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Codesmith

Los Angeles, New York City, New York City, Online

Codesmith

Avg Rating:4.88 ( 286 reviews )

Codesmith offers a full-time, 12-week full stack software engineering bootcamp in Los Angeles and New York City. 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

    Apply
    JavaScript, jQuery, Algorithms, Front End
    OnlinePart Time15 Hours/week2 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $750
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online
    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
    Deposit
    No 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 Plans
    We offer case by case payment plans, please reach out to csprep@codesmith.io with questions!
    Refund / Guarantee
    If 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.
    Scholarship
    We 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 Level
    Suitable for beginners who are ready to level up to intermediate and advanced material.
    Prep Work
    We recommend some familiarity with the content in the Precourse Unit on CSX - our free online learning platform - https://csx.codesmith.io/.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    Yes
  • JavaScript for Beginners

    Apply
    JavaScript
    OnlinePart Time6 Hours/week2 Weeks
    Start Date
    October 5, 2019
    Cost
    $300
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online
    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
    Deposit
    No 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 Plans
    We offer case-by-case payment plans, please reach out to jsforbeginners@codesmith.io with questions!
    Refund / Guarantee
    Refunds for the course are available and distributed on a case-by-case basis.
    Scholarship
    We 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 Level
    This course is designed for those with no coding experience!
    Prep Work
    We 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 Test
    No
    Interview
    No
    More Start Dates
    October 5, 2019 - OnlineApply by September 25, 2019
    November 2, 2019 - OnlineApply by October 23, 2019
    November 2, 2019 - OnlineApply by October 23, 2019
  • Software Engineering Immersive Program

    Apply
    Start Date
    October 28, 2019
    Cost
    $17,700
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    New York City, Los Angeles
    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
    $2,200
    Financing
    We have financing partnerships available as well as case by case payment plans! Please email hello@codesmith.io with questions.
    Refund / Guarantee
    Refunds are distributed on a case by case basis but are available.
    Scholarship
    Codesmith 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 Level
    Prior computer science and programming skills necessary - many applicants are self taught through our free weekly JS workshops/online prep course.
    Prep Work
    4 weeks
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    Yes
    More Start Dates
    October 28, 2019 - New York CityApply by October 28, 2019
    December 16, 2019 - New York CityApply by December 16, 2019
    November 25, 2019 - Los AngelesApply by November 25, 2019

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  • 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... 

  • 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!

  • 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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    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.
  • CS Prep Review
    - 1/31/2019
    Ray Yao  User Photo
    Ray Yao • Student Verified via GitHub
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    I loved how detailed the course was in diagramming code. Seeing code diagrammed step-by-step really helped me understand the fundamentals of what was going on. I definitely could not have learned any of this myself.

  • Chris  User Photo
    Chris • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Codesmith’s Software Engineering Immersive was one of the most demanding, rewarding, and unique experiences of my life. I entered the program after 10 years as a professional musician, with no technical background, and am leaving with the skills and confidence to work alongside seasoned software engineers.

    In my search for a software engineering immersive, I went through considerable research to find the ‘best’ option. For options in Los Angeles, the search led me to Codesmith and Hack Reactor. To evaluate these programs I worked through their respective online prep materials, attended in-person info/coding sessions, and spoke with company representatives. While I experienced Hack Reactor as high-quality and professional, Codesmith was a cut above. In the areas most important to me, curriculum and culture, Codesmith impressed.

    CSX, Codesmith’s online prep platform introduced advanced JavaScript topics and provided challenging exercises to reinforce learning. (It took me 2 days to solve Intersection on the Callbacks & Higher-Order Functions module! This was my introduction to one of Codesmith’s teaching paradigms, learning through struggle.) Their live workshop series, ‘JavaScript: The Hard Parts’ provided an opportunity to connect with aspiring engineers, current residents, and faculty. The people I met were personable and encouraging. They didn’t make me feel self-conscious about my lack of prior experience but created an environment where I could build confidence in my nascent coding skills. These observations, of Codesmith’s high technical standards and supportive community, convinced me to enroll in their full-time Software Engineering Immersive.

    My time at Codesmith as an engineering resident was intense, in the best possible way. The pace moved quickly through advanced material. As students, we were constantly being stretched to the edge of our ability, which served to accelerate our learning. Every two days we were assigned a partner to pair-program through various units on Algorithms & Data Structures, React, Redux, Node, and SQL databases. We were provided high-level lectures and support from Engineering Fellows, but much of the learning came through reading documentation, struggling through prepared challenges, and collaborating with other students. This helped me to see that Codesmith has designed its process to not only teach software engineering, but to build meta-skills of collaboration, navigating uncertainty, and learning how to learn.

