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Codesmith

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

Codesmith

Avg Rating:4.88 ( 286 reviews )

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

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

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

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  • CS Prep

    Apply
    JavaScript, jQuery, Algorithms, Front End
    OnlinePart Time15 Hours/week2 Weeks
    Start Date
    None scheduled
    Cost
    $750
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online
    CS Prep is a structured program that teaches core JavaScript concepts and engineering best practices. CS Prep will help you develop a deep, yet intuitive understanding of JavaScript and prepare you for your Codesmith technical interview or for interviews for other software engineering roles. CS Prep is a 2-week remote course that includes live online instruction, daily problem-solving workshops, office hours with engineering mentors, and extensive technical interview practice.
    Financing
    Deposit
    No deposit
    Financing
    We offer tuition payment plans and many scholarships for the course. The tuition you pay for CS Prep will roll over to the Software Engineering Immersive tuition.
    Tuition Plans
    We offer case by case payment plans, please reach out to csprep@codesmith.io with questions!
    Refund / Guarantee
    If you pass the CS Prep assessment you are guaranteed a technical interview with our full time Codesmith Program. Refunds for the course are available and distributed on a case by case basis.
    Scholarship
    We offer multiple scholarships to CS Prep, with many students paying no tuition at all. You can apply for the women in software engineering scholarship, Dean's scholarship, or minorities in tech scholarship.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Suitable for beginners who are ready to level up to intermediate and advanced material.
    Prep Work
    We recommend some familiarity with the content in the Precourse Unit on CSX - our free online learning platform - https://csx.codesmith.io/.
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    Yes
  • JavaScript for Beginners

    Apply
    JavaScript
    OnlinePart Time6 Hours/week2 Weeks
    Start Date
    October 5, 2019
    Cost
    $300
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    Online
    JavaScript for Beginners is a 12-hour, remote program consisting of two consecutive Saturday sessions. The program is designed for those with no previous coding experience and will teach JavaScript fundamentals and how coding works. The program offers students a launching point to continue their JavaScript studies, prepare for our more advanced programs, and build a future in software engineering.
    Financing
    Deposit
    No Deposit
    Financing
    This course has scholarships available, and the tuition you pay for JavaScript for Beginners rolls over and can be applied towards the tuition of our more advanced programs.
    Tuition Plans
    We offer case-by-case payment plans, please reach out to jsforbeginners@codesmith.io with questions!
    Refund / Guarantee
    Refunds for the course are available and distributed on a case-by-case basis.
    Scholarship
    We offer multiple scholarships to JavaScript for Beginners, with many students paying no tuition at all. You can apply for the women in software engineering scholarship, Dean's scholarship, or minorities in tech scholarship.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    This course is designed for those with no coding experience!
    Prep Work
    We recommend completing Part 1 of the Precourse on CSX, our free online learning platform, before you start the course: https://csx.codesmith.io/units/precourse
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    No
    More Start Dates
    October 5, 2019 - OnlineApply by September 25, 2019
    November 2, 2019 - OnlineApply by October 23, 2019
    November 2, 2019 - OnlineApply by October 23, 2019
  • Software Engineering Immersive Program

    Apply
    Start Date
    October 28, 2019
    Cost
    $17,700
    Class size
    N/A
    Location
    New York City, Los Angeles
    The Codesmith program teaches computer science, full-stack JavaScript (notably React and Node), software architecture, Dev Ops, and machine learning, preparing graduates for mid to senior engineering positions. The course also features preparatory material, extensive hiring preparation, and ongoing support with students’ job searches.
    Financing
    Deposit
    $2,200
    Financing
    We have financing partnerships available as well as case by case payment plans! Please email hello@codesmith.io with questions.
    Refund / Guarantee
    Refunds are distributed on a case by case basis but are available.
    Scholarship
    Codesmith offers 4 types of scholarships -those to students underrepresented in the technology community, women in software engineering scholarship, Dean's scholarships, as well as scholarships to prior bootcamp grads.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill Level
    Prior computer science and programming skills necessary - many applicants are self taught through our free weekly JS workshops/online prep course.
    Prep Work
    4 weeks
    Placement Test
    No
    Interview
    Yes
    More Start Dates
    October 28, 2019 - New York CityApply by October 28, 2019
    December 16, 2019 - New York CityApply by December 16, 2019
    November 25, 2019 - Los AngelesApply by November 25, 2019

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  • Steven  User Photo
    Steven • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I came across Codesmith after attending one of their free Javascript the Hard Parts Thursday classes and I was immediately hooked. The instructors such as Will and Phil are outstanding, their ability to break down these giant topics into smaller chunks in a form that anyone can understand is phenomenal. The community is also very inviting and determined in the growth of everyone in the class. After attending several JSHP classes, I decided it was time to enroll in their next cohort and this was one of the best decisions of my life.

    To define Codesmith as just a coding boot camp would be an understatement. It is a software engineering residency. The first six weeks of the program are the junior phase where you learn new topics in two-day units. The units consist of about 10% lecture and 90% programming with a partner. I was a little put off by this idea at first, but as the days went on I realized that the best way to learn is to struggle through the material together with less hand-holding as possible. You can still request help from the existing fellows and seniors in the program if you ever get stuck but they are there to help you think and guide you rather than blatantly give you the answer. The topics that are covered are always current with the latest and greatest. During my time we covered algorithms, data structures, DOM Manipulation, React, Node, PostgreSQL, Mongo, and Testing, to name a few. Near the end of the junior phase, you will have an opportunity to work on different projects using the technologies you have learned thus far. In addition to all of these units, we had a number of extra activities like weekly family dinners, circles, hackathons, and Thursday night drinks. This all helped bring the cohorts together and made it feel like we were all part of one team.

    The six weeks of the course focus a big production project that you and your group come up with during ideation week of the program and hiring support. During this time you are encouraged to include technologies that you have not learned thus far to include in your project. It was a bit overwhelming at first to apply new technologies to our projects, but the first six weeks taught me a very valuable lesson which is learning how to learn, knowing what to do when you get stuck. Through our research were able to overcome any blocks that we encountered at a much faster pace than I thought we could.

    Comparing myself to before I started this program and I realized how much I have grown as an engineer, a mentor, and just overall being okay with not knowing everything but also having the ability to overcome blocks. Now I'm not saying it's easy, there were very long strenuous days and a lot of material to go over, but if you're committed to growing as an empathetic and confident engineer then there is no better place than Codesmith. If you're still on the fence I would recommend attending their JavaScipt the Hard Parts classes and I will promise you will not be disappointed.

  • Jimmy  User Photo
    Jimmy • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate Verified via Linkedin
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    Having experienced JSHP several times before, during, and after my Codesmith experience, I know that it can be extremely valuable for coders at every level from novice to advance. I would say that JSHP is the most valuable for the intermediate to advance developer who has had a lot of experience using javascript for algorithms or practical applications like dynamic websites or small apps. For many, JSHP will be the first deep dive under the hood of how javascript works, exploring higher order functions, callbacks, and clojures. I believe OOP will be offered soon as well if it hasn't been already. The workshops are mostly lead by Will Sentance, Codesmith's CEO who leads much of the Codesmith core curriculum along side other experiened engineers. JSHP is definitely a jewel in the LA tech scene. For the price of $0, you get access to a pretty awesome community, free education, and usually a few beers if you like. I can't reccommend it enough, you have to check it out!

