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Software Guild

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Software Guild

Avg Rating:4.68 ( 156 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
    AngularJS, CSS, Git, HTML, Java, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL
    OnlinePart Time60 Hours/week43 Weeks
    Start Date August 09, 2021
    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
    More Start Dates
    August 09, 2021 - Online Apply by July 23, 2021
    September 06, 2021 - Online Apply by August 20, 2021
  • .NET/C#

    Apply
    C#, CSS, HTML, .NET
    OnlineFull Time60 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date August 09, 2021
    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
    More Start Dates
    August 09, 2021 - Online Apply by July 23, 2021
    September 06, 2021 - Online Apply by August 20, 2021
  • 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.
  • Josh Patterson • Student
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    Summary:
        Are you looking for a career change? Are you mature enough to put in dedication and hard work to get where you need to go?  Willing to learn magnitudes of new techniques and languages all while crammed into a twelve-week course? If you are answering yes to all these questions and you are still excited then maybe Software Craftsmanship Guild is for you.  To be blunt, you will have to work hard, but the rewards are tenfold.  I have yet to experience as many careers where there is such a demand for the knowledge you attain in such a short time span.  To be sure, my attending the guild was the best decision I made in my life.  

     

    My Background:

        I have attended nearly seven years of college, changing majors and schools multiple times, all in the pursuit of finding something that could push my knowledge.  To be sure, I am a few semesters away from having multiple bachelor degrees: History, Digital Media Production, Education.  Yet, not one subject could ever sustain my appetite for knowledge.  

     

    Fast forward a couple years after I pursued a dream I had to be a professional tennis instructor, and upset with the fact that unless you are in the top ten percent or a tennis club owner, it is hard to formulate a real life.  Seeking a change, but not knowing what to do, it seemed learning about the guild through NPR was a godsend moment.  I took a look at the rave reviews and also compared it to other bootcamps.  It seemed to warrant at least a visit.  I got my appointment set up, passed the interview and test.  Which to be honest, was a bit difficult for me, but I did not really utilize my brain to its’ capacities through teaching tennis and I was a couple years removed from a formal education.  I readied myself, started working on the pre-work and contemplated how my life would change.

     

    Life at the Guild:

        This apprenticeship prepares you for the real world.  I have found it to be a blessing that we meet from 9am - 4/5pm every day as it prepared us for a real business environment.  We learned about the things that matter, ideas and actual practices that one will use in real business applications.  That being said, there were times individuals wanted to give up, myself included (around week three), but I think we are all glad we stuck it out.  Why week three?  The first two weeks are a sort of shotgun-paced review of everything you learned from the pre-work as well as delving deeper down the rabbit hole.   By the fourth day of week one, I was talking gibberish because it seemed that my brain had melted from the amount of information my brain was being fed.  But, I am glad I stuck it out, now mid-way through week 11 and about to enter my final week of the guild I have learned an enormous amount of things and the things that seemed so daunting in weeks one through three seem so trivial in hindsight.

     

    Instructors and Staff:

    My instructor Eric Wise (.Net/C#) and Eric Ward (Java) were the best instructors I have ever witnessed.  They taught us exactly what we should expect in our future careers.  Things that mattered, as well as, having the expertise to take a general look at our projects and solve issues we had, all while keeping it positive and mentoring.  Elysha Spector and Sarah Dutkiewicz are more than helpful in their own right, either with correcting your resume, assisting with mock interviews or just helping to further your development.  Never, have I ever experienced a more complete staff that actually cared about the students development.  The tuition is minute in comparison to the actual value one obtains from attending the guild.

     

    Life Outside the Guild:

        I decided to continue to live off-campus (not in the provided apartments) a short commute from the guild.  While, I had success in this, I think in hindsight I would have more strongly considered living with the rest of my cohort.  We had a 50/50 ratio of those who commuted and those who lived on-campus.  That being said, the relationships developed with my peers in my cohort are astounding.  I have developed more life-long friends while at the guild than I thought I would have, certainly doubling my close friend group, while also in turn creating a support network.  Aside from this, working (even part-time) has been difficult.  If you truly want to get the best experience out of the guild, it would be better to prepare a bit more in advance and not work while you are attending the guild.  

