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Launch Academy

Boston, Online, Philadelphia, Washington

Launch Academy

Avg Rating:4.61 ( 46 reviews )

Launch Academy is a full-time, 18-week program with a part-time, 8-week online phase and then a full-time, 10-week course in Boston, Massachusetts. After this immersive learning experience, aspiring software developers will be transformed into contributing members of the development community. The core curriculum is built on JavaScript, React, Ruby on Rails, HTML, and CSS. Students learn from building real products under the guidance of experienced software engineers. "Breakable toys" are at the core of the learning experience at Launch Academy. Students conceptualize products they always wanted to use and over the course of the program learn the technical skills they need to build and improve upon their "breakable toy". Launchers complete the program with a workable product they can present to companies at career day where they meet with hiring managers from tech companies all over the country.

Graduates receive lifetime access to post-grad support including regularly updated curriculum and career services. Launch Academy is looking for highly motivated and naturally curious students driven to create things that help other people.

Recent Launch Academy Reviews: Rating 4.61

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  • Immersive Full Stack Web Development Program

    Apply
    HTML, Git, JavaScript, SQL, Sinatra, Rails, CSS, React.js, Data Structures, Node.js, Front End, Ruby
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week18 Weeks
    Start Date None scheduled
    Cost$17,500
    Class size30
    LocationBoston
    Launch Academy’s Web Development course equips aspiring software developers with the skills they need to succeed as professionals in today’s technology companies. While you’ll learn in-demand technologies through this course, the core objective of the program is to teach you the fundamentals and best practices of programming. That way, students are well positioned to adapt and grow with the fast-paced industry of web development. It’s all about matching up what you’ll learn with what today’s technology industry demands. So, our curriculum is constantly evolving and improving, based on the feedback of employers, current students, and our alumni. We update up to 20% of our curriculum prior to each cohort based on what hiring managers are seeking for skills in developers they plan to hire in the next 90-day hiring cycle. At Launch Academy, we believe that deliberate practice is the most effective way to learn software development. That means the course is entirely structured around a a learn by doing approach. That means you will graduate the program with a portfolio of projects, experiences, and code examples which will help to set you apart in your job search. We prioritize quality over quantity. This boutique and focused approach allows us to align our curriculum with the specific needs of Boston's software development companies technology stack. Our team of five software development instructors are full time - this is not a side gig while they work at other companies. The development team is often cited by alumni as one of the most caring and dedicated group of teachers they've ever encountered. The program is unique in that it is comprised of three contiguous phases spanning over 22-weeks followed by lifetime alumni support. The fist phase is 8 part time virtual weeks followed by a 10 week full time on-campus phase that is quite rigorous. We conclude with 4 weeks of post graduate support and lifetime access for alumni to our full time software instructors, career services team, free advanced courses and curriculum updates. Its probably the most rigorous program around and its not easy. But for those students that are committed, the results are life changing.
    Financing
    Deposit$1,000
    Financing
    Financing available through SkillsFund

    Tuition PlansFinance your tuition over 3-5 years with principle payments only after graduation through Skillsfund. Learn more here: https://launchacademy.skills.fund/
    Scholarship$500 discount for veterans, females or persons of an ethnic minority group underrepresented in the software engineering field
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelBasic computer knowledge
    Prep WorkPart-time, virtual 8-week Ignition phase requires 15-30hrs per week.
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewYes

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  • Casey Whittaker  User Photo
    Casey Whittaker • Full Stack Web Developer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I went in to Launch Academy a little hesitant. I didn't think a short 18 weeks would give me enough time to learn what I needed to land a web developer role. Turns out I was pretty wrong. 

    The first few months of ignition totally helped me get over those fears. I learned at a very rapid pace, and I quickly understood that Launch Academy's style of teaching is very similar to how an actual developer job would be. I learned the basics of ruby, javascript, HTML, CSS, and principles of object oriented programming in the first 8 weeks. Those initial weeks really fostered a strong foundation for what I would need to know for the much more intense on campus portion. It is worth noting that ignition is tough, but some people were able to hold down part time jobs as they completed that experience. Ignition is also a great experience for total beginners, and it will provide a super strong foundation for what you'll need to know for the on campus experience. 

    The on campus experience is much, much tougher than ignition and quite different. I would say the on campus portion was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. If you are considering Launch Academy, just know that the amount of work is no joke - you may even wish to consider somewhere else if you aren't going to dedicate at least 60-70 hours of work per week for 10 weeks straight. With that said, the instructors were almost always available to assist in our learning experience even when they technically weren't on the clock. And my cohort was a fantastic group of people, so I really, really enjoyed going in to the space every single day. I didn't miss a single day. 

    When on campus, you'll learn a lot more practical skills, like moreso the relationships between the things you learned in ignition and various frameworks that people use to make working with those languages more streamlined. You'll also learn how databases work, specifically how information is stored in and access from them, and how they communicate with a Rails backend and React front end. You'll of course learn React.js, Ruby on Rails, and how you can build a full stack application by the final two weeks of your cohort. 

    If all of this sounds promising and realistic to you, I say go for it! Attending Launch Academy has been one of the greatest descisions I've ever made and would do it 1000 times over. 

    Just a few weeks after graduation, I am happy to have landed a role at a small company in Boston with good pay, good benefits, and a similar code stack to what I learned at Launch. I couldn't have done it without the amazing team at Launch Academy and my fellow launchers!

    Special shoutouts to Dan, Nick, Pat, Cassie, Brianna, AmyLynn, Alex, and Corinne for making it all possible!!

  • Tyler Hui Mingalone  User Photo
    Tyler Hui Mingalone • Technical Project Coordinator • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I attended Launch Academy in the fall of 2019 and have nothing but good things to say. My cohort learned Ruby on Rails and React.js over a period of 18 weeks, with the first 8 being part time off campus and the final 10 being full time on campus. The mentors/teachers at Launch were all very dedicated to my success and were extremely capable at communicating complex ideas in an understandable manner. 

