App Academy is an immersive web development and job placement
program in San Francisco and New York City.
You only pay us if you find a job as a developer
after the program.
98% of our graduates have offers or are working
in tech jobs. In 2014, SF graduates received an average salary of
$105,000; in 2014, NY graduates received an average
salary of $89,000.
In a Nutshell
App Academy is an immersive, full-time, web development and
job-placement program in San Francisco and New York City.
Over twelve weeks, you'll learn all the skills needed
to begin a career as a web
developer. Through hands-on projects, we train you
to build web applications with Ruby on
Prior programming experience isn't required. However, you will need
lots of tenacity and a passion for
building cool stuff.
App Academy is as low-risk as we can make it.
App Academy does not charge any tuition. Instead, you pay us a
placement fee only if you find a job as a developer after the
program. In that case, the fee is 18% of your first year salary,
payable over the first 6 months after you start working.
We're in this together; we only succeed if the
program works for you.
98% of our graduates have offers or are working in
tech jobs now at an average salary of $105,000
(SF in 2014) or $89,000 (NY in 2014). See what
our alumni have to say about our program.
App Academy teaches you everything you need to
become an entry-level web developer. We teach the full web stack.
For server-side, back-end work, we
teach Ruby, PostgreSQL, and
Rails. Client-side front-end technologies we teach
jQuery, and Backbone.js. Take a
look at our week-by-week breakdown; you'll be amazed by how much
you'll learn in 12 weeks.
Becoming a software developer is about learning a way of
thinking, not just about expertise with a specific set of
tools. Frameworks come and go, but the skills we teach will serve
you well no matter what you may go on to do in the future: back-end
engineering, iOS development, big data, etc. For that reason, we
also teach the motivations behind good software
design and best-practices, algorithms and data
structures, and code readings.
Ruby + Object-Oriented Design
Basic + Intermediate Ruby
Basic Algorithms + Data Structures
Ruby II + TDD
Basic + Intermediate Git and GitHub
Serialization: JSON, YAML
SQL + AR
Joins and Associations
The Web + Rails I
API Consumption (RestClient + OAuth)
Basic Routing + Controllers + Views
HTML + CSS
Layouts + Rendering + Partials + Helpers
Cookies + Sessions
ActionMailer + E-Mail
Metaprogramming: Rebuilding Rails (Lite)
WEBrick Server Configuration
Router with Regular Expressions
Rendering + Processing ERB Templates
DOM Traversal + Manipulation
Advanced Topics I + Backbone.js Design Patterns
Advanced Data Structures: Dynamic Arrays + Hash Sets
The program is lab-based, since the best way to learn to
code is by writing it. We keep the lectures to a
minimum; ninety percent of your day is spent building projects,
with guidance and advice from us.
We do 90% of our lab work in pairs. Working together helps members of the pair
share knowledge while making coding much more social. Pair
programming is also more productive; you and your partner keep
each other focused.
What happens after App Academy?
At the end of the program, we help you find a
position as an entry-level Rails developer. Over twelve
weeks, you'll have built a
significant portfolio of code showing what
you're capable of. On the last day, we host an interview
day to introduce you to tech companies looking to hire
Check out our Quora post for a partial list of companies our graduates have gone on to
The demand for Rails and Backbone engineers in Silicon Valley is
significant, and the average base salary stands at
Are 12 weeks enough to prepare a beginner to become a developer?
Yes. App Academy has a placement rate of 98% at
an average salary of $105,000 (SF in 2014)
or $89,000 (NY in 2014).
We've specifically designed the program with a focus on the
skills you need to begin a career as a software engineer. We
emphasize the practical skills you'll need,
which is why we have you spend so much of the program gaining
experience by working on projects. Over the 500+ hours of
instructional time, we train you in every major facet of Rails
Our past alumni have repeatedly told
us that by training in an immersive environment with constant
access to instructors, they were able to learn much
faster than if they had studied on their own.
What kinds of projects do people build?
You'll build lots of projects like Chess, Asteroids, and
Snake. Here are a few samples of final projects:
Prior programming experience will help, but there are no hard
requirements beside a passion for building cool stuff. You do
need to be comfortable using a computer. A college degree is not
What kind of time commitment does App Academy require?
The program will be rewarding, but it will not be easy. On
average, expect to put in 90-100 hours per week.
What is the application process? What makes a successful application?
The application process consists of a few steps. We try to
customize the process for every candidate, but broadly it looks as
You submit an application.
Within two days, we mail you a coding challenge
(with resources to prepare).
You complete the coding challenge when you're ready.
You may be asked to complete a second coding challenge.
We interview you.
Within two days, we make a decision.