     

    Final Thoughts:

        This has been by far the best learning experience I have ever had.  The amazing thing is our alumni network is certainly growing exponentially.  And one is able to rely on those alums to actually want to see you succeed too.  I am truly looking forward to what life brings in the coming years after graduating.  I hope this was helpful in making your decision on whether or not the guild is a right fit for you.    

     
  • Zach • Student
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    This program is like coding, a big investment up front that will pay off and make things easier in the long run. The best thing I can say about this program is that I would go through it again.

  • Sam Sawan • Graduate
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    TL;DR--
    Do it.


    I spent (am spending?) time as an Apprentice at the Software Craftsmanship Guild Java Jan 2015 cohort. It was one of the best decisions of my life.

    A bit about me: I'm 23, lived in the Akron area my whole life, went to Kent State for biology, and had no experience with coding at all before the Guild. None. Can't stress that enough. I loved math, more specifically formal logic. I was a sous chef in the Akron area after college and was presented with a choice: pursue a career in the culinary field or do...something else. I wasn't sure. I heard about the Guild on NPR and, after a few days of intensive research on what a dev bootcamp is and how this one stacks up with the others around the country (incredibly well, by the way), I took the assessment and enrolled.


    This is an intense experience. You have to fully commit yourself to it. It's like a twelve-week cram fest. On top of that, when you finally see the forest through the trees, you realize how little you actually know. A certain type of person is upset about that. A very different type of person is absolutely pumped to continue to learn. To really truly succeed at the Guild (and in the IT field I would imagine) you need to be that latter person. That's number one. An insatiable lust for learning.



    The Java course curriculum focuses on full stack development. You start by learning the basics of Java, Object Oriented Design, N-Tier design, and the Agile Methodology. The amount of material thrown at you, that you have to internalize, is huge. Luckily, the Java cohort has an incredibly knowledgeable and patient lead instructor in Eric Ward. If he has anything to do about it you will not fall behind. Sarah Dutkiewicz, another industry veteran, acts in a role similar to a traditional college TA. Like Eric, she is incredibly knowledgeable, patient, and kind. The student-to-teacher ratio is low enough that individual attention is never an issue. There are no dumb questions because, honestly, four or five other people are probably hung up on the same concept that you are. After a Mastery Project delving deeper into the core concepts of Java you're on to the finer points of Maven dependency management and the Spring framework, auxiliary technologies that allow you to build bigger and better things. You inch your way closer to the front end, brushing up on the HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery pre-work you did months ago. Web development comes next, learning about RESTful web services, JSP's, AJAX calls, and the Spring MVC framework. Finally, you switch focus all the way to the back end, learning about database management and MySql. And...that's it. You now have the tools to tackle the Capstone Project, a three week long project incorporating literally everything you've covered in the course and a whole lot more. It's huge. There's a reason I'm writing this at 8:30PM on a Sunday from the Guild, which has 24 hour access in case you do need to pull long nights or weekends.



    Your day to day routine will change. The Guild offers living arrangements for those coming from out of town. Luckily, I live in Stow, about thirty minutes from Akron. The formal learning happens between 9 and 4 Monday thru Friday but you would be fooling yourself if you didn't allocate at least twenty hours a week on top of that for extra learning or to strengthen key concepts. You really get out what you put in. Maturity and drive are huge parts of the process. Eric won't really require you to do homework in the traditional sense (other than checking on your Mastery and Capstone projects). You paid ten grand for this, man. Don't be an idiot.


    The jobs will come if you put in the effort. For me, the most stressful part of this whole process was the "speed dating" events, where the Guild brings in a lot of interested companies for you to connect with. On top of the curriculum and your side projects it can be quite a difficult time. The Guild was absolutely phenomenal with how they handled it all. They provide you with all the resources you need in order for you to find the right fit. It's a tough balance to strike between learning and the need for a job. Luckily for me I was offered a position at my dream job fairly quickly into the process, which I quickly accepted. They can't guarantee employment but I find it hard to believe that the type of people the Guild attracts (and the vetting process of the Guild itself) would be unemployed for long. The Guild is hugely respected. I can't count the number of times I heard potential employers tell me they value the education I received here over a traditional CS degree. The job placement rate was (I think) one hundred percent the last Java cohort and I see no reason why those numbers won't be repeated this time around. Many of my fellow students over here and on the .NET side already have accepted offers from interested firms.


