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 4.78
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Moving 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.
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In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week27 Weeks
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- Skills Fund (Cost of Living Financing Available)Climb (Cost of Living Financing Available)Earnest
- Tuition Plans
- Alternative Financing available for students who are not approved by our lending partners.
- $4,000 Diversity Scholarship
- Minimum Skill Level
- Placement Test
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I went into the back end program with only about half of a free online course under my belt, so to say that it was a struggle would be an understatement. The days, nights and weekends all sort of blended together, but I never felt like I was wasting time. There were always resources available, from the incredibly dedicated instructors, to the crazy network of mentors that Jeff Casimir has built over the years.
I ultimately pulled through, and am very happy with the direction my career has taken since. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who wants a career in software development.
Turing is a community.
It's not a bootcamp. It is not a business. It's not a guarantee. It's not easy and it's not for everyone. But if you've found this review because you are confident you would like to pursue a career in something Turing can teach you, it could be a dream opportunity. It was for me.
I graduated from the back-end program in April 2016 and am currently employed as an Associate Software Engineer in the New England area. My post-Turing job search consisted of 3 months, 4 on site interviews, and 2 offers.
Some of Turing's defining characeristics are its non-profit status, Jeff Casimir's reputation and experience in education, its duration compared to the industry average, its support of honest and transparent graduation/employment statistic reporting (which is sorely lacking in the industry right now), its constant self-reflection and "how can we do this better" perspective, and its desire to engage more women, minorities, and folks facing disadvantages in the software engineering community.
Would play again 10 times out of 10.
Graduated August 2017.
Turing was able to transform me, someone with a few months of self-taught ruby experience into a full fledged software engineer at a NYC Tech company.
You probably have read about the challenging nature of the curriculum and how it was the most difficult experience for each respective graduate. This is all true, and I found it the same. The special-ness of the community and curriculum is really one of a kind. However, I would like for this review to really indentify if Turing is for you.
1) This is not a place to go if you just want the end goal (big money job) without the likeness (i really dont like the word passion) for code. The only way through this program and into an employers hands (which is getting harder by the day) is to really like what you are doing. The largest successs that Turing has produced has been students who exemplified this. Students who have stayed later, put in more work then needed and had truly immersed themselves. Although it's possible, a part time commitment would have been a disaster for me (easily sidetracked with a proclivity for laziness).
2) This is an unconventional educational experience, and needs to be welcomed with zero preconceived notion of what education is. I've seen doctorate grads be on the same level as college dropouts.
3) Please please please make sure you are interested in code before going. This is not an impulse decision!
Overall, Turing provides a rock-solid curriculum taught by instructors who truly care within a diverse community of hungry individuals. For the real review now....
1) Instructors *****: Most of the instructors who were best for me are gone now, however Turing does a great job of creating a staff with a diverse set of teaching styles and personalities that you are bound to find one that inspires you. I am a bit worried with the recent overflow of student -> instructors, but I have not seen a drop off in learning outcomes.
2) Curriculum *****: Phenomenal, always in flux and truly agile. Don't ditch the difficulty! The "oh shit" --> "i'm useless" -> "holy crap..maybe" -> "project review" was eye opening for me as a learning process and a real confidence builder. I'm now confident to take on any challenge on the job and being able to figure it out.
3) Job Assistance **: One area I would say that could be improved. I had very llttle corresponence post grad with the jobs team (one lead) (Full disclosure: This could be in part to me as well, I was focused on New York Only, and networking with alumni on my own) . Alumni are the real winners here. They are always helpful and spread apart the globe at great companies. If you are worried about job placements...see number 1 above. This is a perk of Turing, not the end goal. A strong, persistent developer will always be able to find a job, it is up to you to get to this point before graduation.
Overall, Turing as a decision is hard to recommend without a strong asterisk. That asterisk is you. What are your goals, who are you and why are you looking at coding bootcamps? If you truly feel this is what you want to do, it would be hard pressed to find a better school than this.
Lastly, one cannot review Turing without a mention of it's social mission. A small part (depending who you ask) of the Turing experience is awakening it's students to contemporary liberal ideology. Overall, it is a welcoming and not forceful introduction. This was never a real focus for me, as the coding education is what truly inspired, and this was fine. I always thought through what Turing did best (code), inherently does a far better job at creating great, open-minded people, not the explicit group sessions (gear-ups). As an FYI, my non-commital nature to their admirable political and social mission never impacted my outcomes, grades or helpfulness from the staff and Jeff Casimir
That being said, I will always be thankful for this experience! THANK YOU!
I graduated from the back-end program in August 2016. I currently work as a Software Developer in Rails + Angular 2.
I chose between Turing and Galvanize and the main reasons that swayed me towards Turing were:
- Jeff Casimir's reputation in the industry
- The non-profit status, which I didn't have a lot of concern for their mission at the time, but more that they couldn't sell my educational experience to investors to expand the program further and further.
- The ability to repeat modules. I was terrified to make a career change and afraid that I wouldn't be able to make it through the program on my first try and didn't want to be dragged along for 6 months not understanding anything past a certain point because I didn't understand a specific concept. (I didn't repeat any modules in case you were curious).
- After visiting the (old) basement (the new one is really nice too) for my interview, I was blown away by the energy that went through the space, people in every available space, extremely focused and concentrated working through projects and helping each other.
The program is constantly changing and my review is probably hideously outdated when compared to the processes / curriculum, but I love the ability for them to change when something doesn't work. The teachers have your best interest at heart and want to see you succeed and learn, even if it means calling you out when they know you're not giving your all. The community is amazing and the network of mentors is uncomparable. I graduated and it took me 87 days to receive my first offer. That might seem like a long time, but in the end not coding bootcamp can hand you a job at the end of the program. There were people in my cohort that had job offers before graduation, but they put in the work of networking and making those connections early. You graduate and show up as someone with no professional experience. Turing helps you with professional / personal development and how to approach and overcome the hurdles of entering a new industry.
