What kinds of free learn-to-code options does Codesmith offer?
At Codesmith, we’ve always aspired to make quality education accessible, and our free resources and community are an integral part of our mission. Codesmith offers several options for free learning opportunities, both self-paced and live online workshops:
Who are the ideal students for each of these free coding courses and workshops?
Anyone who’s passionate about coding, has the drive to learn, wants to solve problems, and is equally comfortable figuring things out on their own or with a teammate. We teach both learners with no prior experience and coders with years of experience at our workshops, solving the interactive exercises on CSX, and participating in our CSX Slack community.
Why is community such an important component at Codesmith?
Community, collaboration, and support will lead you to success. Engineering is not a solo field; you will be working with teams all the time, so we want to help you be successful in it. At Codesmith, we continually look to create opportunities for people to bond and be part of a supportive community. Every member of our community brings their best selves every day, and this level of connection and enthusiasm to learn collaboratively helps build the community that we have today. It's been so incredible to see aspiring engineers from all over the world connect and work through problems together. We have students joining us remotely from all over the USA, UK, Nigeria, Canada, and even Singapore!
What can students expect to learn in the free CSX course?
CSX was created to develop students into software engineers who have a deep understanding of coding and autonomous problem-solvers. CSX is a great starting point for beginners who have never written a line of code so they can work up to advanced coding topics. With CSX, you’ll be learning through doing.
Students will usually join the CSX Slack community, which has around 7,000 members. Learning to solve problems autonomously can be hard, especially at first, which is why our Slack community of mentors and other learners provides crucial help. This Slack channel allows students to collaborate with fellow engineers, find mentors and pair-programming partners, compare approaches, get support from the Codesmith team or support someone else! The CSX Slack has channels to compare approaches, share resources, and work through coding challenges together with other learners. For example:
What is being taught in Codesmith’s free weekly coding workshops?
These workshops cover a wide range of topics for all experience levels and are taught by our program instructors in a live, interactive environment. While we encourage everyone to attend these workshops to be able to work through the concept with a live instructor, we also have a few workshop recordings available on our YouTube Channel to ensure they are accessible for those who cannot attend live.
One of the most efficient ways to grow as an engineer and improve your technical communication is pair programming. During our weekly remote pair-programming sessions, attendees will be paired up with a partner to work through a set of coding challenges together. One person is the driver, writing the code, while the other person is the navigator, talking through the logic. Throughout the hour-long session, one of our engineering mentors is available to help participants work through any blocks they may run into and provide tips on pair programming best practices.
In general, pair-programming is central to Codesmith's learning style — group projects and pair-programming account for most of the hours in our Software Engineering Immersive. This is why we always encourage anyone getting ready for the immersive to participate in these sessions as many times as possible.
Who teaches Codesmith’s weekly workshops?
Our workshops are led by our amazing program instructors! Whether it’s through our weekly workshops or other programs, Codesmith instructors focus on creating educational experiences that achieve a culture of excellence in teaching and learning.
This 7-unit video course is taught by Will, Codesmith’s CEO and Co-Founder, and Phillip, our Chief Academic Officer and teaches a concept that can truly test your understanding of the language. (Fun fact: One of Google’s favorite interview questions is “What is Closure.”)
Why is it important that Codesmith offer free coding classes and workshops?
We want to make quality education accessible to people from all walks of life. Even if you’ve never written a line of code in your life but dream of being a Software Engineer at Google, we want to help you get there. While many students use these resources to help them get accepted into our Software Engineering Immersive, we also see plenty of existing software engineers joining our programs who are looking to improve their knowledge or just be part of a supportive community of engineers.
When we switched our Software Engineering Immersives in LA and NYC to remote due to the pandemic, we saw residents joining our programs from around the world. By offering these free online learning opportunities, our goal is to expand our reach and be able to impact even more people around the world.
For a coding beginner, where can they start with Codesmith?
Each workshop goes over problem-solving methodologies, additional resources for continued practice, and develops strong technical communication skills. The topics we cover are:
Which of Codesmith’s free coding opportunities do you recommend for someone who is teaching themselves how to code and looking to level up their pair programming skills?
We also recommend completing our Closures Course!
Can students get into Codesmith if they don't know how to code?
Codesmith’s Software Engineering Immersive is suitable for people who already have a good understanding of coding basics and have written some code themselves. This is one of the main reasons we provide free resources for people who want to cover the basics (and some of the advanced topics) on their own.
Do you think someone must get a CS degree in order to become a software engineer?
Not at all! Most of our students come from diverse backgrounds and successfully launch new careers in Software Engineering. There are benefits to doing both, though! We have many students with CS degrees come through our Immersive to sharpen their practical skills and end up with more exciting careers and higher pay than many of their peers from college.
What are your recommendations for women-identifying applicants hoping to get into a coding bootcamp?
Codesmith leads a variety of initiatives to empower and support women-identifying learners. We are so lucky to have incredible community members and instructors who are always willing to give advice to new learners, and share their knowledge and experience.
Many of our alumni stay involved in our community as mentors to our program applicants. In our online application, women-identifying applicants have an option to join our women mentorship program to be paired with a female mentor who will guide them through their journey into a coding bootcamp and beyond.
We see so many aspiring women, trans, or non-binary coders joining our community to find a safe and welcoming space where they can build their coding skills and see if Software Engineering is the right career path for them.
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