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TurnToTech

New York City

TurnToTech

Avg Rating:4.25 ( 26 reviews )

TurnToTech offers full-time, 10 to 16-week mobile development and part-time, 30 to 36-week cyber security bootcamps based in New York, New York. TurnToTech aims to produce well-rounded software engineers with a deep understanding of mobile platforms, app development, and cyber security.

Prospective students should be interested in technology – a little exposure to JavaScript or any high school or college programming course is also helpful. Applicants can fill out a short online form or call to express interest. If pre-training training is needed, TurnToTech offers 80 hours of free in-person prep-work to get ready for the full-time course. There is also a 40-hour, pre-training selection process for cyber security programs that is integral to ensuring that students are both technically capable and a professional fit for the cyber security jobs they seek.

The bootcamp has a recommended 12 weeks of coursework and 4 weeks of internship but students who move faster can spend more time on their internship. In the mobile courses, students will learn fundamentals and understanding end-to-end software development, including requirements management, system design, architecture, development, testing and software versioning. In cyber security courses, students will learn the fundamentals of cyber security, Python, penetration testing, ethical hacking, risk management, and more powered by HackerUSA.

When it comes to finding a job after graduation, TurnToTech has relationships with a growing number of potential employers, hosts corporate and startup job fairs, and works to help students build their networks by hosting several tech events each month.

Recent TurnToTech Reviews: Rating 4.25

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  • Android Bootcamp

    Apply
    Android, Java
    In PersonFull Time17 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$12,000
    Class size7
    LocationNew York City
    We’ll start you off by teaching you programming fundamentals through a series of challenging practice problems. Then we’ll help you gain an in-depth understanding of object-oriented programming. Once you have a strong grasp of these important topics, you will move on to developing apps. At the completion of the course, you will have developed a strong skill set with a focus on: Android architecture; Fundamentals of UI/UX design on Android (including animation, user interaction, buttons, tabs, maps, etc.); Data: Storing data in the cloud using Parse as well as on the mobile device using SQLite; Interacting with web services and APIs such as social networks and review sites; Creating your own web services using Parse.com; Using Android device features like camera and GPS; Relatively advanced topics such as security, app performance, asynchronous programming, design patterns, and testing.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Financing
    Financing available through Climb Credit

    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBeginner
    Prep WorkYes, for beginners
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Android Development Part-Time (Evenings)

    Apply
    Android, Java
    In PersonPart Time6 Hours/week8 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$3,000
    Class size7
    LocationNew York City
    At the end of the course, we want you to be able to program fluently in Java, use the Android tools with confidence and build fully functional Android apps of almost any complexity. For example, as part of our course, we will be building a camera app which supports filters, GPS, sharing over Facebook and storage of photos on Amazon S3 cloud – which is very similar in its features to the Instagram app. The course meets 8 weeks for two, 3 hour classes each week.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Financing
    Financing available through Skills Fund.

    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBeginner
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Cyber Security Risk Management

    Apply
    In PersonFull Time
    Start Date None scheduled
    CostN/A
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationNew York City
    Becoming a brilliant Cybersecurity Risk Manager is a sure-fire way to head down the ever-changing path of Cybersecurity and be successful. Following 3 main channels of analysis, assessment and mitigation, this 400 program has a total of 10 courses total to prepare you for the world of Cybersecurity. This program will leave you with extensive real-case studying to master the art of risk management in the world and make you an undoubtedly sought after candidate in the job market.
    Financing
    Deposit$1,000 for 40-hour Pre-Training course. $17,000 for 360-hour extended course
    Financing
    Lending partners available, including Climb Credit
    Tuition Plans$1,000 for 40-hour Pre-Training course. $17,000 for 360-hour extended course $18,000 Total fees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelIT Managers CIO & CISO Advanced IT Consultants Risk Evaluation Employees
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • iOS Bootcamp

