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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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 in Louisville or Minneapolis. Experience immersive education and change your life by learning software development skills.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- Minneapolis, Louisville, Atlanta
- Options available through Skills Fund and Climb
- Refund / Guarantee
- Refund yes, Guarantee no
- The Software Guild offers several different discounts, including for ‘Women in Tech’ and ‘Veterans Who Code ’
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
Earn 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.
- Start Date
- November 4, 2019
- Class size
- $125 registration fee
- Skillsfund and Climb
- Tuition Plans
- Pay-as-you-learn; tuition per badge
- Refund / Guarantee
- Refund yes, Guarantee no
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
More Start DatesNovember 4, 2019 - OnlineApply by October 18, 2019December 2, 2019 - OnlineApply by November 15, 2019
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 in Louisville or Minneapolis. Experience immersive education and change your life by learning software development skills.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- Minneapolis, Louisville, Atlanta
- Skills Fund and Climb
- Refund / Guarantee
- Refund yes, Guarantee no
- The Software Guild offers several different discounts, including for ‘Women in Tech’ and ‘Veterans Who Code’
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
Earn 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.
- Start Date
- November 4, 2019
- Class size
- Skillsfund and Climb
- Tuition Plans
- Pay-as-you-learn; tuition per badge
- Refund / Guarantee
- Refund yes, Guarantee no
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
More Start DatesNovember 4, 2019 - OnlineApply by October 18, 2019December 2, 2019 - OnlineApply by November 15, 2019
Software Guild Reviews
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- .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.
- No Regrets- 1/4/2016Anonymous • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Louisville
Prior to attending the Software Guild, I had a job. But now, I have a career in a field that I love, and that wouldn't be possible without the Guild. I took a huge risk leaving a job that paid well to pursue something that I was passionate about. Before the course was even completed, I had already received an offer and started working the very next week in a great company where I can grow as a developer. And it just so happens that it pays more. The instructor was amazing: Austyn went above and beyond, putting up with all my questions, both the good and the bad. I attended the Java cohort, but am currently working for a company that develops in both C# and Java. While I didn't learn any C# in class, I am very comfortable extrapolating what I do know about programming in Java and seeing similarities between languages in order to quickly understand what is happening in the code. 10/10, would attend again.
- Andrew West • Jr. Software Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Minneapolis
Alec and Kevin, the .NET instructors, are knoledable and enthusiastic teachers, They challenged us and helped us learn a lot in a very short ammount of time. The job placement assistance by Jo and Kip was invaluable as well. They really husseled to put a lot of oppertunities in front of each student. While I focused on learning they helped me apply to a dozen good positions and get several interviews. Half our class had jobs before we even graduated.
There are a few orginizational issues since this is the first year of classes for this bootcamp, such as some quizes having wrong answers. But they are taking feedback seriously, so I wouldn't be concerned and they were realitivly minor issues anyway.
- Troy Laird • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
I developed an interest in software development after taking a couple weeks of an intro to java course at my local community college. I realized I’d have to take at least 2-4 more years of dull college courses in order to begin working as a developer. That’s when I started researching programming bootcamps. After some research I decided to interview with The Guild. It was the closest camp to my hometown, Pittsburgh, and the price tag (10k) is far more affordable than other programs. Additionally, it’s one of the only camps that teaches the .NET and Oracle stacks – two foundational languages of modern enterprise systems. When I saw the opportunity The Guild offered, and its proven results through the success of its prior members, I was sold.
Before going to The Guild I had attended and promptly dropped out of 3 different undergrad programs in 3 years. I could never see how the costs of a university (both time and money) could be justified, especially when taking classes that were mandatory but seemed entirely irrelevant to learning a skill and getting a job. I thought I would never find an educational system I truly enjoyed - The Guild proved me wrong. The apprenticeship model is one that many vocational schools employ and one which suits software development well. Throughout my time in the cohort, there was always an experienced instructor available to offer guidance. They were enthusiastic and more than willing to help if I was struggling with a concept or wanted to know more about a particular topic. Not only did they teach the material in the curriculum but their enthusiasm for technology and development is contagious. You’ll leave The Guild with an even bigger appetite for learning and improving your newfound skills.
A little over 6 months ago I was a food delivery driver. Before that I held various gigs within the service industry. Clearly I didn’t have the best credentials for a job in IT. Despite that I accepted an offer in the 11th week of the cohort and two weeks after graduating in July, I was working as a .NET developer for a company in downtown Cleveland. (Though I studied Java, the fundamentals they teach allow you to be ‘language agnostic’ - you can easily transfer from one language to another. I’m currently developing in C#, VisualBasic and AngularJS, none of which I studied in depth at The Guild) As long as you have a desire to learn and a determination to succeed, The Guild will give you the skills to become an entry level software developer. More than that, they prepare you for the job search by critiquing your resume as well as conducting mock tech interviews. They also provide networking events through which you can meet prospective employers and recruiting agencies. Though the job search is initially intimidating, The Guild helps you every step of the way.
