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.
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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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Turing is a fast paced, grueling, software development school. I enjoyed learning a new skill set and discovering how to solve interesting problems with code. The experience was not all butterflies and rainbows. There were moments when I was elated because I solved difficult problems. Those were usually followed by moments when I was pretty sure the sky was falling. It is tough if you have no background in programming, but it is very do-able.
Turing provides a solid teaching staff, challenging curriculum and life-saving mentors. When I interviewed for jobs, I felt confident in my abilities. Turing prepared me well for my role as a junior developer.
As I was going through Turing I always remember thinking that it was a great program because I was being challenged and being put in a position in which I had to work hard. I also remember thinking that my perception would probably change after the program ended and I started writing software professionally. This did happen but not in the way I expected. I was thinking I would be hit with a slap in the face of sorts, the same one a lot of people experience after a traditional 4 year degree, and have to face the fact that I still didn't know anything about writing software. After all, how much can you learn in 7 months?! Well, you learn enough to join a software development team and contribute right off the bat, along team members that have been writing software for decades. Some of them might even have cs master's and/or phd degrees from some of the best universities in the world! This can be intimidating but eventually you start to realize that a Turing education is at the same level of some of the top universities in the world and in some ways it's even better. I'm not saying a 4 year degree or master's program at a top university is similar to going to Turing. It's two completely different things. Do your homework before making a final decision. Ask Turing what the differences are if you would like to know; I'm sure they would be happy to answert tha question for you. When I was researching schools I remember choosing to go to Turing because it seemed like the best program of it's kind. I packed my things and moved all the way across the country to attend. Today, after chatting with people of many similar programs at NYC, SF and Miami, coding with them at meetups, and having worked as a professional software developer for a few months after I finished Turing, I'm glad to say my opinion hasn't changed. I still think Turing is the best program of it's kind. I'm obviously biased as I attended the program, but if my brother wanted to get into tech, I would tell them to go to Turing. There are things they teach that you don't even realize you are learning until you start writing software professionally. What I love the most about the group of people running Turing is their determination to always improve. They never stop asking students for feedback, brainstorming on how they can increase the quality of the program for the benefit of the students and trying everything they can think of to make a better all around person out of you.
I signed up to attend Turing last fall with all of the same trepidation and doubt that accompany any career change but, 7 months later, could not be more happy with my decision to trust the Turing school with getting me through this transition.
I researched a lot of programs before landing on Turing but what really made the difference for me were its length as well as personal recommendations that I received from people within the industry. When making the decision to study programming I consulted the development team in my workplace and was immediately directed to Turing; several of the engineers had friends who went through the program and recommended it very highly which was a big plus. Beyond those recommendations though, the Turing program is almost double the length of most others that I had looked at meaning I would have time to study programming on a much deeper level and cover concepts that other programs just couldn't offer. These things made a big difference to me and, since graduating and interviewing with several industry companies, I can tell that it makes a big difference to employers too.
Ultimately, if you are reading these reviews and considering a development program for yourself or a friend, there are a lot of factors that must go into your decision but, from my experience, this is the best value for your buck. The instructors are driven and committed to your success, the students are interesting and intelligent people, and the education is brutally challenging and highly effective. I would definitely recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone interested in going down this path!
When I first started looking into coding schools, I was focussing on bootcamps that were quicker and cheaper. I'm so glad I did not go in that direction. Even though Turing is seven months long, there was not a single day in my time there when I was not learning, pushing myself, and growing as a developer and as a person. Turing does more than just teach you how to code. They teach you how to be a developer that contributes to your team, your community and your craft. The staff and instructors are fun to work with and incredibly dedicated to student succes. As an orginization Turing is very transparent and open to change.
If you're looking to kickstart your programming skills and your career, and you're open to working harder than you probably ever have, look no further. Go to Turing and join the most impressive, thoughtful and driven network of individuals that I've ever been a part of.
First I just wanna say it’s nuts to see anyone stand up to Jeff. He has all of your money, you have to cover your own living expenses, and then the dude can bury you if he doesn’t want you getting a job in the industry.
But buyer beware? Anonymous? Jeff knows exactly who you are - he blew you up on slack a couple days later and tried to play it off like you’re crazy or something.
I wouldn’t have even written anything, but Jeff just had to Merriam Webster you like it’s some sort of high school English speech. “I don’t know what a sociopath means, but google describes it as… “ Are you for real Jeff? And then a bogus comparison to his staff (of mostly his own grads) ratio to K through 12!? We get it public school sucks - compare it to other bootcamps. Maybe galvanize, the other bootcamp that successfully sued Jeff after he started Turing.
Definitely heard the guy say to a room full of people he’s a sociopath. Also heard him tell a class their tuition guarantee wan’t real. That if it came down to the wire that they could just decide not to graduate them. See when their first payout on the guarantee came - like a year into operation. Fat chance that’s a coincidence. Somebody decided to sing so they opted to payout as a CYA measure.
IF you can keep your head down and not piss off Jeff you’re probably fine. If not and that’s probably an accurate review. Either way it’s super expensive and Jeff definitely doesn’t have a problem taking your money. No wonder everyone’s so scared of him. Non-profit. Psh.
Response From: Jeff Casimir of Turing
- I've never "buried" anyone. There isn't a single person I've ever wanted to see not succeed in the tech industry. I have continued to support everyone in our community whenever I can. You'd be hard pressed to find a negative word I've ever said about a student because that's just not what we're about.
- This sociopath thing I just don't know what to say. If you're so convinced that I said it than so be it. I'd be curious to know what conversation you think this took place in.
- We ask for a lot of feedback from students and I don't recall student-to-staff ratio ever coming up. I can't really speak to other bootcamp programs because I've never worked there. Typically I see classes described as 18-40 students with 1-2 staff members. When we ran Hungry Academy is was 24 students, 2 staff -- 12:1. When I ran gSchool it was 24 students, 2.5 staff -- 9.6:1. You can probably find programs that run at 8:1 and others at 18:1. It's just not a big deal. The question is "when I need help is there (a) someone available in a reasonable timeframe and (b) does that person have sufficient expertise to help me?" If the answer to both is yes than the ratio or where that person gained their skills is irrelevant.
- I, nor Jumpstart Lab, nor Turing, nor any related individual or organization has ever been threatened with a lawsuit, had a lawsuit filed, or any other variation thereof. You've got bad information. If you believe otherwise I invite you to contact Chris Onan, CFO at Galvanize, who I've always had a good relationship with.
- The tuition guarantee is a pointless debate as the state regulatory body has changed their previous decision and now does not allow any form of guarantee. Against their wishes and in violation of their code we told all students who'd signed a guarantee that we'd still honor it, and we have. Why would we do that if we're so concerned with weaseling out? I believe we've fully or partially refunded four tuitions now. From a "CYA" perspective we could have leaned on the state's decision and not refunded anything, if that's what we wanted to do.
- For students who've left the program early our general policy is to "over-refund" them. If you drop out in say the 2nd quarter, the regulations say that we owe you 50% of your tuition back. We tend to refund 25% more than the regulation. Persons who drop out in the first two weeks we've usually refunded everything. Anyone who's ever asked us directly for any form of refund has gotten it. The reasoning is that a person who's dropping out or otherwise frustrated is likely in a financially vulnerable position. Maybe they're going back to an old job, old city, or whatever. But the bit of their tuition we can return to them is a way to help them make that transition more successfully.
- This meme of people being so scared of me is...I can't control how people feel about me. I'm not here for a popularity contest. I work hard, I expect others to work hard. I'm kind to people, I expect others to be kind to people. You'll never hear me yell. You'll never hear me point out someone's weaknesses. You'll never hear me bully. If you're a student in my program you'll hear what you need to hear to help you become a better version of yourself. Is that always fun? No. Is it difficult to grow? Yes. But that's what we do, together. I'm growing too.
