Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship - Meet Christelle

Codesmith aims to create a space where people from all walks of life feel welcome, have equal opportunity, and can freely represent themselves and their backgrounds. To diversify the tech industry and empower Black students pursue careers in Software Engineering, our Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship offers full-tuition assistance to our Software Engineering Immersive programs.

Meet Christelle, a Black Engineers at Codesmith Scholarship recipient.

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“Our environment shapes us, choose wisely your surroundings and the people in it”- Luis Castillo. Before coding, I was pursuing a career in medicine, thinking I wanted to become a doctor, and I chose this career path because many medical professionals surround me. I assumed it’d be the only way to help others get from point A to point B. Although I enjoyed all of the science courses I took during undergrad, there was still something missing, and I wanted to understand why I didn’t feel fulfilled in that career path.

My turning point was in grad school; I felt lost, unhappy, and had to be honest with myself and come to terms with the fact that this field isn’t going to be fulfilling once I finish. During quarantine, I asked myself what I can do to add value to people’s lives and impact the world, and I discovered that Technology is one of the most potent ways to make an impact.

 

"My medium-term goal is to start a mentoring and tutoring center dedicated to serving underrepresented minorities, offering them more encouragement and access to resources that will enable their success in pursuing a career in the fields of technology."

 

During the lockdown, I hit rock bottom, but it was through rock bottom I found new visions and ideas, and they were all related to Technology.

The Prepping Journey

Turning this damaging pandemic into something positive, I started teaching myself how to code. I knew I wanted to enroll in an immersive program, but I wasn’t sure if it would be the right decision. I did tons of research, and a Codesmith Alum’s story persuaded me to enroll in the most rigorous program in the country.

I attended the workshops every Tuesday – Thursday’s because I enjoyed being around many motivated aspiring engineers. Next, since I liked the teaching style, I signed up for JSB, and through JSB, I met a friend who was also motivated to get into the program; we paired and studied almost every day to get into Codesmith. At last, I scheduled my technical interview and was able to pass in my first attempt.

Life At Codesmith

I was very excited and nervous simultaneously upon my acceptance to LA cohort 39. When I received the pre-course work, I started to panic because I didn’t grasp HTML and CSS since my only focus was on my acceptance letter from Codesmith.

Week 1, whoa!!! I can’t believe this is happening; it was just a couple of months ago I was preparing to enroll in the program, and here I am amongst brilliant, risk-takers, amazing people.

Like the instructors would say in the workshops, this program is fast-paced and challenging; they certainly weren’t lying; during week 1, we went over OOP, time and space complexity of Algorithms and Data structures.

Next, Week 2 presented a snake game designed to code out in TWO days, and that same week we had a hackathon, which only lasted about a day, transitioned over to the Frontend frameworks. Consequently, week 3, in other words, “hell week,” because we had to learn a state management framework and switch over to the backend, and that was when the imposter syndrome hit me hard!!

I started to tell myself why I don’t belong in the program, but I also had to convince myself to believe that I need to stay focused because my future depends on it. I regained my strength and moved forward to week 4, learned a lot about relational and non-relational databases. Finally, in week 5, the final week of taking in new information every two days, we learned about authentication, which was pretty fascinating.

Project Phase

After grasping knowledge for 5 consecutive weeks, it’s time to put all of the ability to practice by building projects. In the project phase, the first project was the Solo project, this project I decided to make something that was going to be related to one of my future goals’ ideas. Week 6 at last, the junior phase is about to end; for our Scratch project, I was in a group with three other people, and this is a picture of our wireframe, how we wanted our end product to look like; we built this full-stack CRUD app in 2 ½ days.

During that same final week of the junior phase, we had our Iteration project, and we picked a project that we thought had potential, needed more improvements, and iterated on it, and added more features. Overall, I felt lost throughout week 2 – week 5, I received an APC for three consecutive weeks straight, an APC is spending an hour with a fellow going over failed assessments, but everything started to click during the project phase.

RELATED: A DEEP DIVE INTO IMMERSIVE PROGRAMS PROJECTS PHASE

“Be the change you want to see in the world” - Mohandas Gandhi. Codesmith blessed me with the black engineering scholarship; I feel so much more confident establishing a center dedicated to services for minorities interested in technology. Secondly, I want to start a private scholarship fund to assist underrepresented minorities. Lastly, to collaborate with other developers to create software to help shape underrepresented communities.

Blog written by Christelle D.

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Codesmith’s top-rated Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive is now accessible to everyone tuning in from the North American Central Time Zone. Read this blog to dive into the schedule, curriculum and hiring support of our new program.

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