Turing School of Software & Design is a 7-month, full-time training program in Denver, CO turning driven students into professional developers. Students who take their Back End Engineering Program or their front End Engineering Program will be surrounded by a supportive team dedicated to their career success. Turing's mission is to unlock human potential by training a diverse, inclusive student body to succeed in high-fulfillment technical careers, while Turing's vision is a world powered by technology where the people building it represent the people using it. Turing is the brainchild of Jeff Casimir and Jumpstart Labs (you might recognize these names from Hungry Academy and gSchool, among other achievements). The staff at Turing emphasizes their educational experience, not just their years as developers, and promises that successful graduates of the school will be valuable contributors to the company they choose to work for through community-driven education. The application process is rolling and requires a resume, writing sample, video response, and logic challenge. Students in the Turing program will learn TDD with Ruby, Ruby Web Applications with Sinatra & Rails, Professional Web Applications, and High-Performance Applications with APIs and Services. In addition, Turing now accepts the GI Bill and offers M-1 visa assistance.
Recent Turing Reviews: Rating 4.77
Recent Turing News
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In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week27 Weeks
Start Date Rolling Start Date Cost $20,000 Class size 28 Location DenverMoving from the basics of object-oriented programming and software execution to building database-backed web applications in Sinatra and Rails, our Back-End Engineering program provides the fundamental skills to launch your career in programming.
Deposit $1,000 Financing Tuition Plans Alternative Financing available for students who are not approved by our lending partners. Scholarship $4,000 Diversity Scholarship
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test Yes Interview Yes
In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week27 Weeks
Deposit $1,000 Financing Tuition Plans Alternative Financing available for students who are not approved by our lending partners. Scholarship $4,000 Diversity Scholarship
Minimum Skill Level N/A Placement Test Yes Interview Yes
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- Turing - Carreer or bust- 2/23/2016A.C. • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
Turing is hard. From day one I was pushed. Before Turing I was a bartender and restaurant manager. I could use social media and type, but that was about the extent of my technology experience. More than once I thought about taking a break or leaving the program completely. Those thoughts stemmed mainly from self doubt and stress, but 6 months after I finished the program I can't believe I ever thought about quitting.
Best decision I ever made. Also one of the harder more stressful things I've done, but the 7 month sacrifice of a personal life, free time and generally all leisure time paid.
I don't think this program is for everyone, but if you're ready to put your head down, work hard, and change your life then I'd recommend Turing for you.
- In a league of its own- 2/23/2016Bryce • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I am a graduate of Turing and I think these reviews have summed up a lot of the great aspects of Turing. The curriculum is top-notch as are the instructors. The length of the program is commensurate with the amount of material covered, and needed to be covered in order to become a real developer that is ready for work in the field. I had done my homework before applying to Turing and anticipated most of these qualities, but what impressed me most about Turing were the things I wasn't expecting.
I think where Turing truly sets itself apart is outside of the classroom. Turing has quickly built a large community and it puts that community to work for its students. When I was a student we had small groups assembled of several current students, some from each of the four "cohorts", and mentors. We held weekly meetings with these small groups and the topics ran the gamut of simple tips and tricks to checking in on workload management (because there is a lot of work), but the real value is making connections and setting you up for success. The thing that helped me succeed the most while in Turing as well as post-Turing was spending time with mentors from all walks. I could get any question I needed answered, but in addition I often left with more than I asked for in wisdom imparted on me. For someone that is new to anything, that wisdom can go a long way since you don't quite know the right questions to ask. This community goes to bat for its students when it comes time to find a job as well. Turing has alumni all over the country and likely in several other countries as well at this point.
- Transformative- 2/23/2016Drew Fink • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
Turing is what happens when a bunch of immensly devoted people with a ton of experience in both the tech world and education go into a basement in downtown Denver and try to re-imagine how education itself, and the tech industry as a whole could be better... I'm obviously referring to the instructors and staff, but they also want each student to be an active participant in their quest. There's a vision, there's a huge emphasis put on community, there's that scrappy start-uppy (start puppy?) attitude of constant improvement and questioning. Turing continuously re-evaluates it's curriculum, they ask for feedback every week from every person so that things never get stale. It's hard, but there's no wasted effort. Like I said, it's located in a basement, which can feel a bit stuffy at times, but it's Denver... Denver rocks. Just make sure to take periodic breaks to come up for fresh air and see the sun for a few moments. I have tremendous faith in Turing as a "non-institutional institution." Super glad I took the plunge, highly reccommend it, I made my roomate do it after I finished. You should too.
