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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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  • Stacy  User Photo
    Stacy • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Choosing to attend CodeSmith is a choice that I am extremely grateful to myself for making. Let me start of by saying that it is NOT an easy path. Many days are long and arduous, but  IS extremely worth it. Going into CodeSmith I was told that it would be difficult but rewarding. You spend upwards of 10+ hours a day there during weekdays and and additional 8+ hours on Saturdays. Throughout your time there you get lectures on the topic that you are going to cover for the next 2 days. Then you work on your own for half a day on beginning to understand the concept that you were just taught and the remainder day and a half with a Pair Programming Partner to help each other cement in said concept. For the second half of the time spent at CodeSmith, you get broken out into teams to work on a project that allows you to dive deep into a topic of your group’s choosing allowing you to more fully develop your ’T’ shaped skills.

     

    Throughout this whole process you have a wonderful support system there to help you out. Not only do you have your peers that are learning right alongside with you to help you out, but you also have the staff (both technical and non-technical) and community of alumni by your side. These amazing people are not going to hold your hand and give you the exact answer that you are looking for but they will give you an answer that will help guide you to the exact answer that you are looking for. Some people may find this as unhelpful and uncaring, but I believe it to be the exact opposite. In life we cannot expect everything to be hand fed to us without really knowing what it is, but instead to expect people to be there to help us understand what we are being fed (I know, probably a weird analogy). But if people just give you the answer to your problem, chances are that you wouldn’t have learned as much as if someone helped you to find the answer out yourself. Plus the feeling of satisfaction one gets from finally figuring out a challenging problem and having that ‘aha’ moment is such a great feeling.

     

    Another important piece of CodeSmith is Pair Programming. Every two days we would be paired with a fellow cohort mate to help each other go through challenges and cement the information that we were just taught. Some really important pieces to this is that everyone learns differently and takes in different pieces of the same information at different rates. By pairing with new people constantly a person could see the same thing that they were looking at but from a different perspective allowing for the broadening of one’s own way of viewing things. Also importantly, is being able to speak out loud what you are thinking/viewing in your own head (technical communication). This is extremely important because it is such a difficult skill to master, yet something that is used everyday in an average workplace. Something that should be practiced all the time even if you don’t have another person to speak your thoughts to, there is the Rubber Ducky approach. It may seem silly but speak out loud to a rubber duck (or any other inanimate object - or a pet if you have one) to work on getting the thoughts out of your head and spoken in an understandable way.

     

    Once completing CodeSmith they don’t just kick you out the door and have you be on your way. Their doors are always open! They really encourage their alumni to drop in and say hi or come by and do any work they may have. There are two checkins that they conduct to see how post-CodeSmith life is going. And additionally, they have started post-CodeSmith interviews. So if your going through your job search and seem to be running into any issues, you can schedule an appointment with CodeSmith to help you do a mock interview, resume review, or some sort of general Q&A to help you move forward. They really love having their alumni be active in helping their current cohorts to succeed.

     

    All of this so far has been about being a part of CodeSmith and in a Cohort. But even before that, CodeSmith offers many avenues of learning to code and preparing people to be a part of CodeSmith if they choose. They have many free workshops that anyone can attend, both in person and online. They also offer shorter courses that aren’t as stringent but still extremely helpful and effective. CodeSmith gives the tools for people to pick up and use.

     

    I personally do not consider myself to be of a Computer Science/Software Engineer background. I got my BA Degree in Criminal Justice. Afterwards I started self studying computer programming and did online courses through a Junior College to get my AA in computer programming. From there I attended many months of CodeSmith’s HardParts every week. This gave me the basis of getting into CodeSmith and they have brought me to where I am today.

     

    Thank you so much to all of the wonderful and amazing people that work at CodeSmith to help people realize and make a reality their dreams to be Software Engineers. You all have helped me so much, way more than I could ever put into words or express to you all. It is such a treat to be able to walk back into CodeSmith and always be welcomed so warmly. Also a huge shoutout to my Cohort!!! You all made everyday a fun and amazing learning environment. I miss you all and proud of everyone that have already gotten amazing jobs and can’t wait to see where everyone else ends up.

     

    A final note to anyone considering CodeSmith and it may seem like a cliche but it is true. You get out of CodeSmith what you put into CodeSmith. It is a journey that you can take from it what you will. For me it is a journey that I would gladly take again.

  • Student / Resident
    - 9/17/2019
    Dmitriy L  User Photo
    Dmitriy L • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    When you are signing up for this immersive course, you must realize a few things.

    - This is not for the weak.

    - This is for people who are ready for change, and that can be daunting.

    - Must be ready to temporarily put aside your social life.

     

    CodeSmith's pedagogy is precise when it comes to evolving a Student into a well-spoken Software Engineer professional. 

    Tip: Do not think that "just getting into CodeSmith" will qualify you to be worth 100k+ right away. You become worth that much after you put in the necessary work in CodeSmith. 

     

    What I loved about CodeSmith: As you can imagine, trying to prove yourself to someone else (to get hired) can be very intimidating. CodeSmith has professional software engineer veterans who help students with the imposter monster (imposter syndrome) they may be facing by giving them the right honest advice. It all may sound unbelievable and what not (trust me, I am hard-headed myself to start believing things). But you can trust CodeSmith to give you the right kind of support you need to be successful. 

     

    There is so much more I can say about CodeSmith.

     

    If you are interested in joining a Bootcamp, visit CodeSmith first

     

    P.S. One of the greatest things about CodeSmith is that I also made new life long friends who I became very close with.

  • Post Grad
    - 9/6/2019
    q. bui  User Photo
    q. bui • sr frontend dev • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated from Codesmith LA back in May and have been working for a few months as a Frontend Developer. I got my first job from their hiring day, which is actually one of the things that set Codesmith apart from other bootcamps. Towards the end of your bootcamp, Codesmith invites a handful of tech companies around the area to do a round robin / speed dating event with the cohort. Casual, not a lot of pressure and great experience to practice interviewing with real companies. Two people from my cohort actually got jobs from the hiring day with a bunch of others getting take home assignments and onsite interviews. So if you come to Codesmith, take hiring day seriously, you could get a job out of it. 

     
    Curriculum - When I was shopping around for bootcamps, they all seemed to have mostly the same curriculum. Algorithms, Javascript, React, Node. I did notice that one of my current co-workers that came out of Hack Reactor LA had zero experience with testing, devops, and barely any redux. Hack Reactor might have changed their curriculum since then but I actually didn't know how good I had it with Codesmith until working with him. 
     
    Post Grad Support - Another great thing about Codesmith and actually the reason why I'm here writing this review. Their resident business advisor/consultant/support?, Eric, is awesome. He's the one that coaches you on how to interview, accept offers and negotiate. Even after your first job out of Codesmith you can still text him, "Hey Eric, I just got an offer from ___ for $$$ and here is how everything went down, what do you think?" and he'll either call you back in a few minutes or text you to coach you on how to proceed with negotiations or to just take it because it's a great offer! 
     