I also now work in a framework we weren't taught at Turing (Angular 2), but didn't have any trouble diving in and learning. I know it sounds cliché, but you really do learn how to learn different programming patterns and aren't pigeonholed into a specific language.
Turing was great. They helped me transition from a career I disliked and become a better person along the way. I'll be in their debt forever.
I'll start by saying I graduated three weeks ago, and am now in my second week of work as a software developer with a good company. I came from a non-tech background (BA in Creative Writing and a career as a commercial fisherman). I did my research about a lot of coding schools, and Turing was exactly what I expected and was pitched. It is extremely demanding time-wise, but the emotional stress varies widely among students.
The curriculum seems about as good as possible for 7 intense months, and the core teachers are all exceptional. As many people have said, one of the best part is the other students. We've all made a lot of life-long friends. A few people have been rubbed the wrong way by the PC side of the school's mission, but students should be aware of this element before enrolling and be prepared to participate in tough discussions or quietly disengage from that part. The job-assitance aspect of the school is continually improving, and many students find jobs through referrals from the staff (myself included).
If you're looking to transition into a software career through an intensive program, Turing is in the top tier of options.
I chose Turing because I knew of Jeff Casimer and what he had done at gSchool. At the time I approached Jeff the Turing program was an ember in Jeff's mind, but I knew that it would be the right choice. It was a little bit of a bet to invest my future in something that was just starting out but my has it paid off.
At Turing, they don't just teach you how to code in ruby or rails. They use those languages to provide you with a set of tools that will allow you to go out into the workforce and work on almost anything you want to, in any language you want to. That is so much more valuable than learning just a language. Since I graduated I've been able to follow my interests and pick up new technoligies relatively quickly.
The other amazing thing about Turing is the network of people. The people, teachers, students, alumni, and mentors, at Turing are awesome. Everyone continues to insire me to learn more and also better myslef as a person. The mentorship program, where alumni and other developers in the field can mentor current students has been not only helpful to those students I mentore, but helpful to me. It has been an invaluable asset in increasing my confidence in my knowledge and also teaching me new things all the time.
Turing was and continues to be a source of knowledge or personal development for me. I highly recommend it.
My favorite thing about Turing is that they are continuously improving. They constantly iterate on the program by trying new things - keeping what works and scraping what doesn't. This attitude is what convinces me that they are sincere about giving you the best education and experience possible.
The education I got was incredible. I took a great job a few weeks after graduating, and by the second week I already had code in the production app. I was fully prepared to come into the company and start writing code immediately (without having previous tech experience!).
I'm incredibly proud to have been a Turing student. They have an incredible community and incredible staff. I would choose to attend Turing again in a heart beat.
After talking with people who went to other coding programs, I realized just how special Turing is.
1. Turing is a non-profit (EVERYONE on the team is there for the students, not $$$).
2. The program is way longer and more in-depth than almost every other program.
Honestly, Turing folks do want they say they do. They help (and rigourously push) you to become a solid developer in 7 months. Will you be showered with job offers upon graduation? No. Getting a job requires hussle, salemanship (show off all that great work you've been doing!), and connections. Turing can help with all that, but it will still be up to you to find a job that works for you. It's not easy. Taking time and money to change careers is a big commitment; budget at least a year from the time you quit your old job until your first developer paycheck comes in.
Turing was a life-changing opportunity for me and I will forever be grateful for it. In my experience, Jeff Casimir and the Turing staff did everything in their power to help provide an environment where students not only become sought-after developers, but well rounded people.
Jeff cares about providing an environment where student success is prioritized. Period. Not only does he and the staff continuously improve on the curriculum EVERY cohort, but he is not above fixing a toilet or installing a ramp for students that need it. Something you don’t see in a lot of leaders.
The support that I received from the staff was BY FAR the best I had from any post-secondary education I’ve been apart of. There were many nights / weekends where they sacrificed their own personal time to help my classmates and I work on problems and issues we were stuck on. They don’t just tell you that student success is important to them, they show you by the commitment they put towards their students each day.
As everyone else has already said, Turing is VERY HARD! It demands a lot of your time and you will be mentally tested everyday. For 7 months, you will have to commit to becoming the best developer you can be. You will have to sacrifice time with your family and friends (I’m a husband and father of two), but the education you get in return is more than worth it.
I’m not going to tell you that everything at Turing is perfect. The process of receiving a mentor was somewhat confusing when I was there, but they have currently taken strides to improve that process and make sure that every student has the ability to get a mentor in the most efficient way.
Overall, the decision to go to Turing has been the best career decision that I have made. I received a job offer before I finished school and am loving my job. None of this would have been possible without the help, guidance, and support I received at Turing!
Turing is one of the most challenging endeavors you will ever pursue. It is seven months of intense software development training and personal assessment. Each day you will be pushed beyond your mental and physical boundaries. Some days, you will question if you have the stamina to successfully complete the program. In the end, however, you will recognize that attending Turing was one of the best decisions you ever made!
I went into Turing with zero programming experience. I had only completed a couple of online Ruby tutorials but knew immediately that I wanted to pursue software development. If you are new to programming and are considering attending Turing, here are a few personal recommendations.
First, be 100% certain you are ready to place your life "on hold" for seven months. Have your finances in order and minimize the number of distractions outside of Turing so you can focus entirely on the program.
Second, prepare as much as possible before starting the program. For example, I had not touched a Mac in over 22 years, so it was one more thing (on top of many other things) I had to learn during my first few weeks at Turing. If possible, I suggest you get Mac laptop and start getting familiar with it. Choose a text editor (Atom is very beginner-friendly) and learn some key bindings. Play around with the Terminal and enable tab completion. Being able to navigate your machine at a reasonable rate will help you keep pace with class lectures and exercises. Also, I would recommend completing a good Rails tutorial so you can get a better idea of its MVC pattern.
