A review of App Academy as a software engineering bootcamp – 2021 update

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job. Check out my review of App Academy.

Updated in 2021

What does App Academy do?

App Academy is a bootcamp that helps people learn the technical skills necessary to land a software engineering job. They offer full-time immersive classes on campus in New York City and San Francisco as well as online. There is also a bootcamp prep course that is offered as well as an online open course.

If students wish to participate on campus, the immersive program teaches the fundamentals of coding through popular frameworks like Ruby on Rails, Javascript, and SQL. The course takes 16 weeks. Online, the curriculum is the same, but the program takes 24 weeks. In both courses, the students work 45 hours per week. As a note, the online program is not available to students who live in the state of New York.

The on-campus bootcamp prep course takes 4 weeks. Students participate in classes from 6:30-9pm 5 days a week. The curriculum includes an introduction to web development up to advanced JavaScript. The goal is to prepare future students for App Academy, Flatiron School, Lambda School, Hack Reactor, Rithm School, and Fullstack Academy. The online bootcamp prep course is a 40 hour course. It should be completed in 2 months.

Finally, students can choose to participate in App Academy Open. This gives them access to the entire curriculum and lets them learn at their own pace. 

Who is App Academy for?

People who have no experience in software engineering but are looking to move into this career path could benefit from App Academy. With their on campus and online options as well as pre-bootcamp program, they can help people who need extra guidance on certain topics.

What does App Academy cost? How much work is involved?

App Academy on-campus students can choose to pay upfront, after placement, or using a hybrid of upfront and after. The upfront option is $17k. If students defer payment until after they get a job that pays over $50k, they owe $28k. If they choose to do the hybrid option, students pay $9k upfront and then $14k after they get a job.

For those students who are doing the online immersive program, the options are different. Online students can choose to pay upfront, through an income share agreement (ISA), or a hybrid. The upfront cost for online is $20k. The income share agreement is 17% of 2 year’s salary with a maximum of $30k. The hybrid option is $10k upfront and then 12% of 2 year’s salary with a maximum of $27k.

The bootcamp prep course also varies in price by on-campus or online. On-campus, the cost is $2,999. Alternatively, students can choose between 3 online plans that offer increased amounts of support and tutoring hours. The least expensive plan costs $995 and the most expensive costs $3795. 

The process to be accepted into the full-time software engineering program starts with an application. Prospective students give information about their education, background in development, work experience, potential resume gaps, ability to attend courses, plans to support themselves while in the course, future job aspirations, and work authorization. Then, they participate in a logic and reading exercise. Next, they do a 60 minute coding challenge as well as a series of technical and non-technical interviews.

Ratings and reviews

The reviews of App Academy are mainly positive. In this Medium post by an App Academy graduate who now works at Google, he mentions that the curriculum was extremely fast-paced. He explained that you could learn everything you needed to know in 12 weeks. But, you should feel responsible for circling back to certain topics if you needed extra guidance. He also explained that they have a 2 strike policy. If you fail 2 assessments out of the 6 in the course, you are out. This fear of failure lit a fire under him to continue working hard throughout the program.

Most people explain that in order to succeed in App Academy, you need to put in the work. Students reviewing the program on Career Karma agree, explaining they learned a lot but the coursework moves extremely quickly. They give a fair amount of pre-work before the bootcamp even starts. This can help people get a sense of what is to come. There were also a fair number of comments from people who explained that, while they did get good jobs after App Academy, it took a fair amount of time. Typically grads found employment in 4-9 months.

Alternatives to App Academy

As an educational program, there are a fair number of alternatives to App Academy.

  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly. They offer full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Students can also consider Kenzie Academy. A full-time tech bootcamp, Kenzie offers in-person and online courses in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Likewise, Prime Digital Academy has full-time and part-time courses in UX design and software engineering.
  • If you want to defer payments until after you get a job, you could check out Lambda School and Rithm School. They both offer income share agreements (ISAs) to finance the tuition of the bootcamp.
  • Aspiring software engineers and web developers can also consider CodeX Academy, a self-paced coding bootcamp with mentorship opportunities. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • Another option is Grand Circus, which teaches courses on Java, front-end, and C# .NET. Their campuses are in Michigan, but they also offer online options.
  • Likewise, Tech Elevator, Epicodus, and Redwood Code Academy are software engineering bootcamps with online and on-campus options.
  • The Tech Academy and Zip Code Wilmington are online and onsite bootcamps that help people learn the technical skills necessary to land a job as a (junior) software developer or data scientist.
  • For students looking to do a part-time or full-time bootcamp, Galvanize, Nucamp, Codeworks, Covalence, Fullstack Academy, Byte Academy, Turing, Code Fellows, devCodeCamp, and Coding Dojo offer both choices. Altcademy has a flexible, self-paced software engineering program.
More alternatives
  • Actualize is a software engineering bootcamp with a 12-week online and on-campus program in Chicago. The online course is done live, so students get the same experience as those who attend on-campus.
  • Students can also check out Hack Reactor, which is a software engineering bootcamp, which has online and onsite options.
  • Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard. These are online educational platforms that students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • edX is one of the largest online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • If you are looking for less time commitment than a bootcamp, Coursera, Udemy, Pluralsight, Treehouse, Ruby Koans, and egghead are popular online education tools with shorter classes.
  • SoloLearn, freeCodeCamp, and W3Schools are free alternatives for people looking to learn programming languages.
  • You can also check out Bubble no-code bootcamps to learn how to make products without coding. Learn more about Bubble in our review.
  • Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.

How does App Academy compare to Pathrise?

App Academy is a full-time bootcamp, with courses for people who are interested in learning the skills needed to become a software engineer from scratch. At Pathrise, job-seekers in our program should already have a background in the field they are interested in so that they can participate in and fully benefit from our technical workshops, where we provide a more specific curriculum based on what they will see in their interviews.

All of our sessions at Pathrise are live, as well as recorded, so that job-seekers in our program can review them afterwards and continue learning. Our program is flexible, with only 2-4 hours of group sessions per week and 1-on-1 sessions that can be scheduled whenever job-seekers need them and our curriculum is personalized to work on the specific skills that people struggle with the most.

Specifically, Pathrise focuses on technical and behavioral interviewing as well as resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building and strengthening, cold email and reverse recruiting lessons, and negotiation templates and guidance. Job-seekers in Pathrise find a job, on average, within 3-5 months of joining the program. The Pathrise income share agreement (ISA) means that fellows don’t pay anything until they land a job they love and start working.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. If you want to work with any of our mentors to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

 

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