Additionally, Codesmith is committed to strengthening and growing a broad and deep community of software engineers from all backgrounds, and thus offers scholarships for women, minorities, and veterans to help bridge the gap.
Recent Codesmith News
- Your 2017 #LearnToCode New Year’s Resolution
- Episode 8: October 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast
- Founder Spotlight: Will Sentance of Codesmith
Recent Codesmith Reviews: Rating 4.95
Software Engineering Immersive Program
The curriculum covers computer science, core programming concepts, and fullstack web development using React and Node. Students learn through pair-programming, building projects and lectures that go under the hood of concepts.
- Codesmith offers scholarships for talented people from underrepresented backgrounds. Codesmith also offers a small number of Dean's scholarships where Codesmith will contribute 25% of fees to candidates in need
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prior Computer science and programming skills necessary
- Prep Work
- 4 weeks
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I graduated in January from Codesmith. It was hard, and frustrating at times but the community that Codesmith has built makes the experience worth it. I accepted a position in a different state near family within 2 months of graduating. Their curriculum is fantastic, job assitance aka Eric and Hira was there every step when I had questions or needed help. Dan is an absolutely fantastic instructor, tons of experience and a pleasure to talk to all the time and run ideas by. Overall I met tons of great people that still talk in slack every day. Most of us i'd say are hired already or are getting interviews. I feel confident I can join an engineering team and make an impact.
Engineering best practices are taught through building and diligent problem solving, not by the typical question and answer approach. For some people, this may be perceived as a downside, but for ambitious programmers, it's an amazing environment that comes very close to simulating a real work environment.
They have top-notch hiring support and place a ton of focus on the job search over the last half of the program, and also encourage alumni to use their facilities (including a dedicated alumni room) after graduating. I feel like I could go on and on about all the positives from my time at Codesmith, but instead, I'll conclude by saying that if you love coding and are serious about advancing your career (this means willing to put in the work and perservering through struggle), then you will not regret coming to Codesmith.
- Moved from NY to LA to attend Codesmith
- Worked 5 years prior at home automation tech company as a software engineer
- Graduated as part of May '16 Cohort 7 class
- Accepted six figure salary job offer as frontend developer within 2 weeks of graduating Codesmith
Excellent Community & Culture
I think the two things that made my experience so great with Codesmith was the community and culture thriving there. From the very beginning, we were taught that our experience for the next 3 months wasn't going to be dictated simply by what we each of us could individually accomplish and learn. No, our experience was going to be heavily inspired by what we could accomplish and build together as a cohort. Codesmith did an outstanding job making sure that we were always thinking about how to "level up" each other via many different approaches such as pair programming to work on solving problems with a partner or simply creating a space where people could freely exchange ideas and dialogue with one another without fear of judgement.
Great Learning Environment
The academic knowledge that Codesmith teaches to get you up to speed with current technologies and more importantly their emphasis on honing your ability to think like an engineer, I think, are also what makes Codesmith a great program to quickly develop yourself into a great software engineer. The pace of learning is fast, but they also ensure that you succeed in the program. You'll become familiarized and well-equipped with the technologies and skills necessary to succeed as a developer today.
Exceptional Job Search & Hiring Support
Hiring Day was an exciting experience and a great way to conclude the program. There were many top tech companies present there including the company which I eventually joined. Codesmith was extremely supportive in this process by helping us prepare well in advance. And to top that off, Codesmith also provided post graduation support, doing regular weekly checkups of how we are doing in our job search process and providing helpful advice to guide us towards the job we're looking for.
Codesmith certainly exceeded my expectations of how much I could get out of such a short condensed program. I'm really happy to have been a part of it and to have had the fortune of meeting some really bright, like-minded, compassionate people, both the staff and cohortmates alike. If I had to do it all over again, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat.
1. pushes you to expect more out of yourself and your classmates than you probably thought previously possible or were used to in previous walks of life (students regularly work until midnight)
2. thoroughly exposes you to the mindset of a true problem-solving software engineer
3. puts you through an exhaustive hiring program full of whiteboarding sessions, mock interviews, multiple resume iterations, and Github and social media profile preparation (THEY WANT TO GET YOU HIRED), all throughout the second half of the program so that you have all the tools you need the minute you graduate. All of that is in addition to dedicated post-graduation hiring support featuring regular check-ins, follow-up lectures and on-site discussions. Though Codesmith boasts great hiring numbers, a student does occasionally struggle to get a job. I can say with certainty that this is not for lack of trying by the CS staff. In the rare case that a graduate hasn’t found employment, they are still strategizing with that person to get him/her hired months out of the program.
To be clear, this is not a program that places you into a job. They do open their expansive network to students, which includes a hiring day event at the end of the program that regularly leads to a handful of phone screens and on-sites, but the rest is up to you. They give you all the tools to succeed, and then some. You have to have the confidence, the drive and the ability to translate everything you learn over those 3 months into the career you want.
Nothing in life is guaranteed.
Codesmith is no different and they can't guarantee you a job, but they give you the best opportunity in trying to get one. They can only show you the door and show you opportunites, but it is up to you to take those opportunites, if you don't, then you miss your chance. If you think Codesmith is a program that will hold your hand the whole way, then stop now and dont apply to Codesmith. This program is only for the ones who really want to be great software engineers and make a difference in the community and to push themselves and others to be the best they can be. I will not sugar coat it, this program is tough and very intense, but what you get out of it are skills and techniques that are priceless. Having the ability to code, gives you the freedom to now take ideas and bring them to life with just your mind and a laptop (not many other skills you learn today can have that sort of benefit).