Third, if a certain subject area is not clicking, seek help! Turing moves fast so don't let too much time pass by before asking for help. Given that I was part of the first cohort (#1406) at Turing, resources were somewhat limited during my first two modules and that made the program even more challenging for me. It wasn't until halfway of module three that I was able to find a good mentor who was commited to helping me. Fortunately, Turing has since increased and improved its mentor participation and has also structured student "posses" in which students from cohorts ahead of yours can serve as helpful resources.
Each instructor at Turing is both an educator and a programmer. Their commitment to your individual success and the success of the program is unquestionable. They each invest countless hours preparing lectures, enhancing the curriculum, and helping students outside of normal hours. I genuinely admire their dedication and passion. Other programs experience high turnover with instructors, which can often lead to inconsistency and instability in a program's curriculum and overall success.
As soon as you're accepted into Turing, you become part of an awesome community! Many are recent graduates of Jeff Casimir's previous training programs and Turing, so they know exactly what it takes to get through the seven months. Others are seasoned developers and industry leaders who fully support Turing by generously devoting their personal time to help the program succeed. Obviously, I am extremely proud to be part of this remarkable network!
Turing values its culture and its curriculum equally, so the administration does a great job of filtering potential students in order to maintain a healthy learning environment. That said, please understand that you will be in many stressful situations throughout the course of the program and it is essential that you and your classmates communicate effectively. Also, if you notice one of your classmates is falling behind, take the initiative to help him/her get back on track; it will be a great learning opportunity for you both and it will pay significant dividends as the course advances. And, since most of the assignments are group-based projects, ensuring that every member of the group can contribute similarly will lighten the workload and enhance the experience for everyone.
Please understand that there is no such thing as a perfect software development training program. There is a lot to learn and there is never enough time. However, I can assure you that Turing has the best resources and systems in place to turn you into an employable developer by the end of the seven-month course. Just like anything else in life, if you go in with a positive attitude, work hard, and make the best out of every day, you will have a great experience. Good luck!
I was CNC machinist when I made the decision to join Turing. Without a computer background I found myself struggling at times to comprehend some of the concepts that were being taught and asked many a 'dumb' question. I also had a wife and two kids and only got to see them on weekends during the 7 months. Because of this I put in roughly 70 hours/week during weekdays and took the weekends off to be with family. This program is everything they've advertised and can totally change the trajectory of your life. My income tripled from one year to the next and opportunities are so much bigger than what I had before. But do not enter this program thinking you will skate through to graduation and be handed a great high paying job.You will work your ever loving butt off. Just know that up front. If you are good with that than Turing is the place for you.
I have faced many a development challenge since I entered the industry a little over a year ago and found the training that I received to have prepared me fully to handle anything that has been thrown my way. Totally worth it.
If you are serious about becoming a software developer and working in the field, attend Turing. I've always found that it is the people that make the program. The staff at Turing, including the executive director are some of the most hard working, passionate, and compassionate people I've met. They are serious about the work they do and the students they teach. They are continuously seeking feedback and making improvements to the curriculum and work environment.
The staff works hard to ensure that the curriculum is relevant and up to date with the latest industry standards and best practices. In addition to teaching and fine tuning the curriculum, staff members are involved in the tech community, hosting meet ups, speaking at conferences, and participating in tech initiatives around the US.
Turing has an amazing community of people, including alumni, professional developers, corporate executives, government officials, and founders of tech startups. These 'friends of turing' are influencers in their fields who use their influence to give back to the community and advance the careers of new developers. They share their knowledge and insight with current students, often making themselves available to mentor over a google chat, cup of coffee, or a drink after work.
The program is very challenging. There is a steep learning curve, but if you work hard, hang in there, and reach out to the turing community for help when you need it, you will acquire the necessary skills for a great career in software development.
I was over worked and under appreciated in my last job, and was looking for a career change but wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I heard about Turing and wasn't sure quite what it was but knew it came with a great reputation so I went ahead and applied just to check it out. CHANGED MY LIFE! What a difference one year can make!
Why I love Turing - the people!
Jeff: Thank you to Jeff for creating such an amazing community and bringing all of these great people together. He cares about so much more than just pumping out devs, but giving back and making an impact on the tech community as a whole. He has stood up for me and lead me to some amazing oportunities including the connection to my job now. He can be tough and will push you to your limits but he has the best of intentions of pushing you out of your comfort zone and onto the next level.
The instructors: The instructors are amazing, and I can't thank them enough for all that they have done. They care so much about their students and take the time to find ways of explaining things in a relatable way, even for those with no programming background. There is no judgement for things you don't know before coming in. If you put in the respect and effort needed, it is more than returned back.
The mentors: I think it shows the amount of respect there is for the Turing community by seeing all of the awesome Ruby/Rails/JS community members that give up lots of their time to help students for free. I learned so much from the mentors I had while I was at Turing, and I continue to grow and solidify my skills as I mentor students currently in the program.
The students: You will spend A LOT of time with your classmates. Spending that much time with any group, there will be cases of friction of course but that was by far the most respectful group of people I have ever met. There is a lot to cover, and each student may choose to focus on different aspects. Getting to see what your peers work on is a great inspriation and opens so many doors to expanding your knowledge. Check out a demo day if you want to see what the students are up to.
Course was hard, be preparred to not do anything else for those 7 months. Just as nothing in life is perfect, it's a high stress environment and surely you'll run into some roadblocks but making through those just makes you that much stronger of a person. Couldn't be happier with my choice to go to Turing.
I went into Turing without any programming experience, and graduated in December 2014. As of this writing, I have been a software developer for over a year, coming up on a year and a half. Here's my review for anyone thinking about Turing: if your serious about wanting to learn how to be a developer, you should absolutely do it. No question about it.
Turing is hard. Really hard. One of the beautiful things about it is that even if you have no development experience, you can still succeed among people who do. You will come out of the program better equipped than a lot of CS degrees.None of the reviews are lying about that. But you have to work.
