These Penn grads are launching a dev camp for college students - Technical.ly Philly

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Jan. 25, 2016 9:12 am

These Penn grads are launching a dev camp for college students

“It's amazing how many computer science majors come out of Penn that can't build a basic app,” said Abhi Ramesh, who's part of a team that's launching Horizons Academy in Philadelphia.

Horizons Academy cofounders (left to right): Edward Lando, Darwish Gani and Abhi Ramesh.

(Courtesy photo)

Edward Lando and Abhi Ramesh learned how to build software at Penn, but not in the classroom.

The recent grads spent their college years hacking together 70-some products, including Altair Prep, a tutoring platform that Ramesh worked on with a group of friends and that won them funding from DreamIt Ventures. (Ramesh took a year off to pursue the startup but they ended up closing it after two years.)

The experience made them realize that college computer science courses just aren’t enough. (They aren’t the only ones to notice.)

That’s why they teamed up with Northwestern grad Darwish Gani, who also worked on Altair Prep, to launch Horizons Academy, a dev bootcamp designed for college students.

“It’s amazing how many computer science majors come out of Penn that can’t build a basic app,” said the 23-year-old Ramesh, talking to us on the phone during PennApps, which he, Lando and Gani attend every year. This year, they were advertising Horizons. (The snowstorm didn’t keep students from attending the major hackathon, Ramesh said. Instead, more people camped out there. There were a lot more mattresses than last year, he said.)

Dev camps that aim to prepare beginners for careers in tech, like New York Code + Design Academy, Flatiron School, General Assembly and Dev Bootcamp, are big across the country. The City of Philadelphia has even funded two. The Horizons Academy team says theirs is different because it’s designed for college students. They spent the last year designing a curriculum for it.

Lando, Ramesh and Gani plan to launch their first session — an intensive, three-month program — this summer in University City. It’ll be competitive: there are only 35 spots and they’ve already received 150 applications, Ramesh said. The class costs $14,000 or 17 percent of your first salary, if you’re on financial aid or looking for a job upon completing the program. (For rough comparisons: NYCDA’s intensive program is $10,000 and Flatiron’s is $15,000.)

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Ramesh told us they’re working on hiring developers from big-name startups as full-time teachers and marketing the program all over the city.

We also spotted their ads on Facebook.

Horizons Facebook ad.

(Screenshot)

Lando and Ramesh are splitting their time between Manhattan and Philly (a basement in University City, to be precise), but the team plans to move to Philly soon to be in the city as their first session launches.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes became Technical.ly's associate editor after reporting on the Philadelphia tech scene for four years. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.

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