    Additionally, Launch Academy has two full time staff members who run their Career Services department and who work very hard to make sure you get a job post graduation. They work with you on interview prep, resume writing, cover letter writing, and even help facilitate some initial meetings with companies that are currently hiring junior developers. 

  • Susan Ma  User Photo
    Susan Ma • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Pros:
    - Full support from staff throughout admissions, during the program itself, and post-graduation
    - Informative staff with relevant industry experience and passion with many professional connections
    - Small class size (~23 students)
    - Budget friendly compared to a computer science degree
    - Great location in the heart of Boston
    - Positive atmosphere and safe space for all learning types
    - Lots of support from alumni, including alumni network events hosted on-campus
    - Emphasis on best practices in the industry, including technical and "soft" skills
    - Access to hiring partners and other professional help through Career Services
    - Constantly updating the curriculum to reflect needed skills in the field

    I looked at other boot camps and felt that Launch Academy had the most human-friendly approach. They have created a boot camp that teaches the technical and problem-solving skills needed in a high-demand industry, yet have pinpointed the importance of collaboration, teamwork, and taking care of yourself with concerns of mental and physical health. As someone who came from a non-technical background, it felt daunting to come into a completely new world with completely new people. The staff at Launch Academy welcomed all of us with open arms and embraced us as individuals, while tailoring guidance to ensure that we are successful. Some of us needed more time than others, more support than others, and the staff took no hesitation to ensure that we understood the material.

    Cons:
    - Intensive material in a short period of time

    This is very important for anyone who's coming into a program like this: Boot camps like Launch Academy are designed to be short so there's A LOT of information being taught. This may be particularly difficult for students who are new to programming in general, unfamiliar with time management and/or their own work style, and those who are not serious about finding a job in the industry post-graduation. This is not a program meant for the casual learner, but for someone who's looking more for a career change. Due to the rigorous nature and short time, it's also important to note that asking for help is CRITICAL. (This part in general isn't a con about the program - More like a recommendation for those who are on the fence about programming boot camps.)

  • Sean  User Photo
    Sean • Junior Software Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Hello!

    I write this for you, the prospective tech bootcamp shopper, from my cushy reclining chair behind the desk of my sparkly new junior developer job. I can genuinely say that if I didn't sign up for Launch Academy, then I would not be sitting here writing this review, off-task from the awesome tech work that I was trained to do so very well at Launch Academy.

    Before I touch on 3 reasons why Launch Academy is as awesome as it is, I'll say that for a while I tried to get into tech, and it was difficult to do on my own! All in all, I needed structure and support that my 2-D MacBook Pro screen wasn't giving me.

    In doing some reading, I read from some (only those that haven't done a bootcamp, mind you) that bootcamps aren't worth it because they are too expensive and you can do all the learning with online resources. Yes, it costs and yes you can theoretically learn everythiing you'd need online, but if you want a junior developer role in the next 6-8 months, doing a bootcamp will push you in ways that you could NEVERRRRR do on your own. It gives you ALL the material you need to go from beginner to junior developer and the inspiration, motivation, technical/social/emotional and all the above support you can't get from staring at a computer screen by yourself or even at a meetup a few times a week. That, I would say, is the most important part of choosing a bootcamp - the quality, passion and drive of the people around you. That's why Launch stands out to me.

    Here are the 3 reasons why I HIGHLY recommend Launch if you want to be a junior developer in the next 6-8 months:

    The Experience Engineers (or teachers or TAs, etc)

    These individuals make the experience what it is and one you can't get anywhere else. These individuals live and breath the tech that they are teaching you. They are animated, hilarious, and supportive presenters and teachers that encourage any and all questions any time you have one. They will collaborate with you on ideas, help you with bug fixes, give you the WHYs behind your questions, and importantly help you develop your questions and your ability to become more and more self-reliant so that you can begin to answer them on your own. Go ahead and see: call them up, chat, or go to Launch and see for yourself!

    The Other Bootcampers

    Prior to Launch Academy I was searching for a job in tech because, with a bit of experience under my belt, I was seeing if I could get a job on my own. I remember having a conversation with a recruiter about bootcamps and he said that he saw many applicants coming from Launch, moreso than other bootcamps, that were younger and had more relevant backgrounds than he saw at other bootcamps. This was a positive indicator - this told me that I could learn more and I'd be around higher caliber students coming into Launch.

    Demographics aside, the individuals at Launch all were motivated to do really well and aspire to grow every day. I was inspired to learn from and teach what I learned to others. Launch does a fantastic job at cultivating a culture of growth and support amongst its students and very quickly you form lasting bonds that go beyond the length of the program.

    The Curriculum and Structure of the Day

    The curriculum at Launch has been through many iterations over 5 years. It's a living thing that is constantly being updated and made better as newer technologies become more relevant in the job market. I can tell you that in the 1.5 months since I've graduated, signifcant parts to the curriculum have been amended or added (Redux, Jest, ... these may not mean much to you now but a quick search on Google will prove that they're important to know as a full stack developer). This is great for students: relevant skills = relevant job applicants!!!

    It's also a really well done curriculum! Prior to the intensive, in-person period of the bootcamp, everyone goes througn 8 weeks of remote work that preps you with fundamentals so that you can come in (like a b****s) and learn higher level, frameworks and concepts. Everyone comes into the intensive at a similar level and with the ability to digest more advanced concepts.

    Another great thing about the curriculum and the structure of the day-to-day at Launch is that if you're falling behind, you have the time and space to ask questions to your fellow students or to teachers to get help. Alternatively, if you're feeling confident, you can move ahead - there's always more work in the curriculum than you can actually finish so there's always room to do more and continuing challenging yourself if you're a rockstar!!

