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Codesmith

Los Angeles, New York City, Online

Codesmith

Avg Rating:4.9 ( 465 reviews )

Codesmith offers full-time (12-week) and part-time (38-week) immersive software engineering bootcamps in Los Angeles, New York City, and online. Codesmith is a selective, need-blind program focusing largely on computer science and full-stack JavaScript, with an emphasis on technologies like React, Redux, Node, build tools, Dev Ops and machine learning. This program enables Codesmith students (known as Residents) to build open-source projects, with the aim of moving into positions as skilled software engineers. Codesmith Residents become engineers, not technicians, through a deep understanding of advanced JavaScript practices, fundamental computer science concepts (such as algorithms and data structures), and object-oriented and functional programming. Codesmith helps residents develop strong problem-solving abilities and technical communication skills – valued capacities in a software engineer.

The Codesmith admissions process involves a written application with optional coding questions, a nontechnical interview, and a technical interview. Codesmith offers a number of free resources for preparing for the admissions process including in-person and online coding workshops, a 2-week online prep course (CS Prep), and an online JavaScript learning platform (CSX).

Codesmith offers an extensive hiring support program that guides Residents through whiteboarding, advanced technical interview practice, resume and profile development, and interview and networking strategies. Support continues upon graduation with bi-weekly check-ins and, after offers, negotiation support. Overall, 25% of graduates receive offers for Senior Engineer positions and above, and about 70% receive offers for Mid-level Engineer roles.

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  • CS Prep

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    JavaScript, jQuery, Algorithms, Front End
    OnlinePart Time15 Hours/week2 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$875
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    CS Prep is a structured program that teaches core JavaScript concepts and engineering best practices. CS Prep will help you develop a deep, yet intuitive understanding of JavaScript and prepare you for your Codesmith technical interview or for interviews for other software engineering roles. CS Prep is a 2-week remote course that includes live online instruction, daily problem-solving workshops, office hours with engineering mentors, and extensive technical interview practice.
    Financing
    DepositNo deposit
    Financing
    We offer tuition payment plans and many scholarships for the course. The tuition you pay for CS Prep will roll over to the Software Engineering Immersive tuition.
    Tuition PlansWe offer case by case payment plans, please reach out to csprep@codesmith.io with questions!
    Refund / GuaranteeIf you pass the CS Prep assessment you are guaranteed a technical interview with our full time Codesmith Program. Refunds for the course are available and distributed on a case by case basis.
    ScholarshipWe offer multiple scholarships to CS Prep, with many students paying no tuition at all. You can apply for the women in software engineering scholarship, Dean's scholarship, or minorities in tech scholarship.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelSuitable for beginners who are ready to level up to intermediate and advanced material.
    Prep WorkWe recommend some familiarity with the content in the Precourse Unit on CSX - our free online learning platform - https://csx.codesmith.io/.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Full-time Remote Software Engineering Immersive - Conducted in Central Time

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    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$19,350
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    Full-time Remote Software Engineering Immersive brings Codesmith's first-rate curriculum to a completely remote setting allowing for the driven engineers not located in Los Angeles or New York City to advance their careers in three months. Conducted in Central Tim, the program teaches fullstack JavaScript and computer science to prepare you for mid and senior-level software engineering roles. The expertly designed curriculum and supportive community immerses you in modern web technologies, such as React and Node.js, and encourages you to tackle unique and unfamiliar problems to prepare you for the ever-changing tech landscape. Codesmith offers an extensive hiring support program that guides students through the hiring process, including interview strategies, portfolio development, and post-graduation check-ins. By the end of the 12-week program, you will be an autonomous engineer, ready to make an impact on innovative tech companies worldwide.
    Financing
    Deposit$2400
    Financing
    Codesmith has a range of options to help you finance your education, including scholarships, payment plans, and loan partnerships. Please email hello@codesmith.io with questions.
    Tuition PlansCodesmith offers a payment plan that breaks down tuition into monthly payments. A deposit is required to secure your spot once you’ve been accepted, a down payment before the 1st day of the cohort and then three equal monthly payments for the remainder.
    Refund / GuaranteeRefunds are distributed on a case by case basis but are available.
    ScholarshipCodesmith offers 4 types of scholarships -those to students underrepresented in the technology community, women in software engineering scholarship, Dean's scholarships, as well as scholarships to prior bootcamp grads.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelPrior computer science and programming skills necessary - many applicants are self-taught through our free weekly JS workshops/online prep course.
    Prep Work4 weeks
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • JavaScript for Beginners

