Prior to App Academy, I have been learning coding on my own through various online resources. It was nice that I was able to go at my own pace and learn what I wanted to, but after some time, I knew that I wanted to accelerate my learning and find a position... Read More
For me, the course was a load of fun. From Monday - Friday, from 9 - 6 (with a 1 hour 15 minute lunch break and a 15 minute break), it was all about learning and coding. My personal schedule was to wake up at 6:00 AM, get to App Academy by 7:30 - 8:00 AM, and review the readings / homework assignment before class started at 9:00. After 6:00, I would look over the solution for the day's work, and prepare for the next day. I would usually go to bed by 10:30 PM, with the latest being 11:00 PM, as I believed getting enough sleep was the key to me being able to focus throughout the immense workload that App Academy entails. However, everyone in my cohort was different, so what worked for me might not have worked for someone else. Finding the balance and schedule that worked for me was key to keeping my momentum going and not get burnt out. The good news is, it was only for 3 months, so even though it was tough every day, it didn't continue for years. I did enjoy learning and coding constantly, and it was amazing how much I learned at the end of the curriculum, with a full-stack project that I am pretty damn proud of. I would actually look forward to Mondays, as it was another day to continue to grow my skill set and build cool things.
The most stressful part was probably the assessments. The policy at App Academy is that you are only allowed to fail 1 out of the 6 given. If you fail two, you are released from the program. That's why it is important to keep on top of the material, and make sure you have a deep understanding of the concepts that are taught. They do provide practice assessments that closely follow the actual assessment, though they are different, so you can't just memorize the practice assessment. It is highly recommended that you take the month-long prep work that is given before the start of the main course seriously, as everything from the curriculum builds on top of it.
The part I enjoyed least was the job searching process. While App Academy does provide lectures about algorithms for technical interview questions, I found it very difficult to get through the resume screening to even get a chance for a phone screen. My other classmates had more success than me though, so I might have just been an unusual case. They tell you it's a numbers game, and that you have to apply to many to get a few hits. It was tiring and demoralizing, but I eventually got through it and landed a job. I would recommend saving enough money to last you not only the 3 months of the main curriculum, but also for the job search process as well, as the amount of time it takes to find a job is uncertain.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at App Academy. You are surrounded by motivated and talented individuals, and everyone is working together to get through it. You are challenged to learn a crap load of information everyday, and you will be amazed at what you can achieve in a short amount of time. Without App Academy, I would not have been confident to even apply to software engineering jobs.