    There are many, many great things that I haven't mentioned about Launch Academy:

    • Working on your Breakable Toy (or capstone project) that you get to think up and design yourself, with support as needed from teachers and other students, and then go sprint for two weeks bringing it to life

    • Getting tons of practice learning to pitch yourself to employers, which helps wildly with engaging others at networking events post graduation

    • Extremely entertaining lectures filled with engaging content and sprinkled with humorous and relevant (I promise) memes

    • Hanging out/celebrating on Fridays with your fellow cohort-mates and simultaneously dreading and anticipating the learning and material to come the following week

    • The post-grad support and currriculum that helps keet you on track towards getting a job.This includes continued access to the curriclulum for life.

    One last thing that was a real positive for me about Launch, and that should be a positive sign for you, is that they keep alumni engaged with the community. Many events and panels are held through your time as a student there that invite alumni that have JUST graduated or recently gotten hired. It's really encouraging and supportive to be able to ask individuals that were previously (like weeks to months prior) in your shoes, facing the same challenges as you. And it's a sign that people have been so moved by their experience at Launch that they want to continue coming back and continue giving to the community.

    All in all, DO IT!!! If you want a job in tech, this is the fastest, most enjoyable way I know.

    YOU GOT THIS!!!

  • Great Experience
    - 3/25/2019
    Nick  User Photo
    Nick • Junior Operations Engineer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Launch Academy changed my life. It is what you look for in a boot camp. The instructors are super helpful, career services is great and helps you out even after you graduate, and the launch alumni is always trying to help one another. Before going to Launch I didn't have a clear path for myself. I had a full time job but I wanted a career that was more rewarding and something that I could feel proud to be a part of. If you are setting your sights on becoming a software developer, I would highly recommend this course. Keep in mind this is no walk in the park. You must be 100% committed to the task at hand to truly succeed. If you are driven and passionate and ready to take the leap to jumpstart your career in the world of software development then Launch is for you.
  • Great Roadmap
    - 1/17/2019
    Junaid  User Photo
    Junaid • Consultant • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Launch Academy was an excellent experience, and I highly recommend it for folks looking to enter the Web Development profession. Be aware that this is not something that you can do by halves. It requires your full attention and participation every day to really drill in the technical aspects of Web Development. While the laungages and frameworks learned are modern and well taught, I see it as more of a roadmap to future endeavours and it has given me the resources and direction to better improve on existing skills and develop new ones without extensive assistance. There is a stellar alumni network, and good help from the career services team to help you prepare for the job search. 

  • Launch is awesome!
    - 10/31/2018
    Alex Smith  User Photo
    Alex Smith • Developer I • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    All the instructors at Launch Academy were fantastic! They were always incredibly helpful and never got frustrated no matter how much help we needed. The curriculum is well written and very modern. The career services department works very hard to make sure you get job placement after you graduate. I believe that the Ignition program they implement before coming on campus greatly sets them apart from other camps and will assist all newcomers in being able to digest such a large amount of information. A wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone looking at a bootcamp!

  • David Garber  User Photo
    David Garber • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I'm a graduate of Launch Academy's [LA] 5th and final Philadelphia cohort. During my time, LA was able to deliver a comprehensive plan to develop my foundational development knowledge. At first, you will be taken for a whirlwind of courses designed to instill a deeper responsibility of writing code; writing for other developers to understand your intentions. We are encouraged to practice DRY, test-driven programming in two languages. There is a context switch mid-course that will break any syntax habits you may have which drives the point of understanding the reason behind the code and refrain from 'commanding' the CPU. *It is very important to have an obsession with technology, compulsive curiosity, and a growth mindset. you will not make it in the SWE world if you do not possess these 3 traits.*

    This is a revised review, as initially, I had been less than happy with the job prospects given to me. By communicating my frustration with the LA team, I had begun to understand that there may have been internal issues, given the fact that LA Philly was an expansion. There may or may not have been internal strife, but the compassionate leaders Dan and Corinne have done their best to resolve any concerns that I had. I understand owning a business is not easy, but in my prior review, I had let my anger get the best of me. Working more closely with the LA team, I've been able to get further in my job search, and have been given two separate opportunities to begin my career as a direct result from LA.

    In conclusion, you must understand that, as a junior developer, your entire career will be an unquenchable thirst for more knowledge of underlying technologies. Nobody will hold you accountable except for yourself. You have to strive to be the best version of yourself. LA promised me a career change, and while a little bumpy, they never broke their promise. I'm not going to discredit the invaluable knowledge that a CS degree provides, but for 15,000, I had doubled my earning potential in less than a year. That's one hell of a RoI. 

  • Amazing Experience
    - 3/21/2018
    Anonymous  User Photo
    Anonymous • Jr Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I decided to make a career change after 8 years and on the recommendation of a former graduate I attended Launch Academy.

    I highly recommend Launch Academy to anyone looking to learn web development. The staff is enthusiastic, engaging, and incredibly knowledgeable.

    While I'm sure every cohort is different the sense of community that grew over our 12 weeks together on campus was amazing.

    In addition to the well crafted coding curriculum the career services team does a wonderful job ensuring that you are set up for success on the job hunt. The post-grad support for job seekers is also top notch.

    Attending Launch Academy was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

     

  • Warren  User Photo
    Warren • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I just recently graduated from Launch Academy, so I've had experience with both the curriculum as well as the post graduation support. I can only say good things about both! They crammed as much as could fit in our heads, and have been working hard to find us positions since graduating. The one complaint I have is that the coursework could be a little rough around the edges at times, due to the fact that they're constantly changing it to keep up with trends and new tech. Generally it was minor things like examples not working, or tutorials not being quite accurate. The mentors were always there to address any issues though. I think my favorite part of Launch is that I'm now a part of a really dedicated and friendly community of web developers!