Codesmith isnt just teaching their students how to code for three months and get a job. They are trying to teach you a lifestyle of how to learn and keep learning. Since languages will always be changing and new technology will be discovered, software engineers have to learn to adapt and Codesmith helps you do just that. If you are applying to Codesmith here are some expectations that you need to keep in mind.
The Codesmith program is 3 months and budget in another 1- 3 months for looking for a job. Just because you finish the program DOES NOT mean you are finished. You have really only just begun! The job search starts once the program is done and it ends up being even more time intensive than the course because of all the jobs that Codesmith encourages you to apply to weekly. This work is all for your benefit though because the main reason most people will be doing the program is to get a software engineering job at the end. So, DO NOT take a vacation after the program, wait until you have SIGNED your offer! Like I said earlier, Codesmith can't guarantee you a job, you have to put in the work like everyone else to get a job. However, you havea benefit over the competition who didn't do Codesmith, the training and coaching for coding interviews and whiteboarding that Codsemith offers on top of many other things you will have learned once you have finished the program! I felt so prepared and confident going into interviews even though I had never had a software engineering job or even job experience in software until I started the program. On top of all the hours of practice interviews and whiteboarding sessions, Codesmith also has a Hiring Day event where 20-30 companies come and watch you showcase your final projects and go through lightning interviews with you. Some students even get onsite interviews from many of these companies! Just because you do get this event DOES NOT mean you stop applying for jobs outside of the hiring partners that come to the event. This is where many people might feel discouraged if they don't get an interview with one of the hiring partners but you CAN NOT give up! You have to keep pushing through and all of your classmates are supporting you and using their networks to help everyone get jobs. Everyone in my cohort was supportive and reached out to anyone they knew who were hiring software engineers. Codesmith creates THIS community and thats what sets it apart from many of the other bootcamps.
Codesmith is a program like nothing else I have ever experienced. Being surrounded by other students who wanted to learn how to code just as badly as I did, really pushed all of us to strive for success. Codesmith gives you the best learning environment and their curriculum is only getting better due to their iterative process from cohort to cohort. If you are willing to put everything you have into this program, then Codesmith is the right place for you and your life will forever be changed.
I wanted to add more detail to my initial review.
My time as a student was stressful, but rewarding. I was constantly trying to cram info into my brain at a rapid pace, and sometimes it was overwhelming, but I had some really solid people around me to help me through it. They would constantly take me on food dates, which really helped to relieve the pressure.
Circles were also helpful. Circles are where you talk about how you're feeling with other students and a member of staff, and they help you get through whatever troubles you're having. I wish they had it more as a student, because it was always nice to vent, but I still appreciate having it at all.
Aside from the emotional stress, I loved my time here. The bonfires, the relay races, the people... I miss it all. Codesmith has really outdone itself by consistently bringing in beautiful people who are not only smart, but empathetic.
Life at Codesmith was tough, but because of that, I'll never forget it.
Wow. Just... wow. This program was something else. Before I came here I remember I was lacking confidence in my ability to bring something to life with code, as well as a sense of belonging. Now, flip both upside-down. I feel like I could code anything. I can design API's, websites, databases - everything. And if I can't right now, Codesmith trained me to figure it out. To put my head down and solve the problem. This skill is so difficult to teach, but Codesmith figured out how to do it. Don't forget about the sense of belonging, though. That piece is crucial, too.
The people I've met at Codesmith are all insanely brilliant. Not only that, but they're also extremely humble, and just good people. They'll stay up for hours with you late into the night to help you figure out that problem you just can't wrap your head around. They're family to me in all honesty.
Overall, Codesmith has given me a family I know I can always count on, and additionally, it made me hireable. That's exactly what they promise, and they kept it.
I graduated September 20, 2016 and was hired exactly one month later, on October 19. I make almost twice now what I made managing accounts at a PR/advertising firm and am immensely satisfied with where my career is and with my decision to attend Codesmith. Without the program I would never have been able to make it to where I am, hence the five star review.
That said, there are a few things I wish I had known going in. These points are meant to be helpful to potential students and are a reflection of my own experience.
Although the program lasts for three months, the time commitment that they tell you to prepare for is actually six months total -- three months of program plus three months post-graduation to find a job. So budget that in.
Throughout the course, I never felt 100% prepared or felt like I was able to complete any of the coursework to a level that totally satisfied me. The pace was incredibly fast and there was never enough time to learn everything thoroughly or in-depth enough to make me feel relieved, like ‘oh I got this’. I think the program could be more effective if it was longer.
When you come out, there is a huge gap in tech experience between the mid-level jobs you are going for and the years of experience you have. How to efficiently and effectively bridge this gap was never adequately answered, in my opinion, and depended a lot on the individual. In my case, I was able to get a mid-level salary due to the fact that the job I got specifically required agency experience, which I already had. That said, the Codesmith staff is super supportive and will be by your side through the entire process. Also, I know other graduates for whom this particular issue wasn’t a problem for them.