    So for anyone looking for a coding bootcamp, you can't really go wrong with Codesmith. The only advice I would have for them is to keep the cohorts small. I came from a cohort of 14 which was awesome, but some of the ones after me started getting pretty big. I feel like you lose out on quality when you go for quantity but I could be wrong. Also don't rely on any coding bootcamp as an easy way to change careers because software engineering is not easy. You're going to spend a ton of hours at your bootcamp and even then that will not be enough to become a decent software engineer. Bootcamp is only 3 months so if you want to become great you're going to have to keep learning and working on your own until you get that first job. If you love learning new things in a field that's constantly changing then this is for you. If you're lazy and don't like to learn new things then don't waste your time. 
     
  • Kate M  User Photo
    Kate M • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I graduated from Codesmith in July, but my journey here isn't over yet. I was asked to stay on for another 3 months as an engineering fellow. I'm going to update this review once I move on to my next job outside of Codesmith, but I figured I'd mark this spot in time with my current thoughts and feelings on what I've done so far here.

    Unfortunately it's hard to talk objectively about something when you've become so personally invested in it, and when its community has become your second family, but I'll try.

    Codesmith has warm and fuzzies aplenty, but these exist solely to better serve the development of the students here. Codesmith demands a lot from you - "immersive" doesn't begin to convey it. The small cohort sizes mean that every single person is an integral part of the bigger team.

    The program is established enough to have thoroughly iterated its curriculum and pedagogy, but young and agile enough to still be continually iterating and adapting (e.g. recently including units on Docker/AWS and ML). All of the technologies you'd expect from a fullstack JavaScript program are here, of course, but way they're instilled is (I think) unusual - lectures are given to provide a general overview of a particular subject (say, Redux), but then you are forced to work together to fight through the code implementation and do a lot of active, hard learning. While support is *always* available on multiple levels, there is zero hand-holding. Every bit of knowledge is hard-fought, and that's the kind of knowledge that sticks.

    The curriculum is only a small percentage of the program, though - after the first several weeks, all of your time is spent working on projects of various sizes with varying objectives, with the free reign (if not outright pressure) to push well beyond the confines of the standard MERN stack into technologies like gRPC, GraphQL, Kafka, and whatever else you can imagine. In additional to expanding the scope of your tech fluency, it forces you to practice real-world practices like Scrum methodology, Kanban boards, Git workflows, and just general empathetic team engineering.

    The hiring portion is also intense. You might not realize it initially while your brain is struggling to digest new and disparate technologies every 2 days, but every step of the program is designed with the ultimate goal (the job search) in mind. The reason why Codesmith outcomes are so impressive is that students are constantly being pushed to think not just in terms of how to use a certain technology, but *how* that technology fits into the larger tech landscape, and why certain choices are better than others when it comes to architecting software. Projects have to be approved by the team - to make sure that what they're working on will grow them as engineers that will be very soon sitting in the interview chair. Resumes are repeatedly iterated upon and also must be approved before the end of the program. Mock interviews and systems design whiteboarding sessions pepper the last several weeks.

    I imagine all "bootcamps" (for lack of a better word) are crucibles of growth to a degree, but it's very hard to imagine one that has the precision and intensity that Codesmith does. It's hard to imagine other environements where people can willingly, joyfully, engagedly spend 13-16 hours of their day productively engaged in growth.

    I'm a bit uncomfortable with how evangelize-y and preachey this review is, because it goes against my general skeptical, jaded nature, but Codesmith really is an unusually special place. I'm a person from a non-technical background (I first pondered the idea of learning to code in January) and generally lacking in self-assuredness, but Codesmith has in a short period of time gotten me to a place where I feel genuinely confident to enter the coding workforce, and not just at an entry level (not that there's anything wrong with that). I'm already seeing it happening in my cohortmates that have secured amazing jobs, and I see the growth in myself.

    Also, I forgot to mention this earlier, but Codesmith is very explicitly welcoming of people from all backgrounds (speaking as a person who is trans, at least). Again, I'm sure other programs are fine in this regard as well, but from the team down to the fellows to the residents, the amount of representation from all walks of life is really inspiring.

     

    Okay, this is already way too long, and I honestly don't know why you're still reading. If you're on the fence, go to the free weekly workshops (JavaScript The Easy Parts or Hard Parts) and say hi. There are no gimmicks or nonsense. What you see is what you get, and what you put in here is what you get out.

  • Above and beyond!
    - 8/20/2019
    Leury  User Photo
    Leury • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    A great and accurate descriptor for the experience I've had and the people I've met on this journey!

    There are three things that I think set Codesmith apart, and are things that I would like to highlight for people wondering why they should choose Codesmith over other programs.

    Curriculum integration:

    There is no shortage of options out there for fullstack engineering programs, and a lot follow a similar or identical tech stack to the one you will receive here, but Codesmith's execution in this respect is what sets them apart. Here, Codesmith focuses on two key elements to progress you through the program’s completion. These are pair programming and collaboration. The core curriculum is divided into units, and each unit covering a web technology is followed by a pair programming session with another resident to complete a related challenge. This strengthens your technical communication; you are challenged not only in putting into practice what you just covered, but also navigating the communication required to effectively present the concepts of the technology and your thought process to another engineer. Once you move into the projects phase, you are placed groups with other residents in order to prepare you for the collaboration that will be required of you at a job, when you’re working as part of a team. It’s also important to note that the projects aren’t given to you, like assignments would be, but instead are ideas and tools that you and your group come up with and decide to work on.

    Hiring program:

    When considering what you’ll learn from an engineering program, usually the focus is on the tech stack and the technical skills you’ll pick up, but Codesmith has a period of time set aside for something just as important for people who will be entering the job market. Navigating this market, and standing out in it requires a different kind of preparation, and a professional presence that not many take the time to craft. Codesmith educates its residents in everything from crafting distinguished resumes, to increasing conversion rates through strategically composed applications, to tightening communication and confidence throughout the interview process. The best part of it is that the support doesn’t stop once you graduate. Codesmith continues to follow up as you go through the application process, and give you feedback, and offers help through things like mock interview practices and emotional support.

    Community:

    I’ve saved community for last because I believe it’s all-encompassing, and is probably the best descriptor of what really glues all the best parts of Codesmith together to create the best engineering program experience. It is not an exaggeration for me to call Codesmith a family. If you’ve ever had the chance to come to a few of the meetups hosted by them, you can get a glimpse of the strong sense of community between everyone involved at Codesmith, residents, staff, alumni, and visitors alike. This is something that is nurtured every step of the way during your time as a resident in the program. The pair programming, the group projects, the support encouraged between not just the staff and residents, but also between the residents as well. This sense of community carries on way after graduation, with a strong network of alumni and staff that are always happy to help in any way they can.