The most important parts of our process are the
coding challenges and a live coding exercise we do together
during the interview. We accept a very high percentage of
applicants who do well on these exercises. For applicants who
are new to programming, we provide materials to bring them up to
speed and teach them what they need to know to complete our
How do you make sure that students show up if there is no tuition? Do you ask for a deposit?
Yes, we do ask for a refundable deposit. The deposit is refundable
provided you show up for class on time and stay on task.
The standard refundable deposit is $5,000, but we are able to
reduce the amount of the deposit in exchange for a higher
placement fee percentage. Please email us at email@example.com if you have any questions about the
How competitive is the application process?
The application process is competitive, because applicants need
to be prepared to succeed in a difficult program, and because we
only enroll applicants when we feel confident the program will
work for them. Our acceptance rate is less than 5%.
Will I need to buy any computer hardware?
During the program, we provide Apple pairing stations for
everyone, so you won't need to bring any of your own hardware.
The office is open 24/7, but if you want to work at home, or if
you're considering buying a dev machine anyway, we (very)
strongly recommend buying a Mac. Apple is the de facto standard
among devs. With an Apple computer, all the core tools like the
terminal, Ruby, git, etc. will work out of the box.
What is the attrition rate?
The attrition rate historically is approximately 5%. The program
is intense, and though we make every effort to ensure that those
who struggle receive the support they need, not every one makes
it through. Because of our payment structure, you only owe us a
job placement fee if you complete the program and find a job
What can I do to increase my chances of acceptance?
The best thing you can do to increase your chances of getting
into the program is to prepare well for the coding challenge and
phone interview. We're going to teach you a ton, but we like to
see that you've put in some work on your own to teach yourself.
I'm an employer. How do I get in touch with your graduates?
Ned Ruggeri is a software engineer in San Francisco. He
started making computer games long, long ago in the days of
DOS and QBASIC. Ned went to the University of
Chicago, where he studied math and theoretical
computer science. He worked on academic projects in cluster
computing and natural language processing. While at school,
Ned taught classes in the undergraduate and masters
computer science programs.
After he moved to San Francisco, Ned first worked as a
modeling engineer for Quantcast's big-data and
statistics group; he later joined Google's
search index team. Over the last several years he's
worked on lots of crazy things. He's built algorithms for
buying web advertising, architected petabyte-scale MapReduce
analysis software that runs on thousands of machines, and has
hand-optimized assembly code.
Lately, Ned has become more interested in building user-facing
applications. He's built iOS apps and browser extensions, but
he's most excited about web apps.
Ned enjoys playing guitar and piano poorly, sailing his
catamaran with friends, and rolling in parks. His greatest
unfulfilled desire is motorcycle ownership.
Kush Patel enjoys programming, reading and playing with
cats. After studying economics and computer science at
the University of Chicago, he moved to Bombay
to work for a hedge fund. While there, he was the primary
analyst covering tech, media, financials, real estate, and
consumer nondurables, representing $500-800M of invested
After working in India, he wanted to move back into tech, and
moved to San Francisco in 2013 to start App Academy.
Jonathan wrote his first code for the web over 16 years ago,
and has been blasting ahead full speed ever since.
Originally from The Netherlands, Jonathan studied graphic
design and typography at The Royal Academy of
Art, in The Hague. There he wrote his thesis on the
design of online social networks. As a side project he also
built an online social network, for which he was recognized as
a Webby Awards Honoree in 2005.
With over a decade of professional
experience, serving companies both large and small,
Jonathan enjoys teaching the practical side of building web
applications. He believes web development has never been as
fun and exciting as it is now.
Besides writing elegant code, Jonathan is passionate about
community, creativity, color and, of course, cats.
Head of Student Outcomes
Laura is an engineer-turned-HR-Strategist who really cares about job
searches and interviews.
Laura herself has switched careers, searched for jobs, reviewed
candidates for positions, and coached job seekers. She delights at
seeing App Academy grads launch their new careers.
In her free time, Laura likes to cook, hike, and when no one is looking,
dance around the living room.
Jeff is an optimistic, ambitious, cappuccino drinking,
distance running, hilarious, puzzle obsessing,
challenge loving, tech junkie software developer.
As a student of Computer Engineering at the University of
Nevada-Reno, Jeff made a 3D submarine action game in Python,
an Android game in Java, recreated all the classic data
structures in C++, an operating system in C, and designed
hardware level logic with VHDL.
During his college career he worked at two separate
internships. The first was a software engineering internship
where he integrated robotic hardware with a medical robotic
platform. His second internship was a hardware engineering
position where he debugged circuit boards, soldered tiny
components, and designed logic for a high speed FPGA
controlled storage device.
