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Launch School

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Launch School

Avg Rating:4.83 ( 65 reviews )

Launch School is an online program for studious beginners whose goal is to become professional developers. The program focuses on fundamentals of programming and software engineering including core problem solving, programming language fundamentals, object-oriented programming, networking, databases, and guides students through a structured path of building up proficiency in software development.  The program consists of two main phases: Core Curriculum and Capstone. The Core Curriculum uses a mastery-based learning pedagogy to teach fundamentals of software development. It takes approximately 1200-1800 hours (8-16+ months) to complete, and students can choose either a Ruby or JavaScript focused track through Core. After that, there is an optional and admissions-based Capstone Program that's focused on helping students acquire career-launching opportunities. The Capstone Program takes 4 months full-time and employs an Income Sharing Agreement where students pay after they get a job offer.

The Core Curriculum is open to everyone, and the only requirement is that people complete Launch School’s free preparatory courses. Students who complete the Capstone Program will receive career guidance, and be exposed to algorithmic thinking that employers demand. 

Launch School offers a Deferred Payment Program (DPP). Students pay nothing upfront, and will begin to pay back tuition only once they land a job that pays at least $60,000.

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  • Core Curriculum

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    JavaScript, Ruby, SQL
    In PersonPart Time20 Hours/week64 Weeks
    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    Cost$199
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    The Core Curriculum represents the "Study" phase of Our Pedagogy (https://launchschool.com/pedagogy) and is where we employ Mastery-based Learning (https://launchschool.com/mastery) and take a bottom-up teaching philosophy to help students build long-term mental representations of progressively more sophisticated and integrated concepts. Everything in the Core Curriculum is deemed fundamental and is mandatory.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelMust be in "Study" phase of learning journey. See launchschool.com/pedagogy
    Prep WorkFree prep work at launchschool.com
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
  • The Capstone Program

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    Algorithms, Data Structures
    In PersonFull Time24 Weeks
    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    Cost$0
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    The Capstone Program is an optional, admissions-based, and final phase for students who have completed the Core Curriculum, which is our Mastery-Based Learning courses. The goal of the Capstone Program is to give students an intense finishing experience that results in a career-launching job. Because the end goal of Capstone is very ambitious, it requires in total 4 to 6 months of full-time focus, and possibly even longer. The first 3 months will be classroom instruction Monday-Friday all day; after that, there will be a 1-3 month Career Search process. All participants are selected among our top students from the Mastery-Based courses. It's not uncommon for Capstone participants to call it the hardest thing they've ever done. The projects, graduates, and salaries coming out of Capstone are outstanding and rival those at top-tier universities. See the Results & Outcomes page (https://launchschool.com/results).
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Tuition PlansLaunch School collects a percentage of your first year's salary as a fee when you accept your job offer.
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelMust have completed the Core Curriculum
    Prep Workhttps://launchschool.com/capstone
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
  • Armando Mota  User Photo
    Armando Mota • Software Engineer II • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    It’s hard to overstate the impact that Launch School has had on my life.  I consider myself a studious person - I took high school and college seriously, got good grades, and made an effort to find a career that aligned with my degree and interests.  I unfortunately found the options for my specific field of study limited, so I’ve spent the past 15 years of my professional life in a series of stable but largely unfulfilling jobs.  Because of Launch School, I am now in a field that truly interests me, and I’m on an income trajectory that will allow me to give back, provide a stable base for my family, and accomplish many of the things that make life enjoyable to me.

    There are a few facets of Launch School, and especially the Capstone program, that make them such an effective springboard to a career in software engineering.  As someone who tried to learn a few programming languages and web development on my own, the structure that Launch School provides is important.  Even for someone who is focused and motivated, it can be hard to sustain the energy and interest needed to learn on your own without any feedback, any community, and any sense of how close you are to your goal.  Launch School provides all of these.  Knowing exactly what to study may just be the most challenging aspect of trying to learn on your own, because the programming world is both wide and deep.  While learning anything interesting is often time well-spent, it doesn’t necessarily get you closer to landing a paying job as a software engineer, which was my goal.