    Above and beyond is really the only way I can describe my Codesmith experience. My time there has marked a clear distinction in my life as far as the person and engineer I was before, and the person and engineer I've grown into by having gone through it. It has been the most challenging and most rewarding investment I've made in my education and professional development. It requires a great level of grit and perseverance, for sure, but when you emerge on the other end, you do it with a family of peers and supporting staff that provide you with a sense of community, and with the technical knowledge and experience to know that any engineering challenge you face is just another obstacle like the many ones you've just surpassed.

    There are so many more things I could say about Codesmith, but I hope this review helps anyone condering taking this next step in their career.

  • Bryan F.  User Photo
    Bryan F. • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Yes way! And it is all because of the curriculum, the hiring portion and the people.
     
    After completing Codesmith, I understand why the students are able to achieve the results Codesmith speak of. I had the chance to attend another competing coding program free of charge, but I decided to pay $18k for Codesmith and I do not regret it at all. 
     
    The process to get into Codesmith is very unique, but it is not extremely difficult if you work hard, attend the meetups, and come with the right attitude. The reason I say it's unique is because for some crazy reason, Codesmith never fails to bring in the right candidates that are smart, hard working, supportive, and fun. 
     
    During the core curriculum, we are always pair programming. This meant that we quickly learned to digest difficult technical concepts together and communicate these concepts to our peers. Being able to pair program everyday has allowed me to honed my technical communication, which is important for interviews and on-the-job. The Codesmith team is always making the curriculum better or adding new units to the curriculum because they want to do whatever they can to prepare the residents for the current market.
     
    During our project phase, we were always working in teams (other than the solo project). We would have meetings and daily standup and the projects are always collaborative, which is great because it is very unlikely that you would be working alone in the professional setting. We also have a project where we have to iterate over another group’s codebase, which is something that you would be doing when you join an engineering team. So it is just great that Codesmith prepares us for that. 
     
    Our final project is like no other - we have to build an open source developer tool. Currently, Codesmith residents have created tools that has 10k+ stars on Github. If you’re like me a few months ago, you might actually be intimidated by this final project. The truth is Codesmith does an excellent job preparing us during the junior portion that we are all able to build a tool that we are proud of. It is definitely challenging, but it is totally rewarding at the end. 
     
    Another thing that brings Codesmith to the next level is the hiring portion. We learned to build a robust resume that really makes us stand out and we were taught interviewing techniques that would not be taught at any other programs. I can honestly say that it has made me a more confident interviewer and the things we were taught has made me grow as a person. My fear before graduating Codesmith is that I will take an offer because I want a job and not because I like the company and the role, but the things that I learned through Codesmith has given me the confident and skill that I can pick and choose.
     
    If you’re like me, I wanted to join a program with great people that I can form lifelong bonds with and that is what drew me to Codesmith. Codesmith has a great sense of community and the culture is great - come to any of the meetups and you can see for yourself. The team and residents are super supportive and it is always a great time. Codesmith is like family and if you are ready to work hard, play hard and take yourself to the next level, this place is for you.  
     
     
  • Christian Padilla  User Photo
    Christian Padilla • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Super cool place. 10/10

    I only had minor experience with Python (and no JS experience) before starting CS prep Dec 2018. Spent ~2 months after that studying alone (with the occasional JS – The Hard Parts lecture visits) and then started at Codesmith NY in Feb 2019. ~5 months later had software engineer job offers from Microsoft and Google.

    CS prep is good, but I'll write about the Immersive program here. Ultimately, I think Codesmith works well because it's very careful during its admissions process to find people that are a fun combination of prepared, curious, and comfortable with not knowing things.

    Some thoughts for prospective students:

    -Not a program where you "learn to code" from zero. You definitely DON'T need to be an expert, but to pass the entrance interview you'll need to be pretty familiar with JavaScript (closure and how to use it, recursion, array methods, call stack. Do CSX exercises for a good idea of what to expect).

    -More important than knowing a bit of JS is being a reasonable person that is okay with the discomfort of "not knowing" or being wrong. I was asked to come back for a second interview to see how I would react when given a problem I didn't know how to even begin solving (was asked to write a function that, given a string, outputs an array of all unique permutations of the characters in that string. Way beyond what I was comfortable with at that time, did not get a working solution but had a fun conversation with the interviewer about different parts of the problem). What’s great about this is that you can be confident your fellow students are going to be the type of people that are happy to work through lots of difficult problems together.

    -The curriculum includes the fairly standard array of webdev technologies(JS/HTML → React/Node → Mongo/Redis/SQL), but it covers them in only ~4 weeks while also including sections on testing, and deployment (with AWS and Docker). I had never used anything past JS/HTML before starting, keep in mind.

    -That said, the program is about projects, not lectures. If you want to build things and are looking for people to work with or ideas to get started, this is a great place. You’ll spend many weeks building things (mostly developer tools) that you’ll be initially convinced you’re not capable of building.

    -Besides the crazy ambitious projects and the cool people, the hiring portion (including interview prep) is the other great thing about CS. Non-obvious (and apparently super effective) strategies on how to prepare for all aspects of the job hunt from resumes to phone screens to onsites and salary negotiations.

    Summary:

    If you’re looking to become a solid software engineer as quickly as possible, Codesmith is probably the best way to do it. If you're not sure, go to a JS - Hard Parts meetup and talk to the people there. Good luck!

  • Software Engineer
    - 8/15/2019
    Gaber Mowiena  User Photo
    Gaber Mowiena • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Codesmith is a very fast-paced agile environment, In order to make the most out the curriculum you better be prepared and have some experience with the technologies covered 

  • Raphael Ram  User Photo
    Raphael Ram • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Dear Prospective Software Engineer,

    I was in your shoes for the first half of 2018, looking for a Bootcamp to fast track myself towards a career in software development.

    I finally decided on Codesmith (for reasons I will describe below), and got admitted into the program in November. Six life-changing months later, I accepted an offer as a mid-level Software Engineer in July 2019.

    A little context first: I have spent my time at Codesmith as a Resident (3 months) and a Teaching Fellow (3 months), experiencing the program both as a participant and a facilitator. This has given me the unique privilege of seeing 5 separate cohorts (over 60 residents) with little to no software engineering experience come into the program and go on to earn 6-figure salaries as Mid-Senior level Software Engineers (check out the CIRR report on Codesmith- https://cirr.org/data, and https://www.codesmith.io/graduate-outcomes). I think there are 4 specific parts of the Codesmith program that leads to these accomplishments:

    First, Codesmith sets you up for success before you even join the program. For evidence of this, look no further than the free advanced JavaScript workshops (check out https://codesmith.io/coding-events), free exercises on CSX (https://csx.codesmith.io/) and Bootcamp prep course, CS Prep (https://www.codesmith.io/bootcamp-prep). All of these serve as community-building (you will meet many of your future cohort -mates), and to prepare you for the technical interview to gain acceptance into the program.

