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Codesmith

Los Angeles, New York City

Codesmith

Avg Rating:4.97 ( 95 reviews )

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Recent Codesmith Reviews: Rating 4.97

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2 Campuses

Los Angeles

The program teaches computer science, full-stack JavaScript (notably React and Node), software architecture, 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.

Course Details

Deposit
$2,200
Financing
Scholarship
Codesmith offers scholarships for talented people from underrepresented backgrounds. Codesmith also offers a small number of Dean's scholarships where Codesmith will contribute 25% of fees to candidates in need
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Prior Computer science and programming skills necessary
Prep Work
4 weeks
Python, Machine LearningIn PersonPart Time15 Hours/week

The Codesmith Machine Learning Alumni Program is an intensive part-time program for Codesmith Alumni focused on in-depth learning of the theory, algorithms, and libraries used by machine learning engineers in the field, with a focus on developing real-world machine learning portfolio projects. Topics include: Data visualization, Data introspection and manipulation techniques, Python data science libraries, Classification, Regression, and clustering machine learning algorithms, Artificial Neural Networks, and more. This program is currently only for Codesmith Alumni.

Course Details

Deposit
$0
Minimum Skill Level
Completion of Codesmith Software Engineering Immersive
Placement Test
Yes
Prep Work
Precourse covering Python and Introduction to Machine Learning
Front End, JavaScript, jQueryIn PersonFull Time3 Hours/week

Over 90% of Codesmith students attend JavaScript the Hard Parts in preparation for the Codesmith technical interview. In JavaScript the Hard Parts, Codesmith Engineers cover callbacks, higher-order functions (functional programming with JavaScript), object-oriented programming with JavaScript, closure, scope and execution context. The reason people who only watch programming videos don't become programmers is because they're not programming. JS the Hard Parts provides a space to build with fellow learners, immerse yourself in the Codesmith community, and learn the key concepts that Codesmith students need to know before beginning the immersive 12 week program.

Course Details

Minimum Skill Level
Beginner - Intermediate

New York City

Codesmith 250 Lafayette Street, New York City, NY 10012

The Codesmith NYC program teaches computer science, full-stack JavaScript (notably React and Node), software architecture, 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.

Course Details

Deposit
$2,200
Financing
Scholarship
Codesmith offers scholarships for talented people from underrepresented backgrounds. Codesmith also offers a small number of Dean's scholarships where Codesmith will contribute 25% of fees to candidates in need
Interview
Yes
Minimum Skill Level
Prior Computer science and programming skills necessary
Prep Work
4 weeks

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Our latest on Codesmith

  • Alumni Spotlight: Daniel King of Codesmith

    Liz Eggleston11/29/2017

    Daniel King was a Physics teacher for six years when he started attending Codesmith’s JavaScript: The Hard Parts workshops, and he was hooked. Since graduating from Codesmith just one year ago, Daniel has continued to grow into his new career as a software engineer. We talk about the community and mentorship that Daniel found at Codesmith, the principles of engineering that help him continue to grow as a developer after graduation, and how he landed his new job as a Web Solutions Engineer at Google. Plus, Daniel answers the age-old question: do you need to be good at math to be a great software engineer?

    Q&A

    Tell us about your career and education background. How did your path lead you to Codesmith?

    My college degree is actually in math and physics because at the time I thought I wanted to go into research or a PhD program in either math or physics. I wasn't totally convinced, so I decided to take time off from being in school to evaluate that pathway.

    While I was taking that time off, I started substitute teaching just to pay the bills and ended up really liking teaching. I ended up teaching high school physics for about six years. Teach for America brought me to Los Angeles, where I taught for four years at a public school.

    How did you become interested in programming?

    The last school I taught at wanted to pilot a computer science course and I was the only person at the school who had any inkling of experience with programming, so they asked me to teach it. I had never taken a computer science class, but in my physics degree, we learned a little bit of programming for number crunching, large physics calculations, and simulations. I remembered liking that work, so the idea of teaching that computer science course was exciting. In the process of lesson-planning, I found myself wanting to spend my free time diving more deeply into it.

    That experience is what really got me interested in programming and making the career switch into being a software developer.

    What made you take the next step from teaching computer science at a school to actually changing careers and becoming a software developer?

    My background is in technical fields – math and physics – and I found myself missing doing technical work myself. Spending time learning about computer science in order to be able to teach that course gave me the itch to do more technical work myself. That's what initially got me thinking about making a full-time career in software development.