- Educator to Developer- 2/23/2016Andy • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I had been working as a technology coördinator/person-who-handles-everything-that-plugs-in-and-teaches-classes-on-the-side for seven years prior to enrolling at Turing. Unfortunately nothing I had done previously transferred to programming and I started with basically nothing.
The program was rigorous. All those water analogies (drinking from the fire hose, being thrown into the deep end, &c.) accurately described my experiences, especially at first. As the program progressed though, so did my understanding and looking back week by week, my progress was real and impressed me.
Turing's strongest and weakest points are the same: self-reflection. Sometimes the staff can seem obstinate, assuming that any troubles students are having are the student's own and holding the curriculum above reproach. I had a very difficult time with this coming from an education background. On a grander scale, the staff are committed to turning out the best alumni in the world. That goal is lofty and they take it very seriously. Add in a non-trivial social justice mission, and you can see that the staff are holding themselves to at least as high a standard as they do the students. This can lead to a greater good mentality that can be difficult for individual students while beneficial to the community.
I was lucky to have a job the night before graduating, and I'm still there, a little over a year later. The first few months were very difficult as I had to get up to speed with topics and skills I had not learned at Turing, but my colleagues were helpful and understanding. Now I work as a peer with senior developers and have interesting side projects in the open source community.
Turning my career around was a scary and difficult process, but one that I am glad to have undertaken. Turing was not easy, but I left prepared to do meaningful work that I continue to enjoy.
- Excellent investment- 2/22/2016Erik Butcher • Graduate • Campus: Denver
I'm going to keep this quick - you really get a sense that the staff aren't almighty overlords but just people like you, which is great to know that they've been in similar positions to you as a student, prospective or otherwise. Turing also strongly believes that you need to be aware of social issues in the tech industry and beyond, and while I agree they way this gets presented can be intimidating. All in all though it is an excellent program that deserves your consideration even if you're not already in Colorado or Denver.
- 7 Months of Quality Education- 2/18/2016Danny • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I originally went to university for a traditional 4-year degree in Computer Science. I dropped out after 2 years because I was ultimately paying to teach myself the technology I was interested in. I worked in IT for years prior to and proceeding my time at school. I had multiple internships and freelance gigs as a developer. Not once during all that time did I feel confident in what I was doing.
Then I attended Turing.
Turing completely altered the way I approach problems. It gave me the confidence to say, “I don’t know the answer, but I can figure it out.” They helped me develop not only a mindset for programming, but also the soft skills necessary for the real world.
The curriculum pushes you to your limits, fills you to capacity with new knowledge. You will be physically exhausted from the overload of new information. The instructors challenge you to be better than those before you. You’re pushed by your peers. You’re constantly pushed, but at the same time given the support to go beyond.
A lot of students find their breaking point. You learn when to stop and go for a walk. You learn to think clearly under stress. You learn to navigate the turmoil of collaborative engineering. It can be a shit show at times, but it’s in tune with the business world.
Much like traditional schooling, a major selling point is the network. Turing’s network is incredibly valuable, despite being relatively young.
I don’t have much to say regarding the downsides of Turing. They do weekly check-ins with each cohort and 1-on-1s with each student weekly, so they’re constantly gathering constructive feedback. They constantly iterate on their lesson plans and work on whatever flaws are uncovered. Jeff has somewhat of an inflated ego, but he’s conscious of it and the worst it brings is hearing the same stories a few times over.
Ultimately, you’re paying for an opportunity to create a better life for yourself. They will give you ample resources to do so. Don’t naively go into this thinking you’ll be handed all the answers or that Turing owes you a job at the end. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
- Best, most rigorous pathway into web development- 2/17/2016Travis Haby • Software Developer • Graduate • Campus: Denver
Before attending Turing I was a 7th grade math teacher with no programming experience. Turing's extremely high academic expectations and strong support from faculty, mentors and fellow students helped me go from knowing nothing to feeling like a very competitive candidate for Jr. Web Developer positions.
Turing requires you to commit yourself completely to emmersing yourself in learning as much as you can, as quickly as you can. I would say that on average I worked 60-70 hours each week.
I became employed as a full-stack software developer one week after graduation at an education technoology startup using a Rails stack. I couldn't be happier with me decision to attend Turing.
- If you want to learn Full-Stack and be challenged...- 11/18/2015Adam Ki • Student • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I am currently enrolled in Turing School of Software and Design. The school is broken into 6 week sections called modules. I am in Module 3 of the program and I would like to share my experience thus far.