    Codesmith balances its academic rigor with a supportive, inclusive learning environment. Prospective students are screened for cultural fit and soft-skills like empathy and cooperation. It shows. My cohort consisted of brilliant, driven people who supported each other through the process. In a setting that might easily become competitive, my peers were humble, team-focused, and committed to helping others.

    Lastly, Codesmith’s hiring program is incredible. Hiring lectures are thorough and battle-tested. Students receive detailed feedback on resumes, online profiles, and outreach strategy, along with one-on-one support for salary negotiations. CEO and co-founder Will Sentence personally reviews and signs-off on each resume. I was so impressed by his investment in the success of every resident!

    I realize a review so positive might be met with skepticism, but I’ve found Codesmith to be exceptional at every turn. (Time and again I felt the value provided far exceeded the cost of tuition.) For those who are determined and willing to push through every obstacle, I’d recommend Codesmith without hesitation.

  • Inspiring
    - 1/24/2019
    Jason Wong  User Photo
    Jason Wong • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I don't know where I'd be if I had chosen to attend any other bootcamp instead of Codesmith. As a recent grauduate from UCSB with a Financial Math and Stats major, I was unsure of my future as I began having second doubts of my career that I had selected. Codesmith took my interest in coding and turned it into a passion to learn more about the technology that is affecting our world today. In such a rigorous yet rewarding course, I've constantly been challenged to improve myself in critical areas, technical and non-technical. From tackling problems with the right mindset to the ability to communicate clearly to colleagues, I consider every skill I've picked up critical to to myself and the future of my career.

    Getting into Codesmith isn't easy, and it doesn't better once you get in. However, with such a careful selection process of cohort members and supportive staff, I found myself so immersed in my work that I didn't mind staying longer than regular hours. It'd be a mistake not to consider Codesmith.

  • Student
    - 1/23/2019
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    Frank • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    This program is parallel to none.  I went to undergrad at Berkeley, and my three months at Codesmith was more academically rigorous than any semester during college.  But there is a great deal of support.  The instructors, TAs, and fellow students all put in the extra hours to support each other and make this place feel like home.

    I had another friend who went to a different coding school in the same city two years ago, and he's been working as an engineer in industry since.  I'll be commanding a higher salary than him upon my graduaduation here from Codesmith.

  • Serge V  User Photo
    Serge V • Sr. Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    To me, CodeSmith can best be described as an accelerator. If you're a self-driven learner, CodeSmith will challenge you with a very intense and in depth JavaScript based Computer Science curriculum. Every day, you'll be pair programming with a group of like-minded students and pushed to explain your thinking and build up your technical communication skills.

    By the end of the experience, you will have multiple projects in your portfolio and feel confident going out to the search for a mid-level or senior-level software engineering role. More than teaching you Node.js, React and Redux - Codesmith teaches you how to tackle and conquer any new technology.

     

    While the computer science education is fantastic, perhaps the greatest value CodeSmith provides is its rich career development program. The insights you get from the founders of Codesmith - who teach the career development curriculum themselves - is worth the price of tuition alone. 

     

  • Eterna T  User Photo
    Eterna T • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Codesmith is probably one of the top 3 bootcamps in the US. I was skeptical about their average starting salary report, but now that I've graduated and begun my job search, I definitely believe it. The way that you talk about technologies and the level of code you write when you leave is really impressive.

    I initially became interested in Codesmith because I was really impressed with their curriculum. After researching and attending an in-person workshop at both Codesmith and another Los Angeles bootcamp, I was pretty sure Codesmith was the best program in Southern California. I highly advise attending free workshops at whatever camp you’re considering! I attended a Codesmith JavaScript Hard Parts (JSHP) Meetup and was very impressed at the level of detail they went into how JS works under the hood. My mind was left reeling, trying to understand the single thread of execution going through the code, how execution contexts were being popped on and off the call stack, how closure worked due to JavaScript’s lexical scope, etc. I also saw that some residents were actually C.S. grads! So I knew that Codesmith was pretty technical and probably had a decent filter for admits. When I joined, a number of my cohort-mates were actually bootcamp grads from other bootcamps! Codesmith was their 2nd bootcamp. :O

    About the culture/people: there were definitely times I felt our cohort was warm and fuzzy and supportive. Each cohort is very different, but they do a good job of picking the right people and building an inclusive, collaborative culture. They also support women/minorities in tech and educate about imposter syndrome and gender/race biases, with the hopes that we as future senior-level engineers can be cognizant about these issues. Thumbs up.