    Why was a coding bootcamp the best way to achieve that goal?

    When I first started thinking about transitioning into software development as a career, I wasn't necessarily going to go down the coding bootcamp route. I started to consider coding bootcamps because even though I was a classroom teacher myself, I actually found it really difficult to be a student in the traditional classroom. I knew that if I wanted to go into software development, it would be really helpful to have some coaching or mentorship as I learned.

    I wanted a place to learn with other people who were interested in programming as well, but I also wanted the transition to be faster than going through a traditional, multi-year master's degree. I knew that even if a coding bootcamp was difficult in the moment, I would be able to get a lot out of it very quickly and be able to start my career as a software engineer in a really good place. To be perfectly frank, I guess I was a little bit impatient!

    How did you find Codesmith?

    I started going to Codesmith's JavaScript The Hard Parts workshop, which is a free, weekly community workshop on interesting JavaScript concepts. I really enjoyed that workshop, so Codesmith was on my radar.

    Having been a teacher in the classroom myself, I was really impressed with how hard Codesmith worked to build community, both with the students who are currently studying there and with the beginners who were coming to that free workshop every week.

    Did you research other coding bootcamps? What stood out about Codesmith?

    I did look at a few other coding bootcamps, but to me, community building is really Codesmith’s secret sauce. They work hard to create the kind of environment where everyone wants to learn at a really high level, wants to push themselves to the limit, and is 100% there to support every other person who's going through the process. It really allows you to push yourself and learn as much as you can without fear that you might fall behind – you've got 20 other people who are there with you to support you along that journey.

    Was it a competitive application and interview process to get into Codesmith?

    Even though I had been going to the Javascript workshops, the application process was still hard. I interviewed with a couple of other bootcamps at the time and I felt that Codesmith’s interview process was the most rigorous. I felt the most challenged by their interview questions. For me, that was a good thing – I wanted to be pushed to the limit and beyond my comfort zone. After interviewing and seeing how much passion and excitement all of the staff and the current students had for Codesmith, it really made it clear that Codesmith was the right fit.

    As a former teacher, what did you think of the Codesmith teaching style? Did it work with your learning style?

    There are so many things that Codesmith does right, pedagogically speaking. Most impressively, their entire focus is where it needs to be: on the students’ learning. Students work on projects that are intended to help them learn a certain topic, and these projects are large in scope and open-ended; they're typically too large to be completed within the allotted time. The ultimate example of this is the Production project, where students spend the last six weeks of the program working on large, cutting-edge software project of their choice. My team and I decided to create a library for testing WebRTC applications, and as far as we know, we were the first people in the world to do so.

    Since the projects are so large and open-ended, the point is that students dig into it and work as hard as they can. It’s not about finishing the project because, in the real world, you're never finished. Instead, it’s about taking away an enduring lesson. At Codesmith, learning is the most important part of the process. Instead of telling you how to solve a tough problem, the instructors gently nudge you in the right direction. In the moment, that can be frustrating, but you're really learning the most when you struggle. It's by fighting through confusion and overcoming barriers that we become stronger as software engineers. That's really what engineers do in their day-to-day work.

    This style of learning was definitely cultivated at Codesmith and it's something that they emphasize and articulate as much as possible. Going through the program helped me to articulate those principles to myself more clearly. Working in education for the past several years, I had some frustrations with aspects of the traditional educational system because I felt it was too task-oriented and focused on the solution instead of the learning itself.

    How did Codesmith prepare you for the job hunt?

    The job search mostly happens within the last few weeks of Codesmith, and then during the next couple of months after you graduate. Codesmith does mock interviews, whiteboarding sessions, resume writing workshops, coached us on negotiating salaries, and exercises to build our confidence as we go off into the job market and start applying for jobs. There’s also a Hiring Day where they invite companies from the Los Angeles area to do interview speed dating with the graduating class. It's not uncommon for many students to get called back for onsite interviews due to Hiring Day. After graduation day, once we’re in the actual job search, Codesmith did regular check-ins to see how we’re doing on the search.

    Codesmith was always very open and receptive. If I wanted to talk one-on-one to the Codesmith staff, they were very open to that as well.

    How did your first technical interviews go for you?

    I thought doing technical interviews was fun. It was a little nerve-racking at the time, but I always find that once I'm actually in the middle of the interview, talking about a programming problem or some technology or something about the company, that the fear goes away and I just start enjoying the conversation.