    The interview itself is quite challenging and might even require more than 1 attempt, but you will be gauged on qualities that are markers for success in the program and in your career as a software engineer (technical communication, problem-solving ability, and approach to tackling unfamiliar concepts). I urge you to attend any of these free JavaScript workshops for an insight into the excellent pedagogy and supportive culture at Codesmith (make sure to stay for drinks afterward on Thursday night! =D).

    Second: Pair Programming and working in groups. Almost the entirety of your residency at Codesmith will be spent working with a partner or in a group. There’s been a deliberate decision to make almost every part of the program collaborative, as this reinforces the qualities needed to succeed as a software engineer. How do you prove your expertise when doing interviews for software engineering roles? By technically communicating software engineering and web application concepts, much as you did in your first 6 weeks at Codesmith. When you get hired as a Software Engineer, you will almost definitely be working as a part of a team in an agile environment- much like you will in your last 6 weeks at Codesmith. Your experiences at Codesmith will translate directly to real-world benefits in both applying for engineering jobs, and excelling at them.

    Third, the creation of Open Source Developer Tools. In the last half of your program at Codesmith, you will be tasked with creating an Open Source developer tool, going from conception to working product in less than 4 weeks. It is absolutely a difficult endeavor, but the rewards are well worth it.

    While most Bootcamps have simple CRUD applications as their capstone projects, building developer tools gives you deep, specific knowledge on key web application concepts. This will also help you gain real-world engineering experience while working in an Agile environment, and is a huge reason why Codesmith grads get placed in Mid-Senior developer roles out of the gate.

    Finally, the hiring program and post-program support. I feel like this is Codesmith’s best-kept secret, and is worth the cost of admission alone. Applying for engineering roles requires a different set of skills than being able to carry out the job itself. Most of the program takes care of the latter, and the hiring program tackles the former. You will learn everything from crafting incredibly effective resumes and structuring your applications and outreach messages to acing your interviews, eloquently discussing your software engineering narrative, and the all-important salary negotiations. These are all invaluable skills that will carry you from your first mid-senior engineering gig through the rest of your software engineering career. After the program, you will have bi-weekly check-ins to gauge your job application process leading up to your first job placement.

    If you are driven and intrinsically motivated to progress as a Software Engineer, Codesmith will give you all the necessary tools and resources to succeed. But keep in mind, this drive and motivation is essential. The program is undoubtedly tough from admission to graduation, and expecting to be spoon-fed information will only lead to disappointment.

    Being persistent and working hard to improve yourself and your peers, however, will lead to success both during your time at Codesmith, and in your career as a Software Engineer- I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

    Note: If you’re interested, I highly recommend visiting https://codesmith.io/coding-events for the next Hard Parts. The in-depth JavaScript knowledge you’ll gain from these workshops is invaluable, regardless of whether you choose to attend Codesmith.

  • Found a family
    - 8/1/2019
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    Annette • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I went through Codesmith essentially twice - as a resident and as an engineering fellow after graduating. In both situations, I got so much more out of it than I ever expected to. I not only ended up becoming a software engineer but found a place that truly felt like home.

    My first exposure to Codesmith was through JSHP and was immediately impressed by how much detail the instructors went into for core concepts in JS. At the time, I wasn't even looking for a program, just an opportunity to meet other engineers and network. However, the level of commitment Codesmith had for developing the community around the free workshops made me realize it was something different. Additionally, the fact that both Will and Phil were willing to help me even before I considered applying proved how unique of a place Codesmith is. The one key phrase that I kept hearing stood out to me: Developing yourself but never at the expense of somebody else. I was already nervous enough considering switching career fields, but that phrase really provided solace. I eventually applied and got accepted into the program.

    Residency: The residency is extremely challenging and back-breaking. There is no other way to say it. However, the feeling that you will get from tackling those challenges trumps everything. While doing the residency, I finally understood why Codesmith was on a different caliber than other programs (i.e. Hack Reactor, Flatiron...etc). A really big portion is the production project where we focus on building developer tools that other engineers use. It might not even be on at technology taught in the program. Ultimately, it boils down to the community. You will face a tremendous amount of doubt, trying to justify why you deserve to be in the program while continuously fighting imposter syndrome and simultaneously digesting overwhelming amounts of information. Even though the curriculum is tough, it's nothing compared to the emotional aspects that come along with it that you'll need to manage. However, as cliche as it sounds, it's the community that will carry you through. You're amidst people who are just as passionate and ambitious as you and that's going to make you work harder. What makes it special though is that everyone is mutually invested in your success are you are in theirs. That reciprocity results in you learning and growing even though you might feel like you aren't. The residency teaches you not only the core curriculum but also what it means to be someone of value personally and professionally. You eventually learn to leverage grit, frustration, mentorship and perseverance as traits that are going to make you invaluable as an engineer. 

    Fellowship: I was extremely fortunate to be asked to join the team after graduating as an engineering fellow. As a fellow, you are not only working on Codesmith's platform (i.e CSX), but also mentoring the residents. Doing the fellowship made me realize just how much work went into forming this community. I knew every team member works extremely hard but I didn't realize the amount of dedication it took behind the scenes to make Codesmith what it is. Having to actually represent Codesmith made me realize there were so many things I took for granted. I thought doing the residency was challenging, doing the fellowship took it to a whole other level. However, I am so glad I did as I learned just as much if not even more than the residency. I essentially went through the program again but this time through the lens of an instructor. Having that change in perspective makes you mature extremely fast technically. Beyond the technical growth, working with the team was one of the best parts. It's common to hear that good work culture in a company often translates into strong performance. Working at Codesmith was the epitome of that. As challenging as doing the fellowship was technically and emotionally, knowing the team always had my back made me realize I found a family that valued me for who I was. Not a lot of companies are able to provide that. 

    Having gone through essentially a full circle, Codesmith is where you want to be if you want to become a software engineer. However, beyond that, Codesmith is a place that will grow you personally and professionally in ways that that other programs can't

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    Bo Peng • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    My first exposure to Codesmith was through hardparts on Thursdays. I did not start until a few months later, but when I did, it was not an easy process. To help with this, Codesmith provides everyone with many great resources like CSX to help you grasp the fundamentals of Javascript.

    Once you get in, it does not get easier. Being a software developer is not only to test if you make a simple website, but how data structures can make your program faster, how each technology you use affects your program differently, and how to scale efficiently. This is where Codesmith comes in, teaching not only how to make websites, but also other CS fundamentals as if you were pursuing a CS degree in college so we as engineers can make educated decisions ourselves in our own projects/products.

