Codesmith offers an extensive hiring support program that guides Residents through whiteboarding, advanced technical interview practice, resume and profile development, and interview and networking strategies. Support continues upon graduation with bi-weekly check-ins and, after offers, negotiation support. Overall, 25% of graduates receive offers for Senior Engineer positions and above, and about 70% receive offers for Mid-level Engineer roles.
Recent Codesmith Reviews: Rating 4.89
Recent Codesmith News
- Everything You Need to Know about Codesmith’s New Online Bootcamp
- Deep Dive: Career Services at Codesmith
- Becoming a Remote Developer for Hilton after Codesmith
Deposit No deposit FinancingWe 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 email@example.com 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.
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
More Start DatesMarch 2, 2020 - Online Apply by February 17, 2020March 30, 2020 - Online Apply by March 16, 2020April 27, 2020 - Online Apply by April 13, 2020May 26, 2020 - Online Apply by May 11, 2020
OnlinePart Time6 Hours/week2 Weeks
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 DatesMarch 7, 2020 - Online Apply by February 21, 2020April 4, 2020 - Online Apply by March 20, 2020May 2, 2020 - Online Apply by April 17, 2020May 30, 2020 - Online Apply by May 15, 2020
OnlinePart Time18 Hours/week39 Weeks
Deposit $2000 FinancingCodesmith has a range of options to help you finance your education, including scholarships, payment plans, and loan partnerships. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 DatesAugust 29, 2020 - Online Apply by July 3, 2020
In PersonFull Time60 Hours/week12 Weeks
Deposit $2300 FinancingWe have financing partnerships available via SkillsFund as well as case by case payment plans! Please email email@example.com 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.
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 DatesMarch 9, 2020 - Los Angeles Apply by February 10, 2020April 27, 2020 - Los Angeles Apply by March 30, 2020June 15, 2020 - Los Angeles Apply by May 18, 2020August 3, 2020 - Los Angeles Apply by July 6, 2020March 30, 2020 - New York City Apply by March 2, 2020May 18, 2020 - New York City Apply by April 20, 2020June 6, 2020 - New York City Apply by May 5, 2020August 24, 2020 - New York City Apply by July 27, 2020
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You can learn coding from anywhere, from online to books to in the classroom, but what differentiates Codesmith from the others is its people. When you go to a Codesmith class, you are given individual attention, when you ask a question, no question is too stupid, no age is an issue and no experience is an issue.
Every class I have attended the instructors spent at least 15 minutes helping students understand concepts that were being reviewed, and not just asking “does everyone understand,” but rather asking confused looking people to explain what they don’t understand then clarifying. Even technologies the instructors unfamiliar with, they would say, “Let’s look this up” and then looked up the technologies for the class and their own knowledge, showing that they are always learning too. The focus on understanding more and filling in gaps of knowledge rather than just memorization and getting though the material was what stood out for me.
Interactive > Power point > Interactive > Power point > Research > Interactive > Short Power Point > Interactive
Where Interactive can be anything from a problem to a presentation to a pop quiz to a quest speaker to a Q&A. Also questions can be asked by the instructors at any time so the classes keeps you on your toes.
- JS: The Hard Parts!- 6/26/2017Jimmy • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via Linkedin
- Your life will change forever!- 6/20/2017Trung • Fullstack • Student • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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.
- A Program of Growth- 6/20/2017Dhani Mayfield • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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.
- My Experience at Codesmith- 6/17/2017Brandon Yuan • Front End Developer • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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.
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 • Front End Developer • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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.
- Take Control of Your Future- 6/13/2017Kevin • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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.
The 13-Week Immersive
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 • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate • Verified via GitHub
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.
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.
- Codesmith is about people. People and code.- 5/14/2017Patrick Divine • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via LinkedIn
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Best Decision I Have Made- 5/10/2017Will Barnes • Fullstack Engineer • Graduate • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via LinkedIn
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.
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.
- Codesmith was a great experience- 4/26/2017Andres • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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- 4/13/2017Thai-Duong Nguyen • Technical Lead • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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.
