**Note, I went to the Akron, OH location that no longer exists. I chose On-Line, but I was in person at this boot-camp**
Before the Guild, I had been working in IT Support for a few years fixing computers, networks, printers, etc... I had... Read More
I had the pleasure of being part of the last Akron Cohort in August 2017 under the instruction of Pat Toner. I am unsure of his future with the Guild after the disbandment of the Akron location, but I can say that he was an attentive and knowledgeable instructor. He brought his dedication to the craft and experience to the table and really embodied the educational philosophy of the Guild which, in a nutshell, is to guide toward your own answers rather than give the solution outright. The other instructors were always willing to help if we had any questions or needed help whether online or in person.
The curriculum is outstanding, and it is still being improved upon even more. I didn't realize just HOW great it was until I tried to watch a few PluralSight videos in studying up on C# at my current job (I was in the Java Cohort and am transitioning to C#). After watching a couple hours of videos, I ended up back at the Guild's curriculum to learn what I needed to.The course is break-neck speed but fair. I will agree with most other reviews that you need to be prepared and read all the pre-course prep work before signing up for this course. I did hear complaints here and there that the course was moving too fast for one person or another... Do your homework! It is called a boot-camp for a reason... You will be rigorously tested during this course. My classmates and I were putting in between 70-80 hours a week. I was in the minority, but I was there 7 days a week with the exception of 3 days during the 3 months. If I finished a project early, I would come in and help other students with any questions or troubles they had. You don't truly understand a concept unless you can teach it, so I really enjoyed doing this. The last portion of the course is mostly group work, so building good relationships with your fellow classmates is of the utmost importance to being successful in this program.
A final note about the curriculum: While you do concentrate on either C# or Java, the hard and soft skills you learn through the Guild are language Agnostic. I switched from Java to C# for my current position, and it has been an extremely smooth transition... There is still much to learn, but the Guild taught so many skills that make it much easier to invest in new skills going forward.
The Software Guild is not shy in telling you that your job search is your own, and they mean it. However, I found our career counselor Matt to be wonderful. The first mock interview I did with him went HORRIBLE! I wasn't prepared, and he didn't hold back in telling me so. He gave me a laundry list of exercises to work through and get me back on track. Just like everything else in the Guild, I put boat-loads of effort into everything he had asked me to do. The next mock interview I had with him went great. During the last couple weeks at the cohort, I had already been through 5 interviews for 3 different jobs (2 of those were followups to 1st interviews). One of the interviews was for an in-network employer, and the other two were for companies that I had connections to through previous networking from college and past jobs. Through the process, I had 2 competing job offers and ended up taking one that I am currently at. Through the process, Matt was available for any questions and told me to call him any time if I had an emergency question about an interview or call. I never felt like I was "out in the cold" with him, and I greatly appreciated that.
We are only a month out of our program now, and I don't believe more than 5 of us have found jobs. This is mostly to do with it being December and companies not wanting to hire until the new year. I was lucky that I had a great network to fall back on... If you have a great network, you should not have a problem finding employment.
I haven't been very critical of the Guild in this review, but I honestly don't feel the need to be. The most negative thing I can say is that I am bummed out that the Akron branch is closing... Coming back to visit as an alumni was something I was very much looking forward to, and I know hanging out in the online chat rooms won't be quite the same. That being said the network is great, and it is a great thing to be part of regardless of whether or not you are in person.
I did not take the on-line class, but I'm not sure I would have done well in it. It is a significantly longer course due to it being part-time, but I don't think I could have survived without having my classmates next to me. There is definitely something to be said about others making mistakes out loud and having the teacher walk them through it while you listen along. The group work was great, whether it be in designing the application or executing the functionality, and the on-line course by nature does not have this. I do not wish to say anything negative about the online course, just that I do not think I would have been successful personally if I had done it instead of in-person.
The Software Guild prepared me for the career I now have. I have only been at my current job for 2 weeks, and I am already making major contributions to the code and design decisions. If you are passionate about this field and are willing to put in the time, you will come out of this with a job in the field. I surprised my current coworkers with my knowledge for only having 3 months of experience, so it is safe to say they teach the right stuff for the industry.
Five stars recommended.