The entire course is made up of 4 modules with a week of recovery in between each one. You can look up the general focus of each module online at Turing.io, so I wont focus on that.
My experience at Turing has been nothing short of amazing. I strongly feel that it is among the best schools available at this time. Of course, you can go to any school and succeed. you could also go to an amazing school and not succeed. i can say that Turing has been the most challenging thing that I have ever done. I am constantly challenged in technical areas and even personal areas.
Jeff Casimir is leading the students to a new career and a happier life. I see it all the time. I see students complete Turing and get jobs that are amazing! I believe it is due to the fact that Turing focuses on both technical and soft skill preparation. There are plenty of events and communal efforts to improve each and every student during there time at Turing. For example, Turing brings in specialists as often as they can to help us with learning the in -and-outs of coding and job preparation. But more importantly, Turing puts an equal amount of resources into improving things such as soft-skills, interview skills, commnunication and co-operation, and even public-speaking skills.
If you are considering Turing, I would urge you to prepare yourself to be challeged in every aspect. I will admit that turing pushes students very hard. Every new batch of students (cohort) is doing increasingly more diffucult assignments. It's really amazing to see new students come into school and start taking on challenges that I didn't even get to do. They are raising the bar every chance they get an expect top performance from the students.
There are definetely times at Turing when you might think that it is complete madness. That's OK. Just be ready for it. Organization and time management is really important under such tough conditions and will serve you well.
I know that I am rambling. I did not fill in the rating for "Job Assistance" just yet as I am still very much enrolled in School and have yet to start my Job Search. But I know that Turing will give me the foundation to enter the industry as a competent and able Jr Developer.
If you have additional questions, you can feel free to check out my Github Profile: https://github.com/adamki
- Great Way to Make a Career Switch- 11/15/2015Mihir Parikh • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I came to Turing keenly interested in programming but unsure how to approach translating that into a career. I had done some online tutorials and classes but was never able to truly immerse myself into the world of software development. This is where Turing came in. For seven months you eat, sleep, and breathe programming. You are surrounded by classmates, staff, and mentors who support you in learning new skills but also integrate you into the developer community.
Turing students’ track records speak for themselves and reflect the quality of the program. However, as one previous reviewer mentioned, there is NO Magic in learning how to code. I know that my cohort-mates and I put in hours upon hours everyday to get to where we got in seven months. Turing is not a part-time program, you really have to be all in. Having said that, I found the curriculum to be very practical and relevant to the real world. The greatest skill I got out of Turing was learning how to learn programming. I came from a background in health sciences where memorizing information was key to success in school. In programming, practical problem solving is key. After 3 months, I was able to take on learning new concepts on my own. Seven months is seven months, you can only be taught by staff only so much. Having developed the skill to teach myself what I was interested in was AWESOME and that alone made the program worth it for me.
I do want to address a misconception that some people (including myself) had about the job hunt. On the internet I read a ton about the vast shortage of developers we have and Turing’s amazing job placement rate. In my mind, I built up this image of employers lining up fighting to hire us. In reality, YOU have to do whatever it takes to prove to employers that YOU have it. This means it is YOUR responsibility to network, prepare for technical interviews, and job hunt. Turing does have resources and connections that help you make initial contact with potential employers, but the onus is on YOU to deliver. Turing provides you the necessary skillset to be successful in the job hunt but do not expect a job waiting for you, YOU got to go get it.
I would highly recommend Turing to people who are looking to jump into the software development world and break into the workforce as soon as possible. Just remember, this is not a replacement to a CS degree so there are going to be knowledge gaps but those can always be addressed on your own time. It is awesome to go to work everyday knowing that you are doing what you love while making a solid living doing so. Thank you Turing for helping me get there.
- Best Program in the Country- 9/29/2015Herbert Joseph • Junior Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
- Zero To Hero- 9/3/2015Christopher Knight • Senior Web Developer • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I had zero programming knowledge before learning from Jeff Casimir & the instructors who now operate Turing school of software & design.
There is no magic in learning to program. You truly get out what you put in, and these people will simply give you the skills you need to teach yourself once you graduate. It was a lifechanging experience that empowered me with the ability to build amazing tools with code. I love solving and automating businesses' problems with code and encourage anyone on the fence about the Turing program to jump in head first.
A short ( & mildly embarrasing) video I made of the program & my compatriates. Don't be confused that this is about gSchool. There was a silly branding switchup after my cohort and I highly reccomend Turing and Jeff Casimir's team.