    Apply
    Objective-C, Mobile, Android, iOS, Java, Swift
    In PersonFull Time17 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$12,000
    Class size7
    LocationNew York City
    We’ll start you off by teaching you programming fundamentals through a series of challenging practice problems. Then we’ll help you gain an in-depth understanding of object-oriented programming. Once you have a strong grasp of these important topics, you will move on to developing apps. At the completion of the course, you will have developed a strong skill set with a focus on: iOS architecture; Fundamentals of UI/UX design on iOS (animation, user interaction, buttons, tabs, maps, etc.); Storing data in the cloud using Parse as well as on the mobile device using Core Data and SQLite; Interacting with web services and APIs such as Facebook and Twitter; Creating your own web service using Parse.com; Using iOS device features like camera and GPS; Relatively advanced topics such as security, app performance, asynchronous programming, design patterns, and testing.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Financing
    Financing available through Climb Credit

    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBeginners Welcome
    Prep WorkYes, for beginners
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • iOS Development with Swift Part-Time (Evenings)

    Apply
    Xcode, Objective-C, iOS, Swift
    In PersonPart Time6 Hours/week8 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$3,000
    Class size7
    LocationNew York City
    At the end of the course, we want you to be able to program fluently in Swift, use the iOS tools with confidence and build fully functional iOS apps of almost any complexity. For example, as part of our course, we will be building a camera app which supports filters, GPS, sharing over Facebook and storage of photos on Amazon S3 cloud – which is very similar in its features to the Instagram app. The course meets 8 weeks for two, 3 hour classes each week.
    Financing
    Deposit499.00
    Financing
    Financing available through Skills Fund.

    ScholarshipNone
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBeginner
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • IT Professional with Python - Basic Cyber Security

    Apply
    Start Date None scheduled
    CostN/A
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationNew York City
    The IT Professional Program is the perfect place to gain the foundation for an array of IT security skills and technologies. A 400-hour program, the IT Professional Program has six courses total that help prepare students for a variety of professions. By the end of this program, students will graduate with the knowledge required to successfully pass international certification exams and that which can help secure a cybersecurity career.
    Financing
    Deposit$1,000 for 40-hour Pre-Training course. $12,000 for 360-hour extended course
    Financing
    Lending partners available, including Skills Fund
    Tuition Plans$1,000 for 40-hour Pre-Training course. $12,000 for 360-hour extended course
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelAnyone from any background who wishes to join the cyber security industry.
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes
  • Professional Penetration Tester

    Apply
    Start Date None scheduled
    CostN/A
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationNew York City
    Our Professional Penetration Tester - powered by HackerUSA program is your direct path to a cybersecurity career. This 400-hour program’s curriculum includes six courses, extensive hands-on skill building, and guided product training (full time; see the evening comparison below). The Cybersecurity Professional Penetration Tester students graduate with the sought after knowledge and tradecraft for immediate employment as tier 1+ security engineers, analysts, pen testers and consultants. The evolution from general IT to cybersecurity can take five to 10 years. The Professional Penetration Tester does it in as little as 10 weeks full time.
    Financing
    Deposit$1,000 for 40-hour Pre-Training course. $17,000 for 360-hour extended course
    Financing
    Lending partners available, including Climb Credit
    Tuition Plans$1,000 for 40-hour Pre-Training course. $17,000 for 360-hour extended course $18,000 Total fees
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelExperienced IT Professionals
    Placement TestYes
    InterviewYes

Shared Review

  • Menachem F  User Photo
    Menachem F • Verified via LinkedIn
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    They will take your money and not keep their promises. I enrolled in a trial period course, paid was supposed to be a "refundable" fee. Eventually the class never opened. ITS BEEN A YEAR AND A HALF THAT I AM CHASING THEM FOR A $250 REFUND!!!!!! Never saw my money back!! I called, send emails.... nothing! their lousy excuse is that they mailed me a check a year later (which i never received of course). After I threatened them with a lawsuit they said they will write me a check but i have to come down to Manhattan to take it. SHAME ON THEM!! They want me to take a day off from work to pick up their check. They know i wont do it so they can keep my money in their dirty pockets!!!  

  • iOS Bootcamp
    - 10/17/2018
    George Edward Correa  User Photo
    George Edward Correa • Associate iOS Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    TurnToTech is a great place to learn mobile developmet along with general computer science and coding basics. For the most part, it is self taught but, there are instructors there to help when you need it. The curriculum is challenging and you learn a ton in just a few months. You also get the chance to colaberate with your peers during hackathons, which is time put aside where you and a small team of peers can develop a small app. The team that develops the best app wins a small prize and bragging rights until the next hackathon. In the few months I was there, I coded in C, Objective-C, and Swift. The knowledge I gained at TurnToTech definitely helped me attain the job I have today.