You will be expected to do a lot. Turing is very project oriented, so the answers aren't handed to you. You won't get hand-held, you won't have 'blow off' work. You will probably fail at some stuff, and you will learn to fail, relearn, and keep on moving. Thats how software development is, and you are learning to be a software developer. On top of technical skills, you're expected to be involved in the community. You have to speak in front of groups. You have to think critically about tech as a whole, and your role in it. You have to learn to collaborate, how to communicate, and a host of other things that I didn't personally think were going to be difficult, but were.
Where Turing stands out is in their community. The staff is second to none. They put hours and hours of time into the curriculum, and the students. They don't always make decisions you like, but they do make decisions that make you better. They change the things that don't work. Students have access to a huge group of developers who are willing to mentor on anything from technical skills to general work/life balance advice. Mentors work with students one on one, and it's an invaluable experience to be able to sit down with professional developers and learn from them, starting basically from day one.
As far as job hunting, I had signed on to a job before I officially graduated. This is 100% thanks to Turing and the community, as a few engineers from my current company came directly to Turing to interview potential candidates. I can't speak for the job hunt after the program completes, except to say that everyone in my cohort is employed as a developer.
If you're looking for a program to teach you technical skills and only technical skills, Turing might not be for you. If you're looking for a class to go to for a few hours a day and then go home, Turing might not be for you. If you are looking for a 7 month program to be fully immersed in a skill and in a community, to be challenged beyond what you thought possible, to make connections that will last you the rest of your career, and to have the best skills possible going into a new career, Turing is for you.
Turing was one of the best decisions I've ever made. The school was everything that I hoped it would be. I was challenged everyday, it has probably been one of the most productive seven months of my life.
I'm now happily employed at an innovative startup in Santa Monica, which was one of outcomes that I dreamed coming out of this program.
Looking back at my experience at Turing I can say that I had a blast, if you would have asked me while I was attending Turing I may have not been that enthuiastic.
Turing was a real difficult program, and I believe it has gotten a bit more difficult (a good thing). At times it may feel like Turing likes to torture students, but the reality is that Turing's goal is to make sure you get a job offer, and that becomes very diffucult when a student doesn't have experience working through difficult problems.
I can't thank Turing enough, Turing has set me for a very rewarding career path I wouldn't have otherwise.
Extremely knowledgeable. Some people will say that the instructors don't make themselves available, but the truth is that they do their best to allocate their time efficiently to help as many people as they can, which means that the more clear and specific your questions are, the better the instructors can help you. I've seen instructors go out of their way on many occasions to help out students, which meant coming in before classes and staying after classes.
Very intense. This is one of the longest programs out there, clocking in at 7 months it moves fast and keeps you busy every minute. Tip: Turing just launched a front-end course that if given the chance to do over I would choose over the back-end course (https://www.turing.io/programs/front-end-engineering)
The job hunt was a bit tough, but the key is to keep sharpening your skills and meeting with as many people as you can while on the job hunt. Networking at meetups, asking people out to coffee, and sending out those resumes will eventually pay off.
My advice would be to do some programming on your own for a few months, if you really enjoy building things and solving bugs then this program is for you. Do as much prep as you can for this program, trust me you will hit the ground running.
Turing, exactly what I was looking for in higher education. This school is hands on software development from the start. The process is grueling, challenging, exhausting, and rewarding.
At the time I applied, I was working in construction and sales. I was pretty unhappy with my current career and even more upset with the standard college education system. I was pretty skeptical of the idea of Turing, because I had been burned by other short term trade school style programs. Let me just say, Turing's focus is on creating developers. Developers who are prepared and ready to start working the minute they graduate. This program really did change my life, but it was the hardest thing I have ever done.
This school is not going to hold your hand. You are taught how to think, solve and research a problem. The next 7 months of your life will be with your head down in the code. By the end, Turing will give you all the skills you need to successfully land a job in the tech industry, which is ultimately why you attend a school like Turing. Tech interviews are vastly different then any other interview process I have been through. They typically involve proving your worth with coding challenges and a full day or multiple day interviews. Just know, you will be ready!
The curriculum is always changing, as is the tech market. Try not to get too caught up looking at specific languages when deciding on a bootcamp or code school. The point is to learn a marketable skill, and don't worry, you'll pick up other languages quickly after attending Turing.
You may not always agree with everything at Turing, but I think you will agree that it works when you get out!
Turing was a challenging 7 months. The amount of new information I learned was staggering and the curriculum has grown significantly since I was a student. If you manage to find the time and patience to pull through, an amazing industry will be opened up to you. You'll get out of Turing what you put into it. They can prepare you for a hard industry to enter and one that will expect you alone to find the answers to challenging problems - even at your first job. If you deside to go to Turing, you won't walk away with a high level understanding of a few framworks. They'll give you the knowledge to progress in this career.
Before I came to Turing I had essentially zero programming knowledge - a book on HTML and one free online course. Now I am developing a Ruby application at an awesome company. A few long nights is nothing for career in software development - Turing is definitely worth the work.
Before starting Turing, I had been trying to learn how to program for about 2 years. I had worked as a wordpress developer and had a barely sustainable career hacking php templates. I ultimately found Turing and now I have a fully sustainable career doing something that I absolutely love.
Most of my own feelings about Turing have already been articulated here by my peers, but I do feel like my biggest takeaway from my 7 months at Turing is how to solve problems. Yes, Turing directly teaches you how to work with Ruby/Rails/JS, but I think the ancillary benefit of learning how to think like a developer is the more important takeaway. I work in devops, which Turing certainly does not explicitly teach. Others from my graduating class work exclusively in React, Meteor, or even Go. This is a testament to Turing's ability to prepare you to work in ANY sub-field of web development. Turing teaches you how to learn and, more importantly, how to think.
