Mobile Makers Academy
Mobile Makers Academy enhances mobile development curriculum in schools by teaching mobile development to high school teachers. Mobile Makers is a full-time, 8-week, intensive program in Chicago, IL that will turn beginner students into iOS developers. Over the course of the program, students will learn the tools, the architecture, the tech talk, the professional practices, teamwork, employability, design for developers, agile development, and Git & source control. Students will gain technical proficiency in Objective-C Basics, Cocoa touch, view controllers, table views, navigation, touch gestures, core data, core animation, and debugging. Mobile Makers is looking for students who love learning, love making things, and have a sneaking suspicion that a job in mobile app development is going to make them really happy. After graduation, students will be ready to talk the talk and back it up with a GitHub portfolio to impress hiring managers.
Recent Mobile Makers Academy News
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- Student Spotlight: Sonam Dhingra, Mobile Makers
Recent Mobile Makers Academy Reviews: Rating 4.82
Mobile Makers Academy Reviews
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We were trained over the course of 8 weeks to build a solid foundation in iOS development. We covered a range of topics from the fundamentals of iOS controls to views, and tying them with code to functions involving everything from segues, to Core Data, Parse, and NSUserDefaults. We also covered non-technical aspects of programming such as MVC design patterns, daily standups, and Agile delivery methodology. Both the technical and non-technical prepared us to be thorough and independent-research driven iOS developers.
Overall, I found my experience at Mobile Makers was very good. The only thing I would really change is how the peer coding in the afternoons is done. During my cohort, many people would do all of the coding while another member in the group would just watch and simultaneously be left behind. I think it's important that Mobile Makers puts more of an emphasis on correctness and full understanding within all members of the afternoon challenges, rather than finishing for the next day.
Although it wasn't perfect, I had a fantastic experience at Mobile Makers. The same is true for any boot camp, though: You get out of it what you put into it. Say goodbye to your close friends and family, expect to spend 12+ hours/day in the classroom, and keep weekend plans to a minimum. (Though I did manage to sneak in the occassional concert or night out on the city.)
They will push you, guide you, and stretch you to become a proficient iOS developer, and after the program their job support was a nice addition to my own search. I am not the norm, but was given a job offer just after the program, and after a few weeks of searching found a position that suited my skills. That said, don't expect your certificate to equal a job offer. Come here for the skills you will acquire and the supportive environment ... graduation alone won't be enough and you'll need to prove yourself to potential employers.
Mobile Makers is a solid program, but is best suited for someone with at least a little bit of programming experience. Before starting your cohort, make sure you understand the basics of variables, if statements, for loops, logic, etc. Pre-coursework is provided to get you up to speed on these concepts, and I strongly recommend setting time aside to become comfortable with these aspects of coding before starting the program.
A few things to keep in mind:
If you're not a self-directed learner and need hand-holding, this program is not for you. Most often when you ask a question, the instructors will answer with another question. This worked out great for me because I love problem-solving, but is not so great if you need a lot of guidance.
I do wish they focused as much or more on Swift than Objective C. Although not yet the gold standard, MM could have done a better job of preparing students for the future of iOS by spending more than one week on Swift.
Mobile Makers is not a large, popular school. They are small and scrappy, which makes it a close-knit group. If you want to get lost in the crowd, don't sign up for MM. However, if you want to learn alongside other passionate developers hungry for knowledge, I can't recommend this program strongly enough.
My learning experience at Mobile Makers Academy, simply put, challenging, daily and weekly, minimum 12hrs per day for the duration of the bootcamp. What kept me going(aside from my desire to finish the course, excel, and my competitive, goal oriented nature) was the compassion and ability of each and every instructor at Mobile Makers Academy to connect with and ensure success with every student that enrolls in this intensive, blood, sweet and tears program. Mobile Makers Academy sets it's cohorts up for success from day 1 by providing a unique learning experience to each and every student entolled.