If the original poster or anyone else has further questions or assertions you're welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven't yet familiarized yourself with NESTA, you should. The point of the organization was to set standards for coding bootcamps that the students may be protected. While bootcamps weren't required to participate, Turing volunteered. They had 1 year to comply to a public audit and failed to do so. Turing's founder, Jeff, later published their own "audit" in order to "maintain transparency." Their internal "audit", however, hand-picked (and intentionally failed to contact those who had a poor experience) less than 70% of their total students, with a few red herrings amidst in order to show that their placement rates are much higher than they actually are.
Placement rates are also a bit of a misnomer in judging a camps success as you must graduate to even participate in the statistic. Alarmingly, Turing boasts a graduation rate of only 71% as stated by the Internation Business Times. Even that may be high based on what I personally witness and heard there in the basement.
Jeff personally stated that it was his mission to "lower graduation rates" as he feels that a more difficult program makes it that much more prestigious. However, this essentially means you're graded on a curve, so unless you're in the top 50% (and students here are both amazing and bright - easily the best part of the experience) you may be out of luck out of the gate.
They say you can enter without any prior programming knowledge, but in all reality the majority of students possess multiple years of programming experience so it's up to you to catch up while you're putting in the 80 hour weeks. While not impossible, it's made even more difficult with Turing's indoctrination days. 20% of your scheduled time here won't even be focused on coding at all, but instead listening to Jeff and others read highly controversial material that you either agree with or get singled out for "opportunities for improvement..." Seldom, if ever, were any contructive dialogues fostered. Rather, you accept Jeff's opinions as truth or you'll be forced out.
Also, the teacher to student ratio at Turing is the worst of any bootcamp of comparable length or less. Despite its "non-profit" claims, they are likely making significantly higher returns than their counterparts. This is due to overbooking of cohorts, relying on students to teach one another rather than be instructed, and the opaque statistics of those that repeat. *Spoiler Alert* an extremely significant portion of students repeat and do so at cost, meaning the 17,500 turns into the same 22,000 you'd pay for a superior program - gSchool.
A woman that repeated Turing's first module twice, but wasn't receiving support, is now excelling at gSchool and on pace to graduate this year.
In short, Jeff may be a smooth talker, but he's a self-described sociopath. I would recommend having an in-depth conversation with him personally before even considering attendance. He's more than happy to take your money, but if you'd like to have an actual conversation there won't be time.
And lastly, their governing body, the Department of Private Occupational Schools, is less than helpful if appealed to. They will take just long enough with their "investigation" that the statute of limitations to file a discrimination complaint will lapse and you will have successfully spent a significant sum in order to line Jeff's pockets.
Not to be entirely negative, the students and community are truly incredible (though the same can be said of every bootcamp I've visited). Most of the staff are solid individuals, but I don't believe they have enough say in how the school is run. It's all too clear that it's Jeff's way or the highway. Despite his former claim of superiority over gSchool based on not hiring their own immediate graduates, there are several on staff now.
You will learn quite a bit, but on you're on your own for the most part. The biggest take-away is that there's no safety net. You are at the mercy of a monster. Many will be fine, but think of your future and carefully examine what you hear. The "truth" is subjective, so enter at your own risk.
Updated on 12/12/2016:
It’s been a bit over a year at this point since I attended Turing, but I still regularly keep in touch with many of the people I spent those dark months with. Some suggested I just leave well enough alone and others pointed out that as a cult works - with one negative review, a dozen or so fabricated ones will arise letting the world know just how delicious the Kool-Aid is. Still others may suggest that I’m “indefatigable” - a word used by a woman I’ve never met in my life when Jeff lit the fire in their internal Slack channel to smear my name and alter the story of how I left. I thought it funny as I can’t imagine she’s had ten thousand dollars stolen from her in her lifetime, but I could be wrong. If it were so, is indefatigable the right word? Maybe bitter… I’ll give you bitter, but “indefatigable” has such a ring to it. Although it is a bit rude; I’m not sure it coincides with Turing’s mission of “inclusion.”
After some internal debate, what made me decide to write was the fact that just about every week on LinkedIn I’m viewed by either a current Turing student or a member of their community. Possibly just out of curiosity: “Who’s this monster that somehow made it to Turing and then said mean things about Jeff!?” Others perhaps to read an article that I authored: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/social-justice-terrorism-drew-conly?trk=prof-post detailing how Jeff essentially stole money from me under the guise of an education and with the age-old ‘bait and switch.’ Apparently the article made it at least to one of his “gear-ups” under the false description of dialogue. It was inaccurately presented without any defense on the side he chose to attack, which fits perfectly within his indoctrination methods. They were told if they ‘found it boring’ they could go on to another activity. I suppose Jeff has stolen enough money through his con that it’s become downright ‘boring’ for him now…
If you’d like to try his con, the steps to follow weren’t extraordinarily difficult to follow at least. You see, like any con - you need an angle; Turing’s? Particularly clever since you can’t beat it. Artificially introduce 3 categories of humans: Victim, Ally, Oppressor. If you make it into the cult, you’re placed into either the victim or ally category by virtue of their approval. The victim category is any and all marginalized folks specifically within the tech community and any other would-be recipients of micro aggressions. The ally category is, of course, a white person that realizes you can’t just stand on the sidelines. You blindly accept all claims that the evil whites are the oppressors (despite likely being white and possibly even having been oppressed yourself). And you must - this part is key - agree with all ‘anecdotal proof’ presented by Turing that slights and mean words significantly affect every victim on the planet despite evidence to the contrary. *side note - if you don’t know what a micro aggression is (spoiler alert - made up word by the alt-left to further ingrain division and render an individual in the oppressor category defenseless against baseless accusations) you may want to skip Turing altogether. It is a trigger-warning, safe-space haven. I hear they don’t allow meat at their BBQ’s for fear of offending vegans (seriously though).
In any case. Provided your social, economic, and political views mirror those of Jeff Cashmore’s for at least the duration you attend the program, you’re savvy. You stay in your respective victim or ally construct. Unfortunately this can’t be don’t quietly; a mere head nod simply won’t suffice - Jeff Cashmore, the dictatorial cult leader, demands compliance. Perhaps it’s in the form of some Slack chatter checking someone’s privilege (berating someone who’s at least white so they can’t claim discrimination). Perhaps it will be as rebuttal to a brutally honest, albeit trigger-warning-indiscriminate review. Or perhaps it will be to enlist the next cohort of alt-left drones that (a lot. Not 90%, but probably a solid 60%+) become damn decent software developers and thus elevate to another level of influence within society - that we may all be for censorship, safe spaces, and checking privilege Amen. Or perhaps there will be a wildcard request - but what the leader wants, the leader gets - lest you be excommunicated, shunned, and …. you guessed it - thrown into the ‘oppressor’ category.
The beauty of this con is as follows: The con artist (Jeff Cashmore) gets to pretend that he’s doing right by the world (however left that may be). He remains insulated by dozens, if not hundreds of his followers, as an ‘ally’ - nay - savior - while any dissension among the ranks is met with potentially life-altering ‘punishment,’ which is completely “justified,” as the recipient will have been labeled an ‘oppressor’ (no punishment is too severe for an ‘oppressor’). Righteous. Where do I sign? Looks like it’s a bit steeper than when I attended, but for the low, low price of 25-30k (*plus living expenses, rent, food, car payment, and all other income related items foregone during the better part of a year*) it now includes a safe-space room that’s been allocated!