    One of the things that was interesting about interviewing with several companies in a short timeframe was getting to talk to various people working in different environments. It was good to hear about the company cultures, and really get a sense for the type of environment I wanted to work in since I was so new to the tech world.

    What have you been up to since graduating? Tell us about getting your first job!

    I found the Codesmith alumni community to be really helpful and supportive in the job search. Now that Codesmith has been around for about 2 years, there’s a pretty significant alumni network. We have a very active alumni Slack channel and people are pretty frequently posting jobs on that saying, "Hey, my company is looking to hire a full stack engineer. Private message me if you're interested." That’s how I ended up getting my first job at MedCircle. I went for the interview and I really enjoyed the company and the team.

    MedCircle is an online health education company in LA. It's a very small startup company – less than 10 people on the whole staff.

    Were you using JavaScript and what you had learned at Codesmith in your first role or was there a learning curve?

    I was using JavaScript at MedCircle, which is what I had learned at Codesmith, but there still was some learning curve. We were using a couple of technologies that I wasn't familiar with and there was already some established code before I joined. That's always a learning curve to become familiar with an existing system. I was working in JavaScript, React, and Redux on the front end, and Node.js, Express, and PostgreSQL on the back end. Those are the core stacks that Codesmith emphasizes in the curriculum, so it was a pretty cool opportunity to continue learning those.

    I worked at MedCircle for about 10 months and got to build the team workflows from the ground up, which was pretty cool. About two weeks ago, I started a new job at Google in San Francisco.

    Congrats! What are you now working on at Google?

    My official title at Google is Web Solutions Engineer. I'm primarily working on internal software tools that the sales and marketing organization use to do their jobs better. It's pretty exciting because, at MedCircle I worked on a small, agile, flexible team. My team at Google is similarly small and flexible, but it's within the context of the Google organization, so I have access to all of these resources and incredible world-class software engineering.

    How did you make the move from MedCircle to Google? What was that process like growing into your next job?

    I actually interviewed with Google back in December 2016, during my first job search after I graduated from Codesmith and before I was hired by MedCircle. Evidently, if you interview and they don't hire you but still like you, then Google keeps your name on their short list. In August, I got a message from a recruiter at Google saying that they had a Web Solutions Engineer position open up and asked me if I'd be interested in applying for it.

    How do you feel you've grown as a developer? Where do you feel you are in your learning experience?

    No matter where I am in my career, I always want to push to learn and grow more. One of the things that Codesmith does really well, more than just emphasizing learning one particular technology stack, is that they emphasize learning how to be confident technical problem solvers and engineers. Even straight out of Codesmith, I was pretty confident in my ability to solve difficult software problems, even if I wasn't necessarily familiar with all of the technologies being used.

    Now, having been in the industry for a year, it's given me a lot more depth of knowledge in the kinds of tools, best practices, and higher level problem-solving techniques that it takes to really write high-quality software that is robust, that lasts, and that does its job well.

    I’m also growing in different contexts. Google is such a large company; in order to accomplish anything, I have to learn a lot about the infrastructure of the company as a whole. It’s been pretty exciting to see how software engineering can really work at a massive scale.

    What's been the biggest challenge in your journey to becoming a software developer?

    What’s most challenging about software engineering is also what’s most exciting: there’s basically an infinitely deep pool of things to learn. In order to really be able to perform at the highest levels, you need to be willing to put in the time and effort to keep learning, whether you're on the job or not.

    I've put a lot of hours and energy into trying to improve my skills even outside of work hours. But as I said, there's always interesting problems to work on, always new technologies to learn, and always new products to imagine. Because with software, anything that you can imagine you can create as long as you're willing to stretch your imagination and embrace the possibilities.

    Would you advise other bootcampers to go into a small startup first like you did?

    I think it was the right decision for me, but it depends a lot on the person and on the company. What’s more important than the size of the company is really understanding the company's culture during that interview process. For me, I like having a lot of flexibility in what I work on and being able to work on different projects, so I knew that working at a small company like MedCircle would give me that. Being forced out of necessity to wear different hats really made me into a more well-rounded engineer. I’m more confident when I have to tackle problems in a variety of different domains.

    For your first job after a bootcamp, choose a company that will bring out the best in you and a place where you can continue to learn at the same rate that you were learning while at bootcamp. That can really vary a lot from company to company whether it's small or big, so feel out their company culture and choose based on that.

