prime-digital-academy-logo

Prime Digital Academy

Kansas City, Minneapolis

Prime Digital Academy

Avg Rating:4.87 ( 106 reviews )

Prime Digital Academy offers an intensive, 20-week full-stack coding bootcamp and an 18-week UX design bootcamp in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Working directly with Twin Cities tech employers, Prime Digital Academy has created programs that equip emerging engineers and designers with the skills they need to make immediate contributions. Prime students learn modern technologies, practical methodologies, and critical behavioral skills through carefully crafted curriculum and real-world projects for pro-bono clients in the community. Prime’s immersive programs empower learners from diverse backgrounds to begin their new careers in months, not years.

Prime’s full-stack engineering course prepares students with the skills and hands-on experience to develop complex software to solve businesses problems. Prime’s user experience design curriculum prepares students with professional practice in research, design and prototype software that is usable and meaningful. Prime graduates have been hired by nearly 200 companies in Minnesota, and the tight-knit learning community continues long after graduation, with students participating in mentorship, community education and ongoing alumni career support.

Recent Prime Digital Academy Reviews: Rating 4.87

all (106) reviews for Prime Digital Academy →

Recent Prime Digital Academy News

Read all (4) articles about Prime Digital Academy →
  • Full Stack Engineering

    Apply
    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    Cost$15,500
    Class size22
    LocationKansas City, Minneapolis
    Prime prepares our students to join the industry as entry-level software engineers through a program centered around a 14 week immersive classroom experience. We’ll use modern technologies like HTML / CSS, Javascript, AngularJS, React.js and Node.js to give you foundational knowledge in software engineering you’ll be apply in any technical environment.
    Financing
    Deposit$1500
    Financing
    36 and 60 month financing plans available from SkillsFund and Climb Credit
    Tuition PlansPay $1500 Deposit and remaining balance in Week 7
    Scholarship$500 scholarship to student of color accepted into the program. Additional Minnesota, Minneapolis, and St. Paul grant-based tuition support may be available for eligible accepted students.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBeginner
    Prep Work6 Weeks of required, flipped-classroom study and prep assignments.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • User Experience Design

    Apply
    Design, User Experience Design
    In PersonFull Time65 Hours/week18 Weeks
    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    Cost$15,500
    Class size22
    LocationMinneapolis
    Prime’s 18-week immersive User Experience Design program was crafted to help people with interests in design, organization and technology build the foundational skills to start a career in user experience. Prime works hand-in-hand with industry employers to ensure that graduates are ready for the challenges of building complex experiences that are valuable for businesses and resonate with users.
    Financing
    Deposit$1500
    Financing
    36 and 60 month financing terms available from SkillsFund and Climb Credit
    Tuition PlansPay $1500 Deposit and remaining balance in Week 7
    Scholarship$500 scholarship to each person of color accepted into the program. Additional Minnesota and Minneapolis grant-based tuition support may be available for eligible accepted students.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBeginner
    Prep Work6 Weeks of Online Pre-Work
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    As a former part-time college student taking the traditional Computer Science route, and a full-time blue collar worker, I left in order to pursue something that would kickstart my professional career as a Software Engineer. Prime did that, and more. 

    While learning in-depth knowledge of full-stack programming, I was also taught a wide variety of soft-skills that are prudent when working on a development team. Not only is the curriculum cutting edge, I truly believe that every teacher in the school genuinely cares about the students' well being's, and fosters their immense growth as a programmer. 

    After graduating from Prime, I can wholeheartedly say that it changed my life. I will be the first to admit that it was a very intense program, but It was well worth the journey. I'm making way more money at a job that I love doing and that I'm extremely passionate about, and none of it would not be possible without the support from Prime. 

    Needless to say, I would highly recommend Prime to anyone looking to kickstart their career in Software Engineering. 

  • Sarah D. • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    After spending far too long in retail management, I decided to go back to my love of math and logic and attempt a career in programming. I had pretty close to zero technical knowledge -- my last programming class was an AP Pascal class in high school, so that should tell you something. I really didn't know what to expect from Prime. I was in the second cohort ever, so it was clear that not everything had been ironed out with the curriculum yet. But, really, tech is ever-changing, so the curriculum should not be static, and should be flexible based upon the current market's needs.