But why so much; you may be asking yourself; when the supposed same was accomplished for 17,500 when they initially started out. Well, being that they’re a “non-profit,” the extra cash will of course go to growth. That is, of course, after Cashmore’s ~ $200,000 annual salary is covered. (Based on collective math and the tax returns that they must legally make public). And with attrition up, both through their selective weeding out (roundin’ up the white fellas for hurtin’ feelins’ an’ such) and sheer frustration on the parts of those that thought they were signing up for a software development program instead of world-view reassignment, the bottom line need-be considered. Yes, yes - even in a non-profit <sarcasm> that’s really here for the betterment of all. </sarcasm>
Here’s the deal. Since it’s quite apparent that folks from Turing & the community are still interested in viewing my profile, bashing me on Slack, and somehow thinking that Jeff’s not a complete pos, here’s some irrefutable facts that I’d happily back up with evidence:
- It’s been over a year since my dispute with Turing and I have NEVER been given specific complaints or accusers, the only explanation being that I was a ‘cultural leader.’ (I retain all related communication exchanges)
- At one point it was Jeff’s mission to increase the failure/dropout rate of Turing (some 2 dozen members of my cohort as well as multiple bootcamp owners/leaders in the greater Denver area can attest to that fact)
- Turing has sent numerous Nondisclosure Agreements to individuals they’ve excommunicated hoping to prevent litigation (I retain copies of such, though I was not offered one as Jeff had already stolen my money & gotten away with it)
- Multiple instances of students & alumni being kicked off of internal communication tools for having a different opinion than Jeff and his false narrative (Turing may say being offensive, but as the screenshots would show that’s not the case. And censorship is censorship)
- Jeff has attributed his desire to get into the ‘bootcamp’ business (make no never mind it’s a business) to there being, “too many white dudes in tech” (Only an issue for the rational humans that realize racism goes both ways I know… )
- Turing as a software development school outsources the design and upkeep of their own website (Right there at the bottom right - there’s also the hard-coded, wildly inaccurate placement statistics on the front page. Jeff has disputed this in the past by provided an “audit,” which was performed “internally” (code-word for made up) What!? I can literally name off the top of my head enough individuals that left the program willingly or otherwise to make these statistics fail to be true) Also, can I let the IRS know that I’ll “audit myself” if such a time ever comes… ?
- Right on their website, between the pictures and background video I can point out multiple individuals that were either kicked out or quit Turing based directly on Jeff’s inability to foster a dialogue (I will not list names without expressed consent, but it would be impossible for Jeff to even challenge this point)
- The Department of Private Occupational Schools, in my case at least, took long enough with their “investigation” that the statute of limitations for a discrimination complaint had lapsed leaving me without a course of action with the exception of hiring an attorney, which is difficult when you’ve just been robbed (date stamps from my initial complaint to their final decision)
- The literature (propaganda) provided in their weekly indoctrination sessions are severely biased & often inaccurate. They refuse to update or acknowledge academically reviewed articles that don’t fit their narrative (again between email exchange and screenshots I provided plenty of dialogue to be had, but my input was unceremoniously dismissed)
- Jeff creates an environment that passive aggressively harasses anyone he deems an ‘oppressor,’ which he does so on occasion as arbitrarily as you’d choose your outfit in the morning. (Again, I won’t ‘put anyone on blast,’ but I am happy to make introductions for a potential attendee to no less than 20 individuals that would give you an honest review. Not this fictional garbage on course report that’s more or less required if Turing is going to help you find a job. Again - Jeff directly disputes this, my evidence here isn’t quite as strong, but multiple individuals have confirmed to me that the positive reviews are incentivized)
- Based solely on a claim, with literally zero evidence, Jeff accused a member of Turing (at the time) of drugging another student. It didn’t happen and that’s been cleared up now, but this is how quickly the school will overreact if someone in a “protected class” tells Jeff to “check someone’s privilege” (berate the white guy).
- Upon reading previous reviews, slack screenshots, my own correspondence with Jeff & the school it's painfully evident that Jeff is elusive when it comes to dialogue. If you're white and claim you're being attacked, it's because you're "uncomfortable having your privilege checked." If you wanted to spend $20k on learning software development and choose not to attend a gear-up it's "because it made you uncomfortable (they're supposed to be after all - when is indoctrination a comfortable process?)". If you don't like his choice of articles (from the late 80's or 3 decades ago for those who are counting) it's because you "don't appreciate muliculturalism" (even if you present more compelling evidence: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/the-rise-of-victimhood-culture/404794/) And on and on the story goes. If your opinion or position coincides with his narrative and that of the victimhood culture we've been cursed with, you will be in his favor. If you dissent... you will pay dearly. (Again, dozens of stories - YOU are paying them, but if you don't join the cult side of the school you simply cannot be successful there. After I'd been handed down my punishment and made it clear that I would not comply, all instructors became too busy to help. Even after presenting my case and Jeff agreed that there was not an accusation, but rather he thought of me as a 'cultural leader' he wouldn't even apologize for lying. Or the amount of stress that was incurred. Or any of it. Why would he need to? I am -unfortunatelyt- white after all) And as a preemptive dismassal of what will be an extremely weak argument - Jeff claimed that that the duress I was arbitrarily placed under was akin to the duress caused by micro agressions, which validates his cult jargon. Nonsense. Jeff abused his power & authority to discriminate and oppress based on my race and my gender. He argues that because I am white and male that discrimination/oppression is not possible. He is wrong.
The aura of condescension can be felt dripping from the walls of the dungeon that is Turing. The school is lead by someone who looks like a smug, self-righteous Guy Fieri that reduces everyone that walks through the door to a gender, a color, and a sexual identity. All of this he accomplishes “as an ally” so it’s really for your own betterment and there isn’t an option (y’know, like learning software development which you paid Jeff around 20K to teach you…). For those who belong to a marginalized class, but choose not to play the victim… you’ll somehow end up in a surprise 4th category - “Ally of oppressor” - take that curveball mf!!
Rooms inside of Turing are filled either with whispers for fear the fuhrer overhears and disagrees or by boorish droll which is praised at Turing. Liberal elitists patting themselves on the back for eating vegan or Paleo, training for a half-marathon, doing crossfit, or ‘totally understanding and empathizing with the struggle of another.’ (I realize none of these things read poorly - nor are they. It’s when they’re obviously so disingenuous and contrived that they illicit the eye rolls and tongue-in-cheek congratulations that are required to remain an ‘ally’)
Y’know it’s funny. On one hand, we have a privileged, wealthy white male that pays himself closer to a quarter of a million dollars a year than not. And in the other we have a socioeconomically challenged white male that’s never taken a handout nor been offered one. Could hardly rub two nickels together when he opted to change careers and better himself. Little did he know that there was “a greater opportunity to learn” - the long con. Watching a wealthy scumbag steal his money right from under his nose. And then he gets made out to be the demon. And Jeff Cashmore gets to play Robin Hood. The irony is suffocating.
If you’ve struggled in your life: lost friends or family members, grew up poor or impoverished, if you’ve seen someone take their own life, struggled with depression, gone through the battle against cancer or some other disease whether personally or through osmosis, if you’ve worked 12 hour days 7 days a week, if you’ve had a hard time making ends meet, slept in your car, or if you’ve otherwise had what a rational human being would NOT describe as a privileged life, then you better pray to whichever God you pray to that you’re not white. Or none of it will matter to Jeff Cashmore and the Turing community.
Jeff’s cult has a boilerplate list of definitions and if you’re white, you’re privileged. Period. And whatever race, gender, or sexual preference you are, at Turing - that’s ALL you are. For the con to work you have to fit into a category and there are just 3. Your initial placement into the category is based solely on race, gender, and/or sexual preference. End of story.