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    JavaScript
    OnlinePart Time6 Hours/week2 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$325
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    JavaScript for Beginners is a 12-hour, remote program consisting of two consecutive Saturday sessions. The program is designed for those with no previous coding experience and will teach JavaScript fundamentals and how coding works. The program offers students a launching point to continue their JavaScript studies, prepare for our more advanced programs, and build a future in software engineering.
    Financing
    DepositNo Deposit
    Financing
    This course has scholarships available, and the tuition you pay for JavaScript for Beginners rolls over and can be applied towards the tuition of our more advanced programs.
    Tuition PlansWe offer case-by-case payment plans, please reach out to jsforbeginners@codesmith.io with questions!
    Refund / GuaranteeRefunds for the course are available and distributed on a case-by-case basis.
    ScholarshipWe offer multiple scholarships to JavaScript for Beginners, with many students paying no tuition at all. You can apply for the women in software engineering scholarship, Dean's scholarship, or minorities in tech scholarship.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelThis course is designed for those with no coding experience!
    Prep WorkWe recommend completing Part 1 of the Precourse on CSX, our free online learning platform, before you start the course: https://csx.codesmith.io/units/precourse
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
  • Part-time Remote Software Engineering Immersive

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    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$19,350
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    The Part-Time Remote Software Engineering Immersive Program teaches fullstack JavaScript and computer science to prepare students for mid and senior level software engineering roles. The expertly designed curriculum and supportive community immerses students in modern web technologies, such as React and Node.js, and encourages them to tackle unique and unfamiliar problems to prepare them for the ever-changing tech landscape. Codesmith offers an extensive hiring support program that guides students through the hiring process, including interview strategies, portfolio development, and post-graduation check-ins. By the end of the program, students become autonomous engineers, ready to make an impact at innovative tech companies worldwide. Please email hello@codesmith.io with questions.
    Financing
    Deposit$2400
    Financing
    Codesmith has a range of options to help you finance your education, including scholarships, payment plans, loan partnerships, and full tuition available from SkillsFund. Please email hello@codesmith.io with questions.
    Tuition PlansCodesmith offers a payment plan that breaks down tuition into monthly payments. A deposit is required to secure your spot once you’ve been accepted, a down payment before the 1st day of the cohort and then three equal monthly payments for the remainder.
    Refund / GuaranteeRefunds are distributed on a case by case basis but are available.
    ScholarshipCodesmith offers 4 types of scholarships -those to students underrepresented in the technology community, women in software engineering scholarship, Dean's scholarships, as well as scholarships to prior bootcamp grads.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelPrior computer science and programming skills necessary - many applicants are self-taught through our free weekly JS workshops/online prep course.
    Prep Work4 weeks
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
  • Software Engineering Immersive Program

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    Start Date April 19, 2021
    Cost$19,350
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline, New York City, Los Angeles
    Due to COVID-19, Los Angeles cohorts (conducted in Pacific Time) and New York cohorts (conducted in Eastern Time) are currently remote (online) for the entirety of the program. The Codesmith program teaches computer science, full-stack JavaScript (notably React and Node), software architecture, Dev Ops, and machine learning, preparing graduates for mid to senior engineering positions. The course also features preparatory material, extensive hiring preparation, and ongoing support with students’ job searches.
    Financing
    Deposit$2400
    Financing
    Codesmith has a range of options to help you finance your education, including scholarships, payment plans, loan partnerships, and full tuition available from SkillsFund. Please email hello@codesmith.io with questions.
    Tuition PlansCodesmith offers a payment plan that breaks down tuition into monthly payments. A deposit is required to secure your spot once you’ve been accepted, a down payment before the 1st day of the cohort and then three equal monthly payments for the remainder.
    Refund / GuaranteeRefunds are distributed on a case by case basis but are available.
    ScholarshipCodesmith offers 4 types of scholarships -those to students underrepresented in the technology community, women in software engineering scholarship, Dean's scholarships, as well as scholarships to prior bootcamp grads.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelPrior computer science and programming skills necessary - many applicants are self taught through our free weekly JS workshops/online prep course.
    Prep Work4 weeks
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes
    More Start Dates
    April 19, 2021 - Los Angeles Apply by March 10, 2021
    May 10, 2021 - New York City Apply by March 26, 2021
  • David  User Photo
    David • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Simply put, Codesmith is a cut above the rest.


    I came from a background of electronic music production, some decent experience with JavaScript, SQL, and aside from that, a largely non-technical background. After working hard and doing pretty much nothing but coding in my spare time preparing to get into Codesmith throughout 2018, I joined in the October 2018 cohort. I was hoping it would be a life-changing experience - it delivered 100%.


    More than just teaching you how to use the most in-demand languages/frameworks/libraries, Codesmith teaches you how to solve problems. It builds that muscle for walking up to a wall of code and/or problems that you may have no idea how to solve, and teaches you to calmly dissect it, piece by piece and solve the problem at hand. Doing this over and over, time and time again, is what prepares you for that mid to senior level engineering role.


