It wasn’t too long ago when I first heard about Codesmith, and now I can confidently say that Codesmith has changed my life.
WHAT CODESMITH IS
I was a Neuroscience graduate with an interest to learn computer science. Upon finishing my undergraduate degree, I was considering taking the traditional route of acquiring a master’s in computer science when I stumbled upon these ‘coding bootcamps’.
RELATED: WHY I CHOSE CODESMITH & HOW I GOT IN
The junior portion is when you learn about these new technologies, including React, Redux, Node, Express, databases and much more. Each topic is split into two-day long units, you are first introduced to the technology in a lecture, afterwards you research the concepts on your own. Then comes the real hard learning, you are paired with a partner to tackle the challenges of actually implementing that technology.
During pair programming sessions, there will always be one of the pair that is technically stronger than the other. This provides the perfect opportunity to learn from each other. If you are the technically stronger one of the pair; when you are able to understand a concept to the point of being able to explain it to someone else, it reinforces your understanding of it. While being the technically weaker pair, you get to learn one-on-one with someone, and ask questions about the technology that can further promote learning. Above all, pair programming is a great way to practice your technical communication and build on soft skills that make a great software engineer.
RELATED: JUNIOR REMOTE LEARNING LIFE
THE PRODUCTION PROJECT
The senior portion comprises the production project and hiring preparation. The production project is the crux of the Codesmith curriculum, enabling you to build your ‘T-shaped’ knowledge of the technology.
Image of T-shaped development taken from Medium
Codesmith and imposter syndrome are terms that are often used together, something that every Codesmith student undoubtedly experiences.
I know I personally experienced a lot of imposter syndrome. Sitting in a classroom with such talented people was at times intimidating. Especially during units, when you only have two days to complete them and I often felt like I was not able to keep up. There was a phrase that is commonly thrown around during these units – ‘I am drowning!’. Don’t fret! It is extremely normal to feel this way. Codesmith emphasizes that being able to grasp 25% of these units is sufficient, and at times impressive, because there is so much information that is provided to us in such a short span of time. The point of the unit was never to finish them, but to be exposed to the technology itself.
There are a few tips I have for getting over imposter syndrome. The first is the ability to acknowledge it. Recognize that you are feeling down or behind on coursework and realize that is simply the feeling and not necessarily the truth. The entrance into Codesmith is an extremely rigorous process, with multiple screenings and multiple technical interviews. Being able to get into the program is a strong indicator that you are ready for this course. Keep that in mind next time you start to doubt yourself!
The second tip is to talk to someone, whether that be your peers, or someone on staff, and chances are, those people are currently experiencing imposter syndrome as well (yes, including the staff members)! Talking to someone can help alleviate those feelings, and keep in mind that everyone at Codesmith is rooting for your success.
Lastly, trust the process, understand that this is a feeling that every Codesmith student has experienced and that it is completely normal. It is part of the progression of developing into a software engineer, it is part of the learning that Codesmith has so meticulously designed into the curriculum. Going through Codesmith, it was amazing to observe how my peers have grown, not only as software engineers, but as people during the course. I can confidently say that through my experience, and through watching the development of my peers, Codesmith fosters a growth mindset and encourages tackling new challenges, and students leave the program eager to learn and develop.
COMMUNITY AT CODESMITH
Codesmith's commitment to diversity and inclusivity is an extremely important aspect of the program to me. There are a number of scholarships available for people to make this community as accessible as possible. Because of this, I have met people from all over the world from all types of backgrounds.
While my cohort was virtual, going through something as intensive as Codesmith definitely created life-long friendships. We were always there to support each other when we felt behind on the coursework, or just needed someone to talk to.
RELATED: FROM STRANGERS TO CLOSE FRIENDS
We have different ways to get to know each other throughout the program; we have Happy Hours on Thursday nights, where students can grab and drink and get together, play games and just chat about what has been going on recently. We also have a talent show every cohort where people can demonstrate their talents, from their photography, to their pets.
Some of the performances during the talent show
After these 3 months, I can confidently say that Codesmith has changed my life. In the more obvious ways, it has opened doors for me into a career that I thought would take years to enter, and even then, just at a junior level. But not only that, I have made friends that I know will stay in my life beyond these 3 months.
New York Cohort 19!
Blog written by Nicole I., Codesmith NY Cohort 19
By the time our Software Engineering Immersive students graduate, they make lifelong friendships with their cohort mates. How does this happen? In this blog, one of our recent grads shares some insights from her experience in the program.