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.
Recent Codesmith Reviews: Rating 4.87
Recent Codesmith News
- Increasing the Visibility of Women in Tech after Codesmith
- What is AWS? A Guide to Amazon Web Services for Beginners
- New Year, New Career? Learning to Code in 2019!
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- No deposit
- We offer tuition payment plans and many scholarships for the course.
- Tuition Plans
- We offer case by case payment plans, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- 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.
- 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
OnlinePart Time6 Hours/week2 Weeks
- Start Date
- August 10, 2019
- Class size
- No Deposit
- Tuition Plans
- We offer case by case payment plans, please reach out to email@example.com with questions!
- Refund / Guarantee
- Refunds for the course are available and distributed on a case by case basis.
- 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
More Start DatesAugust 10, 2019 - OnlineApply by July 31, 2019September 7, 2019 - OnlineApply by August 28, 2019October 5, 2019 - OnlineApply by September 25, 2019November 2, 2019 - OnlineApply by October 23, 2019November 2, 2019 - OnlineApply by October 23, 2019
In PersonFull Time60 Hours/week12 Weeks
- Start Date
- July 22, 2019
- Class size
- New York City, Los Angeles
- We have financing partnerships available as well as case by case payment plans! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
- Refund / Guarantee
- Refunds are distributed on a case by case basis but are available.
- 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.
- 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
More Start DatesJuly 22, 2019 - New York CityApply by July 22, 2019September 9, 2019 - New York CityApply by September 9, 2019October 28, 2019 - New York CityApply by October 28, 2019December 16, 2019 - New York CityApply by December 16, 2019August 19, 2019 - Los AngelesApply by August 19, 2019November 25, 2019 - Los AngelesApply by November 25, 2019
268 reviews sorted by:
- Only Applicants, Students, and Graduates are permitted to leave reviews on Course Report.
- Post clear, valuable, and honest information that will be useful and informative to future coding bootcampers. Think about what your bootcamp excelled at and what might have been better.
- Be nice to others; don't attack others.
- Use good grammar and check your spelling.
- Don't post reviews on behalf of other students or impersonate any person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
- Don't spam or post fake reviews intended to boost or lower ratings.
- Don't post or link to content that is sexually explicit.
- Don't post or link to content that is abusive or hateful or threatens or harasses others.
- Please do not submit duplicate or multiple reviews. These will be deleted. Email moderators to revise a review or click the link in the email you receive when submitting a review.
- Please note that we reserve the right to review and remove commentary that violates our policies.
Click here to log in or sign up and continue.
Before I began Codesmith, I was practiced and continuing to push my limits with JS algorithms and working my way through building my own apps. Codesmith definitely took my skills up to the next level and maybe even helped me go up multiples and multitudes of levels! Wherever you're at, it's definitely a place to level up with your technical skills and knowledge. It is true what people say, it is a place to "learn how to learn." I now feel confident that with a little time and reading up on documentation, I can figure out nearly anything in code. That is not a feeling I had before I started the immersive. I also feel that Codesmith pushed and continues to push me to think about code in a sophisticated and nuanced way. It's not just about building fullstack applications, it's about developing a deep understanding of how code works, how the data structures and algorithms are built, and which context favors which technology/stack. There's also an aspect of continuing to move the goal-post further and further as you're getting more skilled, so it keeps you humble. If you have the time and opportunity to familiarize yourself with various JS frameworks and libraries before starting, that can make a big difference in your experience, or just go in with a feirce can-do attitude because you will need it! Very rigorous and challening curriculum. Overall I'm very happy with my experience! Particularly the fellows and instructors are very helpful even at late times in the evening and over Slack at random times. The cohort was such a talented and phenomal bunch, the type of people you would want to spend 12+ hours a day with. It is also worth mentioning that Codesmith was very accommodating to myself and others who had extenuating circumstances throughout the 3 months. Life can be unpredictable even for these isolated 3 months and it's good to see that they have their students' backs. Overall very grateful to Codesmith for an amazing experience!
I had an incredible time at Codesmith! They truly go above and beyond for their students by not only meeting with everyone until late in the evening and during meal breaks to help them with any material that's challenging, but they also are amazing at helping when any unforseen circumstances come up for the students. Additionally, they truly prepare you for having a great career where, for example, just this morning I spoke to a recruiter about a job at a large sports company (ideal for someone like myself who is a HUGE sports fan) that uses the exact technologies we've spent a ton of time on here and I was disapointed by the fact I won't take the job unless they move up from the $90-100k a year range they offer candidates for the position. I could not be happier with the experience I've had here at Codesmith!