    Codesmith is extremely effective at curating a group of residents who are passionate and willing to make this their top priority. It is not easy to get into Codesmith, and this careful vetting process shows. My cohort was filled with brilliant engineers who were not only driven to improve their skills as engineers, but equally invested in helping to grow the skills of all those around them. In turn, the result is that everyone levels up together, and lifelong friends are made in the process.


    Curriculum includes Algorithms, Data Structures, Big O notation, JavaScript, React, Redux, Webpack, Node, SQL, noSQL, etc. The program is very challenging, and takes the approach of giving you a "birds eye view" overview lecture, and then throwing you into the deep end to build with what you've just learned about. This process can be extremely challenging, frustrating, and definitely made me doubt myself at times, but in the end, was incredibly effective in improving my problem solving skills, technical communication, and making me more comfortable being uncomfortable.


    The hiring program at Codesmith is one of the main aspects that sets Codesmith apart from any other coding residency I looked into. A strong emphasis is placed on considering not just what technologies you know, but why you specifically chose to use these technologies over other available options, what the tradeoffs were, and strengthening your technical communication to effectively communicate these decisions in a mature and thoughtful way. From whiteboarding and mock interviews, to SDI's, one-on-one salary negotiation, multiple resume and online profile reviews, and a unique, results-driven approach to applying for jobs, Codesmith sticks with you when it gets real after graduation. Lifetime hiring support is provided - I did two mock-interviews after graduating that were both instrumental in helping me to land the offer in LA I just accepted for a full stack engineer position.


    Lastly, I would like to speak on the lifelong friends and colleagues I met at Codesmith. Upon graduation, two of my cohort mates and I decided to form a slack channel to hold each other accountable and check in with each other throughout the job search process. We made sure to touch base every day, and shared things we were learning throughout each technical interview we encountered. I am proud to say that all three of us have landed 125k+ positions within a month and a half of graduating.


    It is possible! Make the sacrifices, make this your top priority, and you can do it! Codesmith has the roadmap laid out - you just have to make the commitment, work harder than you ever have before, and make it happen. If I can do it, so can you 🤘

  • Jason Ou  User Photo
    Jason Ou • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated from college in 2017 where I majored in Finance/Economics and minored in CS. I tried management consulting for a year, but realized that the parts of the job that excited me the most were related to computer science, so I self taught myself HTML/CSS/JS as far as I could. 

    But when it came to applying to jobs, I found that my experience just wasn't enough. So I applied to Codesmith on a whim, and it turned out to be the best decision I could have made. I was making $75k as a consultant, and was interviewing for junior positions that would have paid ~$80k, but even these positions I wasn't passing the phone screens. 

    After putting in a few months of hard work at Codesmith, I received a contract offer with JPM for $60/hr! And now, a few months later, I've leveraged my experience here into a full time position with American Express for $130k, and I have another final round interview with Amazon for $160k!!! (omg)

    These numbers are absolutely not something I ever ever ever thought I would be making but its all been possible thanks to Codesmith. 

    Going into the program, I was already fairly comfortable with web engineering since I had self taught and I studied CS in college, but the breadth and depth of the Codesmith experience let me take that to the next level. 

  • CS Prep
    - 3/12/2019
    Nat  User Photo
    Nat • Applicant Verified via GitHub
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    I took CS Prep this February and it was a very fulfilling experience. I will start by saying that after taking CS Prep, I was passed my technical interview and was accepted into the Immersive on my first try. CS Prep provided me with a solid foundational Javascript knowledge and taught me the technical communication skills that were necessary not only to be admitted to the program, but to begin to think and work like an engineer. Each day of class for about an hour, we pair program which is a great exercise in learning to be a better communicator. Our instructor Ryan kept class interesting and informative and was always willing to provide extra help and guidance. The group project that we did at the end of the course was my first experience building something from scratch in Javascript and while it was challenging, it’s very rewarding to now have something to show my Javascript abilities. Some of us in the class who were based in LA met up outside of class to pair program and study together so the prep class was good at fostering a sense of community as well.

  • Wisdom Liu  User Photo
    Wisdom Liu • Student Verified via GitHub
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    This place changed my life.

    I spent a lot of time trying to decide which school to attend to become a software engineer. I looked at General Assembly, Hack reactor, and Thinkful. None of these compared to the Codesmith learning experience offered in just their free lectures (JS Easy parts and JS Hard parts).

    I would strongly reccomend this school for anyone who really wants to understand practical applications of computer science to the core. Their curriculum is challenging and will probably be one of the hardest things you'll learn, but the reward in the end is worth it.

