The Software Guild offers immersive full-time, 12-week or part-time, 10 to 14-month coding bootcamps in Louisville, KY, Minneapolis, MN, and online. 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 4.68
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Start Date None scheduled Cost $13,750 Class size N/A Location Minneapolis, Louisville, AtlantaOur 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 in Louisville or Minneapolis. Experience immersive education and change your life by learning software development skills.
Deposit $125 Financing Refund / Guarantee Refund yes, Guarantee no Scholarship The Software Guild offers several different discounts, including for ‘Women in Tech’ and ‘Veterans Who Code ’
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test Yes Interview Yes Start Date None scheduled Cost $9,000 Class size N/A Location OnlineEarn coding badges online and learn Java one skillset at a time with The Software Guild’s online Java badge program. The online badge program is ideal for those who want to learn the skills necessary for entry-level software development jobs, but who cannot commit to the immersive, full-time on-ground program. Begin with the Level 1 Badge to learn programming basics in Java. After earning your first badge, you’ll have a new credential for your resume and LinkedIn profile. But don’t stop there - earn all four badges to develop full-stack skills that can launch your coding career. You can obtain all four badges in as fast as 10 months or take a brief break between badges. This flexible schedule helps you keep your job while you learn to code.
Deposit $125 registration fee Financing Tuition Plans Pay-as-you-learn; tuition per badge Refund / Guarantee Refund yes, Guarantee no
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test Yes Interview Yes Start Date None scheduled Cost $13,750 Class size N/A Location Minneapolis, Louisville, AtlantaOur 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 in Louisville or Minneapolis. Experience immersive education and change your life by learning software development skills.
Deposit $125 Financing Refund / Guarantee Refund yes, Guarantee no Scholarship The Software Guild offers several different discounts, including for ‘Women in Tech’ and ‘Veterans Who Code’
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test Yes Interview Yes Start Date None scheduled Cost $9,000 Class size N/A Location OnlineEarn coding badges online and learn .NET/C# one skillset at a time with The Software Guild’s online .NET/C# badge program. The online badge program is ideal for those who want to learn the skills necessary for entry-level software development jobs, but who cannot commit to the immersive, full-time on-ground program. Begin with the Level 1 Badge to learn programming basics in .NET/C#. After earning your first badge, you’ll have a new credential for your resume and LinkedIn profile. But don’t stop there - earn all four badges to develop full-stack skills that can launch your coding career. You can obtain all four badges in as fast as 10 months or take a brief break between badges. This flexible schedule helps you keep your job while you learn to code.
Deposit $125 Financing Tuition Plans Pay-as-you-learn; tuition per badge Refund / Guarantee Refund yes, Guarantee no
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test Yes Interview Yes
Software Guild Reviews
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- Life Changing Experience- 10/30/2016Michael Moxley • Developer, IT Applications • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
Anyone looking to have a career in Development should take advantage of this opportunity.
Before the Software Guild, I was a dishwasher(past 4 years), had no degree, and basically no support system.
If you are highly motivated, persistent, and self sufficient this program will be viable for you, regardless of your background.
My experience at the Software Guild
While I was there I took advantage of the short-term sublease to apartments that they offered which was right down the street from the guild. Staying at the apartments was extremely beneficial because it made it much easier to focus on what I was there to do and three other members of my cohort were in the same loft, so if I was ever stuck on a problem, help was near by.
I would say the first four weeks were the most daunting. The first week was pretty relaxed, we spent time getting to know each other and the curriculum for the next 12 weeks. After the first week, we hit the ground running. The next three weeks were the most crucial, there was a lot of information to take in during class and plenty of work to do from home. I dreamt about code the most during this time, surprisingly I actually dreamt up solutions to some problems in my sleep. Basically once you make it through the first four weeks, you'll know if coding is for you.
After the first four weeks, the intensity went down a bit, I adjusted to the lifestyle and we started to focus more on different technologies.
Instructors and Staff
I don't know how my experience would have went without my instructor Pat Toner. Learning how to write code can be very confusing and not so straight foward. My instructor was very good at making concepts easy to understand and taught us the best coding practices. Sometimes it takes a little more for me to learn certain material. I can't just read about something or just have someone verbally tell me how to do something. I need to actually understand what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and see it being done. Pat does a great job of painting that picture, explaining things in a way so I can actually understand why/how to do something, instead of just going through the steps.
I havn't had a chance to learn from any other instructors but they were all friendly and would go out of their way to help.
The Software Guild does an excellent job at providing job assistance. We focused more on our job search during the end of the program but our employer network director, John Manilla, was always available for mock interviews or to give any advice that was needed. Around the last 2-3 weeks of the program they host an employer networking event where they invite a number of companys to interview with. A number of my collegues ended up with offers from the networking event. Unfortunately I didn't, but about two months later I ended up with an offer from Nationwide thanks to the feedback my instructor gave as a reference.
Ultimately the search is your own, but you are given all the resources you need for it to be successful.
- I now work for IBM- 9/4/2016Andrew • Software Developer • Graduate
This program should be a serious option for those who are interested in transitioning to a career in software development.
At around May of 2015, I was at an important crossroad in my life: I knew I wanted to pursue a career in software development, but like most others in that kind of situation, I was led to chose between two options: going to a programming bootcamp or atttending a 4-year CS degree program.
Ultimately, I decided that after already having obtained an undergraduate degree (in Physics and Mathematics), a quarter of a medical degree, and comitting four separate years as a tour-bus driver, attending school for another bachelors degree --which you'll learn carries less weight in this industry than it does in others-- felt like more of a risk than an investment.
So I enrolled in Software Guild and thought: whatever-- I can fill in the theoretical deficiencies within 3 years and 9 months of my own free time while getting paid as a software developer. These numbers were based on the assumption that I would actually land a job straight out of bootcamp.