- Minnie Lee • Software Developer • Graduate • Campus: Denver
I had little to no experience programming, coming into Turing and wanted to give programming a try after having exhausted myself in different industries and never being satisfied with how stale and unchallenging the work came to be after a bit. I am a creative and logical individual. I enjoy being challenged constantly but also need to satisfy my creative needs, and programming has allowed me to satisfy both of those needs. That being said, I am now working for Visa using the skills that Turing has equipped me with. Not only do I feel prepared and ready to take on the challenges at my job, but I also have forged relationships with my peers and mentors that I have met and worked with while at Turing. To me, this is the most important part of what I gained during my 7 month adventure. Not to mention, the support and time that the staff puts in, in order to prepare us for post-graduation cannot be measured with words. I am so grateful and blessed to have been taught by such wonderful and hard-working teachers. I definitely recommend Turing if you're looking into a career in software development.
- Markus Olsen • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I had very little experience with programming when I decided it was something I wanted to pursue full time. I did extensive research as to which program would be the best fit for me, and when I heard about Turing it became immediately obvious that that was the school.
I definitely recommend Turing to anyone that is serious about pursuing programming.
- The best way to change your career- 7/5/2015Miriam Moser • Graduate • Campus: Denver
Here's a little background on myself - I majored in English and spent several years trying to get into a relevant job. When I finally landed one, copywriting for non-profits, I found it really boring and repetitive. The agency I worked for needed someone to code mobile responsive emails, so I began teaching myself the ways of HTML and CSS and found it far more interesting than the other parts of my job. I began taking every online course I could find, but those could only take me so far.
I began looking at bootcamps. My husband was really skeptical. He's a software developer himself and his opinion is that most bootcamps are just VC's trying to make a profit with very little value added. He also didn't believe you could learn much in 12 weeks. He was sold on Turing due to its length and nonprofit status. Also, the job guarantee.
Everyone talks about how much work it is. It's more work than a 40 hour/week job but the semester in college when I had 18 credit hours and was working 30 hours a week was much tougher. If you've ever balanced two jobs and/or a job and school, you'll be fine. If you get overwhelmed and stressed out easily, this may not be for you.
I had really incredible classmates who I enjoyed working with. The curriculum was well thought out and they are constantly iterating on it so it continuously improves. The instructors are all really, really good at teaching. It's not an easy subject to communicate, but they do an excellent job of breaking problems down and teaching you how to approach challenges.
As far as finding a job goes, I finished a week ago and have had two job offers. (In case you were wondering, I was not top of my class, I'm pretty solidly in the middle.) Neither of those offers were from jobs I applied for. One came out of a Turing sponsored job fair, and another through a connection from the director. I start work tomorrow.
- Best decision for switching career trajectory- 6/25/2015Anonymous • Student • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I came to Turing to change the course of my professional career. After completing an undergraduate degree in engineering I worked as an engineer for 8 years, however, that time was primarily spent in management positions. I had the opportunity to work on some amazing technical challenges with great teams of people, but wanted to get back to more hands on work akin to what I did as an undergraduate student. So, in late 2014 I left my job to attend Turing. It has been the best decision of my professional career.
I will freely admit this program is not for the faint of heart. I end up writing code and working on school projects between 60-70 hours per week. There are lots and lots of late nights and I work through most weekends on school projects as well. However, it is not work that I begrudgingly do. I love it and get consumed with completing the projects and solving problems. If you want a change of pace from your current career and are interested in software development Turing is the place for you!
- The innovators of tomorrow- 6/25/2015Paul Grever • Student • Campus: Denver
Turing does a great job of providing the tools and base knowlege to be successful as a developer, but they also foster a passion for continous learning and self improvement.
Turing has a learning environment like no other, people work on projects and attend lessons all day, then are inspired to learn more in their free time. Turing creates an unquenchable thirst for programming knowledge. I thought I knew what it was like to be in a passionate academic setting, as I majored in political science at a university in Washington DC, but the staunch political debates pale in comparassion to the Turing thirst.
An example, my group had been working 12 hours to complete a project, we were tired and worn down. Then someone announced they were going to checkout Paper.js, a few hours later instead of sleeping we were making shapes dance and spin around the page.
Turing creates the innovators of tomorrow.
