In 2015, Codesmith, a Software Engineering Immersive program, was founded delivering instruction in person in Los Angeles and New York as well as online.
In CEO Will Sentance’s words, he and his co-founders built Codesmith to “give people the chance to develop those skills [the ability to understand, build and lead with technology] in a setting that would…bring people together from every background, empower them…to become autonomous individuals and accelerate them to leadership in software engineering and technology”.
After six years in the edtech space, Codesmith continues to bring accessible skills training that molds brilliant and empathic software engineers.
Codesmith increases access to tech education for veterans and members of underrepresented groups through its scholarships and other inclusivity initiatives.Learn more about Codesmith here.
An Overview of Codesmith’s Diversity Role in Tech
It’s no secret that the diversity gap has been a persistent concern in the tech industry. This was yet again highlighted by research and publishing company Wiley in its Diversity in Tech: 2021 US report.
Since its inception, Codesmith has spearheaded initiatives, such as free coding workshops, events, and scholarships, that seek to support members of underrepresented and non-traditional groups as they make their way into tech. This is completed by rigorous training and career guidance designed to support diverse talent to be ready to take on mid- to senior-level roles.
Let’s dive deeper into how Codesmith is bringing residents of all backgrounds closer to more opportunities in tech.
How Codesmith Is Helping Veterans Break Into Tech
Switching careers can be difficult, and it can be even more challenging for veterans. A study by Oregon State reports that 69 percent of veterans find job-seeking as the most difficult part of transitioning to civilian life.
Among the biggest factors to this include the current state of the US economy, competition with more experienced professionals, lack of required training, and not knowing how to match the skills they acquired in the military to the skills that employers are looking for.
Codesmith helps veterans overcome such barriers by paving a path to the tech industry, a sector that has remained comparatively stronger than others amid bleak economic conditions. More importantly, it’s a sector in need of the skills that veterans have to offer—the ability to perform under pressure, communicate effectively, and learn technical skills rapidly.
All veterans need is the drive to learn the relevant technical skills and access to such training. That is where Codesmith comes in.
Codesmith’s Veterans’ Coding Scholarship Powered by Oddball
Codesmith has partnered with Oddball, a digital agency that helps modernize the federal services through technology, to launch a new scholarship opportunity specifically for veterans.
Covering full tuition, the Veterans’ Coding Scholarship aims to open the doors for veterans and empower them to have a fulfilling career in software engineering. This scholarship is open to US veterans that are at least 18 years old and are admitted in Codesmith’s full-time or part-time Software Engineering Immersive programs.
Interested applicants must show Proof of Service and submit their application 21 days before the start of their cohort. Aside from the Codesmith-Oddball Veterans’ Scholarship, you can also apply for Codesmith’s partial-tuition veteran scholarship.
Codesmith’s Partial-Tuition Veteran Scholarship
Among the recipients of Codesmith’s partial veteran scholarship was Minchan J., who enrolled in the Full-Time Software Engineering Immersive program in 2020. In a blog, he shares how Codesmith helped him advance to a tech career after serving the army.
Minchan was a Supply Sergeant for five years in the army, and part of his job was to navigate the Global Combat Support System (GCSS) to sort budgeting and inventory in a more efficient manner. Through his role, Minchan saw the impact technology makes in an organization, thereby inspiring him to join the tech industry after finishing his service.
Minchan found Codesmith’s Software Engineering Immersive program intensive, but his training in the army and Codesmith’s method worked well in shaping him as a software engineer. “It was not the knowledge that was in my head, but the problem-solving skills,” he said.
“I remembered how I hit blocks and solved them. Each problem-solving skill built for the last six weeks made me a solid problem solver. I was able to figure out how to break those blocks. I even dived into another technology that Codesmith never taught me. I applied the same principle, and it worked out,” Minchan said.
With soldiers putting their lives on the line for the safety of the country, Codesmith pays their service forward by paving the path for a fulfilling future post-military service. Through the veteran scholarship programs of Codesmith, more people like Minchan can transition into the tech industry.
How Codesmith Is Helping Minority Groups Launch Tech Careers
As CEO and Co-founder Will said, Codesmith seeks to “bring people together from every background” and propel them to opportunities in tech. Beyond veterans, this mission applies to groups who have been historically underrepresented, as well.
Codesmith strives to make its programs more accessible through numerous scholarships and by fostering a supportive community through workshops and other initiatives for residents of all backgrounds.