Those things aside, the program does work and I am immensely pleased to have gone through it. Like other reviews here, I’ll iterate that it’s not easy and that no one hands you a job once you graduate; the onus is really on the individual to maximize the tools they are given. But the staff is really supportive and they do a phenomenal job at proactively fostering and maintaining a positive and community-oriented learning environment. As one of three female students in a class of 17 I was a little apprehensive of a ‘bro-grammer’ culture but from day one Codesmith made it clear that there was a zero-tolerance policy for anything outside of a supportive and respectful atmosphere. I would absolutely recommend Codesmith, especially to other women. We need more females in tech!
I had always loved the problem solving and engineering creativity and freedom afforded by software, and it's hard to know what it truly takes to get it to the next, professional level. It is somewhat of a leap of faith to drop everything and go all in on learning a new skill. But if coding is something you truly enjoy, Codesmith provides an excellent environment for massively accelerating that process. That is for many reasons, and I believe the most important are the people involved there. The staff is truly dedicated to getting everyone to the next level, and just as importantly, you will learn and be pushed by the students you are learning with. This is hugely important, and I believe they do an excellent job of finding highly intelligent students who really want to learn.
With that being said, they cannot do everything for you. You must show up ready to go and ready to push yourself as hard as you ever have. Learning new skills takes time, dedication, and tons of practice along with the perserverance to keep pushing past inevitable hurdles and barriers. This will really never stop, and if you think it will, software might not be the right field for you. But if you bring that energy, you will be shocked at the things you can do. Codesmith provides an excellent engineering environment. If you love coding, building, learning, and people, I can't imagine a much better place for accelerating your personal devlelopment. I think the other reviews have accurately portrayed the day-to-day life there.
I graduated and am now working at a Bay Area company that I got into contact with through the Codesmith hiring partners. I love it there and am continuing to push myself very hard to grow as an engineer. I had multiple hiring offers in SoCal and NorCal within a few weeks of graduating and am excited about the talented, compassionate network of folks I've met in the program.
Codesmith is the real deal. It's very challenging and rigorous but you get out of it everything you put in, and more. My cohort had 13 graduates and we all were super motivated and dedicated to learning as much as we possibly could over the 3 months. Teamwork and personal drive are crucial to succeeding in this program. I not only made Codesmith my number one life priority, I made it my only priority and I now have an awesome job that I love.
The most valuable skills you learn at Codesmith are how to attack problems and efficiently search for answers. They do an amazing job of prepping students for interviews so you feel ready and prepared to hit the ground running after graduation. Their hiring day is also unlike any other bootcamp’s. They introduce students to some of the top companies and startups in the area, and many of these intros quickly turn into on-sites.
My only advice prior to attending Codesmith is to do your homework and make sure you’re truly passionate about coding because learning at such an accelerated pace is no easy feat. If you put in the work and are excited by the idea of learning with and from your peers, you will leave Codesmith with invaluable skills and the job of your dreams.
A bit of background about me. I graduated from UCLA with an Applied Mathematics B.S degree in December 2015, had a total of 2 C++ classes and that was the extent of my software engineering experience . I found Codesmith through a friend and visited JS The Hard Parts on a few Thursdays. I immediately felt the energy that people there had, I am not sure if this is just the software engineering culture but Codesmith just had that vibe that everyone wanted to be there. I now have my first job out of college as a software engineer. I graduated from Codesmith (August 2016) and I got hired two weeks after hiring day by one of the hiring day partners.
Before I go on about my experience at Codesmith I would like to add an exception. That is, this program is only for certain people and those people are the ones who are 110% dedicated to learning, growing, and giving it their all. This is not some ‘chill’ bootcamp where you can just hangout and mess around and then expect to get a job, if you put in the effort the results will come. Now saying that, I put my life on hold for 4 months (two weeks before and after the program) and dedicated more than 80 hours some weeks to my learning and my projects. You don’t need to do that but you do need to be motivated and completely bought in to what they are teaching you because if you don’t, you won’t get all that they have to offer.
Make sure to eat a decent breakfast before you get there because once you are there the hack hours starts after the 5 minute stand up at 9am. You don’t want to skip out on any of the hack hours. I was one of few that would bring their own lunch and dinner. I used my Sundays to get laundry done, make lunch and dinner for the week, and then relax a little bit. I would make sure to have some type of caffeine right before the lectures as most of the times your lectures could fall right after lunch, aka food coma. Besides that, I had a good flow and think everyone should be able to manage their time with only the one day off, like I said before you just have to be completely focused.
As a recent UCLA grad I learned from my math professors who were the genius people wanted for their research and were not the best teachers. This is not how codesmith is. The lead instructor was a very good teacher and he is also brilliant. Make sure to utilize him and any other people there, they literally are there for you so make sure to annoy them with as many questions as possible.
Also my experience from my math classes was that everything was based on a ranking and if you did better than your classmates you received a higher grade. The one thing that was so different and amazing was that there was still the competitive nature at codesmith, you always wanted to show the best projects or get as far as you could on all of the modules. But never was there a time where anyone wished a classmate wouldn’t do as well as them, but everyone was held accountable and we all pushed each other. This was by far one the the best aspects of Codesmith.
If you don’t know already, Codesmith hosts JS The Hard Parts on Thursdays and they are also becoming one of the biggest meet ups in LA for React and Node. There is great opportunity to meet a whole slew of different people with different experiences and endless amounts of networking. Definitely take advantage of this but do not make this your priority while in the program because you should be focusing on learning and retaining everything.