He graduated with high distinction in the fall of 2010, and
accepted a position at the company of his first internship.
He would go on to work with a team of 4 to design, architect,
implement, test, and release to market a touch screen robotic
The first several years of his career were all in the Visual
Studio C# .NET world, but he has since fallen desperately in
new loves inspired his move to the Mecca of this kind of
development, San Francisco, where he shall remain.
CJ meant it when he set out to learn the full stack. In 2011
he deployed to Afghanistan and built a network for 50,000
subscribers over satellite, fiber, radio and microwave for the
Army, all from scratch. Before that he was writing C++, Perl,
classic ASP and PHP, and has since contributed to web apps in
various frameworks including Rails and ASP.NET. In his past
lives CJ has written code to track insider trading and to
program liquid-handling robots. Nowadays he enjoys building
web-based applications that are used by humans.
You'll find him around the internet as w1zeman1p.
Tommy loves to teach; he has been teaching his hobbies
professionally for over a decade. Tommy's love of programming
began in childhood, but his interest in technology deepened
while at NYU's Stern School of Business, when he began to
teach himself web development in between business
classes. After graduating and founding a non-tech startup,
Tommy realized that his true calling lay in software
Tommy is really into working out, bio-hacking, cars and
Constance considers herself extremely lucky to have loved every job she's
ever had, including this one. She started out working in the costume
department for television shows, but after a quarter-life crisis, she
decided to completely switch career paths and dive into something new, so
she picked computer programming. Since then, her time at App Academy has
been a blast, and she not only loves the feeling of empowerment that
building an app gives her, but also loves passing on to students what
In her free time, you will most likely find her watching television, as it's
still her first love, as well as learning some new language, since she never
wants to stop learning.
Andrew first moved to the Bay Area to pursue a PhD in History, but he soon
realized that his passion lay in a different direction. He's particularly
responsive. Andrew can be found on Github and elsewhere as aplarson. In
his free time, he enjoys solving programming challenges, reading, and
spending time outdoors.
Originally from the Midwest, David came to California looking for
sunshine. He studied math at Santa Clara University, graduating cum laude
and cracking more codes than any previous student in his upper-division
cryptography course. He was awarded a Noyce Scholarship to teach high
school mathematics, which he did for one year at Leland High School in San
Jose, receiving reviews as the "coolest math teacher I have ever had" and
"best math teacher ever." David then switched gears and worked for a while
on the open roads of America as a long haul truck driver, and then as a
transit bus driver in San Diego. Now he's excited to be back in education,
this time teaching the highly motivated and capable students of App
David loves bicycling. Some of his self-supported bike tours include a
400-mile ride down the California coast, a 1,600 mile trip from San
Francisco to Colorado, and a 4-day tandem tour around the Bay Area.
When Ryan was studying at Williams College, his passion for logic and
reason drove him to pursue coursework in math, formal logic, and hard
science. He developed an addiction to syntax while studying Mandarin and
graduated with degrees in biology and Chinese language in 2010. He wrote
his first Python scripts to automate tasks on a linguistic annotation
project, and has been solving problems with code ever since.
Ryan's path ultimately brought him to the Bay Area, where he attended App
Academy's August 2014 cohort. Since completing the course, he has been sharing
his enthusiasm for logic and code with students. In his spare time, he enjoys
fencing, playing tabletop games, and learning foreign languages.
Director of Finance
Sean specializes in financial consulting for start-ups. He studied
Accounting and Finance at CSU East Bay and later earned his MBA. He
started building websites when he was 15 and has kept improving his
programming skills ever since. He is currently working to solve the
efficiency problems of back-office work, specifically involving the
integration of new technologies with traditional accounting systems. In
his own time Sean enjoys hiking, training dogs, and mechanical
Velina is a designer, developer, and math addict. She grew up in
Bulgaria and has lived in the UK, Florida, and most recently the Bay
Area. She went to college at Emory University, where she drank deeply
from the well of math knowledge and developed a (possibly unhealthy)
obsession with graceful trees.
Before App Academy, Velina worked as a designer and front-end developer.
She is a CSS guru with an eye for design. Check out some of her art!
Currently at LinkedIn, Will Hastings has worked as a software developer
at various technology companies and consultancies. After starting out in
the world of PHP, Will decided to dive into Ruby and Rails, quickly
deciding that these are his preferred technologies. He is also an avid
Will is passionate about quality code, best practices, security, and
performance. He also enjoys coding with Vim, configuring his Ubuntu
laptop, learning new command line tricks, and picking up Dev Ops skills
in his spare time.