    That is Capstone’s explicit goal as well, and it does a fantastic job of preparing you for both finding a job/nailing the interviews, and the daily work the job requires once you’ve landed it.  It is important to note that the type of jobs the Capstone program prepares you for are not entry-level jobs.  Official job titles of Capstone students often range from Jr. Engineer to Sr. Engineer, however they all effectively require multiple years of experience, have great starting pay, and often allow you to work on the kinds of interesting problems that entry-level roles often don’t have access to.

    While the Capstone program prepares you incredibly well for your first job, that doesn’t mean that you’ll have all of the knowledge you’ll ever need from the start.  Your first role may require a language you don’t know, or it may require advanced problem-domain expertise, or it may use frameworks and tools you’ve never worked with.  And this is perhaps where the most lasting benefit of Launch School becomes apparent.  Because Launch School focuses on the fundamentals of programming, you have a solid base from which you can learn new material quickly and efficiently.  When you have to learn something new, and you most certainly will, that fundamental knowledge that was ingrained over years allows you to pick up concepts and identify patterns rapidly without getting bogged down by basic concepts.

    All of this amounts to a Capstone program that truly does prepare you for a career in software engineering and helps you get past the first few hurdles that can be a barrier to so many.  There will always be that little bit of imposter syndrome when you switch careers to an entirely new field, but after having spent the first few months in my new role as a software engineer,  I can honestly say I do not feel out of place and I do feel like I have all of the tools required to do my job effectively now and in the future.
  • Sheila  User Photo
    Sheila • Software Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Context: I found and began Launch School in December 2018, completed Core in December 2020, and went through Capstone in Spring 2021.

    I got my bachelor's degree in Computer Science, graduating in 2020. Yes, that means I did Launch School alongside school. It was long and difficult road to persist and finish - I paused my subscription/studies several times in the 2 years I went through Core, and there were times when I nearly let go of my goal of getting to Capstone. The thriving and encouraging community is a lot of what kept me motivated - seeing people I had studied with during 129 getting amazing jobs and producing technically robust Capstone projects. I never doubted that if I stuck with it, I would get the same results.

    Why go through LS when I had a degree? Put simply, school gave me broad exposure to CS topics and a good breadth of knowledge, but doing things like working professionally and writing production software in a language I knew nothing about a few months prior is all thanks to the depth of my studies during Core. Depth is something a lot of people are missing, and it's the real "secret sauce".

    During my job hunt, I had the confidence and belief in myself to turn down six figure offers and opportunities that would have surpassed all of my expectations for a first job a few years ago. That's the power of a strong support system and incredible peer group - you know without a doubt what you're capable of achieving. I ended up accepting an offer in just under 6 weeks for a position I am overjoyed with, making a previously unbelievable-to-me salary, and having technical conversations daily that would've sounded like gibberish to me a year ago. I will never stop talking about LS to anyone who will listen!!
  • Software Engineer
    - 10/11/2021
    Juan Palma  User Photo
    Juan Palma • Software Engineer III • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Launch School gave me by far the best learning experience I've ever had. It took me two years to go through the entire curriculum, but it was worth every second. I don't have a college degree, and I had never seen a line of code in my life before Launch School, but the job I got out of the process came with an outrageously high salary (especially for Arizona), and I got the job in under two months after hitting the job market.

    Capstone was key to get the results I got, but I think Core was where the magic happened. Not only did Mastery-Based Learning resonate with me as an education strategy, but it was also the best fit for my particular case. Since during Core I had a full-time job (and for a few months I even had a second job), the flexibility to study when and where I could was key to my success. Aside from that, the rigor with which I was assessed at every step of the way helped my confidence and skills soar, especially when it came to learning advanced topics fairly quickly like you do in Capstone and during the job search.