I can honestly say I would not have been able to get any decent job without Codesmith’s help with my job prep. The mock interviews and resume building were the best help I have ever received in terms of job prep. The job search process is just that, a process, and they did an incredible job prepping me for that process. As long as you’re a hard working, compassionate, empathic, and personable person, you won’t have a hard time getting a job even if your experience is low, i.e. I have never had a real job before, and now I am a software engineer making 6 figures. Incredible to be able to say that and I owe it all to Codesmith.
Who are you?
I’m an EMT, Berkeley grad, and returned Peace Corps volunteer that joined the Codesmith program at the end of my 2-year service in the highlands of Guatemala.
Did it work?
I’ll be starting as a front-end web developer with a Codesmith hiring partner in Santa Barbara next week. I received two other offers some time after I accepted my current position.
There are a number of reasons, but a lot of them are already covered in previous reviews. Rather than echo, I’ll pull a Steve Jobs, get obsessive and detail-oriented, and try to cover topics that are smaller in scope but provide insight to someone who hasn’t necessarily attended the school.
There are benefits to having a CEO that is a strong and constant presence. Besides frequently handling business at the school:
Will was there to set the cultural tone of our class on day 1 -- as a cohort, we succeed together or not at all.
He gave a variety of different lectures on topics like object-oriented programming, technical blogging, and interviewing expectations throughout the weeks.
Will was with us to give a kick-off presentation for our first hackathon together.
He was there halfway through the program for one-on-one sessions.
He was there on our Hiring Day to open the floor for our thesis project presentations.
Two weeks after the program concluded, Will was there personally answering questions when the school brought our cohort in for job hunt updates.
Granted he’s not there every single day, he is available to you. Will might be encouraging a tech firm to attend hiring day or interviewing with journalists to discuss Codesmith’s philosophies, but I won’t hesitate to say that if I were to email him now as a graduate 3 months out, he would respond within a day.
CULTURE & COMMUNITY
It’s that moment when the fellows have been gone for hours. It’s 1:30 AM. You’re hammering away at a chrome extension with a partner and neither of you know how to proceed. Or maybe, you’ve invested an hour and your map method still isn’t working in Cheerio (protip: read docs and check the parameters). You know everyone’s exhausted and short on time, but you need the help, and you have to ask for it. These stressful situations are when culture really comes into play.
The community is focused on unconditional support. Expect to have it here, and expect to give it here. Let me give you a few examples.
I was working on a module with the avid surfer / Boeing engineer of our group, and we nail another exercise together. It’s looking like we might be on track to finish early. Get home. Break from the 80ish hour weeks. The first thing he asks is, “How do you feel about checking up on everyone else and seeing if they need a hand? It won’t take long.”
For a hackathon, we’re given about 6 hours (including lunch) to ad-hoc something functional. An experienced software engineer in our cohort has his eureka moment, bypasses problems with CORS and network requests with some proxy workaround, and has an hour and a half to make his project work. He then gets peppered with questions by cohort-mates. “Hey, how’d you get that proxy to work?” “Could you give me a hand with flexbox?” He carves out even more of his time to help. So much so that he presents an unfinished project (which I know for a fact he could’ve completed).
I could go on and on about the small details that made the culture so magical, but it really is a matter of seeing it in action for yourself. Visit the campus. Have a conversation with a few current students. You’ll understand.
FEEDBACK ON FEEDBACK ON FEEDBACK
If you bring up a concern, it will be considered. During the first 6 weeks, feedback is given to Victoria, director of operations. Every two days as a group, you’ll review the recently completed core modules and lectures. “Please split the testing and build tools module into two separate days.” Lo and behold, the next cohort has two days for the two modules. “Can we get more cheez-its in the kitchen?” And like magic, it appears. “Reviewing our React module with ES6 syntax when we learned with ES5 syntax? BAD.” You get the idea.
The feedback doesn’t end when sessions end either. After graduating, when I saw staff at a tech fair, I started chatting with Victoria. We were talking about the implications of increasing class sizes, and she said, “It’s great that you care. What do you think we should do?” She and her coworkers are open to criticism and change not because their job tells them it’s important for company development from 9-5. They sincerely want what’s best for students.
With all of that in mind, obviously not all suggestions will be implemented (there are still parts of the curriculum in ES5 and parts in ES6, there still might be grammatical errors in exercises, etc.), but it will be for a combination of reasons -- other low-hanging fruit to take care of, impact of changes, etc.
It’s interesting that the website doesn’t immediately mention this, but there is a support network when the program finishes.
A week after graduation, the entire cohort is brought back to campus for school updates, discussions about job-search apprehensions, and personal meetings with Hira.
There are check-in calls with Hira every two weeks after the on-campus meeting. She reaches out to track your progress, mental well-being, and again, answer any lingering questions. And the best part? She always follows through. “You’ve got an offer? I’ll get you in touch with Eric.” And the day after, I’m having a conversation with Eric. “Ah! AngelList messages can be tricky. Send over some of your examples and I’ll check them out.” A day after I send them, she replies. Here’s part of the email.
No problem Jeremy, that's what I'm here for!
Some notes on your messages:
The personal touch is great. You're really highlighting your passion for what the company is doing, I wouldn't change anything there.
