The Seamless Path from App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep to a Coding Career

A novel path to software development

Breaking into tech is challenging without coding experience or a college degree. A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) analysis claims entry-level tech jobs usually require at least a Bachelor’s degree. But there’s an alternative for aspiring developers — coding bootcamps like App Academy.

Tech companies consistently hire students from coding bootcamps because they’re proven alternatives to four-year Computer Science programs. The job-search company, Indeed, conducted a survey in 2017 of 1,000 HR managers and recruiters at U.S. companies and found 72 percent think bootcamp grads are “just as prepared” to be high performers as degree holders. And 12 percent of employers think bootcamp grads are “more prepared” than degree holders.

We’ve written a list to explain how App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep program provides a seamless educational path loved by students and employers. 

Step 1. “Qualify” to get into Bootcamp Prep

App Academy’s goal is to provide an opportunity to anyone who wants to code. Therefore, Bootcamp Prep is open to anyone who’s interested. That could be someone who just graduated from college, someone looking to change careers, or anyone who wants to add technical skills.

Bootcamp Prep Live provides the best value out of all bootcamps because it guarantees acceptance to a top coding full-time course, provides, tutoring, mentorship, and interviews preparation. Other prep programs do not offer this. 

Independent coding bootcamp analysts like SwitchUp have consistently said App Academy’s Bootcamp prep is the best in the business.

Step 2. Attend Bootcamp Prep

App Academy’s Bootcamp Prep Live or Bootcamp Prep Online are the only prep courses guaranteeing admission into the best full-time coding schools. That’s important because if a student doesn’t get into a full-time course at one of six top schools, they’re eligible for a refund. App Academy designed the curriculum for students to succeed no matter which camp they attend.

Both courses prepare students to pass all technical interviews. Students often have their first experience with JavaScript coding in Bootcamp Prep, which is followed in the curriculum with technical fundamentals like variables, looping and debugging. This experience is then broadened by learning about scope, callbacks, and data modeling.

Step 3. Apply to App Academy’s tuition-deferred full-time Bootcamp course

Sixty percent of App Academy Bootcamp Prep graduates gain acceptance into App Academy’s full-time bootcamp.

Getting into the full-time bootcamp is a selective but straightforward process for Bootcamp Prep graduates. Applicants who attend Bootcamp Prep are allowed to skip the first step in the admissions process (a coding challenge) and get to move directly to the last step in the admissions process (a technical interview). This is a huge benefit for Bootcamp Prep graduates and removes the barrier to admission for them. 

Chase Wilson, Director of Admissions at App Academy

“We know that Bootcamp Prep students are well prepared throughout the four-week course and so we’re confident in letting them jump ahead in the admissions process. They’ve proven themselves over that time with us that they can solve tough coding problems and we get to see it first-hand,” App Academy Director of Admissions Chase Wilson told us.

Bootcamp Prep students move directly to a technical interview first, and if all goes well, applicants just need to complete a final non-technical interview. The interview determines how passionate students are about software development among other things, Wilson says. Within two days of the non-technical interview, App Academy makes an enrollment decision. Accepted students are ready to take on the challenging but rewarding full-time bootcamp. 

Students in the full-time bootcamp don’t pay until they find a job as a software developer. That’s an important distinction that separates it from rival bootcamps.

Step 4. Learn how to code in the full-time program

Students who move from Bootcamp Prep into App Academy’s full-time bootcamp have experience communicating technical topics and are prepared to pair program. In week four of Bootcamp Prep, students learn App Academy’s full-time pair programming framework. Pair programming is useful since it fosters students’ communication and explanation skills. These skills are important when doing technical interviews with potential employers. When pair programming, one student in the pair plays the role of “driver” and the other plays the role of “navigator.”

Alvin Zablan, Bootcamp Prep Manager at App Academy

“The ‘navigator’ is responsible for navigating the project and deciding which tasks to do next,” explains Bootcamp Manager Alvin Zablan.

“The “driver” is responsible for typing code. Both students switch roles every six to fifteen minutes so that both students are proficient in both roles. But Bootcamp Prep grads also have a leg up in the curriculum”

Weeks six through nine of App Academy’s full-time course are then dedicated to learning the programming languages JavaScript, React and Redux. And Bootcamp Prep students have a leg up here because they have previously learned the core language. Zablan says Bootcamp Prep students benefit by having a less-stressful experience compared to a typical bootcamp student in the JavaScript and full-stack project phase.

Bootcamp Prep graduates in App Academy’s full-time program, Zablan says, also have equally exciting job placements as students who didn’t take Bootcamp Prep. Students from all backgrounds have a shot at becoming a high-paid software developer.

Step 5. Graduate as a Software Developer!

After graduating from App Academy, students are certified as software developers. Cynthia Ma, an instructor in App Academy’s full-time course, says students’ ability is clearly evident by the end of the program.

“Students are so excited with what they can build now that they have a great foundation,” Ma told us in a sit-down interview.

By the end of the curriculum, students know Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, MongoDB among other languages and frameworks, making them ready for the tech industry. Students are proud to validate their skills to employers through portfolio projects.

Gameplay of JS Hero by App Academy alum Jay Schwartz. Click on the image to play.

To aid in the job search process, students by this point also have a portfolio of personal projects to showcase their passion for coding to future employers. A former mechanical engineer turned programmer, Jay Schwartz created a Guitar-Hero-like game called JS-Hero as his final project at App Academy. In it, players use their keyboard to simulate guitar keys and play along to the rock classic “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. All of the instructors loved it and the project got some of this cohort’s top marks. Schwartz combined his interest in coding with his passion for music. Similarly, graduating programmers can find meaningful jobs and create products that interest them.

Schwartz is now a software engineer at Famous Industries where he’s working on a platform for designers to quickly make mobile apps without writing any code.

Anyone thinking about starting their own coding journey should check out this link to apply.

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