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Coding Bootcamp Showdown: Hack Reactor VS App Academy

Coding Bootcamp Showdown: Hack Reactor VS App Academy

With the rising demand in web developers and programmers globally, learning to code is a handy skill. Programmers are highly paid folks these days, even to a tune of $100,000 and above. But don’t let that scare you. There is no secret. You have to learn to program so that you can help fill the rising gap in the number of developers. As per now, universities are expensive, and most graduates are not even proficient when they graduate.

University courses were probably planned a long time ago, with no intent to change them anytime soon. So, students come out unaware of where the world is going. 

But, thank God, there is an easier way to learn to program these days via boot camps. These are short programs which usually last in a few months – probably three or less and teach the candidates precisely what is essential to know from the basics to the advanced stuff.

While looking for coding boot camps, you will bump into these two – Hack Reactor and App Academy. In this article, we take an in-depth review of the two so that you can be able to choose your best based on your needs and also convenience.


In this review, we have delved into the two coding boot camps – App Academy and Hack Reactor. Each of the two has flexible programs that have both online and onsite options. They both teach a variety of programming languages that are key to software development. App Academy gains an edge over Hack Reactor due to its flexible payment plan that allows the student to pay a small deposit then finish the rest of the tuition fee after they get a job. Hack Reactor, on the other hand, has the edge over App Academy due to its slightly large number of alumni and also the number of offline campuses. However, in general, the decision to choose between the two highly depends on the needs of the student and preferences. Read the full review below.


Hack Reactor Features

A brief background about the Hack Reactor boot camp is that it was founded in 2012. It has over 3500 alumni graduates who have worked in big tech companies in Silicon Valley. Hack Reactor graduates have worked in tech companies like Uber, Adobe, Amazon, PayPal, LinkedIn, Apple, Microsoft, Twitch, and more.

Learning Period

Hack Reactor coding boot camp takes 12 weeks to complete. The program is immersive and involves five days of learning each week. That means you will be learning from Monday to Friday, 40 hours a week. The course is divided into sections. The first half of the course involves going through the fundamentals of development and full-stack JavaScript. In addition to that, students are also introduced to developer tools and technologies.

The last bit of the period is spent by students now applying the skills they have learned in class. This is done through personal and group projects, and also, the students get a chance to work with startups, which gives them a head start to have a portfolio that they can showcase when they are in an interview. In total, Hack Reactor students learn a total of over 800 hours before they graduate as full-stack software engineers and JavaScript programmers.


Hack Reactor has a rigorous process of selecting students. There interviews and admission process technically require more than just a beginner. You can’t be a beginner and join Hack Reactor. But the good is that they provide some free and also paid courses that you can use to learn the basics of JavaScript. In fact, students are required to go through the basics of JavaScript in order to prepare for Hack Reactor’s interview. The preparation course lasts for about 5 to 7 weeks.

In the interview, which lasts for an hour, students are tested on solving coding problems in JavaScript that is covered in the prep course. After that, those who pass the technical test will now be taken to Hack Reactor’s 80-hour pre-course.

Hack Reactor state this explicitly on its website; ‘Prospective students must have prior coding ability.’ They say that only 10% of applicants are accepted. Learning is also intense, and Only engineers who pass the Hack Reactor’s challenging course are allowed in their talent pool. The talent pool is a group of Hack Reactor’s alumni that sharpen the student’s skill set in different fields like the front end, back end, and even full-stack.


Hack Reactor has both onsite and online courses. For onsite learning, Hack Reactor has classes in San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, New York City, Denver, Seattle, Phoenix, and Boulder. The courses are two; Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive and a Remote Part-Time Software Engineering Immersive. The full-time course takes 12 weeks and requires students to dedicate 40 hours a week to learning either online or offline.

The part-time course takes 36 weeks, with 20 hours per week needed for learning. This class is held online live with two weeknights and one half-Saturday per week plus required independent study.

Programming Languages

Hack Reactor teaches both front end, back end, and full-stack development. The languages that you will learn in the boot camp include MySQL, AngularJS, MongoDB, HTML, Git, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, and Front End.


Hack Reactor has a good reputation out there. Hack Reactor says their students are also helped with job placement. They also teach their students on resumes, personal branding development, interviewing skills, and career coaching. Hack Reactor places students in big tech companies like Google, Salesforce, Uber, Apple, Facebook & Microsoft in mid-to-senior level positions. The average graduate salary averaged $105,000 in 2017 in San Francisco.

App Academy Features

Admission Process

App Academy’s selection process is quite involving as well. First of all, students are expected to submit an application and pay a fee. After this, they will have to undertake a Bootcamp Preparation holistic curriculum that covers JavaScript. The course takes four weeks and exposes learners with advanced JavaScript, the application process, and how to go about the interview process. So this course technically acts as an eye-opener for you on what to expect and to get prepared for the upcoming task. The first week of the boot camp preparation course covers Introduction to Web Development and JavaScript Fundamentals. The second week covers Introduction to JavaScript + Bootcamp Practice Problems, and the third week is all about Intermediate JavaScript + Bootcamp Practice Problems. The last week finalizes Advanced JavaScript, Interview Technique, and Bootcamp Applications. As a result, App Academy says they all of the students are usually absorbed in one of their school’s failure to which you will have your money back.