If you want to be a better software engineer that knows how to tackle any problem and at the same time be surrounded by brilliant, empathetic individuals, Codesmith is the place to be.
Attending Codesmith really taught me how to learn any tech stack and apply it with confidence. There were several times I doubted myself and my ability, but I trusted the process here and it really worked because they teach you to question why and how every line of code works so that you come out of it with a solid foundation to solve any problem. Not only did I gain foundational knowledge, but technical communication skills as well—I love that they really emphasized technical communication here because it’s truly invaluable when it comes to interviewing and working in teams.
The moment I first checked out Codesmith during one of the hard parts workshops, I was truly blown away by the outstanding community, which was another reason why Codesmith in particular really stood out to me. It was almost unbelievable how much everyone here genuinely wanted me to succeed and was willing to answer any questions I had, as well as offer their time to pair program and learn alongside me. Even during + after my time as a resident, I received continual support from the staff, which also helped to foster a supportive culture and collaborative learning environment amongst my peers—something I really welcomed after having been a student/working in highly competitive settings. Because the interview process is so rigorous, you really do have the fortune of growing alongside people who are talented, intelligent, hardworking, kind, and empathetic individuals that will magnify your own abilities as an engineer.
Response From: Phillip Troutman of Codesmith
The second half of the 3 months were dedicated to projects. The projects helped cement the concepts learned in the first half of the course. The final project was to build a developer tool. In other coding academies, teams are given free reign on what they build. I’ve seen some horrible ideas being implemented. At Codesmith they vet your ideas, making sure that they’ll be good enough, challenging enough to impress hiring managers and Senior Developers. My team had most of our project ideas rejected. At the end, our project ended up being a huge success. We were trending on Github for a whole month. When it came time to look for jobs, the engineers at some of the companies that I applied for knew about my project and have used it. That really helped in having something to talk about during these interviews.
Today I work at a Fortune 100 company, making a salary that is in line with the typical Codesmith graduate. I’ve been here since January 2018. I was hired on as a Mid-level Front End Engineer. When I first got there my coworkers gave kudos on how fast I was able to learn the codebase and create value.
Recently I’ve joined a new team within the company and I learned that there are several coding academy grads in my area. I found out that they’re making about half the salary that I am making. Two of my teammates have masters degrees in Computer Science and I’m keeping pace with them. I’m being trained in the J2EE stack and even though I had no experience in Java my teammates are surprised at how fast I was able to pick it up. This is all because I’ve developed solid programming fundamentals and the skills to learn new languages and concepts fast at Codesmith.
Codesmith was the best decision that I’ve made in my life. It literally transformed my life and career. The last time I checked, my cohort mates are all happily employed. Big Thanks to Will Sentence the CEO and the staff for creating a coding school that is so effective. I’m sure they can expand to every city rake in huge profits from their current reputation but they’re not because Will and his staff obsess over the quality of the program, making sure every student hit their potential.
Response From: Will Sentance of Codesmith
Webpack monitor was an outstanding project - I highly encourage people to use it http://webpackmonitor.com/
Keep up the good work at USAA
Before learning about Codesmith I was actively researching web development programs in NYC to see which seemed like the perfect fit for me. I applied and was admitted into some of the more familiar ones, but something about each didn’t quite fit what I was looking for.
While doing some research, I came across a comment on Quora that mentioned Codesmith. I wasn’t familiar so I did a quick Google search and read over their site. After going through the curriculum description, I was pulled in - it had everything the other programs seemed to be lacking. More so, the projects students were producing were tools made to solve real problems egineers face. Projects I could never fathom students producing in a 12-week bootcamp. I was hooked and decided to apply.
After going through two rounds of technical interviews, I was admitted to Codesmith’s April ’18 residency. It was challenging, but it was the best experience I could’ve asked for. I left with skills I never imagined myself having, and close friends I can’t imagine myself without. The curriculum is set up in a way to give you the training needed to hit the ground running day one on the job as a software engineer, and the community is built in a way so that you constantly feel surrounded by a group of peers who support you and, believe me when I say it, after a week together you'll consider some of your closest friends.
If you’re looking to accelerate your career from being a junior to mid/senior level engineer, or are coming from a different background entirely (like me), Codesmith is the place for you. In just 12 weeks you’ll leave with the experience qualifications of a seasoned engineer.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the program, its curriculum or my personal experience at Codesmith.