    Now you may be wondering what happens after you graduate. Your time with Codesmith does not end. They will continue to support you. They also have a strong community filled with passionate software engineers so you are able to meet other residents besides the ones in your own cohort to see what their experiences were like.

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    Parker • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    One of the best parts about codesmith, in my mind, that separates it from other bootcamps is the culture of engineering excellence. Technical communication, and engineering empathy (not being a dick) is a big part of the screening process on who they accept into the program, so when I started with my co-hort, I was surrounded by incredibly talented peers to work alongside. That being said, it is incredibly challenging. There is little to no hand-holding, which makes the struggle all the more satisfying when you make it out on the other side, and ultimately is what forged me into the engineer I am now. Can't say enough about this place, the people, and how it has changed my life. 

  • Adele C.  User Photo
    Adele C. • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I first came across Codesmith through their free JavaScript Hard parts meetups (which I highly recommend you go and check out) and the first thing that impressed me early on was the clarity and interactive teaching style of Phil (Lead in NYC) and Will (CEO) on advanced topics such as async & promises, closures, higher-order functions. Going to these meetups helped tremendously in my decision to go to Codesmith as you get a preview of the lectures, people (a lot of the cohort comes from the meetups) and environment. To give a better context to my review, I focused on three things during my decision process for picking a coding bootcamp:

    1. The quality of the education- I came to coding with zero background in computer science and made a complete career change, so this was important not only because of the cost of the program, but I needed to be able to digest advanced topics in a short amount of time.
    2. Job assistance – I needed a program that can also jumpstart my career in this industry since I left a good job to study and commit to a 13 program and couldn’t afford to not get a job quickly or start on an entry level  (More on this later, but Codesmith has a hiring program that’s included in your time there and is worth the price alone)
    3. The community –  I needed to be challenged and be with like-minded and supportive people. There are plenty of group projects and pair-programming so the people surrounding you are important. Also, you are spending every ounce of your time there (Codesmith is 6 days a week, from 9am to 8pm (officially) but most usually stay until 10-11pm+). Additionally, the girl ratio was also a concern for me (In my cohort there was 4 out 16).  

    Needless to say Codesmith exceed my expectations and hit all of major concerns. To start with the curriculum, every day for the first hour of the day you have an algorithm problem and the approach lecture for the problem the day before. You spend the first 4 weeks doing 2 day units which consist of lectures, skill-builders (solo-work) and pair-programing unit challenges. Most of your “learning” comes from these pair-programing challenges which encourage you to problem-solve by struggling and talking out things with your partner. (There is a clear focus on technical communication.) There’s also constructive feedback after each session so you’re constantly improving your teamwork and coding skills. An important note: things are not hand-fed to you. This approach makes you a capable of learning new things really quickly but just know that you will go through a confidence rollercoaster during the course of the program (Will even has a chart that he provides the on the first day). The rest of the program consist of the project phase (3 short term ones and your production project, which will take 4-5 weeks).  These are great way to experiment, dive deep, and build your expertise in certain technologies. They are all impressive (check out Codesmith’s website for examples) and a notable experience to talk about when on an interview.

    What makes the program so powerful is that the community of the instructors, fellows, the non-technical staff, and the rest of the cohort. Every person is expertly selected to preserve the Codesmith community and culture, and, I’ve never seen a more dedicated and caring workforce. The teaching fellows are there to do the approach lectures and to support you throughout the entire process and they spend hours with you going over material, questions you may have, and even theorizing about a particular approach or current hot topic. There are also periodical check-ins with the staff on how you are doing with the program, and they are always available to you to resolve any issues you may have. A new cohort starts every six weeks, and Juniors and Seniors are in the same space, so you’ll get plenty of opportunity to meet/network/mentor with more developers before and after you.  The small class size, long hours, and plenty of group projects makes it easy to bond with your cohort group. It was only 90 days but it felt like we were together for many years. There’s also a great alumni network that’s available online and in person (there were always a few alumni visiting during my time there).

    Towards the end of the program they start the hiring program which has on-going support after graduation and is led by Will and Eric. It’s another thing that sets Codesmith apart from the rest. They give you knowledge and practice on building your resume, how to interview, how to approach the job search, and how to negotiate salary (Listen to Eric on this –  he coaches you what to say and what to expect and it is 100% on point). There are mock interviews, and check-ins, and slack channels that will be your coding and job-search bible. On top of that, there’s always someone on staff (or fellow cohort mates) to guide you throughout the whole process.

    You can read about the outcomes report on Codesmith here (https://cirr.org/data) and certainly do your research (got to meetups and info sessions) but I can honestly say that Codesmith changed my life.  Its staff, approach to education, and community are top notch. It was definitely one of the toughest things I’ve done but it was also one of the most rewarding. The hesitation toward joining such an intense program is valid but if you commit yourself to those 90 days, Codesmith will change your life. I am sure it.     

  • Dan Wu  User Photo
    Dan Wu • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Steer clear of Codesmith if you're not ready to be challenged! Over 12 grueling weeks, you will be primed to tackle algorithmic challenges and pick up new web technologies (React/Redux/SQL/noSQL) at breakneck pace. The fact that each member of my cohort was able to hold his/her own - despite the unrelenting pace of the curriculum - is testament to the dedication of and empowerment fostered by the instructors and teaching staff who give the program its momentum. Career-wise, the support I have received from Codesmith (in addition to the numerous networking opportunities during the course of the program) has been invaluable and will be very encouraging for those seeking opportunities in the software dev market for the first time.

    As a side note, consider taking the associated 2-week CSPrep program before tackling the 12-week program head-on; I myself enrolled in it and could not have found a better way to ready myself for the Javascript curriculum that's the cornerstone of the Codesmith program.

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    Hubert • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I'm writing this review as I finally cleared my background check for my mid-level offer after 1 month of graduating from Codesmith in order to shine light for those who are in my position 4 months ago.

    In that sense, I'll speak to what I wish I would have read before making the leap to Codesmith. If you're reading this, you've probably narrowed down your choices to the top bootcamps - Fullstack, HR, App Academy - but maybe you've heard of Codesmith or went to JS the Hard Parts. That was me and I was ready to go to Fullstack until I went to one workshop and immediately changed my mind. 

    To me the big 3 differentiators of Codesmith are:

    1. Results.

    In the end, that's what we care about right? Codesmith has been consistently getting its graduates 6 figure salaries and now they have the audited data to prove it. If you go to CIRR, you can see their average salary way over any bootcamp in NY, and I believe the US. Some bootcamps even started leaving off their results because of how bad it's gotten. As I recently interviewed, I can speak to why - the industry is getting fierce as bootcamps and colleges are churning out more and more grads. While other bootcamps stayed complacent, Codesmith innovated - as the hiring program is phenomenal and is not comparable to anything else offered. Other bootcamps just tell you to make your resume look pretty and give you mock interviews but Codesmith's hiring program seriously prepares you to not only pass the interviews, but to get the interviews - which is the most important part. Coming out of a bootcamp, especially with no experience, you're already going to have a hard time getting interviews but not Codesmith grads. Some people in my cohort had to disable their notifications because they were getting spammed with interview requests by recruiters.