  • Trung  User Photo
    Trung • Fullstack • Student Verified via GitHub
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    One of the best decisions I ever made in my life is going to Codesmith. Back in 2016, I actually got accepted into all the top 3 boot camps in CA: Hack Reactor at SF, App Academy and Codesmith. I didn't even consider others because all the other boot camps including Hack Reactor at LA (but in reality MarketSquare) are nowhere near those top boot camps. 

    App Academy could be as cheap as $5k if you don’t get a job. For me, not getting a job was never an option anyway.

    Did I choose Codesmith because I think I would fail at Hack Reactor or App Academy? No, definitely not. Becoming a software engineer is a choice that I made and I knew that if I worked hard enough then no matter where I started from, I would become successful. 

    I knew at Codesmith I would have to work hard. But if you want to become a software engineer and don't want to work hard, that is impossible. Everyone at Codesmith, even the brightest (ESPECIALLY the brightest) worked super hard every night. To me and my cohort mate, 11 pm was too early to go home. (Definitely not for the parking police).

    However, if you want your job search to be a much nicer experience, Codesmith has a strong support team who will go all the way just to make sure that all of your correspondences are written beautifully. Thank Haley, Hira and all the staff who have been making my job search process much easier.

    Why did I choose Codesmith? 

    1. A graduate from Codesmith LA with an average of 100k compared to a 100k in San Francisco is very different. San Francisco has a higher cost of living.
    2. Codesmith costs less than other two.
    3. Codesmith projects have reached new height. Check out Reactide with 7k stars on GitHub or webDSP. Guess where those projects were made.
    4. Codesmith class sizes are much smaller than the other two. Look at Hack Reactor's video and see if every student has a seat. On top of that, there isn’t enough support from the staff after graduation.
    5. Codesmith really cares more about student success than other programs, and will do whatever they can to help you. I was an out-of-state student who wanted to change my life. Codesmithhelped me and continues to help me so much that I truly believe that there is no other program who would even consider doing the same thing.
    6. You can figure this one out yourself after coming to CodesmithThursday night for JavaScript: The Hard Parts. Seriously, talk to Victoria or Will or anyone of us who came out of Codesmith. I do believe it will change your life forever. 

  • Dhani Mayfield  User Photo
    Dhani Mayfield • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Let's talk about transforming yourself. You very well may be at the initial steps I was only a few short months ago. What's in consideration is an arena of challenge, unfamiliarity, and creativity.

     

    I wince from the urge to say the word 'given' when referring to Codesmith. It isn't a word that is necessarily bad. Yet it draws unnecessary focus and doesn't reflect what you ultimately gain from such an experience. Nonetheless I will start with what Codesmith does in fact "provide".

     

    1) An intensive multidimensional curriculum

    2) Exceptional professional advice

    3) Career support and networking

     

    The underlying brilliance of Codesmith however is missed in this simple list. Codesmith more so than any other verb cultivates marvelous things in the individuals who attend the program. This is of course because the Codesmith environment and community is ingrained with an altruistic spirit to propel others.

     

    If you were in search of a big reveal in to why Codesmith is a superb choice - this is it. In the field of accelerated learning Codesmith reaches the greatest of heights by living the words "We are all excellent, and we will grow to be more excellent." It is a beautiful thing.

     

    Codesmith brings its residents in as family. This is an enormous backbone of support you may never see outside of your very own family. As it must, the program unleashes the gamut of web and software development obstacles. This is never an exciting part when I am talking about Codesmith. I am of the believe that the spoken material can be learned quite isolated with only the right handful of books. Torturous yet possible. What develops as you grind unit by unit is ability of course. As you take in your surroundings you realize the community is at your finger tips. When you stumble then stumble and your ready to not take another thrust up you are brought up by your cohort mates. Finally, when you have seen so much of the process that looking back you see the pattern of challenge, resilience, and accomplishment you realize a tremendous confidence.

     

    Codesmith is a great whirlwind. I have probably not given justice to what I truly believe it is. Though what I know it is not is a magic door to success. Be prepared to join something that deserves your all if you attend Codesmith. It is a place that you should make the most of and that will be so many levels past the industry curriculum.  

  • Brandon Yuan  User Photo
    Brandon Yuan • Front End Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Two things really stuck with after graduating from Codesmith – 1) the process is sometimes much more important than the end result, and 2) having a caring community makes any challenge seem possible. 

    Codesmith chooses to teach through doing rather than through lecture – which may seem frustrating at first, especially if you’re more used to the academic life, but yields amazing results as long as you stick with it.  By being forced to dig through the documentation and online resources (you basically become a Google master) to find what you’re looking for, you end up having a deeper understanding of the material than if you had just listened to a lecture.  You also pick up a lot of other information along the way.  What might’ve been an assignment on React might somehow lead to learning how to utilize a browser’s local cache.  The beauty in it is that it all is somehow connected, so every bit you pick up might be useful in the future. 

    But, just because Codesmith teaches by doing, doesn’t mean that you’re on your own.  Throughout most of the program, you’ll be paired up with another cohort mate as the two of you work your way through each unit.  There are also Fellows (former graduates) who will help guide you when you’re truly stuck.  At first I was a little skeptical of being guided by those who just finished the program a few weeks ago, but I quickly grew to appreciate them, not only because of the vast knowledge they provided, but also because of the empathy they were able to provide, having gone through the program themselves.  Which brings me to my second point – the community.    

    The community here is why I chose Codesmith over all the other programs of similar nature.  I remember going to one of the Javascript the Hard Parts meetup (which you should definitely check out) and having some members of the current cohort at that time guide us through the problem sets we were doing.  Not only did they take time out of their busy schedule to walk us through the fundamentals, they were never demeaning or short tempered with us when we needed more than one explanation.  It was then that I thought to myself, these are the kind of people that Codesmith admits, and that’s the kind of learning environment that fosters healthy growth.  My feelings towards that only got stronger as I went through the program with my own cohort mates.  Never would I have imagined that I would get along with such a diverse group of people.  We struggled together, we succeeded together, we cried together, we grew together.  During this process, you’ll find out that sometimes the best way to learn something and grow as a person is not to charge ahead and consume as much knowledge as you can, but instead to slow down and help those around you understand.  I’ll be honest, there were times where I was on the brink of tears because the material was just not making sense.  If I were by myself, I would have probably called it quits a long time ago.  But, the best part about being at Codesmith is that your cohorts mates, along with the staff there, won’t let you do that.  They won’t let you fall into a slump of self-defeat and depression.  They’ll stay with you – after hours and on weekends – trying all kind of methods until you can grasp the material.  Because they all know what it feels like to not understand and to feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t seem to get it.  That’s why I chose Codesmith over all the others. 

