Full Stack Engineering

Join our next cohort and learn cutting edge technologies that power the modern web.

Learn How To Apply

Program Overview

Our Full Stack Engineering course teaches students how to build modern web applications from the ground up. More importantly, students learn how to research and solve technical challenges so that they can continue upgrading their skills to stay relevant in an ever changing technology landscape.

The curriculum is designed to emulate the on-the-job training experience that an entry level developer would receive in the first few months at work. Students will create connections to their fellow classmates, guest speakers, and local employers that they will be able to call upon throughout their career.

We teach full-stack JavaScript, which for the seventh year in a row has ranked as the most widely used programming language according to the 2019 Stack Overflow technology survey. By using JavaScript for both the frontend and backend curriculum, students will practice advanced technology concepts without needing to learn a second programming language to write server code.

Training for regional tech talent

We prepare students to start their career as junior software engineers. The median salary for an entry level software application developer in North Dakota is $52k/year. Each year there are hundreds of open positions for software developers in our region alone, with thousands more projected to be created over the next ten years.

With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country combined with the fastest growing field in tech, the result is that there simply are not enough skilled software developers to meet the demand in North Dakota. Over the next decade, the demand is expected to grow even more as industries continue the digital transformation and companies compete for customers in the digital economy.

Upon graduation from this 20 week program, each student is estimated to have spent over 800 hours studying, coding, presenting, communicating, and working alongside their team of fellow classmates.


Download your copy of the program syllabus.


Read on to learn more about upcoming deadlines, the application process, curriculum, and tuition.

Upcoming Cohorts

At our Fargo, ND campus

Our next class starts in 104 days. The deadline to apply is February 26 2021.

Deadline Online Classroom
February 26 March 08 April 19 - July 23 2021
June 11 June 28 August 09 - November 12 2021
Each cohort is capped at 14 students.

The Admissions Process

Our accelerated learning program is an intense, immersive experience. Emerging Digital Academy prepares high-potential students to begin their career as professional software developers.

Completing the program may be one of the most challenging things you'll ever do. It will also be one of the most rewarding. You will rely on the camaraderie of your team and the guidance of your instructors who are committed to your success.

You don't need to be experienced with software or programming to be successful at Emerging Digital Academy. Our application process includes links and resources you can explore to make sure that a career in software development is a good fit for you.

Here's what we're looking for in a potential student:

  • The ability to perservere through failure, and the tenacity to continue experimenting, learning, and growing.
  • A strong curiosity to learn, with a hunger for new ideas.
  • A commitment to personal growth, with a drive for resourcefullness and a pragmatic approach to problem solving.
  • A commitment to empathy and inclusivity. Be a great student and an excellent teammate.
  • Enough life experience to know that a career in software development is right for you.
Learn How To Apply

What is full stack engineering?

The term "full stack" refers to a software developer's ability to understand, design, and work with software at all layers of the modern web "stack", including both frontend (web browser) and backend (server/database) layers.

There are many different software components that can make up a web stack. Once you master the domain knowledge of a particular set of technologies (like Node.js, Express, React, or PostgreSQL), the ideas and high level patterns that you learn are applicable to other environments. An experienced full stack engineer may work in a dozen or more technology configurations in their career. Learning how to navigate and research new technologies is crucial, which is why developing this skill is an integral part of our curriculum.

One example of a popular open source web stack is the NERP stack, which is named after four of the technologies used to build web applications in this configuration. Node.js, Express, React, and PostgreSQL. There are many other varieties of web stacks that include technologies such as PHP, Vue.js, MySQL, MongoDB, Angular.js, C#, Java, etc.

In Emerging Digital Academy's full stack engineering program, we teach a holistic approach to designing, developing, and working in each layer of the modern web app using technologies that not only teach the foundational concepts but are also among the most popular technologies powering the web today.

Example Web App Layers:
Presentation (CSS)
Structure (HTML)
Browser Code (JavaScript/React)
Communication APIs (HTTP/JSON)
Server Code (NodeJS/Express)
Database (PostgreSQL)
Operating System (Linux)
Platform (AWS)

Our Curriculum

The full stack course is an immersive 20-week experience that prepares students for entry level software development positions. We use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, git, React, and Node.js to teach foundational web concepts and techniques. Students learn through practical study of these tools as part of a process that seeks to emulate the on-the-job training and business context that a junior developer can expect to receive at the first few months at a real company.

In addition to industry feedback, our curriculum is kept relevant through our partnership with Minneapolis based Prime Academy. The curriculum is updated for each cohort on a monthly basis, which ensures that we teach cutting edge technologies that stay up to date with the continually changing software landscape.

The program is broken into three sections. Continue reading to learn more about what each tier has to offer.

Weeks 1-6

Online with weekly online video chats
Estimated time commitment: 15-25 hours/week

Foundations and pre-work

The first six weeks of the program focuses on foundational skills and ramping up to the full time classroom experience. Tier 1 ensures that all students come into the classroom on the same page and with a shared learning context. In addition to learning about how the web and browsers work together, students will learn how to code with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

You will work on your own schedule, learning through online training and weekly coding assignments. There are weekly video chat checkins with your instructor and classmates and a chat channel for homework help. Throughout Tier 1 there are opportunities to meet in the classroom for the weekly checkin, if your availability allows it.