Jeff doesn’t take the time to get to know people prior to their acceptance, attendance, etc. As long as your check clears and you can solve a few LSAT games, you’re in. When I got to “face my accusations (again - none specific, it was actually just an informative meeting of the punishment I’d be receiving without any actual accusations mentioned or evidence of any wrong doing at all) I hadn’t actually spoken with Jeff for more than 5 minutes personally. But somehow, he’d decided that the ‘accusations’ were enough and that I’d be disciplined accordingly (oops - I meant ‘opportunity to learn’ instead of discipline. If you’ve seen Clockwork Orange you’d understand). Only, there never were any accusations. There weren’t any accusers. There was Jeff. And there was Jeff’s narrative. And there was Jeff’s con.
Jeff, you’re a thief. The right thing to do would be to offer back the “tuition” you stole from me and anyone else you’ve pulled this scam with.
Response From: Jeff Casimir of Turing
I'll try to pick through the specific points/assertions above:
- We published our outcomes in far greater detail than the NESTA expectations here and did so in the timeline we agreed to. Rather than spending money on an audit we published the raw data and calculations. Our friends at SkillsFund have volunteered to audit the data and we expect to have that wrapped up later this month. Note that of the 10 schools that signed on to NESTA, only Turing and the Flatiron School have publishing anything. I've been told by friends in education policy that our report is the most transparent accounting of student outcomes they've ever seen in post-secondary education.
- During that more detailed data crunching we ended with a higher graduation rate than I originally told the reporter who was writing for the International Business Times article. But regardless, our reported graduation rate is some 15%+ lower than our competitors self-reported rates -- if I were going to inflate stats I'd make them a lot higher!
- I've never stated a "mission to "lower graduation rates"" because that would just be stupid. All academic institutions are trying to have high graduation rates. Similarly the bits about "grading on a curve" are just not true. We want to see all students succeed and curves are meaningless.
- The author's real issue with Turing is around our Gear Up sessions which yes, are supposed to be uncomfortable. Specifically the session that stood out was about Privilege, including a 1988 essay on privilege by Peggy McIntosh commonly read in post-secondary classes dealing with issues of race, gender, and privilege and often cited by the idea of a "knapsack of privilege". You can see in the exercise that there are few if any of my opinions present. Like all Gear Ups, the session is run in small student groups where reading, writing/reflection, and student discussion are the sources of discovery. In an industry where women make up just 5% of programmers and people of color face a similar imbalance, we must get uncomfortable and explore these issues to try and figure out how we create a better society.
- Our Fridays, which are referred to as the "20% indoctrination days" above, can be exemplified by this recent outline. We had academic review time, Gear Up, an amazing guest speaker, lunch roulette, cohort retrospectives, and some student-led elective sessions. Pick through the outlines to see that that's the general pattern of every Friday. This week's Gear Up was completely orchestrated by a group of students and focused on Environmental Responsibility.
- The question about student to teacher ratio is interesting. Each module has either two or three staff members dedicated to it. A typical class is about 24, so we're between 1-to-12 and 1-to-8. I don't know of other programs which are lower, but there could be some. In K-12 schools ratios are typically 1-to-20+ and in higher ed it's larger, so I'm fine with these where they stand.
- With non-profit-ness and "returns," well, that's just not how 501(c)3 non-profits work. You can't have returns by definition. My salary is less than I was paid when I was running gSchool or Hungry Academy. No one has equity (non-profits are effectively owned by the public). There's no smoke and mirrors here. Every single member of the staff could be earning more elsewhere. I believe we're the only program of our size operating without outside investment -- we're completely bootstrapped.
- Students repeating modules is one of the mechanisms I'm most proud of at Turing. It's allowed many students to muscle through and graduate who would have otherwise had to drop out. Many of the reviewers below are folks who took more than the expected four modules to graduate. Of our 116 survey responses from 2015 students, including both graduates and non-graduates, 87% did not repeat a module, 7% repeated one module, and 6% repeated more than one module. It's a system that works. Yes, when you repeat a module you typically need to buy another "credit", which we price at 1/8th of the tuition (so effectively a 50% discount compared with your original four credits).
- The "woman who repeated the first module twice without receiving support" I just talked with this week and was happy to see she's doing well at Galvanize. Turing is not a fit for everyone. When she and a few classmates were struggling, Josh Cheek (one of our instructors) decided to create "Team Grit" and worked with just the three of them full-time for three weeks. That's above and beyond support, in my book.
- "Sociopath" -- I'll admit that I always have to look this word up, so I definitely don't self-describe that way. Google says "extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience." I've been in schools and classrooms for 13 years which would be pretty damn difficult if I saw myself as antisocial. Lack of conscience, well, I'm not fit to judge. I've dedicated my life to other people's education -- my conscience weighs heavy with every one of their struggles and all the students who didn't succeed.
- The Division of Private Occupational Schools is our governing body. We've found them to be responsive and shockingly effective as a regulator. Their guidelines have pushed us to define policies that are both student friendly and in line with our principles. During our two years of existence we've had two complaints filed with DPOS, one resulted in a full refund after the student graduated and the second, cited above, was deemed "no fault" and dismissed. DPOS is quite responsive if you have more questions about their processes.
In the end, Turing is not for everyone. I'm genuinely sorry that the original poster had a less than satisfactory experience. We don't teach "coding," we build developers ready to steer the tech industry onto a better course. I'm proud of the work that our students put in and the lives they build for themselves. I'll do whatever I can to leverage my privilege for their benefit, even if it means some people will write nasty things about me on the internet.
Turing is the best coding school. Period. I started Turing with zero experience and graduated with 4 job offers.
You don't need technical skills to go to Turing. But you do have to want it.
Jeff and the staff will push you past where you previously thought you could go — intellectually and emotionally. They will act as your harshest critics and your most enthusiastic cheerleaders.
You will have moments of pure joy, and periods of agonizing doubt. You will learn to recognize the rhythm of Turing: excitement, fear, stress, doubt and, finally, triumph.
Learning to code is hard. Turing is harder. It's up to you to put in the work. But if you do, you will have joined a community of talented, enthusiastic and empathetic developers who will push you to be your best self and have your back if you fall short.
The decision whether or not to attend a software development school can be a turning point in one's life. I'm glad I found Turing and took the plunge. Looking back and weighing the pros and cons, it was a no brainer.
The last year has been the most trying, exhaustive, and terrifying year of my life. I started the program in December of 2014 and finished in June 2015. Attending the Turing School strained or outright ruined relationships, disconnected me from my hobbies, and left me with little to no time on my hands. I pulled about a dozen all-nighters and found myself working 16 hour days most of the week. I spent a lot of money on unhealthy food to fuel myself both physically and emotionally. I gained about 20 pounds (which I have now lost wooo!). I racked up a dozen parking tickets in downtown Denver. I commuted about 142 hours which was mostly being stuck in traffic on the highway.
I pushed myself unnecessarily. No one needed me to dive so deep and strech myself thin. I could have succeeded at the Turing School, as the great majority of the student body does, without ever staying up all night, but that is how I work under pressure. The Turing School allowed me that: to work and thrive how I best work and thrive.
Sure, they demand a lot of everyone, but thanks to my supportive wife and family, I had the opportunity to demand even more of myself and I took it. It paid off. While it was the most stressful, difficult time in my life, it was also hands down the most rewarding thing I have done. Ever. I have met great people who I am lucky to call my friend, I have created things I never would have thought myself capable of, and, most importantly, I found the validation for my hard work and personality that I needed.