    If you are seriously considering a career change and have the grit and intelligence to hack it, the Software Craftsmanship Guild is an incredible choice. I can't speak highly enough about the Guild or the instructors or my fellow students (who were just as valuable a resource as StackOverflow, and great people to boot). It exceeded my highest expectations of not only what I would learn but the institute of learning as a whole. Traditional schooling seems so...inadequate now. What Eric Wise has managed to put together here is incredible. It has honestly changed my life for the better.

  • Jennifer Kelly
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    I attended the August 2014 Java cohort with Eric Ward.

    I studied accounting in college and did three years at a Big 4 accounting firm, as a CPA.  Then I transitioned to finance at a Fortune 20 company, making it to director level before pausing to ask ‘what do I want to be better at in the next 5 years?’  As much as I love Excel and financial modeling, I couldn’t create much that would be useful to a broader audience.  My experience with technology at that point was little more than submitting IT tickets at work, insisting each one be marked urgent. 

    As a side project, I was working with a web designer on a website, and I just kept thinking, I wish I could do this myself. Not just the HTML & CSS, but I wanted to be able to create and tinker, to dream up and play.  I didn’t know what that meant (at the time, I didn’t even know the difference between HTML & CSS), but I knew I would never get there staying in my world of finance.  So, I started to explore and came across the Guild about a month before their August session began.  The session was already full (it fills quickly!) but I was fortunate and got a last minute seat when someone dropped.  Day 1 of the class – I was a complete novice.

    This is where I’ll say put yourself in the best possible position ahead of time by doing all the pre-work.  And really study it, learn it.  You won’t have time to ‘catch up’ on it once the class starts.  You just won’t.  I promise.  There were questions I hesitated to ask because I wasn’t sure if I should have known that from the pre-work or not.  Set yourself up for success.  Also, ask the question whether you think you should know it or not.

    Eric Ward is the instructor of the Java class.  He’s passionate about both technology and teaching. He’s endlessly patient, while still pushing the class at a grueling pace to cover the material.  He not only asks for feedback regularly on what’s working, what are we hung up on, what’s not working – but he also adjusts on a dime based on this feedback.  He’ll explain things you don’t understand three different ways, and when you’re still struggling, somehow he’ll find three more ways to explain it until something clicks.  If you are able to explore beyond the course material and run into questions, he’ll help you through those questions, too.  For those who are book learners like me, he also provides fully annotated notes of the code examples, which were a lifesaver.  I refer to them regularly still.  In short, he’s incredible at what he does. 

    The course is twelve weeks.  It’s long, long hours.  Don’t expect to get around that.  And don’t short-change your experience by trying to get around it.  Not sure if you can break away from life for that long?  I often remind myself – time is going to go by no matter what I choose to do.  A year from now, will I wish I had started today?

    And life after the Guild?  I had my first interview early November, job offer early December, and started early January with an IT consulting firm in Columbus who came to an open house the Guild hosted.  I’m in a hybrid role, doing some business analyst/testing work, and I’ll also get to program.

    I’ve also joined user groups, taken more classes online, started reading programming books, and began a side project.  I’m committed to immersing myself in this world, see what I learn, and determine what direction I want to take this whole experience.

    As a side, one thing I’ve noticed from some in the IT space who aren’t developers is a sense that they have an interest in better understanding the world of software development, but it feels so vast and there’s no clear path to clarity for them.  I feel like the Guild helped to shape that world for me.  I generally understand how the pieces fit together, even though I still have much to learn.  I can strategically learn versus aimlessly meander on the periphery, like so many do who never end up jumping in.  I feel in control of my destiny and that my path is mine to choose.  That’s huge.  The Guild gave me that.

    If you do take this course, my advice to you: get out of your own head.  Turn off the negative voices.  Seek to understand – this takes precedence over getting through the homework.  And try, really try not to compare yourself to others in the class.  Learn what you can each and every day.  If you improve 1% each day, you’ll double your ability every 70 days.  Where will you be a year later?  And five years later?  Best of luck on your journey.