Response From: Phillip Troutman of Codesmith
As someone trying to break into an engineering role, attending the JS Hardparts workshops has been invaluable to my growth as a programmer. Spending up to 2 hrs breaking down snippets of code line by line helped me understand why JS works the way it does. I could have read multiple articles on specific JS concepts but none of that would have been helpful if I didn't firmly grasp the fundamentals and truly understood how JS works underneath the hood. Spending the time digesting and truly breaking it down allowed me to see connections between specific JS features more clearly. What really makes Codesmith special it seems is the emphasis making engineers understand the why behind programming instead of just saying that's how JS works. Will is also an extremely engaging and passionate instructor, which makes the learning experience that much better. His teaching style and informal nature of the workshops is a big part of why I've repeatedly attended these events. Even though I am not a part of the CodeSmith program, I always feel welcomed and am extremely grateful and appreciative of the support Will and his team has given me!
Starting the journey
I first found Codesmith while looking for a great tech community in NYC. While there are many groups around and many people to meet, I found myself often dissapointed and frustrated for a variety of reasons. That is until I found Codesmith. The extended community around Codesmith is stellar and filled with people at all skill levels who are supportive of each other.
It was surprising, but I could see myself growing in Codesmith's residency, whereas the majority of schools on coursereport could offer me very little in terms of growth.
I found the application process very balanced, transparent, and fair. A person with little experience, but lots of aptitude can pass, while a person with lots of experience, but little aptitude would be challenged.
What drew me to Codesmith is their focus on excellence and quality. My first interaction with Codesmith staff was a message I received on meetup welcoming me to their meetup group. I replied with “This is probably a bot, but thank you for the welcome …”. The reply I received promptly summarizes my experience with Codesmith, “Alex, believe it or not, I’m not a bot. Here at Codesmtih, we do things right.”
The cohort sizes are smaller and the support from staff is tremendous. There is roughly 1 mentor for every 2 residents and the residents themselves are often quite astonishing in terms of technical ability, but also communication and working with team dynamics. The diversity of residents is a big plus and gives everyone a chance to struggle and learn. The teaching philosophy can be uncomfortable if you are not used to a strong focus on active learning, but, in my experience, is a phenomenal way to learn.
The experience is often uncomfortable and requires hard work and careful judgement in how you approach your growth and the growth of those around you. At the same time, the support is tremendous and the residents are carefully selected to thrive in such an environment. The general culture is one of “work hard, play hard” and does not get stifled by perfectionism.
Codesmith taught me new ways to communication, learn, present myself, problem solve, and put me in touch with an excellent growing community. I firmly believe that the trajectory of my growth has vastly improved for at least the next 5 years.
The hard parts
Every program has trade-offs. I think the major trade-off in Codesmith is that they put learning first and happiness as a close second. The people are wonderful and supportive, but the curriculum is not designed to make you happy. If anything, it’s designed to make you feel the stress and uncertainty of working in a production environment forcing you to develop consistent problem solving approaches with unfamiliar technologies. Watching your teammates struggle and figuring out how to constructively help can be difficult, but ultimately everyone seems to get through it.
On the other hand, it seems clear that this focus on real work is a key to Codesmith’s amazing outcomes.
I was a student from cohort 1 for the 3-week Deep Learning course. I dropped out after two days because it wasn't worth the time investment. I had already spent my money by that point (no refund). Since leaving around a month ago, no one from the program has reached out to me for why I left. I was hoping the stellar reviews here would carry over for the new Deep Learning program, but that was not the case. My main concerns are in the structure of the curriculum (as of July 2018).
It’s a 3-week course, but taught at the pace of a 12 week course. Tensorflow is not covered in the first week, let alone the first day. We spent the first two days on a very basic NN with no backpropagation. No backpropagation means weights were decided manually as an exercise. That’s like becoming an animator by adjusting individual pixels. Like learning astronomy by counting the stars. Attacking someone by hurling a gun at them. Rubbing two matchsticks together to create a fire.
I will say there is nothing fundamentally wrong, it was just executed poorly. The idea of an online Deep Learning course is a great one and I hope Codesmith does not give up on this. Here are my suggestions.
- There are many excellent free resources like Andrew Ng's Machine Learning course, Stanford Computer Vision course, and Fast AI. The curriculum of Codesmith was similar, but at a lower quality and they charge money. This is my biggest concern. I wish Code Smith followed my next point.
- Leverage how young the field is. Advances happen so quickly that many resources aren't available on the cutting edge. What is posterior collapse or KL Divergence? Are Sigmoid's still useful or should I only use RELUs? Goodfellow just released his code for his latest paper, but I can’t understand a line of code.