If you want to be a developer and you’re looking for the next step to take, look no further. The Software Guild is your ticket to a new career and a new life!
- Eddie Campbell • Applications Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Definitely worth it- 9/27/2015John Willis • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
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.
- Great education, highly recommend- 9/14/2015Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
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.
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.
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.
- Looking for a career change? Apply now!- 9/5/2015Suzanne Martinez • Applications Programmer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
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 • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
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 • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
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!
- Very rewarding experience- 3/24/2015Tad • Software Apprentice • Student • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: AkronWhat 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.
- Perfect Bootcamp for Career Switch- 3/18/2015Josh Patterson • Student • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
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.
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.
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.
- This program is coding- 3/18/2015Zach • Student • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
- If you're thinking about applying, do it- 3/18/2015Sam Sawan • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
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.
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.
- A technology novice's career change- 2/26/2015Jennifer Kelly • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
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.
- Best Career Move Yet- 12/20/2014Tamara Thiboutot • Junior Software Developer • Student • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
Not only did I quit a comfortable job at a company with a great name and environment to come learn at the Guild, but I also put every penny I had into the move and the cohort. I was particularly skeptical and demanding because I was putting everything into it, and bootcamps can be a hit or miss investment. You know what? the guild was the best career move I've ever made. I am now making $10.40/hr more than I was making before starting the guild. That means this program will have paid for itself in the first year. Twice. This is also just my starting salary. Their hiring network was growing at a serious pace as I was attending, but I had to go back home to my family. I got a job outside the network within 3 weeks after finishing the course, and I went on vacation for two of those. NOTE: I was on my phone and computer a lot while on "break" arranging interviews . The morning after I landed back home I had an interview and they offered me the job. I know this first part kind of sounds like a commercial but I can assure you this was all written because I'm just genuinely glad I made this move.
That's just the end result though, so what was it like attending? It was definitely fast paced and frustrating at times. A lot of content in a short amount of time is an adjustment, and if it everything doesn't click right away you can't take that personally like I did in the beginning. So do not apply if you are looking for a shortcut. This will take your full attention inside and outside of class, and do yourself a favor and do all of the pre-work. It was great to learn from someone who's actually spent a significant amount of time in the industry. Someone who will be real with you about what you can expect to use and not use in real world business applications. Wise is a straight shooter and there will be no coddling. So again do not apply if you are not dedicated.
Your average day will consist of slide decks and lectures in the morning, then you will be set free to work on an assigned project or your labs for practice. You will be working by yourself, pair programming, or in a group of three. Help is available whenever you need it.
I came in with a little self study but basically as a complete novice, I wasn't really sure I could do this up until the middle of cohort. I would have sold myself real short had I listened to those incorrect assumptions. I struggled a little bit in the beginning, but Sarah (the AWESOME Microsoft MVP tutor) and Eric were more than available for me. I lived in the Lofts that they sublease, and it was great to be near other apprentices in the off hours.
Summary: all in all a very worthwhile experience and investment but don't expect it to be an easy ride, there's a lot to cover in 3 months. Things move at a frustrating pace sometimes, but your instructor will always repeat or clarify if you just ask.
PS. I attended the Aug 2014 .NET Cohort
- Mid-life career change, no regrets- 12/16/2014Rebecca Pollard • Web Developer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
I was a member of the April-June 2014 class at the Software Craftsmanship Guild in Akron, Ohio. I chose the .Net cohort due to personal preference and my early interactions with Eric Wise, then President of the guild, which were extremely positive.
I had been a high school math teacher for 12 years, teaching AP-level courses and working with extremely bright and motivated students. I enjoyed teaching but had become restless, wanting a change, and I had always had a love for technology and computers. From a young age I tinkered with computers, dabbled in programming, and was the one who friends and family members called when they needed tech support or advice. After researching my options, I decided to change careers. I chose the Guild due to cost, location, convenience of housing options, and most importantly, the curriculum. I wanted to learn C# and the .Net stack because I felt that it would make me very employable, and I was not mistaken.
While the program is grueling in its intensity and not for the feint of heart, I have no regrets about my time at the Guild and would do it all over again. You learn more in 12 weeks than even I, as a teacher, felt humanly possible, and you get plenty of hands-on practice so that by the time you leave you have a strong skill set and are more than prepared to enter the field as a junior developer. Furthermore, with resume help and guidance, mock interviews, and plenty of advice from field-tested veterans, you can’t help but to succeed… given that you hold up your end of the bargain, which is to work extremely hard for the duration. I would estimate that I spent roughly 70 hours each week including class time, assignments, group work, and my own personal projects. Help is always available and you get an incredible amount of support and practical advice throughout, but it is very challenging and more than a little stressful at times. However, with hard work and dedication, it is totally doable.