    That said, I don't think Codesmith is necessarily for everyone - there is a high degree of autonomy in the last 6 weeks, and you have to be strict with yourself. In the first 6 weeks, the curriculum also moves quickly in 2 day units. The instruction is excellent and I think the curriculum is extremely well thought-out, but since you only get three 1-hr lectures for each unit, you must challenge yourself. You learn to read documentation and problem solve aloud via pair programming. This mirrors real-life and sets you up for future situations in work. For future improvement, I did wish they enforced punishments as it'd be good motivation! I also wish they provided a teeny bit more guidance as we struggled through the challenges haha~ but the on-site fellows were amazing and often nudged us in the right direction whenever we needed help.

    The hiring lectures and job preparation/resumes were phenomenal. The advice they give you is gold, and it's quite a transformative process when you look back at what you were like before. You make back your monies in those workshops right there. 

    I don't think you'll regret it - it's a worthy investment in your own future. Just attend a JSHP and check it out for yourself! :)

  • Believe in Yourself
    - 12/24/2018
    J  User Photo
    J • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I was going nowhere, not even fast. I was going nowhere slowly. I was making 30k, with no room for career advancement.
    Then, I came to Codesmith. I just accepted a 100k+ offer as a Software Engineer. Trust the process. This is real.

    The market needs what Codesmith helps you become. 

    I researched 4-year universities, I researched grad programs, I researched AA degrees, and I researched bootcamps. Then I found Codesmith, which is none of those things. Codesmith is indeed a resisdency, which asks more of you than a bootcamp and offers more to you than any other program. 

    Personally, I have a 4 year degree. I had it prior to Codesmith, yet I was never challenged to work as hard as I was during my time at Codesmith. I was never put into a box a Codesmith, the way I was at my university. 

    Codesmith is not making cookie-cutter repeat devs, Codesmith is looking to help you identify your personal strengths/interests and bulid them into a marketable skill set. Codesmith is looking to evolve you. Every graduate who comes from Codesmith is great in their own way, powered by their own strengths, and moving forward by the strength of their own legs. 

    They do so by challenging you to accomplish impossible tasks, or at least tasks which seem impossible...until you find yourself completing them. 

    Over and over again you will surpass what you thought you were capable of understanding. Over and over again, you will discover knowledge which was earned through problem solving. Over and over again, you will find yourself lifted by an amazing community. 

    You will struggle. You will get stuck. You will feel like you can't do it. 

    However, Codesmith and the community of learners on the journey with you will do literally everything they are capable of doing to help you along the way. 

    This place wants you to succeed, wants to help you succeed...the only question you have to ask yourself is, "Am I ready to succeed?"

    If the answer is yes, come to Hard Parts. 

    Success is waiting for you there. 
     

  • Garron M.  User Photo
    Garron M. • Student Verified via GitHub
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    "Transformative." "Easily worth the investment." "Unlike anything I have or will have ever done in the best possible way."

    Believe me... I was sitting in your position just months ago reading through the reviews and contemplating which one of these software engineering immersion programs was a fit for me, if at all.

    Do this instead: Attend a JavaScript: Easy Parts then a Hard Parts Workshop (cost: always free) this upcoming week. Then go back again over and over. 

    Why?

    No one goes into as much depth about the intricacies of how JavaScript works, especially with respect to asynchronous features, the event loop, and the microtask queue. You will learn so much from the Codesmith faculty as well as from your peers, because pair-programming is a huge part of it. 

    Still lost? Don't worry, I was too. But believe me, the effort this place puts in guiding you through the core pillars of software engineering is one-of-a-kind.

    Now onto the program. It's phenomenal in every sense of the word. Bright engineers from the residents you'll be building amazing open source projects with, the stellar fellows who will stay late in the night to help you debug, to the instructors who have an incredible track record of molding you into the model mid-level / senior engineer you will soon become. 

    So again. If you're thinking about heading down this route, do yourself a favor and attend a workshop. You've got nothing to lose.

    Thank you, Codesmith!

  • Edward R  User Photo
    Edward R • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    The level of this curriculum far surpasses the rigor and standard of any educational curriculum I have experienced. Even as a Neurosci graduate of the number 1 ranked public school in the US, I found this core curriculum more challenging and more intensive than the premedical courses I was taking back then.
     
