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Software Guild

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Software Guild

Avg Rating:4.67 ( 151 reviews )

The Software Guild offers immersive full-time, online, 12-week or part-time, 10 to 14-month coding bootcamps. Courses focus on .NET/C# and Java and do a deep dive into the language fundamentals, server side, data tier, user interface, and tools. Software Guild focuses on .NET/C# and Java because those stacks are stable, proven, and in highest demand in the enterprise. The Software Guild takes driven beginners, or more experienced students passionate about development, and prepares them to compete for jobs as professional developers.

Prospective applicants must fill out an application, complete an admissions interview, take an aptitude assessment, and complete Software Guild’s Introduction to Web Development. The Software Guild looks for applicants who are self-starters with high levels of motivation and tenacity who know when to ask for help, work well with others, keep positive attitudes in the face of adversity, love learning and problem-solving, and are excited to build cool new things.

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  • Java

    Apply
    MySQL, AngularJS, HTML, Git, JavaScript, jQuery, CSS, Java
    OnlinePart Time60 Hours/week43 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$13,750
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    Our 12-week Java coding bootcamp teaches you everything you need to know to enter junior developer roles in the workforce. We provide career preparation, portfolio development and help with your resume and the interview process. Learn from expert instructors with an average of over 10 years of industry experience in our classrooms remotely. Experience immersive education and change your life by learning software development skills.
    Financing
    Deposit$125
    Financing
    Options available through SkillsFund and Climb Credit
    Refund / GuaranteeRefund yes, Guarantee no
    ScholarshipThe Software Guild offers several different discounts, including for ‘Women in Tech’ and ‘Veterans Who Code ’
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelN/A
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • .NET/C#

    Apply
    HTML, C#, .NET, CSS
    OnlineFull Time60 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$13,750
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    Our 12-week .NET/C# coding bootcamp teaches you everything you need to know to enter junior developer roles in the workforce. We provide career preparation, portfolio development and help with your resume and the interview process. Learn from expert instructors with over 10 years of industry experience in our classrooms remotely. Experience immersive education and change your life by learning software development skills.
    Financing
    Deposit$125
    Financing
    Options available through SkillsFund and Climb Credit
    Refund / GuaranteeRefund yes, Guarantee no
    ScholarshipThe Software Guild offers several different discounts, including for ‘Women in Tech’ and ‘Veterans Who Code’
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelN/A
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Chad Rehm • Web Developer • Graduate
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     I graduated from the SWG on July 31, 2015.  I got my job at Kinetic Data a week and a half after the course ended.  I love what I do.

     I've never thought that I would find feild where everone was like me and into the same things that I'm into.  Yesterday I was walking though another companies shop looking at the pictures on the walls and the trinkes at people desk.  There where Majic cards, Star Trek posters,  and a room theamed after Lord of the Rings.

    The only reason I am in the position that I am today is because of the SWG.  Thank you to Joanna Rizzo, Alec Wojciechowski and Eric Wise.

  • No Regrets
    - 1/4/2016
    Anonymous • Graduate
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    Prior to attending the Software Guild, I had a job. But now, I have a career in a field that I love, and that wouldn't be possible without the Guild. I took a huge risk leaving a job that paid well to pursue something that I was passionate about. Before the course was even completed, I had already received an offer and started working the very next week in a great company where I can grow as a developer. And it just so happens that it pays more. The instructor was amazing: Austyn went above and beyond, putting up with all my questions, both the good and the bad. I attended the Java cohort, but am currently working for a company that develops in both C# and Java. While I didn't learn any C# in class, I am very comfortable extrapolating what I do know about programming in Java and seeing similarities between languages in order to quickly understand what is happening in the code. 10/10, would attend again.

  • Andrew West • Jr. Software Developer • Graduate
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    Alec and Kevin, the .NET instructors, are knoledable and enthusiastic teachers, They challenged us and helped us learn a lot in a very short ammount of time.  The job placement assistance by Jo and Kip was invaluable as well.  They really husseled to put a lot of oppertunities in front of each student.  While I focused on learning they helped me apply to a dozen good positions and get several interviews.  Half our class had jobs before we even graduated.

    There are a few orginizational issues since this is the first year of classes for this bootcamp, such as some quizes having wrong answers.  But they are taking feedback seriously, so I wouldn't be concerned and they were realitivly minor issues anyway.