Ultimately, the company wants to know what YOU can do for THEM. It's great that you have a learning mindset, and seek first to understand, but try to throw in a phrase about why you're qualified. Is there a particular stack they're working in that you're a boss at? Did you work on a technical project that is somewhat similar to what they're focused on?”
You aren’t the product of some easy-bake oven. Codesmith doesn’t “set it and forget it.” The job hunt was one of the more difficult parts of the journey, and it's genuinely nice to be able to rely on staff for solid guidance.
Bro. Now I have even more questions.
Feel free to get in touch!
I'm a recent graduate of Codesmith, became a Codesmith engineering fellow, and am now getting ready to start a full-stack position with a wonderful company. I can say without a doubt that Codesmith is a transformative experience. I have honestly never worked harder in my life and it absolutely paid off.
The program is rigorous and designed to not only teach you core concepts, but also how to learn, find an answer, and problem solve. As a result, I felt prepared to enter the job market having learned in-demand skills while also feeling confident in my ability to continue learning and adapting throughout my career.
The projects you work on and community support are what really drew me to Codesmith - and I was not disappointed. The projects you build are technically challenging and are often directly addressing an issue in the developer community. I learned so much during the project period - not only about web development but also how to approach problems, debug, and coordinate with a team of engineers.
I also became extremely close with my cohort. These students were successful prior to Codesmith while also being caring and supportive, who I genuinely enjoyed spending time with (for 14 hours/day). The staff is also approachable and truly invested in your success - going out of their way to help however they can. They offer advice without hand holding through topics - forcing you think about concepts more deeply and giving you a personal sense of accomplish it when you figure it out.
I wouldn't be where I am today without Codesmith. It was a truly incredible experience.
In addition to the instruction the job placement was such a huge help. Within a month of finishing the program I had two job offers, one of which was through Codesmith's job fair. Although coders are high in demand right now, it always takes a lot of work to get a new job, and the job support from Codesmith (interview prep, resume iteration, job fair, weekly check-ins) made the process so much less difficult.
All that being said, if you are seriously considering attending Codesmith you need to be ready to bring it. I was no stranger to hard work and long hours before I attended but those were 12 of the most challenging weeks of my life. Getting through the program, and landing a job on the other side, takes a lof of grit, determination, and most importanly you have to love to code. Attending Codesmith, and being employed as a software engineer, is really hard work. The high saleries won't be enough to get you through the day. You must also have a passion for it.
If you do have that passion Codesmith will provide everything else you need.
Codesmith is the type of program where every student leaves as a transformed version of the person he/she came in as. The most obvious transformation is one’s exponentially expanded software engineering knowledge and experience, but students also leave with a radically broader grasp on empathy, the kind of empathy you gain from intense pair programming sessions and grinding through 12+ hour days with your Cohort-mates.
Attending a coding bootcamp is a major life decision, and I have not once regretted choosing Codesmith over any of the other options in LA or elsewhere. You receive full devotion during and after graduation and I wholeheartedly believe there is nowhere better to begin the next chapter of one’s life.
Hired: Yes (In Los Angeles)
Salary: 100k+ and Equity
Graduated: June, 2016
I was hired by a company that Codesmith brought to hiring day. I make a salary equivalent to a mid-level developer in San Francisco because that's the kind of quality engineers that Codesmith makes. Prior to this I dropped out of graduate school for Landscape Architecture, and I worked in construction before that.
Codesmith teaches you the fundamentals in data structures, algorithms, and web technologies. You will learn the "whys" of how things work, which will make you a better engineer. Every day you're challenged with an algorithm(which is important because companies will test your problem solving abilities). You learn the current trending technologies that will assist you in getting a job. (I currently work with a front-end framework called React). Then you build a project that proves you are a capable engineer, and people will be like "Ooo" and "Ahhh"(that means they'yre impressed). Then they assist you in finding a job by throwing a huge party(well both an actual dinner party, but also a hirng event, which is pretty sweet). After graduation, you will have weekly meetings that checks your current progress on your hiring status.
It all sounds shiny, but it will take a lot of work to get you from an unemployable world of warcraft player into an employable professional software engineer. However it's a lot of fun, and Codesmith creates the culture and curriculum that gets you to that point. I'm glad I decided to go to Codesmith, now I can be an employed world of warcraft player(I kid, I work pretty hard at my job). On a serious note, Codesmith's curriculum and staff is top notch. I enjoyed my time there and I hope you do too.
Best of luck to anyone who's read this review, and you can do it!
I am a former student, former engineering fellow, and current employee (Software Engineer) at one of Codesmith's hiring partner companies.
The staff at Codesmith was quick to respond to inquiries and setting up appointments for both the cultural and technical interviews was a breeze. There was a good amount of emphasis placed on learning JS fundamentals on your own before applying, and as a hard worker, I appreciated knowing that I would be surrounded by other hard workers if I got into the program.
Something that really stood out to me during the application and interview process was how passionate the Codemsith community was about cultivating a positive engineering environment. I was deciding between Codesmith and another prominent bootcamp in LA that I was also accepted at, but the culture at Codesmith is really what solidfied my decision to go there.
The program seemed to be academically challenging for all students despite people's varying levels of technical experience and background. It was well-paced, and although I was constantly challenged, I never felt like I couldn't handle the amount of work, and I certainly never felt bored.