And land a job(s) I did. I applied to 80-some jobs after bootcamp (with most of the non-prestige positions being in Houston, my hometown). Only three companies saw that I was worth their time for an interview. These three interviews eventually led to offers-- one of which was from IBM.
Many of my current co-workers have commented positively on my performance, and not just in respect to my background, but generally speaking for a junior software developer. This is where I must give Software Guild most of the credit. Their program not only taught me the technical skills that the industry needs, but also the soft skills necessary for a budding software developer to scale nicely into a senior-level practitioner-- skills like project management, effective team communication, prioritization, and how to work efficiently.
If you're truly interested in software development, I urge you to give Software Guild a shot. It is a positive, nurturing, and efficient learning environment. It is clear that Victor, Randall, and Sarah were given the gift to teach. They will patiently answer all and any of your questions (even those that are "into-the-weeds"). If you give them the chance, they will also act as your friend and mentor, polishing your soft skills until you are ready to successfully step into a real interview scenario.
In closing, I'd say that the smartest decision would be to give it a try, and if it doesn't work out, then go for a 4-year degree. However, make the most of your time while you're there by obsessing over your work and utilizing all of their resources because this is a very real fast-track to the career of your dreams.
- The Best Decision I Ever Made- 8/26/2016URVASHI ATODARIA • Applications Engineer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
I went into The Software Guild hating and dreading Object Oriented Programming, since throughout the years I had tried and tried and tried to get my brain to wrap around the crazy concepts. What I learned at the Guild though, is that those concepts weren't crazy at all. The best thing that the Guild does for you is break down big concepts/problems into simple small ones you can understand and teaches you to do so on your own too. As soon as you start the bootcamp, boy it does feel like a bootcamp. Things happen so fast and the days go by in a blur. First week in, and I realized I know more Object Oriented than I ever did before. I couldn't believe how much information we were given in 1 week, but at the same time it was NEVER overwhelming. The pressure was there, but it was never so insane that you couldn't keep up. As weeks went by, I realized how comfortable I had gotten with something I had dreaded so much all my life. I even got a job in programming in my 10th week there.
The reason I say it was the best decision I ever made is because it really did turn my life around. The curriculum is designed to help you succeed. Everyone at the Guild is invested in your success. The instructors, the TA's, the alumni, and literally everyone else. I got great advice from each of these at some point that helped me not only in getting a job, but doing well in it. Especially having the support of my instructor Dave Balzer made a huge difference. With him around, I never felt like I had no one to talk to about my struggles and challenges. I could go panicking to him with the stupidest of problems and he would help me calm down and find a solution. That I would say is the best thing about the Guild. The kind of support system you get here is unmatched and if you work hard and want to succeed, this is the best place you could be at.
These guys make programming look easy.
- Life Changing Experience- 8/14/2016Kelsey • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
I attended the Java 2015 August cohort with Pat Toner as my instructor. This program was an incredible experience and helped change my career.
After studying programming on my own for roughly a year, I knew that I needed help not only understanding more challenging concepts but also job assistance/advice. The program is designed for complete beginners with no experience in programming, but since I had almost a year of programming under my belt, my experiences may be different than those who come to the program with no experience. I found the pace of the course to be challenging at times, but overall manageable. The program begins with the basics but quickly builds off of that to give students a solid foundation of not only programming skills but also useful and sought after skills like the software development lifecycle (SDLC), Agile, N-Tier Architecture, and methodological thinking. Although the program moves quickly, there was always an instructor or TA that was available during and after class hours to answer questions, give advice, or give a more in depth explanation of things covered in class. Both the instructor and TAs were extremely helpful, informative, and went above and beyond to make sure that everyone understood concepts and themes.
One of the most important and worthwhile things about this program for me was learning how to be a full stack developer. Sure, there are a lot of tutorials to teach you specific things like Java, SQL, or HTML, but this program helps you put everything together to build dynamic web applications. I strongly believe that I would have not been able to learn all of this had I not attended the Guild. Another thing that I really appreciated was that the curriculum was up to date; I learned things that employers were looking for. In my current position as a junior developer, I have been able to apply what I have learned from the Guild and build upon them. The curriculum gave me a solid foundation that prepared me for my job.
It is important to note that you get what you put into this program; you can't expect to master everything if you only work during class hours. Putting in extra hours before and after class and on weekends makes concepts easier to understand and master. Since the program moves rather quickly, it's important to put in that extra time so that you can understand concepts and not get left behind.
On to the one of the most important things: Jobs. Obviously, this program is a huge investment, and every student attends the program hoping to walk away with a development job. The Guild does a good job helping prepare students for interviews and helping them find jobs. During my cohort we had several events to help us prepare for jobs including resume reviews, LinkedIn reviews, and, of course, the "speed dating" event where students were able to meet with employers. Outside of these events, you can reach out to your instructor or TAs for further assistance, which was extremely helpful for me. The Guild also has one person that is solely designated to find employers to higher Guld graduates. Unfortunately, the person that had this job during my cohort did not do a great job helping students, which was frustrating and one of the only bad things I have to say about the Guild. However, that person has since been replaced, and I have heard very good things about their replacement. To make finding a job easier, I would recommend that you not limit yourself to the companies that the Guild partners with; be proactive! I applied to multiple companies before most of my peers, and I believe that it helped me find a job quicker. It's recommended that you apply for jobs around week 8 or 9, but I started looking at job postings around week 5 or 6. Looking at job postings help me understand what skills and qualities employers were looking for, which, in turn, help me know what to study up on more. I received a job offer by week 7 or 8, which I accepted. I believe that most of my peers started receiving job offers after they attended the "speed dating" event.
