Application development bootcamps serve as hands-on programs designed to provide students with the skills they need to become expert app developers. Full-time students frequently attend these bootcamps and may spend between 60 hours and 80 hours per week participating in comprehensive training sessions.
SkilledUp reports that more than 70 in-person bootcamps currently are available across the United States and Canada, and each offers a distinct curriculum to help students achieve their career goals.
Building an exceptional bootcamp
Some bootcamps provide students with opportunities to work on "real" projects.
TurnToTech, a mobile-focused software development bootcamp in New York City, gives students the opportunity to start building their iOS or Android portfolios immediately.
At TurnToTech, students can enroll in an iOS-centric curriculum that focuses on the fundamentals of UI/UX design on iOS, creating their own websites using Parse.com and advanced topics like security and asynchronous programming. Or for those who want to become Android developers, an Android track is available that explores Android architecture, interacting with web services and APIs and much more.
Teddy Angelus, chief operating officer at TurnToTech, tells FierceDeveloper that developing iOS and Android project-based curricula has helped his bootcamp's students succeed. TurnToTech even enables students to work as interns on real projects, Angelus notes, while delivering one-to-one interactions between students and instructors.
"We pioneered this approach back in 2013 and are the only program in the country that offers this unique experience," Angelus says. "Our philosophy -- unless students work on a real project, they will not acquire the skills that they will need for building real products."
To further assist students, TurnToTech employs instructors who are full-time professionals with over 15 years of experience as software engineers. Thus, students can learn essential app development skills from app development experts in an interactive learning environment.
Giving students the tools to succeed
Although every app development bootcamp differs, each bootcamp shares a common goal: to teach students the skills they need to become successful app developers.
Patience and hard work are the tenets of many app development bootcamps. However, Craig Karpiak, director of admissions at Mobile Makers Academy, points out "resourcefulness" remains a vital skill that all app developers must possess.
Mobile Makers Academy offers an eight-week iOS bootcamp for students that prepares them for careers as iOS developers. It teaches students to build iPhone apps in Swift and Objective-C, Xcode, iOS 8 SDK, Interface Builder and Instruments, even if students are new to coding.
With a focus on resourcefulness, among other skills, Mobile Makers Academy students can learn how to build apps as well as deal with any app development challenges they may encounter.
"Many people think having a deep understanding of math is important to code, but that's not necessarily true," Karpiak says. "We have found that having command of the language and understanding the process and order within the constraints you're working in, to be the skills that help coders be most successful. But even coders with CS degrees and great understanding of algorithmic thinking will run into an issue and have to search for an answer, so that's why we say being resourceful is the most essential skill that app developer should have."
Embracing the future of app development
The app development market constantly evolves, making it increasingly difficult for some app developers to keep pace. Fortunately, app development bootcamps prepare students for this rapidly changing market, along with myriad challenges they could face over the next few years.
Consider the Flatiron School, a New York-based programming school for adults and high schoolers. This school offers a full-time iOS development program that helps students learn programming fundamentals and build up to advanced concepts in Objective-C, Swift and the entire iOS ecosystem.
At the Flatiron School, only the top applicants can enroll, and each student is required to be on campus Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm at a minimum. Plus, Flatiron School students are required to complete up to 150 hours of mandatory prerequisite work, including curated exercises designed to help students reach a baseline proficiency in basic technologies, before they begin their 12-week, full-time bootcamp.
The Flatiron School also uses a rigorous screening process to find the best instructors, further highlighting its commitment to building a strong community. In fact, the Flatiron School is the only program with an independently audited jobs report, according to co-founder Adam Enbar.
(Source: Flatiron School)
Enbar tells FierceDeveloper his school has embraced the power of the local community. The Flatiron School has developed a strong partnership with the City of New York as well as a comprehensive employer network, ensuring students get the support they deserve both now and in the future.
Moreover, Enbar recognizes the technical skills required to succeed as an app developer continue to change. As such, he says the Flatiron School emphasizes helping students build two crucial app development skills that will help them throughout their careers:
Learning how to learn – "We spend a lot of time teaching students how to learn new skills so that they can continue to grow in their careers," Enbar says.
Communication – Enbar notes students give Meetup presentations, write technical blogs and much more "in an effort to increase their ability to communicate effectively across technical boundaries."
New technologies are reshaping the app development space, too. From state-of-the-art smartphones and tablets to feature-laden smartwatches, new gadgets may change the way many bootcamps educate students.
A technology-based approach, however, remains pivotal at the Flatiron School.
Enbar points out the Flatiron School tries to help students move closer to achieving their career goals after they graduate. And by doing so, the school's students are prepared to embrace new technology as it becomes available.
"Technology is moving at an ever increasing pace. This provides a tremendously broad array of career opportunities for people in the field. At the same time, it means that the ones who will be most successful are those who embrace learning and continually push themselves to improve," Enbar says.