    The skill of the instructors was astounding. I attended a fairly well-respected liberal arts college known for the quality of its instruction, and I can say for sure that Scott was one of the best teachers I have ever had. He has a knack for communicating technical concepts to newbies in a way that is just utterly impressive. He also was extremely empathetic to the needs of the class - if we were stuck on a concept, he changed his lesson plan accordingly. This is some highly tailored instruction that you and your classmates will receive.

    I know not everyone has had the same experience, but I was lucky enough to get a job with one of Prime's business partners through the Career Day held the week of graduation. The staff at Prime cannot guarantee job placement, but they do their damnedest to make sure you are given every opportunity for success.

    After worrying about my decision to attend Prime, pay the tuition, and give up work (and a social life) for several months, I can honestly say that all the worry was worth it. My decision to attend was absolutely life changing, and I don't regret a thing. If you're up for an incredible challenge, with the potential to shift careers and experience a level of personal growth that shouldn't be possible in such a short time, then Prime is for you!

  • Develop Yourself
    - 2/8/2016
    Dane S • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Some People Like bullet points...

    PROS:

    1. Intensive, immersive experience
    2. Flexible curriculum
    3. Excellent staff and instructors who care about you.
    4. Free coffee, bread, milk, cereal (SO YOU DONT STARVE!)
    5. Activly trying to be inclusive of women, people of color

    CONS:

    1. Expensive. Save your sheckles, even if you get a loan. You'll need a macbook of some sort, so account for that too. Even if you get a job right out of the school, it would be far safer to expect not having a job for a couple months after graduation. You cannot work and do this at the same time. 
    2. Open main area. Classrooms have doors, but the commons area for breakout work can get loud.
    3. Difficult to get feedback if you are doing well. Squeeky wheel gets the grease.

     

    Some People Like words...

    I came from a completely non-techical background, but have a passion for tech, people, and learning. This program was tailor made for me, I think. You must love to code. If you've never coded before, make sure you check out other free resources like codecademy to get your feet wet. If you are honest with what you want, and that desire is to get into software development, then you should really, really consider Prime.

    Prime focuses on interpersonal skills HIGHLY. It doesn't matter in the end if you can code all languages and churn out crazy complicated applications. There are people that do that already. You have to be able to work with people, communicate, and convey complex ideas in non-complex ways. If you are honest with yourself, and you love people, then you should really, really consider Prime.

    Prime is a very flexible, non-accredited school. What that means: No, you can't write this off on your taxes. Yes, they change curriculum constantly to reflect the class, the market, and the situation. Some projects are more challenging that others, but all are useful, especially if you are of the mindset that learning is the goal.

    Prime doesn't end when you graduate. The people and relationships you've built will still be there. So will access to the building and the staff. The community manager helps you navigate the job search, offers, and the psycologist will help with worries and anxieties. I graduated on January 15th, and while certainly not the majority of people in my cohort do yet, I already have a job offer. The staff asserts that about 50% of a cohort will have a job after 6 weeks. 

    Some people like code. 

    if (code && attitude && people) {

        attendPrime();

    }

    Ooh, that was nerdy.

  • Good for some
    - 2/1/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    My experience at Prime was overall positive, but I feel the need to counter-balance some of the other reviews here.

    - Curriculum was shaky. Tech stack isn't focused on actually learning strong fundamentals, and there was sometimes the feeling that *actually* learning how to code wasn't the top priority.

    - Hiring slower than advertised. Staff had to manage expectations after perhaps overestimating the appeal of bootcamp grads in the Twin Cities market.

    - Non existent hiring network--at least while I was there. This is probably something that has to develop over time, but 95% of our "mock" and real interviews were with recruiters or companies that weren't actually hiring.

    - Wide range of quality of client projects--from doing really cool work for awesome companies/non-profits to developing fake apps for Prime or Prime's parent company.