    On the other hand, I loved having peace of mind knowing that at any point I could pause my monthly subscription, and that if I couldn't or didn't want to finish Core, I wouldn't be tied to an ISA. Once Capstone was around the corner and an ISA was part of the equation, I was certain that I was going to be successful because I had already witnessed time and again how professional, effective and intentional Launch School is.

    After going through this process, I think that Launch School is not for everyone, let alone perfect. But if you don't care about how long the process may take, if you have grit and discipline, and if you want to launch a career as a professional software engineer with a top job, I think Launch School is the way to go. Please feel free to reach out via Slack, LinkedIn or any other way, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. Happy coding!
  • Steve Alston  User Photo
    Steve Alston • Advanced Software Developer • Student • Verified via LinkedIn
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    I will start off by saying my Launch School experience has by far exceeded any expectations I had when signing up.  I have grown as a person and professional in ways I couldn't even have imagined. It's not just a school for software engineering, but rather a school for equipping its students with a completely overhauled and highly optimized mindset, as well as a 500 pc LS toolset, with a lifetime warranty, for use in constructing your new future. Furthermore, don't be intimidated by the words 'software engineer', that term encompasses many topics. You can always explore any of these topics further and/or focus on one or more as a career. In addition, you will be a more complete and valued developer/engineer as a result of having a mastery of the other fundamentals. Once you truly "learn how to learn" you will notice yourself applying these life-altering principles across all areas of your life. 

    Prior to Launch School, I had been working in front-end web development for close to 8 years. In order to paint a fuller picture, I first have to share a bit of my background. I graduated High School in 1999, technology for the most part wasn't even a blip on my radar. If you were lucky enough to have a cell phone it most definitely wasn't smart, it was $16.53 per minute, $3.49 for sending a text message, and you had the 15-minute monthly plan with no rollover. I'm exaggerating a little, but not much. Anyways, I had taken one business/computer course in 10th grade, and I think we may have used Geocities for an hour or two to create drag and drop web pages with fire gifs and blinking text. Even for those times, it looked horrendous and served no purpose whatsoever. That was the extent of my intro to CompSci, and I was probably fortunate to get that versus other people of my age and complexion. Long story short, I attended Bowling Green State University following high school with the intent to play football and study sports marketing, but 1 week into school my girlfriend at the time let me know she was pregnant. 2 semesters later I was back home. However, while at BGSU a buddy of mine gave me a proper introduction to computers and emulators. My grades may have been better if not for that NES emulator!

    After coming back home, I worked menial jobs for a few years before taking a job with a guy who contracted for FedEx Home Delivery back when it first launched. A little less than a year later I owned the route. It was decent money for a person my age, but the burnout and turnover rates were real. It was a stressful job, one poor guy even had a heart attack one morning while arguing with a manager. But, like I said the money was good and at the time it was allowing me to finance a side hustle co-producing a DVD Magazine. Unless you're 30 and up you may have never heard of a DVD Magazine, but they were pretty popular back in the early 2000's. Ultimately, we could see that everything was moving to the web and we wanted to be first. We were trying to build something along the lines of a World Star Hip-Hop before it was the “WOOORRLLDDD STAAARRR” we know now. Unfortunately, none of us knew how to code, nor did we know anybody who could code. Back then, companies were charging up around $100k for what would now be a $10-15k WordPress site. This price point is what ultimately led me to the path I am on today. A long and strenuous journey up several towering mountains, and down into many low valleys, but finally, I HAVE ARRIVED!

    Launch School is what got me to where I am now, but as I mentioned, I have been in web development for the last 8 years. After striking out in our many attempts to secure development, I ultimately decided to go back to school and learn how to build a website in the summer of 2011. I attended a private institution and graduated with an A.A.S. focused on digital design. While attending school, I realized then, that I wasn't going to get the necessary skill set needed to actually build anything other than a static website, or hack something together using WordPress. Unfortunately, by this point, I was 3 semesters in and $25k down, in what was a 4-semester program. So, I saw it through and finished up, grappling with the knowledge that I had just dropped $30k in what I could have learned at the local community college for $5k, and still didn't know how to program. I share these numbers in part to let you know, "don't live with regret, forgo the debt." So more debt was out of the question in terms of procuring the programming knowledge I would need. This sent me down the spiraling path of tutorial hell.

