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Interview with our first student from NYC

Introducing Alyson Vivattanapa, a student enrolled in The App Academy’s iOS Development Bootcamp in Amsterdam. 

September the 28th marked the start of the fall semester of our iOS bootcamp. We would like to introduce you to our new students. Today we talk with Alyson Vivattanapa (30) from New York.

Did you have a background in technology before you started at the iOS bootcamp?
No. I have a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a law degree. However, I did work with several tech startups in New York and the Bay Area. The work I did was mainly administrative in nature, and occasionally I would be tasked with things like editing websites and project management. While working with software developers in the startup space, I realized I was missing a very valuable skill set in today’s digitally-driven economy because I lacked coding experience.

App programming student Alyson Vivattanapa from New York studies at The App Academy.

Now you’re enrolled at the iOS bootcamp at The App Academy in Amsterdam. That is far from home.
Yes, it is. While traveling through Europe last year, I fell in love with the Netherlands. More specifically, Utrecht, a city which I find truly cozy or 'gezellig' as the Dutch say. I decided to move here. At the same time, my interest in coding grew exponentially. I played around with HTML and CSS and looked into Python and Ruby on Rails. When I discovered The App Academy’s iOS bootcamp in Amsterdam, the idea of developing mobile applications just seemed like such an intuitive choice for me. I decided to take the plunge.

Happy with your choice?
Absolutely. The bootcamp is impressive. When I moved from New York to the Netherlands to join the program, it felt like I was taking a huge leap of faith—but it was definitely the right move for me. I’ve learned so much in such a short time, and the instructors are excellent. The first week, we started learning Swift. By the second week, we were onto Objective-C. At times, taking in all the new information was challenging, but ever since we started working on our first team apps, everything we have learned has started to synthesize. When I call friends and family in the U.S. and start talking to them about levels of abstraction and frameworks, I realize how far I’ve come.

Learning to code is more than just learning to write syntax down. I would say it’s more about learning to think and how to solve problems.

How are the instructors in the program?
Daniel Salber is excellent. Learning to code is more than just learning to write syntax down. I would say it’s more about learning to think and how to solve problems. Daniel is extraordinarily patient and doesn’t spoon-feed the information. He walks us through debugging issues, but doesn’t hand over answers. It kind of reminds of the Socratic method from law school. It’s very effective.

Jasper Stokman, one of our other instructors, is also a great asset. Jasper is an alumnus from The App Academy’s pilot program. His insight is beneficial because he knows what it was like to be a student at the bootcamp, and he also worked professionally as a developer upon completion of the program. He offers commiseration when we get frustrated with the code, but he also represents the light at the end of the tunnel peering at us from the other side. He’s wonderful to work with.

What are your plans for when you graduate from the program?
After the bootcamp, I would like to start working as an iOS developer in The Netherlands. I’m currently working with one of The App Academy’s recruiting partners.

The App Academy is the Dutch coding academy offering bootcamp trainings in Amsterdam and London. We teach full-time iOS programming which covers all aspects of developing native mobile apps. Our bootcamps are intensive and prepare you to start working as an app developer at an agency, software company or on your own project.

During the bootcamp you will build mobile apps with fellow students. This will prepare you for a final graduation project and showcase on your app portfolio.

_code for it!

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