  • Sam Silver  User Photo
    Sam Silver Verified via LinkedIn
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    Trying to navigate your way to the RIGHT bootcamp in 2019 is a lonely, confusing place to be. Codesmith's CS Prep course, along with their free CSX courses and free streamed/in-person "Javascript the Hard Parts" are a great way to get to know the culture and pedagogy of Codesmith. I've been accepted to most of the top bootcamps and have had my eye on the space for more than a while. My experience in CS Prep confirms my suspicious that Codesmith's curriculum, pedagogy, and culture are unmatched in the 12-16 week bootcamp space.

    Ryan Trontz, the teacher for CS Prep, has a long history of teaching subjects from Economics to Mathematics to Programming. He HIMSELF is a relatively recent product of Codesmith's SWE immersive. He's able to both zoom deeply in on topics to give you a step-by-step understanding of how the JS Engine works AND zoom out to give you a contextual understanding of where X tool fits into a SWE's workflow. If you're considering Codesmith or another top-tier bootcamp, I recommend CS Prep wholeheartedly.

  • bry  User Photo
    bry • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    My experience with Codesmith started with despair and self doubt. Before interviewing at Codesmith, I have been self studying for a couple months. I reached Codewars Kata 6, I finished Fullstack Prep in a week, I completed Hack Reactor's online program, and just to add another layer of security, I finished CSX before I applied. I thought I was a shoe in, and boy was I wrong. I was completely crushed in the first interview, got close to being accepted by the second one, and I was wondering if I could ever get in, and maybe I should just go with other programs. At the end, I gave myself a hard dead line, and the rest was just the beginning.

    Codesmith is going to push you out of your comfort zone. If you are naturally curious (aka console.log blobs just to see what it says, or try to use Node to build your own containers), then you are in luck. You will find other engineers who are equally curious. By the way, do you know the difference between setTimeout, IO callbacks, setImmediate, and Promises? What if I told you they go into different queues and a lot of other people have it wrong thinking there's only one? Codesmith will not teach you those things, but if you have an inquisitive mind, you will naturally gravitate to find those answers with like minded engineers.

    It is normal that different people have different preference. It's not good or bad, but simple preference. If you require detailed instructions (like a classroom setting or tutorial type walkthrough), then Codesmith will be disastrous for you. You will absolutely hate it because the only instructions you get are very high level. No one will say, declare a function here with three parameters, and you loop here, then you return here. You are supposed to extend your knowledge to unknown areas like a true engineer.

    Do you think building a functional CRUD app is a big achievement? At Codesmith, residents build CRUD apps as dummy data for projects. Before I began, I never thought of achieving the level of of engineering capability that I am now, but I can honestly say, if you love pushing it, if you love to break things and see what happens, Codesmith is definitely the right place for you.

  • CSPrep
    - 2/28/2019
    Jaime Gonzalez  User Photo
    Jaime Gonzalez • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Before I decided to join CSPrep I was using the CSX site offered by Codesmith to understand what's needed for their immersive program. I didn't realize that what I was lacking in wasn't my ability to learn, but how I could communicate to other developers. 

    CSPrep is a nine day course spread into 2 weeks. It allowed me to collaborate with others who had the same goals which made it so much easier to develop my technical communication.

    The course emphasized working with others over knowing the material as the goal is to learn independently. 

    The instructor Ryan is also an amazing person who has a background in education which is apparent in his drive to help his students understand the curriculum and to be able to expand it further even after the course and continues to offer advice after the course ends.

    Coming out of this class I learned how to explain myself as well as how JavaScript works under the hood and honestly I have learned more in the two weeks than I have in the 3 years of self teaching. 

    I recommend this course to those who are seeking to apply to any bootcamp and want to improve their ability to not just learn new JavaScript concepts but why they work as diagramming problems takes up a good amount of the class time.

    I also recommend to spend the Thursday off at Codesmith's free lectures to supplement one's ability to grasp new concepts and apply them as pair programming exercises occur for each session. It also gives people the chance to meet others taking the CSPrep course.

    And to conclude, I strongly urge to look into the scholarships they offer as the tuition will be transferred to the immersive program so there's nothing to lose when taking CSPrep and if anything, the people who take the class will grow regardless of the initial skill level.

  • alyswerdlova  User Photo
    alyswerdlova Verified via LinkedIn
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    Completing Codesmith's 12-week program was one of the hardest--and most rewarding--things I've ever done. I had completed an immersive program somewhere else before going to Codesmith, and the difference was like night and day. Codesmith's curriculum takes you deep down into computer science fundamentals and under-the-hood JavaScript in a way other programs do not. The quality of instruction is top-notch, too.

    The 12 weeks are very intense: there's no doubt about it. But you will learn. A lot! The staff will make sure of it. If they see you're falling behind, they will work with you one-on-one for whatever amount of time it takes to make sure your understanding is up to speed. There's no falling through the cracks here.