    You have a background in Math and Physics – is it true that you need to be “good at math” in order to be a great software engineer?

    I took Codesmith’s Machine Learning class after I graduated, and that topic was exciting for me because machine learning does involve a lot of math. My background in math gave me a good foundation to learn more in that area.

    However, you definitely don't need to have a background in math in order to be good at software engineering. In order to be a strong software engineer, you need to be a strong problem solver. Being good at math is just one possible way to acquire those problem-solving skills. My background in math has definitely helped me, but I don't think it's the only way to get the skills needed for software engineering.

    When you look back at the last two years, do you think you would have been able to get to this point by self-teaching or going back to a traditional school? What kind of role did Codesmith play in your journey?

    I honestly doubt that I would’ve been able to make it to where I am today this quickly if I had gone down a different path. If I had done a master’s degree, I probably would’ve gone back to school in the evenings and continued teaching full-time, which would’ve drawn out the process and not allowed me to focus all of my attention on learning as much as I could. That would have made the career transition a lot more arduous.

    When you teach yourself, it's easy to end up stuck in your own bad habits because you don't know best practices and how to get to the next level. Learning within a community of other people who are passionate about software engineering means that you can all help each other. You can push your thinking to the next level and get unstuck when you hit a roadblock in your learning. You always feel like the work that you're putting in is reaping benefits, because you can see the growth day by day and week by week. That rapid growth is really what allowed me to reach my goals so soon after deciding to make the transition into software engineering.

    What advice do you have for our readers who are considering a coding bootcamp like Codesmith?

    Your time at a coding bootcamp is very short, so it's important to really squeeze the most out of the experience that you possibly can. It's not enough to just go to class during the day and then go home. It's really important to get to know your classmates and help each other grow. It's rare that you're surrounded by so many other people who are this passionate about the same goals.

    Codesmith works so hard to build community, not only between current students but also between professionals by hosting meetups for local software developers. If you can really take advantage of that community, then that's where you'll see the most incredible growth in yourself.

    Read more Codesmith reviews on Course Report. Check out the Codesmith website!

    About The Author

    Liz pic

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • What is Machine Learning? A Primer with Codesmith

    Imogen Crispe9/6/2017

    Everyone seems to be talking about Machine Learning. But what is Machine Learning, and do you really need a PhD in Math to master it? LA coding bootcamp Codesmith has recently added a machine learning unit to their core program, and will soon launch an entire Machine Learning Bootcamp. We asked Codesmith’s Director of Machine Learning, Weylin Wagnon, where to spot machine learning in everyday products, why knowledge of machine learning is useful for software developers, and what the job market is like for developers with machine learning skills.

    Our Takeaways:

    • Machine learning is a subset of AI, where a computer uses data and previous experiences to predict outcomes
    • Machine learning tasks include those which used to be done by humans such as fraud prediction and ad placement
    • Any task that is currently tedious for humans but still requires some creative decision-making is a target for machine learning software.
    • Codesmith is teaching machine learning with a code-first attitude, by introducing the concept to students as a new tool and a new library
    • Software engineers who know how to interact with machine learning systems are future-proofing their skills

    What’s your experience in machine learning?

    I run a cryptocurrency mining farm, where we manage mining for our clients who want to invest in cryptocurrency. It’s very complicated to set up and do at scale, so we streamline the machine learning process.

    What is machine learning?

    In general, Machine Learning is equal parts math, statistics, computer science, and voodoo. Machine learning is very different from the traditional software engineering or programming paradigm. In computer science, you provide a set of rules and input data to make some kind of output. In machine learning, you switch that around. You input data and input the answer you want to see, and the machine figures out the rules required to get that answer. It is a little bit magical, it’s pretty challenging, but with a clear approach to understanding machine learning, it is possible to do extraordinary things with these tools.

    How is machine learning different from artificial intelligence?

    The standard general purpose computer is not intelligent. Artificial intelligence gives the machine some automated behavior that we consider “smart.” Machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence and requires learning from previous data. As humans, we use our previous memories to influence our future behavior; machines can learn from previous data to do the same thing. Overall, AI doesn’t imply data alone, whereas machine learning is all about data.

    Where do we see Machine Learning in the real world? Can you give us some examples?

