Finding the Right Software Engineering Immersive Bootcamp

With the junior portion of my Codesmith experience officially in the rearview, it seems like an appropriate time to sit back and reflect on what has been a whirlwind of a journey — with an emphasis on the sitting back.

Seven weeks ago, I was preparing for what I knew would be a life-changing experience, and — much like the rest of my classmates I’m sure — I was riddled with anxiousness about what that journey would look like.

Prior to looking into bootcamps, I had zero technical background and hadn’t written a single line of code. I knew most bootcamps said none of this was necessary to succeed post-graduation but I was skeptical about how far someone could really get after just a “12-week program.”

Now, seven weeks into the immersive program , I’ve never been more confident in my decision to take that leap of faith and pursue a career in tech with no technical background and having never written a single line of code.

Looking back now, I still think the most tasking part of my journey to becoming a software engineer was finding the right program to enroll in. It was a months-long process of research and Codesmith wasn’t the first immersive program I considered. In fact, prior to finding Codesmith, I had already decided to attend another prominent bootcamp.

After some concerns about my own readiness and the time I had to prepare, as well as some financial concerns, I decided to defer enrollment to their upcoming cohort. This felt like a massive gut punch because it had been nearly eight months since I made the decision to find a program and three months since I left my job to begin studying full time.

My little office room. The place I've called home for a month and a half now.

Although I felt deflated, I thought that maybe it might not be such a bad idea to look into some other programs because although I had done a fair amount of research and thought I knew where I wanted to go, this had been the only program I applied to and I thought doing more digging couldn’t hurt. This is when I found Codesmith on CIRR’s website and to say I was blown away might be playing it down a bit.

The grad outcomes I found in Codesmith's CIRR report were unlike any other program I’d looked at. Not only were their graduates making significantly more than those of other boot camps but they were finding full-time positions faster too. This was incredibly important to me because much of the reason I decided to pursue a career in tech was to create a better life for myself and my family and the sooner I could break into the field, the sooner I could help my parents retire and finally relax after spending so many years working to take care of their kids.

No motivation was bigger than the desire to provide for my parents the way they did for me and Codesmith was making a better case than any other program but I was still cynical about how reliable these claims could be.

This led me down a rabbit hole of trying to find out everything about this program that I possibly could. I wanted to see their approach to teaching so I attended their free JavaScript The Hard Parts workshops.

I wanted to know what level of JavaScript proficiency they expected out of their applicants so I began making my way through their CSX learning platform. And most importantly — at that point in time, at least — I wanted to know how on earth they were producing such successful engineers so I scheduled a call to discuss just that. And at every turn I was impressed.

Our iteration project group celebrating getting out flashcards to display.

Codesmith’s winning strategy has a lot to do with the faith they place in their students. They approach the curriculum knowing, not just believing, that their students can handle the immense amount of information that’s being thrown at them.

They don’t expect students to grasp everything immediately, but instead, they ask them to work through it and trust the process. The units build on one another and eventually, the bigger picture begins to form.

They cover topics that are well above what might be expected of folks who only began studying coding a few months ago. I’ve spoken to undergrad computer science students and mid-level developers I know who have all expressed their surprise at how accelerated the curriculum is.

It seems the more familiar I become with Codesmith, even now halfway through the immersive, the better I understand what makes this bootcamp so special.

Blog written by Shadman Khan, Codesmith NY Cohort 25

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Codesmith’s curriculum is largely project-based. There is excitement and confidence that comes with software engineers working together to create and build. Read this blog to learn more about the projects and collaborative learning opportunities at Codesmith.

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