I loved my experience at Mobile Makers. The most important thing I learned there is how to learn more effectively. Of course, I learned how to make iOS apps, and that gave me very valuable skills I am now able to use on my own. I can now proudly say that I can make most of, if not all of, the apps I see and use. I am currently a college student, and I do not have time for full-time employment. That being said, I applied to Mobile Makers looking to learn how to make iOS apps, but I came out of the experience with much more. I am now a full-fledged developer, with an app in the App Store that I developed on my own. But enough about me, I want to speak to the excellence of the program.
Like I said, I am a college student now. Having experienced many styles of teaching, I can say without a doubt in my mind that Mobile Makers takes the cake for giving me the most value. There are two parts of the Mobile Makers process that I think play really key roles in adding that value: observation and intuition/knowledge.
As for the observation part of the equation, I was very impressed when I saw that the instructors were being observed in an environment where the focus of the instructors was not some pressure to teach well, but instead was the students' learning processes and how to tailor the teaching styles to fit every individual students' needs. In other words, there was not an idea of making the best one-size-fits-all treaching style, but instead there was a concerted effort to individualize the learning experience from the student's perspectives. To tie that back to observation, it is important to know that the quality of the learning experiences of students made up a large part of the criteria that was used to give feedback to the instructors, or at least that's what it seemed like from my perspective. This is unlike what I have heard from my parents (both teachers) about other reviewing and feedback-giving processes. Some institutions try to give teachers feedback on attributes of the teacher. Instead, Mobile Makers seems to give a lot of attention to the teachers' actions, empowering them to change what they do, not who they are.
The intuitive and knowledge-based design of the curriculum is what allows for the above interactions to happen between instructors and education scientists. Instant feedback seemed to me like an important way to implement these kinds of interactions. The whole process of giving feedback and having the instructors revise their teaching styles reminds me a lot of the agile development style Mobile Makers emphasized for us, the students.
One last thing I would like to mention is that it seemed like everyone had a stake in our learning. It really felt like everyone cared about our improvement and was there to help us help ourselves.
I was halfway through college looking for something that was a little more bang for buck. College is okay, but you feel like the internet could teach you way more in a shorter amount of time.
Enter Mobile Makers!
Now I lived in the Chicagoland area, which was the only Mobile Makers location at the time, but I was amazed that people all over the world came to Mobile Makers. The first day we go through an orientation of sorts, and people were from Miami to Sweden to Philly.
You hit the ground running after the first day, but they make sure your keeping up. If you did the 40 hours of pre-course work, then it shouldn't be a problem. You spend each day learning something completely new, then you practice that with other classmates. I found the lessons challenging and rewarding, and most people were open to working beyond the expectation. From the 9 to 5 work schedule, I never once got bored or exhausted.
On top of that, they try to provide services to help you get to know the rest of the community. The founders also run dev shops, so most of their employees volunteered to be mentors. If that doesn't work, you can find meetups where people like to discuss anything or work on weekend projects.
The final project is a three-man, two-week asignment where your allowed to make whatever challenges your creativity. I had some great friends that had a cool idea, so we excuted that as fast as we could. Unfortunately, some people did not finish the class, but that was beyond Mobile Makers control. The final event is a graduation where people come in to see your apps.
So as for job placement, I can safely say that it's not guarunteed for most. But that's the risk you get coming in, I know other schools take a cut of your salary, which is not fair to most. Some people get hired by the Mobile Makers staff, some find work back home. I was not hired by anyone imediately, but I attended the meetups and founds some cleints there.
Now the staff and CEO has changed since I graduated, but I was happy with the quality of people at that time. I attend their events when I can, and it's great to meet newcomers. My only complaint was that my mentor did not have time during class to meetup, my only option was 8AM.
Prior to my bootcamp experience at Mobile Makers, I spent two years teaching myself how to develop iOS apps. It was hard, exhausting, and time consuming. When I got the opportunity to attend Mobile Makers, I jumped at the opportunity and haven't once regretted my decision to do so. After two years of teaching myself, I was blown away at how fast I was able to learn new material at Mobile Makers. There's a great staff there, and they are always willing to do whatever they can to provide a better experience for students. With their help, I tackled many concepts I struggled with alone, and overcame obstacles that seemed impossible before. Determination and hard work was enough to get me started, but having knowledgable people to enhance my learning made a huge difference. I'm now working as an iOS developer, and I couldn't have gotten this far, this fast alone. Mobile Makers has literally transformed my life.
