4 Reasons You Should Take App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep

It’s simply better!

A screenshot of Bootcamp Prep Live Online featuring instructor Anthony Ladson.

To get accepted into elite coding bootcamps, aspiring coders look to prep programs to learn the fundamentals they need to get accepted. But only the best prep courses are worth your time.

According to independent bootcamp reviewer CourseReport, students need real teaching to fully-grasp programming nuances, so taking a cheap or free prep program that only offers online questions and an answer key is not going to get students where they want to go. Without lectures, structure, and live support, students are not likely to make it into selective bootcamps.  

If you want to get into a top-rated coding bootcamp to get over $100K in salary, skip the free prep courses and take one that actually guarantees success. Here’s the top five reasons why App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep is a no-brainer if you want to get into a selective program.

1. There’s no risk! App Academy is the only Bootcamp Prep course with a money-back guarantee

App Academy guarantees admission to six top-tier schools: App Academy, Hack Reactor, Fullstack Academy, Flatiron School, Galvanize, and Actualize. You may not know this but this is unusual in the bootcamp industry — no other school offers this guarantee.

The promise: If you graduate from Bootcamp Prep and are rejected by all six schools, then you get your money back — no questions asked.

App Academy can make this promise because of the investment it put into the curriculum. The bootcamp provides over 150 technical interview problems and more than 24 hours of video. That’s comprehensive. And every minute of content is created by the curriculum head.

For online students, each problem has its own video walkthrough that explains solutions. There’s no solution code to decipher. And for in-class students, teachers guide students through interview-style problem-solving. There are 60 hours of in-class time over four weeks, plus additional coding homework assignments.

These assignments require students to write code to solve questions. Bootcamp Prep instructor Alvin Zablan provided us with the following sample question about a function string.

 /***************************** Write a function `countRepeats(string)` that takes in a string and returns the number of letters that appear more than once in the string. You may assume the string contains only lowercase letters. Count the number of letters that repeat, not the number of times they repeat in the string. Examples: countRepeats('alvin'); //=> 0 countRepeats('aaaalvin'); //=> 1 countRepeats('pops'); //=> 1 countRepeats('mississippi'); //=> 3 countRepeats('hellobootcampprep'); //=> 4 *******************************/ function countRepeats(string) { } 

Bootcamp Prep students have eight of these problems to complete each night for homework. Their difficulty and length varies depending on the week’s topic. Judging by the success of App Academy’s prep students, the work they put into the homework pays off. App Academy records say 100 percent of Bootcamp Prep grads have been accepted to the top six coding bootcamps.

And that acceptance rate is important because attending a top-tier coding bootcamp has a significant impact on compensation as a software developer. A 2015 CourseReport survey found average starting salary for a bootcamp graduate was $64K, but graduates from top coding bootcamps like App Academy earn, on average, $105K their first year. Extended over a couple of years, that $41K difference has huge implications on your lifetime earnings.

2. It’s flexible: Bootcamp Prep is available online or in-person

Bootcamp Prep caters to students with different learning styles. The online program works well for people who want a self-paced environment where they can hop in or out of instruction when they have time.

“Instructors are typically available to answer questions consistently between 9:00AM and 6:00PM.” says Bootcamp Prep instructor Alvin Zablan. Students also don’t need a very fast computer or internet connection. “If you have enough bandwidth to watch videos on YouTube, you’ll be fine,” says Zablan.

new york and san francisco app academy coding
Students can attend Bootcamp Prep in-person at the App Academy San Francisco or New York offices, or online.

For students who prefer a course with a more social and structured environment, our part-time Bootcamp Prep Live program is available in-person at our San Francisco and New York campuses. This course meets Monday through Friday from 6:30PM to 9:00PM for four weeks. Class sizes range from 10-to-20 people and are supported by one instructor and at least one teaching assistant.

Both App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep Live and Online courses come with a money-back guarantee. Their full-time course is outcomes focused and that extends to Bootcamp Prep as well. App Academy invested a lot into their prep program and the results speak for themselves.

This approach is different than other coding bootcamps’. No other prep programs offer guarantees and there’s likely a reason for it. A recent student on SwitchUp touches on the value of App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep, “That being said, no one has put more effort into their prep than Bootcamp Prep at a/A. If you go to their course and do the work, you will be ahead of the curve come interview time. It costs more because it gives more.”

3. It’s industry-tested and bootcamp-agnostic

App Academy is committed to student success — period. Whether a student’s goal is to get into App Academy or another program, App Academy’s prep program supports you on your path to becoming a developer. To achieve this, the curriculum is made to be bootcamp agnostic, and has continued to adapt with the changing requirements of different bootcamps.

Course details have been meticulously developed to turn students into competitive candidates in the bootcamp admissions process. App Academy continuously surveys the admissions processes of other programs and tailors the education for you depending on your program of interest. If you want a mock-interview in the style of Hack Reactor, then you will be given questions related to that type of interviewing style. And if you want to get into App Academy there’s no better place to learn as you’ll be trained on the specific details needed to pass the admissions process.

No other prep program offers this detailed instruction to help students get where they want to go.

4. It turns self-teaching into deep learning

Bootcamp Prep teaches you more than just basic programming concepts. Bootcamp Prep graduate Axel Larson speaks to this.

axel_larson_appacademy_coding
Axel Larson attended App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep and the main course.

From Oakland, California, Axel (right) was once a dock manager in the logistics and transportation sector. After deciding he could have a better long-term career as a programmer, Axel applied to and then graduated from App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep in 2016. In an interview, he told us his experience exceeded his expectations.

“After the first three days [of Bootcamp Prep] it was apparent that my skills were growing at a rate I hadn’t had while I was self-teaching for months” he says. Axel ended up attending the App Academy bootcamp course and now is a developer at EDA technologies, using the NodeJS RESTful API and React-Native framework, working on a mobile dating app targeted at gamers.

According to other alumni testimonials, “App Academy’s prep program is exactly as advertised — a comprehensive, well thought out program devised to get you accepted into the top bootcamps”.

While there’s a sizeable number of advocates for self-teaching online, especially with the influx of free online resources, evidence says it’s hard for beginning coders to stay focused. These Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have improved but experts say there’s a limit to how much people can learn through them. Maria Konnikova at The New Yorker writes that most students there fail to receive “personal acknowledgment or contact to hold them to account” and most drop out “the second they’re unhappy, frustrated, or overwhelmed.” This could explain why many start MOOCs but only a small percentage finish them. Students in App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep, on the other hand, learn and grow with the help of their instructors.  

Ultimately, student success in a coding prep course comes down to attention and structure and free or reduced-price online programs can’t afford to offer students that amount of attention. More importantly, they can’t make the same promise of success. At App Academy, software engineering is achievable for everyone.

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