    Yes, tutorial hell is just as scary as it sounds. It is an endless cycle of tutorials, death by a thousand cuts style, in which you take millimeter-sized steps in completing a 30k marathon. Eventually, I did bite the bullet a few years into the struggle and enrolled in a PHP certification course at the local community college. I felt more confused after the class than I was going into it. But that's not all, I also purchased around 30 Udemy courses, a $400 course on Coursera, completed several tracks in Treehouse, Freecodecamp, Codeacademy, KahnAcademy, audited several Edx courses, and had various subscriptions to other platforms throughout the years. With all that, I probably learned 30% of what I've learned in just a little over a year at Launch School. To be honest in writing this, I have no clue why, or how, I stuck with it. But damn, am I thankful I did.

    Finally, I'm going to let you in on why Launch School is so amazing. First, the cost, LS is $200/mo or $2400/yr.  At one point during the height of COVID, they were also providing financial assistance to students in need, but I'm not sure if that's still going on. A typical 3-4 month boot camp is $15k on the low-end. Second, integrity, they not only tell you but show you, in their free and extensive prep course, exactly what you're in for. Third, the curriculum is second to none. It is so in-depth and the assessments are like nothing I've ever experienced, the standard they hold you to is almost infuriating at first. That's until you get through it and can look back to appreciate it for what it is. The sense of accomplishment is unreal when you finish a module. Lastly, and this could have been number one, the community, the community of people are diverse, helpful, and super friendly. When you ask a question, it's usually answered within minutes. If you've ever learned online then you know what it's like to wait 2 days, if it ever gets answered, on a submitted question. You're connecting with a network of people. Folks that graduated years ago and are senior engineers are still on Slack providing newbies feedback and advice. The founder and TA's are consistently online providing more resources, articles, advice, study groups, etc.

    Currently, I have 2 modules left to complete in the CORE Curriculum, and I have a goal in mind to finish by August. It would have been sooner, but due to money getting tight with COVID I had to start my job search somewhat early. As soon as I put open to opportunities on my LinkedIn profile my inbox was flooded with recruiters. Not soon after, I landed a 6 figure job, which was much more than I expected. Prior to accepting the offer, I was telling recruiters/employers I was looking for $75-80k/yr. After a couple of weeks of interviewing, I was turning down offers at that dollar amount. During my interviews, I was complimented several times on my Problem Solving abilities using the techniques provided by LS. The coding challenges were actually much easier than the problem sets Launch School provides.

    I just want to touch briefly on job assistance, since it is not a direct offering of the CORE Curriculum. I would say it's provided indirectly. As mentioned above, the LS community provides most advice that may be needed, even going as far as to look over a resume or LinkedIn profile. Just the other day, I read an article on what counts as work experience. There have also been several posts on the forums from former grads/students that their current company is hiring. It seems to me once a company gets one grad, they seek out other LS students. For me, providing the tools necessary to nail the technical portion of the interview was all the assistance I needed.  I know what you may be thinking, that I had previous experience. This is true and it did help some, but for the most part, the job offers I had didn't really take my past experience into account because I was self-employed and most of my work didn't involve much programming or custom development. Just talking the talk, using technical jargon was not a skill I had over a year ago. Most importantly, prior to Launch School, I most definitely did not have the problem-solving skills necessary to effectively work on a team producing globally scaled applications.

    If you have been considering a change and have any interest in some type of development, do yourself a favor and enroll in the prep course. It cost you nothing to get started but can provide you everything you've hoped for if you see it through. My only regret is that I didn't find Launch School sooner.
  • alican sungur  User Photo
    alican sungur • Software Engineer Verified via GitHub
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    I've completed the Core curriculum earlier this year. Without attending to Capstone program, I was able to find a mid-level job. 

