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Mobile app development bootcamps: The best programs and why they're a good idea

Mobile app development bootcamps can give aspiring developers a shorter and more cost-effective pathway to the fast-growing software development profession.

Bootcamps offered by schools and independent organizations provide condensed practical training in many IT disciplines. These accelerated programs can be more focused, accessible, and affordable than degrees, making them a valuable option for many learners. Mobile app development bootcamps often cover design and development fundamentals, plus specific technologies, software, and programming languages. 

Completing a mobile app development bootcamp can lead to many promising careers, including software developer, computer programmer, and web developer positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 22% growth for all software developers from 2020-2030, nearly three times faster than the rate for all occupations. 

This guide explores these bootcamps, highlighting the reasons for pursuing them and outlining some of the best programs available.

What is a mobile app development bootcamp?

Mobile app development bootcamps vary considerably in what they offer and how they deliver training. These programs typically run between 3-12 months and may cover the fundamentals up to intermediate or even advanced development tools and techniques. App development bootcamps emphasize Android- or iOS-specific skills, a more focused approach than general bootcamps which provide all-around programming skills.  

Bootcamp participants learn to use popular app-development languages and environments, including Java, C++, Swift, and Android Studio, along with useful frameworks, editors, and debuggers. The programs are run by industry experts, independent organizations, or colleges and universities. They may offer both in-person and online courses, along with part-time, full-time, and self-study scheduling options. 

Reasons to learn mobile app development in 2021

App development bootcamps provide aspiring developers with some of the shortest pathways available for breaking into the mobile app business. The training equips graduates with applicable skills for careers as programmers, software developers, administrators, and managers. 

Many employers value the relevant, practical, and up-to-date training provided by these programs, and graduates can apply their training to an expanding industry. The BLS projects the addition of more than 660,000 computer occupations and over 400,000 software developers between 2020 and 2030. Furthermore, much of the demand for software developers comes from an increasing need for mobile software and applications.

What's the difference between a bootcamp and a degree?

In most cases, bootcamps feature more concentrated and accelerated training than degrees. These programs usually omit general education courses and focus on the most practical and useful training for the field. While employers often require candidates to have a degree for computer occupations, the employment rates for bootcamps and degrees are quite balanced within major organizations.

Skills learned in mobile app development bootcamps

Mobile app development bootcamps give learners the skills to design and build apps in different environments and for various operating systems. Every program offers its own unique blend of training, but the following list highlights some of the major skills provided.  

  • Swift Programming: A popular programming language used for Apple operating systems, Swift allows learners to create lightweight software and applications. The intuitive and interactive language also makes it easier to code quickly and safely.
  • Java Programming: Students learn how to use Java programming to create apps in Android Studio. They learn the Java framework and how to create the designs and technical layouts.
  • SQL Database Management: Bootcamp participants often learn to develop and manage databases using the SQL programming language. They may pick up data modeling, report running, and migrating abilities as well.
  • Debugging: Bootcamp students typically learn to identify and fix bugs in code. They can develop strategies and techniques for isolating and containing problems and how best to learn from their mistakes.

What will a mobile app developer bootcamp cost?

Bootcamp prices differ significantly, depending on what they provide learners. The programs may fall between $1,000-$12,000 or more, but prospective students should evaluate everything that is included in the price to determine its true value. 

In addition to the program cost, prospective students should understand what extra fees might be required, such as travel, testing, and materials. Some programs provide additional value for learners, such as job guarantees or no-interest payment plans. Participants may pay their tuition upfront, with installments, or through a deferred or income-sharing agreement.

What's the right bootcamp for you?

When choosing a bootcamp, prospective students need to consider multiple factors to ensure the program suits their needs and unique circumstances. No single bootcamp provides everything for everyone, so it's important for learners to evaluate their individual goals. First, prospective students should think about their ideal careers and find a program that provides the appropriate training and skills for that profession.

Some other potential considerations might include cost, program length, and scheduling. The delivery format should also be considered, such as choosing between online, in-person, asynchronous, or synchronous training. Finally, learners can look at the reputation of the school or organization offering the training or check their graduate success rates with the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR).

Mobile app development bootcamps 2021

To help aspiring mobile app developers start their search, the following list comprises some of the most popular bootcamps available across the country. These intensive mobile app development bootcamps all strive to train the next generation of app developers and help them enter the field.

Brainstation iOS Development

Developers Discuss Mobile Design Interface on a Computer Screen
Getty Images/iStockphoto
  • Cost: $3,250
  • Format: Online and on-campus, part-time
  • Length: Varies
  • CIRR Member: No

This course teaches students the various steps in the lifecycle of mobile application developments. Students learn the principles and fundamentals of development, along with Swift programming, Xcode and iOS Simulator tools, and interactive app components. The training features in-class instruction, industry guest speakers, and practical assignments.

Founded in 2012, Brainstation has provided digital skills to over 100,000 professionals. The organization hosts campuses in New York, Vancouver, and Toronto, and works with more than 500 enterprises. 

Brainstation's Job Placement Assistance

The Career Success Team works with more than 5,500 industry partners to help students land their dream careers. The team runs networking events and interview workshops.

Other Courses Offered by Brainstation

  • Data Analytics
  • Web Development
  • UX Design

Mobile Application Developer Bootcamp

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Image: Luis Alvarez/ Getty
  • Cost: $2,400-$4,800
  • Format: Online, self-paced
  • Length: 35 hours per course
  • CIRR Member: No

Preparing students to code for Android and iPhone applications, this bootcamp teaches the use of widgets, Swift, and the Xcode interface. Splitting study time between lectures and hands-on assignments, learners pick up Java language skills, C# language basics, and cross-platform programming abilities. 