Goals, Topics, and Outcomes:
  • Understand foundational concepts: how browsers, servers, and the web work.
  • Understand programming concepts: conditionals, loops, variables, functions
  • Gain familiarity with programming tools like the command line, source control, programming environment, and browser debugging
  • Learn HTML5 and CSS
  • Learn basic and intermediate JavaScript

Weeks 7-13

M-F 8:30-5:00pm + weekend homework
Estimated time commitment: 60+ hours/week

Advanced concepts in the classroom

In the classroom full-time, you will dive into the more advanced concepts of software engineering. You will learn about new technologies in a hands-on environment, with guidance from your instructors, advice from mentors, and support of your fellow cohort-mates.

Throughout the course, guest speakers from industry will present to the class, further exposing students to industry processes, real-world experience, and the technology that powers the businesses and teams in our region.

Each day presents unique sets of challenges and learning opportunities. Here is an example of what a day could look like during Tier 2:

8:00am: Coffee and conversation. We'll talk about any lingering questions from the previous day or homework assignments.

8:30am: Classroom kickoff. Before jumping into the technical lecture, we may talk about career, networking, and topics relating to the job search. On other days, we host a guest speaker to talk about their experience with industry. You'll learn about what technology they use, how their engineering team supports their business, and specialty topics from their area of expertise.

9:00am: Your instructor will introduce the technical concepts for the day. The lectures are interactive, with plenty of questions from the class, live coding, and demonstrations.

10:30am: You'll work along side a teammate to solve a morning coding challenge. Pair programming is a great way to work through problems together and have two sets of eyes to find typos and bugs.

12:00pm: Break for lunch. Time to relax and let your mind take a breather before the afternoon content. Play some cards or just take it easy.

1:00pm: The afternoon content is often more technical. With the hands-on guidance of your instructor and the support of your classmates, you'll process and practice these concepts and challenges.

3:00pm: You'll be presented your coding assignment. Your instructor and fellow classmates will go over the assignment as a group before breaking off to work on your own.

Goals, Topics, and Outcomes:
  • Learn about the modern "web stack", including frontend and backend technologies and concepts
  • Practice developing full stack web applications with JavaScript
  • DOM manipulation with jQuery
  • Building frontend apps with React
  • Building backend systems with Node.js
  • Learn about SQL and Databases
  • Develop your research skills by studying how to learn new technologies and frameworks
  • Survey of other languages for comparison and exposure (like C#, Java, Ruby, or Python)
  • Gain exposure to industry processes and techniques from our guest speakers and mentors

Weeks 14-20

M-F 8:30-5:00pm +scheduled team sessions
Estimated time commitment: 60+ hours/week

Projects and group work

The final phase of the course is all about project work and team dynamics that a software engineer would encounter in their day-to-day role on a technical team. In addition to a solo project and real-world client project, students will be working in a collaborative team environment which emulates real-world technical workflow.

After the core curriculum has been completed, students focus on two major portfolio pieces. The first piece is the solo project, where each student will solidify their understanding by building a project on their own with the support of their instructor and classmates. Each day there will be a "standup" meeting where every student talks about what they are working on, what blocks they have, and whether they need help from a fellow student or instructor.

The second project is the course capstone, where a student and their teammates will complete a project with a real-world client. Each team will practice their skills through prioritization, communication, conflict resolution, and task delegation. They will solicit ongoing feedback from the client and manage the project from start to finish. The team will present their project to the client prior to graduation.

Students will also take part in career development, with mock interviews, resume help, and career day where they will make connections with employers who are hiring.

Goals, Topics, and Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate working ability to build full stack web applications
  • Polish up your professional profile by completing portfolio projects, updating your resume, applying for jobs, and completing mock interviews
  • Complete your solo project that is unique to your interests and abilities
  • Meet with community client to scope, design, and build a real web app
  • Practice real-world team skills, including project communication, time management, conflict resolution, collaborative source control, and task prioritization.
  • Gain confidence and practice your public speaking by presenting your project to your client in a public demo
  • Participate in career day, making connections to local employers who are hiring.

Required Computer Hardware

Having access to your own computer is an important part of becoming a technology professional. All coursework will be completed on your computer. For consistency, we highly recommend a mac using the latest version of OSX, although a laptop running Linux would work as well (Ubuntu). If you have questions about your computer's specifications or would like help picking one out, please contact us. We will provide each student with an extra monitor for use during class.

Tuition & financing

Program Tuition

$15,500

  • $1500 down-payment required upon acceptance to secure cohort seat
  • $500 discount for upfront payment
  • Remaining balance due on first day of class (week 7)

There are several options for students looking to finance the tuition of the program.


Self Financing

Students who wish to self finance can work with their financial institution to evaluate personal loans. Nerd Wallet has more information. Up front payment comes with a $500 discount.


Pay-As-You-Go

Students can apply for third party financing options through Climb Credit. These options allow a student to pay for the program with a private educational loan.


Income Share Agreement

Each cohort has a limited number of Income Share Agreement slots available for students who are not eligible for traditional financing. Students agree to pay back a portion of their income for a fixed period of time once they get a job after graduation.

This is an experimental program with limited availability. Please contact us for additional information.


Scholarships & Aid

There may be additional aid programs, grants, and scholarships available through the state of North Dakota and local community partners. Please contact us for more information.

We offer a $500 discount for veterans until we are eligible to apply for the VET-TEC program.


Things to keep in mind:

  • Applying to Emerging Digital Academy is free and always will be. You do not need to have financing figured out to be accepted to the program.
  • Applying does not mean you are committed. Once accepted to the program, you are free to choose any upcoming cohort (or none at all). We encourage students who are interested in the program but are not sure about their future schedule to apply anyway.
  • You have time. Applying for financing often takes less than a couple weeks. You have time to figure out your options. Just make sure that once you're ready, you secure your spot in your selected cohort by making the refundable down payment.

For any questions about tuition, financing, or aid programs please contact us