Overall, I feel like the Guild was a worthwhile investment that help prepare me for my current position. It's given me the necessary skills to be a developer!
TL;DR- Worked my butt off, learned a TON, and ended up with an amazing development job!
- .NET Apprentice- 7/27/2016Tom Giffels • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
The course covers a lot of material and it is very intense. However, the instructors are very approachable and there is additional support from teaching assistants. Be prepared to work hard, push yourself, and definitely take advantage of all available help.
People in the tech industry I have talked to have a positive reaction to the Guild. It appears to be a good stepping stone to getting an entree to the tech industry.
- Just another review of Software Guild- 7/24/2016Louis Budziak • Junior Software Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
I spent several months researching different bootcamps, languages offered, reviews of bootcamps, and job placement stats. I picked The Software Guild (previously Software Craftmanship Guild) because it had some of the highest ratings, offered a more stable and professional language (Java/C# instead of simply web development), and had job placement %'s as high as almost anyone else.
One thing to be very aware of is that you MUST ask questions if something is unclear. Do not assume that you can catch up later, the course is almost too fast for many students and you will not have time to figure it out on your own and then catch up on new material if you are lagging.
Final note, for some it is possible to learn programming without attending a bootcamp. I probably was one such, however the ability to have instructors to help explain difficult concepts/problems, the solid hiring network, and the pain of having paid money all make a huge difference in where you end up.
- Tough, frustrating, and good overall- 7/15/2016Rene Gomez • software developer • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Louisville
I graduated from the Software Guild in May 2016. I was in the Java cohort.
1. It was a tough program. The pace was frantic, especially at the beginning.
2. There were times we were going so fast, I didn't receive the kind of feedback I was looking for.
3. The material, opportunity to practice, my fellow apprentices, and the quality instruction from Austyn Hill made this an overall great decision for me. I had done an online bootcamp that was excellent, but the Software Guild filled in a great deal of understanding I was missing.
I have been working as a full-time software developer since May. My experience at the Guild prepared me for real dev work.
-No programming background
-Bachelors and Masters in another field, non-technical
- Brian Bishop • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
First and foremost, one of the best decisions I've ever made. Went from manual labor to actually getting paid to think and solve problems. I spent two years learning on my own and by the end of week 2 I covered everything I knew plus more.
This is very very demanding of your time, but if you have the right attitude and self-motivation you'll get back twice as much as you put in... if not more. The best part of the experience was the teacher, Pat Toner in my case, and utilizing his decade + long career and knowledge to help better my understanding of software engineering.
This will be your entire life for 3 months and at times you will feel very stressed. But the guilds reputation and the success I've seen just from my class leads me to be able to say I highly recommend this course to any one serious enough learning how code.
- Great Transition Into Development Position- 6/17/2016Mike Sheehy • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Louisville
I attended the Febuary 2016 C#/.Net session in Louisville. While the coursework is no cakewalk, the instructor (with ~10 years experience as a .Net developer) was very helpful along the way. He helped us focus on what we're expected to know as a junior developer, and made sure that we had ample amount of time to go over any material that gave us problems. In addition, the classes are small with mine having 6 students.
The Software Guild placed me in front of some of the biggest companies/recruiters Louisville has to offer. Employers were impressed with what we were able to do with sush a short time, I was hired immediately after the program. I currently work for GE Appliances and I get to use my experience from the Software Guild to build and grow their website. With all of the knowledge, technology, and employment opportunities the Guild has to offer, this bootcamp is worth every dollar.
- Java Apprentice at the Guild- 6/8/2016Maaz Qureshi • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
I was part of the Java cohort at the Software Guild from Feb to May 2016 in Akron, OH.
My background: I got my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2012 and worked for about 3 years in the offshore construction industry. While working on a side project, I started to learn web development on my own. My interest in programming grew and I decided to pursue a career in software. I considered the option of going back to school to get a computer science degree but it was way too expensive and time consuming. Luckily, I came across information about software bootcamps and immediately started to research into them.
Why ‘The Software Guild’? I spent a long time looking into several bootcamps but I finally settled on the Guild for 3 main reasons:
- One of the few bootcamps that teaches object-oriented programming along with web development. OOP is a very important concept in computer programming and the course is designed in such a way that you will be learn and implement OOP principles.
- Awesome instructors and staff. They’re all pros with many years of experience and a passion for programming.
- Low cost of tuition. Total cost of studying at the Guild including tuition, accommodation, transport etc. is considerably lower than other bootcamps on the East/West coasts.
Is it hard? Yes and no. You will be bombarded with a lot of information over a short span of time. Some concepts are difficult to understand right away and need time to assimilate. However, if you put in the hours and utilize the resources that are available - you will have the “eureka” moment where all the pieces fall into place and make perfect sense.
What’s the outcome? You will learn and implement OOP concepts, unit testing, n-tiered design, web development using MVC design, agile software development and also various other dev tools and technologies. If your aim is to get a job after the bootcamp - rest assured the skills that you will learn at the Guild will put you in a good position to apply for entry level software developer jobs.
Conclusion: The curriculum at the Guild was cohesive and relevant to the requirements of my first job. This helped me transition into my new career as a Software Developer and has provided with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. I would recommend the program at the Software Guild to anyone who is serious about a career in software development.
- Nathan Bell • Junior Software Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Minneapolis
I attended the Software Guild's .NET track in 2016 at their Minneapolis location and I had an exceptional experience. The staff is professional and the coursework is very relevent; teaching you the skills that you need to get hired. I already had an MBA before entering the program and this was a fast-track way for me to jumpstart my career in the tech industry. The Software Guild puts on an employer network day where students interview with a number of potential employers and although this was an extremely valuable opportunity I didn't attend because I had already accepted a job offer and this was 2 weeks before graduation.
