The Ten-Year Refresh

The Ten-Year Refresh

TL;DR: Starting in July 2024, we're rolling out a new approach to curriculum and learning at Turing!

June 3rd will mark ten years since the first students set foot in Turing. During that time we’ve tried to constantly experiment, iterate, and learn, and get better.

When we started in 2014, we were 2x as long as most other programs and our grads flourished in the industry. In 2016, with the rise of Javascript, we started the

The 1406 Cohort made the old basement a new home in 2014

“Front End Engineering” program and rebranded the existing program to “Back End Engineering.” We started running double cohorts and grew our staff. In 2020, COVID forced us to move online and, over the course of that year, we saw graduations rates increase and job outcomes get even better. In the context of all that success, we created our “Launch” program as a new format to serve the needs of a younger demographic and help them get into great careers. There’s nothing left today that’s the same as it was in 2014.

Across it all, our mission remains unchanged: to unlock human potential by training a diverse, inclusive student body to succeed in high fulfillment technical careers. It doesn’t dictate what, when, or how we teach. It calls us to do what’s best for our students and set them up for long-term career success.

Early instructors like Steve and Rachel built and iterated quickly

When we ran the first-of-its-kind Alumni Census in 2023, we saw what that long-term impact looks like. Turing graduates are on a path to earning an additional five million dollars in their career because of the growth they went through here. They get jobs, they get promoted, and decades of opportunities open to them.

While that future remains real, it’s been a tough last two years. Higher interest rates led to lower investment. The tech market disrupted itself. Companies that reduced staff would counter-intuitively see their stock prices and profits go up. Big Tech built a new Paper Ceiling. And software developers everywhere, regardless of their experience, worried about their jobs for the first time since 2009.

Learning From the Downturn

Since the fall of last year, we’ve seen employment rebounding. Our experienced alumni who went through layoffs are finding new opportunities quickly. Our recent grads who execute a smart job hunt are finding success and getting onto the path of economic empowerment.

Along the way, we totally rebooted how we approach professional development and job coaching. We revived our Turing+ internship program. We’ve worked with students to stretch their technical learning even deeper. And it’s working. Today, recent grads are interviewing regularly, internships helping people get their foot in the door, full-time offers are getting signed, and time-to-hire is trending down.

Based on all that we’ve learned over the last two years, we’re taking the next big step and redesigning our curriculum. We’re working off a few key observations:

  1. It's all just software. Over time, the industry’s practices of Front End and Back End engineering have converged with similar tools and patterns of practice. That’s led our existing curricula to become more similar over time — the same ideas implemented in two different stacks.
  2. You have to stand out. As bootcamp programs have become more common there’s a perception that too many job hunters are “cookie cutter” copies of one another. Students need to find a way to differentiate themselves technically and prove that they can learn and grow on their own.
  3. The future is polyglot. To set up for long-term success, you need to be comfortable applying foundational principles and patterns to a variety of technologies. What you learn using Ruby might be applied in Go or C#. Understanding a front-end framework like React is going to get you 80% of the way to proficiency in Vue or Angular.
  4. It’s not just one target. Alums are going into so many different kinds of roles. Yes, software engineering is still the big target for most — but recent grads are working in Javascript, Ruby, Python, PHP, C#, Java, Go, Elixir and Apex/Salesforce. Others are finding great spots in cybersecurity, sales/customer engineering, Site Reliability Engineering, and SDET. It’s a broad field if you’re skilled and willing.
  5. Collaboration is key. Our students spend about a third of their time working solo, a third in pairs, and a third in groups. Learning to build collaboratively is so much more important than mastering a standard library. As our incoming cohorts have been smaller over the last year, some of that opportunity to collaborate is diminished. We really like cohorts to be in the area of 12-28 students because of the energy and collaborative potential — and should shape our course to hit those sizes.
Today we're making it all new again

The New Plan

Starting with our July 2024 cohort, we’re going to put Launch and Front End Engineering on hiatus. We’re taking the best ideas from those programs and overhauling our Back End Engineering curriculum into a what we’re just calling Software Engineering. Some might call it “full stack”, but that’s not exactly how we see it. The four modules will go like this:

Module 1 - Object-Oriented Programming
When students come in we have to build the foundation. We’ll use Ruby with a bit of Javascript to explore how code works and what Object-Oriented programming is all about. How we use basics like variables, control flow, and iterators and combine them with patterns of practice like planning, pseudocoding, refactoring, and source control. We’ll do it in a mix of project-based work solo, in pairs, and in groups. By the end of Mod 1, students will be competent at writing code.

Module 2 - Web Application Development
The Model-View-Controller approach is a powerful way to build modern web applications. Using Rails, we’ll work through the key concepts and build functional full-stack applications. Along the way, we lean further into Javascript both as a comparison to the work we're doing on the back end as well as starting to implement some things client side. By the end of the module, students are building and deploying respectable full-stack applications.

Module 3 - Professional Web Applications
The modern web application is complex — it’s integrating data from external APIs, Generative AI, multiple databases, and feeding that all to a rich front end. In Module 3, students step beyond the simple one-language-one-framework monolith and juggle multiple domains of responsibility. To build truer full-stack applications, they’re working in at least two languages and two frameworks. It’s a picture of what work in the field looks like — taking what you know from one tech and applying it in new domains.

Module 4 - Cross-Team Processes and Applications
Then, in Module 4, students will choose to "major" in Front End with Javascript/React or Back End with Ruby/Rails. But we'll also emphasize branching out – maybe an FEE major decides to specialize in Angular or a BEE student dives into Python and Django. Along the way, they collaborate in teams on bigger Capstone projects that can mix and maximize all their diverse interests. And we’re excited to integrate outside experts to offer special sessions on subjects like Site Reliability Engineering, SDET, and Application Monitoring and Performance.

And what does that mean for Professional Development? Career prep has always been a strength of our programs and that's not changing. In Mod 1, the PD focus is on the strategies and patterns we use to collaboratively build great software. By Mod 2, it moves towards the job hunt as we start into resumes, portfolios, and understanding the hiring process. By Mod 3, we're practicing for both cultural and technical interviews and going on job shadow. Then, in Mod 4, we work through the small-group coaching process to build out a professional network and find great employment opportunities.

The first cohort will jump into this sequence in July 2024 and graduate in January 2025. By November, all of Turing will be running this curriculum.

We can’t wait to see what we learn next!

Accreditation & Compliance

Turing is the only accredited software development bootcamp in the United States. We're also regulated by our home state of Colorado and work hard to maintain approval from the Veterans Administration for vets to use their GI Bill benefits.

These changes are big, but we can fit them in the regulatory compliance parameters of our Back End Engineering program. So all the same approvals and abilities apply, even if we'll informally call it Software Engineering or just "the program."

Have questions or comments? Alums should join the Slack conversation in #ask-opinions and others can email me at