  • Eugenio Lopez  User Photo
    Eugenio Lopez • Android Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    As a former full-time Android student and current Mobile/Android Developer, I can confidently say that TurnToTech has played an immense role in starting my career as a Mobile Developer. Their bootcamp offered an immersive hands on course experience which ensured I had the skill set needed to survive in a professional Software Developer environment.

    TTT's course was not the typical class room/lecture environment. It was the kind of course which engages you to constantly learn by solving problems and creating projects (I'd like to mention that this was made perfectly clear to me before I enlisted). The hands-on course work included Object Oriented Programming (OOP), problem solving with algorithms, and creating many android applications that centered around specific functions with the addition of an Internship.

    As a current Android Developer, I've worked at two companies now since my departure from TurnToTech; and I cant stress how similar the course work is to what I've faced on the job. To clarify what I mean, I'll give a quick rundown of how finding and working at a Mobile/Android developer role is like.

    1) To get an interview, you need a resume depicting projects you've worked on as a Software Engineer. Thus my resume (I'll note here that I was a recent Nursing grad and the only job exp I had was at the Home Depot) compromised of small android applications which TTT's course provided to create and that I continued adding onto(polished them and added my own features), the internship project at TTT which I got to work within a dev team of fellow students under the instructor who I say acted as a product manager/lead developer, and my own small application which the instructors were more than happy to encourage/help me create. 

    2) To pass the interview, you'll usually need to answer various Android (or w/e you specialize in) questions as well as solve an algorithm challenge/s. Both of these topics I covered within the course. As mentioned, TTT's course includes a dive into solving algorithms and learning about multiple data structures. And besides creating multiple Android apps pertaining to all the major Android components, the course provides multiple quizzes (open ended and multiple choice) to help solidify your understanding over a specific topic. In addition, the intstructors themselves offer mock interviews that are similar to what you'll face in real life. 

    3) Once you get a job in any Software engineering role, you'll quickly realize how there isn't a one solution to fix all problems. You'll constantly be problem solving all day every day; and that is what I believe TTT excels at the most. TTT teaches you how to create/find the answers yourself. By being a bootcamp, which encourages students to become self-proficient, they prepare you for the everyday environment where you're expected to produce without much help.

    To wrap things up, the experience I got at TTT was great. For the negative reviews regarding the nature of the course,  those people missed the point of the bootcamp. This wasnt a standard college course substitute. TTT was a place that accepted me with zero software development knowledge then prepared me for a software developer job in under a year. So yes, if you attend this course and have a question about a problem you're stuck on and the instructor kindly encourages you to find the answer on StackOverflow, its because thats what you'll be doing every day within your software developer career. 

  • Juliana Strawn  User Photo
    Juliana Strawn • Junior iOS Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    [My understanding is that since I finished up at TTT, they have changed the way some of their courses are structured, but I think that my review should still apply.]

    TurnToTech does a great job of prepping you for the workforce. I had mock interviews, regular programming challenges, hackathons, and weekly classes on actual computer science theory.

    I had zero programming experience before TTT. The course taught me C, Objective-C, and Swift. Even though most jobs are looking for Swift, knowing Objective-C as well was a big plus since a lot of major Cocapods are not in Swift yet.

    TTT has a great connections and a network of helpful alums. I toured NYC Google HQ and Buzzfeed with TTT, and we got to sit down and chat with developers at both places. Also, there was an excellent graphic designer, Lisa, working there when I attended. Lisa helped me by making a couple of assets for an app I made and helped me with some Javascript on my website.

    TTT set me up with an excellent internship that had me on a team making a consumer app. The internship taught me about design patterns, teamwork, the Sprint Method, and communicating with clients.

    My only critiques are:

    1. My last couple of months there, TTT lost an instructor and was somewhat understaffed, which sometimes meant it could take half an hour to get help on a question. I am sure they have found a replacement by now.