    2. Community

    Well, now you're probably wondering if Codesmith has such great results, why aren't they as well known as all the others? Well, its because Codesmith doesn't go for guerilla marketing like others. When I was googling coding terms, and even now, I couldn't go 5 minutes without seeing a Fullstack Academy ad. When I finished Hack Reactor Prep, I couldn't go 5 days without seeing an email reminder telling me to sign up for the next cohort. Why? Because those bootcamps were acquired and are incentivized work to increase their bottom line and churn out grads. I didn't want to feel like I was just another face in a sea of students. Codesmith doesn't do guerilla marketing and keeps its cohorts small, having only 2 in person running at each time. One in their senior phase, to mentor the juniors, who are in the beginning phase. That way education quality is upheld, more individual attention can be given, and everyone forms lasting relationships.

    3. Project

    If you check out the Codesmith projects, you'll realize why grads get only mid level offers or higher. Instead of building some slack/airbnb clone or some random thing no one will ever use, grads are building developer tools that people actually use. Trust me - when your interviewer hears that your project was starred by core team members of the framework you're USING - I promise you they'll be impressed.

    In the end, if you work hard enough, you can join the Codesmith family of software engineers, all whose lives have been changed by this experience. I encourage anyone out there learning to code to keep working hard, and come to a Thursday night workshop at Codesmith and see what it really is all about!

  • A Rewarding Choice
    - 5/12/2019
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    Jonah • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    As many other have noted, Codesmith’s 12-week course is both an extremely challenging and extremely rewarding journey. The aspect that made it possible was the unbelievable assistance from the community. The unflagging support from both the staff and fellow students make the long hours (10-12 hours day, if not more) manageable — enjoyable even — and it never feels like you’re alone during any part of the marathon.

    The structured pace is fast, but at no point did I feel left behind because there is always someone willing to review curriculum material. The onus of mastery falls on the initiative of the student (additional long hours or weekend work), but Codesmith mentors and teachers do an amazing job of making themselves available.

    The production project portion of the program forces students to think outside the box and interact with their team in a similar way that they might in the real world. The graphQL migration tool my team built was a crucial learning experience and huge talking point during my job search and interviews.

    With so many bootcamp options available, it can be difficult to gauge the flavor of each and whether a course might be right for you. Codesmith’s CS Prep and free CSX course is a great way to get a sense of the culture and curriculum. I would heartily recommend Codesmith to someone looking to level-up in fullstack development and it was one of the best educational/career decisions I’ve ever made.

  • 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.

  • Resident
    - 5/3/2019
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    Ed Ryan • Resident • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Given that one understands the personal commitment required, I reccomend Codesmith wholeheartedly. Five reasons why:

    1. There's a hiring day. Nothing compares to sitting down and doing a real interview. Eight companies came by.  A hiring day gives you incomparable experience.

    2. I got to work on specific cutting-edge technologies. Of note: testing with Jest and Enzyme. Dockerization. Learning to navigate AWS.

    3. The production project. The project ideas come from the students themselves. The teachers approve ideas, but do not supply them. I worked on a testing and mocking tool for gRPCs. I worked at least 13 hours a day, six days a week, for 5 weeks. Usually about 15 hours. I learned a ton, and I'm proud of what I made. We self-learned about RPC systems, protobufs, HTTP2 - all sorts of nonsense. There is no course for these things. Only documentation. Reading it gave me depth and experience. We wanted a professional, responsive UI and our team broke our backs make it clean and fast.

    4. The people. I put in an insane amount of time. My teammates matched me hour-for-hour. The level of dedication and commitment is very very high.

    5. Sensitivity is valued. There is strong support for underrepresented groups in tech. Codesmith tries very hard to foster a positive environment for its students, and I think it shows. Instructors and staff explicitly make themselves available when students feel uncomfortable or stressed. Staff check in with each student individually on a regular basis.

    You get what you put into the program. It is not for everyone. There was laughter, tears. It was usually fun and very hard. An absurd experience, and intense. For me, absolutely worth it. For most, the Codesmith system works. People are getting good jobs coming out of the program.

    Some cons - the program is getting too large. Cohorts in LA are much too large, in my opinion. It is too loud and they need more bathrooms. You need a certain amount of self-reliance. The instructors do the best they can, but they can not be there for everyone. The program heavily benefits people who thrive in situations where questions are vague and demand that people seek their own solutions. You are paying 17k to be asked questions - not to be given answers. This seems like poor teaching practice. As someone who has real, formal training in the classroom - I vouch for approach to teaching, with reservations. It fosters creativity, but it is badly frustrating, and it feels awful to fail constantly.

    A very high reccomendation with strong reservations.

  • Wisdom Liu  User Photo
    Wisdom Liu • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I was pushed to my limits and beyond. They taught me data structures, React/Redux, Node/Express, SQL and NoSQL databases, and much more. It's crazy how far I've come from no technical experience to now being a fullstack Software Engineer. I'm grateful for the opportunity I was given here and will never forget the experience. 

    This is not a typical bootcamp - it's literally a residency. I've gained invaluable skills here and developed a close relationship with each of my classmates in my cohort.

    Their hiring program is amazing - they really want you to get the best offer possible - and as with everything else they teach, it's a very in-depth program.

  • Julian  User Photo
    Julian • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Looking back on the last 3 months, I can safely say that joining the Codesmith community has been one of the best experiences of my life. It was a remarkable journey of rewarding challenges that taught me so much not just about programming, but about myself.

    When I first decided to pursue coding, I did a lot of research looking into the many programs New York City had to offer. I remember the pivotal moment when a friend of mine suggested Codesmith’s “JavaScript the Hard Parts” class offered every Thursday evening, because attending that first class changed everything.

    I found a community of supportive, passionate people who fostered an environment of collaboration and growth, the likes of which I had never seen anywhere else.

    When I was accepted into the 3 month program, I found the excitement and passion for problem solving to be infectious, and I felt invigorated every day to push myself harder, and learn as much as I possibly could.

    The instructors are amazing. Not only do they have an incredible wealth of knowledge, but they also possess the ability to dynamically teach it to others, and I think that’s very important to note.  The most important thing you gain from your Codesmith residency though, is the tool chest to learn anything. You are fundamentally trained to be able to figure your way through any technical block, and this is an invaluable skill.

    Maybe you’re wondering… does it really work? Can I really get a job afterwards? The numbers don’t lie, and the answer is yes. The average salary is around 120k and my cohort is seeing these offers and better ones already. It’s only been a few weeks since we graduated.

