Say hello to fall 2022 with Codebase! | by Codebase | Berkeley Code Base | August 2022
Welcome to Fall everyone – let’s take a deep dive into Codebase and take a look at what we’re excited about in this upcoming semester!
By Isabel Li, Fall 2022 Chair
Hi, welcome to fall 2022, and to all who return, welcome back! It’s always so exciting when the summer sunset makes everything new, and we can come back to campus to meet new faces, classes and communities.
For those unfamiliar, Cal offers an incredible array of clubs and communities for students like us to find friends, seek growth, and expand your horizons; you’ll see communities for dancing and dragon boating, magazine posts and machine learning, statistics and software… (like us!) I’ll expand a bit more on Codebase in this article, but don’t don’t forget to check out all the other awesome organizations (tech oriented or not!) that are open to you – we sincerely hope you can meet your people here during your university years.
Codebase is a UC Berkeley student community that aims to make industry experience more accessible to students and get them started in software through semester projects with high-growth technology companies and non-profit organizations. We are a tight-knit community of developers, friends, and mentors who support and uplift each other throughout the college experience.
Each semester, our members work closely with clients to flesh out end-to-end software development projects. Developers work in small groups with their project managers for 13 weeks, developing their technical skills and gaining visibility in the industry.
Our past nonprofit clients include the Berkeley Food Pantry, CoFED (a QTBIPOC-led organization that partners with young people of color to build food and land cooperatives!), and campus organizations such as The Green Initiative Fund and The Berkeley Project. Past industry clients include Postman, Atlassian, Ginger, Relativity Space and a range of other small and midsize companies who can provide us with a tailored and fulfilling experience.
What is at the heart of our club? Glad you asked! We value growth, mutual learning and mutual elevation of our passion for technology. Our culture can be drawn from our core behaviors:
- people first — Taking care of the people in our club! It means putting mental health and well-being above getting work done, helping each other with school or other stressors, and simply extending kindness to one another!
- Actively own— Show initiative and pride in your work, whether it’s building your project team, building a CodeHost (see below!), or taking on a leadership role.
- Seek continuous growth — Be ambitious, always ready to learn and proactive when it comes to getting feedback. Get inspired by the people around you!
- Communicate frankly “Don’t be afraid to say what you think; create a culture of honesty and be prepared to listen to and receive others with kindness.
- Give back sincerely – We highly value the gratitude, appreciation and passing on of all the best experiences and opportunities available to you.
Beyond that, it’s interesting to see how our culture changes semester by semester as new members understand and drive the overall consciousness of the community – my personal observation is that we are becoming more of a club that cares deeply from education, take care of the communityand awareness of our social impact within the technological space.
The most important part of being a Codebase member is working on our projects. Each semester, Codebase works with four high-growth technology companies and one nonprofit organization and builds a technical product for them. Each project team, made up of two project managers (PM) and six developers, works closely with their client company’s software engineers throughout 13 weeks of agile development, with sprints, standups and code reviews . Throughout this process, our members are able to build their software engineering foundation, learn industry best practices, and work on a product with immediate feedback and users.
Because our developers are still full-time students, we are still working remotely from our client, offering two in-person presentations throughout the semester to showcase our progress.
We have two different types of projects:
- A mentored project — for software engineering beginners, where we teach you the fundamentals of the full stack when building a web project for a non-profit organization.
- A customer project — for those with more experience through courses, side projects, self-study or an internship. These projects partner with industry clients and can be frontend, backend, databases, distributed systems, crypto, virtual reality… Don’t worry, you don’t need to know the stack already — we’ll tell you we’ll learn it along the way.
You can learn a bit more about requirements for the track you fall into on our website. In some cases, you may not have enough experience for mentoring or you fall in between, in which case we encourage you to apply anyway, and if your experiences are not a good fit, we encourage you to apply again! Many of our members joined after applying a second time, when they were at a stage to have a better experience on our projects.
We’ll be announcing our client projects very soon, so keep an eye out for updates on the specific companies and projects we’ll be working on this semester! https://codebase.berkeley.edu/projects
While you absolutely don’t need to join a club to get a job in software and grow your experiences, the main reason many students join clubs is to find friendships and a college community. We have a bunch of fun and rewarding internal initiatives that take our Codebase experience beyond coding together:
- CodeHost — members organize an event to introduce their interest/hobby to the club! In the past, we have organized board game evenings, making bouquets, picnics on a charcuterie board…
- CodeBits/Bigs – be paired with a club member who can walk you through Codebase (and honestly just be your friend.)
- A half-yearly day — for the past two semesters, we’ve been to Six Flags and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk together!
- CodesGive – in the fall semesters, we have a huge potluck where each team cooks a dish and we come together to celebrate CodesGiving.
- Professional Development Mentorship – all new members are matched with a member or alumni who may be more experienced in recruiting jobs/internships in various fields, graduate studies, teaching, research, etc. and receive weekly advice.
- CodeTalks – Flash chats about fun things just to get to know other club members better and learn more about each other’s passions!
- CodeGals – an affinity group for Codebase women to bond over shared experiences and hang out each semester.
- CodePals – slowly get to know everyone in the club by being matched with a random person to hang out with each week!
- projects, again — although projects involve work, a lot of your time with your project team is actually hanging out and doing fun activities (axe throwing, hiking, cooking) together!
…and more! As someone who started out in Codebase on a mentored team, I would go so far as to say that I learned all the fundamentals of software engineering from my previous PMs, but that’s really the pleasure we have together that creates our core experience.
As a club, we try to be mindful of our impact on the wider campus and Berkeley community, and how we can extend our resources to others. Here are some of our planned external initiatives for this semester:
- Co-host of Cub Fair, a student-led job fair on September 13
- Development/recruitment workshops, open to all
- Technical talks/panels with industry speakers
- Roundtable on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Tech
- Volunteer with the local community (we usually participate in the Berkeley project together as a club!)
- Although we don’t have the capacity and resources to provide a mentored team experience to everyone, we have always published our mentored project program for full web development on our website for those looking to learn on their own!
For our Mentored coursewe are looking for students with little coding experience who want to learn and grow with us by developing a complete project in the service of a local non-profit organization. Our nonprofit partner this fall is the San Francisco Conservatory of Music!
For our Customer carewe are looking for students who may have CS course/side project/internship experience but you want to find a fun and motivated community while working together on an industrial project.
August 24 to 30 • In person on Sproul or la Clairière!
Joint Panel on Gender Minorities in Tech Clubs
August 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. • In person (location to be determined)
Information Session on Code Base 1 — come and meet us, discover our projects and discover our community!
August 26, 8-10 p.m. • Dwinelle 145 (and hopefully a hybrid option, link TBD!)
Gender Minorities in Codebase Fireside Chat – hear from some gender minorities in CB and their views on navigating tech, Cal, and more!
August 29 7 to 8 p.m. • In person (location to be determined)
Joint Panel of Technical Clubs
August 29 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. • In person (location to be determined)
URM in Codebase Fireside Chat – meet CB members from diverse backgrounds that are underrepresented in tech and learn about their experiences!
August 30 7 to 8 p.m. • In person (location to be determined)
Codebase Infosession 2 — exactly the same content as Infosession 1, for those who couldn’t come!
August 30, 8-10 p.m. • Dwinelle 145 (and hopefully a hybrid option, link TBD!)
September 1, 3 a.m.