- Turing in Denver Review - Great Experience- 6/25/2015Alex Tideman • Student • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
My experience at Turing has thus far exceeded my high expectations. In the finishing week of my first module, I feel like I have been challenged mentally to my limit while developing the fundamental skills, habits and attitude needed for creating useful, efficient software. The program is very difficult and takes full dedication of your time and energy, but the reward is incredibly gratifying by learning so much so quickly. The teachers and staff are insightful, willing to provide their time and deep knowledge and make the school enjoyable to come to every day. There are very few places where you get to be surrounded by so much talent and determination, it's an addictive environment.
- Tino Espinoza • Student • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
Hello! There are a ton of things that I think are absolutely great about Turing, and I'd like to share my experience at Turing with anyone looking into bootcamps. The first great part of my experience has been the welcoming communitity. It's very diverse, and welcoming to people of all cultures. I'm only 19 and came straight from my first semster of college. I showed up young and inexperienced, but everyone has welcomed me. There are people of all backgrounds, so I don't see "fitting in" ever being a problem for anyone. The community is big enough so that you can always find someone to work with, or someone with experience to help you out, but also small enough that instructors and staff can still keep track of how your doing and give you anything you may need. The huge plus is that the staff is very responsive to feedback, so if there is anything about the teaching styles, or even the workspace that you could see improved, it happens as soon as possible. We are all like one big family. I'm in the last few weeks of the program, and boy, the program is pretty intense. But it sure does pay off. Now that I'm looking for jobs I find myself feeling confident and qualified to work with any problem that gets thrown at me. Everyone puts in a ton of hours, and by the end of the 7 months the amount of material learned is crazy.
- Just Get Started- 3/31/2015Watts • Software Develeper • Graduate • Campus: Denver
The Interview: I SUCK at technical interviews. My mind goes blank, sweat starts forming in my palms and I generally bomb. Going to Turing didn't stop that from happening, but it did make it so that it didn't matter. After 7 months of training things that seemed strange and bizaare and required lot's of time to work out in my brain became almost automatic. Don't know how I would have done with a shorter program. It took me months before this stuff finally 'clicked.'
My Current Job: I got a job offer the day I graduated. Literally. Cool thing is, it's for programming languages I didn't even study at Turing. I know that seems kind of strange right now, but employers are less conserded about what languages you 'know' and more concerned about a demonstrated ability to learn. My current employers knew the Director of Turing and one of my mentors. Along with my interviews and review of my coursework, were convinced that I would be able to tackle the rigors of learning TWO new programming languages, move to a new city, and build web apps from the ground up.
Curriculum: There was definitely room for improvement here. Like other posters have said, I was not the biggest fan of their teaching style. However, since the staff at Turing take and respond to weekly feedback I would find myself listening in to classes I had taken 6 weeks ago saying to myself "Oh man! I wish they had tought that to me like that!" Turing knows when it sucks and continually works to make it better.
Job Assistance: Just like anything in life, you get what you put into it. I busted my ass filling out applications, sending resumes, and doing interview take home assignments. All this on top of our normal course load. When the people around me saw how seriously I was taking the job search both mentors and Turing staff alike went out of thier way to help me land an amazing job.
It's very simple. Go here, put in the work, get hired.
If you have any other questions, hit me up any time.
- The Goodies- 3/27/2015Tan Doan • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
Many of my peers will speak about what it's like in the classroom. I, on the other hand would like to dive into what it's like as a developer after Turing.
Interview: The foundation gained from Ruby in module one coupled with alogrithmic strategies taught by the instructors really built a foundation to understand problems naturally. My interviewers were usually impressed with how well I paired thanks to the emphasis on paired programming during classes and projects. The most important part of the process was being able to recall database relationships, test driven development, and best practices in design principles. For multiple companies that I spoke to, most potential employers valued my time at Turing as having one-and-a-half to two years production experience.
Job: I was fortunate enough to join the wonderful team at WellMatch, and upon being hired I had a lot concerns around my skill set. Although I had made it through the hurdles to graduate, I definitely had a mild case of imposter syndrome. However, after a few weeks, the work flow felt very similiar to when I was at Turing. From version control (github) to agile practices such as standup and retro, it definitely eased my worries. Since we had been used to swimming in the deep end, learning new technologies, or adapting felt like second nature. At this point I realized what I learned from Turing was not just how to code, but really how to learn.
What I really wanted to point out about the cirruclum itself is the iterative property of the cohorts. Going through the program I definitely feel that improvements were happening real-time. Based on our experiences, other classes were immediately receiving tweaks that would better prepare them through the life cycle. Now that I'm participating as a mentor, I felt each class that comes in is stronger as Turing matures.
