Launch Academy


Launch Academy

Avg Rating:4.6 ( 48 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.

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  • Immersive Full Stack Software Engineering Program

    HTML, Git, JavaScript, Sinatra, Rails, CSS, React.js, Data Structures, Node.js, Front End, Ruby, SQL
    In PersonFull Time40 Hours/week18 Weeks
    Start Date April 12, 2021
    Class size30
    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. Graduates of this course will be able to: * Architect object-oriented systems using modern JavaScript and the NodeJS Runtime * Develop full-stack web applications using JavaScript, Express, and ReactJS * Design, model, and populate relational database schema with PostgreSQL and Structured Query Language (SQL) * Incorporate Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) into their applications * Incorporate Open Source Software (OSS) into their applications * Implement automated acceptance and unit tests on both the client and server side with a Test-Driven Development (TDD) methodology * Deploy web applications to cloud-based hosts like Heroku * Collaborate as a participant of a software engineering team through: ▸ Empathic and consistent communication ▸ Pair programming ▸ GitHub pull request workflow ▸ Continuous integration ▸ Release management The Program is divided into three phases Phase I: Foundations Phase II: Hybridized Immersive - Offered both on campus and virtual Phase III: Post Grad Support Lifetime Access to Alumni Support Thereafter Phase I: Foundations 8 Weeks, Part-time, Virtual Eight weeks before the on-campus learning experience begins, you’ll work through weekly articles, videos, and challenges that we’ve written and made available. They will walk you through developing strong foundations in JavaScript, SQL, HTML, and CSS. Unlike in other programs, you aren’t expected to complete this part of the course alone! The Launch Academy team will be available via live chat throughout the Ignition process if you get stuck. You’ll also be connected to everyone else in your cohort, allowing you to get help virtually at any time -- if you get stuck, your fellow students are only a message away. We also hold regular virtual clinics to reinforce the concepts you’re learning. These will be recorded and available to you throughout your coursework in the event you aren’t able to attend the live sessions. Phase II: Hybridized Immersive 10 Weeks, Full-time+, On Campus or Virtual Come into our campus in the heart of Boston or work remotely. You decide what works best for you with the flexibility to change up your location on a daily basis to best suit your learning style. Once you’ve established strong programming foundations in Phase I, it’s time to take your learning to the professional level. During your 10 weeks on campus, you’ll eat, sleep, and breathe code. Most students devote somewhere between 60 and 80 hours per week to the program. It’s a grueling pace, but once you don the Green Shirt awarded at graduation, you’ll be ready to take on a career in web development! Phase III: Post Grad Support 6 Months / Lifetime Graduating from Launch is just the beginning. During the On Campus experience, we’ll walk you through a structured approach to launching your career in software development. After you graduate, we’ll keep the momentum going by providing you with structure and support to help you put that approach to work. Whether you need help applying to jobs, integrating yourself into the tech community, or identifying what side project to start working on, Launch Academy has your back. By completing the Post-Grad Curriculum, you gain the support of our Career Services team for life. Our Post-Grad curriculum continues to help you build in-demand skills, so that you can keep getting your learning on while you tackle the job search. We’ve recently added an additional week of learning material for you to advance your ReactJS skills.
    Financing available through SkillsFund

    Tuition PlansFinance your tuition over 3-5 years with principle payments only after graduation through Skillsfund. Learn more here:
    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
    More Start Dates
    April 12, 2021 - Boston Apply by August 13, 2021
    July 5, 2021 - Boston Apply by November 5, 2021
    October 4, 2021 - Boston Apply by February 11, 2022
  • Robert Petrowsky  User Photo
    Robert Petrowsky • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
    Overall Experience:
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    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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    **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.


    • 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.


    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
    Overall Experience:
    Job Assistance:

    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
    Overall Experience:
    Job Assistance:

    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.




Launch Academy Outcomes

On-Time Graduation Rate
In-Field Employed
Median Salary

100% of students intended to seek in-field employment within 180 days of graduating. 0% of students did not intend to seek in-field employment.Below is the 180 Day Employment Breakdown for 30 graduates included in report:

180 Day Employment Breakdown:

Full-time employee
Full-time apprenticeship, internship or contract position
Short-term contract, part-time, or freelance
Started a new company or venture after graduation

Employed out-of-field
Continuing to higher education
Not seeking a job for health, family, or personal reasons

Still seeking job in-field

Could not contact

Salary Breakdown:

100% of job obtainers reported salaries. 0% of job obtainers were hired by the school itself.

Notes & Caveats:

Read the full Launch Academy CIRR Report here.