For more than two decades, Developer Bootcamp has offered on-demand IT skills and instruction to students. The organization offers self-paced training from many locations across North America.

Developer Bootcamp Job Placement Assistance

Every student receives placement assistance after graduation. Students who do not acquire a position within 120 days of course completion may receive additional training at no cost.

Other Courses Offered by Developer Bootcamp

  • Java Programmer
  • Web Developer
  • Python Programmer

Devmountain iOS Development

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Shutterstock / iJeab
  • Cost: $7,900
  • Format: Online and on-campus, full-time and part-time
  • Length: 13-16 weeks
  • CIRR Member: No

This bootcamp provides students with app developer training using various tools, technologies, and languages, including Objective-C and Swift. Students learn how to design, submit, and debug apps. As part of their training, learners design and build a usable and tested Apple app. 

Founded in 2013, Devmountain has graduated more than 3,200 students from its tech programs and bootcamps. Affiliated with Strayer University, this organization provides accelerated training for non-traditional learners.

Devmountain's Job Placement Assistance

Devmountain offers career and resume-building advice, along with interview preparation and employer networking opportunities. Students can also access mentorships, coaching, and hiring events.

Other Courses Offered by Devmountain

  • Web Development
  • Software Engineering
  • Data Analytics

Nucamp Full Stack Web and Mobile App Developer

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(Image: Shutterstock)
  • Cost: $1,880-$2,588
  • Format: Online and on-campus, full-time
  • Length: 22 weeks
  • CIRR Member: No

Designed for students with some HTML and JavaScript knowledge, this bootcamp provides training in responsive web design, web and mobile development, and web application architecture. Students complete coding workshops, class discussions, and self-study assignments. They also complete several portfolio projects, one for every course section.

Founded in 2016 in Tacoma, Washington, Nucamp offers accessible coding training for various applications. Bootcamps can be found in several cities. 

Nucamp's Job Placement Assistance

Nucamp offers 1-on-1 career coaching, resume-building advice, and Linkedin networking assistance. Graduates can also access Nucamp's career development course and job board. 

Other Courses Offered by Nucamp

  • Web Development
  • Front-End Development
  • Back-End, SQL, and DevOps With Python

The Tech Academy Mobile App Developer

Latin Freelance Coding Expert Using Computer At Desk
  • Cost: $9,540-$11,900
  • Format: In-person, full-time and part-time
  • Length: 18-34 weeks
  • CIRR Member: Yes

This bootcamp teaches students to develop Android, iOS, and cross-platform apps using Swift, Java, and Objective-C languages. Other courses include databases and SQL, project management, version control, and visual studio. Within the 700 hours of study material and instruction, students complete a two-week live coding project. 

The Tech Academy was founded in 2014 in Portland, Oregon. The organization expanded into Utah and now runs multiple developer bootcamps with hundreds of graduates across the country.

The Tech Academy Job Placement Assistance

As part of their training programs, The Tech Academy offers job placement courses that provide interview strategies, resume and cover letter exercises, and job-seeking advice.

Other Courses Offered by The Tech Academy

  • Website Development
  • Game Development
  • Computer Programming

Udacity Android Developer

Freelance programmer or developer working at home and typing source code with laptop
Getty Images/iStockphoto
  • Cost: $1,796
  • Format: Online, part-time and self-paced
  • Length: Four months
  • CIRR Member: No

Designed in partnership with Google, Udacity's Android developer bootcamp prepares aspiring Android developers with training in Gradle builds, app testing, and material design. Learners also complete a design and build capstone project. Program participants receive access to industry mentors, project reviews, and industry expert advice.

Grown from a single online course experiment, Udacity graduated more than 50,000 students and awarded over 170,000 certificates in 2020. The organization has many industry partners for scholarships and employment opportunities.

Udacity Job Placement Assistance

The career services team at Udacity offers resume support, Linkedin profile optimization, and a portfolio review.

Other Courses Offered by Udacity

  • Android Basics
  • Java Web Developer
  • Cybersecurity

Udacity iOS Developer

Developing programmer Development Website design and coding technologies working at software company office
Getty Images/iStockphoto
  • Cost: $2,694
  • Format: Online, part-time and self-paced
  • Length: Six months
  • CIRR Member: No

This course trains students to develop iOS apps using Xcode and the Swift language. The program covers UIKit fundamentals, Grand Central Dispatch, network requests, and the sandbox. In addition to class instruction and practical assignments, participants complete a capstone project for submission to the App Store.

Founded in 2011, Udacity began as an experiment in online education. The educator boasts more than 100,000 alumni, hundreds of courses, and relationships with some of the industry's biggest organizations.

Udacity Job Placement Assistance

Udacity's career services team offers students access to resume-building support, Github portfolio reviews, and Linkedin profile optimization. Learners can also leverage the organization's industry partnerships.

Other Courses Offered by Udacity

  • Data Science
  • Cloud Computing
  • Product Management

Are bootcamps worth it in 2021?

Yes. Bootcamps provide a very useful alternative to a college or university degree. Bootcamp participants can access many entry-level careers with the accelerated training.  

Can you fail a coding bootcamp?

Yes. While most coding bootcamps offer several lines of support for struggling students, participants who do not complete their studies or assignments may fail. 

Is app development easy to learn?

Yes. App development can be challenging to learn, but students who take the time to pick up the fundamentals, the languages, and the various technologies should have no more difficulty than in other computer disciplines. App development bootcamps almost always start with the principles and gradually progress into more complex elements to help ease students into the discipline.