  • Troy Laird • Software Developer • Graduate
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    I developed an interest in software development after taking a couple weeks of an intro to java course at my local community college. I realized I’d have to take at least 2-4 more years of dull college courses in order to begin working as a developer. That’s when I started researching programming bootcamps. After some research I decided to interview with The Guild. It was the closest camp to my hometown, Pittsburgh, and the price tag (10k) is far more affordable than other programs. Additionally, it’s one of the only camps that teaches the .NET and Oracle stacks – two foundational languages of modern enterprise systems. When I saw the opportunity The Guild offered, and its proven results through the success of its  prior members, I was sold.
     
     Before going to The Guild I had attended and promptly dropped out of  3 different undergrad programs in 3 years. I could never see how the costs of a university (both time and money) could be justified, especially when taking classes that were mandatory but seemed entirely irrelevant to learning a skill and getting a job. I thought I would never find an educational system I truly enjoyed - The Guild proved me wrong. The apprenticeship model is one that many vocational schools employ and one which suits software development well. Throughout my time in the cohort, there was always an experienced instructor available to offer guidance. They were enthusiastic and more than willing to help if I was struggling with a concept or wanted to know more about a particular topic. Not only did they teach the material in the curriculum but their enthusiasm for technology and development is contagious. You’ll leave The Guild with an even bigger appetite for learning and improving your newfound skills. 


    A little over 6 months ago I was a food delivery driver. Before that I held various gigs within the service industry. Clearly I didn’t have the best credentials for a job in IT. Despite that I accepted an offer in the 11th week of the cohort and two weeks after  graduating in July, I was working as a .NET developer for a company in downtown Cleveland. (Though I studied Java, the fundamentals they teach allow you to be ‘language agnostic’ - you can easily transfer from one language to another. I’m currently developing in C#, VisualBasic and AngularJS, none of which I studied in depth at The Guild) As long as you have  a desire to learn and a determination to succeed, The Guild will give you the skills to become an entry level software developer. More than that, they prepare you for the job search by critiquing your resume as well as conducting mock tech interviews. They also provide networking events through which you can meet prospective employers and recruiting agencies. Though the job search is initially intimidating, The Guild helps you every step of the way.

    If you want to be a developer and you’re looking for the next step to take, look no further. The Software Guild is your ticket to a new career and a new life!

     
  • Eddie Campbell • Applications Developer • Graduate
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    I was a music major who decided to turn my programming hobby into a career. By the end of my 12 weeks as a C#/.NET apprentice at the Guild, I’d received six job offers from six great companies, learned an incredible amount, and connected with some amazing people. I’m now happily employed as a developer at a fantastic company.

     

    My Background:

    In the 7 years since getting my music degree, I’d been working at various jobs ranging from microbiologist to audio engineer to teacher. I’d studied programming on my own as a hobby, and eventually decided that I should pursue it as a career since I enjoyed it so much. So I enrolled in a Master’s program in Computer Science from a local university.
     

    It didn’t take long for me to realize I wasn’t satisfied with Grad School: there was little to no hands-on work, they weren’t teaching me up-to-date technologies or practices, and the quality of the instruction was very questionable. I knew I loved coding, but I saw that I couldn’t trust that I was getting a quality education.
     

    So I found out about the Guild, applied, and drove from Atlanta to Ohio to attend the April 2015 cohort. And it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.

     

    What You Learn:

    When I heard people say things like “you’ll learn the skills and technologies that employers actually look for in a junior developer,” I was skeptical. But really, honestly, seriously, they weren’t exaggerating at all.
     

    How do I know? During the last few weeks of the cohort I interviewed at 8 different companies, some of which hadn’t even heard of the Guild.  I had no problem with the technical interviews, I was familiar with the technologies the companies worked with, and I had plenty of hands-on experience to draw from and talk about – all thanks to my time at the Guild.
     

    As you’ve probably read elsewhere, you’ll get a solid foundation as a full-stack developer. You won’t just learn the technologies, you’ll learn how to write code that’s organized, effective, testable, and maintainable. You’ll learn this from great people with years of industry experience who are here to help you. I know I sound like an advertisement right now, but seriously, it’s all true.

     

    The Lofts / Akron:

    With the Lofts, you’re mostly paying for convenience – it’s a short walk to the guild and the rooms are fully furnished. The building is clean and relatively new, but they are very much “student lofts” so expect a dorm-like environment. You can’t open the windows, which is really annoying.
     

