A review of Codesmith as a software engineering bootcamp – 2021 update

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now software engineering mentor at Pathrise. I have worked with hundreds of software engineers to help them land their dream job. Check out my review of Codesmith.

Updated in 2021

What does Codesmith do?

Codesmith is a software engineering bootcamp with online prep and intro courses and on-campus immersive programs in New York City and Los Angeles. The goal of the immersive program is to teach full stack JavaScript and computer science to prepare students for mid- and senior-level software engineering roles in 12 weeks.

The onsite immersive program condenses the key elements of a four year computer science degree. Then, it combines them with a modern curriculum focusing on developing the skill set companies highly value. Students master algorithms, data structures, programming paradigms, and design patterns. In doing so, they gain a deep understanding of the core elements of computer science. The program also provides networking help and career advice for students and graduates.

Most students spend over 70 hours at Codesmith each week. The general daily schedule goes from 9am to 8pm Monday-Friday and 9am to 4:30pm on Saturday. Students work on analytical problem solving and production projects, as well as participate in coding challenges and analytical problem solving. They also have lunch and dinner with their cohort and participate in activities together.

Before COVID-19, there was no online version of the immersive program. However, since March 2020, it has been conducted online. In addition, Codesmith has an online bootcamp prep course, a CS prep course, and CSX, which is a free, online Javascript learning platform. They recommend students take CSX if they want to take the immersive course or a similar advanced bootcamp. The course takes 30-50 hours for the first 4 units and 40+ hours for the next 3 units. Then, students should take the CS prep course, which runs for just over two weeks with 15 hours of class per week.

Who is Codesmith for?

On their website, they explain that the immersive program is designed for driven individuals who are ready to build a career in software engineering or improve their coding skills so they can land mid- and senior level engineering roles. To be qualified to apply, you must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED or placement exam).

What does Codesmith cost? How much work is involved?

There is a fairly rigorous admissions process in which students are screened to ensure that they have strong technical potential as well as communication and problem-solving skills. To start, candidates fill out an online application. Then, they complete a coding challenge.

The next step is a nontechnical interview. In this session, candidates meet with a Codesmith admissions team member. Together, they come up with a personalized plan to prepare for the technical interview based on the desired start date. Often this prep includes the CS prep or CSX course. Then, candidates work through their technical interview. This is mainly focused on JavaScript questions. They mention that most candidates do not pass the first time and re-interview.

Upfront tuition for the full-time onsite software engineering immersive program is $16,950. Students can also choose to pay in installments: $2,400 deposit + $2,550 down payment by the 1st day of the cohort + 3 monthly payments of $4,800. They also offer scholarships to talented people from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and other coding bootcamps graduates. Qualification is based on a combination of your application and interview scores at Codesmith’s discretion. Students can also take out loans through Ascent Funding.

Ratings and reviews

The reviews online of Codesmith are mixed, but mainly positive. They are on SwitchUp’s list of best bootcamps. On CourseReport, students said that they learned a lot. Many of them ended up working as mid-to-senior level engineers with high salaries. But, all of them mentioned that students need to be ready to put in the work to get there.

Commenters explain that the program requires a lot of work, especially upfront. But, that helps for students to jump in and learn from the beginning. One of the negative reviews comes from a hiring manager who felt like the Codesmith grads were being dishonest on their resumes when describing the projects they did in the program.

Alternatives to Codesmith

As a bootcamp with a focus on software engineering, there are a fair number of alternatives.

More alternatives
  • Students looking to defer payments until after they get a job could check out Lambda School and Rithm School, which both offer income share agreements (ISAs) to finance the tuition of the bootcamp.
  • Aspiring software engineers and web developers can also consider CodeX Academy, a self-paced coding bootcamp with mentorship opportunities. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review.
  • Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.
  • You can check out Udacity and Springboard, which are online educational platforms that students can use to brush up on the basics or advance their current tech skills. Read more about Udacity and Springboard in our reviews.
  • edX is one of the largest online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.
  • Students can also check out Coursera, which provides free and low-cost college courses from $29 all the way to $25,000.
  • Udemy, Treehouse, Ruby Koans, egghead, and Pluralsight are online learning platforms with thousands of courses in a variety of topics.
  • SoloLearn, freeCodeCamp, and W3Schools are free alternatives for people looking to learn programming languages.
  • You can also check out Bubble no-code bootcamps to learn how to make products without coding. Learn more about Bubble in our review.

How does Codesmith compare to Pathrise?

Codesmith is a bootcamp with courses for people who are interested in learning how to become a software engineer. At Pathrise, job-seekers in our program should already have a background in the field they are interested in so that they can participate in and fully benefit from our technical workshops, where we provide a more specific curriculum based on what they will see in their interviews.

All of our sessions at Pathrise are live, as well as recorded, so that job-seekers in our program can review them afterwards and continue learning. Our program is flexible. There are only 2-4 hours of sessions per week and fellows can schedule 1-on-1 sessions as needed. It is also completely personalized.

Specifically, Pathrise focuses on technical and behavioral interviewing as well as resume and LinkedIn optimization, portfolio building and strengthening, cold email and reverse recruiting lessons, and negotiation templates and guidance. Job-seekers in the Pathrise program find a job, on average, within 3-5 months of joining the program. The Pathrise income share agreement means fellows don’t pay anything until they start working at their new job.

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. If you want to work with any of our mentors to get help with your technical and behavioral interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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