Turing prepared me for a career in programming more than I could have previously expected. I'm excelling at my new job and I've already contributed multiple times to a few high-profile open source projects. I have at least 5 family/friends that are trying to get into programming in some capacity. I push all of them toward Turing because I know that it's the best program in the country. If you want to become a great developer, apply to Turing.
Turing was exactly what I wish I could do in college. As a high school student, I took a few intro programming classes to get me interested, but the system was awful for me. I got an hour of each day sitting in class, most of the time not paying attention to the teacher and working on my own, which actually helped quite a bit. Almost all of my learning toward programming was in that time I got to spend fooling around on my own. But then my hour would be up and I'm on to the next class that I can sleep in.
After high school, I knew I wanted to go to college for some kind of computer science, but I wasn't very fond of taking a lot of other classes in college that I probably would never use. I went to speak a computer science professor to plan out my next step in life, and he recommended I check out Turing. This was exactly what I was looking for: a very focused and specific education without any of the typical schooling nonsesne.
Hopefully that's enough background to understand my actual review.
Overall Expirience: 5/5
I was excited every single day through the entire 7 months to show up in a basement with no windows. The community, including both instructors and students, at Turing made it easy to want to learn more. Everyone brought their best, which I appreciated quite a bit. Everyone was able to stay motivated and put in a ton of work 5 days a week.
I began at Turing as one of the first few "guinea pig" classes. When I started there, a few instructors were very evidently new, having hardly any teaching experience. If they had stayed that way the entire 7 months, I probably would have rated this category lower. Every instructor was there because of a passion to teach, and not for any other reason. I saw instructors hired that came in honestly as awful teachers. Then after only a month or so, there was obvious improvement and huge drive to improve as a teacher. I graduated about a full year ago, and I'm certain all of the instructors, including new ones, either are great teachers now, or working hard to become one.
When I was at Turing, all of the curriculum for the first few months was very fleshed out and worked well for everyone. Further along, the projects got much more vague, as did the teaching for new material. Keep in mind again, I was attending very early on to Turing, so I assume this is improved quite a bit by now.
Job Assistance: 2/5
I'm a bit of a special case for this section in the fact that I was just out of high school and never had a job before. I had never learned about or had to do any job searching, interviewing, etc before, so I was fairly lost on starting this up. Turing did plan a few job fair-like events, helped with some resume writing, but I hardly got much more out of it. I won't put all the blame on Turing though, I could have been more helpful to the process myself, but overall I struggled heavily looking for a job between my age, my 0 expirence, and the resources provided by Turing.
I graduated from Turing in December of 2014, officially making this review long overdue. It also puts me in a bit of a unique situation. Yes, I finished the program over a year ago, but I've been deeply involved with the Turing community for the better part of two years. Seven months as a student, the rest as a mentor. There are several reasons I've stuck around for as long as I have, and I'll do my best to express those here.
If you're looking for a tl;dr, here it is: if you have a chance to attend Turing, do it. The instructors, curriculum, and all of the amazing people I've met along the way enabled me to become the kind of person I've wanted to be for years -- both personally and professionally.
It really did change my life.
Before we get into too much detail, there's one thing that's particularly important to me -- the Turing community. I was fortunate enough to see Turing grow into what it is today: a thriving, open, and kind community of educators, students, alumni, and friends. They're the reason I am where I am, which is why I'm doing my best to pay it forward. I've been a part of Turing get-togethers in at least four major US cities, and I've barely scratched the surface. If you do decide to attend Turing, the community will be your biggest asset.
Though my work took me away from Denver well over a year ago, I think my proximity to Turing over the years gives me a good foundation to speak to the program's values as well as the current state of things. Turing began as twenty strangers in a basement -- little did I know how many lifelong friends would be among them. And a lot has changed since then.
The staff has grown at least four-fold, the curriculum is constantly evolving, and plenty of new initiatives like student-led workshops have been introduced.
My thoughts here will draw from the whole of my time at Turing, both as a student and as a mentor. Be forewarned that this review will be overwhelmingly positive, because that was the nature of my experience. Take from it what you will.
I want to emphasize that I mean every word.
Many of Turing's instructors have professional teaching experience -- they were teachers first. As an educator, technical expertise is only useful if you're able to share that knowledge effectively.
I saw them continually go above and beyond. They put in long hours, often with little recognition. Staying after-hours with students, running workshops, acting as a project manager for student side-projects, and organizing extra-curricular activities like teaching computer science to middle-schoolers. To me, they are friends and mentors who genuinely give a shit. I appreciate them, and I can say with certainty that you will too.
It was immediately clear that Turing's mission was to train application developers. I appreciated the curriculum so much precisely because it was project-driven. We touched on computer science fundamentals, but what I really gained at Turing was the ability to solve problems. More specifically, the ability to solve problems in the pursuit of writing production-quality software. We focused on specific technologies, but my biggest takeaways were language/framework agnostic. We learned how the web works, how large web applications should be structured, service oriented architecture, how to communicate via APIs, etc.
Here's a quick rundown of my experiences with each six-week module:
Module 1: Ruby
This was my favorite module, and arguably the most challenging. We covered computer science fundamentals, and learned Ruby/object-oriented programming in a non-web environment. We built things like text-based games, command-line applications, and a database management system. Working with plain old Ruby for six weeks was incredibly important for my development. Learning about things like paradigms, design patterns, and how pieces of a software system interact gave me a strong base to build upon when our cohort eventually moved our focus to web programming.
Module 2: Web Basics, Sinatra, Rails
During the first 3-4 weeks we built a few smaller web projects using Sinatra culminating in a restaurant ordering application built with Rails.
The two most valuable things I learned during this module:
* How the web works (clients, servers, protocols, etc.)
* How Rails treats the MVC pattern
The concepts I was exposed to have proved useful to me on an almost daily basis.
## Module 3: Rails in depth
The final module had a heavy focus on external APIs. One of my final projects aggregated music from sources like SoundCloud, Twitter, and YouTube.
API Interactions like this are a huge part of modern web development, and I draw on my experiences here often.
