FAQ

WHAT IS CODESMITH?

Codesmith is a 12-week programming bootcamp in Los Angeles teaching full stack JavaScript and software engineering. We prepare graduates for roles as professional software engineers.

Based on the Oxford University educational paradigm of immersive independent learning combined with mentorship, the curriculum is primarily project-based, and uses pairprogramming to create a unique environment of guided problem solving.

Students explore computer science, full-stack JavaScript (notably React and Node), and software architecture required for advanced software engineering positions. The course also features preparatory material, extensive recruitment preparation, and ongoing support with students’ job searches.

Codesmith's program is for people who are intellectually curious and passionate about software engineering. It is a highly selective program and so to help prepare applicants for the interview, we offers numerous free classes including Javascript the Hard Parts - information on all of which can be found here.


WHERE DOES THE PROGRAM TAKE PLACE?

Codesmith is located at the heart of the Los Angeles tech community in Playa Vista. LA is home to many of the world's greatest technology companies including SpaceX, Tesla and Snapchat as well as major Headquarters of Google, Facebook and Yahoo.


HOW MUCH CAN I LEARN 12 WEEKS?

When we call Codesmith an intensive program we really mean it. We have designed the curriculum to provide the core components of a computer science degree and associated internships within the program. You complete 12 weeks of full time learning with 11 directly supported hours of learning and building each day, Monday-Saturday.

In addition, many students (and even instructors) stay long past 8pm in the evening - with many students spending 100+ hours per week coding. Prior to the program start date you'll also complete an additional 3 units of preparatory material.


AM I READY?

While Codesmith is a highly immersive program, we're more interested in your approach to problem solving and potential to handle the material of the program than the extent of your current programming knowledge. That being said, the program is highly selective. Therefore we have extensive classes on JavaScript and computer science to help you with your interview preparation.


HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR THE APPLICATION AND INTERVIEW AT CODESMITH?

We are assessing for five capacities in applicants:

Technical communication, problem solving, JavaScript and programming knowledge, non-technical communication and engineering best practices (Read more here on Quora)

Top resources for technical communication, problem solving and best practices:

  • Pair-programming and going under-the-hood of JavaScript at JS the Hard Parts and Saturday workshops at Codesmith
  • Coding Challenge sites like: Codewars, Coderbyte, LeetCode, HackerRank, and Project Euler
  • Web development challenge sites like: Nodeschool and Exercism.io
  • PythonTutor - Allows you to run through your code line by line similar to the JS the Hard Parts white boarding approach. Run each of your Codewars solutions through PythonTutor to ensure you truly understand your solution
  • JavaScript30 - Build a project with simple JavaScript each day for 30 days - excellent for improving your problem-solving (Tackle the problem before watching any solution)
  • Building chrome extensions - these focused projects let you focus on JavaScript problem-solving not copying and pasting boilerplate code. Follow the challenges in this email series

Top resources for JavaScript and programming knowledge:


WHY DO YOU TEACH JAVASCRIPT?

JavaScript is the language of the modern web. It has enabled many of the revolutionary experiences created over the past 5 years, from Google Maps to Spotify. However, historically, it has needed to be paired with something else like Python to build out full applications.

The emergence of server-side JavaScript means developers can now create rich, lightning-fast applications in pure JavaScript from end-to-end.

Focusing primarily on a single language to learn CS concepts, front-end development, and back-end development is a crucial part of what makes the extraordinary rate of learning during the Codesmith program possible.


WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PROGRAM ENDS?

The Codesmith Hiring program provides extensive support to prepare for the job search after the on-site portion of the program is completed. This culminates in the Hiring Day where you present to 25+ companies followed by one-on-one interviews.

From early on in the program we prepare you for technical interviews and to help you stand out as an engineer. Our hiring support continues long after the onsite program completes and you land your first job.

You then join the Codesmith alumni community. You'll be forever part of this tight-knit group of engineers and creatives. You'll have access to all of the Codesmith exclusive networking events and meetups.