    Living in downtown Akron isn’t bad, there are plenty of places to eat within walking distance, and plenty more a short drive or bus ride away.
     

    The Instructors:

    These people are awesome. As part of the April 2015 cohort we got to work with some of the new teachers in training, so we got to work with many more people than we expected and they were all great.

     

    • Eric Wise is a phenomenal teacher. It’s too bad he won’t be directly teaching any more courses, because he’s extremely talented and insightful when it comes to teaching coding. But as long as he remains at the helm as Chief Academic Officer, I know the Guild could not possibly be in better hands.
    • David Balzer is an industry veteran who came to the Guild as a new teacher. Besides being a very knowledgeable and effective teacher, he’s an incredibly nice guy. No matter the issue, he’s always happy to sit down with you and help you solve the problem.
    • Sarah Dutkewicz is an amazing mentor. Whether you need career advice, help with a coding issue, a thorough critique of your project, a mock interview, or just someone to talk to, Sarah is there and she’s fantastic.

     

    Advice for Newcomers:
     

    • Do the pre-work.
    • Communicate often with your teacher and mentors there. Even if you think you’re doing fine with the material, you have the benefit of being able to get feedback from an industry veteran any time you want. There is ALWAYS something they can tell you that will make you a better developer, and you’d be a fool not to take advantage of that.
    • Do every single little bit of work that is suggested by the teacher. You’re not graded on anything here, so it’s not enforced, but when the teacher suggests a little something you can do to go the extra mile, do it. Because every single time I did that, I didn’t regret it. And here’s the biggest reason why:
    • Every little bit of experience you get at the guild is valuable, and when you start getting into in-depth interviews you’ll see why. Employers want to know about projects you worked on, what your role was, how you went the extra mile, what you struggled with, how you overcame it, what technologies you used, how you personally approach problems using those technologies, and a million other things. If you come to the Guild with the right attitude and work ethic, you will have no shortage of answers to those questions, and that goes a long way when it comes to presenting yourself to potential employers and ultimately getting the job you want.

     

    In conclusion:

    As others have noted, you get out what you put in. It’s hard work – it’s a constant stream of new demands and new material, and you basically have to put your entire life on the backburner for three months. But the Guild is a means to turn that energy into enormous personal growth, a solid skillset, and a career change. For what it’s worth, I found the experience to be much more inspiring, challenging, useful, and rewarding than the Computer Science program I was enrolled in at a local university.

     

    Before I went to the Guild, I had a lot of trouble convincing myself that this was the right thing to do, since on the surface it seemed too-good-to-be-true. But now I did it, and my entire life has improved for the better – I now have the job I’ve always wanted, and I am confident that the Guild gave me a solid foundation of skills, connections, resources and experience on which I can continue building my career. 

  • John Willis • Software Developer • Graduate
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    I attended the April cohort in 2015, and then became ill during the course. I was given an offer to go into the June cohort at no additional charge and finish up the program.

    I have no degree. I've been at work two weeks now and I feel like the guild prepared me to be a software developer far better than a CS degree at many colleges would have.

    All of the instructors are willing to put in extra time and effort for you if you are trying to figure something out, even outside of classroom hours. I feel like if I need something all I need to do is ask. Even after graduating from the guild, I have this support network on top of the one I developed with fellow alumni. 

    I'm a believer that someone can learn just about anything they want to on their own with the available resources on the internet. That said, after going through the guild I can see that a lot of the things I've picked up I might not have known about for years, and some of them I might never have learned simply due to not being aware of them. The instructors have years of mistakes THEY have dealt with, and can help you understand why going down certain paths lead to...bad things, and why other options tend to work better for something you are trying to accomplish. It helped me build a good foundation to starting a career as a developer.

    What you get out of the guild is going to be what you put in. Learning involves participation. This isn't a "free ride to a job", it's an investment in yourself. The people that put in more work were noticeable, not only by other students but by companies. They gained a SOLID understanding, and could express that to others when spoken to. Go to game night every week. Meet alumni. Ask them about where they work and what it's like there. Make friends, and have a good time. 

    Just to reiterate: if you go, participate, and put in the work, you will get what you want out of this bootcamp. I had three companies making offers before the end of the cohort, and I didn't even follow up all of the ones from the employer connect event. The demand is there, and the people at the guild are willing to help. It's up to you to take advantage of that.