The mentor program is dear to my heart. At Turing we were part of 'posses', small groups of students who were paired with as many mentors -- all of whom were freely volunteering their time. Pairing with mentors was crucial. I saw how professional developers went about the craft of programming, and I still incorporate what I learned about their processes into my own work.
Many graduates end up becoming mentors themselves. I've been fortunate enough to work with several students throughout the duration of the program. They went through many of the same struggles I did, and saw the same kind of unfathomable growth. All of them are now taking the world of professional software by storm, contributing real value to companies who are lucky to have them.
Here's another place where the community comes into play. The Turing network is sprawling, and was the source of every single one of my fruitful leads.
I found a job about two months after graduation. Never once did I feel like I was on my own during the job hunt. I had constant support, with introductions being made, emails being sent out on my behalf, etc.
# Things I didn't like
No program is perfect, and Turing is no exception:
* Many people come to the program specifically for Jeff. If you're expecting to have him personally take you under his wing and carry you to developer excellence, don't. Some have expressed displeasure that they don't have as much exposure to Jeff as they would like. He will be a big part of your Turing experience, but he's just one individual. It's good to be realistic about what he can accomplish in his position as director.
* It wasn't communicated to our cohort that one staff member wouldn't be a part of the program. In the end, it wouldn't have affected my decision and by now it's water under the bridge. But this one stung, and I wish it was communicated to me up front.
If you've made it this far, you know that I'm biased. I'll say this anyways: Turing is the only program of it's kind I'd ever recommend to a friend or family member, and it's the only place I'd recommend my employer hire from. This amazing and perpetually-expanding group of people changed my life for the better in more ways than I could ever express.
I am still waiting for the day that I go into work and do not have the thought that “it really worked”. It is difficult to think of another plan I have had for my life, that went so smoothly. My experience as a Turing student went exactly as advertised, and in many ways exceeded my expectations.
The near seven months I spent at Turing were surely the most challenging months of my life. Never have I experienced so clearly what it means to feel uncomfortable with prolonged and intentional struggle. Without this struggle, I am not sure how I could have gained such a colossal amount of knowledge so quickly.
To do well at The Turing School requires self motivation and a stubbornness to learn. The curriculum and staff are there to guide your way, but it is up to each individual student to take advantage of offered learning opportunities. The best, and most distinctive aspect of Turing may be its collaborative and supportive community. The superb mentorship that I had the entire length of the program was crucial to my progress as a student.
When I graduated from Turing, I felt like I was just prepared enough to get a junior developer position. Which is exactly what I had hoped for - to gain the knowledge necessary to continue learning while being employed as a developer. I ended up with three possibilities for employment, two of which the staff at Turing had put me in touch with, and the third, I only knew about because a Turing alumnus is a developer there. Now, I work with an incredibly supportive team, just down the road from Turing.
Despite the rigor of the Turing School program, I had the most fun of my life during those months. I left as a stronger, more fulfilled person.
Before Turing I had no experience with building software. I had my Master's degree on hold and was looking for something that was a better fit. I looked everywhere, I eventually happened upon web development through some friends. They told me if I was serious about becoming a developer, gSchool was the way to go (Turing didn't exist yet). In the process of getting more information about gSchool, I learned about Jeff Casimir and a new program he was going to start called Turing.
I contacted Jeff to grab coffee and talk about this new program. He generously gave me some of his time and he explained his reasoning for branching off to start Turing. I don't want to talk too much about Jeff or his character, because this review is of the quality of Turing's program. But since it's been brought up in other reviews, I'll quickly say this:
In the 30ish minutes I spent talking to him, the following became abundantly clear:
- He places enormous value on the quality of the curriculum
- His emphasis on pedagogy (teaching philosophy) permeates the entire program
- He cares very much about the quality of his students
- He is constantly experimenting and tweaking the program to make it better
I've spent a lot of time in the education world; learning, teaching, and creating curriculum. I can pretty quickly spot when something is the real deal. I was sold on Turing. That said, I wanted to be a software engineer more than anything, so I hedged my bets. I applied to both gSchool and Turing, and, in the same week, was accepted to both. It was a weird position to be in. gSchool was an established program that was churning out devs who were getting hired almost immediately, and now I was thinking jumping ship to join a program that didn't even exist yet. I didn't want anything to stand in the way of me being a software engineer.
I went with Turing because I believed Jeff and his team had my best interest at heart. And I believed they would make me the best developer I could be in 7 months.
I started with the first class in in June 2014. There was no furniture. There was nothing hanging on the walls. We built Turing from scratch. I worked harder than I ever have in my life, and I absolutely loved it. I had an offer from LivingSocial a week after I finished the program, and I started the following month. My team has been impressed with my performance from my very first day, and I absolutely love my job.
I don't like the term 'bootcamp'. Maybe it's because it's overused. I prefer calling the program an 'intensive', because I think it gets at the heart of what Turing is. Imagine taking several years of computer science knowledge and condensing it down to 24 weeks (27 including intermission weeks). That's Turing. It's a very high-octane environment. Everything you learn, you will use in the field. There's no time for fluff. There's no room for spoon-feeding. With that in mind, it's important to know that Turing is not for everyone, and there's no judgment in that.
The program has greatly improved since I went through it, but the same core principles are still in place. Here's what you should expect:
Turing is extremely practice-oriented.
There will be lectures and walk-throughs to help explain concepts, but the bulk of your time will be spent doing actual programming. Some people complain about this approach by saying there is little support and oversight from instructors, or "I might as well have taught myself." While I understand the frustration behind this sentiment, my personal experience as a student and as a mentor of students in the program, has been that this is very rarely the case.
