Kuzzat Altay’s journey into tech is extraordinary. “I was arrested while attending my first year in medical school in Urumqi because I am related to Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent ethnic Uyghur human rights activist in China. I had to leave the country and escape to Turkey,” he says. He eventually found his way to the United States in 2008 with the hopes of making a fresh start, with his wife and 10-month-old baby in tow.
Kuzzat was among the many refugees, immigrants, and disadvantaged Americans who believed in turning their lives around by living up to the American dream. The dream is that if you work hard enough—no matter your background—you will find success.
Traditionally, industries like finance, law, and real estate were viewed as the go-to sectors for stable careers and big paychecks. Over time, another sector emerged: tech. Here, people from all walks of life could launch their careers even without a college degree or prior experience. As long as they own the right skills, mindset, and attitude, they will thrive.
It was on this very belief that Kuzzat founded CYDEO.
What Is CYDEO, and How Did It Start?
CYDEO is a tech education company in the business of training and preparing learners for high-growth tech roles, such as Java Software Development Engineer in Test, Cybersecurity Analyst, Salesforce Developer, and Java Developer.
At the heart of this mission is a need to serve who Kuzzat calls the “warriors in life.” They are the working parents, immigrants, refugees, college dropouts, and financially-challenged people who, with the right opportunity, can do more in life.
Kuzzat recalls moving from one job to another to make ends meet when he first came to the United States. “I was a dishwasher at a Turkish restaurant, a clerk at a grocery store, a waiter, a car salesperson, and a delivery guy for Amazon,” he says. At the time, his family, which had grown to include another child, was living in someone else’s basement.
It wasn’t until he heard about someone in his community getting a second wind after landing a tech job that he considered doing the same. He says, “My number one goal then was to pay my rent because eviction notices and bills were piling up. It pushed me to pursue a tech career. I knew that if I hadn’t done that, I would still be jumping from one job to another.”
Kuzzat spent months teaching himself how to code before he had the confidence to start applying for a job. And it paid off. He got an offer to work as a Test Automation Engineer for cloud-based solutions provider Inovalon with an annual salary of $93,000. His first job experience opened his eyes that anyone with in-demand skills and grit can turn their life around.
Kuzzat says, “I realized that people who work in IT are not smarter than the delivery guys, Uber drivers, and the like. They ended up in the right place because there was [a constant] demand for their skills.”
In 2015, he started teaching people how to code for free and gave tips on how to pass their tech interviews. Classes were conducted in a rented conference room belonging to a construction company. Through Kuzzat’s help, many were able to secure tech jobs.
As his classes gained traction, he focused on expanding CYDEO by reaching out to the “warriors in life” around the world. “We only had 17 students [when we started]. This year, we have approximately 3,500 students in 24 countries,” he shares.
Who Can Enroll in CYDEO?
Students who want to enroll in CYDEO only need three things:
- A high school diploma
- Basic English proficiency
- Growth mindset
Because the instructions are in English, a basic understanding of the language is a must. Otherwise, CYDEO offers a free Tech ESL program for non-English speakers.
CYDEO also strives to attract students with a growth mindset. These are people who tirelessly improve their skills and knowledge, are hungry for success, and are keen to create a positive impact on society.
From a cohort of 17 people in 2015, CYDEO has launched thousands of tech careers and amassed an 8,000-strong global community to date.Learn more about CYDEO here.
Here’s What You Will Learn at CYDEO
CYDEO understands that resources are tight for many of its students. Owing to this, it makes sure that access to programs lasts between seven and nine months. The extended time frame allows learners with other commitments to absorb the materials effectively and complete the program.
Lessons are conducted in a hybrid format comprising 14 to 20 hours of recorded training videos and over 10 hours of live training and review sessions. To ensure a quality learning experience, one mentor is assigned for every 10 students.
Now, let’s dive into the program offerings of CYDEO.
- Tuition fee: $13,500
- Duration: 7 months
A more specialized branch of software engineering is Java SDET or Software Development Engineer in Test. As the title suggests, they are in charge of creating and maintaining tools used by software developers and engineers to test digital products. With their help, the development team can identify and work out kinks before launching the products to the market.
