer could benefit from Ada Developers Academy. Their program is especially helpful for people who are underrepresented in tech seeking a non-profit bootcamp that emphasizes advocacy and diversity. People based in Seattle or those looking to work there would be a good fit as well.

What does Ada Developers Academy cost? How much work is involved?

Since Ada Developers Academy is a non-profit, their bootcamp is completely free. While prospective students should not be experienced coders, candidates are encouraged to complete the “Ada Build” pre-work curriculum to learn coding fundamentals before applying.

The admissions process begins with a fairly extensive online application that requires candidates to submit a resume, answer 4-5 short essay questions, analyze a large data set, and answer questions based on their analysis. Prospective students then complete a 1-week coding challenge based on the “Ada Build” pre-work curriculum. Successful candidates move on to a 30-minute video interview to further discuss their code. Applicants then have a final behavioral interview.

Ratings and reviews

Ada Developers Academy has mostly positive reviews. They hold a perfect 5 star rating on Course Report based on only 2 reviews. One grad appreciated that students “will not be charged tuition” and that “most of your class will have job offers before the cohort ends.” While the grad felt the staff was supportive, they described the course as very intensive and warned that “things move very fast and you have to advocate for yourself and your classmates.” Tutoring was also harder to access than the student would have liked. Another grad warned that the program “could be brutal”, but the comprehensive curriculum and internship made the challenging course worthwhile.

The program also holds a 4.71/5 star rating on Switchup, where students praised the free tuition and mentoring, although many describe it as “challenging.” Other grads liked that the bootcamp was “a nonprofit with a mission” that did not aim to profit off the students. One student commented that the bootcamp is “trusted in the Seattle tech community” and will stand out on resumes for people breaking into the Seattle job market. The bootcamp is rated 10/10 on Bootcamp Rankings, where grads liked that “class sizes are small” with helpful “mentoring” and a positive learning environment. Although many grads described the program as difficult, on the whole, most grads were very satisfied with the bootcamp’s free tuition, supportive environment, and comprehensive tech curriculum.

Alternatives to Ada Developers Academy

If you decide not to enroll in Ada Developers Academy, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and resources to help aspiring web developers and software engineers launch their careers.

  • Another bootcamp that aims to diversify the tech industry is allWomen. They offer part-time and full-time courses for women in web development, product management, UX/UI design, digital marketing, data science, and data analysis.
  • Similarly, Hackbright Academy is a bootcamp that helps women become software engineers. They offer full-time and part-time courses in San Francisco and online.
  • Women, GNC people, and trans people can also check out CodeOp, which has courses in web dev, data, and product management. Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.
  • The popular bootcamp General Assembly teaches full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics including software engineering. Their program features a hands-on curriculum, 19,000+ hiring partners, and a 91.4% job placement. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Similarly, BrainStation offers courses in full-stack web development and many other tech topics. Their program features project-based learning, 1-on-1 support, and hiring partners including Facebook, Google, and more.
  • Another bootcamp with full-time software courses is Flatiron School. Their program features a hands-on curriculum, career coaching, and a job placement rate above 86%. Students can learn online or in-person, with both full-time and part-time options available.
  • Fullstack Academy runs full-time and part-time software programs for aspiring software engineers. Like Ada Developers Academy, Fullstack Academy courses are usually very intensive with a hands-on curriculum.
  • Another intensive full-time tech bootcamp. Kenzie Academy teaches in-person and online courses in 2 tracks full-stack software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. They offer an income share agreement (ISA) so students don’t pay until they land a tech job with a salary of at least $40,000. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Aspiring software engineers and web developers can also consider CodeX Academy, which is a self-paced coding bootcamp. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • Students seeking more self-paced learning can check out Springboard. This online educational resource helps people launch a career in a wide variety of tech fields, including software development. Students in their career tracks build over 14 portfolio projects with weekly mentorship meetings. If graduates don’t land a tech job within 6 months, they get a full refund. Read more about Springboard in our review.
  • People who want an affordable self-paced course with mentoring can also look into Udacity. They offer free intro courses, as well as paid “nanodegree” programs for a more intense experience with greater support. Nanodegree students meet 1-on-1 with both a technical mentor and a career coach as they build projects. Read more about Udacity in our review.
  • Another free program, the popular Codecademy hosts full hands-on coding courses. Students can learn web development, dozens of programming languages, and even data science. Optional $20-40 monthly memberships are available for extra course options and support. Learn more about Codeacademy in our review.
  • Students seeking university courses can look into edX. Their platform hosts thousands of self-paced university courses from top schools like Harvard and MIT, and even big tech companies like Microsoft. Students can choose to learn the fundamentals or take a deep dive into specific topics, like front-end software engineering with JavaScript. Find out if edX is right for your career goals in our review.

How does Ada Developers Academy compare to Pathrise?

Ada Developers Academy is an intensive full-time coding bootcamp that may require time outside of class for project work. In addition, the program is best suited for people with little to no experience in coding. On the other hand, Pathrise is a flexible program that helps people land a job. There are just 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and fellows can schedule 1-on-1 sessions as needed. Fellows in our program should already have some background or education in their field of interest so they can benefit fully from our technical sessions.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people find their dream in tech. Our mentors have already helped 1,000+ fellows land great jobs by helping all phases of the job search including resume and portfolio optimization, reverse recruiting, cold emailing, technical and behavioral interviewing, and salary negotiation. The curriculum is customizable and tailored to the individual needs of each fellow.

Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentorship and personalized training. Fellows in our program see their interview scores double and their application responses triple, landing a job in only 3-5 months on average. If you are interested in working with our mentors to land your dream job, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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Brian Wong

Brian Wong is an experienced senior software engineer and has worked at top bay area startups and organizations. In his free time, Brian works with Pathrise SWE fellows to help them land their dream job and learn insider tips on how to ace technical interviews.

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