Don't think you'll be handed a job though. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication (on average I probably put in 60 hours per week) but as long as you put in the time and effort and you enjoy programming then you'll be rewarded in the end.
- Bob Malos • Consultant • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Minneapolis
I highly recommend The Software Guild if you are looking for coding bootcamp that will help you land a job. Before I enrolled I showed the "Full Stack Java" curriculum to a local IT Project Manager and she thought it looked excellent. As it turned out, the Guild did exactly what they said they were going to do. I got a VERY intense 3 month FULL-TIME experience (plus a 6-8 week "pre-work" part-time segment). I agree with other reviewers - you will not have any time to do anything else during this bootcamp.
Within 2 weeks after graduation I ended up getting an excellent job offer and although I just started I can tell that my Software Guild education will serve me well in this job.
The instructor in Minneapolis - Michael Gaffney - was excellent. He was very patient and very knowledgeable. The split of lecture/lab time was good - there was plenty of time to work on Pair Programming (or Group Programming) projects in class. But I also needed lots of time outside of class to work on individual exerices / projects. You should plan to spend about 20 hours per week outside of class working on projects. Some could certainly get by with less but I would not count on being able to do a part-time job while taking this class.
I was especially impressed with the tools we were using in class. The company I'm with is using the exact same Collaboration / Source Code Management tools. And the emphasis on "Agile Development" in class is also very impressive. That's one of the first things my Project Manager friend complemented.
I had IT experience but not in object-oriented programming. So this class was very challenging for me even thought I had some experience. It might actually be easier to learn OO programming if you haven't done other types.
The support given to us - by the Instructor, the TAs, the Career Services expert, and the administrative staff was superb. And it's a very good sign that we're still a part of The Guild even though our Cohort is over. Overall - I was impressed that The Software Guild delivered exactly what it promised and enabled me to land an excellent job in IT Development.
- Minneapolis Feb. Java Cohort- 6/7/2016Cuyler Van Derwerker • Associate Developer • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Minneapolis
The Software Guild is exactly what it says it is, an intensive program that will pound you with information and you will get out of it what you put into it. If you think you can hold a job while in the cohort, you're wrong. This program is challenging and requires 100% of your focus and dedication, so if you can't take three months to be a full time student this is not for you. That being said, I could not have asked for much more than the education and job placement that I received at the Guild.
I atended a small liberal arts college for 5 semesters before leaving. I did not feel I was receiving a worth-while education from Luther College and began searching for better opportunities. Eventually I came upon The Software Guild and had a great experience with the Instructors, Students, and and every other aspect of the guild. They are very professional and sincerely want each student to achieve their goals of being a software developer.
The one aspect that slightly shook my confidence was the fact I did not have my Bachelor's degree. However, I do want to note that I am currently employed as and associate developer and absolutely love my new job. In my job search, I became slightly frustrated with employees that would overlook my abilities simply because I did not complete my bachelor's, even though I had just completed the same cohort with the same classmates that did have their bachelor's. But I did still get two job offers a week after graduating as did my fellow classmates without degrees.
Bottom Line, know you want to write code for a living and dedicate yourself to the course for 3 months and you will almost definitely have a job at the end of the road. The software Guild has opened the professional world to me and supplied me with any assistance I needed along the way. Absolutely no regrets and I would do it 1000 times over again. They greatly surpassed my expectations and would not trade what I learned at The Software Guild for anything.
- Louisville Java Cohort- 5/31/2016James Morin • Software Developing Engineer in Test with Xpanxion • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Louisville
I know most of these reviews sound too good to be true, but they're not. I graduated from The Software Guild's Java Cohort, and this is my actual experience. No one at the Guild edited it, or looked it over, or influenced it in any way. It is 100% me.
The Short of It:
Was it worth it? Yes! I now have a salaried job with good pay, benefits, and an amazing career in front of me, and I got this job through the Software Guild. After 4 months of training, and three months of job searching, my starting salary was more than double what it used to be. The other members of my cohort had starting salaries similar to mine. The numbers don't lie. If you can commit the time and effort, it will pay out, and your life will take a change for the better because of it.
The long of it:
My previous experience before the guild was in the education sector. I had worked as an adjunct professor for a couple years, and wasn't even able to cover all of my bills doing that. I was very frustrated, struggling to keep the lights on and the wife and kids fed. Like many others, I believed that having an advanced college degree would make me more desirable and employable, but my career had not taken off like I had expected, and despite years of hard work, I was not seeing any end in sight. I had actually decided to go back to school and become a dentist (like most educated folk, thinking the answer to my problems lay in more schooling) when my sister randomly sent me an article about some guy who graduated from a coding boot camp and started a career soon afterwards. I was initially hesitant to believe such claims, but began reviewing different boot camp, their published success rates, and whether or not attending one of these boot camps was actually a viable option (are these places legit). After a couple months of looking into it, I was unable to uncover very many negatives, and most of the rave reviews I read of these different camps seemed genuine. After the wife and I talked it over, I decided to apply to one of these camps and see what happened. As I was emailing back and forth with a boot camp in Denver CO, I happened across the Software Guild's website, and saw that they were opening a new location in Louisville, where I was currently living. After talking with the guild for a couple weeks I applied and was accepted to Louisville's first Java cohort (and quit my dead-end labor job that same day).
Well, I can't say enough good things about the staff. Here is a quick review on each of the people we had contact with on a day-to-day basis:
She is the lead Java instructor, and is awesome! It probably felt like pounding her head against a wall sometimes, but she never gave up. She would attack things from different angles, and try to find different ways of explaining it so we could all understand. And she only got better as the cohort continued. When I was having problems understanding the course material, she took her personal time after class and tutored me one-on-one. Her commitment to her students was very admirable. Even after graduating I occasionally email Austyn with a question or two, and she is always willing to point me in the right direction.
