CIRR & Codesmith: Why It Matters, and How to Interpret Our Outcomes Reports

"You may very well save around 3 years of your life in your career progression by bypassing the junior level job market and entering a mid-senior position straight away."
- Sam G. | Full-Time LA Grad | Software Engineer at Google

Year after year, Codesmith graduates have continued to raise the bar of coding bootcamp alumni as they launch their careers in the software engineering space beyond the program, with NYC grads earning a median starting salary of $125,000, and LA grads about $115,000 as of June 2019. Our graduates consistently land amazing roles as Full Stack, Front-End, and Back-End Software Engineers; several even accepting offers as Senior Software Engineers -- the top-notch salaries are merely an added benefit!

ALL ABOUT CIRR

If you’ve been considering applying to a coding bootcamp or a software engineering Immersive like Codesmith, you may already be familiar with the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting (CIRR), the industry standard for placement stats. With coding schools rising in popularity - totaling over 20,000 graduates as of 2019 (nearly 11 times the amount of graduates since the first coding bootcamps were launched in 2013), CIRR was established in 2016 to ensure accurate and transparent outcomes reports and to give unique insights to prospective students regarding each school’s key statistics on salaries and job placements. CIRR member schools each produce a consistent and easy-to-read outcomes report that accounts for all students who’ve graduated from that particular program. Each report corresponds to every one of a school’s program offerings, whether onsite or remote, preventing CIRR member schools from conveying independently-published numbers that run the risk of being inflated (student numbers, program completion rate, median starting salaries, etc.). Because CIRR enforces a single standard of measurements across all member schools, you can easily compare outcome reports across different programs.

Our outcome reports provide detailed insight into how students are doing long after graduation, measuring graduation rates and in-/out-of -field employment rates, as well as starting salaries 3 and 6 months post-graduation. CIRR requires independent verification of results by a CPA firm that is specifically AICPA Peer-Reviewed. While only a small number of US firms have this qualification, our peer review was conducted by Banks, Finley, White & Co. in accordance with the AICPA standards. For maximum transparency, the peer review is also visible in Codesmith’s published outcome reports.

WHAT MAKES CODESMITH STAND OUT

The Codesmith Immersive Program challenges students to think like engineers rather than just technicians, even before they are accepted (you can read more about what admissions looks for here); technical communication and analytical problem solving skills being at the forefront of evaluation, followed by their JavaScript knowledge. Once in the program, residents are introduced to various approaches to develop their skills, from Hack Hours and Tech Talks to several student-led projects during the program. The production projects are a key component of residents’ portfolios; developed over the course of the senior portion of the Immersive in consultation with the engineering team, these projects showcase residents’ abilities to apply the technologies they learn in the program, solve problems relevant to the developer community, and think critically about the challenges at hand. By graduation, residents are able to leverage all of these moving pieces in their job search, conveying their capabilities to succeed as leaders in the software engineering space. Graduates commonly secure jobs upwards of $110,000 annually, with over 10% of LA graduates and 20% of NYC grads earning starting salaries upwards of $140,000 in the January through June 2019 reporting period (see Figures 1.1-1.3). Codesmith alumni have been employed at top companies such as Amazon, Google, Netflix, and AmEx, as well as other game changers in the tech space like Hulu, Hyperloop, Riot Games, and Blizzard Entertainment.


Figure 1.1

Since 2015, Codesmith’s software engineering Immersive has helped its graduates to propel their careers within the industry, with the highest percentage of residents securing senior-level engineering roles post-graduation amongst CIRR member schools (8.2% of LA graduates; 5.6% of NYC graduates in Jan-June 2019, respectively). For the January-June 2019 reporting period, both Codesmith's LA and NYC immersives were among the top 10 CIRR-certified coding schools in the U.S. to have graduates employed in-field within 180 days of graduation (see Figures 2.1 + 2.2).

 

Offering lifelong hiring support to graduates, Codesmith’s career services team regularly hosts post-graduation check-ins to provide a platform for recent grads to reconnect with their cohort mates, share experiences and interview tips, and receive feedback from the team. Alumni are also invited to join a special Codesmith Alumni Slack channel, ensuring continued support and networking amongst the 1000+ wide Codesmith community.

CODESMITH’S CAREER SERVICES

Residents of the Codesmith Immersive come from a massive range of backgrounds -- some possessing prior experience in the field, while others look to pivot in their career trajectory into the software engineering industry. Regardless of their background, all looking to take their career to the next step by building a mastery of full stack JavaScript and computer science, in addition to engineering soft skills like technical communication and problem solving. During the hiring portion, residents work closely with the instructors and hiring program team to best set themselves up for success heading into the job search, with topics including but not limited to:

  • Resume Revisions
    Residents complete at least 3 rounds of resume revision before having the final version approved by an engineering team member dedicated to helping residents and graduates succeed in their job search.
  • Refining Online Profiles
    From GitHub and AngelList to LinkedIn and TripleByte, the hiring program team supports each member of the cohort in perfecting their online presence as they prepare to put their best foot forward to future employers.
  • Whiteboarding Effectively
    During the final weeks of the Immersive, residents also focus on how to whiteboard through the typical coding challenges that they’ll encounter in most technical interviews, as well as how to communicate their ideas in a clear and compelling way.
  • Alumni Panel & Mock Interviews
    The soon-to-be grads learn best practices and hear insights from Codesmith alumni. The exclusive alumni panel and mock interviews give residents the opportunity to hone their interviewing skills with seasoned alumni who have been in residents’ shoes and bring their experience to the table.
  • Standing Up & Standing Out
    As they approach graduation, residents attend in-depth lectures to learn about how to make their applications stand out, negotiate their starting salaries, and perfect the key points of their professional narrative. They also attend a workshop centered around confronting implicit biases and advocating for greater minority representation in the tech industry.


As the software engineering space continues to evolve, each facet of the hiring program (workshops, lectures, etc.) is continually iterated upon to stay relevant with, if not ahead of, the industry, and has proven to be effective in producing leading graduate outcomes.

Every couple of months, the broader coding community is invited to attend the How to Get Hired as a Software Engineer workshop, hosted by the Codesmith Outcomes team. The session covers what we consider to be the five key skills to succeed in the job search at a mid-level software engineering role, as well as how to whiteboard effectively. The contents of the workshop echo some of what is covered during the hiring portion of the Software Engineering Immersive, giving attendees a special opportunity to glimpse at residents’ experiences as they prepare to navigate the job search beyond the program.

As Codesmith continues to expand its offerings in the remote space, the team similarly continues to improve upon the program curriculum and build upon the culture of excellence established since its founding, ensuring that Codesmith graduates are set up to drive the new standard for bootcamp grads within the software engineering space.

ADDITIONAL LEARNING RESOURCES

Codesmith releases outcomes reports twice a year, all of which are published to the CIRR website; along with those of other schools. You can find the outcomes reports for all reporting periods, current and historical, on CIRR’s website here.

If you want to get started with JavaScript and build your coding skills alongside other members of the Codesmith community, feel free to check out our free weekly workshops, which cover a wide range of JavaScript concepts. You can also use CSX, Codesmith’s free online JavaScript learning platform, to work through 11 multi-faceted units taking you under-the-hood of JavaScript concepts, from the fundamentals of the language to advanced topics such as recursion and asynchronous JavaScript. If you’re looking for a more structured learning experience in preparation for the Immersive, check out this blog post, which highlights a Codesmith grad’s take on CS Prep, our two-week prep program designed to prepare you for the technical interview.

Not sure where to start? Feel free to take a look through our JavaScript Learning Resources, specially curated by skill level. We look forward to welcoming you to the community!

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