    2. About halfway through my time at TTT, React Native got big. (The idea behind RN is you learn one language to make Android AND iPhone apps, instead of needing to know Swift and Java.) Job searching is always stressfull, and there will always be a need for native programmers, but mobile jobs are really starting to prefer people who can do both iPhone and Android. I'm actually pretty lucky at my current job, they're paying for my Java classes :)

    So overall, I had a great experience at TTT, it helped me get a pretty great entry level job and I look forward to learning more!

  • Zeeshan • student • Applicant
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    have any one took their basic cyber security course? Would any one please share their experience. How well they prepare you to get a job?
    Thanks

  • E. Chen • Software Engineer • Student
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    Before I review about the teaching methodologies, I want to say that the environment to learn is usually overlooked. This school has nailed this need, the environment is very inviting and indusive to learning. Instructors and staff are always available and ready to help. TurnToTech is and has been willing to listen to industry professionals and students to fine tune their cirriculum to better adapt.

    As for the cirriculum, it is intense and savage as most of the reviewers have mentioned before. You REALLY get what you put into it, my biggest regret attending this bootcamp was not devoting myself 100% throughout its entirety. The lessons are there, you just need to work your way through it and ask for help often. I let my pride and freelances get in the way of this... I am now interviewing 5 months later than I anticipated.

    One major advice to anyone who wants to start their career as a coder/programmer. Be mentally prepared to dedicate yourself for a straight +4 months and ask for help when you are stuck on something. Stay positive, don't get fustrated as it will eventually burn you out. Remember every day squandered is another day gone, this easily adds up into weeks/months. It is very easy to de-rail and lose focus, we all have circumstances and that is absolutely fine. Take it from me I am almost 10 months into the program, as per the auto weekly reminders sent to my email!

    Also, sometime during the first six weeks do yourself a favor and pick up a coding interview prep-book. There is a general road map to personally ready yourself for that big day. TurnToTech is here and open to listen to any concerns that you may have, I implore everyone to take advantage of their resources early on and pick their brains often.

  • iOS Developer
    - 7/22/2016
    Ray S • iOS Developer • Graduate
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    The iOS bootcamp at TurnToTech exceeded my expectations. I found the instructors to be knowledgeable and friendly. They were always willing to spend extra time explaining anything when I found myself confused or struggling to understand a concept. With there help I was able to get a job a few months after graduating. One of the things that really stands out about TurnToTech is their alumni network. This network provided me with support when searching for a job as well as with mastering advanced iOS material. TurnToTech fosters this network by providing their alumni with coworking space. As a result alumni, are often present to share their experience and knowledge to the next generation of students. 

  • Chris
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    My experience at TurnToTech was amazing. I have a learning disability but with the help from the staff and the comfortable environment I was able to obtain the skills and confidence I needed for developing android apps. As in anything else, I needed to put in the time in order to understand and develop the concepts that go into coding. I now have the ability to pick up new languages using the learning techniques from TurnToTech. I cannot say enough about the teaching staff at TurnToTech: they are professional, knowledgeable, very helpful and they are full-time employees, unlike some other bootcamps I looked at. 

    TurnToTech's environment is a special community where students learn to network, meet people and learn from each other. During the internship, I found working together in groups gave me a greater understanding of what things I need to work on as a developer. My internship app is called 'Voices' where I worked with several other students and the two entrepreneurs behind this app. The experience was great and so was the app. Voices recently won the MobileWeek startup challenge: http://tryvoices.com/blog/2016/5/7/voices-wins-nyc-mobileweek-2016 

    If you are looking for a place that will work at your pace, give you personal attention and has a friendly environment, this is it. I highly recommend TurnToTech and encourage you to inquire. I cannot say enough good things about this experience. My employer's quite happy with me and I look forward to my future with my new skills and confidence!!