     

    TL;DR – you’ll struggle, you’ll think you aren’t smart enough, you’ll get angry and frustrated.  But stick it through, and remember that your cohort mates and the Codesmith staff are always there for you.  In a blink of an eye, you’ll find yourself helping someone else with something that you struggled with just a few weeks ago, and you’ll see the fear lift from their eyes.  And that…that is a great feeling.

  • Scott  User Photo
    Scott • Front End Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    From the moment you think about applying to Codesmith you are welcomed with open arms into the community through the opportunity to attend many of their free weekly meetups. These provide a chance to extend your solo learning by diving into how Javascript actually works and beginning to code with others.

    The Codesmith process is not for everyone - which is why it has longer hours than other programs but offers a more extensive curriculum, a final project phase where some student projects have received 4000+ stars on Github, and a culture that fosters teamwork and a striving for excellence.

    From day one you are thrown into a world of problem solving. Guided by top teachers you are introduced to new concepts and then work through a well thought out curriculum in 2 day sprints. The sprints always seemed to hit the middle ground of difficulty with most students having just enough time to refactor their code and walk through it with fellow students. At any point in time (even staying past their work hours till 11pm most nights) Codesmith staff is available to guide you to the solution through the Socratic method. Instead of just giving you an answer the staff engages you in a back and forth conversation until you feel the slight warmth of a lightbulb above your head.

    You'll do these sprints by pair programming with another student in your class and this is where you learn the soft skills that will allow you to excel in the workplace. Former bartenders work with ex investment bankers, students fresh out of college with an engineering degree code alongside former salespeople - this is how you grow your empathy, technical and personal communication skills and openness to others' ways of thinking. 

    All bootcamps will promise you the world, Codesmith included. It's up to you as an individual to take advantage of what is being offered to you. After careful consideration I decided Codesmith had the most to offer me. As a result I went from beginning to learn how to code on my own in September, joining the November cohort and receiving a job offer three weeks after graduation.

    If you had asked me if I thought I would have been programming professional a year ago the answer would be no. Yet here I am thanks to the Codesmith ethos and the people it brings together. When looking to join a bootcamp understand that who you will be going to class with every day is just as important as the class itself. If you talk to anyone at Codesmith you'll immediately understand why the application process is more rigorous than other schools. As they tell you about the long nights they spent building developer tools or learning about data structures you'll see the grin on their face as they reminisce about the experience.

  • Kevin   User Photo
    Kevin • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    About Me

    I found my love for programming while studying at UCLA. I had taken a few classes in C++ but I kept telling myself that it was too late to change my major. During my senior year, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to deploy a website that is still hosted by UCLA, but I still kept telling myself that it was too late. I tried searching for an entry-level programming job coming out of college, but without a CS degree, it seemed nearly impossible. And so, I decided to chase my other dream and become a sushi chef. Fast forward a year later and I find myself itching to code.

    My Realization

    I attended Javascript The Hard Parts for the first time in December 2016 and little did I know, it would leave such a lasting impact on me. The first lesson I attended was on Javascript Closures. Will Sentance, the CEO of Codesmith blew me away with his passion and desire to share his knowledge. I knew that at that moment, I had to get into Codesmith. I really wanted to be part of this engineering community.

    The 13-Week Immersive

    Codesmith was a tough 13 weeks but if you have the grit and determination to push through it, you're gonna have one hell of a good time. Not only does Codesmith build a strong HTML, CSS, and Javascript foundation, but the program also offers popular frameworks such as Angular and React. You get to dive into building SQL and NoSQL databases and you learn the power of single-threaded Node Servers. But most important of all, you meet some really great people. The Codesmith staff is super supportive, even after you graduate! And your chortmates will keep you motivated.

    Life after Codesmith

    Finding a job is never easy. But two weeks out of the program and I am now employed at a company that I'm super excited to be at. People may tell you that it's impossible to come out of a bootcamp and get hired as a software engineer making 6 figures... well they're right. But Codesmith is NOT a bootcamp. Codesmith is an engineering residency. It's a place where aspiring engineers can grow into seasoned software developers.

  • Jimmy  User Photo
    Jimmy • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    If you're considering a bootcamp, do yourself a favor and don't mistake Codesmith for one. For the money, good bootcamps take in new comers, hobbyists, and amateurs and do wonders in preparing them for entry level junior roles. By contrast, Codesmith does this for free. If you want a junior role, start coming to Codesmith where they've cultivated a community created by and for engineers. Regular discussions and workshops expounding on topics from fundamentals to advanced software engineering topics are offered free of charge on a weekly basis. Free of charge. Several times a week. Every week. For free. Meet other like-minded people passionate about engineering. Learn from them and you can teach yourself how to code and probably get a job if you're keen.

    If you want to take the next step in your career as a software engineer, as I did, prepare rigorously for the Codesmith admission process and submit an application. Prepare to fail the interview, study, and apply again. Even through failure, you've improved yourself ten-fold. But if you've truly dedicated yourself and committed to becoming the type of engineer who can solve any problem, you might get a chance of a life time.

    The Codesmith approach borrows from a pedagogical model practiced by the world's best institutions, reconfiguring that model to meet modern educational needs. It takes a fraction of the time a traditional computer science program needs to prepare you. Although it's also not an equivalent, the approach awards you valuable, hands-on knowledge in place of theory. Part of the program is dedicated to bringing you up to speed with the most current technologies in the javascript ecosystem. We're talking MVC/MVVC, TDD, and RESTful architectures in addition to modern frontend frameworks like React (check out the website for more details) . Don't expect a lot of hand holding here. By design, you are meant to grow by hitting blocks in knowledge, which tests your ability to grow as an engineer. All the while, the instructors keep a close watch, taking care to intervene only when necessary. 

    The majority of the time at Codesmith is dedicated to building. Developer tools, client-facing applications, javascript libraries---take your pick. You take the knowledge you've gained up untill that point and create something for the community. The open-source projects built at Codesmith are regularly featured on hacker news and the like. In fact, a recent cohort's project was featured on the main stage at Google I/O (check out WebDSP). What 'bootcamp' can say that? The answer is none. Only a program like Codesmith can put out projects of this level of quality.

    To offer my own experience, which is shared by many, I was a self-taught programmer with a non-technical background (accounting and non-profit administration). In terms of academic performance, I was about average, something I take pride in given the level of ability among my peers, which included experienced engineers, recent cs graduates, and some 'non-technical' folks like me. In terms of projects, my team developed an application commissioned by a real company for its userbase. Afterward, I was lucky enough to earn a fellowship, where I had the opportunity to contribute as an engineer and mentor others. When my fellowship ended, I prepared myself to begin a full-fledged job search which I thought would last up to an additional three months. But instead, I received my first offer from a Codesmith hiring partner exactly one day after and I'm now happily employed as a full stack engineer earning a competitive salary.