    One other thing-don't worry too much about which curriculum you select. They are close enough that good employers won't be terribly concerned. I went through the C# course and accepted a role working with Java. I know a lot of other alumni have gone the other way as well.

  • Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Here is my review after working for 10 months as a full-time enterprise developer:

    The Guild has prepared me very well. I work for a large enterprise corporation as a back end web services developer. My team writes the API for both the mobile and native applications. I work with a team of talented senior developers. I am the most junior developer on the team but I am not treated as such. I am given complex, interesting problems to solve. I am treated more as a mid-level developer.

    Most importantly, I am continuouisly improving my skills and becoming a better developer. The most important thing you can learn at the Guild is how to learn. Ask a lot of questions from your instructor so you know what to ask on the job. Learn how to learn a new framework. 

    Again, highly recommend. I have a bright career future ahead of me.

    Thank you!!

     

    Here is my initial review after I got my job.

    This review is for the August 2014 Java cohort with Eric Ward.
    TL;DR: Took a chance, did the camp, had a great time, got a job doing exactly what I wanted, couldn't be happier.
    I really can't say enough good things about SWC Guild. 
    My background: 26 years old, BS in Chemical Engineering. I worked as a chemist for year, then got into IT, working as a business analyst. I liked the bit of programming that I got to do and as time went on, I wanted to keep doing more and more development. Unfortunately, there wasn't an opportunity for that at the organization I was with, so after carefully considering all the bootcamps, putting together a budget, and talking through it multiple times, I quit my job and moved to Akron for 3 months.
    A few reason why I picked SWC Guild over all the other bootcamps:

    • They teach Java and C#, which are enterprise development languages that established companies all over the country use
    • They have a mature, no-nonsense approach towards software development, and the career path of software engineering
    • Akron is a lot more affordable than San Francisco or New York

    My skill level when I got in: I could solve pretty much any puzzle in Ruby but I didn't really understand object-oriented programming (like what does static mean? and what exactly is instantiation and when do you use it?). I firmly believe that if you enter with that background, study hard and put in the time, and ask questions to really understand the material, you can come out of here as an almost mid-level developer, what to speak of a solid junior dev.
    This is what we did the first week: we learned about control flow (if/else statements, for loops, etc) and wrote rock-paper-scissors. This is what we did at week 12: we had a fully functioning, full stack asset management system that was hooked up to MySQL and written in Java, running Spring framework. It had multiple features, users, and working login/security. You will be able to write this FROM SCRATCH. I think that speaks for itself.
    Skills I learned: Java, Spring Framework (and everything that goes along with that), Spring MVC, Git, MySQL, Maven, Front-end (HTML, CSS), Javascript (AJAX & jQuery).
    Eric Ward is a great instructor. I was initially worried about how much 1-on-1 time I would have, but have no worries. He is completely accessible, and I spent many afternoons talking to him about all things software engineering. He is extremely patient and encouraging, fostering a very good learning environment. He is also willing to explore other things you may be interested in even if they are not on the curriculum. I was interested in integrating Spring Social (login with Facebook or Twitter) and we got that working at the end of the cohort. 
    A lot of people got jobs in the area through the open houses and hiring network. Today is the last day of the cohort and almost everyone (I think 9/12 in the Java class and 13/15 in the C# class) have accepted offers. This is BEFORE we even finished. I was out of state and always knew I was going back to Colorado. I started applying at the beginning of week 9 and accepted an offer at the beginning of week 12. I had 5-6 more interviews in the later stages that I respectfully declined and ended. In other words, even if you want to go back home, it's not an issue. The Guild is also working on expanding their hiring network to other states. 
    I stayed outside the Lofts in a house about 5 min drive from the Guild. It was a room I found through Airbnb with people who rent to grad students. I can share details with anyone who's interested.
    I am starting as a back-end Java/Spring MVC developer on Dec 1 in the place I wanted to live, doing exactly what I wanted. 
    Again, highly recommend the class, instructor, and career opportunities.

  • Suzanne Martinez • Applications Programmer • Graduate
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    I finished the April 2015 cohort in July with a job already lined up as an Applications Programmer.  I have a Business Analyst and (some) IT background but no programming experience.  My expectations were to learn new skills and find a job soon after finishing the guild.  My expectations were not only met but exceeded.  We were told to expect interviews and offers before the end of the cohort but I had my doubts.  But the Guild delivered and I had several interviews and offers.  