    It's also one of the most supportive and welcoming communities I've ever had the privilege of being a part of. From the CEO, Will Sentance, on down, every single person truly cares about seeing you succeed, and will do what's necessary to set you up for success before, during, and after the program. 

    I can’t say enough good things about Codesmith. If you have the opportunity to enroll, then I suggest you take it!

  • greg shamalta  User Photo
    greg shamalta • Lead Frontend Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Overall a great experience. I had previously taken another boot camp which wasn't as immersive or as in depth. This program pretty much felt like part 102 to their 101. It is a lifestyle for those 3 months. It is high demand but comes with a great return if you dedicate yourself to it. Prep is big, the testing to get accepted is very stringent but the more you can cover before going in the more you will take out when you walk away. This is due to the massive amount of material you go over while you are there. I would recommend it to my closest friends and have... 

  • Marlon Wiprud  User Photo
    Marlon Wiprud • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    As a recent Codesmith graduate, I can say with certainty that spending the past 3 months in the challenging, immersive, and transfomative process that Codesmith provides was one of the best decisions I have ever made, both for my personal growth as well as my career. They have a meticoulously crafted program that continously iterates upon itself to make improvements with every new cohort. The staff truly care about the success and well-being of every resident, and do everything in their power to help you get the absolute most of the program that you possibly can.

    The instruction is one of a kind, and ensures that you understand concepts that will bring you to a new level of software engineering. Codesmith, like other great programs, will teach you javascript fundamentals and modern frameworks that are commonly used in top companies. But the truly unique trait  that I believe is the most important aspect one can gain from the 3-month experience, is building the mental framework for continous technical progression as an engineer. By the end of the program, you will find yourself diving into new technologies with enthusiasm that may have seemed out of your technical depth only a short time ago. This would not be possible without the culture that is fostered by the Codesmith community, which encourages you to push yourself every day and supports you through the ups and downs of an intense learning process.

    The application process is not easy. I personally had to spend a lot of time studying, and interviewed multiple times in order to get accepted to the program. If you see this as daunting, I would lend you the perspective that this ensures that once admitted, you will be surrounded by a group of dedicated, hard-working individuals who are commited to the success of the group and themselves.

    All-in-all, Codesmith was an amazing experience and I could not recommend it enough to anyone who is considering attending an immersive program.

     

  • Hari  User Photo
    Hari • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    While I was searching for the best software engineer residency program, Codesmith’s JS Hard Parts caught my attention.
     
    Their hardparts lecture was an eye opening experience overall due to their simple and organized explanations.
    I finally understood the “Why” and the “How” behind my code and was able to implement them throughout my algorithm problems using technical communication.
     
    It was all or none. Either I wanted to be a software engineer and live my dream or continue my job that I didn’t have any passion for... 
     
    I made a quick decision to quit my job and dedicated the next 6 months to solely focus on building my future and career (3 months to study and pass Codesmith's interview and the other 3 months to face the immersive 12-week program at Codesmith).
     
    Since day one of Codesmith immersive program until now, I have not once regretted my choice, but rather thought this was the best decision that I made in my life.
     
    Yes, it was extremely long and painful hours that I invested at Codesmith— Waking up at 6am and arriving back home at midnight for 6 days in a week was intense. However, all the hard work and effort that I put in was for ME. It’s the best present I could give myself, and accomplishing these goals that I set has been the most rewarding moment. I wanted change. I wanted challenge. I needed my innerself to be uncomfortable so that I could grow as a developer and as a person.
     
    Codesmith support is there 100% of the time. You have to ask and seek for this.
    As cliche as it may sound, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.
    I used the Codesmith facility as if it was my house. I asked the fellows and the lead technical mentor for help and support.
     
    Codesmith has a system in place. Believe in the system and put your 100% into the program.
    Just warning you… you will feel overwhelmed and bombarded with loads of materials.  This is the way to learn.
    The whole 12-week program is planned out. You have to go through the struggle and pain to grow and become an engineer who can debug, code review, and listen to peers to code efficiently. Once you know how to enjoy the emotional rollercoaster, you will be successful.
     
    There is no guarantee in anything in life. However, I can guarantee that you will receive the best support even after the cohort is finished. Coming out of Codesmith, I got a job offer in a mere one month after completing the program. Within that one month, I scheduled multiple mock interview sessions with the lead technical mentor (Sam Goldberg, thank you Sam!!! ).
     
    I cannot thank Codesmith enough for believing in me and always reminding me that it is possible. I overcame countless instances of imposter syndrome to become an optimistic and self-rewarding person.
     