    There definitely is very little hand-holding that occurs in this curriculum because of course, if you are to accelerate your career in a matter of three months (+some preparation prior to Codesmith) and learn everything you need to truly become a software engineer, you have to truly push yourself and get beyond just the typical Javascript knowledge bestowed upon normal graduates. However, while hand-holding is not part of the curriculum, there is a huge support system among your classmates as well as the staff who will help you out if you ever feel like you are drowning. The support from the staff is truly incredible and will truly help you out if you are ever in dire need. They are always monitoring your progress throughout the curriculum and will make sure you are getting what you desire from the program.
     
    While the curriculum can be quite difficult, what you get out if is a true insight into what a software engineering life is like:
    • To be constantly presented with a large number of technologies but learning to become comfortable with the unknown
    • To not be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of knowledge because you develop the confidence of diving deep into a technology you have no idea about
    • To break down any overwhelmingly difficult code, documentation or challenge one by one showing you that you are capable.
     
    What you get from Codesmith is really just another level. I honestly came into Codesmith expecting just a curriculum where I would breeze through (because I studied Javascript for an entire year before coming here) and learn this/that technology, but...definitely not. The level of learning that I was doing on a self-study basis was nowhere near the immersive, intensive studies that Codesmith gets you on. 
     
    I really wish I could talk to anyone reading this, in person, on how real the outcomes this program is producing because it really is a hidden gem. To convince whoever is on the fence of undertaking this thing to give it a real chance and avoid the biases of a “coding bootcamp”. This organization is just way way better than that, but just seriously don’t knock it until you try it.
  • Oscar Chan  User Photo
    Oscar Chan • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I can honestly say that the amount of improvement I've seen in my development journey has increased dramatically as a direct result of the supportive, and encouraging community at Codesmith. I went from someone who could just copy + paste code while following video tutorials, to be able to create fullstack web applications with ease. The best part about Codesmith is the community, the amount of attention they give to the students are insane.

    If you come here, you will be put into the most intensive, stressful, wonderful, and fun time you will ever have in your coding journey. It will all have been worth it when you realize how far you've come, how many amazing people you've met, and how much you can do when you just push yourself.

  • CS prep
    - 11/6/2018
    Maya  User Photo
    Maya • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Cs prep helped strengthen the weaker areas and gaps in my software engineering knowledge and helped me feel more confident in applying for the full-time Codesmith program. The instructor did a fantastic job of covering each topic in a way that was engaging and inspiring. He also was open to answering questions and made sure that some of the more challenging concepts were understood at a foundational level. This was helpful because the people within my cohort all varied in their level of experience. Cs prep also put a strong emphasis on pair programming as a learning tool and I couldn't agree more with how beneficial it has been to my overall growth. The program ends with the building and presentation of a group project. During this time, you get the opportunity to apply what you learned to something more tangible and although it is challenging, it is really nice to see it all come together in the end into something you and you group can feel proud of. I would definitely recommend Cs prep to those who are serious about applying to Codesmith but are still on the fence about their technical communication and foundational software engineering skills. I am happy to say that after I attended cs prep I got accepted into the December 17 cohort and I am really looking forward to all that is to come. 

  • Emilia Brizuela-Nothaft  User Photo
    Emilia Brizuela-Nothaft Verified via GitHub
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    I chose to enroll in CS Prep because I had started to learn to code on my own, but with no prior experience or community of fellow programmers I felt stuck. I was drawn to the part time schedule and short time frame, along with small group size of CS Prep, and the syllabus seemed thorough in covering the fundamentals of Javascript.

    I appreciated that there were students of all different experience levels, and the instructor (Ryan) was incredibly encouraging while still pushing everyone to extend their individual knowledge. The class was structured around empathetic learning which helped everyone feel at ease, and encouraged all of us to really care for the learning of others, not just ourselves.

     
    By far the most effective part of the course for me was pair programming. Since I had only learned to program on my own, it was amazing what working with one other person could do for the growth of my learning, and it especially enhanced my technical communication. I think it was important to pair program in the context of this course because we were easily able to check in with the instructor or other classmates if we had questions or clarifications.
     
    I learned so much in two weeks that I decided to take the course again and learned so much more because I had created a solid foundation to build on. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is starting to learn Javascript or needs to brush up on fundamentals.
  • Hubert  User Photo
    Hubert • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    This review is only for the CS Prep Course but I look forward to reviewing the full immersive. As a person who has completed 3 bootcamp prep courses - including CSPrep - I can honestly say CS Prep had the most advanced curriculum, was the best taught course, and had the best people. I took Fullstack and HackReactor's prep courses before and I'll outline the differences below
    FS
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    - Too easy, instructor didn't care and just recited from powerpoint slides, students weren't serious and dropped after a few classes

    Hackreactor SSP
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    - Literally 100 people in a videochat with instructors that can't explain concepts well even though I don't doubt their coding ability. No structure - you're left on your own. The only thing I really got out of it was doing the 150 toy problems which really helped my ability to use array methods but I could have done that myself.