Highly recommend and would buy again!!! :)
- Emily Davis • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I am honestly still in awe of how much my life has changed since deciding to leave teaching and become a software developer. For the river rats out there, it's something akin to swimming a massive chain of rapids and at the other end being a bit unsure of:
1. What just happened?
2. How you survived?
3. What's next? *Hope it's as awesome as that was.*
The question I'm asked the most by people considering Turing is this, "I have zero coding skills, are you sure it's the right place for an uber beginner?". In my opinion it's the only place for an uber beginner. I had zero applicable techinical experience when I was accepted to Turing. I had degree in literature and had spent the previous six years teaching seventh grade language arts, and I honestly don't feel like it ever held me back during the seven months.
The instructors are not only excellent slingers of code, but they are excellent teachers. This was a huge factor in my decision to attend Turing. Coming from the world of education, I wasn't going to entrust my future to a place unless I felt confident they actually knew how to teach. Jeff Casimir, Jorge Tellez, Josh Cheek, Rachel Warbelow, and Steve Kinney know how to teach. Even better, they constantly seek feedback and act on that feedback. I was a member of the first cohort, and it would be an absolute lie to say that there were no bumps along the way. The instructional team at Turing is continuously iterating on their curriculum and instruction, and there are few things more important when it comes to education.
Before you decide to leap, it's worth taking a moment to seriously consider your grit. Turing is all consuming, as mentioned in some of the other reviews. Beyond that though, Turing will challenge your perservance, self-confidence, response to constructive feedback, and ability to bounce back from failure. Learning in an environment like this is not for those that give up easily. It's the single most rewarding thing I've ever done, but the journey was not graceful and I did not emerge unscathed.
All of us did this in order to change careers, and I have great news: It's so awesome out here in the real world of software development. I work for a company that makes me feel valued, and that I started contributing to during week one. I'm excited to go to work every day, because I love what I do and the people I get to do it with. I learn everyday, and am constantly amazed that I get paid to this. The money's not bad either.
- Just be f&*king awesome- 3/27/2015Corey Davis • Junior Engineer • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
I was first introduced to Jeff Casimir when I saw him speak at Refresh Denver; he gave a talk called "Just be f&*king awesome". Great title I thought, so I listened to what he had to say. And by the end of the talk I had started my application to Turing. Was it because Jeff was so eloquent and deft at wordsmithing that he somehow talked me into this life changing descion? Was it that his pitch for becomming a student of software magically implanted a desire to be a Turing student in my brain?! Or was it because what I actually wanted more than anything in this life was to Just be F&*king awesome myself? Well, actually it was a bit of each. But it wasn't Jeff all by himself, it was the whole experience. Never before had I seen a place or a group of people so nakedly, honestly, and heartfully devoted to the growth and success of others.
Turing changed my life, and I don't mean that in a, "Woohoo! I did it!" sort of way. In 2007 I started a teaching career as an 8th grade science teacher; I had a four year degree in biology and wanted to make a difference. I taught with everything I had for six years, earned a Masters in technology and instruction, and fell victim to the system as so many do. As a teacher I learned a lot, I learned that I was at the mercy of a greater system overwhich I had almost no actual control. I learned that my potential for creativity and innovation would slowly be stripped to the bone by a culture of standardized testing. And I learned that my future would be (at least in my opinion dismal). I woke up with dread each day, and came home with burden.
My wife and I literally hated what we were doing minute to minute (she too was a teacher). So we decided to take the greatest risk that I could have ever imagined. We piled together what money we could, we both applied for Turing, and by some miracle we both got into the first class of Turing. We quit our jobs, and in June of 2014 we stepped off the edge of a cliff not knowing how things would end.
The seven months I spent at Turing where some of the hardest I have ever lived. I have never been so frustrated, so tired, so confused or challenged. I also have never felt so empowered, so self-reliant, or so rewarded. Turing is incredibly humbling, but what stands to be gained is beyond description. The staff at Turing continues to blow my mind, each and every one of them is there because they believe in the students, and because they have the expertise to teach these skills fast and hard. Turing teaches deep knowledge, and builds actual developers - often from nothing. Students of Turing will and do succeed, my wife and I are proof.
My wife and I both have incredible jobs, and when I say incredible, I mean the type that you read about in those articles that have titles like, "The 10 most amazing places to work. Ever". From day one I was a contributing member of my company, giving insightful, useful contributions. I am writing production code, and I am learning everyday. I am incredibly well prepared to do this.
To a potential Turing student I would say these things:
- Turing is hard, incredibly, intensely hard. It will push you well beyond your limits and give no quarter along the way.