    Simply put, the program works and I changed my life by deciding to come here. Just do yourself a favor and check it out for yourself. See you there.

  • Patrick Divine  User Photo
    Patrick Divine • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Codesmith is about people. People and code.

     

    Before Joining Codesmith

    In mid-2016, I found myself in the middle of coding hell. I was a junior-level dev working or projects that went live before they should have, in an environment that lacked engineering best practices, without the skills I needed to keep up or even understand fully what was going on. In short, I needed a change.

    That change came about serendipitously, when I learned about Codesmith, a coding immersive program, from a an acquaintance at a mutual friend’s party. He was starting Codesmith just that next week and everything he said about it sounded exactly like what I was thirsting for. Full stack, Mongo, Postgres, Angular, ReactJs, Node, Fundamentals, Fundamentals, Fundamentals. Not only that, but the school was in Playa Vista, literally 15 minutes from where I worked in Culver City.

    My now friend told me there was a weekly meeting called “Javascript The Hard Parts” on Thursdays and that I should go. That Thursday I was there.

    The double doors of the elevator opened up and I had an immediate “yes” feeling when I stepped onto the top floor. I signed in after a warm welcome and joined my fellow meetupers in the main lecture room.

    The rest of the night was a series of “yeses.” Will Sentence, the CEO — “yes.” The community of developers — “yes.” The electricity of those in the program, and the knowledge they had — “yes.” But most importantly, I left that night with fundamentals — insights into programming — that I never had before. “Callbacks”, “Higher-order functions,” the “Closure (the closed over variable environment),” variable environment, the call-stack, hoisting, execution context, thread of execution, …, it goes on.

    As I left, exhausted, I reflected on my wobbly coding ability and thought, “How can I con my way into Codesmith?” It felt like a matter of survival. I NEEDED this.

    I didn’t make it into Codesmith after my first interview. I made it after the second one, after postponing it an additional week for some additional intense studying on the feedback I received from the first.

    After waiting nervously by the phone one Thursday afternoon, my phone rang. It was Will Sentence. I was in.

     

    The Codesmith Experience

    If you want to truly learn a foreign language what do you do? You immerse yourself in it. You go to a country that speaks the language and you stay there until you know it — until it becomes so much apart of you that you think in it.

    Codesmith is a software immersive program that turns junior devs into mid-level devs and mid-level devs into senior. It demands a level of intensity that only those passionate about problem solving in code are able to sustain. The average week was Monday through Friday, 9 am sharp to 10pm, and Saturday, 9am to 5pm. 

     

    The People

    Codesmith is the most selective coding program in the country. This means that your peers are not only scary smart, but also some of the best community-focused, supportive people you’ll meet in your life. This is a necessary part of the program. Just as if you are to learn a foreign language, you have to be able to “talk” code, internalize it. I only understood some of the nuances of coding because of the in-depth conversations I had with my peers. Everyone had an insight and a different way of explaining every concept. To learn to code you have to “boil the ocean,” but if a partner already boiled a concept, you’ll just need to boil a pond. These conversations are invaluable.

     

    The Instruction

    Codesmith hires seasoned battle-tested engineers as instructors. Our instructor was Dan Carr, a brilliant seasoned engineer with years of experience and relationships with some of the most prestigious companies on the planet. Not only did he have a vast coding instinct, but a “gut” ability to communicate his understanding in every lecture. On top of his innate teaching ability, he is truly one of the coolest, approachable dudes you will ever meet. He puts his students first and is always open to dialogue, even (maybe even especially) post-graduation.

    In our feedback to Codesmith, our was response about Dan was always, “give him a raise.” He is truly one of the highlights of my experience at Codesmith.

     

    The Projects

    Each lecture, as can be expected, is followed by a project to apply the concepts learned in a concrete way. This is where the “sweat and blood” goes. These projects are NOT easy.

    It’s been said about Codesmith that not only does it teaches you to code, it teaches you to learn. It is here that concepts move beyond ideas and become emotions. If you and your partner spend 45 minutes of frustration on a problem and finally succeed, you will both remember the story of that problem. It will no longer be a transient concept, like one of those you memorized to pass a test, but an ingrained part of yourself that you “feel” in your gut. Each lecture is followed by a challenge that will make you an independent problem solver. This “sweat equity” turns knowledge into understanding.

     

    The Final Project

    The course ends with a final project. You are broken off into groups and together you come up with ideas to present to the staff and your peers. The criteria for an acceptable final project can be summed up as, “Is it impossible?” If the answer is yes, then you’ll be allowed to proceed. There is no such thing as a CRUD (a simple web app) app being allowed as a final project. To be an engineer is to approach problems that do not currently have a solution. These projects are of senior engineer level, and are tools that provide solutions to problems that engineers face out in the field. 

    My team’s project, for example, was deploying a library for developers to easily create a database on the distributed blockchain technology, Ethereum.

    It was here that our knowledge was solidified and we became surgeons with code as our scalpel. 

     

    Post Graduation

    I entered Codesmith as a junior-level dev, having minor on-the-job experience in coding, and after three months (~1,000 hours later) was able to secure a mid-level (100K+) position shortly (about 3 weeks) after graduation.

    Part of the job search was networking via meetups and speaking to graduates from other coding programs. I was politely silent as I listened to them vent about their “horrible, competitive, non-supportive peers” and how “we’re junior devs, there’s nothing we can do.”

    Codesmith was genuinely a life changer for me. It helped me make one of the toughest transitions in my life. I went into Codesmith as a junior dev and came out a mid-level dev, as promised. I know for a fact, instinctually, that Codesmith was the best choice I could have made in a school. The other schools’ curriculums are either too soft or the culture is too cold.

    Codesmith is about pain. To succeed, you have to be sincere about your intention to make a certain but drastic change in your life.

    A few months after graduation, I find myself reflecting, “How do I measure up to my co-workers who may have a more traditional path to engineering? Am I on par with these other mid-level engineers that I work with.” The answer is a resounding “yes.” I am able to contribute to the team at the same or, often, better level than they can. Codesmith instilled an intuition in me that other developers may not have.

    There are a lot of factors in success. If I could boil them down, I would name attitude, focus, and education. Codesmith provides the education element. The rest is up to you.

  • Will Barnes  User Photo
    Will Barnes • Fullstack Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    TL;DR Codesmith is dificult from start to finish. It is not easy, but for every hour you spend it will reward you 10 fold. It will take serious time, determination, and motivation, but it is worth it in the long run.

     

    Codesmith was without a doubt the best decision I have made in a very long time. It was not an easy process or stress free. This program is not for the feint of heart. It is a fight to get admitted. Then it is an even bigger fight to make it through. But this is what makes Codesmith the amazing place that it is.

    First getting in requires lots of time and dedication. I was previously a juniorish or lower front end developer. Just to get in, I was working 30 hours a week studying and teaching myself. Trying to make sure I hit the bar. When it happened I was ecstatic. I was through the roof happy. I got through the precourse work and then it was time to start.