As a working software engineer now, I realize how relevant almost everything we learned in the program was. My employer seems to always be surprised by the amount I already know despite this being my first engineering job.
Also, I'd like to add that getting into the program was a competitive process, but once you're in, you really develop a strong rapport with your cohort. I still keep in touch with my cohort mates and it's inspiring to see how much we've all grown and accomplished since the program ended.
I applied and was selected to stay on as an engineering fellow after my session ended. I stayed on for an extra six weeks (though it's typically twelve) to assist with solution and approach lectures, guide students as they learn new concepts, and help debug students' code.
I was really able to solidify the material I learned as a student in the program having to explain it to new students and answer their unexpected questions during the fellowship. Being able to explain technical concepts in great depth really set me apart from other applicants when I started interviewing.
Job Placement Experience
I met my current employer at Codesmith's Hiring Day around six weeks into my fellowship. They noted that they were impressed with my communication skills and dedication to technical excellence, which wasn't surprising since both qualities are constantly emphasized at Codesmith.
Even after getting traction in the interview process with a few different companies, the Codesmith team stayed involved and were always checking in to make sure I had the support I needed to be sucessful as I was getting close to landing my first software engineering job. I couldn't appreciate them more for having helped me get to where I am now.
Before I joined Codesmith, I thought it would be near impossible to become a software engineer without a major in computer science. Codesmith not only gave me the training, but also the confidence and network that allowed me to become a working software engineer today. 10/10, would do it again.
Two things set Codesmith apart in my opinion.
1. The people: There are hundreds of coding bootcamps out there and it was difficult to figure out which one was the best for me. I visited as many as I could, and tried to figure out what was differnent about each one, and what schools existed to just take my money. I attended JS The Hard Parts at Codesmith's headquarters in LA, and was blown away by everyone's willingness to help me learn. That continued after I started as a student. Everyone at Codesmith, from the instructors, to the fellows, and even the students was willing to stay late and help me become a better developer. On top of that, the students at Codesmith are exceptionally gifted and talented people who previously have gone to the worlds best universities and have been very successful in other careers. You can't help but learn faster when you are surrounded by such talented people all day.
Within two weeks of graduation I received my first job offer, and it was higher than I expected coming into the program. Codesmith provided me with a solid computer science and coding foundation, and I have had little to no problems with technical interviews.
While the Codesmith program is still working out some kinks, it is a startup that iterates quickly and is improving across all facets. Increasingly the program is bringing in stronger students and will soon have a network of unbelievably bright developers over the next several years.
Based on my research, there is no other program in Los Angeles that compares with Codesmith in terms of having a strong focus on both academics and culture. They place a lot of emphasis on communication and pair-programming, which means you will get to know your classmates very well. From my cohort, I have made friends with a good group of people with whom I will stay connected.
Additionally, they have a great advisor, Eric Kirsten, who was very helpful in navigating the job search and assisting students with negotiations. Personally, he helped me throughout this process, and I am happy with the results. Moving forward, I am glad that I attended Codesmith, and I would strongly recommend it.
Codesmith is providing its students the highest-quality education in cutting edge technologies.
Why should you go to this bootcamp instead of another bootcamp?
1. The community: Codesmith has a strong committment to community; they host the LA React meetup that brings in developers from all over. They host Nodeschool LA where people come to learn Node.js for free. Industry professionals from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Yelp and LinkedIn come by for Q&As with students.
2. They help you get jobs: Codesmith has a robust hiring program that brings in top tech companies from LA and San Francisco; they prepare students for technical interviews, and for a career in technology
3. They teach you how to learn: a great bootcamp should arm its students with more than just knowledge of the latest frameworks because new technologies always emerge. Instead Codesmith prepares its students to learn, understand, and solve challenging techical problems.
I am a graduate of Codesmith’s 3rd cohort that ran from Oct 2015 - Jan 2016. I also worked as an engineering fellow after graduation until April 2016. As of May 2016, I’ll be employed with an e-commerce startup in Marina del Rey as a UI Engineer.
Going to a bootcamp was a huge decision for me and one that I spent a lot of time agonizing over. I knew that I wanted an advanced level program like Hack Reactor, but the catch was that I needed to stay in Los Angeles for financial and personal reasons.
When I attended my first JS The Hard Parts meetup at Codesmith, I was blown away. I had already made up my mind to attend another awesome full-time bootcamp in LA and was prepping for their interview in a couple weeks - Codesmith put a huge wrench in those plans. For one,
Will Sentance, the CTO, is an incredible teacher that makes complicated concepts accessible for people that are new to programming. Secondly, every student and person on staff that I spoke to was so down-to-earth and friendly that I immediately felt comfortable in this new environment.
Why did I choose Codesmith?
I was accepted into Codesmith and the other bootcamp in LA that I interviewed with. I received a partial scholarship to attend Codesmith, but I had already made up my mind either way.
Here were the deciding factors:
Rigorous curriculum and excellent instructors that would put me in the best possible position to get hired after graduation. I liked their emphasis on learning computer science fundamental and algorithms that not all the other programs were offering, and I knew that Will Sentance would be teaching a lot of these fundamental classes. Andy (aka the Code Whisperer) conducted a great admission interview - he challenged me to optimize my code and when I got stuck, he nudged me in the right direction. The interview itself revealed how challenging the coursework would be (a stark contrast to the other interview that I had).
