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Building Solutions To Real Problems

Codesmith's emphasis on creating open-source software and building products that benefit the software engineering community provides residents with real-world problem-solving and decision-making experiences that they can speak to during their job search. Open Source Products are significant software engineering accomplishments that are built within a team environment, using agile methodology that replicates engineering-team best practices.

Projects Residents Build

Solo Project

Solo Project

The Solo Project is the first project of the immersive program and is also the only project residents do solo. It is a time when residents connect everything the program has covered thus far. By building a project from idea to functioning minimum viable product, residents cement the core curriculum concepts they’ve been learning the first four weeks. Residents will usually focus on 1-2 technologies, integrate APIs, and dive deep into connecting the various parts of an application.

What I Built with Laurence Diarra
Scratch/Iteration Project

Scratch/Iteration Project

The Scratch and Iteration Projects allow residents to experience development as a team. These projects focus on learning team development processes such as GitHub for teams, SCRUM and agile methodologies, as well as working with more complex technologies. These projects are more advanced, require more research and result in a finished product at production level.
Open Source Product

Open Source Product

The Open Source Product is the most important component of your education at Codesmith. The software created and launched by Codesmith grads have received thousands of GitHub stars, been featured on the main stage at world-renowned conferences, and are used daily in development. For many, this is the reason they choose to attend Codesmith Immersive Programs.
Reinforcement Project

Reinforcement Project

The final project residents work on is designed to help focus on the upcoming job search by encouraging them to build with contemporary technology, or a highly used framework or library, to prepare for technical screenings. This project is a chance for residents to dive deep into a technology they aim to work with after Codesmith, especially if it was not part of the stack they worked in for their Open Source Products.

Open Source Products

Open Source Products (OSP) constitute a significant portion of the software engineering immersive program - residents spend approximately five weeks in their OSP group ideating, building, and launching their software, all with the guidance of the entire instruction team and mentorship of an Engineering Fellow.


OSP Process



Residents spend their time doing self-directed research on technologies that are interesting to them, and collaborating to hone their ideas. 

Each team will develop 3 fully fleshed-out ideas for potential products (either original or iteration).

The Instruction Team provides support and feedback on their ideas and scope of the product.



Residents engage in sophisticated and complex problem-solving to build out an MVP and stretch features for their product.

Teams follow Agile development workflow and practice regular code review, pair programming, and feedback within the group.

Instruction team members provide engineering mentorship throughout the process.


Formally launching products is the culmination of residents’ hard work

Each team receives a stipend for expenses related to launching their product.

Teams develop an outreach strategy, publish articles, engage with the Open Source community, and receive feedback from users and industry leaders.

Original vs Iteration Products

Original OSPs

Codesmith residents are encouraged to ideate on the most complex issues faced by engineers today and develop open source software that provides solutions to them. Through this process, open source product development teams work with some of the most contemporary and exciting technology in the industry, and grow immensely as autonomous problem solvers and collaborative teammates.

Iteration OSPs

As technology evolves,  so too must the tools that support it. Some open source product development teams choose to focus on iterating upon an existing product built by previous teams. In this process, teams truly acquire valuable skills by inheriting an existing production level codebase, fixing bugs within it, updating UI, and adding substantial features following industry standards and best practices.

Types of Open Source Products

Tools & Integrations

Developer tools and integrations are an integral part of the development lifecycle for professional engineers. Codesmith residents have created tools and integrations to assist with many aspects of the development process, from debugging, code prototyping, testing, and even CI/CD processes. 

Frameworks & Libraries

Frameworks and libraries are pre-built modules or systems that are available for download on popular software registries like NPM, and are some of the most commonly used tools in the industry today. Frameworks and libraries created by Codesmith residents solve complex challenges in cutting-edge technologies like Node, Deno, React, and GraphQL.

Tools & Integrations Built by Residents

Frameworks & Libraries Built by Residents


Hear From Codesmith Grads

What I Built with Laurence Diarra

Meet Codesmith Engineering Fellow Laurence: A 2022 Codesmith Black Engineers Scholarship Recipient who transitioned from rocket science to software engineering with Codesmith. 

Discover how her astronautical engineering degree inspired what she built for her solo project – a live tracker for upcoming rocket launches! Plus, see Laurence's process as she builds out the MERN stack to track launches.