In the rest of these reviews, you're going to read a lot of great things about Turing. And the thing is... they're all true. I LOVE Turing and am incredibly happy and grateful that Turing was my introduction into programming. The school also played a big part in my getting my first job. But you don't need to read another glowing review that sounds a lot like the others. So, I am going to skip the positive stuff and go straight to one of its weaknesses.
Learning to program is hard, so hard in fact that Turing attracts people with programming experience who want to level up. The range of experience can be as simple as taking a few online Code Academy courses to having actually been a professional programmer. While Turing does a good job of getting all students to a similarly high level of proficiency, it doesn't do a good job of setting expectations for how much experience students really have and how much students lean on that experience. It doesn’t help that most of these students are not forthcoming about their experience level. Now, I understand why some students may not want to admit that they've been programming for a couple years or that they attended another coding school. No one wants to be judged, especially by peers with whom they're about to spend the next +7 months. Having to admit that there are gaps in one's abilities is not exactly my strong suit either. But the problem still exists.
And this problem can be detrimental for two reasons:
1) If the instructors don't know who has previous programming experience, then they don't know how effective their teaching/curriculum really is. As a result, topics can be covered faster than they really should be. It can lead instructors to misjudge who needs what help and why.
2) The lack of awareness by a newbie student can cripple their ability to learn, as well as their eventual love of programming. When students with no previous experience believe that everyone is also starting at zero, it can create an environment where they begin to doubt their own abilities. This is especially true when it seems that their peers are excelling and/or understanding concepts effortlessly. Their inner dialogue usually falls along the following: "We all started knowing nothing, but this person next to me, he/she gets it. Why don’t I get it? I must not be that smart. Maybe I shouldn't be here. Maybe programming is not for me."
It’s easy to think this person doesn't have the mental fortitude to overcome challenges and that programming really isn't for them. But I caution you against such thinking for 2 reasons:
1) Turing is an intellectually, emotionally and physically challenging +7 months. Jeff Casimir prides himself on making sure that you get your money’s worth. He and his team are going to push you harder than you think you can be pushed.
2) Because Turing is a fast paced, high pressure environment, it can cause people to behave with less compassion than they normally would. I've seen a high performing student say that the reason some classmates were underperforming was because of their lack of effort. Now, if you’re a student who has no programming experience, is struggling with the material, puts in 14-18 hours/day, 7 days/week, and hear this, you know effort is not your problem. Naturally, you compare yourself to this classmate and think your problem must be one of mental capacity. Well, what if I told you this high performing student was a professional programmer prior to Turing, but didn’t make that fact publicly known. On another occasion I worked on a 3-person project where one of the members shamed the other member for being slow and incompetent to the point where the third member quit Turing 3 days into a 7-day project. It wouldn’t be until months later that it came to light that this person doing the shaming had attended two General Assembly courses before Turing. The student that quit, quit because she was operating under the assumption all three of us had started Turing not knowing any programming. She thought she wasn’t smart enough. In fact she was smart enough. She just didn’t know she was comparing apples and oranges.
It may seem like I am being overly critical of these students. That's not my intent. These two students are some of the most stand-up people at Turing and one I consider to be a very close friend. They just had momentary lapses in being their best self. But these momentary lapses in courtesy had outsized impacts on other people’s experience and their confidence to code.
Some things to keep in mind if you’re a student without programming experience, know that some students are going to know more code than they say they do. Be kind to yourself. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Learning to code isn’t only for the few chosen ones. It takes time.
If you are a student and you notice this happening, let the instructors know. We students (regardless of experience level) need to be periodically reminded “not to judge our insides with someone else’s outsides.” In fast paced, high-achieving environments competitiveness becomes common-place. But that shouldn’t translate into students feeling like they’re playing a zero sum game, resulting in only winners and losers.
This is not everyone’s experience. But it is some people’s experience, enough that I thought it was important to highlight. I hope this review was informative and useful for you. Ultimately, my goal is to point out areas of human behavior that the Turing experience lends itself to. My hope is that making you aware of these challenges will go a long way in improving the Turing experience for everyone.
I chose to go to Turing because it was recommended to me as the best and toughest. I got exactly what I expected. I was challenged everyday and was able to land a job I love right out of the school.
I spent a fair amount of time looking into programs of different lengths and price. After reading reviews I kept seeing positive reviews about Turing (previously GSchool, and before that Hungry Academy). I wasn't interested in a get rich quick situation, I wanted to go somewhere that I would build a foundation for a career. I spoke with previous graduates of the program (they atteneded when it was GSchool) and they had nothing but amazing things to say about Jeff and the curriculum.
The school was everytihng I expected and hoped it would be, and more. It lived up to the hype. Sometimes you meet your hero in real life and they're tools. Sometimes you meet your hero and they're exactly what you'd hoped they'd be. Turing was the latter. The 7 months I spent in that basement were some of the best of my life. The teaching staff are extremely talented and knowledgable and relatable. I count them as my friends. The other students are hungry, driven, and extremely smart. Some of the best people I know I met at Turing.
I would highly recommend this program. With Turing you get what you expected going in. THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE.
After completing a 9 week Ruby on Rails school back in 2013, I was fortunate enough to gain experience through freelance web development for a startup. During those 2 years I learned a lot about building a startup but my web development skills eroded because I focused more on the front-end and ux. The startup idea, like most, didn't gain enough traction to continue and I was left in a position of "now what?" I learned that I did not want to continue down a path of marketing website but wanted to continue building ideas. I was a carpenter for over 17 years and had chosen to change careers back in 2013. I was grateful for my first coding school because it took me from someone who really knew zero about web development to someone who could build basic ideas in code. The school accomplished its goal and allowed me to build MVPs but I was not 'professional grade.'
So I went back to the Michael Hartl tutorial to update my skills and during the process, I received a progress email stating that if I enjoyed the tutorial, you should consider Turing School of Software and Design. So, I clicked on the link and read about the curriculum. I was impressed, so like most prospective students, I read reviews on Course Report. I live in Chicago and have many local choices for coding schools but Turing was different. It was longer, focused on fundamentals and the skills that I knew the market was demanding. I had already done the MVP thing, I was looking for full-stack, professional web developer with a focus on testing. Testing was the key selling point for me because that is the differentiator.
I talked it over with my wife and she was in. We budgeted $70k for the whole process, tuition, computer and living costs for 2 households 1500 miles apart and limited income. I moved to Denver by myself and lived in my camper for 6 months to keep my costs as low as possible. My family would come to visit on the first intermission and then I flew home on the next 2 intermissions. It was emotionally difficult to be away from my wife and 3 kids but we all grew from the experience. The key to success was leaving my family behind because there was no guilt of not being around for normal life. I was gone and 100% focus on what I was at Turing to do, level up and get a job.
Turing did not undersell the difficulty of the program. I caught the bus at 6:50am M-F and the 9:40pm in the evening to come home, rinse and repeat. Class was from 9-4pm with a 1 hr lunch and a minimum of 4 hrs of work every evening and at least 16 hrs of homework on the weekend. If there wasn't a project that you were working on, then you were practicing your skills from the previous week. There wasn't enough time to get homesick. Your cohort member were your new best friends and you stuck together in an effort to help each other out and get everyone to pass together. Teamwork and collaboration are key to success at Turing. You can not do it alone and think that you will be successful. You will lean on each other to push through code and life challenges. I am a veteran and completed the toughest leadership school the Army has and I would put Turing on par with that experience. Both are a total suck fest but on different levels. Both are emotionally draining but Ranger School is more physical while Turing pushes you mentally as would be expected.