    Anything that is currently tedious to do for people but requires some kind of creative decision making is a target for machine learning software. Most of the cutting edge machine learning projects are coming from large companies that have huge data sets. For example:

    • Google Photos and Apple Photos dynamically identifying faces in pictures and auto-tagging people.
    • Shazam, which identifies songs, has been greatly enhanced through machine learning.
    • Speech systems like Siri, Google Home, and Alexa, are all good examples of machine learning ability.
    • Fraud reporting, which used to be done by humans perusing financial records, but is now accomplished with algorithms.
    • Some core business uses have been around for a while – 10 years ago, machine learning was used to predict which advertisement a user would click on, and we still use advanced neural networks for the same task today.

    How can machine learning be useful for a software developer?

    Machine learning exists in an application ecosystem (like an API). So even if a developer doesn’t want to touch the whole backend of an application, they are still going to have to interact with some of these systems. Having at least an understanding of the concepts behind machine learning can be valuable in the long run when designing systems.

    Any exposure to machine learning is a really good mark on your resume. Having interacted with such machine intelligence systems shows that you have a strong competency with current and future technologies.

    Why has Codesmith decided to add Machine Learning to the curriculum?

    Google I/O’s last conference (and every main stage) was fully focused on AI and machine learning at all times – it’s a significant trend.

    You need to be able to work with large amounts of data, be a smart programmer, understand neural networks, and have machine learning skills if you want to build the next generation of tech products. And if you don’t, you’ll be left behind over the next 10 to 15 years. It’s hard to observe the future of jobs and not be scared of how machine learning is taking over; I think the best way to stem that tide is to get into the field yourself.

    Tell us about the new machine learning unit at Codesmith and how you came up with the course.

    We are now offering an entire unit within Codesmith’s core software engineering residency, plus a six-week stand-alone course for alumni and experienced coders. I just finished teaching the unit. It’s not a complete course, but it does give students all the tools they need to go forward in machine learning. We ran a beta-version of our six-week course for alumni, got a lot of feedback, and are iterating right now for our public course. It’s exciting to push software engineers on the right path. Machine learning is something that will be hard to avoid in the future so it’s really valuable to get into the space right now.

    I spent a long time researching before writing the curriculum. I paired up with Kush Kumar, part of the USC Machine Learning Department, who is a stellar expert in the field. Combining his expertise with my teaching background, we forged the content together.

    Can you really teach machine learning at a coding bootcamp? How do you fit such a vast topic into a short course?

    We teach machine learning in the last quarter at Codesmith, so that students have the most experience and can gain the most from it. As we go through Codesmith, the pace of students’ comprehension accelerates, so they get used to picking up new information fast.

    The core Codesmith unit is focused on teaching students about general machine learning ideas, providing a framework to think about machine learning, and defining terms that we’ll see a lot. We are focused on coding best practices first. Then, we’re fitting machine learning into the curriculum as a new tool and a new library, and not as a fundamentally alien concept.

    We do a deep dive into re-engineering some machine learning algorithms so we can see it’s not just magic. But on this level, you don’t have to engineer everything yourself. We teach libraries like Pandas to enact a lot of complex behavior very quickly. The program is mainly project focused as we go through, and we also practice pair programming.

    Codesmith’s 12-week program focuses on full-stack JavaScript. What programming languages or technologies do you teach for machine learning?

    There are three main languages used for Machine Learning – Python, R, and MATLAB. We teach JavaScript mainly at Codesmith, but we’re really teaching programming as a whole (which is somewhat language agnostic). For Machine Learning, we teach Python. There are so many libraries which stack on top of each other – Matplotlib is for graphing, Pandas is for in-memory data representations, and Numpy is for matrix calculations. Then we go into Scikit Learn, which is a powerful machine learning library built on Numpy.

    Students also learn some DevOps, neural networks, and Tensorflow. By the end of the unit, they’ll have covered the vast majority of the machine learning field and will be able to autonomously create projects.

    What is the job demand like for machine learning skills?

    In LA, job listings mentioning machine learning often offer salaries 10% to 30% higher than regular software engineering roles. The goal of our program is not to produce data scientists, data analysts, or data engineers – we’re aiming to graduate engineers who can build advanced programming products and meet the needs of a “machine learning software engineer” job listing. Companies are getting very competitive as the demand for machine learning engineers grows faster than the supply. The main source of machine learning talent comes from master’s degree or PhD programs, so it’s a challenge for companies to find enough engineers to rapidly prototype machine learning products. In addition to being in great demand, machine learning skills are a great accent to any software engineering role.