    All in all, Codesmith is the best program in all aspects: system, community, and after-support. 
  • Lee Rogers  User Photo
    Lee Rogers • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    **UPDATE**  My full review, written shortly after finishing the program, is below. I wanted to add that I just got a job that makes me think Codesmith was a worthy investment indeed. That said, it's been two years since I graduated the program, so it took me a while. I'm an outlier in that respect I think, but just to offer another data-point. Personally I found it impossible to learn all the material they threw at me during those 13 weeks. Instead it ended up being a very detailed syllabus of all the stuff I needed to learn after I finished the program. 
     
    After graduation I was told I didn't appreciate how much I already knew. That didn't feel right but I went ahead and started applying anyway. Their resume/application tips do work to get interviews. Unfortunately for me at first I got blown out of the water. It was rough because I wasn't ready. This turned into a cycle of me having a bad interview, studying to learn all the stuff I didn't know (it was often material I remembered coming up in CS) until I felt like I could do well if I had a chance at a do-over, applying again... only to be asked completely different stuff in the next interview (rinse, repeat). In the meantime I took advantage of CS's hiring support, refining answers to interview questions, tweaking my resume, etc. 
     
    Fortunately I had enough savings to be able to take the time to continue this cycle of interviews and studying and working on a project of my own (where I truly learned the stuff by using it). Finally, after almost two years I had a series of interviews that went well enough to land me a job, and it's a good one. Codesmith helped me negotiate a nice bump in my salary.  In a few years I will have made up the lost earnings from quitting my previous job as well as CS tuition. 
     
    CS puts a lot of effort into boosting your confidence as they send you out into the world but I wish there had also been an effort at the end of the program to truly evaluate where you're at and identify what weak spots you may need to work on before putting yourself out there. Yes, the "Interview Driven Development" (IDD 😉 ) approach works, but I'd say there's a baseline one should be at before starting that process. 
     
    At the end of the day, you have to learn this stuff yourself. But Codesmith shows you what you need to learn, hooks you up with a great community of people, and offers very practical guidance for getting interviews and doing well in them. In my first week on my new job I sat in on a couple job interviews and heard applicants say things that CS coached us to avoid... then at the post interview meeting colleagues brought those specific comments up as reason not to hire. So CS's guidance was indeed spot on there.
     
    If I were to do it over again I would study more of the material Codesmith teaches on my own before starting the program, so I wouldn't be getting introduced to so much new stuff all at once. But I'd still do the program. If you are committed to getting a software engineering job, no matter what it takes, Codesmith ultimately justifies its price tag.
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    ***ORIGINAL REVIEW*** I had a very good experience at Codesmith. There were a few areas where I personally saw some room for improvement, which I will discuss below, but overall it's certainly an excellent program. Here are my thoughts on its strengths as well as just some things to be aware of as you decide if CS is right for you.
     
    First off, the culture at CS is amazing. Everyone is super friendly and supportive of each other as they go through this sometimes stressful/intense learning process. While I feel lucky to have worked with such a great group of people at CS I also know it wasn't luck: CS takes an active role in shaping the culture, carefully choosing who to admit and then setting expectations about being empathetic and putting others before yourself. From there it takes on a life of its own, as the positive energy creates more positive energy. You will work many long, difficult hours at CS, but it won't really feel that way because it's such a supportive, fun environment to be in. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
     
    The other remarkable thing about CS, and this actually encompasses a range of topics, is how great it is at dealing with all the intangibles around coding and finding work. It's about turning you into a software engineer, which means shaping who you are as a person. They help you manage 'imposter syndrome,' while learning to accept and embrace the struggle that comes with working on difficult challenges. Beyond that they offer a lot of great advice on how to present yourself to maximize your odds of finding a good job, and what employers are actually looking for (as distinct from what they might say they are looking for), helping you to present yourself as that perfect 'fit.' There's a lot about managing people's perceptions... part of that is, frankly, helping you create the impression you have more experience/expertise than you actually have, without actually lying. If you wanted to be cynical you could call this deceitful... But let's be honest: this is the real world we live in. It's not fair, and people often make decisions for shallow, unconscious reasons. CS helps you find every possible way to prime employers' expectations to see you in a certain light and tip the odds of success in your favor.
     
    As we learned these psychological tricks I couldn't help but consider how the CS program was also trying to shape our own perceptions as students. They try to make you feel that upon leaving CS you are now ready for top-level coding jobs... somewhat regardless of where you may actually be in terms of your skill/knowledge level. I think the thinking behind this is that employers are hiring people based on subtle cues that they pick up from the applicant, and that if you are confident in your abilities they will pick up on that and will be more likely to hire you.  (And after that, you'll figure it out... It's what you did at CS after all.)  For this reason it's important that you see yourself as an advanced level engineer, and truly believe it. If you believe it, it will become true. Indeed every step of your journey at CS is about convincing you to believe in your own abilities.  
     
