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This article was published on May 1, 2015

10 best coding bootcamps for those on a budget, both online and in-person

10 best coding bootcamps for those on a budget, both online and in-person
Lauren Mobertz

Lauren Mobertz is a New York-based freelance writer and editor who specializes in startups, labor, and digital nomadism. When she’s not writing about the career moves of gutsy millennials, Lauren is usually running in strange places or trying to dance Brazilian zouk. You can find more of her work on Medium

Web and software developers are among the most sought after on the job market today, so it’s no wonder that learning to program can pay off big. But if you’re looking for a piece of the Raspberry Pi, your cost of entry can be quite steep: intensive programming courses can cost upwards of $15,000!

If you’re serious about learning to program, your luck hasn’t yet run dry. Industry leaders around the world are teaming up to help you join their ranks. Even if you’re on a budget, scholarships, innovative financing options, and affordable online coding bootcamps are waiting to prepare you for your coding destiny.

Below you’ll find a review of the best coding academies for coders on a budget.



Cost: $2999 for 3-6 months (depending on completion time) with a 5-day free preview.

Format: Online

Location: Remote

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Duration: Three or six months (student choice) with courses starting every Monday.

Subjects: Web development, UX DesignUI Design, iOS Development

Selling point: Though CareerFoundry’s courses are self-paced, your personal mentor will help keep you on track with daily task reviews and weekly Skype sessions.

Trade-off: CareerFoundry is building its portfolio of international connections, but currently its strongest contacts for recruitment are in the EU.

Coding party

App Academy

Cost: Free upfront; if you are hired as a developer after the program, 18 percent of your first year’s salary will be due back to the Academy as a placement fee, payable within your first six months on the job. The Academy also requires you to pay a $5,000 initial deposit that will be returned if you show up on time and keep with the course.

Format: In-person

Location: San Francisco, New York

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Duration: 90-100 hours/week for 12 weeks

Subjects: Ruby on Rails, PostgreSQL, JavaScript, jQuery, Backbone.js, HTML5/CSS3

Selling point: App Academy doesn’t get paid unless you get a job after completing the program, making it highly incentivized to place you. In 2014, 98 percent of App Academy graduates received offers in tech jobs with average starting salaries of $105,000 in San Francisco and $89,000 in New York.


Trade-off: You’ll owe a percentage of your income, which could ultimately cost you more money than a fixed tuition price. by thoughtbot

Cost: Free tuition with a $500/week stipend

Format: In-person

Location: Various in US; London, Stockholm

Level: Intermediate to experienced

Duration: 40 hours/week for three months

Subjects: Web and graphic design, web development, iOS development

Selling point: Work on real projects with guidance from your own mentor; high potential to be hired on as a full-time developer at thoughtbot once your apprenticeship ends.

Trade-off: You must have some experience as a developer to be accepted.


Craftsmanship Academy by RoleModel

Cost: Scholarship or $15,000 bond with paid apprenticeship and residency.

Format: In-person

Location: Holly Springs, NC

Level: Beginner

Duration: 48-80 hours/week for 1 year, with holidays

Subjects: Software development

Selling point: Potential to be hired as a junior developer at RoleModel.

Trade-off: Work for minimum wage during later stages of program to pay back your scholarship.




Cost: $6,000 with early bird pricing and full scholarships available.

Format: In-person

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Location: Chicago, Costa Rica, New York, Ottowa, Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo

Duration: 11 hours/day for 10 weeks

Subjects: HTML 5, CSS3, Boostrap, JavaScript, JQuery, Git, Ruby on Rails, SQL, Angular JS

Selling point: A “flipped” education model where students work on projects in the classroom and experience course material on their own time.

Trade-off: No built-in job fairs.



Cost: $25 or $49/month with 14-day free trial

Format: Online

Location: Remote

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Duration: 45 hours of self-paced learning (7-8 hours/week for 6 months).

Subjects: Ruby on Rails, PHP

Selling point: Treehouse for Groups helps organizations offer professional development courses to their members.

Trade-off: Courses are based heavily on video lectures.

coding php



Cost: $200/per month with 1 week free trial; scholarships available through third parties.

Format: Online

Location: Remote

Level: Beginner to experienced

Duration: 10 hours/week or more for 6-12 months, depending on the program selected.

Subjects: Development, programming, software engineering, data analytics

Selling point: Courses designed to lead to “nanodegrees” respected by industry professionals.

Trade-off: Self-pacing means you could take longer to complete a course and, ultimately, pay more than expected (but in the end you’re likely to pay MUCH less than you would for most in-person bootcamps).


Tealeaf Academy

Cost: $475, $610, or $1,485 per course with a free introductory prep course

Format: Online

Location: Remote

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Duration: Self-paced, 15-20 hours per week (20-30 if you’re new to programming) for 4 months, with the option to condense or stretch the duration of your studies depending on your pacing needs.

Subjects: Ruby on Rails

Selling point: Sweet money-back guarantee if you don’t find the courses helpful; kinda like a university offering to refund you a course that led you nowhere.

Trade-off: You’ll need a decent amount of self-discipline to succeed at Tealeaf (hence their money-back guarantee).



General Assembly’s Web Design Circuit

Cost: $1,500 with payment plans available.

Format: Online

Location: Remote

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Duration: 8-10 hours/week for 12 weeks

Subjects: HTML, CSS, web design basics, email design, responsive web design principles

Selling point: Meet one-on-one with your class mentor each week.

Trade-off: Curriculum cannot be tailored to individual student needs.



Cost: $4,000 or $4,500, depending on your payment plan, with a free two-week intro course.

Format: Online

Location: Remote

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Duration: 15 weeks

Subjects: HTML & CSS, Ruby on Rails

Selling point: One-on-one mentorship and a group project, so you can experience what it’s like to code as part of a team.

Trade-off: One of the costliest online coding bootcamps.

Read Next: The skills gap is widening – but here’s how you can close it

Image credit: Shutterstock

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