software-guild-logo

Software Guild

Online

Software Guild

Avg Rating:4.69 ( 159 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.

Recent Software Guild Reviews: Rating 4.69

all (159) reviews for Software Guild →

Recent Software Guild News

Read all (57) articles about Software Guild →
  • Java

    Apply
    AngularJS, CSS, Git, HTML, Java, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL
    OnlinePart Time60 Hours/week43 Weeks
    Start Date December 06, 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
    December 06, 2021 - Online Apply by November 19, 2021
    January 10, 2022 - Online Apply by December 22, 2021
    February 07, 2022 - Online Apply by January 21, 2022
  • .NET/C#

    Apply
    C#, CSS, HTML, .NET
    OnlineFull Time60 Hours/week12 Weeks
    Start Date December 06, 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
    December 06, 2021 - Online Apply by November 19, 2021
    January 10, 2022 - Online Apply by December 22, 2021
    February 07, 2022 - Online Apply by January 21, 2022
  • Eddie Campbell • Applications Developer • Graduate
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:
    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Curriculum:
    Instructors:
    Job Assistance:

    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.

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!