- Use abstraction. There are many libraries in Python that can make an image classifier with over 90% accuracy in a few lines of code. I agree that a basic understanding of Neural Networks would help increase performance. However, a significant amount of our time was spent on coding functions that are included in Numpy.
- Math isn’t needed. It doesn't take advanced math to understand the basics of a GAN. Yet many resources teach it poorly with a lot of mathematics. Adam gradient descent can be explained with a momentum metaphor. Feature space can be visualized with Google Deep Dream. To explain matrix multiplication is a waste of time for both math background and no math background students (1 lesson is not so effective). I would suggest to either choose to not need advanced math or limit the audience somehow.
- The instructor did not seem extremely experienced. I don’t mind this, but if that’s the case I would prefer the fate of the course in more than one person's hands. It seemed to be hinted that the instructor was the sole creator of the course material. What?! Give him some help! Unless he got a degree in this field or has direct work experience, he can’t take on AI by himself.
- Create a big picture, work towards a project. The majority of people would be very satisfied if they create something cool. An AI that beats me at chess, a model that can classify music into genres, an RNN that can write Shakespeare-like prose. We coded a Neural Network from scratch in the course, but this is covered by so many resources and has been done by thousands of people.
- Furthermore, I would suggest the precourse include setting up cloud computing (like Paperspace) on a local device. A laptop is pretty limited in what it can do. Also, Cloud computing setup is not so straightforward and people may need help. Any course that does not teach this is seems behind the times and limited in scope.
Response From: Will Sentance of Codesmith
The curriculum was designed by both the instructor Ryan Smith and Alex Zai, a machine learning engineer at Amazon responsible for building out Amazon’s MXNet machine learning framework.
The approach of Codesmith is to go under-the-hood of frameworks like Tensorflow so that you can think as an engineer. This was the goal of the deep learning program too - focusing on a first principles understanding rather than a lightweight use of tools where there are helpful youtube getting started guides available for free.
Understanding from first principles the intuitions of deep learning and specifically neural networks is what distinguishes machine learning engineers who really understand and can optimize the tools they use.
The team reached out to you a number of times after you stopped attending class. I know Ryan enjoyed the brief time you had working together in that first day and I hope you can keep in touch and keep cultivating your interest in deep learning techniques.
If there is one thing that I can really say that I got from my 12-weeks at Codesmith, it is the fact that I had developed an engineering mindset. Having the ability to decompose a problem and break it down to chewable / understandable parts and then formulate a solution while knowing the pros and cons of that approach and on top of that being self-aware of when to ask for help is something that will always be relevant in software engineering.
Life Before Codesmith
Due to my wonderful experience at Codesmith's Hard Parts Session and the high level of technical communication that I observed plus my further research that indicated that Codesmith residents will be making a developer tool to contribute to Open Source, it didn't take me too long to decide that I really wanted to go to Codesmith. Long story short, I got in as part of the first cohort of Codesmith NY.
The immersive (12 weeks) was grueling and yet had a "chill" environment. It's like "a work hard, chill hard" feel. Lol
The first six weeks was all about learning Codesmith material. I had a difficult time grasping them as we were going by fast and had to context switch every two days. In addition, I kind of felt the Imposter Syndrome as I often compare myself to other cohort mates who were breezing the two day modules, but thanks to Codesmith's warm, supportive, and reaffirming culture I was able to bounce back and eventually diverted all my energy to the task at hand (Developer Tool creation).
The second and final six weeks were all about our production projects (creating a developer tool as per each team's vision and MVP requirements). In this period, Codesmith gave us one week to brainstorm before each team submits their list of ideas. Once that process was complete, we spent the remainder of the last 6 weeks coding the tool out and beat bugs and solved technical challenges on our own.
Life After Codesmith (Job Search)
After graduation, I wasn't confident about the things I learned in Codesmith as I felt like they went over my head. In spite of that, I just followed the Job Search tasks that Codesmith gave us to do and it helped me immensely. I soon realized that I knew more than what I thought I did. It was just a matter of choosing the right terms and phrases to accurately articulate the knowledge that is already in my head.
Having said that, the Job Search process was filled with its ups and downs. From my experience, it took me a while (~4 months) before I gained traction ( getting an offer) in my job search but Codesmith staff was there to check up on me and offer feedback. Also, I know for a fact that Codesmith will never leave you alone after you graduated. I had a first hand encounter with that because two months after graduation I was seriously contemplating to go back to my prior field and it was at this time when Will Sentance, the CEO, called me personally and asked me how I was doing and then gave me pointers regarding my job search moving forward. So I tweaked my approach a bit, and kept on keeping on and eventually got an offer about 2 and a half months after the call.