    Is there anything you’ve had to leave out of the Codesmith machine learning curriculum?

    We don’t cover neural network libraries in our Codesmith unit, but we can provide resources for students who are interested in learning more, and we highly encourage alumni to take the full machine learning course.

    We always hear that you don’t have to be a math whiz to be a good programmer, but do you need math skills to do machine learning?

    In the machine learning unit, we don’t focus a lot on math. People get the idea that machine learning is only about math because of Andrew Ng’s popular Machine Learning course from Stanford, which is all focused on the calculus derivation of different algorithms, and how to implement them. But that knowledge is not required to build machine learning projects – most of it is already wrapped up in libraries. So your math ability doesn’t impact your ability to implement machine learning systems.

    However, at some point in your career, you may want to develop new machine learning processes, and then that math and algorithms research will help you. But in general, it’s not as big of a requirement as people think.

    What’s an example of the sort of machine learning projects that students would work on at Codesmith?

    At Codesmith, we mainly focus on portfolio projects. Having a significant portfolio of work is so important to getting hired in machine learning. Students work on projects which involve making graphs that convey information, getting insights from data, and then presenting the insights in a way that’s understandable for less technical people.

    Who is teaching this new unit? How will you train your instructors to teach this new machine learning unit? Or will you hire new instructors?

    So far I’ve been the sole instructor along with our advisory member Kushaan. I am hoping to continue contributing as long as I am able, plus we have some super talented engineers who have been studying machine learning on their own and have attended all of our machine learning courses. We like to take a multifaceted approach – we have really talented teachers, engineers, and people with math backgrounds, and it’s through all of us working together that we can make it work. It’s a community approach.

    How often does the Codesmith team update or add new units to the curriculum like this?

    We reevaluate the curriculum after every graduating class and talk about whether topics are still relevant, and whether we can improve. We add content often, like new lectures, or individual focuses, but rarely whole units. So this is exciting!

    Can students in both LA and NYC campuses learn machine learning?

    So far, we’ve only taught machine learning at the LA campus. Our first NYC cohort starts in two weeks, and we hope to also offer machine learning there eventually. Stay tuned for our separate machine learning course, which we are hoping to launch in the near future.

    Are there resources or meetups you recommend for machine learning beginners?

    The best machine learning resource for beginners is a YouTube channel called Welch Labs. He’s a fantastic teacher and makes the subject really dynamic. You can learn about the field and the core concepts behind it, without requiring advanced math.

    There are also plenty of online courses and interactive online portals. I don’t particularly like those, but some people benefit from them as an introduction to concepts. Those online courses can make you feel like you’ve accomplished and learned a lot, but you have no autonomy, and having to define a task for yourself afterward can be really challenging. I think an interactive course where you build projects is the best option.

    Find out more and read Codesmith reviews on Course Report. Check out the Codesmith website.

    About The Author

    Imogen crispe headshot

    Imogen is a writer and content producer who loves writing about technology and education. Her background is in journalism, writing for newspapers and news websites. She grew up in England, Dubai and New Zealand, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

  • Your 2017 #LearnToCode New Year’s Resolution

    Lauren Stewart7/21/2017

    It’s that time again! A time to reflect on the year that is coming to an end, and a time to plan for what the New Year has in store. While it may be easy to beat yourself up about certain unmet goals, one thing is for sure: you made it through another year! And we bet you accomplished more than you think. Maybe you finished your first Codecademy class, made a 30-day Github commit streak, or maybe you even took a bootcamp prep course – so let’s cheers to that! But if learning to code is still at the top of your Resolutions List, then taking the plunge into a coding bootcamp may be the best way to officially cross it off. We’ve compiled a list of stellar schools offering full-time, part-time, and online courses with start dates at the top of the year. Five of these bootcamps even have scholarship money ready to dish out to aspiring coders like you.

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  • Episode 8: October 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup + Podcast

    Imogen Crispe11/1/2016

    Welcome to the October 2016 Course Report monthly coding bootcamp news roundup! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to fundraising announcements, to interesting trends. This month we are also covering our Women In Tech Snapchat takeover! Other trends include new developments in the industry, new outcomes reports and why those are important, new investments in bootcamps, and of course, new coding schools and campuses.