As Operations Manager, Erin is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the cohort, and she is always quick to answer any questions you may have. When I was drowning in back-logged assignments, I cried out to Erin for help and she arrived the next day with a written plan on how to get me the help I needed. That was very comforting.
Jacob is the hiring manager, and works with you as you job search. What you learn at the guild is phenomenal, but what really sets them apart is their hiring network. You can teach yourself the things the guild teaches you (albeit in a much longer time frame) but you can't leverage the hiring network and skill that these boot camps have access to, and that's where Jacob comes in.
After I graduated Jacob and I sat down in his office, set some goals for my job search, and then Jacob would have me email him my excel spreadsheet every week and follow up with me on every lead I had (or call me to task for not applying to as many jobs as I said I would). We talked over the phone or in person at least once a week, usually twice or more. He would email me jobs he found and thought I would be a good fit for, and was always working to make connections with companies that he could exploit for my advantage. His advice and tips on how to be more effective in my own job searching were invaluable. And he did this with every one of the Guild's graduates. Having Jacob in my corner while job searching was what made the difference between success and failure when it came to finding a job.
It was Jacob's job to build the Guild's hiring network, and he is extremely good at it. A week before the cohort ended he set up a meet and greet with around 12 or 15 companies and we had a sort of speed dating activity where we signed up for so many time slots and spent about 20 minutes with each company. A couple of the guys in my cohort got hired by companies they met at this meet and greet. When it comes to finding a job after graduating, Jacob Knight is the best resource you have at the guild. The job offer I eventually accepted was from a company that Jacob introduced me to.
**A quick caveat: I do not recommend falling behind. My experience graduating late was a very stressful one, and I would not wish it upon anyone. If you are applying to The Software Guild, or any coding boot camp, you need to be dedicated to it 100%. You need to make sure your spouse, or family, or significant other understands that you will be otherwise detained pretty much all day, every day, until the cohort ends. If you are having difficulty in the guild, then clear, early communication is imperative. If you can commit the time and effort required to be success at the guild, you will get a great job and career from it. If you can't, I believe the guild now offers a 9-month, mostly on line program that is a little slower paced.**
When graduation day came, I was not ready. I knew it, and the guild knew it. Erin, Austyn, and myself all sat down and we worked out a plan so I could graduate. I followed the plan, and a month later Erin and Austyn signed my graduation certificate. But the best part about that extra month is I felt like I was ready to work as an entry-level developer by the end of it. That was one of the great things about the guild to me, they don't just take your money and throw you through a program and hope you make it. They are invested in their students. If they hadn't been, I wouldn't have graduated.
I received a job offer right around the time I graduated in January (the rest of my cohort graduated in December) but it wasn't the right fit for me, and I passed on it. 90 days after the cohort ended (to the day) I received another job offer and am now working as a Software Developer with a great company, and my career has no where to go but up. A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders, I am able to cover all of my debts, and then some. Out of the seven people in my cohort six of us now have jobs in the software field (the last guy was self-employed).
- Just What I Needed- 4/22/2016Scott Certain • Web Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: AkronI graduated from the January 2016 C#/.Net cohort of The Software Guild at the Akron Campus on March 25th. On April 20th, I accepted a job offer an a .Net Web Developer in Cincinnati, Ohio.First, my background: I'm a retired veteran with 25 years of service across three branches of the military in career fields ranging from intelligence to healthcare to the combat arms. While technology is the one constant of life in the military, I did not have any programming or web development experience beyond basic HTML, CSS, Cold Fusion Markup Language, and MS Access and that was nearly 15 years ago.When I decided it was time to hang up my combat boots, I spent months searching for a new career. Then, one day I came across an article about coding boot camps and became intrigued. The more I researched it, the more I became interested. I researched the field and learned about the demand for qualified programmers. Software development seemed to offer the challenge, the variety, the reward, and the possibility of never-ending growth that I was looking for.The program offered by The Software Guild is tailored to the in-demand skills that employers are looking for here in the Midwest and at companies nationwide. It was close to home and the price was reasonable compared to other boot camps across the country. There was even the opportunity to get housing nearby, which was a major concern for me. Additionally, the Guild features an employer network, a career assistance program and an active alumni network available to graduates for life.Choosing to attend The Software Guild was the best decision I could have made at this point in my life. Everything seems to have fallen into place from the beginning. Maybe it was because I fully committed to it at the start. You see, I told myself that there was no "Plan B." I described it to friends and acquaintances that I "had taken a running leap off a cliff and face-first into this career." I was going to make it through this course and become a programmer and failure was not an option.So, what's it like to attend this course? It's like sipping from a firehose while running at high speed for 12 weeks. It is a full time program that features lectures in the mornings and hands on practice in the afternoon. The pace is fast and the course material builds upon itself each week. You'll do practice exercises, take quizzes, write code, and begin dreaming about it all while you sleep. You'll work in teams and build applications to demonstrate your mastery of the concepts you've learned. You'll follow agile development procedures and learn to work with others to meet deadlines. You'll put in many more hours of study and practice than the required 9 AM to 4 PM class time. If you don't, you will struggle and you may even fail out of the program.This program is the hardest thing I've ever done because it requires learning new concepts, new ways of thinking and problem solving, and adjusting to new types of challenges at a rapid pace. Now that I'm done, I am most surprised by my ability to have a competent conversation with interviewers on a wide variety of technical topics. I'm confident that as a Junior Developer I have a solid foundation from which I can grow rapidly and I can immediately contribute to my new team.The things that I valued most while attending the Guild were the instructors, the drive shared by my fellow apprentices, and the dedicated, focused environment.Guild founder Eric Wise is approachable and very knowledgeable. Lead .Net instructor Dave Balzer is truly dedicated to the success of his students. All of the instructors (Victor P., Pat T.) and the Teaching Assistants (Randall C., Sarah D. & Gerry B.) are all enthusiastic and dedicated to challenging and mentoring apprentices.As a group, we spent a lot of time studying inside and outside of class. Working hard for an extended period with the same people creates a close bond. We pushed each other to learn more and we helped each other when we struggled. I look forward to maintaining friendships with these guys for a long time.The class environment was key to learning in this program. The following is a list of the things I could think of from the top of my head.