    Core curriculum is a self-paced online course. They dive quite deep into the concepts that you need to know for modern web development. You must not compare this course with a 3-4 month bootcamp. You don't learn frameworks to make toy-applications. It's a serious start to a long software engineering career. As a successful grad, you could learn a framework and be productive with it within a fraction of a week. 

    Although it's an online course there is a sufficient amount of in-person feedback from the instructors. Apart from that, there is an amazing community in Slack and Reddit. There are weekly technical/non-technical events, some of which are voluntarily led by the students. 

    You are expected to develop a great understanding (up to a level that you could teach the subject) to be able to pass a course. If you only want to get into an entry-level engineering job in a start-up Core curriculum is still a good option. However, in my opinion, where Launch School(and eventually Capstone) really shines is to prepare you for getting into a position at an engineering-centric company where you get paid quite high to solve real-life software engineering problems. 

  • Jose Agustin de la Puente  User Photo
    Jose Agustin de la Puente • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    For context, I graduated Core in a bit under 8 months and am starting Capstone in August.

    I came into Launch School with no expectations. It seemed good, and thought it'd be a good skill to develop as I worked towards product management roles. I didn't seriously consider that I'd end up as a software engineer.

    I didn't have expectations partly because I had tried to learn how to program multiple times before in different years. I can remember 3 moments where I somewhat seriously tried to learn, but never got far (one of them involved a month-long stint at 42's "piscine" in Paris).

    It's only been a bit over half a year after I started LS but everything's changed. It's easy for me to pick up new languages because Core went to such depth and am set on doing Capstone to go into a career as a software engineer.

    In retrospect, everything else besides Launch School was noise. If you're interested in learning and having a career as a software engineer I couldn't think of a better option — at least trying Launch School out is a no-brainer.
  • Marc'Andria Battesti  User Photo
    Marc'Andria Battesti Verified via GitHub
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    If you're like me, you hate learning things without really understanding what's going on under the hood. LaunchSchool has "mastered" the art of mastery-based learning , to make sure you know well enough A and B before moving to a compounding subject AB. This way of learning is gratifying and forces you to deal with gray-areas in your understanding before moving on to the next unit, and they make sure of that with rigorous assessments at each stage of the way.
    Make sure you are not in a hurry though in your learning journey, as this requires lot of patience on your part.

    Instructors always give in depth code reviews and will catch your mistakes early on, giving you good coding habits right from the beginning, which I found super helpful as a complete beginner prior to joining LaunchSchool. 

    Cons : I did not want to give any grade for job assistance as it is now clearly only available for students eligible to their captstone cohort, which comes by admission after finishing their core curriculum, and is tailored to US Citizens. But when i first enrolled at LS, there were Career Courses available as part or the core curriculum, and they suddenly removed it. If you re an international student like me, make sure you have a plan after finishing core, as you will then be on your own to tackle the job market. 

  • Cody  User Photo
    Cody • Software Engineer • Verified via LinkedIn
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        In the summer of 2018 I experienced significant burnout at my job and I was miserable. The only escape from my job that I could foresee was to transition into software engineering as a career, which had only been a hobby at that point. The problem was that there was no clear path to “learn to code” without going back to college or to an expensive coding bootcamp, neither of which I could afford. Despite the plethora of free resources out there, I couldn’t find a clear path to become a software engineer.

        When I took a much needed beach vacation in the midst of burnout from my job, I miraculously found Launch School while trying to piece together my own bootcamp curriculum to follow. Launch School gave me that clear path forward that I was looking for in the wilderness of trying to learn to code. I have no idea how I stumbled upon them (they didn’t really advertise at the time), but finding Launch School has been life changing.