It was not all roses at Turing. I could not afford to repeat a module not only because of the cost but also because it would mean another 7 weeks away from my family. The pressure to succeed was huge and I hit some stumbling blocks along the way but my fellow classmates and the Turing community was always prepared to step up and help me get a core concept or offer insight as to better understand the concepts. The biggest con of the whole experience was the "Gear Up" sessions. Gear Ups consist of a short reading about a controversial topic, a moment of self-reflection and small group discussion before we reconvened as a school. There was a Gear Up that broke our cohort emotionally and we never fully recovered in my opinion. We were forever divided and it really soured the Turing experience. Turing is an emotional rollercoaster through the rigors of the curriculum but to then push students who happen to be generally very progressive with provocatively charged readings is too much. People are drained physically from all nighters, mentally exhausted from the learning and emotionally edgy from the process so tempers can flair and Turing needs to me more aware about the state of its students. Forcing people to read articles about concepts or choices that we as students did not create adds fuel to the fires that already exist. For our cohort it was broke the gel and camaraderie that had developed and hung a dark cloud on the rest of my experience, so much so that I became hyper-focused on securing a job before graduation so that I could get out of there.
I am 40 and my wife and I were prepared for the pay cut that I would be taking. I applied to 4 places and based on my previous web development/startup/life experience I made it to 4 phone interviews, 3 code challenges and secured a position only 2 weeks into Module 4. Turing had given me the technical code skills to get looks from all of the companies. My Github had the variety of skills that employers where looking for and I had the experience from Turing. Turing knows the types of projects that employers are looking for and even after only 3 modules, I had enough to become hirable. I am grateful for the experience and was even happier to get back to my family and making an income again over a month ahead of schedule.
If you are serious about making a career shift or leveling up basic web development skills, Turing is the place. You will gain the skills you need to be successful and everyone at Turing from the staff, alumni and current students are behind you to succeed. Not everyone succeeds. People don't pass, some quit and others like me level up and hit the market as soon as possible. Turing is a 24/7 commitment to succeed and you will build friendships that will change your life. The Gear Up add-on to the web development curriculum is my only gripe, but I would be remiss if I say that I didn't learn anything from them. With Gear Ups, timing is everything.
Invest in yourself at Turing and you will not be sorry. Turing changed my career path and it can change yours too!
Attending Turing was the best decision I've ever made and really changed my life for the better. To start, I'll just say it was the most challenging and rewarding experience, but equally strenuous. It isn't for everyone and I'll explain further down in the review. I did graduate and didn't have to repeat any modules. I'm now employed as a full-time software developer for an amazing company.
My original chosen profession was journalism (I was a newspaper reporter and tech blogger) since I always had a hard time deciding what I wanted to do and writing was something I was good at. Three years into my career as a newspaper reporter, I hated my career, it wasn't very fulfilling and it felt like a dead end job. I started taking classes at the local Penn State campus, so I learned C++, Java, PHP, HTML and CSS. Although that was the case, it didn't feel like it was enough. I was learning too slowly and learning things that were outdated. It was also very expensive going back for a second degree.
In May 2014, my girlfriend and I moved to Boulder, CO, and while there I found out about the Ruby meetup group and started attending. There I found out about bootcamp style training programs and was eventually admitted to Turing. When I started in Feb. 2015, I thought I would have an advantage since I had taken college coding classes before, I only had an advantage for a few weeks since after that everyone was on the same playing field. While I struggled toward the end of module 1, I eventually picked up and excelled in other modules, particularly the last ones where we were building apps that could be used by real people. That is common for Turing students, to have strengths in different parts of the program.
One amazing thing about Turing is that you will go through it with an awesome group of people from all different background. These people will become some of your best friends. Since you are all going through it together... the ups, the downs, you will form tight bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime. Without the support from my fellow classmates in my cohort, I might not have made it through the program. We were almost like our own little family where nobody could be left behind and if someone was struggling, we tried to help get them up to speed so they could move on with the rest of us.
While I had success, it didn't come without its problems. I was exhaused. Turing at times feels like you are sprinting for 7 months straight. You're always learning, always studying. At the end of a six week module, I was drained and couldn't wait for a week off, which wasn't really a complete break since there was always intermission week assignments. My relationship with my girlfriend also suffered since instead of being able to spend time with her, I was spending just about all of my time studying. She did stick with me and I promised her it would all be worth it once the seven months were over. And that was true.
When I graduated in August, I didn't have a job but I was able to get many initial interivews and sometimes second interivews. Interviewing was not my strong suit, especially since I had imposter syndrome, you do feel it after becoming a developer in 7 short months, which feel like an eternity at times. Turing did prepare me though and was really helpful as far as giving advice on my resume/cover letters and helping with speaking with improv classes. Within the first three months, really a month and a half, I had a job. I started as a temporary employee in October, but was offered full-time right before Thanksgiving in November. There was no way I could have known this at the time, but my company wasn't the best environment for a junior developer. Things eventually became really stressful as I became the only full-time developer, but I was prepared to tackle problems. I was able to juggle projects for multiple clients and learn how to complete new tasks everyday.
I was at that job for almost 5 months and just started a new full-time job in February, where I'm at an amazing company with all the mentorship I need, great benefits and I get to work from home. Better yet is that my company is based in West Palm Beach, FL, and flew me down to work in the office for the first week.
The bottom line is that Turing is one of the hardest thing you will ever do. It will challenge you mentally and take you to the point where you think you will break. It will also affect all other aspects of your life, but they know most students can take the stress and they are the ones who will succeed in the program. These students will also become the most successful developers in the real world. Turing prepared me to tackle any problem and not only learn how to code, but also how to learn and teach myself to solve a problem. Before I started Turing, I was working a job where I wasn't happy and really would never be able to afford things like a house or to raise a family. I now work full-time as a developer for a company I love, from the comfort of my home and the seven strenuous months translated to me also more than doubling my highest ever salary as a journalist. We now have the life we dreamed about.
I’ll start off by saying Turing is a very strenuous, demanding, ambitious, admirable, absolutely exhausting program. I was pushed from day one and on more than one occasion, had the thought of taking a module off or leaving the program completely. It definitely beats you into the ground, but it has equipped me for my new career in ways I’m still realizing.
Prior to Turing, I was a nurse for several years, no real technical background and, long story short, was looking to change careers. I went with Turing for two main reasons, one being the length of the program, the other was how education driven it was. I personally felt that what I needed/wanted to learn, in order to make a successful career change, was not going to be in an 8, 10, 12-week course… They had the cirriculum and length to get me to where I needed to be.
Looking into past/current experiences of the instructors at Turing, I decided that Turing met the education expectations that I had. I’ve had a lot of frustrating experiences where the instructor had a lot of knowledge about the topic, but none about teaching; how to translate that material to students, get them to relate, twist it in a way so it sinks in for them, etc. I you may know a lot, but unless you can teach me, you're useless.
I will say that my biggest frustration with the program was the small to large changes that were made in-between modules. Normally, it’s a glorious thing when staff takes in student criticism of how the previous 6 weeks went, discuss, actually implement the necessary changes, and make the next module better than the previous. And it is a great thing! For me though, I felt like I was in an experiment, I began to have the mentality of “Will this stick or just change next module? Should I bother to really learn this?” and honestly, started having thoughts of whether they really knew what they were doing. I put a lot of time and money into them, I don’t want to have doubts!
But now that I have been in my new career for several months, Turing has really equipped me. There’s definitely some stuff that I’ll need to relearn or re-familiarize myself with; there were times where the pace at which Turing taught a topic, was personally too fast for it to really stick, but I learned the fundamentals at the time and I now have the time and that foundation to build off of.