Community and support - I felt like Codesmith saw potential in me that I couldn’t even see for myself at times. The staff was incredibly supportive, which revealed what I didn’t realize that I needed in a bootcamp - I wanted to learn in a caring, supportive environment. I could not imagine another bootcamp that could do this as well.
Did Codesmith meet my expectations?
Absolutely. I wanted a program that had a rigorous curriculum and I got it - more than what I could process at times (which was a good thing - though it was frustrating in the moment). The community and support that I received was amazing. I don’t know if I could’ve pushed through all the challenging times without it. When I needed someone to talk to, I could always find someone to empathize with my situation and help me move through it.
What can they improve on?
Communication and Organization - last minute schedule changes were frustrating at times. They did let us know that it was because they were constantly iterating on the program to improve our experience. From a student perspective though, it sometimes led to confusion - i.e. anticipating a lecture, but having it moved to the afternoon.
What exceeded my expectations?
How much they were paying attention to pair programming dynamics - i.e. people steamrolling or students shutting down. Unless you’ve been doing pair programming for more than 3 hours with someone, can you fully understand how important this is. When students consistently had a bad experience with someone during pair programming, they made sure to rectify the situation and help everyone grow and learn in the process. We all came out better communicators and team players because of this.
Hiring day was spectacular. I would’ve been perfectly happy with about 10 hiring partners given that our class size was on the smaller side, however, I was blown away when we had 25 companies in attendance: Whisper, Disney, Tool of NA, Black Tux… We all got in-person interviews after hiring day, which ultimately led to the full-time position that I’ll be starting soon.
Overall, it was an amazing experience. I could not have been as successful in my career transition without Codesmith. For a little taste of the culture and community, see my goodbye/thank you video to Codesmith. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy74rtmI64Q
I am a recent graduate and current fellow at Codesmith. Deciding to attend Codesmith was one of the best, if not the best, decisions of my life! I went from knowing minimal jQuery programming to truly being able to build anything I can think of (seriously). Even though they focus on Node, React, Angular, Databases, JS Fundamentals etc., what they are really teaching you are the tools needed to go and learn any technology in an extremely efficient manner. For example, my group's final production project required Three.js and WebGL, technologies not specifically taught here. Thanks to the fundamentals, tools and ideas we gained in the first 7 weeks we were able to quickly get up to speed with those technologies and create an amazing project before our cohort ended. Also, the culture at Codesmith is second to none. Everyone is focused on helping each other and growing together, part of the reason you can learn so much here in such a short amount of time. The hours are long, the concepts aren't easy and your going to challenge yourself like you never have before. However, if you stick with it you'll be awesomely rewarded with these skills. Getting through to the project period and seeing what you can actually build is an extremely rewarding experience. If you get accepted to Codesmith, I highly recommend attending. You won’t regret it!
Back in January 2015 I decided to move from NYC to LA. I was a consultant for the world's largest technology consulting firm and really wasn't feeling it. After struggling to learn Web Dev on my own for the longest time, I decided to quit my six-figure job, move across the country and enroll in Codesmith. I was part of Cohort 3 running from Oct '15 to Jan '16.
Our latest on Codesmith
It’s that time again! A time to reflect on the year that is coming to an end, and a time to plan for what the New Year has in store. While it may be easy to beat yourself up about certain unmet goals, one thing is for sure: you made it through another year! And we bet you accomplished more than you think. Maybe you finished your first Codecademy class, made a 30-day Github commit streak, or maybe you even took a bootcamp prep course – so let’s cheers to that! But if learning to code is still at the top of your Resolutions List, then taking the plunge into a coding bootcamp may be the best way to officially cross it off. We’ve compiled a list of stellar schools offering full-time, part-time, and online courses with start dates at the top of the year. Five of these bootcamps even have scholarship money ready to dish out to aspiring coders like you.Continue Reading →
Welcome to the October 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month we are also covering our Women In Tech Snapchat takeover! Other trends include new developments in the industry, new outcomes reports and why those are important, new investments in bootcamps, and of course, new coding schools and campuses.Continue Reading →
Will Sentance is co-founder and CEO at Codesmith, a full stack coding bootcamp in Los Angeles that launched in fall 2015. Before that, he worked as a software engineer, and started his own e-commerce platform. Will says learning to code changed his life, and he wanted to pass that experience and knowledge on to others. Will explains the Codesmith curriculum, what Codesmith looks for in students, and how to prepare for the interview. Also find out what sort of jobs Codesmith graduates are getting!
What were you doing before you decided to found Codesmith bootcamp?
I worked as a Software Engineer at Gem, which is now a Hiring Partner at Codesmith. Before that, I was CEO and cofounder of Ownly, a social e-commerce platform I started while studying at Harvard. Gem is doing some really transformative work in the Bitcoin and Blockchain space for developers– we were finalists at Techcrunch Disrupt. It's a model for Codesmith graduates– exceptional technical talent yet great communicators. I loved the team there.
Why did you want to start a Los Angeles coding bootcamp?
Coding changed my life and the lives of significant people around me. It gave us the ability to build the ideas we dreamt up. People learn to code for many reasons from aspiring doctors who want to change medical document processes to people who love solving puzzles. I love getting to see all of these backgrounds come together to support each other in the program.
Many coding bootcamps these days have been founded by graduates of other bootcamps. After attending Hack Reactor, what did you think was important to keep about the bootcamp model and what did you iterate on?