        I started the Core curriculum in earnest in April 2019. I had to study part-time around my full-time job. But because I no longer had to think about what to study next, I was free to focus on whatever course I was in. The mastery based learning approach freed up so much headspace in the learning process while instilling in me the fundamentals that have proved instrumental in my job as a software engineer. Then in the fall of 2020, I quit my job and started Capstone. Capstone took me from the solid foundation I built in Core to being competitive in the job market and even impressive to potential employers.

        I got an amazing six-figure job offer that was above and beyond what I ever dreamed was possible. And the mastery of fundamentals that I learned in Core along with the JIT (just in time) learning that I picked up in Capstone has allowed me to quickly ramp up at my new job. Learning the fundamentals deeply has given me the ability to pick up frameworks and technologies that I had never even heard of within a matter of hours. Launch School has been worth every penny and hour that I spent there because they clearly told me what to do to get to where I wanted to go. All I had to do was show up, focus, and trust the process.
  • Liz Fedak  User Photo
    Liz Fedak • Sales Engineer @ Snowflake • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Launch School has been critical for me while I made a huge career transition going into 2021. Last year, I was unhappy as a not-so-technical Technical Support Engineer at a startup after a long and challenging self-taught coding journey. Still, I would look at job interviews elsewhere and feel stuck due to huge gaps in my knowledge, lack of confidence when coding live, and general insecurity about what I knew vs. what I didn't know. Since I did come in with experience, Launch School has solved all of those problems for me and helped me make a pivot into my goal career, all in about half a year of full-time studies.

    I want to highlight what made this program so fantastic for me: 1) The community – practicing with students who wish to practice the material until they've mastered it is HUGE. They aren't saying, "Okay, we finished this, let's move on." – they want to dissect code and understand all of the nitty-gritty details. 2) Having assessments. You can't move forward until you've truly mastered the earlier pieces. That might sound frustrating, but I'll tell you what's way worse: when you are trying to debug something in your code because you went lightning speed and used a library without knowing the fundamentals first. Learn your fundamentals and humble yourself to re-learn how to learn, and the new mastery approach will be so rewarding.

    After completing the back end curriculum, I applied to one dream job, and it got it! I'm now in an SE program at Snowflake, and I'm so excited to be in the exact career that I wanted. 
  • Gino Bonanno  User Photo
    Gino Bonanno • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Without a doubt, I can say that completing Launch Schools core curriculum is one of the most positive life-altering experiences I have undergone. Launch School instilled in me invaluable knowledge about web development, but its focus on mastery-based learning has changed how I think about education and approach life in general. The problem-solving skills I picked up well-attending Launch School have made me not only a more competent web developer but also a more competent person.

    I initially became interested in web development while building an application based on one of my hobbies. Even though the application was nearly identical to the tutorial I followed, once I tried to alter it and make it my own, it started to fall apart. I didn't understand enough about web development's core concepts to know why the code I had copied worked, let alone make it my own. I reached out to a professional web developer friend and asked him to look at it with me. He asked me a few questions and explained that he could fix the site with me, but I was missing a ton of fundamental knowledge and if this was something I was serious about, what I should do is learn that first, not build a project I didn't understand. His advice led me to Launch School as this fundamentals-based approach he suggested was exactly what they were advertising. 
     
    Fast forward over a year later, and though it wasn't easy, it was worth it. After completing the core curriculum, I rebuilt my project from the ground up. Thanks to the fundamentals I picked up with Launch school, not only was I able to understand what needed to be done and do it, but I was also able to quickly pick up, understand and integrate new technologies into my project with confidence. By the time I was finished rebuilding my site, I had taken it to a level I hadn't even dreamed was possible before. When showing my project to my friend, he was blown away by how far I had come in such a short time. The same project helped me land an opportunity to work on a project with a team of professional web developers.

