Managing the Second Half of Codesmith

It feels like it was just yesterday that you were looking at the Codesmith application, sitting in Hard Parts lectures, and doing the problems in CSX. And just like that, your time at Codesmith is about to be over. What seemed like a daunting 12 weeks has passed before your eyes. Here are a few things to think about when you get to week 6.

YOU WILL HAVE MORE FREE TIME

Once you hit ideation week, you lose the rigid structure of Codesmith. You may be thinking “this is great, now I can get some rest!”, but in reality, this is the time for you to study. In the time you aren’t working on your production project, make a schedule to review the first six weeks of lectures.

A Codesmith Engineering fellow teaches a virtual lecture.

 

RELATED: SOFTWARE ENGINEERING IMMERSIVE SYLLABUS

PRODUCTION PROJECT

Ideation Week

Take this time to think about the technologies you want to use or learn, but remember to keep scope in mind. A month to work on a project seems like a lot, but those weeks go by quickly. I found it the easiest to pick a language I wanted to work with, then google as many technologies I could find associated with that language. This technique leads me down a rabbit hole of topics I didn’t know existed. Once you make your list of possibilities, figuring out an idea becomes more straightforward.

A screenshot of the React documentation on Context API.

 

Coding the Project

Every project is different, but my group found it helpful to pair-program for the most part, so we all knew what the code was doing. By the end, we had broken off and completed our separate tasks, but when you are putting together your resume you’ll feel more confident in those bullet points knowing you understand everything in the codebase.

It is also important to have a solid Git workflow. Figure out if you want to work asynchronously or come together when merging pull requests. Either way, stay consistent and your lives will be so much easier.

Launch Day

I suggest starting your articles sooner rather than later. You never know when a huge bug is going to get in the way of writing. Take a look at the slack messages the seniors before you made and follow suit. Taking the time to write these articles will further reinforce your codebase knowledge. It will also make sure you are opinionated about your code. Knowing the reasons you had chosen in your tech stack will make fielding interview questions about your projects more manageable. Also, check out rigflo and star us on GitHub.

A color diagram showing GitHub workflow between a terminal window and flowchart.

 

RELATED: A DEEP DIVE INTO THE IMMERSIVE PROGRAM'S PROJECT PHASE

TECH TALK

I don’t know about anyone else, but I was excited to do my tech talk. I think it’s a great way to be exposed to new information in a short period of time. As we all know, teaching a topic is the best way to learn. It also, again, keeps you opinionated about technology. It’s easy to say don’t be nervous, but have fun with it. You’re doing it to make yourself a stronger engineer.

HIRING LECTURE

Go to all of them. You didn’t do all of this work not to get a job in the end. Take time to write your resume, don’t wait until the last minute. Ask questions when the Hiring Team has office hours. Their insight is golden and will help you in the long run. The lectures on negotiation, elevator pitches, answering technical questions, fixing up your LinkedIn are so valuable. Frankly, this is the most important part of the program.

RELATED: SOFTWARE ENGINEERING IMMERSIVE CAREER SERVICES

After all is said and done, you will have learned a lot during your time at Codesmith. All of the long days and nights were worth it. Struggling through projects and learning to ask good questions will take you far. You have come out of this program a stronger programmer ready to enter the tech industry. Now apply to jobs because the more you interview, the easier it becomes.

Blog written by Akosua K., Codesmith NY Cohort 21

---

After learning Neuroscience in university, Nicole decided to join Codesmith to merge her scientific knowledge with Software Engineering. Learn her tips on how to be successful in the admissions process and insights into Codesmith’s Immersive program in her new blog.

Back to Blog

Related Articles

The Art of Learning & Imposter Syndrome

Prior to joining Codesmith, I had thought of myself as somewhat of a quick learner, similar to a...

How to Best Prepare for the Immersive Program at Codesmith: A Deep Dive into CS Prep

CS Prep is a 2-week, part-time program, teaching fundamental JavaScript concepts, engineering best...

Collaborative Learning at Codesmith: Pair-programming, Projects & More

As I enter the first week of the Production Phase at Codesmith, the emotional twists and turns of...