• Apprentices have unlimited access to the classes/computer labs. Every apprentice is issued a laptop with the software required for the program.
• Teaching assistants are available for one-on-one assistance. There's always help online from fellow students from any of the three campuses and even from alumni.
• There's a break area for lunch and every Wednesday night is game night. Several Cleveland area alumni attend to help students relax and learn about life after graduation.
• Alumni are scheduled to sit on a Q&A panel on the first day of every cohort where they share their experiences during and after the Guild.
• Industry veterans familiar with the Guild also sit on a Q&A panel later in the course to provide insight into the software field and how to manage your career.
• Apprentices create LinkedIn profiles, write resumes, and experience mock interviews. Late in the course there's an in-house hiring event in which apprentices get to interview with several companies from the employer network. Several apprentices from my cohort (both Java & .Net) were ultimately hired by these companies.So far, I have submitted about a dozen resumes and had interviews with four employers. I feel like I was well prepared for each of them. I left each of them feeling like I'd had a great conversation and left a good impression with my interviewers. Sure, part of that is personality (and I'm comfortable talking with people), but much of that is the preparation I received from the Guild. I accepted a position as a web developer with a major company in the logistics industry in less than four weeks from graduation.So, would I do it all over again? Hell yeah!Would I recommend it? Definitely, but with one caveat: commit to it completely.Cheers!Scott Certain
Junior .Net DeveloperPS: If you're a military member leaving the service, I highly recommend the software development field and The Software Guild as a next career/training program. Your drive and experiences will pay off in this field and the Guild is a great place to start.
- Career Change: From Zero Experience to Employed- 2/15/2016Dustin • IT Specialist • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Louisville
I recently graduated from the first Java cohort in Louisville, KY. My experience before attending was next to nothing, with only slight experience messing around with HTML. Before attending I was working a job for the telephone company installing internet and phone services. I was thinking of returning to school and after researching computer science programs at the local universities I heard about Software Guild and their opening in Louisville. After doing some research I decided to go the bootcamp route and I am glad I did.
The course curriculum really starts before the first day of class. There is some pre-work that is essential to being ready when the classes start. I wouldn't even say that I truly understood everything before beginning, but even the familiarity helps once you are in class and working. Upon starting class you will have to dedicate yourself totally to learning and retaining the material. Class is 9 - 4 each day and you will have to spend time outside of class to keep up. It is a lot to take in, but it can be done. There are a lot of times where you won't really understand what you are doing or necessarily why but by the next week you will and it will be funny looking back on your ignorance. The great thing about the curriculum is that you can go back and reference the lessons afterward, which I have done even when working at my paid job after the cohort.
I really couldn't have asked any more out of the Software Guild staff. The Java instructor, Austyn, was patient and persistent. Being the first cohort the building was still being finished and we did not have key card access for most of the cohort length. Austyn went above and beyond, meeting us to let us in the building and spending time outside of class teaching and guiding us in our projects. She spent a ton of time getting us ready for interviews and giving incentives for preparing. She is able to explain and teach abstract ideas to beginners. She also has a knack for making class fun. I really enjoyed my time in class and learned a ton.
Jacob is the Networking Manager for the Guild in Louisville. He's your liason to the employer network. Again, I couldn't have asked for more from Jacob. He was proactive in not only setting up the employer event at the Guild but also getting us leads beyond the event. After graduation as I was finishing up my job search Jacob reached out to me a couple times a week and was always available for advice or just an ear to bounce things off of and really helped me in my job search.
The rest of the staff are great. We got to see them around the building quite a bit. One you will most likely interact with is the Brand Manager, Erin. She is your contact to the guild for payments and helps get the students ready for interviews by offering resume advice and interview practice. She makes invoicing and everything easy so that you can concentrate on your studies.
So this is what everyone cares about. Did it work out? Was it worth it? In my opinion, yes. I came out of this program with several job offers, two locally, and one in Dayton, OH. I did end up taking a job here in Louisville and I couldn't be more happy. I'm no longer doing manual labor and dealing with customers every day, instead I am designing and developing web applications that are accessed billions of times a year. I've went from a topped out telephone company wage with no upward mobility to entry level dev with no where to go but up and I've still added 20k to my salary. As long as you dedicate yourself to the program and do not allow yourself to fall behind in the coursework this endeavor will be worth it.
- Marty Kramlinger • Junior Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Minneapolis
Read this entire review
Rigor and classroom experince/atmosphere:
My experience at the software guild was overall a very good one. The program began with clear expectations that the experience would be a lot of work, which it was. The first four weeks I tried to work 16 hours each weekend; I made it work, but there was no free time. If you seriously do this, expect that you won't be able to work. It truly is a 60ish hour/week commitment. Getting a private and/or parent loan would be worth it.