    All in all, I had a great experience!

  • Francis  User Photo
    Francis • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Attending Launch Academy was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I had recently relocated and unable to get any momentum in a new city with no professional network. Coding was always in my peripheral, but I had never actually taken the plunge until I started to look into bootcamps. Launch Academy really focused on Web Development moreso than others, so I dove in.

    You'll initially spend 8 weeks online learning fundamentals, slowly ramping up to the 10-week online program where you'll be taking on a different topic each week. The pace picks up really quickly from there, and it's not only challenging, but you'll be surrounded by people who fast become very close friends.  By the time you're done, you'll know enough to build your own small apps and what you do from there is up to you. I personally kept the moment going and started to teach myself other languages I never could "figure out" before without the experience Launch provided.

    Launch's curriculum changes very dynamically. Technology changes faster than fashion, and Launch keeps up. After graduating, they've got a pretty intensive job assistance program to keep you busy and active on the job hunt. It's a great experience. 

  • Robert Petrowsky  User Photo
    Robert Petrowsky • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Hello,

    I graduated two years ago from Launch Academy. First of all I loved my experience there. I learned fast and was easily one of the top performing students of my class. I was also 19 and spent all of my inheritance on the program and paying for rent/food during the program. When it was finished I accepted the first job I was offered rather quickly(2 months) as I was then living off of a credit card. The job was a contract for an extremely small start up(4 people). They told me that the company had experience with jr. developers before(which was not true). The lead developer was a 19 year old German college student. Needless to say it was not a growth experience. After the contract ended I was really in need of another job but didn’t receive help from my boot camp. My computer started experiencing problems and I could no longer run Rails. I found a full time volunteering opportunity with AmeriCorps teaching basic CS to students in low income areas and have been doing that for the last two years. I recently enrolled in a QA program for urban youth of low income and am now on an internship and will hopefully find a job quickly after. As I said I loved the experience during classes, but based on my experience I would say it should have costed $500-$1,000 not +$15,000 forcing me to live paycheck to paycheck and have no financial stability.

  • Amy Lieberman • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I had a great experience at Launch Academy and certainly learned a lot! The curriculum is consistently updated to keep up with version updates and industry popularity. The program is impeccably well run and I learned multiple new things every single day. The program included a 2-week group project and a 2-week individual project.

    I chose to apply to Launch Academy for the following reasons and they ring true:

    • 10 weeks in-person: Nothing can quite replace the face-to-face technical support, emotional support, and community you build at Launch. Plus, your classmates are your future colleagues in the Boston tech scene.
    • Rigor: The program is rigorous yet structured to support both individuals who are new to coding and those with some background. I entered the program with little to no experience and wanted to make the most of my time there. Out of the bootcamps that I looked into, I felt that Launch provided me with the greatest growth potential.
    • Career Support and Alumni Community:  Launch’s alumni community of over 1000 graduates is one of its greatest assets. Their community is not just a number but rather active and present in the current cohort’s Launch experience. The alumni come in to Launch to mentor, answer career questions, and support current Launchers every single week of the program. As someone without any (non-Launch) friends who are software engineers, this was critical to my vision of what I was looking for and where my career was eventually headed. The career support is extensive and begins Week 1.

    Who should learn at Launch? Anyone who is driven, a curious learner, and self advocates. It requires a lot of hard work and long hours (all of which is genuinely enjoyable thanks to your awesome cohort learning alongside you). If you enter with the right mindset — “I have a lot to learn and I’m eager to put in the hard work” — I’m confident you have a lot to gain from the program.

    If I could change anything about the program, I wish it were longer so that we could get more in-depth into some topics and better understand how to do more config on our own.

    As I look back on my time at Launch Academy, what stands out to me the most is the community, consistently updated curriculum, and the immense amount that I learned. We’re all a team that celebrates each other’s successes and help each other get there.

  • Alex • Graduate
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    Maybe times of changed, but 5 years out I can honestly say LA is a waste of time. After graduating I thought it was a scam, designed to just suck money out of people. The cost is massive and theyre excited to sign anyone up. Job support after was laughable. The career fair is there only get you past the point where they can drain your wallet, without a care in where you land. Most of the people in my cohort ended up in horrible body shop.

    The instructors are all very Jr. and really shouldn't be teaching people. Having been in the industry for a while, what they teach you is very antiquated. Since, I have interviewed many LA grads hoping to help pick up the pieces LA have left behind, and in most cases they're unhireable. They just dont know anymore than someone who is self taught, only theyre now massively in debt.

    Go elsewhere. I am shocked this place has so many 5 star reviews. 

  • Shani • Software Developer • Graduate
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    I had a fantastic experience at Launch Academy in Boston. The instructors were really knowledgeable and the curriculum was both organized and presented well. Launch works hard to keep their curriculum current, so we learned some really "hot off the presses" technology that will be incredibly useful at our future jobs. Launch encouraged pair programming, collaboration, and test-driven development, all skills that are extremely desirable. In the last two weeks of the program, each Launcher independently created a full website as a capstone project. We then presented these projects to a group of local companies who are interested in hiring a junior developer. I received two job offers within a week of graduation, and feel fully equipped to jump into my new career.

  • Sidney Castro • Graduate
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    Nowadays I love to talk all about how much I love coding. But, it wasn’t always like that. In fact, for all of my college career (this is not an exaggeration), I struggled figuring out what I wanted to do. Every time I switched focus, it still felt like I was taking the wrong turn. I felt horrible about myself. So I signed for signed up for Launch Academy and have never felt more whole in my life. Life makes so much more sense now, and I would like for everyone to know that they won’t regret choosing Launch Academy as their bootcamp. So much that I spent the entire work-day writing this review, so hear me out. (The TL;DR is at the bottom if you’re not interested in a full life story.)