    The Employee Connect event (a speed-dating interview event with several employers) is amazing!  It takes down the first hurdle of getting in front of potential employers to discuss how your skills match with the positions they need to fill.  And the companies are diverse - large, small, well-known, not-so-well-known.      

    The cohort is TOUGH!  A lot of information is thrown at you so unless you have a significant programming background, expect to struggle at least initially.  But with hard work, long hours, and using the support network, you will succeed.  I was fortunate to have 2 instructors.  My cohort was lead by Eric Wise but David Balzer also taught as he prepared to start his own class.  Both are extremely knowledgeable and patient, willing to sit for as long as it took for me to understand.  And there are several individuals available during non-business hours, as well.  While it is a challenging experience, the process works!  I highly recommend this program because it is decision you will not regret.

  • Lindsay • mid-level developer • Graduate
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    I’m an alumnus of the first 2013 C# cohort of the Software Guild. I accepted a job with my current employer shortly before completing my course with the Guild. I earned a promotion to mid-level developer after eighteen months, and I’ve been with them for two years now. Prior to joining the Guild, I had little experience with coding. I was familiar with HTML and CSS, and had completed several tracks on Codecademy. Online tutorials are fine for learning syntax, but could not match the in-depth education I received in the Guild.

    The first half of the twelve-week program was the most intense, covering topics including language fundamentals and data modeling. While a lot of this material came easily to me, (SCG founder) Eric did a good job providing a surfeit of exercises and projects so that I always felt challenged and was never bored. It's true that you will get out of this program only as much as you put in, so be prepared to devote a portion of your evenings and weekends to extracurricular study.

    To excel, I also think you need to be comfortable with uncertainty and "failure". Eric believes in allowing apprentices to pursue wrong paths to dead ends in order for them to learn from their mistakes. This certainly prepared me well for my job, where I spent the first year learning and developing in a Java-based platform that was not only new to me, but new to the company. If a C# apprentice can successfully switch to being a Java developer, it speaks to the solid base in good design principles instilled by the Guild.

    My final comment would be that I found Eric to be very open to communication and feedback about any and all aspects of the Guild experience. Whether it was feedback about a lesson plan or a particular exercise, class structure or job hunting, he was willing to both share his knowledge and experience, and accept and incorporate my perspective. I felt like I was not just a student receiving a series of lessons from a syllabus, but a contributing member of a community.

    Verdict: Would Recommend.

  • Barry D. • Programmer I • Graduate
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    Joining the August 2014 cohort of what was then The Software Craftsmanship Guild was one of the best decisions of my life.  In three months it took me from a non-existant IT background to a junior developer position at a local Ohio company.

    Before the Guild, the extent of my computer programming knowledge was writing simple BASIC commands on an Apple IIe back in middle school (yes, I'm old).  Much changed in 12 weeks, however, as I was subjected to intensive, all-day training in software and web development, as well as database structures and basic administration.  

    You may often hear the the Guild's program is "like drinkning from a fire hose," and it's an apt metaphor.  The information comes fast and you have to sink or swim.  Not having an It background, I think, made things a little more difficult for me, and it wasn't until about the 4th week that things really started clicking for me.  My wife has been a software engineer for 15 years and even remarked that the tasks we were doing at the Guild were more advanced than many of the things she did in college.

    Post Guild I have been employed as a junior dev at a Northeast Ohio insurance company for the past nine months.  The Guild program prepared me well for this position.  Actually, it prepared me too well.  Eric Wise is fond of saying that the classroom exercises at the Guild are more difficult than anything you will be doing as a junior dev.  In my case that was true, but it also prepared me to be able to take on more responsibility and better understand the concepts behind the company's code and databases.

    TL;DR it was a wonderful experience that changed my life for the better.  I made some great friends and found I was capable of doing something I had never thought about previously.  If that sounds like something you, dear reader, would like, then my advice is to apply.  Do it.  Do it now!

  • Tad • Software Apprentice • Student
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    What can I say other than the guild has delivered on every aspect.  To succeed I had to work harder than I have ever had to work in my life for three month.  The amount of information that was thrown at me was terrifying at first.  The whole “drinking through a fire hose” is an understatement.  After the first couple weeks when you have a foundation of programming knowledge it gets easier to absorb more information, and there is always more information.