  • Tamara Thiboutot • Junior Software Developer • Student
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    Not only did I quit a comfortable job at a company with a great name and environment to come learn at the Guild, but I also put every penny I had into the move and the cohort. I was particularly skeptical and demanding because I was putting everything into it, and bootcamps can be a hit or miss investment. You know what? the guild was the best career move I've ever made. I am now making $10.40/hr more than I was making before starting the guild. That means this program will have paid for itself in the first year. Twice. This is also just my starting salary. Their hiring network was growing at a serious pace as I was attending, but I had to go back home to my family. I got a job outside the network within 3 weeks after finishing the course, and I went on vacation for two of those. NOTE: I was on my phone and computer a lot while on "break" arranging interviews . The morning after I landed back home I had an interview and they offered me the job. I know this first part kind of sounds like a commercial but I can assure you this was all written because I'm just genuinely glad I made this move. 

    That's just the end result though, so what was it like attending? It was definitely fast paced and frustrating at times. A lot of content in a short amount of time is an adjustment, and if it everything doesn't click right away you can't take that personally like I did in the beginning. So do not apply if you are looking for a shortcut. This will take your full attention inside and outside of class, and do yourself a favor and do all of the pre-work. It was great to learn from someone who's actually spent a significant amount of time in the industry. Someone who will be real with you about what you can expect to use and not use in real world business applications. Wise is a straight shooter and there will be no coddling. So again do not apply if you are not dedicated. 

    Your average day will consist of slide decks and lectures in the morning, then you will be set free to work on an assigned project or your labs for practice. You will be working by yourself, pair programming, or in a group of three. Help is available whenever you need it. 

    I came in with a little self study but basically as a complete novice, I wasn't really sure I could do this up until the middle of cohort. I would have sold myself real short had I listened to those incorrect assumptions. I struggled a little bit in the beginning, but Sarah (the AWESOME Microsoft MVP tutor) and Eric were more than available for me. I lived in the Lofts that they sublease, and it was great to be near other apprentices in the off hours. 

    Summary: all in all a very worthwhile experience and investment but don't expect it to be an easy ride, there's a lot to cover in 3 months. Things move at a frustrating pace sometimes, but your instructor will always repeat or clarify if you just ask. 

    PS. I attended the Aug 2014 .NET Cohort

  • Phil • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Short Review:

    I came into the guild with very basic C# concepts and understanding. I left the guild able to build a fully functional, data base driven web application. Net result, a TON of knowledge. My teacher, Eric Wise, had this magical ability to take concepts and simplify them in terms that anyone can understand. And if it didn’t click the first time he explained it, he found others way to explain it until it did. While the course is very much set up for independent learning, and working closely with your class peers…Eric is always there with a thought provoking question to guide you toward getting to an answer. I watched my peers who had 0 programming experience coming into the class really push themselves and turned into pretty good developers.

    If you are a logical thinker, if you love technology, love to learn, if you are always thinking “man, I wish I could build something to do something” – the program will push you, motivate you, and educate you to where you need to be to enter the wonderful world of development. This was well worth my investment in myself.

    Longer Review:

    Pros:

    -Eric knows how to simply things to a level anyone can understand, even some more advanced concepts.

    -The program is very heavily designed to give you what you put into it. There are a ton of practice exercises to keep you busy and learning. You have peers who will push you to succeed. But at the end of the day, if you want to work, you want to learn, the tools are put in front of you and you just need to embrace them. During the first 8 weeks I was putting in 20-30 hour outside of class learning and the results showed. During the final 4 weeks I put almost no time in outside of class learning, and the results likewise showed in the opposite direction. At the end, you choose to win and learn, or you choose to not.

    -There is a good deal of employers that have taken interest in the guild and will come in to meet you. It’s nice to have that instant network available to you following the program, given you choose to embrace it. My biggest regret (and again this was all my fault) was believing so strongly I was going to get in at a company that I failed to take advantage of this network…and when in the end they were not interested in me I was left behind. Again, as the theme with the entire guild, the doors are opened for you if you just walk thru them.

    -Peer Programming. Getting a chance to talk with someone on the same level as you about a problem. Talk out a solution, really helps solidify concepts.
    -3 months of programming experience walking out. You spend plenty of time in the workshop programming, plenty of time outside as well. This isn’t a 2 hour a day twice a week college course, this is an internship.