    Codesmith has a very specific teaching style, which they use in a sort of one-size-fits-all kind of way... Essentially they don't really 'teach' at all, but rather have you figure it out yourself. They feel strongly it's the only way to really learn this stuff. During the first part of the program there are lectures to provide a super high level overview of material (for example, the purpose of a framework) without getting into any actual specifics about the code. You are paired with someone to work on a related challenge and the two of you basically try to figure it out together.  This often involves using online tutorials or Youtube videos or whatever to try to figure out what's going on. In that sense you might think, "well this is what I was already doing before I came to CS!" 
     
    There are a few important differences though: You will work way harder than you would on your own, and you will be working alongside a great group of students in the same boat, all helping each other. Certainly no 'meetup' could substitute for the community of learners you'll find yourself working with at CS. So it's more that CS is providing an optimal environment for learning than it is that they're teaching you, per se. The students who figure things out first often end up showing the others what to do, so actually it is your classmates that do most of the 'teaching' in that regard... I think those students probably get the most out of the program, as teaching others is the best way to solidify one's own understanding. 
     
    It's worth noting that Codesmith is really not at all like the Hard Parts lectures. Those involve getting into the nitty-gritty of javascript, with the teacher typically asking lots of questions to students, really keeping you on your toes and making sure you're following along. (Will Sentance, the co-founder of CS, is particularly great at this) When I did the Hard Parts I thought "Aha! This is exactly what I need!" In the program itself, however, teachers don't really call on students much or get into many details.  It's more: here's a slide show for a high level overview... now go figure it out. One advantage of this is it's how the real world is: no one will be holding your hand. If you can do it here, you will be able to do it out there as well. But it can also be frustrating, especially if you were expecting to be taught how to code.
     
    Having worked as an educator, the traditional conception of education has three basic steps: the teacher shows students how to do something, the teacher assists as students try it themselves, and finally the teacher has students do it all on their own without help. (aka "gradual release of responsibility")  Udemy classes and other online tutorials typically don't get past step one, which is a major limitation on their effectiveness.  Codesmith, on the other hand, pretty much just skips straight to step three. It's basically a "sink or swim" approach.
     
    They emphasize that if you are struggling that is itself a success: You are training yourself to keep trying and not give up even when you feel stuck. ("Building that muscle") And I think there's something to that: Surely a big part of what employers are looking for is people with the patience, persistence and determination to work through difficult challenges. It can be frustrating though when you feel lost, because no one's going to really make sure you're getting it. Personally I found myself struggling a lot. 
     
    During the first part of the program Mondays start with an assessment that tests your understanding of the previous week's material, which you will then hear back about on Saturday. If you did not do well someone will go over the assessment with you before you leave for your (one day) weekend. Those one-on-one sessions can be very helpful... I would actually say those were some of the most productive times for me at CS in terms of furthering my learning. I do wish they had occurred in a more timely manner though.
     
    The latter portion of the program is basically all group work on projects. If you know enough to be able to contribute you can learn a lot because it's real coding, and the things you learn along the way, as you hit blocks and work through them, will likely stick. Personally I think I would have benefited more from more structured lessons, along the lines of Hard Parts, that drilled in all the basic skills until they're second nature, with such lessons gradually giving way to more independent work... rather than just being set loose on these big projects. "Rote learning" is not sexy by any means, but I actually felt CS could have used some of it.  There's just a lot of vocabulary and syntax you need to know. It seems like a 'boot camp' environment would be the ideal environment to really drill that stuff in.
     
    The CS curriculum provides a brief introduction to a number of coding areas, but they keep things moving along quickly. They want to get you working on the deep stuff that's going to look really impressive on your resume as soon as possible.  This points to an important distinction: the goal of CS is to not exactly to teach you how to code, but to help you land a great job. The two goals are of course related, but where they diverge CS is focused on the latter.  They want to help you come off as that 'rare unicorn' who has somehow taken to coding so naturally you could instantly move into working in super challenging areas. Employers will be so impressed at the challenges you've been pursuing that they will just assume you must also be solid on all the basics.  
     
    And, frankly, if you had to choose between being great at coding and having a great coding job, which would you choose? Probably the latter... the reason you want to be great at coding is probably so that you can get that great job. Well that's exactly what CS is going to help you do.  Along the way you will pick up some coding skills, but the idea is that once you get that great job you will essentially be able to figure out what you need to know on the job. This will be possible in part because you have confidence in your own ability to figure out whatever challenge is thrown at you. And in truth the coding skills required for success will constantly be changing as technology evolves anyway, so knowing particular skills is less important than having the confidence, patience and persistence to figure things out. So, the focus on just landing the job does make some sense.
     