My class--the .Net/C# cohort--started with 12 students. One student dropped out the beginning of week three (meaning he only got half his money back). The student seemed really overwhelmed each class, and it wasn't very surprising to me that he dropped out. However, the instructors didn't know he was considering dropping out, and I am sure that if he came to them and said, "I'm having a lot of problems, considering dropping out, etc..", the instructors would have worked differently with him and made sure that he stayed in. I am pretty sure he didn't try to initiate such a conversation. At the time of his departure, he was at basically the same level of two other classmates who finished the program and got jobs within 30 days of graduating. Also, it seemed like he could have been more diligent with the pre-work, which is essential to a successful experience. Anyways, classroom experience:
Effectively there were 11 of us students in the class, with two instructors, Alec and Kevin. During the time Alec was the "lead" instructor and Kevin was technically an teaching assistant, but they effectively were co-teachers with Alec covering a majority of the lectures and providing comprehensive, broad knowledge of the curriculum, and Kevin providing in depth .NET experience, and also being a great rephrase-r, mainly coming from his many years experience as a instructor of community college computer science classes. Small disadvantages that they have--Alec can sometimes forget what it is like to truly be a beginner, and during our cohort, Kevin did not seem as familiar as I expected him to be with the newer technologies--bootstrap, angular, and MVC. He ended up learning a lot with us--I'm guessing the current cohort will be different. In the end, they covered the opposite's disadvantages. (Also there was another teaching assistant which would come in to help us between 4 and 7pm 2-3 nights/week.) Also, both instructors have GREAT attitudes, and I found them very easy to work with.
I looked forward to going to class every day.
I thought the job assistance was the most robust job assistance any academic program of which I've been a part. Firstly, the entire program is geared towards what will be expected of you as a junior developer in 2016. Secondly, there is a clear calendar of events at the beginning of the program. The first activity is a resume writing session four weeks in, then at about six weeks there's something every week, consisting of mock interviews, recruiter meetings, "speed-dating"-style interviews with members of their employer network (employers who agree to consider us, thereby saving money from skipping recruiters), very successful speakers, alumni connect events, etc. Thirdly, I accepted a job four weeks before the bootcamp ended. I think the (1) largest reason why I got one so soon was that I was so well prepared for my interviews (total of 3), partly from the job assistance and partly from the fact that my mom is very business oriented and I've had that shit on lock since high school, the next largest reason (2) yes, is definitely all the technical stuff I learned in the program, and the last reason (3) is that I definitely think that having an undergraduate degree from a well respected liberal arts college helped me. This shouldn't be a huge barrier for people who don't have an undergrad degree, especially considering the experience trumps all in technology, but I do suspect that it helped. The last reason that I think the job assistance is so effective is that 5 or 6 of the 11 of us had jobs on the day we graduated.
General last notes:
- This program absolutely does what it says it does. Important to note that in the twin cities there are way more .Net jobs than Java jobs, however.
- The program is certainly intensive, and the most stressful time is the beginning few weeks. Honestly I was way more stressed out when I was doing the pre-work.
- Everyone is in the same boat.
- This program is best suited and indeed designed for people with prior education or work experience. 12 weeks is not that long to not have a job, you working professionals! Do it! Also, mainly because I think Bachelor degrees are life enriching and inherently open more doors for people than not having them, I would encourage a high school senior to enroll in an undergraduate degree program in computer science instead of this program. That will open the broadest variety of doors in the long term, and getting a job in a professional environment requires a certain degree of maturity that a lot of high school seniors don't have. These young people will still get jobs like the others, but I think it will take longer. Also, they must be damn sure they want to be a developer because it is 100% technical.
- I encourage anyone who vaguely considers this program to do it.
That's all, at the moment! I hope you found this review helpful, descriptive, and not exalting. I might edit it later, just for clarity in writing.
- A Good Foundation- 2/3/2016Chandler Molbert • Associate Consultant • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Minneapolis
Upon completing the bootcamp one can expect to have a good foundation upon which to build a career in IT/software dev.
People in the cohort I attended arrived with varying levels of experience with java and coding. Any student that applied themselves should have left the cohort with better skill and knowledge than they arrived with.
The curriculum stives to provide each student with a foundation to begin a career. I appreciated the hands-on learning, the intensive projects, the support from instructors and staff, and the support from my fellow students. Overall it was a great experience. I am currently employed in the IT field, using my new skills and knowledge.
- Exceeded expectations- 1/28/2016Jonathan Ecklund • Student • Campus: Minneapolis
As someone with about 20 years of front-end experience, I really wanted to expand my knowledge of all things 'back-end.' Before I started the course I had never even been directly exposed to SQL or any IDEs. By the end of the 12 week program, not only did I have an incredibly comprehensive understanding of C# and .NET, but I had developed the capacity to rapidly understand and decipher other similar frameworks. The atomic level of understanding we developed in the course intricately informs all the work I do now... And makes me look like a whiz at work.
The instructor, Alec, was excellent. His knowledge of everything the course covered was encyclopedic, and he and the staff did a good job of prepping us for the day-to-day experience of working In development. I cannot recommend him enough, and the staff, TAs, and other resources were gracious, knowledgable, and helpful.
I love my new career- much more than I had anticipated. The SWCG Bootcamp offered much more than I had expected at the outset, and I feel that everything I learned has allowed me to excel in my current position.
- Louisville, KY Software Guild Review- 1/28/2016Aaron • Developer • Student • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Louisville
I am a recent graduate of the first .Net/C# cohort in Louisville, KY. My experience from the cohort was fantastic. The class was an immersive 9AM-5PM class, and after the first 4 - 5 weeks (once you master C#), it becomes more of a job, rather than a class.
What I mean by that, is Jason (The .Net Instructor) does give lectures in the class still, but on Monday, he will give you a project(a Web App) to do, that needs to be completed by Friday. This translates into how a job would act outside of the guild.
Jason was always there to help, but wasn't shadowing over you the entire time. We had a rule: If you get stuck on something for more than thirty minutes, go to him to seek help. Something else that was more, job-like than you'd expect.