Ronnie is a recovering theoretical physicist from CalTech who previously
worked as a Sous-Chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Los Angeles.
She is now a software engineer writing Scala for the Platform services
team at Paypal.
In her spare time Ronnie organizes the App Academy Women alumni group and
helps run App Academy's graduate interview workshop. She also enjoys
technical wreck diving, rock climbing, and dressing up golden retrievers.
communities. He is well known as an author, developer, and
Deergha Sahni is a scientist and engineer working
on statistical modeling at Quantcast. She has
previously worked at Microsoft
and IBM. Deergha graduated with a master's
degree in computer science from Columbia
University, where she conducted research in computer
vision and machine learning.
Deergha has extensive experience in education; she's taught
machine learning, biometrics, and applied math. She was twice
awarded MS teaching fellowships.
Joining App Academy has been among the best decisions I've made
in my life. I've learned more in one month at App
Academy than I did in one year of teaching myself how to
program. Perhaps most importantly, I've learned how
best to think about, approach, and solve difficult programming
Our teacher, Ned Ruggeri, is great at taking complex ideas that
would be hard to grasp and breaking them down into simpler
components that are easy to understand. He's also great at the
herculean task of adjusting to each individual's skill level and
getting the most out of each of us.
In addition to an amazing teacher and amazing TAs, I'm
surrounded by equally bright and motivated peers. App Academy
has been an incredible experience made even better with so many
wonderful people to share it with.
App Academy is an astonishingly good program
for anyone looking to get into app development. I came into App
Academy with some Rails background, and I've probably learned as
much in a few weeks here as I did all year on my own. You won't
leave here without learning a ton and pushing your limits.
Our program is full of fantastic, bright, and fun people and Ned
is an awesome teacher. Wildly invigorating, would definitely eat
I moved halfway across the country to attend App Academy in the
hopes that it would prepare me for a much longer journey (and
career) into coding, and I am amazed at how much I have
learned in such a short time. App Academy is the kind
of learning environment that you have always wanted to exist.
The program is full time, hands on, and populated by passionate
and intelligent fellow-travelers. If you really want to get into
coding, but have found discouragement in the lonely realm of
patchy online tutorials and inhumane textbooks, App Academy has
assembled the resources that you need in order to develop a
solid foundation in app development.
However, the program is not designed to churn out one-trick
specialists: the instructors are also willing and able to
explain pertinent computer science concepts and they work hard
to ensure that we really understand the hows and whys of
software. If you are willing to put in the time, money, and
effort, App Academy can open the door to Codeland.
After just two weeks with App Academy, I became confident in
developing web apps on my own and have now, in fact, built and
shipped an enterprise-quality web app.
Not only has App Academy helped me to acquire skills
that I can put to use right away in building innovative
applications, but they are giving me a solid foundation
on which to understand software in general. While I have no idea
what new languages and frameworks will be the next big thing, I
do know that I am now completely capable of learning them.
Having no prior coding experience, I was very unsure about the
program at first because of the hasty learning curve necessary
to compete for an entry level dev position in nine weeks
time. My concerns were lifted the first day of the program and I
honestly couldn't be more pleased with App Academy.
I am exceeding my expectations of my own learning
potential with each day that comes. When I describe
what we've done in the program, others with a CS background are
often shocked at the progress we've made at App Academy in such
a short amount of time.
If you're looking for a program to take you from little or no
knowledge to a junior level developer in a short and intense
amount of time, this program is for you. But don't think this is
an easy process; this is by far the most intense program I've
ever done. It beats my International Baccalaureate diploma and
civil engineering degree... combined!
Before App Academy, I had struggled through some basic
programming concepts and several half completed books and
tutorials only to feel that my programming foundation was shaky
and full of holes. I certainly did not feel confident enough to
start applying to full blown developer jobs.
All of this changed rapidly and dramatically when I started App
Academy. This bootcamp is one hell of a wild ride and if you let
it, it can be a pivotal moment in your life. It
certainly has been for me. The amount of technology, new ideas,
and the speed of learning that this kind of environment
facilitates is simply amazing. App Academy IS what college and
education in general should be like.
Initially I was on the fence about doing App Academy. As soon as
I arrived, all my concerns disappeared - Ned and Kush have
created a fantastic environment for motivated people
to come together and learn a ton of new skills in a short amount
We all came in with different programming backgrounds and
experience levels, but everyone in the program can take an
application idea, decompose it, and work on a serviceable
solution, in record time. If you're wondering about whether
doing App Academy is worth it, stop wondering — it is.