     

    Before I joined the guild I was a musician with 10 weeks of college experience when I was 18, and have never felt like I was wanted by an employer.  After 11 weeks at the guild I have had three job offers and am excited to say I have accepted an offer.  When I went to interview I was surprised at how ready I was for the interviews.  I felt like I was ahead of the curve for what an employer normally looks for in a junior.

     

    I can safely say i’m not a great programmer, but I have all the tools to become one.  You quickly learn at the guild that the learning and practicing will continue for the rest of your career as a programmer.  The greatest aspect of the guild is not just that you can learn some programming and get a job.  It’s that you feel ready to learn more.  My future employer does very little .Net work but with the foundation I built in Eric Wise’s .Net class that does not scare me.  I feel ready to learn new languages and ideas.

     

    My advice to anyone coming into the guild is to go far above beyond what the guild requires for the pre work.  Read books, take free courses online, practice, practice, practice….PRACTICE.  It will pay off when you don’t feel overwhelmed with new knowledge till the second week of class.  You don’t have to pay money to learn how to write code and learn some basic programming skills.  The reason you pay for the guild is so you can write good, clean code, and be ready to learn advanced skills.

     

    My other suggestion is to clear your plate of everything else in your life.  You will not be able to maintain a part time job and do well.  You will not be able to hang out with your friends all of the time and do well.  You must be dedicated to the guild, this can’t just be something you do to get a job.  This should be something you should do because you love to solve problems every day and be challenged.

     

    Overall a definite five star rating, even with the great chip famine of week 5.
  • Paul LeBlanc • Graduate
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    This is my review of the Software Craftsmanship Guild's January ’15 .NET cohort, as we enter our final week.
     
    Background
    I had spent the last 15 years working as a graphic designer at a Milwaukee area commercial printer, while doing freelance website design on the side. All of my website work was focussed on the front end, using HTML, CSS and some Javascript. For a long time I had an interest in learning the backend programming and database component, but several attempts to learn on my own were unsuccessful. Between working a full-time job and freelancing on the side, I was unable to consistently find enough time to teach myself to program. For me, the incredible cost of returning to college was not really a viable option. Then one day while reading a tech blog I learned about programming bootcamps and immediately felt like this was the right path for me to learn the programming skills I desired.
     
    Research
    I spent the next few weeks researching the different programming bootcamps from all around the country. It seemed that the more research that I did, the more the Guild seemed to be the best choice. Ultimately I decided to attend the Guild for three main reasons:
     
    1. Their curriculum of teaching of Java or .NET has by far the most employment opportunities in most areas if the country. Why not learn the technologies that offer the greatest number of employment opportunities? There seems to be many bootcamps out there that teach Ruby, but where I’m from (the Midwest), Java and .NET jobs outnumber Ruby jobs like 50-to-1.
     
    2. I liked that the Guild talked specifically about teaching the fundamentals of object oriented programming and databases and less about teaching the “latest-greatest” framework. It seemed to me that over the course of my career as a programmer, the languages and frameworks would undoubtably change, but if I had a solid understanding of programming fundamentals I would be able to more quickly adapt and change with them.
     
    3. One of the things that most attracted me to the Guild was their lack of outrageous claims. No promises of six-figure salaries (which is actually very average when you factor in the cost of living, i.e. San Francisco) or guaranteed placements at some hot tech start up. The Guild promised to teach the skills that would enable me to become an ‘employable junior developer’. That was exactly what I was looking for. 
     
    Application Process
    Satisfied that the Guild was the right place for me, I filled out the online application form and within 24 hours had a interview scheduled via Skype. After a short (~15 minute) Q&A, there was an online logic assessment test I had to take. Thankfully I scored well enough to be accepted into the program, and quickly submitted my deposit to reserve my space. The Guild offers cohorts for both Java and .NET. I chose the .NET, based solely on the fact that there were slightly more .NET jobs listed on the jobs boards in my area.
     
    Course Pre-Work
    I had applied to the Guild in July ’14, and although I was thrilled to be accepted, the August cohort had just filled up and I learned I would have to wait until January to start. Initially I was a bit bummed out, but in retrospect it turned out to be a good thing. I decided to enroll in a Java course and a JavaScript course at the local community college, which definitely helped my preparation. About six weeks before the start of the cohort we received a list for the ‘official’ course pre-work, which consisted of online and video courses in C#, JavaScript and HTML/CSS. As others have mentioned, be absolutely sure you spend the time needed to complete all the pre-work assignments. Even if everything does not make perfect sense to you, having some familiarity with the topics will help when you see them again in class. If possible, go beyond what was assigned and do as much programming and learning as you can prior to starting. You will be glad you did. 
     