    Here are some of the "wrong turns” I took before being saved by Launch Academy:

    • 2014: Started out as a business major as the “default” college route at Northeastern University. Was not for me.
    • 2015: Switched into Design, hoping to get some creativity in my life. Felt like an imposter. Stopped trying.
    • 2016: Switched into Computer Science, guided by my interest in math and problem-solving. Plus being a girl in the computer science department just sounded impressive. Instead, encountered an outdated curriculum heavily skewed towards theory. Very little student passion or collaboration. Grades were prioritized over knowledge. Impossible exams designed to make you feel stupid: “Now, the exam is this Friday and no one should expect to get above a D. But don’t worry, there will be a curve.” I sacrificed my mental health on so many occasions to study for these exams (going to bed at 3-4am was not unusual), and it was always a huge slap in the face to get handed back a C-, no matter how hard I tried. Somehow, a piece of paper made me feel so unworthy.
    • 2017: I started to realize that my thrive for learning dissolved a little more each semester at Northeastern, and this was painful to watch. The dread of simply going to class overwhelmed me. One day, I asked myself, “if I have to deal with this pain every morning to go to a class I don’t even enjoy, is it even worth it?” The cost and value of my Northeastern education were severely misaligned and I was desperate to feel passionate about something.

    Enter: Launch Academy.

    Now, here is where I will speak about how Launch Academy changed my life (again, not an exaggeration). At this point, I had already spent 121 university credits in sporadic, unstructured classes I simply wasted away, with parents who reminded me regularly of the hardship they go through in putting me through school and how obnoxiously expensive each class was. I developed a strong sense of failure and could not accept this feeling any longer. For those who are regretting their major, especially Computer Science majors brain-washed into thinking that their coding potential lies in their ability to understand digital signals, circuitry, and every algorithm out there, I understand how extremely painful it is to suffer in silence, to drown in your lack of passion, simply because you haven’t found the right environment. I’m not trying to sell Launch to you, I just truly believe that the program saved me from this self-deprecating, unhealthy mindset I had harbored for so long.

    (TL;DR) Now, here’s why:

    1. Waking up in the morning became so easy. I looked forward to being greeted by my peers the moment I walked through the door, all of whom were already hacking away at code. I enjoyed every moment with these people: from the late-nights spent dissecting lines of code with them, and the cheering that happened afterward, to our frequent karaoke nights (work hard, play hard, am I right?) The people at Launch became my best friends and life mentors.

    2. There was none of that Big-O notation crap. The morning mentor groups, facilitations, clinics are all carefully structured to ensure that we learned only the necessary tools needed in web development. You become well-versed in today’s world of web development; eventually you’ll find yourself using geeky “coding” terms and phrases on a regular basis.

    3. It was a judgment free-zone; I felt zero shame if I couldn’t get my head around a certain programming concept. There were no “dumb” questions. Our mentors (who are geniuses in my eyes) never made it feel like they were above us. They always stopped what they were doing to help you out, whether it be over solving a config issue or simply moral support. Even though I was much younger than everyone else, I never felt out of place. We were in this together. We learned from each other.

    4. Yes, it was challenging, but in a good way! Solving a problem made you feel so good. It gave you the motivation to keep going. Launch also helped me embrace the discomfort. At orientation, we were told that “the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing the solution is only a precursor to the exhilaration of solving the problem.” This is something I still carry with me. I gained the confidence to make mistakes. You can only move forward if you acknowledge that you don’t understand something.

    5. I’m a lot more independent than before. Thanks to Launch, I now know how to read documentation on technologies I’m unfamiliar with. Self-teaching is key in web development.

    6. This is an obvious one, but it’s career focused. And not just for those who “come out on top.” I learned how to network and how to job search efficiently. It’s only been 3 months since we’ve graduated and most of us are already working full-time, continuing to build on our skills at a full-time position in web development (while getting paid!) Launch Academy was exactly the push we needed to begin this lifetime devotion to learning.

    7. Some bonus things: our meme slack page, the “Launch” superlatives as a resource for our inside jokes, our karaoke nights, the unique insight you get from being around people different than you, yet the extreme closeness you feel over having similar motives… all of these things made Launch feel like home.

    2018-present: There is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel extremely grateful for the person Launch helped me become. I look back at my Northeastern days and laugh, because all I was missing was the community and support I found at Launch Academy. Till this day, post-graduation, we all still have each other’s backs. In fact, we even set up our own book club that still meets every week because we can’t get enough of each other!

    Feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to hear more insight about the program. I’d love to share Launch Academy’s saving grace with my fellow aspiring web developers.

  • T Wilson • Graduate
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    Launch Academy did a god job of passing along develepment skills to our class.  They did, however, fail entirely at Career Services for a decent chunk of us.  They boast an 88% placement rate for students and I would be surprised if they achieved half of that in reality.

  • Nathan Wright • Sales Engineer • Graduate
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    I graduated the LA program as part of the Fall 2016 cohort. Overall, my experience was terrific - the staff, curriculum, environment - everything exceeded my expectations before I joined. I originally signed up to launch academy as a way to change my career path - I had been stuck in the same job for a few years, and it felt like the right fit. The school did a great job introducing basic concepts and easing students into the course with the part-time program before the on site weeks, but that being said it might have been nice to have one or two meetings before hand as well.

    Once the full time program started, the pace really ramped up - each week is focused on a new aspect of web development, and the program did a great job breaking the weeks into learning, doing and testing. By the time we were getting started on our final demo projects - I had felt like I'd learned more in the weeks prior than I did the 4 years I was in college! The project portion of the course as good, although I will mention some issues below. Preparation for the final presentations was very helpful - I think this was more useful when it came time for interviews than for when we did the presentations.