From a military career, to the FBI, to spy planes in Afghanistan, to a 180 degree life decision that led me to Mobile Makers Academy's 8-week iOS Immersive Bootcamp. Now I am in Denver, and have taken an idea to a commercially selling enterprise workflow accelerator workflow effiency solution as the Lead iOS Developer for a funded startup named, Flowhub. I began building out this idea when I was found at an iOS Developer Meetup event in Denver 13 days after I graduated the program. It has been 1 incredible ride thus far.
I also mentor students who go through the same bootcamp at Mobile Makers Academy as I and I am also the iOS / Swift / Xcode support resource for Mobile Makers Academy's high school integration program. This is 1 of the coolest thing I do daily. I love helping others "see the light" just as I did when I decided to give up an 8 year career pursuit for a career in iOS Development. I love everything I get to do every day now. Mobile Makers Academy really set me up for success and I have great pride in the school so much that I have decided to aim a fair portion of my efforts in this field back towards the school that has given me so much. I remember how excited and scared I felt beginning with my iOS cohort and I want to help show others brave enough to venture into this awesome field that, we all start at the same level. We all started with Hello World. It's amazing how far you can go from there in just 8 short weeks.
Mobile Makers Academy is an incredible school that will provide the atmoshere, instruction, support, and pathway for someone who is very determined and will to put the time/effort into the program. If you give it every thing you have for the full 8 weeks, you will graduate at a skill level that will allow you to apply for junior iOS Developer positions. In this world, that title doesn't have to stick around long if you continue to push hard and learn as much as you can along the way. Luckily, if you make it this far, learning is one of the most fun parts about this field. iOS Developers will never stop learning because there is always something else to know which is part of the awesomeness that is iOS Development. If you want to code for Apple devices, Mobile Makers Academy is a fantastic choice to aim towards for a solid start into this awesome journey.
Studying in Mobile Makers was overall a great experience. You learn practical knowledge of iOS development in an enjoyable environment. The course also gets you ready for professional working environment by using agile development methodologies throughout the team projects. If you push hard enough, you can benefit greatly from the experience.
I took the Mobile Makers iOS course online. Overall I had a good experience. The curriculum was challenging, fast paced, and I had to be really resourceful to figure things out... no spoon feeding! Having taken the course online, I think it was much more challenging that if I had taken the course at the Chicago location. Online student generally have to work more alone so the learning advantages of pair programing etc made it harder for me to keep up.
I was new to iOS and OOP programming, but had a lot of technical/IT background and really had to work hard to keep up. I would suggest that if you are really a newbie with little tech experience that you take the course at the location and not online or you might be more likely to fall behind.
Also, the online course does not come with professional mentoring or coaching to help get you ready to get hired, but there are some guide docs provided.
I came into Mobile Makers with very little iOS Dev knowledge and basic programming knowledge.
After completing Mobile Makers, I felt that I had the confidence of being a professional developer.
The program I completed was the online iOS Development.
I felt that that learning assistances were awesome and the instruction was very professional.
My only complaint is that there is little job placement assistance.
MobileMakers is not like any other online education or bootcamp. My experience was amazing. I had help every step of the way. The course has a great curriculum. What I loved the most about the course is that I was given an arsenal of tools that can be used in real life. We were tought how to look and where to look for solutions, the many different ways to solve a problem and most importantly gaining confidence in your own code and your own problem solving decisions.
I completed over 20 apps, had mock interviews and also got job leads. I now have 2 iOS jobs and more coming!