    -The Family known as the Guild. I met 7 students and 1 professor I genuinely like…people I’d call up on any given day to hang out with. Everyone is supportive, encouraging, and wanting to see everyone else succeed. I know I will have these people in my network long beyond the end of the guild, and I am thankful to have met them.

    Cons:

    -Companies outside of the guild network are very new to the concept of the boot camps and the guild. I found myself during interview situations fighting an uphill battle to prove I had enough knowledge to equal what they believe a person comes out of college with. Until this becomes more widely accepted, it could be considered a con. However, I do know some of my classmates found employment in places outside of the guild network without a problem, so this could be an isolated situation.

    -You spend about 4 weeks on core C# which is great and you get plenty of practice. You spend about 2 weeks on SQL Database which is great and you get plenty of practice. You go thru a ton of content for 2 weeks on Web and are given a final mastery project set to give you the practice. I wish we would have had more in class time to practice these concepts – but again – this happened about the time I started to stop putting in my effort outside of class so I could have done some self-learning here to combat this.
     
    Finally:

    Be it a novice like I was, or someone who has never seen a line of code in their life I believe can learn to program with the tools provided, resources available, and the teaching style Eric provides IF one wants to put the time required to learn. There are no grades, there is no pass/fail, you are investing in yourself by being a part of this course and you decide for yourself if you pass or if you struggle. I realize the things that didn’t go “to plan” were of my fault – and even though I made some…poor decisions…Eric has remained a wonderful mentor and friend continuing to push me to succeed.

    I will echo another student – who put it pretty simply:

    12 Weeks - Hardwork - New Life

  • Rebecca Pollard • Web Developer • Graduate
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    I was a member of the April-June 2014 class at the Software Craftsmanship Guild in Akron, Ohio. I chose the .Net cohort due to personal preference and my early interactions with Eric Wise, then President of the guild, which were extremely positive.

    I had been a high school math teacher for 12 years, teaching AP-level courses and working with extremely bright and motivated students. I enjoyed teaching but had become restless, wanting a change, and I had always had a love for technology and computers. From a young age I tinkered with computers, dabbled in programming, and was the one who friends and family members called when they needed tech support or advice. After researching my options, I decided to change careers. I chose the Guild due to cost, location, convenience of housing options, and most importantly, the curriculum. I wanted to learn C# and the .Net stack because I felt that it would make me very employable, and I was not mistaken.

    While the program is grueling in its intensity and not for the feint of heart, I have no regrets about my time at the Guild and would do it all over again. You learn more in 12 weeks than even I, as a teacher, felt humanly possible, and you get plenty of hands-on practice so that by the time you leave you have a strong skill set and are more than prepared to enter the field as a junior developer. Furthermore, with resume help and guidance, mock interviews, and plenty of advice from field-tested veterans, you can’t help but to succeed… given that you hold up your end of the bargain, which is to work extremely hard for the duration. I would estimate that I spent roughly 70 hours each week including class time, assignments, group work, and my own personal projects. Help is always available and you get an incredible amount of support and practical advice throughout, but it is very challenging and more than a little stressful at times. However, with hard work and dedication, it is totally doable.

    I started interviewing during week eight and accepted a job offer on Monday of week ten. I began work as a web developer two weeks after my cohort ended, and I can honestly say that I have found my niche and could not be happier. I love the work and the company I work for, and my skills have literally taken off in the months since I graduated. I hit the ground running and was using everything I learned at the guild right away. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in becoming a .Net developer.

     

Software Guild Outcomes


47%
On-Time Graduation Rate
92%
In-Field Employed
$60,000
Median Salary

92% of students intended to seek in-field employment within 180 days of graduating. 0% of students did not intend to seek in-field employment.Below is the 180 Day Employment Breakdown for 35 graduates included in report:

180 Day Employment Breakdown:

Full-time employee
87.5%
Full-time apprenticeship, internship or contract position
4.2%
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
%
Not seeking a job for health, family, or personal reasons
%

Still seeking job in-field
8.3%

Could not contact
0.0%

Salary Breakdown:

90% of job obtainers reported salaries. 0% of job obtainers were hired by the school itself.

Thanks!