    Before starting, and in the weeks we are learning the development skills - the final presentation/career day is billed as really being a big part of us getting a job after the course. When the time finally came, it was a little disappointing seeing the number of recruiters/companies that came to visit the school. I'm not sure if the program and companies are 100% aligned on this format, there might be a better avenue in my mind.

    So all told, the course was very strong - I learnt an incredible amount, and most importantly the school embedded the idea that to make it in software, you really have to never stop learning. It is a huge 'get out what you put in' type of place, they give you the resources and time, but you really need to make the most of it. Stay late, read extra, work on the weekends - it all pays dividends by the end, and carrys through to the post-graduation phases. Keep trying to build things even when you dont think you know how, you'll be surprised how much the base level skills can translate in to some much higher level concepts.

    Most of the people in my cohort were not hired/interviewed after the career day. Luckily, there was a group of us that spent time meeting in the city and working together - keeping skills sharp and creating new projects was important for hiring and interviews down the line (keep those git commit bars green!!). I can't imagine trying to pitch a breakable toy to a hiring manager 3 months after graduation as being a great way to geat picked up. New ideas, quick projects - this seemed to be what got attention from companies and I started seeing more responses to my applications. In the end, I was contacted directly by a recruiter from a software company, and I went through the process independant of LA - that being said their skills in sharpening resumes and online profiles really went a long way, and their push to get you to events helped me feel comfortable just talking to people about technology. I thought the post graduation curriculum was great.

    All told I was thrilled with the program, but there were a couple issues. As mentioned above, the format of the career day was a little off putting, and didn't seem to get much traction with the companies attending. I was also a little disappointed by the project I was encouraged to work on - we were asked to present two or three ideas, the first of which really pushed my own boundries, something I thought was cool and was very different than what we had focused on. In the end, the staff pushed me toward what was essentially a rehash of the projects we had worked on during the course, and when that happens across 30+ students, you get a lot of similar looking projects. I wish they would have let me push my boundries a little more, potentially fail, but have something unique and a little different to present in the end.

    The culture at Launch is interesting, and as mentioned in a couple other reviews was at times a little heavy handed. We were all big boys and girls in the program - and sitting down an entire cohort to walk us through 'mansplaining' was a pretty eye-roll worthy experience. The post-graduation Slack channel was also a great encapsulation of the programs approach to points of contention - when friction developed between two graduates, instead of the normal approach of muting or banning the trouble maker,  or asking evryone to remain civil/explain why what they were doing was wrong - the entire channel was shut down. Not great, especially with the way graduate community it was touted before starting. It was really disappointing also to hear the head of the program while we were there was leaving, but the staff overall were really fun and knowledgable.

    Finally I want to stress again how much I enjoyed the program - but being out in the industry now, there was a bit more of a relience on packages/frameworks than there should of been. The big two that stood out were Devise for authentication, and Foundation for CSS/styling. Relying on these to quickly get things set in a project was understandable, but there wasn't much of an understanding given to us as to what was happening under the hood. 

    All in all, I have encouraged friends and coworkers to attend Launch Academy multiple times, I think it was a great course - well designed and executed - and it helped me make a drastic career change. I have been back to events held there after, and its encouraging to see the community grow - I hope they can continue on the right path and build on the success they have had.

  • Brady Tatro • Graduate
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    The course is comprehensive and very intense. When I left I felt prepared for a career in web development. What sets Launch apart are the instructors, each one is friendly and knowledgable. I would highly recommend Launch to anyone who is looking for a career change.

  • Highly Recommended
    - 1/25/2017
    Fall 2016 Grad • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    Overall, I had a great experience. I learned the entire stack to build fully functional websites with impressive tech behind them. The curriculum is difficult and requires motivation on the part of the student. If you work hard, follow the guidelines, and keep up with the material, it is very likely that you will land a great job as a software engineer shortly after the class ends.

    There were a few times when we were lectured on things like "mansplaining", which felt out of place for a class meant to teach you how to build websites. The school strives to educate the students on being professional in the work environment, so presentations like this felt downright odd.

    These are minor gripes, and overall the experience was a positive one. For anyone willing to focus on the material and put in the time necessary, a job as a software developer is well within your grasp after Launch Academy. I landed my dream job after taking the course, and I couldn't be happier with it.

  • Aaron • Student
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    N/A
    **This review is a work in progress as I'm currently going through the program**
     
    I am part of the first cohort for Launch Academy's new Online bootcamp (which launched on 1/11/16). To date, I haven't found any reviews about this particular program (there are many for the On Campus bootcamp), so I wanted to share my experience thus far, in case you were considering this as an option.
     

    Review #2 As of 7/29/2016

    TLDR: I completed 1/2 of the program between January-March (averaging ~28 hours/ week). I've been working abroad since April (paused the program), and am learning on my own. LA helped me get started with a strong foundation. I would recommend it to others, particularly under specific circumstances (see below).


    Updated Review:

    • Prior to Launch Academy, my main challenge in learning to code was simply garnering enough knowledge, skill, and practice to 1) start building actual code on my own and 2) cultivate a base of understanding. LA's structured curriculum, mentorship, fellow students, forum, etc. were really helpful for getting over the initial hurdles, and helped to build my foundation.
    • Presently, I'm learning on my own (with acquired knowledge via LA that lets me: Break down problems; Perspective and experience to evaluate potential solutions; Ability to troubleshoot; Know-how for finding resources online, and again, the ability to assess their merit (to some extent), etc.), which I hadn't really been able to do previously.
    • As I progressed beyond Phase 5, the curriculum forced you to stretch a bit more (partly because there were small gaps in the material, and partly, I presume, to push you out of your comfort zone). The material was still strong, but it wasn't as polished as the earlier Phases.
    • The mentors were probably the best part of the program. They are all very friendly, supportive, and knowledgeable. Additionally, experienced developers offer insights that you simply cannot get from tutorials or videos; They often can help you cut through some of the noise, look at problems from a different angle, and share tribal knowledge/ industry practices (which is hard to capture in guides, etc.)
    • On the job front, I don't feel confident that I can get a job as a dev right now (based on only completing half the program). I do feel that I can learn what is required to become job ready, and I believe the program will get you sufficiently technically advanced.