To sum it all up, even after graduation, you’ll never stop being a part of Codesmith. One way or another, they will try to assist you and you will always be welcome to hang out/ set a base camp for your job search. Lastly, you may hear that on average, grads typically get a job in about 3 months. It's a fair estimate BUT should you ever find yourself exceeding the 3 months, PLEASE DO NOT CONSIDER YOURSELF AS A FAILURE. Just keep applying and learn from each interview that you have. Turn the grey squares to green. You'll get there.
Response From: Will Sentance of Codesmith
Thanks also for coming back for the alumni panel - your insights were excellent - of course
I have always had a love for technology and, after 17 years at the same company, decided to make a huge career change and jump into software development. After vetting several Southern California programs, I decided to move forward with Codesmith. After having competing offers, and accepting a senior level position, I don't know that I could have made a better decision.
In addition to the recommendation from a few hiring partners I knew prior to applying to the program, one of the more impressive factors in this decision was the overwhelmingly positive experiences and outcomes of alumni. I don't know that I have spoken to anyone since beginning the program that would not recommend it to a serious, hard working person looking to make a change, myself included.
I doubt I could say much more than most of the other reviewers have but will hit on a couple items I believe aided in my journey.
This is something they try to make everyone become competent in. It is such a valuable skill and they really ensure you are as clear and technical as you can be in order to fully communicate your ideas and thought process. Personally, as someone who initially struggled with this, all six of my interviewers (for the position I ended up in) commented on how proficient and clear my communication is.
Analytical problem solving:
By design, mentors will rarely give a straight answer. By guiding students to proper documentation or asking pointed questions, mentors are able to put students in a problem-solving mindset in which they are able to more adequately approach challenges and become independent, self-sufficient engineers, much like they would be in the wild. There are exceptions to this rule, however, the aim is to have students struggle and learn rather than go through a three-month tutorial.
Support and community:
Codesmith strives to create an inclusive and supportive environment which allows for an incredibly competitive culture in which everyone also wants to see each other succeed and grow as much as possible. This was very refreshing coming from an industry which maintained a dog-eat-dog, toxic mentality. Beyond this, you really do make your way in to a pretty powerful network of engineers, and a community of alumni which continue to maintain a presence after the programs conclusion.
If you have the opportunity, Codesmith is certainly one of the best programs you can go through. Be prepared for a lot of work, but the payoff is absolutely worth it.
# Course Report
Will is a passionate speaker and the community of people was very encouraging. I knew pretty much right away that I wanted to be part of this program. Even once the material of the lectures was less fruitful for me, I still loved attending for the pair-programming sessions and the random people I met.
One JSHP meetup night in particular that stuck out to me was when Schno stayed after with 3 of us as we were going through a coding challenge. We got as stuck as we could and when we reached out to him, instead of giving the answer right away, he subtly guided us down a path then sat back with a grin on his face. He could tell when we had figured out enough and just waited for us to put the dots together ourselves. You could tell that he really enjoyed "the a-ha moment" that comes from this type of work.
I ended up attending JSHP meetups about 10 times before attending the program.
Writing software never came easy for me, and it took me 3 attempts to even get into the program. Once in, the program was a struggle for me the entire time so, to keep up, I was coding all day and night ( minus ping-pong breaks of course :) ) and was practically sleeping at the computer. I expected the program to be intense, but just a warning... If you would prefer more hand-holding and a slower pace, this is NOT the program for you. If you like being pushed and going through intense growth as an engineer, then consider Codesmith.
1 month after the program I got a job offer in San Fransisco to work on Walmart's customer facing website. One of the biggest React apps in the wild and at $125k/year! I've made more than a few life-long friends, all of which are now working on exciting projects.
The Codesmith staff is a passionate and intelligent group of people. You really have all of the support you need to succeed as you got through their program. Erik Kirsten, Will Sentance, Haley, Shanda, Master Schno and all of the other instructors are incredible people.
There is no guarantee of success of course, but if you put in the dedication, Codesmith can be an incredible stepping stone in a software developer's journey.
Response From: Will Sentance of Codesmith
When I was researching avenues to enter the software engineering field, I was initially set on attending another school. I thought that every school was going to be similar. Boy, was I wrong.
Soon after that, I attended a Hard Parts in person and the vibe of the space, the CodeSmith team, and the attendees was really awesome. It seemed like a place/community that I want to be part of. It was really inviting, there's great diversity of people, and it feels cool and hip.
Needless to say, I eventually applied and was accepted.