    My advice to you: Go for a visit on a Thursday evening and meet everyone. You’ll see what I mean. I can’t recommend it enough!

  • Andy  User Photo
    Andy • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Sometimes it's hard to know if you made the right choice until you look back on it and I can say for 100% certainty that going Codesmith was one of the best decisions I made!

    Of course, I didn't go through all the other schools/bootcamps but I did a lot of extensive research on all the options before deciding on Codesmith. Why I ultimately decided Codesmith was the right fit for me was... 1. The smaller class sizes allow you to receive more attention and bond with classmates 2. The production project (building projects that help the developer community) 3. Phil, Will, Dave, and all the other Instructors/fellows... you can replace curriculum but you can't replace great instructors!

    When I was initially interviewing for other bootcamps, I felt like I was one of just another person of incoming students. Phil and Will, on the other hand, made me feel like I was part of a community and I really felt they cared about my personal growth above all else. 

    The curriculum was amazing but more than that the community was the best thing about Codesmith! I've learned a lot from my fellow classmates and the energy that everyone brings is what Codesmith strives to cultivate.

    Was it worth the price? Well, whether you find a job or not, you grow in every way possible. So in short answer... yes! What are you waiting for? ;)

  • Jonathan  User Photo
    Jonathan • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    If you're in a rush here is the information you want:
    After completing the residency at Codesmith I received multiple offers of which the lowest was $120k. This is an objective fact. No smoke, no mirrors.

    Another objective fact: my first offer was 13 days after I entered the market.

    With that said, I want to be very clear about the end goal here. It is not about money. The end goal is mastery of your craft. It just so happens that companies will pay well for people who can demonstrate dedication to their craft. I couldn't command a 100k+ salary before completing the Codesmith residency. Afterwards I had a few options to choose from.
    _______
    About Codesmith:

    Codesmith is about finding your limits and pushing past them. If you can consistently do that every day for the duration of the program and continue doing so in the job market then you can expect great offers. You get out what you put in. If you don’t put in the effort don’t expect stellar results.

    With that said, there is no version of the universe where I earned as many offers without the team at Codesmith. From the top down Will and his team will prepare you for the demands of a job market that wants mid and senior level engineers. Codesmith is three-fold; it is one part becoming a better engineer, another part becoming a better person, and third part becoming a better interviewee. Each aspect of that is assessed before you’re admitted, and each part is worked on during the residency. You have the opportunity and the support to improve but again it is up to you to act on it.

    Secondly, Codesmith is not a bootcamp.

    I know because I went to a bootcamp prior to Codesmith, as have many Codesmith residents.

    There is nothing else out there like Codesmith. It gets lumped into the pile with the rest because bootcamps are the closest thing. Codesmith is a residency. Unlike other residencies Codesmith makes sure that all of it’s engineers are on the same page. There is a 4 week curriculum in which you are thrown into the deep-end of full-stack Javascript. This is so that each engineer there has the same toolkit to collaborate and build projects together. And building projects is what you do for the remainder of the residency. Even during the 4 week curriculum you are building applications, just piecemeal with each piece of technology building upon previous units.

    The day to day at codesmith is: you show up at 9am and keep coding until 8pm. It is not uncommon to see people stay even later and in fact most do. You get practical hands on experience building scalable applications and even more important you get hands on experience collaborating with other engineers with varying degrees of experience. It is truly a transformative experience.

    At a bootcamp you spend 75% or more of your time observing or coding along to something. Of the 1000+ hours at Codesmith less than 5% of that is spent in a lecture setting. You are actively building products the entire time. There is support for when you need help but the majority of the time you are working in pods to build scalable applications. The goal is to overcome problems yourself with the help of your team, just how you would in the real world. That may sound intimidating or intense but know that the team at Codesmith is incredibly supportive. 

    From the beginning they are highly selective about who is allowed into the program. Codesmith doesn’t just screen for determined and talented engineers, it also screens for nice people. A very talented engineer who is rude or hard to get along with will not be able to join a cohort at Codesmith. This is something that makes the 3 months in this environment not just bearable, but outright enjoyable. The staff go above and beyond to make sure the environment remains a positive one and there are activities built into the schedule to help prevent residents from burning out. 

    So how are the results overall?
    Well, from my Cohort of 12 only 3 have spent more than 3 months looking for jobs.
    Compare that to my bootcamp experience where I had a cohort of 23 and after 6 months only 4 people had full-time jobs in tech. Nobody from my previous bootcamp cohort got offered more than 70k. Not one. The lowest offer from my Codesmith cohort was 80k and that same person also got a 90k offer.
    I don’t want it to seem like I am only focused on money. I bring it up because Codesmith costs money to join, it is an investment in yourself and I want to show that it pays off financially. 

    Beyond the financial payoff my confidence to create, collaborate, and contribute as an engineer have increased exponentially. Before Codesmith I had some difficulty learning new libraries or technologies. I didn’t know how to get information from documentation. If I had to learn something new I had to watch somebody on Youtube or Udemy teach me and then try my best to replicate that. Then once I replicated it perfectly I would branch out slowly until something broke and then I’d have to watch more youtube videos until I figured it out. Now I just read the documentation and figure it out in a few minutes. 

    Everything is excellent from start to finish. Once you finish the program at Codesmith there is unparalleled support. There is staff available to polish your interviewing skills and even negotiate offers. There is nothing else like it. 

    I remember being in my previous bootcamp and talking to alums who were in the market after graduating. Some of them had been in the market for months. The bootcamp I attended said the job search could take up to a year after finishing the program. The grads I talked to were looking for junior roles in the 60- 80k range. Anything higher than that was unheard of and many, fatigued emotionally and financially from the long job search, were willing to go even lower than that.

    My first Hard Parts meetup was on recursion being lead by the Senior Engineer at Codesmith. At the time I had a vague idea about how recursion works but by the time I walked out it was clear as day. I knew I had to learn more. I started talking to some of the residents and graduates and they started talking about their job processes. Some of them were getting offers the same week they graduated for more than 100k. I didn’t think that it was possible but the more people I talked to the more I kept hearing the same things. At that point I decided to apply. I figured if I didn’t get in then at least I knew that I tried. I was rejected on my first attempt but on my second attempt (a month later, studying the whole time) I was offered a spot in one of the cohorts.

    Before starting the program I thought that Codesmith residents must have been super-human engineers. But now that I've completed it I know they weren’t, they were just dedicated to their craft. Being a part of my cohort at Codesmith was the first time in my life I was surrounded by people equally as driven as I am. I’m a little spoiled now as a result.
    _________

    Shoutout to Will, Phil, Ryan, Olivia, Jac, Dave, Sam, Schno, Haley, Jenny, Mircea, Saim, Chris, Alesi, Ryan, Christine, & Joel. 10/10 would recommend.