Learn what being a software development engineer in test is and how to become one when you take CYDEO’s seven-month Java SDET program. In the program, you will master Java, in addition to frameworks and testing tools like Selenium WebDriver, JDBC, and TestNG.
Check out the Java SDET intro session here to learn more.
- Tuition fee: $13,500
- Duration: 9 months
Java is one of the top programming languages because of its all-purpose features, powering most of the applications and digital services we use today. Because of its applicability, there is a steady demand for Java Developers who are considered wizards at building anything using Java.
Step up your game and set yourself apart from others when you complete CYDEO’s Java Developer program. The program takes nine months to complete. In that time, you can expect to develop fundamental skills in Java programming and Spring Framework—two essential tools that let you perform basic to complex tasks. Other topics covered by the program include application deployment to live, data structures and algorithms, and microservices.
If you want to know more, join the Java Developer intro session here.
- Tuition fee: $13,500
- Duration: 7 months
In a highly-digital world where a massive amount of user information can be found online, cybersecurity analysts play a crucial role in keeping data safe and secure for everyone.
Cybersecurity can be complex and taxing as analysts have to constantly combat the threats or risks linked to rising cyber crimes. As such, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is often high. At CYDEO, you are taught how to create and implement effective cybersecurity measures to protect user information and minimize cyber risks, among others.
Hands-on practice is equally crucial before going head-to-head with dangerous cyber criminals. Students are exposed to on-the-job training as Tier 1 SOC Analysts at CYDEO’s very own Security Operations Center.
Other topics included in the program are:
- Ethical hacking and penetration testing
- Basic Programming
- Python Scripting
If becoming a Cybersecurity Analyst fits your profile, take part in the intro session.
- Tuition fee: $13,500
- Duration: 6 months
Salesforce is a multifunctional platform that businesses can leverage to optimize their activities. It also serves as a central hub to better manage your pipeline of customers. To keep the platform running as intended, companies turn to Salesforce developers.
As a Salesforce developer, your responsibilities include:
- Strategizing and improving workflows deployed within the platform
- Collaborating with different departments to identify their needs
- Coming up with innovative solutions by customizing Salesforce-based applications
- Curating business apps from AppsExchange that will benefit the company
If that sounded overwhelming, don’t fret. CYDEO has designed a beginner-friendly Salesforce program, which is divided into two parts—admin and development—to ease your learning process.
In the admin phase, you will learn about the fundamentals of Salesforce, how to customize the user interface, as well as how to create a business process through Point-and-Click customization.
The development phase is where it gets a bit more technical as you tackle basic programming, SOQL, and Apex Programming, among others.
To get a better idea, take a look at the Salesforce developer intro session here.
Each CYDEO program requires students to complete exercises and projects that mimic real-world challenges. Students also prepare for the job market through career readiness activities. These include crafting resumes and cover letters, building an online presence through professional networks, creating a compelling portfolio, and honing their interview skills.
CYDEO Financing Options
CYDEO extends several financing options to students to ease their financial burden. Upon enrollment, you can choose to:
- Pay up front. Pay your tuition fee in full and get a 15 percent rebate.
- Pay as you earn. Pay a monthly fee of $850 for eight months while in training and settle the balance through six monthly installments of $1,200 after landing your first tech job.
- Apply for a loan. CYDEO allows you to settle your tuition fee monthly with 0% interest over 42 months. Or, if you need a more flexible option, you can apply for a loan with interest. This lets you pay the monthly interest for the first 10 months and settle the remaining balance in 42 monthly installments.
Your First Step Into Tech Begins Here
Built on Kuzzat’s mission of helping others rebuild their lives through tech, CYDEO boasts a community of 8,300+ learners, instructors, and industry leaders worldwide.
“We are committed to our mission that every student who passes through our door gets a job. We design everything in CYDEO to ensure that outcome,” says Kuzzat. In the future, he hopes CYDEO would become a “mainstream vocational training ground,” and that more aspiring learners would look into alternative options like CYDEO to build their careers.
If hundreds of CYDEO graduates achieved their dreams with nothing to begin with, so can you! Visit their website to learn more.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.