Inside Look Into Codesmith Remote Software Engineering Immersive

PRE-COURSE

Before the course starts, you should go outside and soak up some sunlight as possible because unfortunately once it starts, you’ll be spending most of your time indoors. When I received this advice myself, I was skeptical. I’m an indoors person, I could not imagine myself missing being outdoors. However, as time progressed, I actually did miss being outdoors - especially on Saturdays when the weather is nice. Even though we do get Sundays off, most of my Sundays are spent catching up on sleep and doing housework.

Screen with code on it next to a cat looking at the viewerMy cat peeking at me while I was working on the production project.

CORE CURRICULUM & PAIR PROGRAMMING

The first four weeks of the program consists of units that cover the core curriculum: Data structure, React/Redux, Node/Express, Database, etc. Most units are two days long, there are a couple short units that are only one day long. For each unit, you are assigned a pair programming partner to work through the challenges with.

As someone who is very shy, I was always dreading the first day of a new unit since I’d have to meet and learn to work with someone new. Would they understand me through my accent? Would I be a burden if I don’t know what to do? After a couple units, my fear abated.

RELATED: THE ART OF LEARNING & IMPOSTER SYNDROME

Everyone I had the privilege of partnering with was nice and so much fun to work with. Not only was everyone passionate about learning, everyone I met were happy to share their knowledge. This made learning so much fun since you can ask each other questions and figure out the challenges together.

At the end of each unit there is some time set aside for peer review - where you and your partner do self-review and also give each other reviews on their performance. This is integral to our growth as programmers, to recognize what we did well, what we need to work on, and how we can do better.

A cat sitting infront of a computer screenHe is usually well behaved but will sometimes block the screen.

ASSESSMENTS

There are 4 assessments during the core curriculum, on the Monday morning of each week (the first being on the first day of class!). These really test if you have a good understanding of the core material covered the previous week. I was really scared when I first heard about the assessments during the pre-course office hours. Another bootcamp I looked into before deciding on Codesmith also had assessments - but in their case they will ask the student to defer their enrollment/graduation if the student does not pass the assessments. This is not the case at Codesmith!

Once you are accepted into the program, Codesmith will make sure to work with you so that at the end of the 13 weeks you have all the fundamentals down and are ready to enter the workforce as a software engineer.

You won’t be kicked out of the program for failing an assessment - they are just a way for Codesmith to check up on your progress, to make sure to assign you extra help if you are having trouble. Extra help comes in the form of APCs - where you get to work with a fellow to go over the material covered in the assessment.

At the end of the junior portion, there is the final graduation assessment that is scheduled on a Saturday. This is in two parts and much longer than the previous assessments. Part 1 is two hours and Part 2 is four hours, you do get an hour lunch break between the two parts.

I found this to be a lot harder than the weekly assessments. It’s not impossible - it’s all materials that were covered during the first four weeks - but it’s definitely challenging to do everything yourself without the benefits of pair programming. If you don’t do well on this, you’ll be assigned a series of APC’s to work through the material. There will be a graduation assessment retake after the production project is complete.

FELLOWS

Fellows are Codesmith graduates that have recently finished the program. Junior Fellows are those who are just starting the fellowship and Senior Fellows are those who are on their second half of the fellowship. They are responsible for the morning Hack Hours, Approach Lectures, Help Desk, APC, mentoring the Production Projects, among other stuff behind the scene.

APC

APC stands for “academic progress checks”, basically it’s an one-on-one office hour with a fellow to make sure you’re up to speed on the core curriculum materials. These are usually scheduled around lunch or dinner times.

A full zoom room of people getting ready to clap togetherLast power clap of our final midday standup.

Blog written by Alice F.

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Alice is one of many graduates sharing their insights on the Codesmith Immersive experience. Take a look at this blog where one of our recent grads Tammy shares some insights on how by the time Codesmith Immersive students graduate they make lifelong friendships with their cohort mates.

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