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- 4/10/2017Schno Mozingo • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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 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 • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
- Fantastic experience- 4/8/2017Matt • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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.
- Truly Exceptional.- 4/8/2017Daniel • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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.
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...
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.
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!
- Happy with my decision- 2/23/2017Ryan • Software Engineer • Student • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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- 2/17/2017Max M • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: Los Angeles • Verified via GitHub
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.
- From Marketing to Software Engineering- 2/13/2020Tom • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: New York CityThere are a lot of things to consider about bootcamps, but one thing that can't be challenged about Codesmith is results. Less than six months ago I was working in SEO - yes, that's kind of web development but not as much as I'd like it to be when I'm on a job interview. As of last week I was hired into a mid-level engineering role. I have a BA in journalism with a concentration in Cinema Studies - yes, really - and a year of studying JS and other languages to my name. I owe my current position to the course at Codesmith.
There are cons to the program, as there are with anything that takes up 70+ hours of your week for 13 straight weeks. It's stressful and has a throw-you-in-the-deep-end mentality, but it works. Maybe that level of stress and commitment isn't' for you, that's something to consider, but it is also what leads to a most people landing mid-level positions. Some grads even get senior level roles, though those are rare without some kind of direct tech background prior to the course.
The hiring program at the end is outstanding - they work with you until you finish negotiating
The course teaches students how to figure things out on their own
The community is incredibly supportive, both with work and emotionally
They create a fun environment to unwind with Thursday night drinks, ping pong tournaments, and relay races
The people teaching the courses are sometimes recent grades - they know their stuff but it would be helpful to have a larger staff of experienced engineers. To be clear, there are experienced engineers on staff, it's just not everyone
The schedule is grueling. There is a good argument that this is what makes the course so effective, but there can be a mentality that working all night is the best way to show work ethic. For some, it reduces productivity and has other negative effects.
Some of the courses need to be updated for bugs. Only one caused a problem for my group, and it has likely been resolved, but it put a big delay on work.
The pros out weigh the cons, it's as simple as that. I think they are easy to overlook considering the outcomes and that no program will be perfect. If you want to work very hard to fast-track yourself into a role as an engineer, likely passing over entry-level, this is the course for you. I have recommend it to friends and family who are considering career changes. It has been an amazing experience.
Would highly recommend checking out their free courses in NYC, LA, and online. I went to several before joining and experienced engineers go to them along with people just getting into it. Get a feel for it for yourself.
- My CS Prep Experience- 2/3/2020Scott • Student • Course: CS Prep • Campus: OnlineI had a great experience with the CS Prep class from Codesmith. I attended Cohort 23 from Jan 6 to Jan 22. I'm expecting to take their Immersive program, and took the CS Prep course as it's recommended to learn what's needed in order to learn the skills and concepts required before entering their program. It also provided me the chance to try out Codesmith remotely, since I don't currently live in either New York City or LA.
I was a little anxious going into the class. I was unsure of how the lessons would go, considering I have never taken an online course. I was also initially nervous about the class size. My cohort had about ~35 participants, and I was worried I wouldn't receive individual attention should I have problems or questions.
These concerns were quickly relieved after the my experience on the first day. The instructor, David, alongside an assistant, Chris, did a great job of making sure everyone was involved and felt included. During the lessons, they rotated asking questions of everyone involved. They answered all the questions we had in the chatroom, and made sure that people were clear on everything they were teaching before moving on.
Speaking of the Slack channel, this is really where I think the course goes above and beyond. Alongside a general room, we were provided with a #pair-programming to find partners to practice outside of class, a #questions room for any code related questions, a #code-review room where we could post our solutions to the previous day's challenge (or really any code problem we tackled and wanted to share). We were also assigned a #tech-comm channel, which I'll describe below.
One of the five things Codesmith looks for in a student is technical communication. We were all required to record ourselves tackling a problem. Some of us chose easier challenges. and others tackled more difficult ones, but the key thing to do is to explain your thought process while going through the problem. Rather than think about issues silently (as we all so often do), we were encouraged to speak through our thinking, even if we are totally wrong about the approach. The instructors reviewed everyone's recordings (which is no small task for a class of 35).