Of course, the main goal of this class is to get you hired somewhere. If you graduate the class, Jacob is there to help you secure employer connections and lead you in the right path. During the last few weeks at the guild Jacob was creating opportunities to connect to leading job employers from around louisville, and even further away! He created an "employer speed dating" day where the apprentices could schedule to meet with each employer, to help get a sense of what each employer has to offer, and vice-versa with the employer.
By no means was that the only thing Jacob did for us. Upon graduating he was also in touch with me every week, usually at least twice a week. Being the first graduating class, and with the awkward graduation date(1 week before Christmas). It was tough looking for a job. Jacob stayed in touch though, continously giving leads that he could find via email, and phone calls.
In the end, though, this all boils down to you. You need to stay committed to the program, in more ways that one. When attending class you cannot just sit through a class and expect to absorb all the knowledge to suceed. Participation is the key to being successful in this program. Particiapting by asking questions when you don't quite understand, attend meetings(outside the class hours) that the guild suggest you attend, and overall interacting with the class and the instructor. By the end of this program, the guild is not required to get you a job. The guild will assist you by any ways necessary, but ultimately it all relies on your participation. If you can follow everyone's advice, you will be successful.
If it wasn't for the guild, I wouldn't have gotten to where I am today, and would still be stuck working retail, and not living up to my potential. I have just gotten my first job as a developer, and owe a lot of my success to The Software Guild.
- YES!- 1/26/2016Emily Flower • Web Programmer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: MinneapolisI am a graduate of the second .Net cohort in Minneapolis. Attending the class was the best decision I have ever made. I am employed as a Web Programmer and continue to expand my knowledge development daily. My experience at the Guild not only gave me a great base understanding of coding, it provided me tools for continued learning.The aptitude test ensures that candidates are capable of absorbing this type of intense learning. The course pre-work is imperative and so beneficial. It absolutely set the pace for the rest of the course. The course material covers a broad enough range that one's ability to get through the course says a lot to potential employers.
Pros:My instructor was AMAZING. Alec had a way of making the most intense, stressful times doable. His demeanor was vital to the wonderful atmosphere of my cohort. He took time to review any lesson we asked, either in a group basis or one on one. He was so committed to our success it pushed us to work harder.The rest of the staff! Everyone was encouraging, enthusiastic and supportive. The Program Manager, Johanna, went way above and beyond to help us in every way she could. From treats on Fridays to keep us going to calling personal favors. Jo made personal calls to many friends she has in the industry to work with us. We had offers for references, mentorship, career counseling, etc.The COURSE. The work is fascinating, the pace is intense, by the time you grasp a topic you're on to the next. The material is relevant, and laid out to be absorbed.
Cons:I don't think enough emphasis was placed by the recruitment people on the time and energy it may take us to land interviews and jobs. It wasn't until later in the course, when the staff at our location talked with us, that we realized we needed to prepare for the possibility of not having a job right after the class was over. Being that the participants are all adults, presumably with financial responsibilities, families, etc., the recruitment staff seemed more concerned with enrolling us than with making sure we understood we'd need the time and resources to commit to full-time job searching after the program finished. Enrollment also could have done more to explain the intensity of the course.There was confusion (as should be expected in a program this new) about requirements for pre-coursework. Potential students need to have access to appropriate software for those assignments.
All in all, the program is great and getting better. I would (and have!) highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in coding. I am in an amazing field with awesome career opportunities. My time at the Guild was sometimes a blur, but worth every moment. I am so grateful I had the opportunity.
- Not a fan- 1/26/2016Andy • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Minneapolis
The end game for me was employment. While that was promised by the creator of the program on day 1, that did not happen for me. It happened for most, but not me. The communication from the program has become non-existent, with the exception of an email asking me to fill out this review. I enjoyed the program, the teacher was cool, my classmates were awesome, and if I would have found employment like they promised I would be very pleased with the whole situation. I just don't think they had a contingency plan if things didn’t go the way they hoped.
- Worth it- 1/22/2016Mohamed J • Software Developer • Student • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Minneapolis
Taking this course was a great experience, it was very challenging but also taught me alot about software development and about working hard and persevering in over challenging situations. Also the in-house job fair at the end of the course was the reason I had a job already in hand before I graduated. I am grateful to all the instructors including Alec, Kevin, and the staff Jo and Kipp. This experience is worth it and it will help launch your career as a software developer.
- Do it- 1/16/2016Kate Williamson • Associate .Net Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Minneapolis
I graduated at the end of July 2015 from the .Net course in Minnesota. Entering a computer programming field of education and career path was a giant leap for me and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.
The staff at the Software Guild were supportive, informative, and fun to be around. The amount of information being presented in a short amount of time can be overwhelming but there are resources to help deal with the stress; classmates, staff, course materials and exercises. Our instructor was always willing to answer questions and provide follow-up lectures when needed.
In addition to programming information the Guild provides career assistance with resume workshops, employer networking events and mock interviews. This is very helpful to those entering this field for the first time and need to create a technical resume and prepare for technical interviews.
I am now in a job where I am constantly learning new skills and contributing to a company and team that I respect and enjoy being around.
- .Net student review- 1/15/2016Chad Rehm • Web Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Minneapolis
I graduated from the SWG on July 31, 2015. I got my job at Kinetic Data a week and a half after the course ended. I love what I do.
I've never thought that I would find feild where everone was like me and into the same things that I'm into. Yesterday I was walking though another companies shop looking at the pictures on the walls and the trinkes at people desk. There where Majic cards, Star Trek posters, and a room theamed after Lord of the Rings.
The only reason I am in the position that I am today is because of the SWG. Thank you to Joanna Rizzo, Alec Wojciechowski and Eric Wise.
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