A review of The Software Guild as a software engineering bootcamp – 2021 update

Hi, I’m Brian a former senior software engineer and now industry mentor at Pathrise. I have helped hundreds of software engineers land their dream job in tech. Check out my review of The Software Guild.

Updated in 2021

What does The Software Guild do? 

The Software Guild is a bootcamp that helps people learn the fundamentals of .NET/C# and Java. They offer a full-time 12-week program online or in-person at their campuses in Louisville and Minneapolis. In addition, they offer a part-time 24-week course at the University of Georgia’s Gwinnett campus in Atlanta. For those who cannot commit to the full-time or on-campus programs, they have a self-paced option. This takes about 10 months to complete. 

Students in the .NET/C# track focus on Microsoft Visual Studio, C# syntax, NUnit framework, LINQ, and System.IO. They also learn the basics of tiered application design, model binding, stored procedures, ADO.NET, HTML helpers, and more. 

The Java track covers the necessary frameworks, collections, and syntax. It also teaches NetBeans, lambda expressions, tiered application design, spring web MVC, servlets, JavaServer pages, spring MVC security, and more. 

Those enrolled in the online and in-person bootcamps participate in lectures, assignments, and projects. The online program does not require any live sessions. But, participants must check in with their instructor at least once a week to review their assignments and progress. They can connect with peers and instructors on the course Slack channel.

In-person attendees must be on campus from 9am-4pm everyday. Unlike the online option, on-campus lectures are not recorded, so attendance is highly encouraged. Students work on projects over the weekend and spend the evenings reading and completing assignments. 

Career support

All participants are partnered with an employer network manager who provides professional support, both during and after the program. Available as often as needed by students, they assist with resume building, interviewing skills, and networking suggestions. Throughout the program, students also attend presentations, guest panels, and mock interviews.

For those taking the course in Louisville and Minneapolis, The Software Guild brings prospective employers on campus to interview attendees at the end of the bootcamp.

Who is The Software Guild for?

Aspiring software engineers who have no experience or background in the field could benefit from The Software Guild bootcamp. The program especially benefits those who are looking for software engineering jobs in the Minneapolis, Louisville, and Gwinnett metropolitan areas.

What does The Software Guild Cost? How much work is involved? 

The bootcamps all cost $10,000. All students must pay a $125 registration fee as well. Veterans, women, and graduates of universities that have partnerships with The Software Guild are eligible for a $2,000 scholarship. Attendees from Code Louisville, another bootcamp, receive a $1,000 scholarship towards tuition. Skills Fund and Climb offer a variety of fixed-rate, low interest loans to help students finance the bootcamp. 

To apply to The Software Guild, students must fill out a short online application. Then, they complete a 1-hour interview and take an aptitude assessment. Students are tested on logic, reasoning, pattern matching, and basic algebra. Afterwards, students enroll in the online introduction to web development course. The course covers the basics of Git, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The introductory course takes about 60 hours to complete. 

Ratings and reviews of The Software Guild

Online reviews of The Software Guild bootcamp are generally positive. They are on SwitchUp’s list of best bootcamps. Reviewers on SwitchUp were largely satisfied with the bootcamp’s curriculum and job resources, though they warn that the program is exhausting. One grad reported that “between in-class work and homework I put in, on average, 70 hours a week for the duration of the 12 weeks.” 

Grads on CourseReport said that the curriculum, instructors, and job-seeking resources helped immensely. One reviewer mentioned that she “constantly received help over Slack from instructors”. Many participants report landing jobs before graduation. One grad said, “we got a lot of great advice over several sessions on how to interact with recruiters, interview, find jobs, and more.” 

But, one Reddit reviewer suggests that the bootcamp may not be the best option for those seeking jobs outside of Louisville and Minneapolis. They noted that “while they do have dozens of companies in their recruitment network, the vast majority of them are local.” 

Alternatives to the Software Guild

If you decide not to enroll in The Software Guild, there are a number of alternative resources and bootcamps that can help aspiring software engineers. 

  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard, which are online educational platforms that students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • edX is one of the largest online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • Coursera, Treehouse, Ruby Koans, egghead, and Pluralsight are popular online education tools for those interested in learning or advancing their tech skills.
  • Another online learning platform, Udemy allows students to pick & choose from 100,000 video courses in a wide variety of topics, often paying around $10 per class.
  • SoloLearn, freeCodeCamp, and W3Schools are free alternatives for people looking to learn programming languages.
  • Students can also consider Kenzie Academy, a full-time tech bootcamp that offers in-person and online courses in 2 tracks: software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Similarly, Actualize, Hack Reactor, Rithm School, Nucamp, Turing, Code Fellows, devCodeCamp, Launch Academy, and App Academy offer online and in-person courses for software engineering. 
  • Another option is Grand Circus, which teaches courses on Java, front-end, and C# .NET. Their campuses are in Michigan, but they also offer online options.
  • Likewise, Tech Elevator, Epicodus, and Redwood Code Academy are software engineering bootcamps with online and on-campus options.
More alternatives
  • One of the most well known bootcamps is General Assembly, which offers full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on a variety of topics like software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • With tracks in software engineering, Thinkful, Fullstack Academy, Byte Academy, and Galvanize are tech bootcamps that can help aspiring engineers learn the necessary skills.
  • Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.
  • Similarly, Lambda School, Coding Dojo, Zip Code Wilmington, and Altcademy, offer bootcamps in software engineering and other topics.
  • Those preparing for mid-to-senior engineering roles should check out Codesmith, a more advanced bootcamp.
  • Aspiring software engineers and web developers can also consider CodeX Academy, a self-paced coding bootcamp with mentorship opportunities. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • You can also check out Bubble no-code bootcamps to learn how to make products without coding. Learn more about Bubble in our review.
  • Likewise, Prime Digital Academy has full-time and part-time courses in UX design and software engineering.

How does The Software Guild compare to Pathrise?

The Software Guild is a bootcamp for people who are interested in learning how to become a software engineer from scratch. At Pathrise, job-seekers in our program should already have a background in their field of interest so that they can participate fully in our workshops, which prepare students for the questions they will see in their technical interviews.  

All of our sessions are live, as well as recorded, so fellows can review them afterwards and continue learning. Our program is flexible, with only 2-4 hours of sessions per week and 1-on-1 sessions that can be scheduled as needed by fellows. We personalize our curriculum to target each fellow’s specific needs and job search goals, including expertise level and geography. The Pathrise income share agreement means that we never require upfront payments or deposits.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people land their dream job in tech through 1-on-1 mentorship. If you are interested in working with any of our mentors to optimize your job search, join Pathrise. 

Apply today.

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