Codesmith is a coding bootcamp that helps you obtain a mid- or senior-level software engineering job. This school offers courses in different levels of the programming process. If you’re interested in learning more about Codesmith, read our guide.
Codesmith is a coding training school with campuses in Los Angeles and New York. This school offers different programming courses to help you develop a solid computer science foundation. Currently, all courses are being conducted online due to COVID-19.
Forbes and The New York Times have recognized Codesmith as an outstanding coding institution. On average, the school’s graduates earn between $114,000 and $125,000.
Codesmith’s flagship offering is its Software Engineering Immersive Program. However, it also offers other beginner-level courses to help you get familiarized with the coding bootcamp dynamic.
The course includes a couple of projects and challenges so you can test your skills. If you want to dive deeper into software engineering, you can move onto the Software Engineering Immersive Program.
This online course only takes a couple of hours to complete. It also has a relatively low cost compared to other introductory programs.
The application process at Codesmith is pretty straightforward. It requires an online application where you submit details like your name and career background. Then, you will have a regular interview. This is a normal conversation, so you shouldn’t be nervous. Take this time to talk about your goals and the reasons why you chose the school.
After that, you will have a technical interview. This is what you should prepare for. Most students research for several weeks in preparation. This interview, which is currently conducted remotely, is designed to evaluate your coding skills. Afterward, you will be contacted and told whether you have been accepted or not.
Codesmith has three financing options. These are upfront payment, loan financing, and monthly installments. The monthly payment option requires a deposit payment of $2,400. You will then pay $2,550 before classes commence. The remainder is paid in $4,800 installments.
In addition, Codesmith works with lending partner Skills Fund. Students from underrepresented groups in the tech industry can apply for two different scholarships.
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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.
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.
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.
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 considering taking this next step in their career.
March 11, 2020
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.
June 13, 2020
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 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.
July 16, 2020
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:
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.
July 23, 2020
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.
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.
August 21, 2020
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