    The mantra from CS instructors is 'trust the process,' basically implying 'we've got this figured out.' Along with that is the implication that the process only works if you 'trust' it... that is, you believe it will work. Apparently there was one cohort where one student felt strongly that Codesmith's approach to teaching was wrong and who managed to convince the rest of his cohort of this.  This cohort didn't get as much out of their time there and was then significantly less successful in finding work after graduation than other cohorts. I can believe it. So much of life is about attitude, beliefs, expectations, etc. So it makes sense that CS is very vigilant about keeping everyone onboard the program and clamping down on any sort of negativity or 'dissent.'  I think this is done with the best interest of students in mind. 
     
    Where it becomes a little tricky is if it doesn't allow for the curriculum or teaching methods to be questioned, thereby preventing improvements. I feel like more could be done to make sure everyone is progressing and to find ways to meet the needs of different types of learners. At no point, for example, do they ask students for feedback about how the program could be improved, which surprised me (also true for CS Prep, btw). I think they just don't want to encourage any negative thinking about the program, so that everyone will feel like they got the best possible education and therefore go into the job hunt with confidence. It's understandable, but I think they'd be able to make the program even better if they were soliciting constructive criticism to guide future iterations on the curriculum.
     
    Despite these concerns my experience at CS was overall very positive. Hopefully this provides a realistic sense of what Codesmith is all about to help you decide if it's right for you. While I heard other students privately raise some of the same issues I never once heard anyone say they regretted their decision to enroll. A number of people went so far as to describe it as a life-changing experience even. 
     
    Personally if I had to go back and decide whether to do it over again I think I would, BUT I would wait and spend more time studying before enrolling. I enrolled as someone without any computer science background, really only having done some Udemy classes, the Hard Parts lectures and CS Prep.  I knew the CSX material backwards and forwards and could write a 'reduce' function in my sleep, but I didn't know much beyond javascript. In retrospect I wish I had been more comfortable writing CRUD apps (if you don't know, look it up) before I got to CS, so I could spend less time learning the basics and more on the advanced features we were supposed to be working on. 
     
    As it was I spent a lot time during the day struggling with things far over my head, often feeling like I was spinning my wheels, while spending nights trying to catch up on the basics. I certainly learned WAY more than I would have just studying on my own for those 13 weeks. Coming out of it, though, I'm currently working on solidifying the skills I was introduced to at CS, that are listed on my resume, so that hopefully I will feel comfortable using/discussiong them in an interview situation. That's not exactly where I was hoping to be at this point, although I'm optimistic I will get where I need to be.
     
    I would especially recommend Codesmith to people who already have some computer science experience, whether from school or work. It is possible to come in relatively 'cold' and succeed (I saw people do it), but it's much harder. I would at least find out the frameworks/technologies/etc covered in the curriculum and try to do a Udemy class or something on each one before starting the program. You're going to be figuring most of it out yourself anyway, so might as well get a head start on that. 
     
    I am a very recent graduate and have yet to really begin my job search in earnest... So far the job search support does seem very good though. They definitely don't just forget about you after you're "done." If things go as they say to expect and I eventually land the kind of job they are saying we should be able to get, then by all means this program will have been worth every penny and more. Certainly many alums have done very well. 
     
    Overall, if you are looking to do a 'boot camp' style program (a term they don't actually use, btw) you should definitely consider Codesmith. It's not a boot camp in the sense that they're going to drill coding skills into you, but it is in the sense that it aims to shape you as a person, instilling you with confidence and a problem-solving mindset. They encourage you to think like a software engineer, and think of yourself as a software engineer... confident you can figure out whatever's thrown at you, because you've done it before. The idea is that if you can make that paradigm shift in your head, the rest (i.e. learning specific skills) will follow in due course.
     
    And in the process you will become part of a great community. It's a sometimes stressful, even grueling experience... but one that's also full of a lot of joy, camaraderie and discovery.  I know it's a time in my life that I will always remember fondly.

Codesmith Outcomes


91%
On-Time Graduation Rate
81%
In-Field Employed
$115,000
Median Salary

97% of students intended to seek in-field employment within 180 days of graduating. 3% of students did not intend to seek in-field employment.Below is the 180 Day Employment Breakdown for 62 graduates included in report:

180 Day Employment Breakdown:

Full-time employee
75.8%
Full-time apprenticeship, internship or contract position
0.0%
Short-term contract, part-time, or freelance
3.2%
Started a new company or venture after graduation
1.6%

Employed out-of-field
0.0%
Continuing to higher education
%
Not seeking a job for health, family, or personal reasons
%

Still seeking job in-field
11.3%

Could not contact
0.0%

Salary Breakdown:

98% of job obtainers reported salaries. 0% of job obtainers were hired by the school itself.

Notes & Caveats:

Salary Breakdown:
< $100,000: 21.4%
$100-$110,000: 19.0%
$110-$120,000: 11.9%
$120-$130,000: 21.4%
$130-$140,000: 11.9%
> $140,000: 14.3%


Thanks!