    I got there and day 1 the work started. Every person in the room was there because they were highly motivated, wanted to better themselves and equally cared about every other person in the room. I don't think any one person in my cohort could have gotten through if it wasn't for the community that Codesmith fights to cultivate. Every single person is not there just for themselves, we were there for eachother. We were a team. We didn't compete with eachother. We helped eachother. Any time that one of us struggled, before we could ask for help someone that was excelling in the current days sprint would be over to help out. The program runs from 9 am to 8 pm Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. But I think I showed up around 8:15 every day and there were always at least a few other people that were already there. And leaving at 8, it never happened. We weren't required to stay, but we became a family. After 8, we would still code, but it was social. We would play ping pong, relax, code more, hang out, just talk about life. It was a common occurence that no one would leave before 10. And it was just because we all wanted to spend time together. Six months later, I still talk to just about everyone in my cohort weekly. We grew a bond in three months that I didn't know was possible.

    After Codesmith, I became an engineer in residence for three months and then did some independent contract development work for them for 6 weeks after that. I'm not going to talk much about the fellowship other than to say it was an amazing experience. And if you do end up choosing Codesmith, I highly recommend applying for the position.

    Now onto my job search, it started a little rough but the with help of Eric and Hira things quickly picked up. I ended up getting several offers over 100k. But ended up taking a much lower offer as a senior fullstack rails/swift developer. I had barely worked with Rails before and had never touched swift. The offer was lower, but I knew the financials of the startup and the offer was what they could financially muster. I also loved the team and the product. Now, how I got a senior position writing two languages I was unfamiliar with. I had talked with the VP of Product before my final technical interview, and he knew I was a senior Fullstack Javascript developer. But he threw me right into both languages I didn't know in the interview. When I got the offer, he told me the exact reason they wanted to hire me and would rather have me then someone that was well versed in Rails and Swift. The process that Codesmith had instilled in me. I might not have known how to setup a Single View application in swift or how to build an API in rails, but I had learned at Codesmith how to learn how to do these things on the fly. I was not just a Javascript developer in their eyes. I proved I was a software developer. I had learned to love to test my code. And to write tests even before I started coding. I might not have done things neccesarily the rails way or the swift way, but in a few hours I was able to show my process of learning a new language and getting into a new language. I was able to show that a new language to me is just another tool, not a foreign language that I just didn't know. Codesmith taught me how to do this.

    Final thoughts, Codesmith is not easy. It is a lot of long and stressful days. But the education, team, and community are bar none of the highest possible quality.

  • Andres  User Photo
    Andres • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    This is gonna be short and honest-

    Codesmith is a great school that I would highly recommend to anyone trying to break into the industry. Curriculum is up-to-date and taught well. I learned a ton and received all the assistance I wanted in my job search.

    That being said, I don't agree with everyone who gives Codesmith a straight five stars. I think they do that because they know how competitive the coding bootcamp space is, but I doubt there is a program out there that is perfect and deserves perfect scores. 

    The head instuctor is the best, but I think my cohort that graduated in January was the biggest they had ever had, and because of this we had to rely on each other for help more so than instructors or fellows (probably true even for small cohorts). To be honest, beyond the first half of the program the fellows weren't really helpful. 

    There are a couple of other small gripes I have with Codesmith but they aren't worth mentioning. The positives outweigh the negatives and I think if you are the right type of candidate you can gain a lot from the program. 

  • Beyond Measurement
    - 4/13/2017
    Thai-Duong Nguyen  User Photo
    Thai-Duong Nguyen • Technical Lead • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    TL;DR - There's no TL;DR version of my review. Those who have what it takes to get into Codesmith are hungry for information, and are not put off by reading to gain insight.

    Before you begin with my review, you deserve to know that my review will be of a different perspective than most reviews you'll read, as upon graduation I did not follow through with my original plan of searching for a software engineering position at various companies that I originally had my eye on. I instead found that my fondness and infatuation with Codesmith's community had grown to a fully-blossomed love-affair that prompted me to apply to the fellowship. Being fortunate enough to be chosen not only as fellow but later on as Technical Lead, I am now still at Codesmith holding the latter position. I impart upon you the perspective of a former student and current staff member.

    In every metric by which it can be judged, the engineering hub known as Codesmith performs with outstanding results. I hold this as a fact, after receiving feedback from various alumni--including my cohort-mates, who have embarked on career-paths that most of them did not think were possible only a few months ago. But metrics can be easily obtained from other sources, so I'll assume that the circumstances that led to your eyes absorbing my review involve a desire to gain a sense of the immeasurable. Thus, I will omit the statistics and contents of the curriculum, in favor of conveying the intangible aspects of my journey that began more than six months ago.

    On a summer Thursday when the elevator doors opened up to Codesmith's JavaScript: The Hard Parts Meetup for the first time, I was not able to measure nor appreciate the importance of some of the individuals I would meet that night. One would become my first friend within the cohort I would eventually join. Another would become a fellow at Codesmith, and thus my coworker for a period of time (and friend for all the time after that). A third would become my production project partner during the second half of my time as a student.

    Throughout more Meetup events at the residency, I would eventually meet even more faces that would become part of my cohort, and thus part of a group of friends that I cannot see as anything less than life-long. After a second Hard Parts attendance and applying to the program (with encouragement from a then-junior during drinks after the Meetup), I gained acceptance to the September 2016 cohort. There was still more than a month before our start date, and I planned on taking advantage of the time to prepare myself for the upcoming immersive experience.

    During this month prior to the first day, I invited four others who were part of my cohort to sleep over at my place to watch an 8-hour Kyle Simpson live broadcast that began at 7am the next day. I did not anticipate the readiness with which they accepted the offer. They were as dedicated to learn as anyone I had met my entire life, and I had already been through college with people who fell asleep with their heads on keyboards and books.

    As atypical as this dedication to growth is among most people, it was strikingly commonplace among the characters I would meet once school began at Codesmith. In fact, not a single person lacked this trait. Throughout the many unit modules and projects of the curriculum, it had become clear that the interview process was marked with such selectiveness that no one was accepted unless they exhibited the grit and commitment that would often persist well beyond the daily schedule, and into the late hours of the night.

    Past mid-December, when the applications for the fellowship were released, the staff announced that there were two positions open. There were twenty-five members of my cohort, and many of us applied to take on the position of the individuals who had chosen to dedicate themselves to helping students instead of immediately searching for six-figure salaries. Knowing how many well-qualified applicants there were, I was humbled to be one of the two chosen fellows.

    In the ensuing three months, I came to grow much more than I had anticipated, like the previous three months. Being charged with many duties relating to the growth of the engineering hub and of the pupils, I came to gain a higher understanding of my thinking process through introspection. This enabled me to describe my problem-solving strategy to the student body much more effectively. I had not experienced such a literal and real incarnation of the phrase "Learn through teaching."