    I am now building a career out of web development. Thanks to my time at Launch School, I feel confident in my ability to pick up whatever technology is required to get the job done. Though I was skeptical at first, trusting the process and basing my knowledge on problem-solving and fundamental skills has paid dividends. Attending Launch Schools is one of the best decisions I have ever made, and if you're willing to put in the time and effort, I have no doubt you will come to feel the same way.
  • Kelvin  User Photo
    Kelvin • Backend Engineer • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    Capstone has helped me secure, and perform strongly on, a Level 2 Software Engineer role, with no prior experience.

    7 months on after finishing Launch School's Capstone Program, I’m now a strong-performing Level 2 Backend Engineer at Thought Machine, a high-growth, engineering-centric company based in London, UK, founded by a serial entrepreneur and led by ex-Google engineers.

    I recently passed my 3-month probation where I received only positive feedback, with my manager commenting “I feel you actually had a lot of skills already, and over the past few weeks you've been working out how to apply them to your work here. This is generally what I'd expect from someone with experience.” All of this despite actually having no Software Engineering work experience prior to Launch School's Core Curriculum!

    More specifically, this is what Capstone has helped me do:

    • Pick up enough Golang in 2-3 weeks - on the side while preparing for and participating in various interviews - to complete and pass a code challenge for Thought Machine
    • Ramp up quickly on Go, Python, gRPC and Protobuf, Kafka and Kubernetes to be productive on the job
    • Understand, participate and contribute to most code design and architectural discussions on the job
    • Own and deliver a small feature before the end of my 3rd month on the job, and with another feature about to start

    The 1.5 years I invested into Launch School's Core Curriculum and Capstone Program, plus the modest financial costs (compared to the typical bootcamp, or a Computer Science master’s degree), has enabled me to skip the junior level (i.e. save 1-2 years of my career), and landed me a gross salary that’s very close to that of engineers in non-tech hub US cities, in a company that’s known for a technically best-in-class product and a culture of engineering excellence among clients, prospects, and industry observers.

    With these results, I would not hesitate to say that participating in Launch School's Core Curriculum and Capstone Program was easily the best decision I’ve made in my career so far.
  • Derick Gross  User Photo
    Derick Gross • Software Engineer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I was one of the very first Launch School students in 2016, having transitioned from their precursor program that was not yet focused on mastery. My original goal had been to find an entry-level, "foot in the door" junior developer role. When such an opportunity came to me while I was about halfway through the core curriculum, I rejected Launch School's advice to continue along the slow path towards mastery. I accepted an underpaid role with a startup, then another with a marketing company.

    My strong foundation from Launch School allowed me to excel quickly in the second role, and earn four substantial promotions/raises in two years. Despite this success, my salary was only about half the average for a Capstone graduate in NYC. Another Launch School student, who hadn't even begun his programming studies until months after I took the job with the startup, had accepted a software engineer position with a cloud computing company and was already well on his way to being promoted to a senior dev role. I had discovered through firsthand experience what Launch School instructor Chris describes in a webinar; taking the first job available to you as you grow your skills can make it very difficult to land a great role with an engineering-centric company. I knew I needed to make a change.

    Even after accepting a lead instructor position with a notable bootcamp, I was unsatisfied with my career trajectory. I spoke with Chris, who told me that with hard work I could qualify for Capstone. I worked furiously to complete the core curriculum, and joined the largest yet cohort of Capstone students. It was only once I joined Capstone that I saw the true power of "just-in-time" learning that is unlocked by a focus on mastery. In isolation these skills had helped me earn millions in additional revenue for my former employer, but spending each day being challenged by brilliant, like-minded developers opened up a new level of possibilities. I refined my understanding of higher level concepts, designed and built an amazing project with a distributed team, and landed an engineering role with a world-class organization led by a legendary tech entrepreneur.

    My own hard work was integral in my achievements, but I can't overstate how important it was to have an organization like Launch School invest such significant time, energy, expertise, and resources in my personal and professional growth. They genuinely care that I succeed, and achieve an outcome that will bring me joy. Launch School helped me change my life, and I am forever grateful.