App Academy has several courses offered online and offline. Its courses include;

App Academy Open – This is a free course. It is part-time and involves self-placement. Students learn MySQL, MongoDB, HTML, JavaScript, SQL, Design, Rails, Express.js, React.js, Node.js, Front End, and Ruby.

Bootcamp Prep – This is a paid course. Students can learn at their campuses or online. For online students, they will learn HTML and JavaScript only. Offline students learn HTML, JavaScript, and also Node.js. The online course can be determined at whatever pace you like, but the onsite option takes four weeks of rigorous studies.

Full Stack Web Development – This is also a paid course. You can partake it online or onsite at App Academy’s schools located in San Francisco and New York City. The offline course takes 12 weeks, and students will have to attend classes for 40 hours a week. For the online alternative, App Academy only accepts 25 students per class, and it lasts for 24 weeks. The online course includes the following languages MySQL, HTML, Git, JavaScript, SQL, jQuery, Design, Rails, User Experience Design, CSS, DevOps, React.js, Data Structures, Algorithms, Node.js, Front End, Ruby while the onsite course includes MySQL, MongoDB, HTML, Git, JavaScript, SQL, jQuery, Design, Rails, User Experience Design, CSS, DevOps, React.js, Data Structures, Algorithms, Node.js, Front End, and Ruby.

Programming Languages

Although we have already mentioned the languages at various courses on App Academy, we had to have a dedicated section for that. At App Academy, here are the programming languages taught; MySQL, MongoDB, HTML, Git, JavaScript, SQL, jQuery, Design, Rails, User Experience Design, CSS, DevOps, React.js, Data Structures, Algorithms, Node.js, Front End, and Ruby.

By now, you already know programming languages taught depends on the course taken and the learning mode.

Learning Period

App Academy onsite course takes 12 weeks to complete, while the boot camp prep course takes four weeks. The boot camp prep course is taught on a part-time basis, but the main course takes 12 hours with 40 hours dedicated each week for studies. That means we will not go wrong if we say App Academy takes 16 weeks.


App Academy says more than 1000 companies are hiring its graduates. So far, they have trained over 3000 students in software development. The company also says the media salary to their graduates in San Francisco is about $101,000 and $90,000 in New York City. App Academy was also created in 2012 and has seen their graduates employed in tech companies like Google, Facebook, PayPal, GitHub, and even Dropbox, among others.

Small Comparison Table

Who is this for?

App Academy and Hacker Reactor are coding boot camps dedicated to those who want to kickstart their software development career in the shortest time possible. Students learn several programming languages from the back end, front end, and even full-stack. 

Pros and Cons

Hack Reactor Pros

  • Helps in student placement after graduation
  • Remote courses available
  • High employment rates after course

Hack Reactor Cons

  • Expensive Bootcamp

App Academy Pros

  • High rates of hiring
  • Pay after graduation
  • Selective admission

App Academy Cons

  • Online courses are more pricey than onsite ones


Hack Reactor charges $17,980 for the course, whether its part-time or on a fulltime basis.

On the other hand, the App Academy price depends on the course. But what’s good about App Academy is that you can learn by paying a small deposit, then you will pay the rest once you graduate and get a job. The onsite Bootcamp preparation course costs $2,999, while the online option costs $1795. The in-person full stack development course costs $17,000, while the online option costs $20,000.


Both of these coding boot camps can not be regarded as user-friendly. The programs are intense, but once you finish, the reward will be fulfilling. The first thing you will notice is that the boot camps are not beginner-friendly since you have to know the necessary coding knowledge at least before you can be absorbed in. The hiring process is selective, but that is a good thing. In terms of learning schedules, both schools offer an online and part-time option, which is a great thing for those who may not afford to live in expensive places like San Francisco.

Customer Support

App Academy and Hack Reactor both have excellent customer support. Hack Reactor offers support via email only, whether it is for admissions, sales, billing, and even scholarships. App Academy has a Q and A section and also provides personal support via email.

The Verdict

App Academy and Hack Reactor both are one of the best coding schools in the US. However, App Academy has been more recommendable than Hack Reactor from online reviews. App Academy’s job placement rate is 98%, and the platform has flexible payment plans for its courses. However, from our view, there is no substantial difference between the two coding boot camps. Simply choose your choice, depending on your needs. For a recap, Hack Reactor has more coding schools in different locations and has a rigorous selecting process. However, its graduates are many in tech companies and are also involved in the process of mentoring new graduates. More so, Hack Reactor has dedicated the last week for learning how to maneuver and how to handle interviews. In general, the last week is about branding and building relationships and contacts. App Academy also helps graduates in finding jobs. Both of these coding boot camps are not cheap but at least not expensive as going to college. App Academy has only two schools for learning offline.

In general, consider your needs before choosing one of the coding boot camps.

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