     
     
  • Benjamin Soung • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    TurnToTech was an incredible experience. To the reviews complaining about having to search and learn via Google - that is a vital skill for any software engineer. You drill down the abstract concepts and worry about complicated when you need to. As long as you have the concept down, syntax memorization comes fast. Your projects that you finish in class can be transformed into personal projects for your portfolio. It all comes down to how much effort you put into the curriculum. Don't expect to be spoonfed. It's a good quality that every interviewer wants to see - the ability to pick up skills rapidly, even if you are unfamiliar with it. TurnToTech teaches you how to do this. I landed an awesome remote job a month after graduating, and have been expected to pick up the Javascript language in order to help with the backend. I never learned Javascript at TurnToTech, but I have graduated with the ability to pick up new concepts rapidly, and that is one of the most valuable traits a software engineer can have. In the end, the language of a bootcamp is not what's important, learning how to learn is triumphs over everything. As a developer, you will be constantly thrown into new technologies, frameworks, and languages that you are unfamiliar - and maybe uncomfortable with. At TurnToTech, you develop the skills needed to brave the waters post graduation and beyond. I highly recommend this bootcamp. Like my peer has said: what you put in is what you get out.

  • Big weakness
    - 5/24/2016
    Stephen • Applicant
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    This place looks good at first, a great way to get into the App development job market but unfortunately the schools curriculum is a bit questionable and that's Turn To Tech's main weakness. There are no real hands on classes. For example its take this free online Codecademy javascript course, read this PDF on Objective C and try to solve these clever questions. A very small flakey staff, internet problems. No incentives for low income or minorities. I think General Assembly does have those. I would pass on Turn To Tech and look elsewhere. It's better that you actually learn something instead of returning to this place for job leads. Ask for their refund policy if you're that desperate. I was able to get a refund when it became obvious that Turn To Tech isn't a great place to learn. The positive reviews are obvious networking by former students. 

    I took a look at the recent tuition and it seems like they bumped up the tuition. I would consider looking at other bootcamps with hands on classes. This schools curriculum is questionable. Look at all the five star reviews talking about needing lots of motivation. They should not advertise as a bootcamp then. They should advertise as a part time school and make it clear. They are not a bootcamp, not at all, all self paced, with no direction. If you gotta pay that much tuition at least you should be in a good curriculum.

    Response From: Teddy Angelus of TurnToTech
    Title: COO
    Wednesday, May 25 2016
    Please note that this review is from someone who attended classes (part time iOS) only for 2 days and was asked to leave because our instructors determined that he was not putting in the required effort.
  • Student
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    If you are looking for a curriculum structure similar to a typical "class setting", look elsewhere. The biggest gripe I have is with its website - which, with all its fancy graphics and promises, distorts the truth on many of its offerings.

    I hate the star rating system, they seem so one-dimensional. Let me break it down.

    Instructors - 4/5:

    Nothing to say here. They are very knowledgable, and smart. The instructors and TAs are very good at their craft. Unfortunately, some are not so great at teaching or explaining concepts. 

    Curriculum - 1/5:

    First, let me help you make a quick decision. If you are looking for a structured, lecture and lab based learning environment with tons of pairing and group projects - look elsewhere. TurnToTech's curriculum is 100% individual and self-taught. You have to teach yourself everything by scouring google or reading books. There is zero structure. Every single student works at his or her own pace - and the resulting space is a very separated learning environment with little to no chance of collaboration. 

    A weak structured curriculum is TurnToTech's biggest weakness. It is not the content of the curriculum, rather, it's the way that it is delivered. The method in which students learn the material is suitable for a very specific type of student. If you have the willpower to learn by yourself, then you will navigate the course comfortably. Otherwise, you will waste time being distracted and going on Facebook or other websites. This is not your fault - it is why many of us search for a bootcamp - so that we can conquer this distraction by being placed in a structured learning environment. Unfortuntely, TurnToTech amounts to studying by yourself - with the occasional help of a teacher for a few minutes (they have to help other students too).

    Though the website says that each individual receives a customized education, there could be nothing further from the truth. Every single student completes a series of identical PDF files containing instructions on what to do. That's their "project-based curriculum". The website also states that students finish an App alongside the program. This is completely false and is 100% on the student to make that choice. There is no requirement to have an App completed on the App Store, and they do not care either way.

    As for the actual curriculum, students are simply instructed to complete a series of PDF's consisting of instructions on what to do. They advertise this as being "projects" on the website, but the actual projects can be found all over online tutorials as well. There is nothing unique about the projects, unlike some other top bootcamps.

    Additionally, all the concepts need to be googled and learned by yourself. The teachers do not always have time to explain everything to you. There are no lectures on any of the concepts. Many students development huge holes in their learning process. 