App Academy has had an enormous impact on my ability as a
software developer. I love it for so many reasons, but here are
a few of the most pertinent to potential enrollees:
The environment at App Academy is incredibly fast-paced
and exciting. You are surrounded by very brilliant and
motivated people, coming from all different backgrounds. We
learn from each other, teach each other, and feed off of
the constant stream of energy, creativity, and
innovation that seems to always be flowing through our
As a CS grad, I had reservations about the pace at which I would
be learning new material, and how challenging the program would
be. Both of these were alleviated before the end of the first
week. The instructors here make sure you are always challenged
and moving at a pace relevant to your expertise. Simply
put, this environment is a catalyst for
The instructors involved in App Academy are incredible. They
will teach you not only the fundamentals of the relevant
languages and systems, but also the best design patterns for
your apps, style conventions for writing code, and how to think
about solving certain types of abstract problems. However, they
are more than willing to talk to you about pretty much anything,
from how these systems work under the hood down to the lowest
levels, to data structures and algorithms, to how to design a
personal side project you've been thinking about. You will cover
almost everything relevant to making real-world apps, and if
there's something you want to learn that isn't covered, all you
have to do is ask.
Lastly, if you love development, 40+ hours of programming per
week designated to coding has already sold you. You didn't even
need to read the testimonials; if I'm speaking to you,
you already know what to do.
App Academy's combination of expert instruction and pair
programming accelerated my learning far beyond any program I had
taken in college.
Having the opportunity to work in pairs with other programmers
was thoroughly enjoyable and exposed me to an entirely new
method of learning, which I found superior to coding
solo. App Academy can and will take you from being a
novice to an adept if you are willing to make the
I have a master's in computer networks and have been working as
an enterprise software developer for a little over 2
years. Web/mobile app development was a field that had always
interested me, but I had absolutely no experience. This is where
App Academy comes in.
To be completely honest, I was skeptical about the whole
concept, being in the first cycle and all, but it was reason
enough for me to quit my job. On the first day of the program,
however, I realized that I had nothing to worry about. As we did
introductions, I found that people had come to App Academy
from all around the world! I realized all these people had put
their lives on hold to pursue exactly what I was pursuing. You
could feel the energy and excitement. I could tell this was
going to be a great experience.
Ned and Kush are awesome. Kush is well versed in Ruby and
Rails. Ned is a great teacher and a skilled developer with deep
knowledge of Rails and app development. Ned has no issues
explaining complex topics and in the rare event that he's
stumped by a question, he will make sure to come back to you
when he has the solution. He's always available for questions
and gives extra lectures outside of regular hours to make sure
everyone is up to speed.
The learning is fast but not unreasonable. I have never learned
this much development in such a condensed period of
time. I have classmates who have never touched code
before this program, that can put together substantial apps
after just 5 weeks.
App Academy has been a crazy intense experience that I would
definitely recommend to anyone who is looking to dive head first
into app development. Before App Academy I had intended on
learning it all on my own but I'm so glad to have made the
decision to learn along with some of the coolest, most dedicated
group of people around.
This would all not be possible without Ned. Ned is an amazing
instructor to learn from and hilarious to be around. His
patience is admirable and no matter what your prior experience
is, he has plenty of knowledge to offer. If you are able to take
the time and spend 9 weeks immersed in a bootcamp style learning
environment, I would say, "Do App Academy!" without
Even though I have a background in computer science, the
majority of my work experience comes from academia. Before App
Academy, I felt that I did not have the skills to work on real
software engineering projects.
The program gave me experience and confidence in building
substantial software that can be used in our everyday
lives. The excellent set of of App Academy attendees and
instructors make the whole learning experience fun and
I've been surrounded by a group of hardworking and cool
people. They're fun to hang out with. We pair on all the
projects, a totally different experience from trying to learn on
your own. It's all hands on. We learn about a concept, and
immediately dive into it. Ned, the instructor, can do amazing
things as well as break down hard concepts.
App Academy has been the most intense learning experience of my
life. For these nine weeks, I basically lived in the
office, totally immersed in learning how to code. I've
had to push myself, grow, and meet the challenge of becoming a
developer in nine weeks.
SF '15 Cycles
NYC '15 Cycles
App Academy San Francisco is located at our SOMA
offices at 6th and Market. App Academy
New York is located at our NOHO offices
at Houston and Broadway. Class runs Monday to
Friday, 9:00AM –
6:00PM. Our facilities are open
Program cycles begin every few weeks!
In 2014, class will not be in session: Nov 27 - Nov 28, Dec 24 - Dec
28 and Jan 1 - Jan 4.
In 2015, class will not be in session Dec 25 - Dec 31 in SF and Dec 25
- Jan 3 in NYC.
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