An instructor once told me that Turing makes it extremely difficult so that when you reach your real world programming job, it’s THAT much easier for you. True. So very true.
Before coming to Turing, I was a middle school teacher and led wilderness trips. I was ready for something new, and had been trying to teach myself to code for awhile before applying to Turing. I loved what I was learning, but knew I just wasn't going to get very far trying to teach myself AND work full-time. Even though I've always been into problem solving, logic, and technology, I never thought about making programming a career until I realized there were so many different directions I could head in with this type of experience. I looked into a few different schools, and was most interested in Turing because of the great things I heard about the instructors and the community. I was sold from the application process. Applying to Turing is a bit of a time consuming task, and I appreciated that it really made me think about my goals, what I bring to a community, and what I wanted out of the program. Turing lived up to my high expectations and then some. I can't imagine a better community and a better group of instructors. In the final months at Turing, I felt supported in my job search, and just started a remote position as an apprentice developer. I can't believe how much I learned in 7 months, and I'm excited to keep learning.
Post-Turing, here are my big takeaways:
- The instructors are incredibly helpful and supportive. Most of them are able to strike a great balance between challenging you to push through a problem and offering a helping hand. They are there for you, and believe in Turing. They're not just there because they're programmers... I felt like they were teachers first, and have each student's best interests at heart.
- I learned as much about myself as I did about programming... how I work, how I deal with challenges, and how I can be a better community member and team member.
- It is probably one of the hardest things you'll ever do, but it's worth it.
- Be ready for the long game. Try and find some balance in your life, and take care of yourself.
- Everyone is there for each other. You will be blown away by the amount of other students (working just as hard as you) who are ready to spend hours helping you out.
Like mostly everyone I had a great experience at Turing, and I highly recommend it for everyone. I won't repeat what all the other reviews have said because I agree with it all - the good and the bad.
I wanted to write this review for parents. I went through Turing with two young kids, an 18-month old and a 3 year old (at the time), and I got through it. It was definitely a huge transition for me since prior to Turing, I was always with my kids. I worked from home, but my kids also stayed home with me. So going from that to feeling like I rarely saw them was hard. And when I say I rarely saw them, I saw them every night for at least a few hours and was with them most of the time on the weekends unless we had a group project. I never felt like I had to choose my school over my family. I just got really awesome at time management. While it is different and a huge adjustment, my classmates/group partners understood that I had other responsibilities and we would adjust our group schedules to make it work if needed. Most of the time, I think that parents are able to balance school/life better than others because we are forced to go home and take care of our family too.
So if you are a parent, and are thinking about Turing, just do it. It's the best thing you will ever do for yourself and your family. The community is great, and I don't think you will find another school with as many students, instructors, mentors, and alum that care about you. If you ever want to chat, email me or I will meet you for coffee. email@example.com
Prior to coming to Turning I had worked in education for 14 years. Since my last job was coordinating a 1 student 1 computer roll out for a school district, I had lots of experience testing and evaluating educational software but none with actual coding.
I did a good deal of research on different coding schools, my previous educational experience guiding my evaluative lense. What really attracted me to Turing was the fact that the director, Jeff Casimir, has a background in education and training, as well as in software engineering. This was important to me and I didn’t find it at a lot of the other schools I visited/talked to. So, I decided to take the leap and became part of the second cohort to attend Turing.
The time I spent at Turing was a blur. The workload is demanding. I have a family and my wife works so balancing family responsibilities and school was a challenge. Despite these constraints, I still found it possible to be successful at Turing. The staff was very helpful and accommodating.
I found the curriculum and pedagogy at Turing to have strong and weak points. For me, direct instruction doesn’t work all that well. So, the fact that this is a significant part of the instructional time was a little frustrating. However, I find project based learning very effective, which is an even larger part of the Turing program. A lot of our time was spent working in groups to create software. This is what you do as a dev, so it was great practice! As others have said, Turing has great feedback loops in place and is constantly making changes to improve, so their instructional program probably looks completely different now.
The outcome for me couldn’t have been better. Before I had completed Turing, I had received two job offers. The great part was that they were both for remote jobs which was what I wanted. I ended up with an awesome job working for a start up. The CTO was one of my mentors at Turing!
If you want to learn how to program, I can't imagine a better place than Turing. In short, it is an amazing program, run by amazing people.
I can't say enough good things about the staff at Turing – led by the one and only Jeff Casimir. Jeff has put together an incredible team of instructors, all of whom are very smart and caring people. They are not just talented programmers – they are very talented and dedicated teachers. They are all willing to do whatever it takes to share their knowledge and will stop whatever they're doing to help you improve your skills and succeed. Not only that, but the instructors are all really cool individuals who you will count as your friends – they are inspiring people.
The environment is intense, in the very best way. It feels like some kind of mix between a dojo and a monastery – people are serious. It's immersive by design – you spend as much energy as you can learning to code – and there isn't much time for anything else. Expectations are set high. There is always a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time. You need to put in your very strongest and best efforts, and sustain them over the full course. You feel well spent – and it's a great feeling, knowing that you're committed and giving it your all.
When going through a set of experiences as intense as Turing, you form a lot of new connections with your fellow students. Turing attracts an inspiring group of people, from all kinds of backgrounds, with different skill-sets and styles. Not everyone learns at the same pace, and that's ok. You do whatever you can to help someone – and likewise you can count on your friends to be there to help you. Very simply, it's fun to bond with people while learning something new – it feels good and it's inspiring to see each other's lightbulbs turn on. You will count these people as friends for life.
I hope I've convinced you of how impressed I am with Turing, its program, and its people. I hope you sign up as soon as you can, and join the rest of us who consider it a life-changing experience.
As a career firefighter/paramedic of 23 years, when it became time for a career change I knew I wanted to become a software dev. After attending many meetups in my area I learned of Turing school of software & design. After completing the modules I can say that Turing made being a firefighter/paramedic seem easy.
When I asked a friend that had completed the school how hard it would be, she told me, 'you won't have a life'. In a sense this was true. You cannot hold a job and hope to complete this school. My social life consisted of speaking to other students. My family knew I would be back, but being from Ohio, it was hard to have steady communication. It's like you are in a different world.
Turing consists of 4 modules that are 6 weeks long, with 1 week breaks in between. The breaks are not really breaks. You will have assigned reading, tutorials, or something else to study. They certainly know the meaning of immersion. I personally worked about 16 hours a day.
This school is legit. I didn't want to attend college for 4 years, and 'hope' I found employment after. I don't know the current percentage, but a vast majority of students find work. I know many students that were hired before completing all 4 modules. This school doesn't take your money and give you some tutorials with little instruction or guidance. They push you well beyond what you think you can do. They teach you what you need to know to find a job and have an awesome career.
The instructors are all awesome. Some of them were actual teachers before they worked for Turing, others were students just a few years ago and you would think they had been coding and teaching for a lot longer than that. This teaching experience shows. I think all of them could make more money elsewhere. The fact that they chose to work for less and teach says a lot to me. They also have many graduates that they employ to help teach or mentor when needed.
Another thing that is amazing is the community. There are mentors from companies all around the US. Many students graduate and then continue to mentor students 1 on 1, either in person or remotely.
There is also a great sense of 'we are all in this together'. When you are in module 1 everything seems difficult, but you soon realize that you are surrounded by students who are in modules 2, 3, and 4 who are all willing to help you and assure you that you'll be ok if you work hard. They aren't lying.
I can remember seeing awesome apps being presented at one of our community nights and thinking i'll never be able to do that, and a few months later you realize that you just presented something awesome too.
