App Academy

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App Academy
app academy logo
Established 2012
Location San Francisco, CA, USA
37°46′52″N 122°24′42″W / 37.781051°N 122.4117225°W / 37.781051; -122.4117225Coordinates: 37°46′52″N 122°24′42″W / 37.781051°N 122.4117225°W / 37.781051; -122.4117225

App Academy is a twelve-week intensive computer programming school founded by Ned Ruggeri and Kush Patel.


Introduced in 2012, App Academy’s “job-guaranteed”[1] financing model demonstrates a tuition-free structure that promises individuals a career at the conclusion of the program. App Academy’s model “reverses the traditional incentive structure for higher education”;[1] this has received media attention[2][3] and was described by Wired as “flipping the script on student loans”.[4] 93% of App Academy’s first cohort found jobs, paying an average salary of $83,000.[1] If a student does not find a career within the first year of graduation, the individual is not charged for tuition.[5] Currently, 98% of App Academy graduates find jobs, with an average salary of $105,000 in San Francisco and $89,000 in New York City.[6] Since the establishment of App Academy, over 700 graduates have been placed at tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Cisco, and more.[7]

The Program[edit]

Students at work

App Academy, as of 2014, reported an acceptance rate of about 5%.[8] Individuals who applied for the program ranged from “top Ivy League graduates to someone who used to be a night janitor.”[9] During the admissions process, students are required to complete introductory level coding work to show programmer potential, however, applicants do not need to have prior coding experience to apply.[1] Once accepted, students can expect to allocate 90–100 hours per week for coding.[10] The curriculum covers the full stack of web development, but primarily focuses on Ruby on Rails and Javascript while spending substantial time on React, Flux, JQuery and SQL.[11] App Academy also provides job assistance for life, allowing students to learn new languages although they have graduated.[12]

App Academy’s 12 week program is broken into 3 sections with over 500 hours of instructional time for every student who attends the course;

Weeks 1-5: Begins with introductory level programming concepts, and results in a deeper understanding of Ruby and SQL.[13]

Weeks 6-9: Introduces Javascript, React, and Flux, amongst others.[14]

Weeks 10-12: Focuses on advanced algorithms and the job search. The job search curriculum focuses on resume help, whiteboarding, technical interview training, salary negotiation and culminates in a hiring day for graduates.[15]

Throughout a day at App Academy, students are given a lecture at the beginning of every session, with the majority of the time being allocated to projects and pair programming.[16] From 9:00am–12:00pm, students start off the day with introductory lectures for the concepts to be learned that day. From 12:00pm–1:00pm, students are given a break to relax and connect with their colleagues. Afterwards, students begin pair-programming and work on collaborative projects together until the end of the working day, allowing individuals to talk through problems together to find collective solutions.[16]

Additionally, App Academy offers tutoring for potential applicants who seek assistance during the admissions process.[17] Tutors are instructors from the App Academy Staff and tutoring can range from teaching coding fundamentals to advanced concepts within the full-time program.[17]

Some of App Academy’s graduates have reportedly found a job within 3 weeks of interviewing.[8] After finding a job as a software engineer, App Academy collects a fee of 18% of the graduate’s first year’s salary.[8]


In 2015, App Academy was located in the South of Market district of San Francisco and near Cooper Square in Manhattan, New York.

As of January 2016, App Academy's San Francisco Location has moved to 160 Spear Street inside the Financial District.


Kush interviewing an applicant

Ned Ruggeri and Kush Patel met at the University Of Chicago, where Ruggeri studied Mathematics and Patel majored in Economics. Prior to App Academy, Ruggeri worked for Google on the Search Engine Indexing team and Patel worked at a hedge fund in Mumbai.[18] Together, they started App Academy in an effort to allow programming education “while making it affordable and accessible to everyone.” In an interview with Patel, he explains the initial structure of App Academy, stating the need to teach “as much language and framework agnostic software development as we can.”[19]

Founded in 2012, App Academy has been featured in sources such as Slate magazine and VentureBeat, reflecting Ruggeri and Patel’s mission of “finding the most cost-effective way possible of providing credible training.”[20] Kush reported to Yahoo News stating the need to “give [students] real-world skills they can use and actually get them a job.”[5] “If they can’t find a job, we’ve screwed up somehow.” says Patel.[1]

Through an interview with Financial Times, Joshua Penman, a graduate of App Academy, explained that the boot camp model “is attractive because it is so short and provides people with real skills.”[21] Initially, many individuals who enrolled in the first class at App Academy did not have enough capital to “invest in themselves.”[1] However, since then, applicants are seen to come from diverse backgrounds, whether it be individuals who have followed traditional college endeavors or individuals wanting a mid-career change.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g [1]
  2. ^ "Back to School And Into a Job | This Could Be Big - Yahoo News". 2013-04-26. Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  3. ^ Yglesias, Matthew (2013-03-22). "App Academy's innovative financial model: Commission-based education". Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  4. ^ Wohlsen, Marcus (2013-03-28). "Tuition at Learn-to-Code Boot Camp Is Free — Until You Get a Job | Wired Business". Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  5. ^ a b [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  8. ^ a b c [4]
  9. ^ [5]
  10. ^ [6]
  11. ^ [7]
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-29. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-29. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  16. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  17. ^ a b [8]
  18. ^ "Apps Academy - Staff". Retrieved 2013-10-03. 
  19. ^ [9]
  20. ^ [10]
  21. ^ [11]