Instead, I find it more common to see students who don't effectively utilize the support they have available (mentors, instructors, other students, etc.) Improvements can certainly be made in this area, but it won't alleviate the struggle from the process, nor should it. One of the most valuable lessons/skills I learned at Turing was increasing my mental endurance. Learning to struggle through a problem and enduring the pain of being stuck for a long time (or flat-out failure) is one of the most important skills you can have as a developer (as is learning how and when to ask for help). And it is incredibly frustrating, especially in the beginning. I don't want to make light of that. But that skill is what has enabled me to continually grow as a developer.
The core philosophy that drives this practice-oriented approach is that the #1 thing that makes you a better programmer is programming a lot. The lectures and walk-throughs are there to make sure you don't have any potholes and don't run off the reservation. But the time spent actually programming is what makes you a better developer.
Turing is thorough.
This isn't a 9 week bootcamp. You be typing `rails new` for quite a while. You'll start with lessons designed to teach you how machines store, organize, and retrieve information. You'll spend a lot of time working in Ruby, but really you're learning how to solve computer science problems. Ruby is simply the context for solutions. The program is geared toward developing things for the web. But you'll dive down to see how a relational database works (by building one), set up and deploy to a VPS, and fully utilize the browser.
A lot of programs call themselves 'full-stack', and in some sense that's true. But there is so much more you can learn in an extended program such as Turing.
Turing is social-justice oriented.
This is a natural part of the Turing ethos. Turing, by its nature, exists to make becoming a software developer more accessible to more people. In addition to this, the program is intentional about actively supporting and promoting diversity in their programs. There are many reasons for this stance, both moral and business, but at Turing you should know that social-justice comes baked in. You'll see it in (and hear it from) the instructors, staff, and a large portion of the students, alumni, and supporters. If diversity and social-justice isn't something you care about, or at least in favor of, Turing might not be the best choice for you.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for all the instructors at Turing. They are constantly critiquing and improving their lessons and are incredibly generous with their time for students. One of the stand-out qualities I appreciated while in the program was that they were not only good developers, but also skilled teachers.
THE JOB HUNT
I've already mentioned my personal experience with the job hunt, but I'd like to talk about it a bit more, because it can often be a confusing and frustrating bit for students. The hunt is not easy. You are still a junior developer looking for your first job in a new field where you likely have no relevant experience, and a vast number of companies will say they are only looking for seniors. That's the norm. Keep that in mind. There is no job lined up and waiting for you at the end. It's a hunt. And there is a lot of noise from people who finished a few online tutorials and apply for everything. But Turing gives you three tools for your job hunt when you finish (and it's important to consider them in this order).
- Your skills are a cut above the crowd. When you make it to the technical interview, the proof is in the pudding. You'll be ready. And instead of being 1 candidate out of 300 applicants, you're probably one out of three.
- The endurance you built during the program. The same hustle that got you through Turing is what will make your job hunt successful. You will probably have to apply to a lot of companies, follow up with a few, and decide on one.
- Career services and people to vouch for you at the end. The hunt is yours to own, but Turing (and the supporting community) can help you present yourself in the best light, prep you for technical interviews, and vouch for you as a person and developer when appropriate.
Turing has more specific data on job hunt numbers and statistics, so I'll let them speak for themselves on that. Personally, almost everyone I've known with reasonable expectations about finding a job and actually hustled throughout their job hunt has found work in under 90 days.
I mentioned earlier that my team has been impressed with my ability as a developer throughout my time at LivingSocial. I would also like to add that I felt well-prepared to work there as well. I submitted my first significant pull request within 2 weeks (the first week was largely up and running). While the scale of the applications I work on now is 50x what I was building at Turing, I was able to dive in almost right away and make significant contributions to our codebase.
Prior to Turing, I had absolutely no technical experience of any kind. I knew that if I was going to pursue a career in Software, I needed a school that was longer than 3 months(the standard length of most coding bootcamps). Since I lived in Denver prior to Turing, I pretty much narrowed down my choices to gSchool and Turing, both of which ran programs twice as long as most bootcamps. After reading many reviews, I decided to come to Turing. The reputation of Jeff Casimir(Turing founder) throughout the Ruby Commmunity was really the deciding factor for me. After graduating three weeks ago, I am 110% sure that coming to Turing was the best decision I could have made. I am currently interviewing with two different companies, and I honestly haven't even really started my job search yet.
Before I came to Turing, I was a Technical Recruiter for a company in Denver, and I was primiarily recruiting web developers. After evaluating hundreds of entry level candidates with my former company, I can honestly say that after 7 months at Turing you will be exponentially more prepared than an entry level candidate with a CS degree for a role in Software Development. Turing covers advanced computer science concepts such as linked lists, binary search trees, sorting alogorithms, etc, during the first 6 weeks of the program. The remaining 75% of the program is spent learning web technologies that employers generally expect mid-senior level candidates to know, but rarely do these employers expect an entry-level candidate to have worked with so many of these technologies in the capacity that you will at Turing. All in all, Turing students are able to bring much more the table than your standard entry level candidate in the field of Web Development.
The program itself is extremely hard. LIKE REALLY HARD. This is a program that will push you well past your breaking point at times, but they will absolutely be there to support you when this happens. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sports Management, and I can honestly say that my easiest week at Turing was still much harder than my hardest week during my Undergrad. If you decide to come to Turing, be sure that you are 150% committed to Turing for 7 months and nothing else. You really won't have much of a life outside of Turing, at least that was my experience.
This is an outstanding program, with smart, driven individuals who will challenge you to do your best every single day, and I could not be happier with my decision to come to Turing.
I recommend Turing to strangers, to friends, family, and to acquaintances, because I believe the program is one of the best shots you'll give yourself at becoming a hirable developer. If you are motivated and have some inkling of hope that you can be taught to program, you have the makings of success.
My other recommendation would be to grab on and hold tight as soon as you are enrolled. It's going to be a bruising ride, but also the most thrilling of your life. You'll learn things about yourself, other people...and programming, of course...that you will not be exposed to anywhere else. A mixture of good and bad. You might emerge with some PTSD, but you'll also be so well equipped to handle anything that comes after it that recovery will be a pleasure.