Codesmith Scholarships for Minority Groups
- The Codesmith Scholarship Fund is a pledge that the bootcamp takes to partially finance scholars’ tuition fees. They also partner with other organizations to support underrepresented communities in tech. These partners include Lesbians Who Tech, Women Who Code, We Build Black, and the STEM Advantage.
- The Minorities in Tech Scholarship is open to incoming Codesmith residents who are Black, Latinx, Pacific Islander, and Native American.
- Codesmith provides scholarships to members of the LGBTQ+ community. One of its scholarships for the LGBTQ+ community is the Edie Windsorship Scholarship, with scholars chosen by Lesbians Who Tech. The scholarship covers 50 percent of the full-time or part-time Software Engineering Immersive program and 100 percent of Codesmith prep tuition.
- Codesmith also has a Prior Bootcamp Grad Scholarship that supports those who have already attended another bootcamp but would like to advance their education in software engineering through Codesmith.
- Finally, the Codesmith Scholarship is granted to Codesmith residents who are exemplary in coding and have high potential in the five capacities of a software engineer.
Codesmith Community, Workshops, and Events
Free Coding Events and Workshops
Codesmith holds free online weekly workshops and other events. Participants learn beginner-to-advanced programming concepts alongside like-minded learners and instructors and hear from guest speakers who work in established companies like Microsoft, LinkedIn, Amazon, and Forbes.
All-Girl-Rithm events build a community for all Codesmith women, whether you’re an alumnus, an active resident, or an incoming Codesmith resident. In these events, women tackle coding challenges and algorithms. They also engage with each other and conduct mentorship sessions.
Women & Non-Binary Slack Community
The Slack community lets women and non-binary members collaborate and share resources.
Women-Only Events and Workshops
These workshops have proven to be beneficial to many Codesmith women residents. “For anyone shy or unsure of their coding skills, I think the Women’s workshops at Codesmith are an incredible resource to learn in a supportive, non-judgemental and welcoming environment,” Silvia M. said, a Codesmith Immersive Grad from New York.
Implicit bias workshops, Lunch & Learn, Family Dinners, and Circles are also offered to further hone the relationship among the residents and Codesmith’s team.
Implicit Bias Workshops
Implicit Bias Workshops help Codesmith residents be more accepting of each other by deep-diving into their backgrounds and different perspectives. The workshops also help them navigate the real world and advocate for themselves when they start their job search.
Lunch & Learn
Lunch & Learns allow residents to have open conversations about various topics concerning inclusion and diversity.
Family Dinner with Shout Outs
Held every Monday, the Family Dinner with Shout Outs aims to recognize the efforts of mentors and residents during the program.
Circles is a bi-weekly session that lasts for 30 minutes where Codesmith residents can chat about anything other than coding.
What Will You Learn at Codesmith?
Codesmith offers a 12-week Full-Time Immersive in both onsite and remote settings, as well as a 38-week Part-Time Remote Immersive. Codesmith residents get access to a rigorous curriculum, a supportive community, mentorship opportunities, and career guidance.
Along with the technical aspect of the program, Codesmith residents undergo the career services program of the bootcamp. Here, they learn how to craft effective resumes and online profiles, sharpen their interview and negotiation skills, and be part of the alumni network. Post-graduate support follows, where workshops and career support are accessible to help you land a job.
The combination of technical skills training and career coaching at Codesmith resulted in 86.8 percent and 80.6 percent employment rates within 180 days among NYC grads and LA grads, respectively. They also landed lucrative software engineering jobs with a median annual salary of $120,000.
Why Codesmith Is Building a Diverse Tech Workforce
Codesmith stays true to its core mission of developing an exceptional network of brilliant and collaborative software engineers who are passionate about pushing the engineering community forward. This is reflected in the many reviews from graduates.
Among them is Kevin Mui, who said, “I’ve never been surrounded by a group of more supportive and compassionate people in my entire life. This is what makes Codesmith such an amazing place. From the academic team to the fellows to your cohort mates, everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand to ensure your success in the program.”
“The curriculum is rigorous and gets more challenging as the program goes on, but it never feels overwhelming because of this support structure. ”
If you are a veteran or part of other minorities trying to break into tech, don’t let financial hurdles or intimidations limit you. Learn more about Codesmith and how it can prepare you for a promising tech career on its website or click here to start your application.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.