  • Julie Beak  User Photo
    Julie Beak • Student Verified via GitHub
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    If you are planning to join a coding bootcamp, consider CS Prep course seriously!

    took CS Prep this February to prepare myself get in Codesmith immersive program. I can tell you confidently it is so worth it. Codesmith is very famouse of just getting in is so hard. Before I did CS Prep, I took another prep course from other bootcamp, which was 100% online. I mean, CS Prep is also online course but they do it on live, not recorded lectures. Our instructor, Ryan, did a phenomenon job, took care of every single students, was very patient, and tried answer all the questions we had no matter how late it was or how many times we asked same quesitons. I was accepted into the Immersive on my first try!! I built solid foundational Javascript knowledge and was taught how to do proper technical communication. Every class you do pair programming that can help you to practice your technical communication. It can be very difficult if you have never done before, but once you get used to, you will understand how important it is!  You also can send a video of your technical communication to Ryan, he will watch it no matter how long it is and will give you a solid feedback. I can't say thank you enough to all the staffs of Codesmith and Ryan! 

     

  • Eugene  User Photo
    Eugene • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I'm writing the review I would like to have seen here before making my decision. If you're skeptical about the idea of attending a three month program like Codesmith after graduating with a technical degree, I hope this review helps you.

    Before attending Codesmith at NYC, I was a fresh graduate looking for work. I studied Computer Science as an undergrad and I had finished with a general set of skills. However I never learned about software engineering or the ways to approach building a project on my own. I never learned about best coding practices. I didn't have a body of work that showcased what I had been learning for the past four years.

    I spent a couple of months self-studying. I took courses on Udemy learning JavaScript libraries like React and Redux, and was able to build some small projects. However, I hit a block where I wasn't learning as quickly as I was when I started. So I reached out to find other developers through Meetup and found myself at Hard Parts. The consistent delivery of energy and extensive explanation of fundamental concepts had me coming back every week. At some point, I had attended all of the workshops they had to offer, and during my time there I was seriously considering attending Codesmith as a resident. I was on the fence about it for a while, because I felt that it wouldn't have been necessary given my background. I wanted some more information about the program so I hung around and spoke with the current cohorts and engineering fellows. Everyone I asked was very receptive and gave me the ins and outs of the program and its potential tradeoffs. I really admired the community Codesmith fostered. I finally decided for that I wanted to be a resident, and ultimately a part of a community of developers who were driven and loved to build things.

    Codesmith is all about collective learning. For the first six weeks we pair program every day, switching pairs every two days. The first thing I had noticed about the material is how quickly information was introduced. We spent the first week learning fundamental algorithms and data structures (subjects I wasn't exposed to until two years into university). After that week, my cohort mates, without any exposure to algorithms coming in, were already taking time and space complexity into consideration when solving coding problems. They were also thinking about how to optimize their solutions. What also got me going was constantly being around people who enjoyed discussing JavaScript concepts, web development and project ideas they had.

    After the first six weeks, we get to ideate on a production project idea with a team. In my opinion this is the most important phase in the course. You spend the first six weeks learning all about and using web libraries like React, Redux, MongoDB, Node and Express, and you’re given an opportunity to use those tools to build an application from scratch. Most importantly, you do so with the cohort mates you’ve been growing and learning with. I learned the most during the production phase because it provided me with experience of being on a team, and working in a Git flow. For my team, we had common disagreements about the problems we wanted to solve, the technologies we wanted to use, and our workflow. Meeting up as a team, discussing these issues and resolving them are important experiences that both help you grow as a developer, and as a team player.

    You can only learn so much by sitting at home and developing projects on your own. I’d say the most important things I got out of the program were the experiences I had with other developers that I could speak to. I believe that being able to talk about problems you were introduced to with other people and how you overcame them as a team can take you a long way. Codesmith was definitely the right choice for me. It definitely provided me with exactly the components I needed to land the job that I have now. Even after graduating Codesmith, I have the support of the mentors and the students I’ve built relationships with during my time there.

  • David  User Photo
    David • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Simply put, Codesmith is a cut above the rest.


    I came from a background of electronic music production, some decent experience with JavaScript, SQL, and aside from that, a largely non-technical background. After working hard and doing pretty much nothing but coding in my spare time preparing to get into Codesmith throughout 2018, I joined in the October 2018 cohort. I was hoping it would be a life-changing experience - it delivered 100%.


    More than just teaching you how to use the most in-demand languages/frameworks/libraries, Codesmith teaches you how to solve problems. It builds that muscle for walking up to a wall of code and/or problems that you may have no idea how to solve, and teaches you to calmly dissect it, piece by piece and solve the problem at hand. Doing this over and over, time and time again, is what prepares you for that mid to senior level engineering role.


    Codesmith is extremely effective at curating a group of residents who are passionate and willing to make this their top priority. It is not easy to get into Codesmith, and this careful vetting process shows. My cohort was filled with brilliant engineers who were not only driven to improve their skills as engineers, but equally invested in helping to grow the skills of all those around them. In turn, the result is that everyone levels up together, and lifelong friends are made in the process.


    Curriculum includes Algorithms, Data Structures, Big O notation, JavaScript, React, Redux, Webpack, Node, SQL, noSQL, etc. The program is very challenging, and takes the approach of giving you a "birds eye view" overview lecture, and then throwing you into the deep end to build with what you've just learned about. This process can be extremely challenging, frustrating, and definitely made me doubt myself at times, but in the end, was incredibly effective in improving my problem solving skills, technical communication, and making me more comfortable being uncomfortable.


    The hiring program at Codesmith is one of the main aspects that sets Codesmith apart from any other coding residency I looked into. A strong emphasis is placed on considering not just what technologies you know, but why you specifically chose to use these technologies over other available options, what the tradeoffs were, and strengthening your technical communication to effectively communicate these decisions in a mature and thoughtful way. From whiteboarding and mock interviews, to SDI's, one-on-one salary negotiation, multiple resume and online profile reviews, and a unique, results-driven approach to applying for jobs, Codesmith sticks with you when it gets real after graduation. Lifetime hiring support is provided - I did two mock-interviews after graduating that were both instrumental in helping me to land the offer in LA I just accepted for a full stack engineer position.


    Lastly, I would like to speak on the lifelong friends and colleagues I met at Codesmith. Upon graduation, two of my cohort mates and I decided to form a slack channel to hold each other accountable and check in with each other throughout the job search process. We made sure to touch base every day, and shared things we were learning throughout each technical interview we encountered. I am proud to say that all three of us have landed 125k+ positions within a month and a half of graduating.


    It is possible! Make the sacrifices, make this your top priority, and you can do it! Codesmith has the roadmap laid out - you just have to make the commitment, work harder than you ever have before, and make it happen. If I can do it, so can you 🤘

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!