My time at Turing ended almost a year ago, and I am glad I never have to go back. While I never question my decision to enroll, it was an intense environment I hope I never have to subject myself to again.
Turing is ever-evolving. The pros of this are that the school is continually striving to improve, and that the net sum should be a better experience for the student. I rank this pro extremely highly, and wish more educational institutions considered taking risk at all. The cons are that not all gambles end well, and you might get caught in the wake. You might be so caught in the wake that you see no effort to improve conditions until the next group of students comes around, or you might get caught in a process you disagree with entirely. You'll feel like a guinea pig, and you are, but one with a loud voice. Turing encourages you to be vocal about anything you are unhappy with, and I really feel they listen to everyone’s concerns and consider them deeply. I saw that time and time again.
No matter what the path, the end result is the same as long as you remember what you are there for: to learn how to program. That is always happening at Turing, and it's done well.
My last words are for the parents out there, especially mothers. You will have enough time to devote to this program if you prepare beforehand. Have some heart-to-hearts with your partner and get them 157% behind you. Call in all the favors your family and friends owe you. Make some freezer meals. Nix the word "housecleaning" from your vocabulary, and even sometimes "bath" and "bedtime story." You're going to miss a few things, but not really a lot, because you'll also discover you have a capacity far beyond what you already thought you had. Because that's what we mothers do...we make it work.
I wanted to quickly write a fact-based review of the Turing School. I will later state some opinions. But first, I wanted to quickly say that I think a difficult responsibility of review sites is maintaining objectivity that is useful for the reader who often is trying to make a difficult education/life decision. It seems like there's always this kind of unhelpful, subjective, and unfortunate (it's never great to see unhappy people) back and forth between people that kind of muddles the facts and it quickly becomes difficult to determine the relative weight of anything. For example, the character/personality evaluations of Jeff seem oddly out of place.... I don't think software engineers can/should be making clinical evaluations of people. But, even worse, one review of that type quickly casts a shadow over the program's objective value even though the review sounds more like a subjective evaluation of Jeff. So, I'd like to quickly just try to state some facts about the program, followed by my opinons, and the program's affect on my own life and career.
First some observations and facts:
- Everyone who graduated from my cohort currently has a job in software (I recently checked Linkedin and even the students who struggled in a module or two now have jobs). My cohort started with 15-17 people and only 2 people did not finish the program. One of those 2 people re-enrolled in another program and seemed to harbor no ill-feeling towards the staff or community. Another, a friend of mine, seemed to have some personal problems during the program and was unable to succeed. Of the remaining members, everyone currently has a job in software as a software engineer. I think two members took longer than average to find jobs (over 4 months), but they also had strong preferences for living location (they had significant others in specific cities).
- Turing's pedagogical approach is a mix of project-based learning, self-teaching, lectures, and one-on-one Q & A. It seems to be an effective variety of techniques. It is lighter on theoretical computer science material and textbooks, but for the purposes of the program (job hiring and foundational knowledge), I don't think this is a problem. Turing enables you to teach yourself this information aftewards. Java, which lends well to computer science principles, is easy to learn after Ruby.
- Turing set up multiple job fairs during my 7-month time there. One was an in-house hiring job fair where students met with potential local employers. Another was setup by Brad Feld (principle VC at Foundry). Another was an in-house visitation and hiring from the Bonobos engineering team.
- The cost of the program is cheaper on a per-day basis than the competitors out there. If you get held back multiple times (this does not happen to the majority of students), that's the only time when your costs increase past the point of competitors. Again, this does not happen to the majority of students. To suggest anything else is disingenuous. The program is also longer than the other programs which I think is necessary for a skill as complex as programming. Turing does not cover living expenses like food and housing with the tuition cost... but I don't think that should be an expected duty of a programming school.
Some subjective observations:
- Communities of people are hard to manage. In my personal opinion, it's almost impossible to have a large community of people without having some small, base level of disagreement. It happens everywhere: homes, universities, companies, and friends. It's unfortunate, but we are so different and emotion-driven that disagreements and conflicts eventually come up. On top of that problem, lay on top some extremely rigorous learning material, job-hunting stresses, project deadlines, and self-improvement struggles and there's now some real (and unfortunate) potential for personal disagreement. So, the fact that some negative reviews of Turing exist shouldn't be surprising. It's almost expected. I would expect that at every school, company, or bootcamp, there is almost always some disagrement and conflict. But it shouldn't detract from the fact that Turing provides a long-term, relatively-cheap, and effective program for programming education with a strong and supportive community.
-With that said, Turing was one of the best learning and community experiences I've had since college. I learned a ton, had fun, made several friends, and was inspired by the students and staff around me. I think I finally found my people and my industry.
The personal impact Turing had on my life and career situation:
- Prior to Turing, I graduated from Amherst College, worked in HFT and finance, and had product experience at startups. Even with this decent headstart, I couldn't break into software and product roles at more successful and established companies because I lacked the technical expertise and experience. I was at a career standstill. After enrolling and finishing Turing, I was able to land a job at a company called Andela, a well-funded Spark Capital portfolio company, where I worked as a software engineer and programming teacher. The company teaches Nigerians how to code in order to eventually have them work as full-time software consultants. Even though I was living in Lagos, I was paid an American salary and worked under Obie Fernandez, author of the Rails Way. It was the adventure that I signed up for and the friends I made and the experience I had was eye-opening. After my contract expired (I signed a short-term 5 month contract with Andela since I knew I wanted to eventually return home to my friends and family in NYC), I obtained a job at Blue Apron as a software engineer in NYC. It's my best job to date. None of this would have been possible without Turing; they enabled me to solely focus on programming, rediscover my work ethic, and successfully pivot away from finance.
In regards to my review and other reviews on the site (both positive and negative)... I think the negative reviewer actually put it best: "The 'truth' is subjective...", so read and believe at your own risk. I prefer listening to the facts.
On-Time Graduation Rate