Throughout the program these FIVE core tennets were reinforced.
- Technical communication
- Non-technical communication/Empathy
- Analytical problem-solving
- How to handle blocks...technical and non-technical
- Technical knowledge
Everyday was an opportunity to hone these skills, which are at the core for mid to senior level engineers.
There is not a lot of hand holding (just like on a real job), and you'll be pushed everyday. You're guaranteed to learn lots...whether its technology, working on a team, managing project scope, etc.
I won't talk too much about the course contents because that will evolve as technology changes. Having said that, during portions of the journey, you're free to explore and incorporate other technologies into your projects.
The team at Codesmith is super supportive, they really take care of things so that you can focus on learning. Also, lead technical mentors and fellows are there to help you think through your problems when you get stuck or to advise you on your Senior projects. No hand-holding...just a bump in the right direction.
Now for some other cool things about Codesmith (LA): There are lots of opportunities for fun...there's a Ping Pong table (during my cohort, there were lots of exciting matches), Venice beach is a few blocks away, Abbot Kinney is within walking distahnce, Codesmith organizes drinks after Hard Parts meetings, and more...
If you are up for a challenge and want to push yourself to the limits, Codesmith will change your life for many different reasons. You'll be honing your coding super powers (and can apply them to so many fields). You'll, forever, be part of a community and network of amazing individuals that share the same passion.
Response From: Phillip Troutman of Codesmith
They said it best, but I’ll add what I can
As hundreds of these reviews attest, Codesmith is an amazing, demanding, aggressively worthwhile program that turns excitement and ambition into engineering success. I’ll echo the highlights – a lasting community, self-directed projects, passionate instructors, consistent job-search support – but rather than focus on what makes the experience awesome in general, I want to touch on the stuff that I didn’t expect while addressing the concerns that I initially had. My intent here is to answer the questions that I was asking – and the ones I should have been asking – when I was considering Codesmith.
The Codesmith family – more than a bonus?
I sought out Codesmith because of the community – a network of friends and professionals really appealed to me, and I felt like I might mesh better with people who were drawn to this sort of environment. I was surprised to discover just how necessary this culture was, both during the program and after it ended. It didn’t just make the process more enjoyable – it consistently kept me around and learning new things hours after I would have left for the day. During the job search it was invaluable to have folks to meet up with for interview practice or to swap resources and encouragement.
Two heads better than one?
Pair programming is heavily emphasized for the first few weeks, and to be honest I was skeptical that the system would work for me. I felt like it would be intimidating and uncomfortable to problem-solve aloud in front of a stranger. What if all I did was slow my partner down, or visa versa? Turns out I was dead wrong – pair programming was a huge reason why I was able to join Google as a software engineer straight out of Codesmith. It not only builds your technical communication skills and makes you more introspective of your own thinking process, but also teaches you new ways to approach problems and diagram out solutions.
A program for all coding backgrounds
I’ll join the chorus here and say that Codesmith is an obvious choice for anyone with minimal programming experience but a willingness to put in the extra effort and a genuine interest in software development. But what about those – like me – who have technical degrees, or those who already have a few years of development experience? I was hesitant to commit to the program because I wasn’t sure that I’d get as much out of it. Again, I was dead wrong. As a comp sci major, I was able to build up knowledge of real-world technologies that complemented my theoretical foundation and market myself as a problem-solving generalist with relevant development experience. To a current software engineer, Codesmith is a place to transition into a more in-demand tech stack while building the communication skills of a senior-level developer.
For those who are wondering whether they’d be better off trying to pick up the technologies on their own – I can personally tell you that you’re being dumb. It’s worth the investment to learn them faster, better, and in context. No matter your background, I cannot recommend Codesmith highly enough. You’ll stagger across the finish line but wish there were more.
Response From: Will Sentance of Codesmith
Response From: Olivia of Codesmith
I have always had a passion for computers, hardware and software, but never had the training, encouragement, or courage to take the leap of faith in switching careers. I was looking at other schools in the LA area and was referred to Codesmith by a friend who had graduated and gone on to do very well. I feel blessed having gone in that way, as it helps to know beforehand that the program really works. It's incredibly demanding and it will make you doubt yourself at every turn -- overcoming those doubts is the very core of the program -- but with the support of passionate and caring mentors, you will come out the other end as the best software engineer you could possibly become in the time given. This crucible of overcoming blocks in understanding is one of many things that set Codesmith apart. It makes you a great software engineer able to tackle any stack you want to, and more importantly, engenders the technical communication and engineering empathy that makes you someone people want to work with. Codesmith is the Ivy League of bootcamps, and that means you'll do well when you graduate. It also means that you'll need to work hard to get in, so my advice on shooting for Codesmith is that there's no such thing as too much preparation. I went in without prior experience, but I put in many months of study beforehand, and I still struggled. It's all about the struggle. If you're looking for someone to hold your hand, walk you through "Your Very First Full Stack Application," pat you on the back at the end, and set you up with a nice, non-challenging Junior Developer role, then look elsewhere. If you want to become the kind of developer that other developers look up to, then go to Codesmith.
