What It’s Really Like to Attend an Online Coding School, From Former Students

App Academy | Online Coding School

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted everything online, including classes. Virtual learning became the norm across the board, and that included our on-campus courses.

Luckily, we were in the unique position shift easily because we offer in-person as well as fully remote courses in full-time and part-time capacities. These courses are offered virtually to students across the globe who are accepted into the programs even outside of the pandemic, and we’ve curated a collaborative, supportive environment for our remote students over the years.

Still, being a student in a virtual classroom boasts both pros and cons. We polled a few of our former students to understand their experience learning alongside a cohort of students and world-class instructors that, while they (may) never meet in person, they feel incredibly close to and supported by.

The pros of attending an online coding school

The curriculum is as strong as ever.

A bootcamp is only as strong as its curriculum, and App Academy’s has been highly regarded in the industry for over a decade. Plus, developing the muscles of online learning will equip you to work online in the workforce. The curriculum includes Python, Javascript, React, Redux, SQL, HTML and CSS, in addition to others.

As alumni Revan Fajardo states, “the remote classroom also gave us more exposure to notable tools like GitHub since we had to pair program with our classmates through Zoom.”

Pair programming is a viable learning skill.

The tech industry is notoriously remote-friendly, so virtual pair programming is a really important skill to hone when you may be working with other remote engineers on your team.

Pair programming involves two engineers working together on a coding workstation. One person writes the code while the other reviews the code as it’s typed in. You’ll switch positions regularly to learn both skillsets.

You can step away as needed and decompress at home.

“It was also great to do everything remotely because I did not have to allocate extra time on commutes”, Revan notes. “The extra hour or two I could have spent on commutes was used for more meaningful activities like doing homework or taking a well-deserved break.”

You’ll learn alongside people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Unlike our on-campus programs that bring together residents from San Francisco and New York only, our remote program allows international students who can meet live lecture times to join. That cultural insight and opportunity to work with people from different walks of life is equally if not more valuable than the curriculum itself.

Taking courses at an online coding school presents a ton of benefits. However, there are challenges to learning in an online environment, some of which are bigger deals to some students than others. The individual student determines what their non-negotiables are and what they can handle.

The cons of attending an online coding school

You’re at the mercy of your own resources.

Revan recalls “There were also a few times where my internet would briefly cut off during lectures or pair programming sessions, but those were minor inconveniences that I would gladly take over daily commutes.” Ensuring you have the proper internet connection, technology, and equipment can entirely change your online coding school experience.

Separating working space and relaxing space can be difficult.

As anyone that works or learns remotely can attest to, finding spaces in your home that are specifically dedicated to work and others that are reserved for relaxing and decompressing is very important. Even more important is to not cross those wires.

Not having face-to-face interaction with students, teachers.

Some learn better in an in-person setting, being able to talk face to face with other cohort members and instructors. However, creating a virtual classroom with resources like Zoom and other proprietary tools makes remote learning as collaborative and intimate as possible. Alumni Anshu Jain does note that “some aspects of pair programming, particularly when learning CSS, were more difficult in a remote environment.” 

How you can be successful in an online coding school

Revan celebrates the cultural diversity of App Academy as a major factor of his success. “I would say go for it if you like coding and you enjoy meeting people from different walks of life. Doing App Academy’s remote bootcamp was one of the best decisions I have ever made for my career. If you put in the effort and time in this program, you will succeed regardless of your background before App Academy. I did not have a degree nor did I have prior coding experience before the program but that did not stop me from getting my first software engineer role at a well-known company.”

“They are not kidding when they call it fully immersive”, says alumni Anshu Jain. “For about a year, (including 6 months of boot camp and a few months on the job search) this will be your only life – professional as well as social. Make sure you plan for any and all distractions that may come during this time. If you give it your 100%, it has the potential to be the most rewarding experience of your life.

Why choose App Academy’s Online Coding Bootcamp?

“The three factors that I used to pick the right coding bootcamp were reputation, results, and payment options. App Academy is one of the oldest and well-known bootcamps in the nation”, says Revan. “Being able to operate from the beginning of coding bootcamps up until now shows that they are doing something right. They have helped thousands of aspiring developers, including myself, to land amazing jobs.”  

He continues: “Did you know that, since 2016, they placed more software developers at Google than UC Berkeley? That’s insane. Also, the payment options were amazing. With their ISA, I did not have to pay until I landed my first software engineering role that paid over $50k a year. That shows that they are extremely confident that I will land a job.”.

Apply today

To learn more about our programs, download our Student Experience Packet, talk with admissions, and apply to the program of your choice, click here now.

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Written by Courtney Grace

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