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Residency at Codesmith: COVID-19 Edition

Codesmith is generally broken down into two portions: junior and senior. During our junior phase, the fundamentals of technologies (e.g. React, Redux, and Node) are introduced and applied. During our senior portion, this is where we get a chance to apply those technologies and create a developer tool. This was an exhilarating process because it was full of surprises beyond what anyone in our cohort could have imagined.

Ideation week was out "week off." My group, DrawQL, spent the vast majority of the week researching technologies, Every morning, we would have our daily standups to go over techs and identify problems that other engineers faced and our solution to the problem. This week seemed as if it was a "walk in the park", however it was far from that. The vast majority of our initial ideas for the specific tech stack we wanted to work with (e.g. Docker or GraphQL) were taken.

Between the pressure of onboarding new technologies and identifying concrete problems with the tech, our drive to get an idea approved increased each day. Towards the end of the week, we decided on creating DrawQL, a prototyping tool to help visualize GraphQL endpoints.



After our week of ideation, it was our very first week as seniors! The first few days were geared towards learning the new tech for our product and helping ease the transition for our juniors into the program. Unfortunately, we never got the chance to completely settle into our new space as a senior. The reign of COVID-19 hit us full force, we were told that due to certain laws our program had to continue remote for the next two weeks until further notice. This was not news that we wanted to hear as a residence. We were filled with an array of emotions from doubt, anger, frustration, and confusion.
Both the juniors and the seniors understood the reasoning behind the decision to go remote; however, we were not happy about the decision. After a few discussions with the staff, we all voiced our concerns as residents and gave our input on how we can address the situation. We were all mainly disappointed because we knew that this will be the last time our entire cohort will be together!
We were missing out on bonding with our cohort mates. (Spending more than twelve hours a day, six days a week with a group of people gives you plenty of time to get to know someone. However, it was our senior portion that we looked forward to because we’ve been working with this particular group for so long. We were excited to see the growth in one another through our production projects.)
The next week was an adjustment period for us. We went from an immersive program to a full-time remote program. We had to create an at-home office for ourselves. I decided to purchase a computer chair and IPAD to take notes and whiteboard on. I already had a monitor, desk, mouse, and keyboard. The transition to being remote took a bit of time, but we all transitioned well.
Our daily schedule for our senior portion still followed the 9 am- 8 pm schedule. Our morning standups, hack hour approaches, meetings, and lectures were all executed through zoom. We even had family dinners and hard parts drinks through zoom.


My production project group was very cohesive. Since we did not have the luxury of working together in person, we had to translate our strong work ethic and establish excellent communication through numerous meetings, pair programming sessions, and constant communication through slack. Our slack channel was our mainstream of communication when it came to the group. We posted pull requests, merged alerts, questions, concerns, tips, resources, and scheduled meetings. We used our slack channel as a resource center to make our transition of being remote as seamless as possible.


After our product, DrawQL was complete and deployed, we entered the hiring portion of the program. The hiring portion was the most intense part of the program. We received a variety of valuable information on how to get hired as a Software Engineer. In a mere two weeks, we had numerous deadlines to meet and prepare for interviews.


Through it all, we finished the program, created life long friendships, and built a network of engineers. Now, we are Codesmith graduates!

Blog written by Jessikeé C., Codesmith LA Cohort 34


Codesmith's top-rated Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive is now accessible to everyone tuning in from the North American Central Time Zone. Read this blog to dive into the schedule, curriculum and hiring support of our new program.