I started interviewing during week eight and accepted a job offer on Monday of week ten. I began work as a web developer two weeks after my cohort ended, and I can honestly say that I have found my niche and could not be happier. I love the work and the company I work for, and my skills have literally taken off in the months since I graduated. I hit the ground running and was using everything I learned at the guild right away. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in becoming a .Net developer.
- Brian Kurr • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Akron
4 months ago, I didn't know the first thing about software development. Last week, I accepted a job offer from a company that wants me to be a software engineer. I spent the rest of that morning politely declining three other job offers I received. The guild works. During your time here, you will be trained as a full stack developer.
(for those interested in Java)
This means you will learn:
- Linux and command line basics (we use Ubuntu 14.04)
- Source code control - Github
- Java syntax - how to write Java code
- object oriented principles - How to create simple programs in Java
- The Spring Framework - most companies use a framework to aid in software development. You will learn how to properly utilize a framework in conjunction with Java.
- XML - how to use XML files to configure your programs
- Database basics. How to design, create, maintain, and manipulate a database using MySQL.
- Web - MVC, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap and how to create a web site that utilizes Java.
- SDLC - The software development life cycle, including the Agile method for development.
**Please keep in mind that the curriculum is constantly being refined and improved, but rest easy that any changes are done to make you a better developer
The course is demanding. It is 7 hours per day for twelve weeks. Is is like drinking from a fire hose. Our instructor, Eric Ward, was nothing short of fantastic. Eric worked in the industry as a senior software developer for many years before deciding to teach. He knows what employers are looking for. Having a resource like Eric in the classroom everyday was invaluble.
The guild's best feature is its hiring network. There are over sixty companies in the network at this time. In the last six months, the network has doubled in size. During the middle of the semester, the guild held a job fair for us. Over twenty companies came to our campus. I got face time with 7 different companies in two days. This resulted in formal interviews with 6 different companies, and 4 different job offers.
I can't recommend the guild enough. I went from knowing nothing, to being a software engineer in twelve weeks, for the cost of a semester of college.
tl;dr signed up for the guild, learned a ton, got a well paying job.
- Intense, but worth it- 9/25/2019Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Louisville
I come from a background in many different areas. The most recent being ministry. I had a 4 year degree in math and about a year of self-taught experience as I was beginning the Louisville Software Guild .NET/C# Bootcamp. I quickly exhausted all that I learned in my year of self-teaching within the first 3 weeks of the bootcamp. Not only did I learn how to code, but I also learned other concepts that are extremely important if you want to break into the field. Concepts like OOP, how to write clean code, testing, data structuring, MVC, and others. Between in-class work and home-work I put in, on average, 70 hours a week for the duration of the 12 weeks. I also drove an hour one way everyday to attend the in person bootcamp. I say that just in case someone else is thinking about taking the plunge but doesn't live in Louisville. It was difficult, but definitely doable. After the Guild it only took 2 weeks to be hired by a company in Louisville. I believe most of my class (maybe 90%) of them had already accepted/pending job offers by this point as well.
The only negative thing I could say about my time with the Software Guild was that my .NET/C# professor was pretty terrible, but he's since moved on from the Software Guild. All the other staff is phenomenal though!
- Quite a nice little operation- 12/2/2017Anonymous • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: MinneapolisGood program. I like how you can take both the .Net and Java classes when you take one for regular price. You get a lot of practical instruction on useful enterprise-level Java tools to immediately become marketable to employers. Sometimes the lectures got long and boring (I like it when the lecturer has his stuff all together and organized to instruct us, having to hunt and peck for the answers is very distracting). The instructors really do know a lot about the material and I'm glad I got to study under them. I just hope that I'm able to get a job now that I've come through their bootcamp. I've got some really cool programs in my portfolio.
- Anonymous • Graduate • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
I went to the Software Guild in 2014 when it was known as The Software Craftsmanship Guild, and this review will document my conclusions as a “graduate” who has been in the industry for three years now. 2014 was at the very beginning of the coding bootcamp bubble that has since developed. In short, my experience with the Software Guild was disappointing, and that disappointment has persisted and amplified as I have attempted to work in the software development industry.