    They do have talks (once a week) on topics, but these topics are disorganized and jam packed into one day - not so great for absorbing new information. 

    In this way, TurnToTech's curriculum may score higher for certain individuals, but a majority will go through the curriculum feeling like it is a little off. It feels weird to pay so much for a bunch of PDF exercises.

    Since TurnToTech operates on rolling admissions for individuals, there are no cohort starting dates. This has it's pros and cons. It is nice to have other students further along in the curriculum to help newer students, but this means that the entire system of TurnToTech is in fact partially a lie. You don't receive personalized one-on-one mentorship that is structured in any way. You simply get answers from students who are further along in the course, or the teachers. Unfortunately, veteran students do not always have concepts down (they themselves are still in the curriculum), and do not always know how to teach. The teachers on the other hand, while knowledgable - do not always give you enough personalized attention as there are many people constantly asking for help (thanks to the learn-it-yourself styled PDF worksheets). 

    Job Assistance 1/5: 

    Sure, people have gotten jobs after this bootcamp. But people have also gotten jobs studying by themselves without getting in to a bootcamp. TurnToTech offers an internship, which is about the only reedemable value within the Job Assistance that they give you.

    They host meetups - but these meetups are open to the public as well. Don't really see the advantage for its students there.

    The fact of the matter is this: Their job assistance really only consists of one person. This person has to deal with a ton of students, and the student needs to work real hard to make any progress. This is normal of course - and they should be working damn hard for jobs and interviews, but the way the website advertises its job assistance is false.

    There are no doubts that you will have learned something by the time you finish its program. However, you will lose focus as easily as studying on your own - because that is literally what you are doing. You are studying alone, just in another space - with occasional help and small talk from other teachers and students. You will not be asked to pair up, to paritcipate in group projects, to have constant deadlines, or to have daily workshops and labs and assessments.

    They are completely lax - which can be good for certain individuals, but it ends up being a very questionable curriculum consisting of a series of do-it-yourself documents.

    Also - their acceptance rates are very high - which is something to consider. They also do not publish their percentage of graduates who get jobs, or the average salary. All things to take into consideration.

    So here's the verdict: 

    If you are an extremely, and I mean - extremely - self motivated and are comfortable with a 99% self taught bootcamp, then go ahead and pay up for TurnToTech.

    If you are looking for structure, paired programming, and much stronger and organized curriculum - look elsewhere. Please.

     

     

    Response From: Teddy Angelus of TurnToTech
    Title: COO
    Saturday, May 21 2016
    We take all feedback very seriously and try to respond to every one. There are some potential misconceptions that have been expressed in this review and we’ll try to clarify those.

    As correctly noted, TurnToTech is not for everyone. We do our best to explain that to each person who applies. If you are looking for a traditional classroom setting with lectures and cohorts and daily homework, and grading, then TurnToTech is not for you. We are modeled after a work environment, not a school. We are not a substitute for CS classes in a college. We try to provide the things that a traditional school doesn't.

    Our number one priority is to get you job-ready, and our curriculum is modeled on what the employers expect, not what gives a smooth ride to the student. Our teaching approach is a modern ‘project based’ approach that emphasizes problem solving.

    We’ll absolutely make sure we review our website and make it as clear as possible that you won’t get a traditional classroom here. There is no reason for us to portray anything otherwise – we were designed from day 1 to be a project-based bootcamp, and we are very proud of that. 

    Project Based Learning

    Let’s discuss the term ‘project based’. Not everyone may understand the term in the sense we use it but educators have a specific definition for this phrase. If you are interested in learning more–take a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project-based_learning.  A short summary is summed up well in this quote from the article - Project Based Learning is a style where you “learn about a subject by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to a complex question, challenge, or problem.[2] It is a style of active learning and inquiry-based learning. PBL contrasts with paper-based, rote memorization, or teacher-led instruction that simply presents established facts or portrays a smooth path to knowledge by instead posing questions, problems or scenarios.”

    We try to avoid the ‘smooth path’ mentioned above. By definition, this makes our path tough. But we are still committed to this approach. But it’s important that we are clear: this in no way means you just work on your own with no help. In fact, rather than having only set times for q & a and office hours, multiple instructors are available all day to give you as much attention as you want, and sit with individual students for as short or as long as the student needs. It's our top priority to make sure every student gets as much time with the instructors as they want.

