Mobile Makers was formed for beginners who want to start a career in tech. By learning Objective C and Xcode, the right candidate could become an iPhone app developer, we argued. But who is the right candidate?

After graduating more than 100 students in the last 16 months, we’ve gotten pretty good at identifying which applicants are poised for success, and our observations back up our founding premise: no prior experience is required.

That’s not to say it’s easy, though. Every cohort has people who struggle mightily, and sometimes we even lose one or two who decide they can’t cut it. We hate that, because we know that they had the potential to make it—that’s why they got in. 

Recently we surveyed graduates about their experience at Mobile Makers (part of our attitude that we can always do better), and the results showed a striking correlation between the time students spent on our pre-course materials, and how prepared they felt during their first week in the program. We know that people who start out feeling pretty good tend to remain more confident throughout the bootcamp, so we wanted to understand what defined those who did well.

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As these graphs indicate, about 82 percent of respondents spent 21 or more hours on the pre-course materials, and a notable 91 percent felt at least "somewhat prepared" (3 on the scale of 1 to 5). One graduate commented, "Stress the importance of pre-course work to incoming Makers, emphasizing that although many Makers report needing about 30 hours, those coming from a non-tech background and/or those who haven't had intense learning in some time should allocate even more hours."

Are you listening, applicants? We’re here to guide you to your goals, but you hold the key to success in your own hands.

There’s one more important survey response we want to share:

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We feel pretty good about those numbers. But we know if we work harder, we’ll be even more successful.