Using the GI Bill to Become a Programmer
by Bret Funk, 1705 Turing Alumnus and US Navy combat veteran
I am a veteran and I used the GI Bill to attend the Turing School of Software and Design in Denver, Colo.
Why Turing? I belong to Operation Code, an organization dedicated to helping veterans launch software careers. I asked the Operation Code community: “If you could go to a coding school anywhere in the U.S., where would you go?” The answer, overwhelmingly, was Turing. So I moved to Denver and enrolled in Turing’s backend engineering program.
Being a student at Turing was similar to working on F-14D Tomcats on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln: it was intense and sometimes overwhelming, the work was hard and demanding, it was team driven and, at least part of the time, it was fun.
Turing is likewise challenging. It’s certainly not for everyone, but if you want to be a really good software developer and are willing to put in the work, there is no better place to be. Your military background, especially your ability to work on a team and perform under pressure, will serve you well.
Another benefit is that Turing’s staff is experienced with navigating the Department of Veterans Affairs bureaucracy. That the school is only a few years old but is certified to accept GI Bill applicants shows that the folks there are on the ball. When the VA is not fulfilling its end of the bargain (like when I was promised an approval letter in one month but it ended up taking three), the Turing staff will deal with the red tape so that you can focus on coding.
Thanks to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I was able to not only have my schooling paid for, I received a housing and book allowance at the E5 rate, which was right at $1,800.00 a month. That really helped, needless to say. Turing is all-consuming, so you want to have your financial affairs in order.
Turing, just as my Operation Code friends said, is an outstanding school. I highly recommend it to veterans who wish to pursue a career in coding. You already have the self discipline, the work ethic and the ability to troubleshoot and solve complex problems. Turing will provide the additional tools you need to succeed as a software developer.