  • Take the plunge
    - 1/22/2016
    Danny R • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Prime is a group of amazing people coming together with the goal of learning and sharing insights as a team. I arrived at Prime due to a potent mix of curiousity and desperation - I had always been fascinated by coding but I never believed I'd be able to learn it without a LOT OF HELP. 

    I got that help at Prime and a hell of a lot more. Prime is a community of peope who are genuinely interested in each other's best interests. The support I recieved and continue to recieve from Prime staff has been lifechanging. If you plan on attending just make sure you are bringing every ounce of work ethic you have in you and a willingness to be open, humble and genuine - it's not easy but it is absolutely worth it!

  • Great Bootcamp!
    - 1/21/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Prime has a great balance between focusing on coding skills and soft skills. 

  • Prime Is awesome
    - 1/21/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    I graduated from Prime in January 2016. My experience at Prime was absolutely exceptional. Cohorts are 20-22 people with 2 instructors and a floating TA for the whole school. As I was somewhat early on in the program (fiifth cohort) they were still working the kinks out of the curriculum, but I thought it was fantastic. Like all other programs, like life really, you get out of it what you put into it, but I felt like the atmosphere was set up so well that it was nearly impossible not to throw a lot of energy into the program.

    I found the instructors totally capable and enthusiastic, though sometimes unwilling to answer questions which strayed too far outside of the curriculum. Most of them are young and come from a variety of backgrounds (UX, Angular, Game Design, et c.) with (from what I could tell) 8-15 years of experience each. From what I could tell most of the staff there did not have traditional CS backgrounds, for what it is worth. At least a few had outside projects that they were getting off the ground at the same time as teaching.

    The curriculum is 18 weeks total: 6 weeks of guided (and required) pre-work, they essentially give you a log-in to Code School and give you weekly assignments. The pre-work period is pretty laid-back and meant for students to complete while still working or preparing for the in-class portion.

    The in-class portion (currently located in Bloomington, MN just south of Minneapolis) is twelve weeks. There is a heavy emphasis on soft skills: public speaking, working in teams, simulating working in large groups and with clients that change their minds. It seems that the curriculum is changing with every cohort but my cohort spend two weeks rehashing HTML/CSS and vanilla Javascript. The third week we went through the full stack, building out a basic app from front to back with Angular, Node.js/Express and Mongo. They have also started teachiing Post-GreSQL. The next three weeks are solidifying the basics of full stack programming. There is generally a decent sized assignment (6-12hrs) over the weekend which incorporates whatever was learned over the week. One or two nights a week there are small assignments, but there were very few nights where I felt rushed for time. One of my few complaints with the program was that there was very little feedback on assignments or progress, though all the intructors and staff seem very open to suggestion and resonsive to any big concerns.

    After the in-class learning portion there was a two week personal project. This time was fairly hands off for the instructors, though they are always around to help. They 'Okay' a scope of work then send you on your way. I found this to be a great way to learn, but this might not work for everyone.

    The last 3-4 weeks are spent on a group project doing pro-bono work building a full stack app for a non-profit client. This is a real project with a real deadline and expectations and while it is demanding there is a lot of support provided. They put a lot of work picking high quality clients and you can see that these folks tend to be very responsive and helpful (we calculated the value and the project would cost something like $70,000+ if done by an agency).

    The last week is spent wrapping up any loose ends of projects, doing interviews with hiring partners and working though common interview questions.

    Prime is closely linked to the Nerdery and there is some cross talk between students and Nerdery folks. The nerdery has only hired a handful of grads though and this is more a friendly connection than a direct pipeline. 

    I like to think that I could have learned all the tech stuff on my own, but it would have taken a year rather than four months. The emphasis at Prime on people is massive, though. They make sure the cohorts are diverse (in gender, race as well as backgrounds) and it is a great way to network and make friends.

    I found a range of reactions to Prime in the Twin Cities tech community, many postive and exciting reactions and some who had not heard of Prime. I have yet to hear any substantive negative feedback or poor opinions yet, though they may be out there.