    Again, we understand that not everyone may be familiar with this term as explained above so, moving forward, we’ll try to do a better job of explaining it.

    Now let’s come to the issue raised about ‘individualized’ or ‘personalized’ – for us it doesn’t mean everyone will get a different set of projects. It means the kind of help you’ll get is specific to your needs. For example, you have an issue in your assignment and need help. One standard non-personalized “classroom” approach is to give you the solutions after you submit your assignment. If you couldn’t solve the problem – you get to see solutions. But they don’t necessarily tell you why your code didn’t work. Is your code 99% there or is it way off? You typically won’t be able to tell. But that information is critical to learning. Our solution is to sit with you and debug your code and make it work with you if needed. If you read a tutorial or an article somewhere that doesn’t make sense, we’ll sit with you and make sense of it. That is our meaning of personalized. 

    And this is hard to implement – which is why you don’t see too many others following this approach. This is hard for a couple of reasons – instructor quality has to be extremely high, and curriculum projects have to be extremely high quality and demanding. The internship is an even harder thing to include in a bootcamp because of its complexity. We firmly believe that unless a student has spent some time implementing features or fixing bugs on a real-life large project such as a complex app with perhaps a custom backend – they are unlikely to be job ready. And while all this seems demanding, we have a large body of satisfied students and alumni which means the approach definitely works. 

    Collaboration

    Now let’s address the ‘collaboration’ issue from the review. It is true that students are mostly required to work independently from other students and not in groups until they attain a certain competency. And this is by design. It’s important to understand the underlying idea. When you go to a job interview, you go alone. Think about why that is the case. As a beginner if you get paired with someone, one person may be doing nothing while the other person does all the thinking and coding. Of course you may feel like you had a good time and got some assignments done but ask yourself: is that really at the heart of what you want to get from your bootcamp experience? 

    Software engineering is as much an intellectual field as it is a collaborative discipline. We work on both of these aspects in our program. First, you need to build your own competency as a problem solver and as a programmer. And that’s why, during the first 12 weeks of the curriculum (with the exception of our recently introduced bi-weekly student hackathons), you’re supposed to work by yourself and not split the work with anyone. Instructors will be there at every step to get you past whatever hurdles you face, debug your code with you, clarify your ideas, or anything else you want. But in order for you to succeed you need to build your own confidence. Once you finish all the projects, you’re on to the internship – and now it’s a different situation. You work in a group from then on. You pair program. You jointly whiteboard solutions to problems. You learn the real power of collaborative tools like git and you see first-hand how an experienced developer solves architectural problems and debugs massive code-bases and gives you insight into software development. We do not believe that any kind of classroom setup can come anywhere even close to this approach to learning. 

    Job Placement and Career Counseling

    We help every one of our students with their job search, through individualized resume assistance, counseling and mock interviews.  We assist not only our current students but even our alumni after they have landed their first job if they are exploring making a change. Even they get mock interview and resume guidance. We have successfully connected students and alumni to companies where they now work. Our ever growing list of alumni are also very active in helping our current students with their job search and getting them interviews. 

    Our program is now in its 3rd year and has gone through various revisions. Our curriculum is constantly evolving, new projects are constantly being added and we’ve always incorporated useful feedback. Based on suggestions from employers, students and alumni - we’ve added interview prep. to our curriculum. We’ve added CS. We've added problem solving. Anyone is free to request a copy of the detailed curriculum and have it checked out by their developer friends if needed. Our current curriculum has been vetted by a large number of practicing software engineers. We have a very structured approach to the job search process and we have a good sense of what employers want.

    To conclude, we take all feedback very seriously and we’ll do our part to make the messaging clearer on our website which seems to be at the heart of the review. Hopefully we’ve clarified most of the issues raised. And we're always open to ways of improving our program.