- Turing is not for the feint of heart. It is a huge risk: financially, personally, professionally.
- Turing is not perfect. They are learning how to be the best, as a student so are you; the greatest success will happen when you work together.
- You are entering into a VERY competitive field. The world of software is packed with insanely smart people, and there are a lot of juniors who are looking for work. You need to be at your best always, and be patient (it took me 89 days to get a job offer after Turing, it was WORTH the pain, effort, and wait)
- Do NOT expect Turing to plop a job in your lap. This is your future you are working for, so the hunt is on you. Think of Turing as a big ole' hammer, in the end it is up to you to hit the nail.
- There is no other program out there that can compare. I did the homework, and I earn nothing for saying that. It's just the down right truth.
- Don't come to Turing and fall in love with Denver. Denver is a very small, very startup heavy market, and it isn't going to be an easy to place to land a job when you're done. (I mean that, its a long shot, and mostly in need of senior devs. Be ready and willing to move on.)
- If you go to Turing and give it everything you have and see it through to the end (which means beyond completion of the program and into your first job) you will kick so much a** its not even funny.
Turing changed my life, not evey part of it was happy, not every part was fun, but I wouldn't trust it if it was. If you get an offer to be a student at Turing you would be fool to turn it down.
- Four Months After Graduating from Turing...- 3/27/2015Marc Garreau • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
Turing is what I've always wished the education system at-large would be. To summarize: it is a remarkable and intense program where gifted instructors teach you a practical, hard skillset. There are 'grades,' but unlike my bachelor's degree, this education is wholly focused on learning. This is a subtle, but monumental difference in perspective. No one cares about a GPA. There is no ranked order of students. You're not fighting to eek out an A- instead of a B+. You're here to learn. Pure and simple. When you embrace that idea, its freeing.
Now, I presume you've made it this far, because you're comparing code schools. I only considered gSchool and Turing, based on my proximity to them (already in Denver). In the end, I trusted some former (developer) colleagues who advised me to follow Jeff Casimir and apply to Turing. Their reasons were simple and compelling:
- Jeff is a very experienced teacher and taught the first iterations of successful gSchool students prior to starting Turing,
- Jeff is very well connected in the ruby community, and he will leverage that network to help you find a great job, and
- Turing is a nonprofit, so there are no questionable incentives to appease shareholders.
Folks commonly wonder how much experience everyone has when they begin. I went through the fairly standard rigmarole of free and paid courses: code school, codecademy, one month rails, and so on. When I started out, I felt like I had a little edge, because I was familiar with the terminal and had a smidge of proficiency with programming syntax. The edge didn't last long, as folks pick up that stuff in the first couple weeks. Some people come in with significantly more experience, and that can be a source of stress if you let it, but it's better just to make friends and view them as an opportunity to boost your own learning.
On the subject of classmates, I loved that mine came from a wide variety of backgrounds, but shared a common drive for learning and self-improvement. The screening process at Turing is a good one, and as a result, the community is collectively very bright, driven and passionate. Folks will have very different learning styles and speeds though, and learning to pair program is very difficult. How well you learn to work with others in the program will go a long way towards how well you do in general. It took me way too long to realize that the best way to get ahead is to stay behind and help others.
The program is made up of four six-week modules, with a week-long intermission week in-between each module. The intermission weeks are not a week 'off', but they are beaufitul oases. Despite having reading/homework, these weeks are essential to recharge the mind and allow you to do things like six weeks-worth of laundry, or see some sun. The last intermission week gives you time to perfect your resume and start applying for jobs.
There's 101 other things worth mentioning, but here's a final thought: Turing is constantly evolving. There has been zero instructor turnover at the point of writing, so each new six weeks - instead of spending energy bringing new staff up to speed - is spent experimenting with ways to improve the curriculum, processes, and community. My current roommate just finished his first module at Turing. I can tell you with certainty that his first module was more rigorous and thoughful than mine. And that's how it should be.
Two months after graduating, I was fortunate enough to be hired by a very reputable software consultancy, making nearly twice my last salary. This education catapaulted me into an inspired network and a fulfilling career, and for that, I am forever grateful. Find me on social media if still have any unanswered questions.
- For those comparing DBC...- 3/26/2015Tim • dev • Graduate • Course: Back-End Engineering • Campus: Denver
Comparing DBC: If you are new to programming, as I was, then the "0" program of DBC might not be enough. I like that at Turing, I got 6 weeks of just Ruby. Curriculum that came from Katrina Owen and Jumpstart Labs was a better fit for me than that of the DBC "0" program. I'm not saying anything negative about DBC. DBC and I parted on friendly terms and I still have friends from my DBC posse.