Codesmith was the best decision that I could have made for myself. I dropped out of NYU at 20 years old because I knew I could do what I wanted without paying $60K more for a degree. I wanted to be a software engineer. It didn't just teach me how to use frameworks and how to solve algorithms. It taught me how to learn efficiently. I left with a life long skill of adaptation.
I also left with really good friends, my cohort was like a big family. The whole team is such an amazing source of support. The instructors and the fellows don't give you the answer but they help guide you into figuring it out on your own. The environment just encourages support and learning together. I looked into a lot of programs that offered similar curriculum but I went to a hard parts and I knew that this was the place I wanted to spend my time learning. And I have no doubt that I made the right decsion.
I just graduated from the most recent April '18 cohort and had a really amazing experience at Codesmith.
Many reviews on here have described the amount of work that is demanded from Codesmith residents, to which I would say it's a given that if you're looking for a complete career change in three months, you're going to have to put in a lot of time and effort. That being said, the community and the support that you get from both staff and other students makes that process much, much easier. It's obviously possible to learn technologies like React and Redux on your own, but coding is a collaborative process. And that's not something you can learn sitting on your couch with a laptop. I remember all the time I spent on Codewars, FreeCodeCamp, and CodeAcademy prior to Codesmith, studying to get in. I learned a good amount studying on my own, and I'm sure I could have learned how to put together a website myself with a few more months. But the kind of work that you do in order to get accepted has almost nothing to do with what it's like to work on a team, which is what you'll have to do once you go out and get an engineering job. The projects that you build at Codesmith ingrain you with that collaborative process. Whether you like it or not, you'll have to work with people who are stronger than you, and people who are weaker than you. You'll have to decide how to break up a project into pieces so that someone can put together a SQL database while another person adds OAuth to your app. You'll also have to also learn how to merge two, three, four different peoples' work together into a single codebase and not break everything (which inevitably, it will) in the process. You'll learn to code with other people, and that's what companies want from engineers. Someone in my cohort had an interview a few days ago and was asked 'Tell me about a time someone on your team underperformed, how it affected the rest of the team, and how you responded'. That's a question you absolutely cannot answer if you've only ever coded by yourself. Codesmith prepares you to confidently answer questions like that, because you spent months working with other engineers, constantly facing blocks and having to overcome them. To bring this back to the amount of work that is demanded from students at Codesmith—yes, it's difficult, but most of that difficulty comes from learning to work with other people, and that's an invaluable skill to have as an engineer.
I was a resident and then a fellow at Codesmith so I think I can give some quick insights on the program. If you are about growth through technical challenge and embrace deliberate practice rather than easy wins, this is the place for you. If you want to be surrounded by determined and brilliant people who genuinely care about your learning experience, you've found it. But keep this in mind, no one will hold your hand and you have to come in with 110% of focus and self-determination to make it through. This is great opportunity to excel yourself as a mid-senior software engineer, so come and earn it.
A few months prior to joining Codesmith I had quit my job with the goal of learning coding on my own in order to switch careers and create a few projects I've had in my head but never been able to act on. (I come from a technical background, but on the Electrical side - so I wanted to get SW skills in order to be more full stack.)
About 2 months into my self-learning journey, I realized I could solve problems but always felt I was "hacking" the answer together instead of just being able to immediately solve them, which I felt slowed me own drastically.
I received all of the skills that I was looking for and can now immediately reason in my head when solving problems on my projects, as-opposed to having to stack overflow every question and 'hack' together answers.
In addition, the two things I think really set Codesmith apart are 1) the culture and 2) the projects.
1) A majority of the people that join Codesmith are already solid programmers or problem solvers with technical backgrounds, and they want to take their skills to the next level. This was what was really worth the price of admission, to me. Working on my own I would sometimes hit a wall of frustration and need a break; with the community you're working with at Codesmith, if you hit a wall there is surely someone around who is happy to sit down and troubleshoot it with you. And you're on your way forward in no time. (Not to mention the network of driven people you are now a part of)
2) I don't like how some schools force boring projects on you - I don't think that helps promote true learning because you're not passionately solving through your problems and can just go through the motions. Codesmith lets you choose your own projects (pretty much whatever you choose, as long as the concept is challenging enough and clearly described). This phase was where I really solidified my knowledge because I was working on projects I cared about and that allowed me to spend the extra time to really push through difficult problems, willingly.