    If you want to become a software engineer – you must be fully committed to the intellectual, motivational, and physical challenge. It takes time. It takes effort. There are no shortcuts. We try to give you what you need most – which is ‘learning how to learn’. So if you have the motivation and the confidence – we have no doubt that TurnToTech will give you a good sense of what software engineering is all about and significantly improve your chances of becoming a software engineer.
  • Student
    - 12/30/2015
    Anonymous • Student/Intern • Student
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    TurnToTech is a self-motivated and mostly self-taught course. Students work through a set curriculum of problems and reading at their own pace.The course is divided into 5 sections full of different app problems. Sometimes the it requires building an app from scratch, and sometimes it requires refactoring. The course is meant to mimic a tech work environment as closely as possible. Because the of the course's individual pace, students can start anytime and move as speedily or slowly as needed. There are assigned readings in the beginning but as the student progresses, the instructors help less and less and guide you towards finding solutions on websites such as stackoverflow using search engines. The idea is to teach students how to teach themselves since tech and code is ever evolving. For some people this may be ideal and for others it can be extremely frustrating not to have the guidance of a classroom style lecture. The second half of the course is an optional internship meant to give students real work place experience to help fill their resume while they actively search for a job. TurnToTech does not have a job placement program like many other schools which also has benefits and drawbacks. There is no guarantee upon graduation that you will immediately have a job, however, most graduates find work quite easy to comeby and often in a position to turn down job offers. The staff provides mock interviews, on campus job fairs, and resume advice. This means that you do not have to get a job through the school to get tuition reimbursement since job placement is not part of thier profit. The staff is constantly supportive and helpful in both the job search, personal app projects, and throughout the course. Depending on what type of learner an applicant is, this could be the perfect school or the worst option. However, no matter, the type of learner the staff will always help guide students toward the solution without doing it for them. This tough love teaching technique produces results.

  • Daniel Parker • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania • Student
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    I’m currently learning iOS development in New York City at “Turn to Tech.”  I’ve had an excellent experience with this program and STRONGLY recommend it.  The reason why I chose it over the other ones I considered (and what I still especially like about it) is that it has a really positive and collaborative atmosphere.  

    The curriculum is designed so that you learn as you work your way through a series of increasingly challenging assignments/projects.  For example, an early project might be to simply create your own class using Objective-C or Java, while a more advanced project that you’d get after a week or two might ask you to build an app that has features X, Y, and Z.  As soon as you finish one assignment, you move onto the next (working at your own pace).  Each project introduces new concepts that build incrementally on what you have already learned.  From what I can tell, they are constantly tweaking the curriculum to reflect the latest trends/demands in the job market so that by the time you are done with the program you are highly prepared for your job interviews and have the skills that employers expect.

    Anyway, as you work your way through the assigned projects, the instructors and the more advanced students who are further along in the program all kick in and help you as you figure things out.  You also have the chance to collaborate and talk through things with other students at your level who are working through the same assignments.  We change up seats in the lab fairly regularly, so that we all get to know each other.  

    I think this approach has several distinct advantages.  First, I think it’s much better than a lecture-based program because you learn completely through 1-1 interaction with the instructors and other developers around you.  You don’t have to sit through extensive explanations of topics you already understand, and, on the flip side, if you don’t understand something, you can simply take as much time as you need to figure things out and ask for as much help as you need.  You never have to feel like you're "behind" where you should be or that you’re being held back unnecessarily. 

    Second, you constantly have the chance to test your understanding of concepts by explaining things to your peers.

    Third, you can get as much or as little help as you need/want.  When I came into the program, I knew virtually nothing about programming and asked a TON of questions.  The instructors sat and worked with me individually until I understood things and guided me as I developed a stronger grasp of the concepts.  As I’ve advanced to more complex projects and started building apps, I’ve consciously tried to be more independent in my approach by asking for help less and less and by reading Apple documentation and class references to try and figure things out for myself before asking.  This is encouraged, since it helps you to develop the research and problem-solving skills you need in the real world when the instructors aren’t there to help you.  At the same time, you can still ask for help whenever you don’t understand something or are stuck and can't figure out how to debug your code, as everybody does who is still learning.    

    Ultimately, though, I can’t emphasize the positive atmosphere thing enough.  It really is a tightly knit community where everyone encourages and helps each other out.  Alumni from the program who are placed in companies around the city drop in daily to talk with us, and this is great because they are able to tell us where the newest jobs are and what we should be doing to prepare for interviews. It's also awesome for networking.  I’m not sure if many of the other programs in the city have the same kind of dynamic.

Thanks!