Are you afraid to speak in front of people? You'll do a short 5 minute talk every module and soon be over that fear. They also have classes to help you improve your communication skills and teach you to think on the fly. There is also help with creating your resume, and learning how to interview. Student led sessions on fridays give you a chance to show others something you are good at, or learn something new from other students.
One of the greatest things about Turing is they are always looking for ways to make the school better. Every week you have an opportunity to give feedback on things that could be improved. I have seen things that were suggested be implemented in future modules. Sometimes this presents some bumps in the road, and it's not always fun when that happens, but they are not afraid tweak things if they are not getting the results that they want.
Turing gave me all the tools that I need to be employed as a software developer, but I had to do the work. So while my friend was correct that for 7 months I wouldn't have a life, that is a small price to pay to have an awesome career for the rest of it.
Attending Turing flat out changed my life.
As a habitual career-hoppper, I can honestly say that Turing is an excellent way to give you a kickstart down the software development path. The program was perfectly structured for me; it’s full-time, very intense, and prolonged enough to impart a solid foundation of knowledge and skill. I have a lot of gratitude to Jeff and his team for creating the program.
In my last career I would dread going to work on Mondays, to the point were I would have trouble sleeping on Sunday nights. It's not the case anymore. Thank you Turing, for helping me sleep like a baby.
I started Turing one week after my spring finals sophomore year of college. Turing was everything I had hoped college to be; an engaged community, an emphasis on teaching actual skills, good, fair values and a focus on the individual's success professionally and within the community.
Jeff Casimir and his team are the primary reasons for why you should come to Turing. Every single person on staff at Turing truly cares for all students (including alumni) and goes above and beyond what's "required" of them in order to ensure student success. This includes individual attention and regular 1-on-1's.
All students fill out a weekly survey and the feedback is taken into consideration and acted on almost right away. Turing is constantly iterating on the feedback they recieve.
The Turing community is what you make it. Student groups and student initiatives are supported and encouraged. Here's a sample of current student led groups: a women's group (Joan Clarke Society), an environmental group that works to reduce the community's footprint (Environment Variables), an LGBTQ group, a group that teaches kids how to code (Turing Kids Who Code), a group that focuses on computational theory - just to name a few!
If you are in the Denver area try to come to one of the community nights to see what Turing is all about, or feel free to reach out to me @applegrain. Turing is awesome!
I previously tried to teach myself programming. I completed a number of online tutorials, I took an intermediate programming course at the University of New Mexico, and I tried building small apps in my free time to try to get enough experience to transition my career to software engineering. When learning outside a classroom I found that getting stuck over and over again really slowed my progress and became demotivating. While taking a university course I learned a bit more, but I never got any feedback on my code other than "I'm glad it works". The Turing School of Software and Design helped to solve these issues in addition to teaching me skills that I use every day on the job. We received consistent feedback on our code from peers and instructors and were consistently challenged to productively build well structured and tested software. I struggle to provide any constructive criticism of the school because it truly was the best educational experience of my life.
Making a career change is an incredibly difficult decision. I was eight years into a successful career when I finally decided it was time to make a change. After extensive research I put my trust and money in the Turing School led by Jeff Casimir. For anyone who may be in a similar boat and decides to make that jump I can say from my experience that you won't be disappointed with Turing. Jeff runs a challenging program staffed by instructors who are both incredible developers in their own right as well as gifted teachers (a rare blend). You will be putting in a lot of hard hours over the months of the curriculum, but in the end you will most definitely be prepared to step into a developer role.
A year ago, I recognized that I was unhappy with my career and decided to make a change into Software Development. After researching several programs nation-wide, I ultimately settled on Turing for a few reasons:
1. Their emphasis on the importance of pedagogy
2. A (relatively) longer program sounded appealing
3. The reputation of Jeff Casimir within the industry
Overall, I am beyond satisfied with my decision. At the risk of sounding fanatical, it's probably the best choice i've ever made.
As a student, you are surrounded by a wonderfully weird and diverse group of intelligent, driven, and empathetic individuals, all working toward a similar goal. Most of the instructors come from an education background, and do a remarkable job of patiently walking you through very complicated subjects. In addition to the teachers and more 'advanced' students, you also have access to an ever-growing network of mentors that provide one-on-one guidance.
That said, the program is incredibly demanding, and you get out what you put in. It's up to the individual student to fully utilize the resources which are provided, and often you will be thrown into the deep end without much hand-holding or direct guidance. This can be very frustrating at times, but also forces you to learn how to problem solve on your own, creating confidence to tackle problems in a professional setting.
Also a brief warning: DO NOT assume that acceptance into the program guarantees success. People often fail or drop out, and I would strongly encourage anyone considering the program to at least spend some time doing free online tutorials (codeacademy, etc) to get an idea of what you're getting into before making the plunge.
After 7 (very difficult) months, I landed my dream job. If that wasn't such a common occurrence among Turing graduates, it'd be remarkable.
Full Disclosure: I am currently employed by Turing as an Assistant Instructor.
There's a lot that I can say about Turing, and my experiences there. It would be best to start at the beginning.
Before Turing I was a Systems Engineer at a large company, and I didn't enjoy my work. It was procedural in nature, and I started exploring Ruby to automate some of my work. Like so many others, I found that working in Ruby was actually REALLY fun. After a while I started wondering if I could somehow make a living from this.
I contacted a friend of mine who had done the same thing I had, making a career change to become a developer. I got accepted to a few programs, and wanted her input on them before I made my decision. She said to me that if I wanted to do this right, I should go to Turing. That I should spend seven months there and become a better developer than she was. She put me in contact with an alumnus.
I was not planning on spending seven months unemployed and in school. Denver wasn't even on my radar as a place I'd like to spend seven months. I had never even been to Colorado before. But I asked questions. A lot of questions. And in the answers to the questions, I came to the conclusion that yes, if I wanted to do this right, I would have to go to Turing. It was the structure of how things were laid out that sealed the deal for me. How there were warm ups to get the mind working at the beginning of each day. How there was a mix of work time for projects and class. How Fridays were more about guest speakers, learning new things in a fun way, possibly working on open source.
I applied and got accepted. If you're interested in how that all went, I wrote a lengthy blog post on it. Just Google, "Turing Application Process."
Looking back, there are just SO many adjectives I could use to describe being a student at Turing. I came to Turing thinking that it was just a tool. I would pay my tuition, I would come to class, and in return, I would get knowledge, and a better job after graduation. It turned out to be so much more. It's a community. It consists of the staff here, the students, and our incredibly amazing alumni and mentor network.
As a student, I had a lot of fun. I had a lot of not so fun. I learned an incredible amount. I worked a ton. I felt frustration. I felt triumph. I made incredible lifelong friends. I learned how to code. I learned about other people. I learned about myself.
Much can be said, and much has been said about the instruction and the curriculum, and you can see from the other reviews here actual student outcomes.
Choosing the right program is hard, but there are two imporant points to be made. First is that this is a non-profit. There are no investors or outside interests. Turing is fully committed to students and their success. Second, the staff cares deeply about the students and enabling them to succeed. More so than I suspect anyone can reasonably expect them to. They believe in the mission, they believe in what they are doing, and most importantly, they believe that you can become a developer.
Turing was one of the best experiences of my life. I met a bunch of great people and got a pretty good job. I learned a bunch and am doing well at work because of it. It's also worth mentioning that I was in the third cohort, so they were just getting started.
In my opinion, compared to other similar schools, I would have liked to have instructors with more professional experience, compared to teaching experience. But, I think they've done a lot to improve this by now.
Even with those criticisms, I would still go here over most other programs. It was a great school for me as a beginner and I got a good job. They're constantly improving and the results speak for themselves.
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