TLDR: I'm very happy I made this decision as I now have the skills I was looking for, in only 3 months. Now I can solve challenging problems without help.
Note: It's not easy - be ready to put in the work.
Attended CodeSmith - August 2016 Cohort 9
Background - Chemical Engineering
Currently - Software Engineer (First Job landed after CodeSmith was Nike)
*Note* - One thing that Codesmith does well, is the support. I still get my resume reviewed from time to time and Codesmith does a great job in being responsive to their student needs in regards to Job Assistance.
I learned more about relevant technologies and code production at Codesmith than I did in college with a minor in computer science.
Overall it was a great experience. I developed some awesome friendships and am now working as a software engineer at a company that I love.
I do wish there was more back end in the curriculum. I takes extra effort and studying after Codesmith to land a backend position. But that is true for any bootcamp.
I come from a background in PR and Marketing, and transitioned into a role as a UX/UI developer. I wanted to build out the functionalities of these static wireframes and prototypes, but my scope of software engineering was so narrow that I didn’t know where or how to begin. I did a lot of research on bootcamps and immersive programmes, and the amount of polarising reviews put me off any further researching. I decided to try the whole “self-studying” thing, and found myself completing algorithm after algorithm, but not really implementing it to build anything useful.
During my time at Codesmith, the hardest part for me was to discipline myself in adjusting to a “new” way of learning. The lectures give you a solid high-level overview of a particular topic, but it’s up to you to put in the hard work to further research how it’s used and how all the pieces come together. Every two days, you’re learning a new concept/framework/protocol along with a unit challenge, and I definitely put in a lot of extra time during and after the programme to ensure that I’ve understood them. During the “senior” portion of the programme, Codesmith really pushes you to explore areas that might feel like impossible to build at first, but when you’re surrounded by such determined and ambitious talent, you pick up on their energy and push through together as a team. My team and I built a real-time text editor with end-to-end encryption - still can’t believe that we worked with encryption!
The last few weeks are dedicated to outcomes and building out your network, which was one of the most important areas of Codesmith. The Codesmith team put in a lot of effort in conducting resume workshops, mock interviews/white boarding sessions, and cover letter/follow-up strategies. You’re in this iterative and refinement phase that further strengthens your technical and presentational skills when it comes to hiring day. You’re equipped with an extensive network of Codesmith alumni that are scattered across major cities, and I definitely took advantage of that by reaching out to them and they were more than happy to meet with me for interview preps. Codesmith built a solid foundation for my career, and I accepted a great offer a few weeks after finishing up the programme!
Codesmith as a program really lives up to it's hype. I was skeptical at first, as having been a software engineer for 4/5 years back in the late 90's / early naughties I was well aware of how big an undertaking it is to become a competent developer. Having not programmed for 15 yrs, thereby missing the internet/cloud era I found myself drawn to bootcamps as a way to re-immerse myself in programming. I decided on Codesmith having attended JSHP and really liking the community Codesmith was developing. My instincts were correct. Codemith has developed an awesome community, where students, alumni and the Codesmith team, all support each other fantastically. This really proved helpful during the program, where people all stayed on beyond the required 12hr days to help each other overcome the struggles of learning to code. I feel like the base knowledge the program gives you, really instills an ability to go out and tackle any coding challenge. You come away having learned how to break the problem down, research what knowledge you need in an efficient manner and apply this to any given challenge. This ability coupled with the community, I could not have asked for more.
I'll keep it short since I can't say much more than the other reviewers have already said:
Codesmith was the right decision for me. I graduated with a Math/CS degree and was unsure about whether any of these coiding programs would be useful for me, but I eventually decided on attending Codesmith and I'm so glad I did! The vibe and energy from the people there was always positive, always friendly, and always collaborative. I was free to ask for help and work with others on what I had trouble with and at the same time other could always come to me with their questions as well. And that was important because the program was dense and without that kind of community, I couldn't learned what I did, and I wouldn't have been able to built what I did. It felt like we were all in this together and trying to raise each other up to become the best engineers possible.
My experience in the program was incredibly valuable and I would choose to do it again in a heartbeat!
On-Time Graduation Rate
180 Day Employment Breakdown:
Notes & Caveats:
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%