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In the ever-unfolding drama of the technology world, the conflict dominating the stage is how to successfully create mobile apps. The question persists in front and behind of the curtain as entrepreneurs, investors, and executives act out their roles before a growing audience of smartphone users.
Multiple plotlines are at work. It makes for a complicated narrative of monetization schemes such as real-time bidding for advertising, premium business models, and apps with no revenue stream that run on a dedicated user base and hope. The growing importance of a strong mobile presence, combined with a shortage of talented mobile developers, further adds to this tension.
What a scene for HackRocket to enter.
HackRocket is an online iOS bootcamp featuring a cast of mobile development and business experts as instructors. It has officially opened its doors for applications and is ready to put the next generation of aspiring founders through its training program.
The 12-week program occurs completely online via live video feeds. It’s designed for students who already have a background in technology. The curriculum focuses on iOS development, with 10 hours of coding instruction a week at its core. In addition, it sports six hours a week of guest lectures that deal with topics relating to entrepreneurship.
“The course covers everything from A to Z,” founder Paul Vieira said. “We will offer help with design, app store optimization, copywriting, wire framing, budget creation, UI/UX, marketing, monetization, as well as language instruction. It is not just about building an app, it is about building a business.”
Classes are from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, which makes it most convenient for people in Europe and the U.S. Interested people in Australia and Asia can also participate, if they are willing to stay up late. Applications will close on August 31. Tuition is $3,500. The first class consist of 26 people and classes begin on September 10. To apply, go to http://hackrocket.com/apply/.
One of the featured instructors is Justin Beck, a young entrepreneur who has worked at both Google and Microsoft and currently runs his own gaming company, PerBlue. He has talked at conferences around the world. He covers how to translate coding skills into lucrative opportunities. According to Beck, many developers aspire to be found startups but do not have the right mindset.
“Technology is the underpinning of everything,” Beck said. “But to start a successful company, you have to have understand business, too. Being a good CEO is also about ‘softer’ things like public speaking, money management, organization, and social skills. It is about taking ownership and shifting your thought processes. These behaviors can fundamentally change the trajectory of a person’s life.”
The bootstrap mentality is a key component of HackRocket. Other programs, like Code Academy in Chicago and Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, are location-based. HackRocket’s cources occur remotely and online. Without the structure of a classroom, students have to be highly motivated and self-directed to benefit from the curriculum.
The primary program instructor is veteran mobile developer Bear Cahill. Over the course of his career, Cahill has helped develop over 80 mobile apps and is familiar with just about every programming language out there. He has worked with major companies like IBM, Ericsson, and Travelocity as well as with small startups and individuals. The veteran developer is a firm believer in the importance of practical, as well as theoretical, experience.
“Many of the training courses out there are either video, so there is no live interaction, or condensed, so there is no time to go off and work on assignments,” Cahill said. “This is a new paradigm on the language learning model. My favorite part is hearing new ideas and seeing them develop overtime and come to life. With this type of course, we can all benefit from that.”
The students are expected to tune in daily to the lectures, but they must also draw on their own initiative to collaborate with their classmates during off hours. In addition to a lower cost and the convenience of being able to learn from anywhere, HackRocket also allows participants free time to work on independent projects.