- CS Prep @ Codesmith- 1/25/2020Jackie Mok • Student • Campus: New York City
The two weeks of CS Prep has been an unforgettable experience. Overall, I've learned more in a day of CS Prep than in a semester of coding class in college. The instructors put in huge amounts of effort in teaching the course and are always available in and outside of class. All students and instructors in CS Prep are extremely commited in learning and teaching and going along this journey of improvement. The techniques that they teach throughout the course of the two weeks really helps boost the learning process of each student going through the course. In the course, there are students from all walks of life and different types of experience with coding. The instructors made it really easy to understand the depths of coding and how to work together to graps concepts rather quickly. The course in general is well worth anyone's time whether it may be with experience in coding or not.
- CS Prep- 1/23/2020Kelsey Metter • Student • Course: CS Prep • Campus: Online
I began my journey into programming around November of 2019. My undergrad had been in BME but I knew at that point I wasn't looking into going that route. I'd done a brief course online on python and knew that I'd enjoyed that experience so I started searching for free ways to learn more. I discovered GA and freeCodeCamp first and spent my first week tinkering around there mostly with CSS and HTML.
The two weeks passed by in an amazing symphony of what I can divide into two categories: lecture times (theory) and programming (practice) times. The things that I think CSPrep does great are as followed; creating a community for everyone in the cohort to pass around information, providing well trained instructors who are great at really simplifying daunting topics, having that time were you can pair program with someone else and practice technical communication, and providing a final project where you can really flex what you’ve learned and see the real life applications (this might even continue afterwards, I am planning another mini project with one of my final project partners). Something that I think is not very usual, but happened in my cohort, is that we had two different instructors; one for the first week and another for the second. I would have preferred to have had only one instructor. Other than that I have no complaints. Loved it and am in the process of applying for the Software Immersive program.
- Changed my life!- 1/4/2020Courtney Kwong • Full Stack Engineer • Graduate • Course: Software Engineering Immersive Program • Campus: New York City
I come from a non-technical background and once thought that I was just not technical and that was that. However, in coming to the Hard Parts, learning from passionate instructors, and being surrounded by a community made up of people who come from very different backgrounds, I had the courage to quit my job and dive into this full-time. I wrote my first line of code in April 2019, graduated in October 2019 and now am a Full Stack Engineer.
Codesmith changed my life. Many like to say that bootcamps are "get-rich scams", but this was never the vibe. This was an immersive experience. The instructors care about the community they've fostered, the students, and engineering as a lifestyle. The 13 weeks was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding times of my life. I never imagined of going back to school as I always thought I was just "not smart" and coudln't learn, but the community shows you by example that you simply need to dedicate the time and energy and trust the process - you really get what you put in. Codesmith teaches you how to learn - not just spoon-feeding concepts and walk-through tutorials to make you feel like you did something at the end of the day. Most days you walk away from lectures without understanding anything, but the community emphasizes pair-programming and hard learning. Every unit is set in that way purposefully and encourages struggling through problems - the same way you would/should on the job. At Codesmith, you learn to be an empathetic and thoughtful engineer and the community gives you the space to be the best that you can be. I'm grateful to have stumbled into the Hard Parts, met the passionate instructors, and struggled through 13 weeks with my cohortmates. Truly life changing.
Moreover, I felt as though our instructor, Camera, was letting us in on her thought process throughout her coding journey, and helped to make the idea of working in the field feel less alien and impossible. In this imposter-syndrome heavy field, that's a valuable insight to glean, especially for a beginner course. Camera was always kind and supportive in her explanations, and was able to convey her ideas in both a technical way (teaching you how to use industry-specific terms intuitively) and an empathic way (being aware of where you are in your learning, and meeting you there and gently prodding you towards progress).
On-Time Graduation Rate
180 Day Employment Breakdown:
Notes & Caveats:
- $110-120k: 17.9%
- $120-130k: 16.1%
- $130-140k: 14.3%
- >$140k: 19.6%