(that's all I got on comparing DBC, the rest has nothing to do with DBC)
Shoulda-Coulda: I was asked to repeat the first Module of Ruby at Turing. I said no because I hadn't budgeted for an extra 7 weeks. I wish that I had planned on repeating one of the four Modules. If you are like me, struggling with confidence and balancing a family then please plan on repeating a section. It's actually one of the components that helps set Turing apart from other programs. My one shoulda-coulda is that I didn't repeat the first and most challenging module.
Not-a-fan: I wasn't always a fan of instruction - being a math teacher in a formal life, the "I do", "We do", "You do" was not considered best-practice in my district and we discouraged other teachers from this kind of teaching. The reason for this is because the data did not support that math students benefited from this style. I would bet the same holds for students of programming. I would have liked to have seen data-driven teaching and not the "fly-by-the-seat-of-you-pants type" that is most common.
Challenge: Balancing learning as much as your brain can hold and being an awesome team member to support the projects you will build was amazingly difficult. Turing is not easy and not for the faint of heart.
Tip for the struggling: I was a struggling student, my classmates knew it too and so in projects, expectations of what I could do were low. Only you can pull yourself out of a rut like that, so keep at it and find students that are willing to help you. I was lucky to have great friends that helped and tutored me. You really have to be an advocate for yourself at all times.
Instructors: You will be blessed with amazing programmers who choose to make a half of what they could in the real world so that you can be awesome. Enjoy and take advantage of this.
Guests: We met some of the biggest names in programming and some of those big names were our mentors. What they had to say was invaluable. Ask them questions.
Mentors: Mentors and Instructors keep Turing on the crest of programming best practices. I impressed my boss because of my knowledge of how to build an app with others using GitHub workflow.
Jobs: Do everything that the teachers advice and you will get a job. I did. I'm currently working remote for a small family oriented consulting firm. It's the right company for me. I owe my fellow students, teachers, and Jeff the biggest thanks because without their help I would not be where I am.
- A life changing experience!- 2/19/2015Robert Gu • Graduate • Campus: Denver
I know it is cliche to say something is a life changing expereince but Turing was an incredibly intense 7 months which helped make me the person and developer I am today.
Students - Turing has amazing people. There are 18-22 students there who are all comitted to becoming awesome junior developers. They are all there for the same reason and there is increible camraderie and a sense of competive helpfulness. People are looking to do the best job they can but not step all over each other to do that. Almost everyone there cares about being helpful where they can. I feel like I have made life long friends as well because of the program.
Instructors - Jeff Casmir the Director of the school has been teaching people for over a decade, and has been teaching people programming for a large part of those ten years. It is a I do, we do, you do, type of ciriculum with about 1/2 lecture and 1/2 project work time for in class hours. (There are a lot of out of class horus with the weekly amonout of hours averaging about 60, +- 10 depending on a varitey of factors) The entire team is dedicated to doing the best they can to teach you what you need to know. These instructors are here because they want to be and not for the paycheck. They certainly could make A LOT MORE money working somewhere else. Many of them are former teachers as well. Super beneficial because they are good at conveying their thoughts and actually teaching to your skill level.
Job - Yea but what about a job you say? After all I assume most of you are not interested in the program to make $$$ when you get out. As of Feb 15 14 out of 17 from our cohort have been hired. Very small downside is if you go here you have to be at least a little bit willing to branch out of the greater Denver area to find a job. This will be the reality in the latter part of 2015. Sorry not everyone can stay in Denver. Good news there are still plentiful jobs in Denver and Turing even holds a Job Fair. It's like speed dating for finding jobs. Also Boulder has a very big tech sector and if you want to move to any other city(New York, DC, San Fran, Berlin, Sydney, Austin, Columbus, etc...) There are alumni connections or Jeff knows someone there because he is a boss.
Post Turing - Right now I've had 4 final interviews and waiting to hear back from two final interviews I had last week. I've gotten all these inteviews because Jeff knows someone at these companies. People at my interviews have said the following things...
"Wow you have a lot more practical knowledge than people from other coding bootcamps we have interviewed"
"It seems like you know your Database and Rails relationships very well"
"I like how you took time to communicate what you were thinking and your plan for solving this problem"
To be honest I'm a completely middle of the pack developer is my class, but I was suprised at my own ability to answer some of the questions thrown at me. I know a lot because of what Turing has taught me!
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