    After becoming part of the staff, I now see how real the dedication to every student really is. I had caught of a glimpse of it when I applied to the program and subsequently heard (during the acceptance call) my own quotes that helped the staff know how I would fit into the community. I first thought it must have taken a lot of effort to keep up with the mental, emotional, and academic well-being of every student. But now as a mentor, I believe it would take a lot of effort not to watch over every student carefully, as they are all part of a community that I help shape and foster.

    Throughout all of my years on this Earth, I have never seen such a marriage of dedication and community like that which has been exemplified in all of my previous six months, having been a student and a fellow at Codesmith. Having been graced with the opportunity to become Technical Lead, ending this review seems oddly inappropriate, as my time at Codesmith has not ended. But delaying the submission of this review would be just as inappropriate, as one of the many things that my experience with the Codesmith community has taught me is that there is no reason for delay.

  • Life Choices
    - 4/10/2017
    Schno Mozingo  User Photo
    Schno Mozingo • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    So many life choices in the course of my forty-five years... some brilliant, others... not so brilliant.

    Circumstances led to one not-so-brilliant move as I dropped out of school after the tenth grade.  I then spent a couple of years living on and off the street (and the 'off' wasn't so very removed).  From a little town in Alabama to Atlanta to New Orleans, I made my way on the kindness of strangers and by plying my questionable needle-and-thread tattooing expertise.  

    I remember listening to Pink Floyd a lot back then.  There's a lovely song on 'Dark Side of the Moon' called Time.  I'm sure you've heard it.  There's a few lines from that song that haunted me as a young street urchin:

    You are young and life is long / And there is time to kill today

    And then one day you find / Ten years have got behind you

    No one told you when to run / You missed the starting gun

    I certainly didn't want to miss the starting gun, but it felt like I'd just been dealt a bad hand in life.  And then, a wise friend that I met during that time gave me some valuable advice.  "Schno", he said, "there's two types of people in the world: those that are controlled by their environment and those that control their environment.  It's your choice which of those you will be.  All you have to do is make that choice and take action on it."

    Such a simple thing to say.  It worked.  I decided to change my environment.  This led to many adventures over many years that spanned the globe.  I joined the Navy, then worked in movies, which brought me to LA.  Then in 1996 I pivoted sharp to begin my career as a developer, first at NASDAQ, and then in the phone sex industry (of all things).  An unfortunate lay-off in 2014 had me turning to acting, (and then quickly on to) VoIP, and finally... I came to CodeSmith.

    I know that's what you've come here to read about.  Before I leave my review, I just want to reiterate that profound and simple message to you, dear reader.  If it feels like you've been dealt a bad hand and you're not sure what path to take to move forward: All you have to do is make that choice and take action on it.

    I'm pleased to say that CodeSmith was one of my more brilliant life choices.  I found my way to one of their free, weekly 'JavaScript: The Hard Parts' classes and I knew that this was where I was going to rediscover my love for building things with code.

    I had always thought of coding as wizardry… you could take a thought, a concept, and then by applying an arcane language, you could manifest all manner of wondrous things that made people's lives better.  Over the years I'd lost a bit of that perspective.  Codesmith has re-ignited my intellectual curiosity and the passion to explore it.

    The course is very challenging.  They foster a very real standard for excellence and that resonates through each student.  This isn't the kind of place to 'get by'.  It's the kind of place that changes your life.

    For a detailed accounting of my time there, please check out the weekly blog I kept while I was a student.

    And if you find yourself in Los Angeles with a free Thursday night, do yourself a favor.  It may just be the first step on a grand, new adventure.

  • Mark M  User Photo
    Mark M • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    TLDR;

    • Incredibly high standards for quality of achievement, work ethic, technical and non-technical communication as practiced by both their graduates and staff
    • 3-4% acceptance rate
    • A focus on advanced developer tools, open-source, and cutting-edge technologies (JavaScript focused curriculum but projects built in C++, Python, etc.)
    • Not scaled or franchised = total dedication to each student
    • Recent grads are having the highest student outcomes for salary offers in the nation
    • Cool workspace centered in "Silicon Beach" (just call it Playa Vista)

    Compared to other programs

    I was looking for the best program in terms of academic quality and hiring support. I open to move, but being a father, I also had a limited amount of time so a two-year masters program was not an option.

    I narrowed down my search to App Academy, Hack Reactor, and Codesmith. Codesmith stood out for having the most modern stack of technologies covered, the enthusiasm their graduates had for the program, and the student production projects were far more advanced than any program including the universities including projects that have revieved media coverage and recognized by leaders in technology.

    The application and interviewing process

    The interview process is less about judging what you know and more about demonstrating your ability to communicate through tough challenges and your passion to push through. I was able to learn which areas I needed to work on in case I needed to try again. They always welcome retrying.

    Work, life, culture

    There were real sacrifices including a pause on work and social life and very limited time with my family. On the other hand, I could see no other way to have a career transformation than this. Also, it was all temporary and the internal support from Codesmith was always there for me.

    Going through this journey with a community of like-minded individuals was beyond fun. You get the opportunity to work with talented, driven people who are on your same path and equally dedicated to reaching success. Everyday was filled with team wins and high-fives that kept us pushing forward to bigger challenges.

    The regular ping-pong breaks and walks to nearby restaurants and bars in the tech-savvy Playa Vista area was also pretty vital in keeping us sane, too.

    Curriculum

    Codesmith focuses on full stack development with technologies that are the most in demand today but also for the next few years. It focuses on JavaScript because of its ability be used in so many technical specialties, but also for it’s ability to help learn other software languages. It’s not uncommon for production projects to include C++, WebAssembly, Python, machine learning, etc. The curriculum focuses of advanced problem solving strategies that build students' abilities to learn in an accelerated manor throughout their careers in a constantly changing industry.

    Hiring Support

    In addition to a highly selective hiring day, Codesmith has an entire team of entrepreneurs and hiring support staff that are a phone call away that help alumni with networking, negotiations, and interviews. Alumni also have access to office space and interview prep after graduating.

    Recent graduates are finding themselves in senior level engineering positions at Microsoft, Amazon, LinkedIn, Nike, WalmartLabs, TBWA Chiat Day, NFL, etc. with salary offers well over six figures. When adjusting to costs-of-living, Codesmith’s recent grads boast the most successful salary offers in the nation.

    Conclusion

    This program is not for everyone. With a 3-4% acceptance rate, Codesmith diligently picks only the most passionate, driven, and valuable team-focused individuals who are willing to work towards aspirations beyond any other program. There was a lot of lost sleep, and even sometimes tears, but ultimately I feel truly honored to be a part of a industry leading community who I always plan on always contributing to. Though only two-years old, I’m looking forward to see them progress as they produce the future leaders of software engineering.

  • Matt  User Photo
    Matt • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    In retrospective, choosing to come to Codesmith was the best decision I could have made. The curriculum and hiring preparation are as rigorous as anything I've seen, which can probably be expected. The focus that they put on community and supporting each other makes for an incredibly positive experience. Everybody at Codesmith (students and staff) supports each other far more than what I have experienced at other jobs or educational institutions.