    Learnings:

    • I found that trying to hammer away at challenges for periods longer than 2-4 hours at a time had greatly diminishing returns. Now I do “deep work” for 2-3 hours, then take a break, and completely separate from the problem. I can come back refreshed and be much more effective. When I was paying for the program, I felt constant self-imposed pressure to keep at it, because it was an on-going consideration of ROI.
    • One unexpected challenge was the feeling of isolation on a day-to-day basis. I was coding at home, often alone, so the environment had a clear impact. To switch it up, I would go to coffee shops, spent a few days in co-working spaces, and did a few “hack sessions” with friends, which did help. Saying this, I can see the value of an in-person bootcamp, surrounded by other people working through the same challenges and towards a shared end-goal. The Slack channel helped, but obviously has its limitations.

    Suggestions:

    Disclosure: I'm not sure what has been added/ changed about the program, so below are some ideas from my experience.

    • To further prep for the real world, I would have liked built-in group projects/ peer programming/ peer review sessions. This would simulate working on a team.
    • Share real-world processes for project planning/ outlining builds. Again, with the intent of demonstrating how projects are planned and implemented at a company. Maybe one way to do this would be to have a consistent, additive project throughout the course (which grows in complexity and features as you learn more).
    • Incorporation of more real-world tools, like bug-tracking software and user story creation.


    Overall, I enjoyed my time in the program and would highly recommend it to others for specific use cases: 1) You've tried learning on your own in the past, and struggled; 2) You need the flexibility of a self-paced program; 3) You're testing the waters of a career switch/ seeing if you actually like to code (it's a relatively cheap test, and it substantially lowers the friction to actually start coding); 4) You're really self-motivated and have a large chunk of time to devote to it.

    For perspective, here's another online review:

     
    Review #1 As of 1/24/16:
     
    TLDR: I highly recommend the course so far. I've found the guided material and gradual progression immensely helpful for learning, while having mentors and other students persistently "around" allows for more rapid problem solving, less frustration, and very little of the isolated feeling I experienced while self-teaching.
     
    To begin, I have wanted to learn how to code for a few years now. In November of 2015, I made the decision to pursue learning to code as a full-time endeavor, with the aim of making  a career switch (my background is in startups in sales/ marketing roles). I began by self-teaching Ruby for about 6 weeks, and dabbled with JS for  2; I have been coding each day, treating it much like a FT job. Very quickly, I realized this journey is fraught with challenges, which I'll elaborate on below. However, through this experience (and struggle),I've come to a profound realization: I love coding!*
     
    (*And I was able to learn this directly without first ponying up money, hurray internet!)
     
    So, why did I decide to do Launch Academy Online?
    Well, it starts with some of the challenges I faced in self-teaching. I'll boil these down to the top 3 (for me):
    • Progress is inconsistent: I found many (free) online guides/ courses had inconsistent jumps in the progression of material. Things would be humming along, then I'd reach something that would be way over my head. I'd spend hours, or days, learning about the concept, looking to Stack Overflow or other guides/ tutorials, etc. to help fill in the gaps... I'd eventually figure it out, and then go back to the original course. I understand this emulates real world problem solving, but in trying to learn the fundamentals, this was incredibly taxing and consistently halted momentum.
    • Overwhelming amount of material: There are A TON of guides/ courses/ tutorials online; It is hard to know what works well for your learning style without trying it. I found I don't like video-based lectures or in-browser coding, I'd rather "build things," and emulate real programming (I liked "Learn Ruby The Hard Way" a lot). Likewise, I spent much time trying different options. I also had to force myself to trust some of the magic of Ruby, because otherwise I would spend way too much time on things that weren't that important to understand at this stage of learning.
    • Isolating: I underestimated how lonely it would feel to go on the journey alone. While I tried The Odin Project and FreeCode Camp (for my foray into JS), and knew there were other students working on the material at the same time, it was rare to find people at the same stage as you to converse with/ who could help answer your questions. To be clear, I think these are great courses with a robust and growing community, but with everyone being at different stages and doing it for varying reasons, it didn't have a team-like environment (which I guess I'm looking for).
    From there, I decided to do a coding bootcamp. I researched different On Campus options in NYC, Boulder, Portland (OR), Boston, etc. (cities where I'm interested in working), and online options such as Bloc, Thinkful, and others. I did my due diligence of reading reviews, talking with alumni and teachers, developed my own grading rubric, and weighed the pros and cons of time and cost requirements.
    After all was said and done, I chose Launch Academy Online for a few reasons:
    • On Campus had great reviews, and the two alums I spoke with raved about it (I figured the curriculum, and teaching methodology would translate well online).
    • Dan Pickett (Co-Founder) answered all the questions I had, was responsive to my emails, offered a lot of support while I was self-teaching, shared resources, etc. (all prior to my signing up)
    • I would be a part of the first cohort, and figured they'd want to make sure we were successful.
    • Much cheaper than on campus options, and allowed me more flexibility to do the work when I want/ am available.
    Here's my experience so far:
    • The curriculum is great! There are 11 Phases in total, each focused on discrete, related concepts. In each Phase, there are 30-40 exercises, which incrementally progress in complexity, which means you are learning by doing, and consistently reinforcing themes.
    • Mentors are generally available during the day via Slack, and there is a designated Office Hour period each day specifically staffed by a Mentor. Additionally, fellow students are online, who you can chat with throughout the day.
    • As a bonus, every day there is a live workshop led by Dan, where he does a deeper dive into a concept. These are supplemental, and generally offer helpful tidbits, as well as insight into how an experienced coder thinks about approaching problems.
    • Weekly 1-on-1's with designated mentor is helpful. I've only had 1 so far, but in the future, I plan on discussing alternate ways of solving exercises, discussing concepts not covered/ more advanced material, using the time to peer program, etc.
    • Fellow students are engaged, active, and very willing to help.
    • The program is very new, so they are constantly seeking feedback in order to make updates/ improvements. I've seen minor changes so far, and am curious to see how this translates as the program progresses.
  • Fall 2015 Grad
    - 11/13/2015
    Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    TL;DR: Attending Launch Academy was one of the best decisions I've made.