    Instruction
    Guild founder and .NET lead instructor Eric Wise is the real deal. He has an unbelievable amount of knowledge about programming from having spent 15 years as a senior software engineer. But his real gift is being able to present complex topics in a way that is easy to understand. It is clear that Eric started the guild for all the right reasons, he is very passionate about teaching. Assisting throughout the cohort was Sarah Dutkiewicz, who herself is a very accomplished programmer and Microsoft MVP. Sometimes when you are stuck on a topic, hearing a slightly different explanation from a different voice was exactly what was needed. I would be be remiss I didn’t mention Elysha Spector, the administrator extraordinaire who is a real angel. She tirelessly handles all the “dirty work” like printing resumes, billing, housing, etc. so us students can focus all our efforts on programming. And she does it all with a smile. The success of the Guild can be most attributed to the quality of the instructors. What better way to learn programming than from senior level developers who are able to share their knowledge in ways that even a beginner can understand.
     
    Daily Life
    Life as a student at the guild follows a rather consistent routine. On most mornings are lectures and some live coding on the topic of the day. After a lunch break, afternoons are spent with coding exercises and projects that reinforce the topics presented in that mornings lecture. All under the watchful eye and guidance from senior level developers. About once a week after class there were panel discussions that featured professionals from a variety of local businesses talking about different programming and job related topics. Periodically a local professional would present a technology topic over lunch break or sometimes pair-program with the students.
     
    Housing
    The cohort was about a 50-50 mix between students from the NE Ohio area and students coming from other areas outside the region. For those coming from out-of-town, the Guild has a housing arrangement with the 401Lofts apartments. This is a huge asset that alleviates the hassles of having to arrange for your own housing. The Lofts were modern, clean, affordable and only about a five minute walk to class. They also have a ton on amenities, most of which you won’t have any time to enjoy. 
     
    Employment Network
    The Guild doesn’t only help you prepare for a career as a software developer, they also help you find a job. To help prepare for the job search were sessions on resume writing, resume reviews and mock interviews. The real bonus is taking advantage of their hiring network, which consists of something like 70+ local companies. During week 9 of the cohort were three afternoon ’Employer Connect’ events, which consisted of short 20-minute face to face meetings with businesses from the employer network that were looking to hire developers. Two-dozen companies were represented, and each student was allowed to meet with up to 12 different employers. From these initial meetings, students were able to schedule more formal interviews with the companies with whom there was a mutual interest. As a result, with less than a week remaining in the cohort almost every student who participated has accepted a job offer with a local company. Some students received multiple job offers. If you are from outside the NE Ohio area, if possible you should consider staying. Turns out the Cleveland area is actually pretty cool, and the cost of living here is super affordable. When I arrived at the Guild my plan was to return to Milwaukee and look for work there, but I have since changed my mind and accepted a position with a really great company in Cleveland.
     
    Summary
    I came to the Guild to learn the skills necessary to become an employable junior developer. The Guild has delivered on that promise. I am giddy at the prospect that in a couple of weeks I will begin my new job as a junior software developer, and I will be actually getting paid to do something I really enjoy. Coming to the Guild was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. It is an investment that I made in myself that I’m certain will pay for itself many times over during the course of my career. If you are serious about becoming a software developer, you owe it to yourself to check out the Software Craftsmanship Guild.

Software Guild Outcomes


75%
On-Time Graduation Rate
68%
In-Field Employed
$65,000
Median Salary

Below is the 180 Day Employment Breakdown for 44 graduates included in report:

180 Day Employment Breakdown:

Full-time employee
50.0%
Full-time apprenticeship, internship or contract position
18.0%
Short-term contract, part-time, or freelance
0.0%
Started a new company or venture after graduation
0.0%

Employed out-of-field
0.0%
Continuing to higher education
N/A
Not seeking a job for health, family, or personal reasons
N/A

Still seeking job in-field
25.0%

Could not contact
2.0%

Salary Breakdown:

100% of job obtainers reported salaries.

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