    But make no mistake, this is a very productive work environment and they expect a lot from you during the 12 weeks. The quality and scope of the production projects are substantial, and in addition to the fantastic experience, I have something to show that I am very excited to talk to future employers and other people about.

  • Daniel  User Photo
    Daniel • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    TL;DR: Codesmith is an amazing program that will help you to make the transition into being a leading software engineer. The curriculum is excellent, the staff is top-notch, and the community and culture are second to none.

    With that out of the way, let's talk specifics about the curriculum, instruction, community, and hiring support.

    Curriculum

    The Codesmith curriculum was designed with the current state of the software industry in mind. As such, modern tools such as React, Redux, Webpack, and ES2015 are emphasized throughout. That being said, the curriculum's main focus is building students' skills at engineering thinking, technical problem solving, and communication, so that graduates of the program can be flexible engineers and not tied to any particular technologies. To achieve this goal, the curriculum also contains lessons on algorithms, data structures, deep Javascript fundamentals, build tools, and testing.

    Instruction

    Before I made this transition into Software Engineering, I spent 6 years as a high school teacher teaching math, physics, principles of engineering, and computer science principles, and I have been consistently amazed by how much Codesmith gets right, pedagogically speaking.

    One of the most important things that I learned during my time as a high school teacher is: The one who is thinking is the one who is learning. In a typical lecture, the teacher is the one who is thinking, but when students learn by doing, it is the students who are thinking. Codesmith students spend the bulk of the time during the first four weeks pair-programming on code challenges, which range from algorithm and data-structure challenges, to browser-based games, to REST-ful API development. Although a help-desk is available, they do not hold your hand at all, and a significant emphasis is placed on students being self-sufficient by seeking out advice from their peers, Google, Stack Overflow, and other resources. This can be frustrating at times, but it is important to understand that time spent struggling through confusion is not wasted. In fact, that is when you are learning the most, and you will get through it with the help of the supportive, caring community that they build. Which brings me to...

    Community

    One of the things that really stood out to me about Codesmith when I was first looking in to coding bootcamps is how hard they work to build an inclusive, inviting, and supportive community between current students, professional engineers, and amateur programming enthusiasts. When selecting who will be admitted into the program, they focus not just on the person's technical skill, but on their communication skills, empathy, and culture fit as well. The 12 week program is very demanding, and the level of support that I felt from the staff and my fellow students was what allowed me to grow as much as I did in the program.

    Hiring Support

    A lot of time is spent on hiring preparation and support during the last 6 weeks of the program. However, what really stood out to me about the hiring support was what happened after the program was over. I reached out to Will, Eric, and Hira frequently to ask them for advice specific to my situation, and they were always very responsive and willing to put the time into helping me personally. I also found that Codesmith alumni were always very excited to talk to people just coming out of the program and to share what their experience was like getting their first software engineering positions. If you take the time to reach out to the staff and alumni, they will be more than happy to give you candid, helpful advice about your particular situation.

    The 12 week program was extremely challenging. However, it has helped me to make a major change in my life in just a few short months, and the amount of support that I felt from the community was incredible. It was a huge risk, and I'm extremely glad that I did it!

  • Ryan  User Photo
    Ryan • Software Engineer • Student Verified via GitHub
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    I graduated in January from Codesmith. It was hard, and frustrating at times but the community that Codesmith has built makes the experience worth it. I accepted a position in a different state near family within 2 months of graduating. Their curriculum is fantastic, job assitance aka Eric and Hira was there every step when I had questions or needed help. Dan is an absolutely fantastic instructor, tons of experience and a pleasure to talk to all the time and run ideas by.  Overall I met tons of great people that still talk in slack every day. Most of us i'd say are hired already or are getting interviews. I feel confident I can join an engineering team and make an impact. 

  • 100% Satisfied
    - 2/18/2017
    Max M  User Photo
    Max M • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I just finished up at Codesmith and don't think I could have made a better choice. Codesmith's top priority is fostering an inclusive, supportive community of dedicated problem solvers. The curriculum is as up-to-date as possible within an industry that's always changing. We had modules on React + Redux and Build Tools (Webpack), in addition to the more universal JavaScript curriculum. There's also an initial focus on data structures, CS fundamentals, and general algorithms, which I hear is lacking at a lot of other 12 week programs. While there's always assistance available from staff, fellows, mentors, and even the CEO, Codesmith is not a hand-holdy program.

    Engineering best practices are taught through building and diligent problem solving, not by the typical question and answer approach. For some people, this may be perceived as a downside, but for ambitious programmers, it's an amazing environment that comes very close to simulating a real work environment.

    They have top-notch hiring support and place a ton of focus on the job search over the last half of the program, and also encourage alumni to use their facilities (including a dedicated alumni room) after graduating. I feel like I could go on and on about all the positives from my time at Codesmith, but instead, I'll conclude by saying that if you love coding and are serious about advancing your career (this means willing to put in the work and perservering through struggle), then you will not regret coming to Codesmith.

  • David • Graduate
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    Before committing to Codesmith, I’ve researched and considered a lot of different programs.  I had realized that there were some reputable programs, while there were some questionable programs.  I was accepted to two reputable programs, but I knew that I wanted the most challenging experience and knew Codesmith was the right program for me.  

    First, the outcome speaks for itself.  If you need objective evidence, review the CIRR report.  

    Second, the production projects really stand apart from other programs.  The residents tackle and solve real problems faced by software engineers.  You develop a deep knowledge in one area of the technology (not working on projects like Facebook, Yelp or Airbnb clones which seems pretty popular at other programs).  This part really made a big difference in my decision.  

    Third, the admission process was rigorous so I knew that the standards of the cohort would be high.  I wanted to be around smart, high potential people.  

    Fourth, I didn’t know much at the time, but the hiring support has been amazing.  I can’t speak about other programs, but Codesmith been great so far in this aspect. In fact, I think that the outcome of this program is the result of its hiring program.  Every program teaches open source technologies like React, so what differentiates Codesmith from the rest is its hiring program.

    If you want to take you skills from zero to 60, consider other programs.  But if you want to take your skills from 20 to 120, this is the program for you. 

     

     

  • Tayvon • Backend Engineer • Student
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    I can't say enough good things about my experience with Codesmith. After graduating with my Bachelors in Computer Science, Codesmith was the next best step for me to go from a junior level to mid-level engineer. The atmosphere and learning environment that they've been able to create through the curriculum and JSHP shows their deep dedication to building and supporting the best engineers in the market. As a Codesmith Resident, I went from not being able to build out a full-stack application, to building out 4 of my own as well as a developer tool — working with bleeding-edge technology. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would. After graduating, they helped me secure and negotiate a six-figure job with an amazing company in the heart of New York. 

