Through its innovative and rigorous curriculum, Codesmith’s Software Engineering Immersive equips...
Inside Codesmith's Part-Time Remote Immersive Program
Earlier this year we introduced our Part-Time, Remote Software Engineering Immersive program. With residents from Australia, Malaysia, Canada, and other places around the world, the BETA program has been extremely successful, and we are preparing for the first official cohort to start soon.
The pace of our Part-Time Remote Immersive program allows students to have more flexibility with their lives; they can maintain a full-time or part-time job, spend more time with family, and utilize the expanded timeline to reinforce the material. Additionally, the program offers location-based and personalized career support to every student, including resume formation, interviewing and networking skills, mock interview sessions, and salary negotiation advice.
To give more insights into the Part-Time Remote Immersive program, we talked with Veronica, a current PTRI BETA student, about her career before joining Codesmith, what it is like to learn in a part-time, remote environment and her perspective on how we can make the tech industry more inclusive for women.
What were you up to before you joined Codesmith and switched into tech?
I have been working in libraries (for books, not programming!) for the past 8 years, first as a clerk, then as a program coordinator, now as the director of a small rural library.
How did you come across Codesmith and what drew you to choose Codesmith as your program of choice?
I have been contemplating coding bootcamps for years now, and looked at all the major ones during that time. I attended the Women Who Code Connect event in NYC this past December, and spoke to several women who had been through bootcamps and found it to be a positive and fruitful experience. After that event, I decided to go for it. I searched online and found all the usual suspects but also, for the first time, Codesmith.
I was attracted to Codesmith for two main reasons:
- It seemed to be on a higher level right out of the gate compared to many other bootcamps. I was not completely new to programming since I had minored in Computer Science in college, and dabbled in web development for a long time, so this was appealing to me.
- Codesmith seemed to have a unique dedication to diversity, community, and social justice that really appealed to me. I don’t just want to be a software engineer, I want to make the world better with my skills, and Codesmith seemed uniquely committed to encouraging that.
Why did you decide to apply to Codesmith’s Part-time Remote Software Engineering Immersive program?
I discovered Codesmith at just the right time! Due to my job and distance from any major cities, realistically, I needed to do a remote program. I could not afford to drop everything and move to NYC or LA. I started thinking about applying to Codesmith just as Part-time Remote Immersive was beginning to accept applications, so it felt like it was meant to be!
What is a typical day like at Codesmith’s remote classroom?
For the first portion of the program, we would usually have a lecture at the beginning of the class, then about 2 to 2 ½ hours to work with a pair programming partner on the current unit. Saturdays are much longer (6 hours) and include time for lunch, code reviews, and feedback. Now that we’ve moved into the project portion of the program, the schedule is shifting to include less lectures and more time to work on projects.
What have been the key benefits of being enrolled in a part-time, remote program?
I work full-time and have a family, so a full-time program was not feasible for me. I appreciate Codesmith offering this program part-time, because it makes it a lot more accessible to working class people, people with families they need to care for, and people who live far away from large cities. I feel that programs like this will really help lower the barrier to entry for groups of people who are currently less represented in tech.
What has been the most memorable experience in the program so far and what are you the most excited for next?
I really enjoyed working on our solo projects. I feel like I learn best through doing projects (rather than listening to lectures,) so it was really exciting to work on something from start to end and reinforce all the concepts we learned earlier in the program. I also loved seeing everybody else’s projects, and seeing the journeys they took from idea to implementation. I am looking forward to doing the group projects next. I think that working together, we’ll be able to do some awesome stuff!
How do you structure your time, and how do you deal with distractions at home?
I have ADHD, so while remote learning is a blessing, it can also be incredibly difficult to structure my own time! I rearranged my work schedule slightly to ensure that I would always be present for our class sessions. When I need to do work outside of class, I try to work on it at times when my partner is either asleep or at work so I’m not too distracted by him! Once I get working on something, it is easy to keep going, because I enjoy the challenge. The hard part is just making the time to work, and then sitting down and getting started.
How does the Codesmith team help you stay on track and focus on your goals when learning remotely?
The team is really great about being responsive to messages posed in Slack both in and outside of class hours. They regularly check in, and seem to be genuinely interested in our lives and invested in our success. Just knowing that someone is there rooting for you is a great motivator.
"Just knowing that someone is there rooting for you is a great motivator."
Do you dedicate additional hours for studies outside of official Codesmith hours?
I do, but not a lot. I did put in a significant amount of extra work for my solo project that I just completed though, and I suspect I will do the same for our upcoming group projects. It always feels like I could spend more time on this, but I think for a part time program like this, you need to find a good balance and not neglect the other parts of your life. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
What is the culture and sense of community like in the remote environment?
Codesmith did a great job curating a great group of people for PTRI. Everyone is super smart, interesting, friendly, and helpful. I don’t have many friends interested in programming in real life, and it is really cool to have people to talk to everyday who share this interest with me.
I have enjoyed just chatting with cohort-mates during lunch on Saturdays and while we’re working together. It’s a really interesting, welcoming group of people and I enjoy spending time with them.
Are there any tips you would like to share with other women who want to pursue a career in software engineering?
Do it! I think the software industry would benefit so much from a wider variety of perspectives - people of color, women, LGBTQ folks, etc. I think sometimes it is easy to feel pushed out by people who believe software engineering is only for (white, cis) men, but the more women who are doing it, the more that belief will fade. Every person like you who goes into this field makes it easier for the next generation of people like you.
Codesmith’s Part-Time Remote Software Engineering Immersive has been expertly designed to mirror our top-rated onsite Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive program with the same curriculum, projects, and career support. The main difference between the two programs is the length: Part-Time Remote Immersive is stretched over nine months instead of three months.
If you are interested to join our next Part-Time Remote Software Engineering Immersive cohort starting on August 29th, submit your application as soon as possible.