    Placement rates as reported to us are very good, but also vary by cohort. They make this clear, though not till the end of the program. It seems like 75% of grads get jobs by three or four months post gradutation, and 95% have jobs by six months out though these numbers will probably get even better as Prime's name gets more recognition. It has been about a week since i have graduated and I have three in-person interviews and have been recieving contacts from recruiters at the rate of about one every other day. Reported salaries out of Prime are 42k-68k/yr and while they don't say anything specific they recommend asking for 50-60k, more if you have relevant experience. They do make it pretty clear (again, at the end of the program) that it is much easier to get a position within the Twin Cities than outside. So don't expect to come to Prime then go off and get a 120k job in the Bay.

    Overall the experiance was great. There were some pretty tough parts, and I definitely have a few criticisms of the program and staff, but overall I'm super greatful I got to go through it.

  • Eric P • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Before I went to Prime I was stuck in a job that I did not enjoy and gave nothing back to me as person, or a professional. After going through Prime I'm happy to say the exact opposite. I'm exicited to go to work every day, I have a better paying job with unlimited potential that I have control over, not someone else. Not only did Prime help me perform a complete change professionally, but it also helped me personally become a more well rounded individual. My wife noticed hands down my mood not shifting out of control after a long day of work, but rather excited to talk about what I did that day and who I got to work with. All of this brought to you by Prime Digital Academy!

  • Software Engineer
    - 1/19/2016
    Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Prime offers genuine instructors who know their stuff and who will walk you through development as you're learning. The learning environment is also incredibly supportive.  One of the best things about Prime is that you're not a number or a statistic,  you are a student and every student matters.  The staff will always be there to help, support and encourage you, while you're a student and as you grow in your new career.  

     

  • Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Prime Academy is a robust, life-changing educational program run by an extraordinary staff. I could make no higher recommendation for anyone looking to get into software development. Everything from class structure to the facility seems to be engineered to promote growth and learning. You will be surrounded by people who are not only invested in their education but are passionate learners as well.

    As a student at Prime, you will be given many opportunities to improve your skills. Everyone, no matter their age or experience, will be challenged. Code isn't the only growth point at Prime. Software development is a social job, more so with each passing year. Your cohort will tackle difficult problems that will teach you how to clearly and effectively communicate with your partners. In addition, each week your cohort will attend a Toastmasters meeting to work on public speaking skills. 

    You don't need to worry about the job hunt post-graduation. After receiving your diploma (and more importantly, your Prime sweater) you will be provided with a fantastic support network comprised of past graduates and Prime staff. Combine that with the business communication practice provided at Prime and finding a job will be a piece of cake. 

    I have spoken with many of the graduates that Prime put out and not one of them regrets their choice to attend. The statistics speak for themselves, Prime is a great program that I'm sure will continue to grow and improve. If you still aren't totally convined, go attend an open house. Everyone there will be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns that you might have. 

  • Bob F • Junior Web Application Developer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    Executive Summary

    Overall, Prime Digital Academy is an excellent choice for those who are serious about making a career change into the software development field or as an alternative to the traditional 2 or 4 year college degree.  I say serious, because Prime is a seriously intense program that prepares you for employment as an entry level software developer in a relatively short period of time (18 weeks).  Prime focuses on not only intensive learning of the JavaScript based MEAN stack but also the soft skills that are necessary in today's workplace: speaking to a group or audience, teamwork, writing project scopes, interviewing, diversity awareness, and others.  Prime Digital Academy is a new bootcamp program that is getting its feet underneath it with each class that passes through its doors, but the background of the school's instructors and leadership, business network, and affiliation with the Nerdery - Prime Digital Academy has the support internally and externally for students to succeed.  My background was a professional with a 4 year college degree that was making a career change.  My selection of Prime Digital Academy was made based on their business network and vision for the program.  I do not regret my decision one bit.  Every question I had about the program was answered honestly and every expectation I had was met.

    Program Highlights

    Intense structured learning - The program is designed to keep a student out of his or her comfort zone.  Why?  This is where the greatest development and learning take place.  This will be frustrating to every student at one point or another.  However, students are monitored so that frustration does not equate to failure.  Teaching students that failure is not an "end" in itself but a means to learning and developing is one of the most valuable assets of the program.  It unlocks a curious mind, dissolves fear, and creates a safe environment to develop skills.  Software Development is about solving problems and dealing with "failure", creating the correct mindset to understand what "failure" is and how to compartmentalize it is not just a great learning strategy - but life strategy.