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  • Founder Spotlight: Will Sentance of Codesmith

    Liz Eggleston10/19/2016

    Will Sentance is co-founder and CEO at Codesmith, a full stack coding bootcamp in Los Angeles that launched in fall 2015. Before that, he worked as a software engineer, and started his own e-commerce platform. Will says learning to code changed his life, and he wanted to pass that experience and knowledge on to others. Will explains the Codesmith curriculum, what Codesmith looks for in students, and how to prepare for the interview. Also find out what sort of jobs Codesmith graduates are getting!

    Q&A

    What were you doing before you decided to found Codesmith bootcamp?

    I worked as a Software Engineer at Gem, which is now a Hiring Partner at Codesmith. Before that, I was CEO and cofounder of Ownly, a social e-commerce platform I started while studying at Harvard. Gem is doing some really transformative work in the Bitcoin and Blockchain space for developers– we were finalists at Techcrunch Disrupt. It's a model for Codesmith graduates– exceptional technical talent yet great communicators. I loved the team there.

    Why did you want to start a Los Angeles coding bootcamp?

    Coding changed my life and the lives of significant people around me. It gave us the ability to build the ideas we dreamt up. People learn to code for many reasons from aspiring doctors who want to change medical document processes to people who love solving puzzles. I love getting to see all of these backgrounds come together to support each other in the program.

    Many coding bootcamps these days have been founded by graduates of other bootcamps. After attending Hack Reactor, what did you think was important to keep about the bootcamp model and what did you iterate on?

    Codesmith and Hack Reactor have a shared mission of transforming people's opportunities through coding. I have a lot of love and respect for the programs like Hack Reactor and Fullstack Academy that are doing this really well. Like the other rigorous programs, we focus on computer science, a deep understanding of JavaScript, and on problem-solving. The outcomes are similar– the average salary of Codesmith is $103.5k and of Hack Reactor $104k, and both have 90-95% employment rates after four months.

    There are distinct differences. At the end of the Codesmith program, we have our hiring event where companies from across the US come on site to interview graduates. This is very distinctive and is part of why the graduate outcomes are so strong.

    The community of Codesmith Los Angeles is also extraordinarily tight-knit, with cohorts of 15 (two running at the same time) selected from over 300 applications. It plays out in the average leaving time each night– most people leave the campus close to midnight, six days a week!

    CodeSmith is a full stack JavaScript bootcamp. How did you design the curriculum at Codesmith?

    We teach a lot of the fundamentals of JavaScript– going under the hood on how JavaScript really works. We believe this gives grads a huge edge. Dan Carr, who was a lead engineer at Adobe for 15 years and a lead in their education team too, teaches much of the core curriculum. He was influential in designing a curriculum that features both the latest technologies (React, Redux) and timeless features (software design patterns, team best practices.)

    What is the admission process like?

    We look for people who have great potential in problem-solving and communication (both technical and non-technical). Before the admissions interview, there's a basic coding challenge online and special harder challenges given out at many of the free classes each week. If you complete these harder challenges, you're guaranteed to get an interview.

    Your first interview looks at your interests and commitment to supporting others. This is followed by a technical interview. There you will work through various coding challenges, and  we work with you as you navigate through. It's like a mini session of Codesmith.

    What do students learn in the ‘JavaScript the Hard Parts’ Codesmith meetup?

    At JavaScript the Hard Parts, the free community classes, attendees work with me or another instructor to go deep into a JavaScript topic like execution context and closure. I'll call on participants to give them practice talking through their code. It's mixed in with plenty of pair-programming which is a very effective way of learning, and it creates a great community even before people are admitted to the program.

    How are graduates performing in the real world?

    The graduates are doing remarkably well. They are doing everything from developing an organic grocery marketplace at Thrive Market, to a life-changing charitable platform at Omaze, to supporting 20m+ football fans at the NFL. By the end of the year, over 200 Codesmith grads will be out building great things with code. Graduates receive offers averaging $103.5k, with 92% hired within in 4 months– mostly in LA and SF. Companies like Whisper, Hautelook and others have hired multiple grads– that's a wonderful sign of the impact the grads are having at each company.

    What types of final projects have Codesmith students built?

    Students build a portfolio of four projects while at Codesmith– the final being the 'Production Project'. Students have built applications for clients including the Los Angeles School District and the University of Michigan Hospital.

    Some of the most impactful projects have been tools and libraries for developers like React Monocle and React-D3 library. These developer projects have trended on Github and Hacker News and are now being used by thousands of developers including Hiring Partners of Codesmith.