    I am glad I went through those 2 first because it really prepared me for CS Prep. CS Prep is NOT for beginners! You learn things that go past beginner javascript like ES6 syntax, execution/callstacks, closure, recursion, HOF, AND Big O Notation, concepts either rarely or never taught in other prep classes. The curriculum was great but the best part was the community. Ryan, our instructor, was one of the most eloquent, funny, and understanding teachers I've ever had the pleasure of learning from. The members were also great and made the learning environment enjoyable where we all helped each other. Even after taking the class, I still keep in contact with the instructor and students who I pair program with as we continue to become software engineers.

    Every program has its cons however and I would say the price is one of them. It is way steeper than every other program but it's really for those serious about the full program and so in that case, it is pretty much a free class. 
    The second thing is the duration. The concepts taught are way too advanced for beginners so either they need to increase the standards to get in or make the classes longer (which I believe they are considering). I got a lot out from it and was able to keep up but I also took 2 other prep courses before. I believe some of my other classmates were struggling toward the end unfortunately.

  • Just What I Needed
    - 11/1/2018
    Joel Pratt  User Photo
    Joel Pratt • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    After 2 years of self-teaching, I stumbled upon Codesmith while going to meetups to fight the isolation of my solo pursuit. As soon as I walked in, I immediately knew it was exactly what needed.  I had been to a lot of meetups and often found myself in an awkward in-between space of not being a super beginners or long time engineer.  Codesmith was the first place that I felt challenged without being lost.  And the community was hands down the most warm and welcoming I experienced in any meetup.

    By the end of the program I'd learned way more than I had in the previous 2 years of self-teaching and felt ready to jump into a career as a software engineer.  More importantly, I had tons laughs and made lifelong friends.  Codesmith truly changed my life and I'm incredibly grateful for my experience there.

  • Eric Carrillo  User Photo
    Eric Carrillo • Render Tier Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    It's hard to put the Codesmith experience into words. This whole process is hard, really hard. Getting accepted, the course, and getting a job will all test you but there is no other place I would recommend someone to. As I write this I'm looking at my bags, packed and set for the Caribbean where I'll spend the winter earning a sweet salary, working for a great company and surfing fantastic waves. Here's the thing about other programs and about Codesmith, the proof is in the pudding. These guys know what they're talking about, they've produced the goods over and over again. Make sure to look at the other programs outcome reports and go to Hardparts. Do your research and your decision will be easy. See the staff talk and feel the vibe there, you'll see what everyone is talking about. It's a supportive welcoming community of hard working people. I've been at hiring events with people who've attended other programs and the difference is stark. Trust me, you want the cards in your favor. It's hard, it is and they make it that way on purpose but you'll learn the most valuable lesson there is in engineering, how to learn. And when it's hard you'll find the support you need. The learning curve is steep and the job market for your first tech gig can feel impenetrable. Knowing that your buddy got Google (true story), knowing that your mentors from the program are superstars in their own right and knowing that the answers and support that you need through the process is always there is invaluable. This program changed my life. I'm a better person for what I endured through this process. Buy the ticket, take the ride. 

Student Outcomes


91%
On-Time Graduation Rate
82%
In-Field Employed
$106,580
Median Salary

180 Day Employment Breakdown:

Full-time employee
82%
Full-time apprenticeship, internship or contract position
0%
Hired by school in-field
0%

Started a new company or venture after graduation
0%
Short-term contract or part-time position
0%
Hired by school out of field
2%
Out of field
0%

Still seeking a job
10%
Not still seeking a job
4%

Non reporting
2%

Salary Breakdown:

98% of job obtainers reported salaries.

Notes & Caveats:

We are proud that a large percentage of our grads accept offers of over $110,000, making Codesmith Los Angeles the program with the highest CIRR certified starting salary in LA for this time period. 

For transparency, here are the starting salary breakdowns of our graduates from 1/01/2018 - 6/30/2018:
  • $110,000 - 119,999: 17.5%
  • $120,000 - 129,999: 17.5%
  • $130,000 - 139,999: 10%
  • $140,000+ : 2.5%

Thanks!