As graduation looms for the class of 2013, a new kind of school is preparing to transform code novices into employable Silicon Valley developers during a nine-week coding bootcamp.

Designed to teach students exactly what they’ll need to land an entry-level developer position, coding bootcamps cut the fluff average computer science students encounter during college.

App Academy is one such bootcamp, which focuses on one of the most in-demand programming languages, Ruby, and its web development framework, Rails.

The company’s goal is to give students practical experience by teaching them exactly what tech companies are looking for in an entry-level developer. Through 400 hours of immersive training, students learn by doing, with access to highly-experienced instructors.

Tech companies hold interviews with graduates on the last day of the program. Of the most recent batch of 15 new developers, 14 have found job, with companies such as Facebook and Zendesk. And according to App Academy co-founder Kush Patel, the average salary exceeds $80,000.


So what’s the cost of nearly-guaranteed employment with a high starting salary? A $3,000 refundable deposit, which holds a spot in the highly-desired program; and 15 percent of income made during the first year as a developer.

“We don’t want to charge up front because we feel pretty strongly about tying the payment to the outcome,” Patel told Wired. “If they can’t find a job, we’ve screwed up somehow.”

A similar Ruby and Rails bootcamp, simply called Dev Bootcamp, costs $12,000 and requires a $1000 non-refundable deposit to reserve a place in the program. And while Dev Bootcamp doesn’t hold an interview day, they claim to have made connections with companies in many major cities that are interested in hiring graduates.


Of course, there’s a huge risk in committing to a coding bootcamp, as there is no graduation or job guarantee. Those invited to these programs are chosen because they’re believed to be a good fit after interviews and aptitude tests.

However, App Academy advertises 20 spots per class, meaning five of their students in the most recent class either left the program or failed.

The possibility of failing out of a coding bootcamp was brought up by Natasha Murashev, a Dev Bootcamp graduate, who said those kicked out of the program were “different in their learning style and do not fit into Dev Bootcamp’s very competitive teaching system.”

The risk carries a high reward though, with the opportunity to learn an in-demand and high-paying trade in only nine weeks.

Image: hackNY