WHAT ARE THE PAYMENT OPTIONS?

The total cost of the program is $17,200. A deposit of $2,200 is required shortly after acceptance, and the remaining $15,000 is due before the start of class.

The Department of Education Student Loans does not yet qualify any immersive program for education loans, but we've worked hard to assemble financial aid options for prospective students.

Skills Fund and Codesmith have created an official partnership to provide access to as many students as possible. Students are eligible to borrow between $2,000 and $15,000 for the program with 3- and 5-year payment terms available. Highlights include one fixed universal interest rate for all students (regardless of your credit score), no income nor employment used in underwriting, cosigner options, no prepayment penalties, 2-month post-graduation payment grace period, and expect to know your interest rate, general APR and monthly repayments before you start your loan application.

To learn more about Skills Fund, you can find the full details here.


In addition, an increasing number of financing options are available tailored to career accelerator programs, some notable options include:  Affirm,  Avant,  Prosper, and Lending Club.


ARE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?

Women, minorities and veterans are severely underrepresented in the technology community. We have a small number of scholarships available at Codesmith for talented people from underrepresented backgrounds.

To apply for these scholarships you must be a woman (of any race), under-represented minority (defined as African-American, Hispanic/Latino(a), Pacific Islander or Native American).

Plan to apply for a scholarship and Skills Fund loan? Your requested Skills Fund loan amount can be downward adjusted as needed prior to your first day in program. If you receive your scholarship after your tuition financing has been disbursed, you can apply your scholarship to your loan balance at anytime without a prepayment penalty.


IS A JOB GUARANTEED?

It can never be guaranteed, but through our hiring program you will be in the best position possible with the experience, skill, and preparation to be hired as a mid- to senior-level developer.


WHAT ELSE DO WE DO OUTSIDE OF CODE?

You will be spending the vast majority of your hours learning and writing code - that's what makes it possible for you to experience the equivalent of a CS degree and associated internships in just 12 weeks. However, you'll have plenty of time to get to know the truly remarkable group of people around you at Codesmith. Students typically spend dinner and lunch together as well as morning group yoga sessions and evening social events.


ARE FOOD AND LIVING EXPENSES COVERED?

We keep our kitchen stocked with basic breakfast foods and other snacks, but beyond that students cover their own cost of food and housing as we focus on providing the very best possible software engineering program. That said, we're here to help, and new students often end up sharing accommodations - especially if they weren't local before joining the program.


DO YOU ACCEPT NON-US CITIZENS?

We certainly do accept students from outside the US. However, depending on your visa length and status, you may find it hard to get hired in the US. Here's a good starting point for understanding your options.


I HAVE A COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE, IS THIS PROGRAM FOR ME?

Absolutely. We do cover CS fundamentals, but the bulk of the program focuses on the invaluable industry preparation that CS majors and employers both complain is missing from typical undergraduate CS programs.


WHAT IF I'M UNDER 18?

We don't technically have a lower age limit on applicants and have seen exceptional candidates aged 18. Note though that the program requires 12 weeks (for the Professional program) and we also expect students to spend significant time in the weeks prior to the program preparing. You should be absolutely certain that you can commit this time before applying.


WHAT IF I'M OVER 40?

Of course - you're more than welcome. Most students are in the early to mid-stage of their careers, nevertheless, some of the best applicants we've seen have been over 40.


WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?

You will be a student at Codesmith for a span of 13 weeks (with one "prep week" off in the middle). During the weeks prior to that, you are expected to complete 3 units of preparatory material we provide. After graduating, there is the expectation that you have no plans that keep you from rigorously focusing on finding your new job.


WHAT IS IN THE PRECOURSE?

The Codesmith pre-course covers core functional and object-oriented JavaScript concepts, HTML & CSS, algorithms, and an introduction to React. You will also get set up with the tools you'll be using as a software engineer: Git/Github, Bash and test driven learning.

Office hours and additional support are available during the precourse work.

Apply to Codesmith