  • amazing people
    - 7/29/2019
    Hao Phan • Applicant
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    I’m not sure I can do justice to the amazing people at CodeSmith but I’ll try my best.  I remember reading the awesome reviews about the CodeSmith program while I was in living abroad several years ago and I wished that I had the opportunity to be a part of all the awesomeness that was described. Fast forward to today and I can say that the I had a chance to get a small taste of the real thing and it is richer and more impactful than I could ever imagine.  I cannot say enough about the quality of the people - the teachers are caring, smart, and go above and beyond to help students.  The students, prospective students, and staff that I met at JS the hard parts were intelligent, kind, and really nice to be around.  The people at CodeSmith have done an excellent job of attracting the kind of people who you could imagine having life-long friendships with.  What you’ll find are people from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences.  One of the instructor at JS the hard parts was once homeless, another was a DJ, and another was a college dropout (and I’ve learned since that he was accepted at Google).  To me, this is a place of second chances.  In my technical interview, I wasn't asked about my previous work experience or my college degree or my age.  It seemed like the tests and questions were only to gauge  my motivation and  merit and I appreciated not having to talk about the bad decisions that I have made in my past.  

     
    So I didn’t pass my first technical interview because I didn’t prepare well enough for the communication component. I was given resources to help me prepare for a retest (you’re given 3 opportunities to pass) but because retaking the test meant missing the cohort that I was applying to, I had to give up a small dream I had of joining the immersive program altogether(I have a wife and child so I couldn’t wait). I’ve since found work at a small startup doing some application development and machine learning.  Yet, I do feel a sense of missing out on what I could have been and how much better I would be as a software engineer in the long term. 
     
    I have read so many books and watched so many tutorials over the years to be able to hazily understand Javascript but it took only a few hours at CodeSmith to finally truly understand callbacks,  classes, prototypes, functional programming, and other javascript concepts.  I can easily see how someone who has finished CodeSmith’s program can qualify for mid and senior level positions because they really do teach on a deep level in a way that helps you extend what you know and apply it to solve different kinds of problems.  If you are lucky enough to ever have the opportunity to study at CodeSmith, I would encourage you to do so. I wish I could. 
  • CS Prep 2019
    - 7/27/2019
    Dominic • Student
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    My first experience with Codesmith was with CSX and the weekly L.A. workshops, Intro to Javascript and Hard Parts. At the time, I was brand new to coding, my only experience being Code Academy's "Intro to Javascript" course which I had completed in the previous weeks. 

    It didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to apply for the three month immersive program. But as much as I had learned attending Hard Parts and working through CSX, I knew I wasn't at the level I needed to be to pass the technical interview. 

    So I signed up for CS Prep. The experience was great, and it definitely prepared me for the technical exam. Our instructor Shane was brand new, and there were a couple times when his inexperience was apparent. But overall, he was an excellent instructor - very familiar with the material, attentive and helpful, encouraging, etc. 

    I definitely recommend CS Prep if you plan on applying for the immersive program. 

  • Mohtasim • Graduate
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    I took CS Prep from June 22nd - July 9th with the hope of getting into the Codesmith Software Engineering Immersive Program; with its money-back guarantee + tuition rollover, applying seemed like a no-brainer. After getting in, I very quickly realized the curriculum was a lot more difficult than any curriculum (mostly Codecademy and FreeCodeCamp) that I had encountered before. CS Prep did a great job of providing information on a lot of difficult concepts that these courses often skip entirely/gloss over, while still managing to make it accessible for a JS beginner such as myself. Also, the curriculum focused heavily on developing skills such as technical communication, pair programming, and problem-solving, all of which are super important for the immersive technical interview.

    For me, the best part of CS Prep had to be the course instructor, Shane. Shane’s energy, enthusiasm for both teaching and JavaScript, and his dedication to the success of his students were what made the course such an amazing experience for me. Shane always had a great attitude in class that helped keep us all engaged, and was super easy to talk to when it came to asking questions, both relating to the coursework and outside stuff.

    I ended up interviewing and getting into the immersive program soon after CS Prep ended, mostly because of how prepared the program made me feel for the interview. CS Prep's emphasis on developing better technical communication, problem solving skills, and pair programming ended up being a major help during the technical interview. While the actual coursework for the program is difficult, it’s possible to grow into a much stronger developer if you keep up with the work. Overall, I would completely recommend CS Prep to anyone who is hoping to further developed their JS skills and/or is considering applying to the immersive program.

  • Chris Flannery • Student
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    I recently completed a cohort of CS Prep with Shane Taylor. It was an excellent experience for me - I had just come off the back of having failed the Immersive technical interview twice and needed to brush up on Javascript fundamentals, get more pair programming experience, and fill in the gaps in my technical communication vocabulary. Shane and CS Prep provided all this and more. Shane is a more-than-capable teacher and a very kind and empathetic person. Part of the course included recording videos of ourselves coding - and his feedback on our videos was thoughtful, rigorous and detailed. I would highly recommend CS Prep to anyone who has not yet passed their immersive technical interview!

  • Drew T • Graduate
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    I just finished CS Prep, a two-week online program offered by Codemith. I recommend CS Prep to those searching for a pre-cursor to a full-time bootcamp. 

    CS Prep cohorts consist of 10 three-hour classes. Each class follows an efficient structure - first 30 mins are for individual coding practice; following 2 hours are for a lecture led by the main instructor; the final 30 mins are for pair programming.

    The lectures are engaging and allow for active student participation. Most core topics are covered.

    The pair programming sessions are invaluable. Students pair up and practice coding challenges together. Students alternate roles between challenges - one student verbalizes their thought process for solving a given problem, while the other student writes code to match the instructions. The routine reinforces comprehension and improves student's ability to logic through directives from others.  

    Zero complaints. Two thumbs up. Drew

  • Jay • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I went through Codesmith immersive program from December -> March 2019.  It was a very stressful decision for me, I left my pregnant wife and 2 year old in Montana and moved to Venice for the 3 months I was in codesmith.  I needed to make sure that it was worth my time and money.  I did extensive research (just like you are doing now because you're reading this review) and narrowed it down to a few.  I was looking for THE BEST program period.  It could have been anywhere in the country and price wasn't a huge factor.  I just needed the knowledge as quickly as possible.  The curriculum, community of people and staff took my skills to where they needed to be.  6 weeks after I graduated I landed a mid-level software engineering job at a very well known company with a total comp package of ~180k.  And almost all of my cohort-mates had a very similar result at the time of writing this review.  Keep in mind...I worked my ass off.  But the hard work was contagious in the cohort and everyday I was excited to dive deeper and push myself and everyone around me.  That's what Codesmith does best.  By the end of the 3 months I was a sobbing mess, leaving people that have become lifelong friends after our time at Codesmith.  Checkout easy parts/hard parts online or in person and it will give you a good idea of the curriculum.  The x factor that codesmith has is the community that it breeds, job search prep and hiring support.  If you work hard to get into codesmith, are able to put your ego aside go through this program working your hardest everyday, follow their advice on applying for jobs => You will succeed. Period.

Student Outcomes


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

180 Day Employment Breakdown:

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

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

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

Non reporting
2%

Salary Breakdown:

98% of job obtainers reported salaries.

Notes & Caveats:

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

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

Thanks!