Hi, Wade Sellers here... of the ELITE ALUMNI population of Mobile Makers Academy. If you truly want an experience where you get your pennies worth... This is IT!!! No I'm not lying and no I'm not being paid (although that Apple Watch giveaway did indeed, lure me in)... OK SO LET'S BE CLEAR HERE... This stuff is difficult. Becoming an iOS developer can be one of the most rewarding career fields if this is your passion but you gotta earn it which means being able to make a million mistakes and fight through them. Everyone thinks "Coding" just means building... BUT Here's a free gem of a truth for you... It's more about fixing things. Programmers arrive at solutions through trial and error... ALOT OF TRIAL AND ERROR. BUT if you like solving puzzles like that, it could be for you. FOR ME, IT ABSOLUTELY IS! I love coding apps and right out of bootcamp, I landed a job in Denver (1.5 weeks after arriving)... Here's the truth, there's more work than there are developers.. What's that mean??? YOU GET TO FLIPPIN PICK WHAT YOU WANT AND MAKE MONEY DOING WHAT YOU LOVE??? Is there even another field out there that let's you pick your job based on personal motivations and passions once your there? You'll get job offers to boot and you get to be picky... You can find the project or company you personally have an emotional connection to and take on a career you honestly care about.
Did I mention it's difficult... CUZ it is... BUT, (in Urkel voice,) No Sweat My Pet... It can be done and done well. It takes dedication and a relentless push from yourself to keep learning. Bootcamps are MAGIC... WHY??? Because you get to turn the world off. You get to say "Hey friends, family, signifigant other... I love you but I need you to leave me alone for 2 months while I do something that less than 1% of the population will achieve)... Yea dude(ette)... that's you... ELITE!!!
Mobile Makers has the top leadership teaching staff, support staff, and industry connections to give you an experience other bootcamps attempt to emulate but cannot duplicate. It's iOS, it's awesome iPhone apps, it's not webpages and yada yada... IT's FLIPPING RAD iPhone apps that everyone around you uses a bajillion times a day. You will graduate with 30 apps under your belt... WHAT? YEA I SAID IT.. I'LL SAY IT AGAIN... 30 apps built by you, on your computer, and you know every single line of code in them... CUZ... you flippin wrote them... YUP!
I'm happy to answer any questions you have on the matter... hit me up VIA twitter @waderoni if you want some more juicy details. But seriously... if you're thinking about this already, YOU KNOW YOU WANT IT... SO TAKE THE LEAP & JOIN US... We have cake!
Our latest on Mobile Makers Academy
Since the first bootcamp acquisition in June 2014, we’ve seen several coding bootcamps get acquired by a range of companies from for-profit education companies (Capella Education), to co-working companies (WeWork), and other coding bootcamps (Thinkful + Bloc)! With rapid market growth in the bootcamp industry, for-profit education companies are taking note. These acquisitions and consolidations should come as no surprise, and some have been very successful, with schools going on to increase their number of campuses and course offerings. As coding bootcamps become more mature, we are seeing them get snapped up by more well-known companies, for increasingly large sums (e.g. General Assembly for $413 million!) We’ll keep this chronologically-ordered list updated as bootcamps announce future acquisitions.
Continue Reading →
After a rocky start-up experience spotlighted her need to gain technical programming skills, Sonam Dhingra enrolled in Chicago-based Mobile Makers Academy’s eight-week iOS bootcamp. The New York native, who completed her Mobile Makers experience in July 2013 and is now an iOS developer for a Brooklyn-based digital agency, reflects on her time at Mobile Makers, including the challenges she faced, the people she met, and the valuable knowledge she acquired.
What were you doing before you started at Mobile Makers Academy?
I studied finance and operations management at Boston University, where I also did some freelance video editing on the side. After college, I got into software consulting, but I left that company after two years to establish my own mobile-based startup. The problem I had there was that I didn’t know as much as I needed to about the technical side. There were gaps in my knowledge and skills that I simply had to fill.
Did you have a technical background before you applied to Mobile Makers?
I had some technical skills, but I was pretty much a complete beginner. To say I even had an elementary familiarity with code would be stretching it. But I was attracted to technology and I like computer science; I just never thought I could do it.
Why did you choose Mobile Makers Academy?
At the time I was looking for a program [in late 2012/early 2013], there just weren’t many iOS bootcamps around. Mobile Makers Academy was actually one of the longest running ones, even though it was only about a year old at the time. I messaged people on LinkedIn who were some of the first Mobile Makers graduates and they all had positive experiences to share.
What was your cohort like?
