Software Engineering Bootcamp at Codesmith: A Student’s Perspective

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Software Engineering Bootcamp at Codesmith: A Student’s Perspective

Codesmith offers their Software Engineering Immersive program at campuses in New York and Los Angeles, in addition to a variety of in-person events and online resources. We checked in with Franklin, a graduate from the ninth cohort out of New York’s campus and current full-stack engineer at The Muse, to get his *ahem* musings on Codesmith’s bootcamp and how it helped him prepare for a career in software engineering.

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How has your life changed since attending Codesmith?

Since attending Codesmith my life has changed for the better in more ways than one. I work at a great company where I enjoy what I do everyday and have a better quality of life.

What made you choose Codesmith?

Most bootcamps offer some open-houses where one can ask the staff and alumni questions, while also getting a feel of the culture. Codesmith offers three free workshops every week - one for beginners learning JavaScript, one for building a web app, and one for more advanced JavaScript concepts called "JavaScript: The Hard Parts". Having some technical background already, I opted for "Hard Parts", the more advanced workshop, and was blown away by the instructors’ ability to convey advanced JavaScript concepts such as Promises, Async/Await, and Closures.

What are Codesmith's biggest strengths?

Codesmith's biggest strengths are its community and the quality of the curriculum. Codesmith's community is second to none. At least ten successful cohorts have gone through Codesmith's New York City campus and it's not uncommon to see alumni ranging all the way from the first cohort coming back to visit and share experiences from their current jobs. There are also lots of like-minded people looking for pair programming partners, trying to get into a bootcamp, or trying to level up their JavaScript.

Codesmith's curriculum is great because it changes based on feedback from alumni. For example, Codesmith added a unit for Amazon Web Services during my cohort, when they received alumni feedback about familiarity with AWS coming up often in interviews. That commitment to keeping its residents competitive is important.

What was the job search process like?

The job search process in general can be stressful if not prepared well, and everyone's job search process will be slightly different. Codesmith prepares its residents well. But at its core it was lots of applying to jobs and utilizing your network. Codesmith's alumni work at lots of great companies, so by becoming a resident you also have access to that great network. Codesmith also has a very active alumni Slack channel where jobs are frequently posted and you can ask questions and get tips on the job search.

How did Codesmith help you in your job search?

Codesmith helped tremendously in the job search by providing not only great resume and salary negotiation support, but also giving great tips on how to approach the job search as well. Codesmith residents can make appointments to practice the different types of interviews they will encounter with a member of the Codesmith staff, this includes support for mock phone, system design, and whiteboard interviews.

During Codesmith's hiring day, employers come and interview Codesmith residents in their final week. This event is a win-win situation in the sense that ultimately, if you get hired by any of the companies, then your job search will be cut short. Even if you don't walk away with a job, you will have gained valuable interviewing experience.

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“I met Franklin when he was interviewing for CS Prep and it's been amazing to see him succeed through the immersive program and in the job search. As the Director of Admissions and Outcomes, it is my goal to ensure that every graduate receives personalized advice and attention as they prepare for and enter the job search. From resume advice, to mock interviews and on-site check-ins, our team works with grads every step of the way as they find their perfect engineering job.”

Shanda McCune, Director of Admissions and Outcomes

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What were your job interviews like?

My job interviews were all different. Almost all companies will start with a phone screen and/or a coding challenge. In general, smaller companies and startups seemed focused more on current technical skills by giving assignments where you had to prove your skills by building something and maybe even iterating on it after. Larger companies seemed focused more on algorithmic skills. Also, about half of my interviews also involved a system design element.

What made you choose to work with your current employer?

I chose my employer because of their unique technical challenges as a company and because of their amazing work culture.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering attending a bootcamp?

Bootcamps are a big investment of time and money. Make sure to really do your research about the bootcamp that you are considering and try to find out as much information as possible so that you can make an informed decision.

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Skills Fund partners with Codesmith to offer tuition and living expense loans to Codesmith students. Interested in learning more about a future in software engineering? Visit Codesmith’s site to check out all they have to offer.

Originally Published 8/23/2019