    Why is it so important for students to actually launch their apps in the real world?

    Launching a project gives students production experience– handling user issues, bugs and requiring students to work as professional developers as opposed to working on artificial 'bootcamp' projects. It really makes the graduates stand out– it's a big part of why 95% of graduates join companies as mid-level developers or above.

    What is the current class makeup in terms of gender, race, background? Is it diverse?

    Students come from a wide range of backgrounds. While many have STEM experience or even Computer Science degrees, there are also students who were creative writing majors or didn't attend college at all!

    We have scholarships for students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in technology, and we work closely with Girl Develop it and Women Who Code on free classes and curriculum to help show people that they can aspire to Codesmith whatever their background. But we have to do more.

    How do you attract a diverse applicant pool to Codesmith– is that important to you as a founder?

    It is crucial. In the coming years, more and more leaders of firms will come from a software engineering background. We have an opportunity to give people from all backgrounds that path to leadership. In November, we are starting a new Women in Technology Speaker Series and new scholarships in partnership with leading technology firms– to further attract a diversity of applications.

    How should new students approach Codesmith?

    We have high expectations for applicants in their interviews, but we also have an extraordinarily supportive community which is ready to help you reach your potential and prepare for your application. Join us for any of the classes in person or online–  whether or not you end up at Codesmith, you'll find your partners in crime to code with.

    How does the CodeSmith experience prepare students for job interviews?

    Companies expect a lot from Codesmith graduates. They're going to be offering six-figure salaries so they expect people who are capable of solving problems without too much supervision.

    The program is designed to prepare graduates for exactly these demands. To do this, the curriculum pushes you to perform at a level that impresses seasoned engineers, both through professional engineering best practices, and a structure that is heavily project-based. This makes you ready for deep technical discussions and challenges at interviews

    The second half of the program moves into dedicated job-search preparation– through mock interviews, resume and online profile development– all culminating in Hiring Day.

    Tell us about your employer partnerships.

    We have a network of over 250 Hiring Partners who are required to have a strong engineering culture and who hire mid-level and above developers. A select group joins onsite for Hiring Day for multiple streamlined interviews. Nearly half of our graduates get offers from companies they met at Hiring Day.

    Have you been through the regulatory process with the BPPE in California? Is it important that you become accredited?

    The regulatory system is outdated for sure but efforts are being made to develop a new approach. In the meantime, we have begun the process of getting officially accredited by BPPE

    What’s next for Codesmith? Are there plans to expand geographically, or to expand the curriculum?

    I believe we've barely scratched the surface of the number of people we can bring the ability to code to, as well as the number of organizations and industries that can be transformed by engineers who can lead. I want our alumni to continue to develop as leaders in tech after they graduate. So we're working on new ways to give our alumni all the support they need to make that happen.

    Find out more and read Codesmith reviews on Course Report. Check out the Codesmith website.

    About The Author

    Liz pic

    Liz is the cofounder of Course Report, the most complete resource for students considering a coding bootcamp. She loves breakfast tacos and spending time getting to know bootcamp alumni and founders all over the world. Check out Liz & Course Report on Twitter, Quora, and YouTube

  • Coding Bootcamp Prep Programs: The Ultimate Guide

    Imogen Crispe3/2/2017

    Many competitive coding bootcamps require a certain level of coding knowledge or background in order to be accepted into their programs- whether they’re looking for past experience on your resume or require that you pass a coding challenge. For a beginner, it can be tough to get the experience that a selective bootcamp looks for in the application process. There are many ways to learn basic coding (including teaching yourself) but if you want to make sure you’re covering the right material and quickly, then a bootcamp prep program may be for you.

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  • Which Los Angeles Coding Bootcamp is Best for You?

    Nick Toscano9/8/2015

    Move over tinsel town and make some space in the greater Los Angeles area for some of the finest coding programs in the country. While LA once paled in comparison to San Francisco when it came to the sheer quantity of bootcamps, we've seen a surge in LA coding bootcamps this year. There is a wide choice of code schools with campuses in LA's "Silicon Beach" that all bring a unique take on web development training.

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  • June Coding Bootcamp News Roundup

    Harry Hantel7/1/2015

    Welcome to the June News Roundup, your monthly news digest full of the most interesting articles and announcements in the bootcamp space. Do you want something considered for the next News Roundup? Submit announcements of new courses, scholarships, or open jobs at your school!

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