    Support Structure - Prime Digital Academy's staff understand the stresses created by a bootcamp environment and how to help students deal with those stressors.  The students are also an incredibly supportive group with each other and develop-mentors also interact with students in small groups to share experience about the industry, developing software, or just life in general.

    Community Support - Prime has staff that aid in preparation for entering the marketplace.  Reviewing resumes and mock interviews.  Prime also highly encourages networking via Meet Up groups and other events to meet and grow their professional network.

    Personal and Client Projects - As part of the course, students will create a personal project using the full MEAN stack and branching out into new libraries that support their personal project.  Students will also do a pro-bono group project for a real business to understand the full lifecycle of a web application from design, scope creation, coding, and presentation/delivery.  

    Program Opportunities

    One of the interesting aspects of being a business professional and changing careers, was getting to watch as a student of the program - how Prime Academy was growing and dealing with its own growing pains as a new school.  Our class was the first "production" class to go through the program.  There were curriculum updates in our program from the "beta" class that went before us and there were curriculum updates in the classes that were starting as our class was preparing to graduate - so the reality is that some or all of these opportunities have already been addressed or expectations set with incoming students.  If you have questions - Ask the staff - their only goal is for current, past, and prospective student to be successful in their new chosen field.

    6 Week Preload Period - The first 6 weeks of the program use online classes to get students up to speed on HTML/CSS and some other basic skills.  As an 18 week course - personally I would set the expectation of "Go ahead and keep your job during this 6 weeks" or make it more intense to get more value for the tuition being paid.  The first 6 weeks are "luke warm" to me.  Personally, I worked 3 of those 6 weeks, but depending on your job stress/demands, if the load is only 10-20 hours per week - keeping your primary job to save money will be helpful.  However - I would recommend at least one full week off work before the intense last 12 weeks of the program.  This time allows you to get your "house in order".  Once the intense portion of the bootcamp begins, you will have very little time for anything else.  

    The course is 18 weeks long - your period of unemployment will vary. Personally I consider Prime Digital Academy a half year (26 week) commitment from the time you start pre-work to the reasonable expectation(but no guarantee) that you'll find a job.  Please note - this is not a failing of Prime.  Prime Digital Academy does not guarantee graduates will find a job anymore than a Bachelor's Degree will guarantee you a job or a job in your field of study.  A prospective student needs to expect that becoming employed may take a couple to a few months after graduation.  This can be for any number of reasons (company HR department processes, location, macro-economic issues, etc.)  Prime works very hard with the development community to attract employers and find opportunities for graduates.  But you need to set the personal expectation that you are making a 6 month commitment - not 18 weeks to employment.  As a side note, I would recommend that you put at least as much effort into your networking with employers, recruiters, and others as you do your code.  The opportunity for building your professional network was a major reason for my choice of Prime Digital Academy and one of the things I am most proud of growing during my time there.  I also fully intend on keeping that network growing and vibrant moving forward as well.

    Final Thoughts

    If you are dedicated on moving into the software development field, Prime Digital Academy can get you to the next level.  The instruction, support, and network are second to none.  The financial and time commitment of Prime Digital Academy to my new career was well worth it and I'd do it again.

  • Anonymous • Web application developer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    The good/great:  If you are a looking to jump start your development career and want an alternative to online learning or a 2 year program, this program is a great way to do that.  You will meet amazing people and develop career connections that last a lifetime.  Also, you will be able to practice project work, for real client projects, in a team setting, which is invaluable. You will be provided with mentors, from the community and they are also wonderful and add to the experience.  

    The bad: The program is really rough around the edges in some aspects, specifically curriculum-wise.  Instructors have a lot of experience but haven't quite figured out the best way to align that to student learning, which comes at the expense of the students.  Additionally, the first 6 weeks is all based on code academy courses, and students would be better served by having Prime come up with their own 6 week pre-load, especially for the price students pay to attend.  

     

Thanks!