    I'd been trying to break into a career in software engineering for a while, and the practical skills and education I got through Launch Academy put me over the top.

    The curriculum is well-crafted, layering concepts on top of each other in an organic way, so that you're given a solid foundation before moving on to a more complex subject. I didn't give it 5 stars because (in my limited view) many companies these days are looking for more experience with JavaScript and a front-end framework, but I'm pretty sure they'll be making that adjustment for the future, if they haven't already.

    Something I also appreciated about their instruction is that they don't tolerate lazy coding. Often, there's a quick way to get something done that will get something working now, at some significant cost later; Launch was very clear about doing things in the *right* way, not just the *fastest* way.

    It is INTENSE, though. I dropped as many obligations as I could to make room for the 50+ hour weeks. Learning so much in such a short amount of time requires dedication.

    I'm not sure how they managed it, but the culture there was great. The instructors are all super-friendly and helpful (and badass), and the entire student community was mutually supportive. I felt that Lauch really invested it me, and that they cared deeply about my personal success.

    I've also been impressed with their Career Services. Part of the curriculum is focused on what it takes to get hired: your resume, profssional profiles, interview skills, and so forth.

    As for the actual hiring process post-graduation, Corinne is tireless. About two dozen companies looking to hire came to Career Day, and she's been in touch with many more since, setting up interviews, phone screens, etc. And even though the gig I eventually landed I got through my own connections, Corinne was still incredibly helpful.

    So yeah, I feel pretty good about having gone through Launch.

  • Summer 2015 grad
    - 10/10/2015
    Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate
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    Overall, I had an amazing experience at Launch Academy. I learned enough to land several interviews and my first job in a new career in software development. If you truly enjoy software development, are hungry to learn and grow, and are ready to work really really hard, Launch Academy definitely delivers on its promise to prepare you for a new career as a developer. You get what you put into it though, so don't expect to slack off and then expect Launch to work a miracle for you. It is an excellent program for anyone who has a passion for development and is ready to truly dedicate themself to levelling up.

    The preparation for interviews, resumes, networking, etc. was all excellent, and the two career days where you meet prospective employers looking to hire junior developers is amazing. Getting this personalized job preparation and coaching and introduction to hiring parters was one of the most valuable parts of the entire experience in my mind.

    The curriculum seems to improve with every cohort. In the past Ruby on Rails was the main emphasis, but I think they are adding more and more JavaScript. 

    Having done a lot of research, I think Launch is the best bootcamp you can find in Boston. The personalized attention and focus on one cohort at a time I think really sets it apart from some of the other bootcamps.

     

     

     

  • Its cool
    - 10/1/2015
    Anonymous • Software Engineer • Graduate
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  • Spring 2015 Grad
    - 6/14/2015
    Josh Fields • Junior Developer • Graduate
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    If I talk to someone who is remotely interested in computers, I usually ask if they would consider going to a coding bootcamp. Most people seem intrigued by this, and I then follow up with a recommendation for Launch Academy.

    I'm not trying to shill for the program, but what they've done for me has changed my life. I've always loved computers, from building PC's to playing games on them. It wasn't until I heard about Launch Academy (from my brother, who recruits engineers) that I seriously considered a career in web development.

    After completing the course, I can honestly say that coding is the single best career in the universe... maybe slightly behind astronauts.

    Why is it so good? Before attending Launch, I thought computer programming was all about math. This was one of the main reasons why I never majored in computer science, and it's also completely false. True, you can apply math in many different ways when coding, but a better analogy would be to compare coding to LEGOs.

    When you code, you're just building something. Sometimes your project is small, like those 30-piece LEGO sets, and other times, your project could be massive and require many different sections. Either way, you're always putting the pieces together (with code) to build a working application. If this sounds interesting to you, then please strongly consider Launch Academy.

    Over the 10-week course, you will constantly get your ass kicked. The instructors will teach you a new topic, and then give a challenge to work on that involves said topic. Rarely, it will be easy. Most often, your brain will be completely taxed from trying to solve it. What makes this process so rewarding is that you're not in this alone: Almost every other person attending Launch is in the same boat as you are, and halfway through the course, I started to view these people like family. You'll struggle together, but more importantly, you'll succeed together. Teamwork is an integral part of coding, and it's also the most satisfying.

    These challenges and exercises will wear you down, but when you stop and think about how much you've learned, your mind will be blown. There is pre-course work before the actual cohort begins, and by the second actual week at Launch, I realized how much more I knew about coding (Ruby in particular) than when I started. By the end of the course, I was shocked at how much knowledge I acquired.

    There are plenty of other things I could praise Launch Academy for, but I'm sure you aren't interested in reading another 2,000+ words, so I'll touch on one of the most important (and my reason for choosing Launch over other bootcamps): job assistance. It's the reason you're here, and Launch delivers. No, you are not guaranteed a job, but after graduating, I had more interviews lined up than I have ever had in my life. It was a truly great feeling to have.

    If you're looking for a career change and have any interest in computers or how things work in the magical wonderland known as the internet, you should definitely look into Launch Academy. With such a huge demand for programmers in the job market, this is the best way to get your foot in the door. You'll be exhausted after the 10 weeks here, but more importantly, you'll be empowered.

Thanks!