It was definitely a very diverse group, which is part of what made it such a rewarding and rich experience. I actually remember walking into the room on the first day and I was surprised in such a positive way at the diversity. I was 24 years old at the time, but others were in their late 20s and early 30s. I was fascinated to learn where everybody came from and the different backgrounds each had – one had a legal background, another owned a coffee shop. It was huge for me to see that I wasn’t the only one jumping into the deep end. There were others doing it alongside me, and while there were some who had more programming experience, we all helped each other learn together and that was such a rewarding part of my experience at Mobile Makers.
Who were your instructors and how did they enhance your experience at Mobile Makers?
My instructors were Don Bora and Keith Alperin, both of whom were not just iOS developers, but experienced software engineers. Though they both had their own teaching styles, they were both able to teach and describe a topic in a way we could all understand. Both of them had a natural ability to take a topic and abstract it out with real-world examples and demonstrations. They also challenged us with group exercises, allowing us to explore and guiding us to solutions by asking the right questions.
Did you ever experience burnout during your eight-week Mobile Makers bootcamp? How did you push through it?
I felt over my head many times. In fact, even before I started the program, I felt I was getting in too deep, but that’s also what kept the experience so interesting and made it so rewarding. I made it through because of the teachers and the community at Mobile Makers. I wasn’t the only one in over my head and my classmates and I bonded over that shared experience, which is what really kept me going. Even some of the experienced programmers in our cohort acknowledged their struggles, which gave me the hope that I’d find a way to get through it.
Was there a specific moment during your time at Mobile Makers in which you were particularly challenged? How did you overcome that adversity?
For our capstone project, we had to create an app that we would submit to the App Store. My team of three created beMonstrous, which is a gamified to-do list for kids. Building the app was a challenge in a number ways, including the animation and the gamification it required. Truthfully, we were overly ambitious and tackled way more than we should have. That said, we got it to work, though not without some sleepless nights. When we eventually completed the app, it was a proud moment because all three of us were able to collaborate and come up with features and solutions for an interesting app.
Was there a specific project you created at Mobile Makers that you’re particularly proud of?
As exciting as the completion of beMonstrous was, especially given the complexity of that project, one of the best moments I had during my Mobile Makers experience actually happened very early. We had to create a timer app. It was completely basic, essentially a stopwatch, but I remember I was able to add sound to it. When you started the timer, you got a short pep talk; then, there was a horn when you stopped the timer. It was about 3:00 a.m. when I finally solved that problem and it felt amazing, modest as that achievement might have seemed to others. It made me realize that with a little perseverance, I could figure things out. I wasn’t going to understand everything at once, but I would eventually find a way.
What are you doing today?
I work as a junior iOS developer for Fuzz Productions, an agency in Brooklyn that builds mobile apps and websites. It’s a super creative space and a very open company with no hierarchy, which I love. When you have an idea, you’re given the power to pursue it and that’s a liberating experience. It's a wonderful job where each day is a little different and I’m putting my skills to good use.
Did you feel that Mobile Makers prepared you to get a job in the real world?
Definitely. I have a job as a developer, which is not something I would’ve ever been able to achieve without the skills I gained at Mobile Makers. I look back on the experience and, in particular, the difficulties, and see that the challenges I faced were a necessary part of the program. The challenges, though, are also what made it fun and where I was able to learn the most. Mobile Makers prepared me to work with a team, taught me how to communicate with people on a new product, and gave me the technical skills I needed to move into the professional environment.
A bootcamp's quality can be measured partly by how connected they are to their community, and two US bootcamps are leading the pack in engaging high schools in teaching students to code. Flatiron School in New York began with a summer academy, then expanded their Flatiron After School program into the academic year. Mobile Makers Academy in Chicago recently announced their partnership with Chicago-area schools to add programming into the STEM curriculum.
We compare the two programs and how they're making programming accessible to high school students.Continue Reading →
Apple released their new programming language, Swift, for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch this month. The language is meant to be interactive, fun, and works side-by-side with Objective-C so developers can use it with their current apps.
So how can you learn Swift quickly? Check out these programming bootcamps that are already offering classes in the language and get started on your next iOS project!Continue Reading →