There are distinct differences. At the end of the Codesmith program, we have our hiring event where companies from across the US come on site to interview graduates. This is very distinctive and is part of why the graduate outcomes are so strong.
The community of Codesmith Los Angeles is also extraordinarily tight-knit, with cohorts of 15 (two running at the same time) selected from over 300 applications. It plays out in the average leaving time each night– most people leave the campus close to midnight, six days a week!
What is the admission process like?
We look for people who have great potential in problem-solving and communication (both technical and non-technical). Before the admissions interview, there's a basic coding challenge online and special harder challenges given out at many of the free classes each week. If you complete these harder challenges, you're guaranteed to get an interview.
Your first interview looks at your interests and commitment to supporting others. This is followed by a technical interview. There you will work through various coding challenges, and we work with you as you navigate through. It's like a mini session of Codesmith.
How are graduates performing in the real world?
The graduates are doing remarkably well. They are doing everything from developing an organic grocery marketplace at Thrive Market, to a life-changing charitable platform at Omaze, to supporting 20m+ football fans at the NFL. By the end of the year, over 200 Codesmith grads will be out building great things with code. Graduates receive offers averaging $103.5k, with 92% hired within in 4 months– mostly in LA and SF. Companies like Whisper, Hautelook and others have hired multiple grads– that's a wonderful sign of the impact the grads are having at each company.
What types of final projects have Codesmith students built?
Students build a portfolio of four projects while at Codesmith– the final being the 'Production Project'. Students have built applications for clients including the Los Angeles School District and the University of Michigan Hospital.
Some of the most impactful projects have been tools and libraries for developers like React Monocle and React-D3 library. These developer projects have trended on Github and Hacker News and are now being used by thousands of developers including Hiring Partners of Codesmith.
Why is it so important for students to actually launch their apps in the real world?
Launching a project gives students production experience– handling user issues, bugs and requiring students to work as professional developers as opposed to working on artificial 'bootcamp' projects. It really makes the graduates stand out– it's a big part of why 95% of graduates join companies as mid-level developers or above.
What is the current class makeup in terms of gender, race, background? Is it diverse?
Students come from a wide range of backgrounds. While many have STEM experience or even Computer Science degrees, there are also students who were creative writing majors or didn't attend college at all!
We have scholarships for students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in technology, and we work closely with Girl Develop it and Women Who Code on free classes and curriculum to help show people that they can aspire to Codesmith whatever their background. But we have to do more.
How do you attract a diverse applicant pool to Codesmith– is that important to you as a founder?
It is crucial. In the coming years, more and more leaders of firms will come from a software engineering background. We have an opportunity to give people from all backgrounds that path to leadership. In November, we are starting a new Women in Technology Speaker Series and new scholarships in partnership with leading technology firms– to further attract a diversity of applications.
How should new students approach Codesmith?
We have high expectations for applicants in their interviews, but we also have an extraordinarily supportive community which is ready to help you reach your potential and prepare for your application. Join us for any of the classes in person or online– whether or not you end up at Codesmith, you'll find your partners in crime to code with.
How does the CodeSmith experience prepare students for job interviews?
Companies expect a lot from Codesmith graduates. They're going to be offering six-figure salaries so they expect people who are capable of solving problems without too much supervision.
The program is designed to prepare graduates for exactly these demands. To do this, the curriculum pushes you to perform at a level that impresses seasoned engineers, both through professional engineering best practices, and a structure that is heavily project-based. This makes you ready for deep technical discussions and challenges at interviews
The second half of the program moves into dedicated job-search preparation– through mock interviews, resume and online profile development– all culminating in Hiring Day.
Tell us about your employer partnerships.
We have a network of over 250 Hiring Partners who are required to have a strong engineering culture and who hire mid-level and above developers. A select group joins onsite for Hiring Day for multiple streamlined interviews. Nearly half of our graduates get offers from companies they met at Hiring Day.
Have you been through the regulatory process with the BPPE in California? Is it important that you become accredited?
The regulatory system is outdated for sure but efforts are being made to develop a new approach. In the meantime, we have begun the process of getting officially accredited by BPPE
What’s next for Codesmith? Are there plans to expand geographically, or to expand the curriculum?
I believe we've barely scratched the surface of the number of people we can bring the ability to code to, as well as the number of organizations and industries that can be transformed by engineers who can lead. I want our alumni to continue to develop as leaders in tech after they graduate. So we're working on new ways to give our alumni all the support they need to make that happen.
Many competitive coding bootcamps require a certain level of coding knowledge or background in order to be accepted into their programs- whether they’re looking for past experience on your resume or require that you pass a coding challenge. For a beginner, it can be tough to get the experience that a selective bootcamp looks for in the application process. There are many ways to learn basic coding (including teaching yourself) but if you want to make sure you’re covering the right material and quickly, then a bootcamp prep program may be for you.Continue Reading →
Move over tinsel town and make some space in the greater Los Angeles area for some of the finest coding programs in the country. While LA once paled in comparison to San Francisco when it came to the sheer quantity of bootcamps, we've seen a surge in LA coding bootcamps this year. Currently, there are 11 code schools with campuses in LA's "Silicon Beach" that all bring a unique take on web development training.Continue Reading →
Welcome to the June News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Do you want something considered for the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!Continue Reading →