First, I found the Software Guild curriculum to be underdeveloped at best. It was very cookie cutter and essentially a weak clone of the curriculums developed by the original west coast camps (Hack Reactor etc.). In retrospect, I can confidently conclude that the instruction was abysmal. Anything of substance that I learned during my time at the Software Guild was due to my autodidactic tendencies. (pro tip: if you don’t have autodidactic tendencies…DO NOT go into software development. You really do have to be learning new material constantly) Without fail, my instructor (Eric Wise) would stop in the middle of lectures to answer business phone calls or meet with potential investors visiting the site. I found this incredibly disrespectful to the students who each paid $10,000 for the course. If this had occurred in the first week of the course, I would have demanded a refund on the spot, but unfortunately I was too deep into the program to quit. I realized halfway through the program that Eric Wise is an enthusiastic salesman and businessman, NOT an instructor. Finally, there was some woefully inadequate "career guidance" that consisted of the other founder (Jenny Zamberlan) ensuring that we would parrot the script of non-thinking yes men/women during our interviews with prospective employers. Most of my classmates were employed with 3-month contracts upon leaving the Guild. I sure hope the Software Guild does not count these short contracts in their employment statistics, but something tells me they sure do.
My experience after the boot camp ended has been equally disappointing. Anybody who is smart enough to be a legitimate software developer should understand some basic economics. Opportunities for developers are heavily influenced by the supply/demand curve, and the supply of "developers" is rapidly increasing due to increased CS degree enrollment and the glut of boot camp "graduates." Many employers now view boot camp graduates with deep suspicion. I have actually removed The Software Guild from my resume and all employment sites, as I feel that having a no name boot camp on my CV is actually harmful to my employment prospects. Also, the H1B threat is real. I thought it was a bunch of “took mah jerbs” tripe a few years ago, but I have since lost my job to a flock of Indians on H1B visas. You must understand that the types of software development jobs that are accessible to boot camp graduates are HEAVILY exposed to the risk of outsourcing and H1B abuse. With no CS degree and only 12 weeks of experience, you are a code monkey when you “graduate” from a boot camp, and this global economy has plenty of code monkeys who want your job more than you do.
In conclusion, if it's too good to be true...well, you know the rest. If you are serious about a substantive career as a technology professional, please heed my advice and earn a legitimate computer science degree from a well-known 4 year institution. You'll have a depth of knowledge that is orders of magnitude greater than a boot camp graduate. Anything that a boot camp can purportedly teach you in a few months can be learned on the side as you work towards your legitimate CS degree.
The only good thing I have to say about my experience at The Software Guild was that some of my classmates were great people, and I am still in contact with some of them.
- .NET Review- 10/11/2017Anonymous • Course: .NET/C# • Campus: Akron
I took the bootcamp two years ago. The day went like this: The morning started with a standup meeting where everyone stood in a circle and each person stated what they did, are working on, and will work on. It was followed by a short quiz on the PC about previous day's lecture and a short question/answer assignment. Then there was a lecture and some coding work along until lunchtime. After lunch we all worked on our coding warm ups.
The coding work along, that we were suppose to code along with the teacher, went a bit too fast for everyone to keep up comofortably. It was a rush to code what the teacher was coding; some got it and some didn't.
Those who moved into the Lofts (apartments they provide at a cost) teamed up and worked together while on the campus or in the apartment; they hung out together, ate lunch together, and worked together. Those who commuted from home were left on their own to work alone. So, it was one these commuting students who eventually were given the boot after 4 week evaluation.
The cost is $10k some of which can be refunded depending on when you drop out or are kicked out.
They had a guy who helps with finding a job. He was very unproffessional and wasted everyone's time. He was in the program before and dropped out but came back and got a job as an HR person to help graduates get a job (from what previous guild members said).
- GoForCode at Software Guild- 10/6/2017Anonymous • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Louisville
I am a recent graduate and had a WONDERFUL experience going through the Java Bootcamp at the SoftwareGuild school in Louisville, KY. The instructors were professional, super intellegent, engaging, supportive and tough when they needed you to push your limits. The course content was very applicable and I feel prepared me for the position I'm now working in.
The school staff was also very supportive and easy to work with. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who is trully committed to emersing themselves in learning a fast paced environment geared toward learning in demand skills, fast!
- Java Bootcamp- 9/29/2017Anonymous • Graduate • Course: Java • Campus: Louisville
I attended The Software Guild Java Bootcamp in Louisville, KY between February and April 2017.
The curriculum included full stack development, so to say we covered a lot of ground in a short time is an understatement. Although I have an IT background, I was completely foreign to Java and many of the supporting technologies that we covered during the course.
The pace of the coursework was sometimes - adequately - described as drinking from a fire hose (or three), and it required adapting to an agile mindset that was willing to simply "follow the pattern" to finish the objective and have faith that the understanding will sink in later. For me, this was especially challenging - after all, my future job prospect was dependent upon me *understanding* Java development - but, eventually, I made the adjustment, and found the guidance to be true.
Given this, I must credit the staff and instructors at The Software Guild. I believe they made all the difference by showing genuine interest in our success and compassion during the challenging times.
On-Time Graduation Rate