Building at Codesmith

Reynolds, a graduate of Codesmith NY and now a Software Engineer at BlackWaspTech, worked with his team to create a middleware library for other engineers to use. This developer tool incorporated GraphQl, Apollo, and Redux, all of which the team learned during their time in the program.

Learn More About Software Built by Residents on our Blog

A Deep Dive Into the Immersive Program's Project Phase

“The production project* is the meat of the project phase. This is where you develop with a group over the period of four weeks. Codesmith highly encourages creating or iterating on a developer tool for the production project*.”

Collaborative Learning at Codesmith

“This intensely collaborative environment enabled our cohort to not only grow closer as a team and intimately learn with one another, but this structure also meant we could learn wealths of information in a small period of time.”

How Codesmith Bridges the Gap between a CS Degree and a Career in Software Engineering

“Everything from the extremely supportive environment to the project based learning process is geared around helping individuals gain the confidence to attack tougher and tougher new issues.”

            *As of August 2021, Production Projects are now called Open Source Products.

Interested in learning more about the software you’ll build at Codesmith? Schedule a call with an Alumni Advisor to learn more about our programs and plan your next steps!


Frequently Asked Questions

Do people continue working on projects post-graduation?
Graduates do not typically continue working on their projects post-graduation, but that is a personal choice for you to make because team members own the projects they create. Some graduates will continue to maintain their projects at a lower capacity, while others have gone on to create their own startups based on their Open Source Products.
Can the projects be anything coding-related or do they have to be JavaScript specific?

Projects don’t have to be JavaScript specific, but many are! Some groups have chosen to use other technologies, frameworks or languages - such as Docker, GraphQL, Vue, and Kafka.

Even though we teach JavaScript, our pedagogy allows residents to pick up new programming languages quickly especially because many languages are similar which makes them easy to learn.

What do group dynamics look like when working on these projects?
Groups typically have 3-5 members. Each group is formed using preference forms which allow residents to list any cohort mates they'd prefer to work with. Groups are also formed based on the interest of the individuals on the type of tool they want to build or technology that they want to work with. Daily Scrum, standups, and project management tools are also utilized to help prepare residents for their future careers.
Can I contribute to these Open Source Products without being part of the Immersive?
Yes, all of our Open Source Products are open source on Github. We encourage pull requests, which will be reviewed appropriately by the engineering team managing the Product.
How many projects do residents build in the program?
Residents will build five coding projects in the Immersive program, which will take up approximately ⅔ of the program time. Projects are integral to Codesmith’s pedagogy and are key to facilitating deeper learning of the curriculum and better equip residents for their future careers as Software Engineers.
What’s the support we get throughout the program for projects?
We help guide Residents on product topics and ask that residents submit a case on why they believe their product will be impactful. This helps ensure that products benefit the greater developer community, are a good opportunity for professional development, and are within scope. Mentors are also assigned to help support in the process from start to finish.
What is OSLabs?

Codesmith is committed to open source and proud to be a featured Open Source Labs partner.

Open Source Labs (OSLabs) is a selective community of dedicated engineers with the shared mission of driving creative technological advances through open source.

Open Source Products are great for those who want to improve their coding skills while at the same time contributing to projects in a meaningful way that is used by many others. Codesmith’s commitment to open source and pushing forward the engineering community means that we encourage Open Source Products done in partnership with organizations like OSLabs, which hosts Open Source Products that our residents are able to iterate on. The OSLabs Github features Open Source Products that Codesmith Residents can iterate upon.

Are there any Open Source Products that worked with a company’s codebase?

Yes, we’ve worked with many partner organizations and companies. If you are interested in collaborating please email hello@codesmith.io. Some examples of previous Open Source Products that are out of Beta are:

YouDescribe, an online platform where users can describe youtube videos to aid those who need more than solely the video for context.

First Freight, a leading CRM provider for freight forwarding companies in the world, approached Codesmith Residents to build a custom email automation service. While there are a few services that already handle email automation - First Freight was looking for a solution that integrated deeply with their existing system. The team built an email automation tool for their marketing department that was simple to use and provided all the analytics necessary to make informed business decisions.

For more information, visit our Projects Built by Residents page.