There is no admissions process for the Core Curriculum, instead students must complete the free Preparatory phase course to bring them up to speed to start the Core Curriculum. Capstone students are selected from among the top students in the Core Curriculum.
Students who complete the Capstone Program will receive career guidance, and be exposed to algorithmic thinking that employers demand. The income sharing agreement means Launch School is incentivized to help graduates find a job.
Recent Launch School Reviews: Rating 4.94
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Start Date Rolling Start Date Cost $199 Class size N/A Location OnlineThe 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.
Minimum Skill Level Must be in "Study" phase of learning journey. See launchschool.com/pedagogy Prep Work Free prep work at launchschool.com Placement Test No Interview No Start Date Rolling Start Date Cost $0 Class size N/A Location OnlineThe 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).
Deposit N/A Tuition Plans Launch School collects a percentage of your first year's salary as a fee when you accept your job offer.
Minimum Skill Level Must have completed the Core Curriculum Prep Work https://launchschool.com/capstone Placement Test No Interview No
Launch School Reviews
50 reviews sorted by:
- Kelvin • Backend Engineer • Graduate • Course: The Capstone Program • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedInCapstone 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:
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.
- 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
- Life-changing experience- 11/30/2020Derick Gross • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: The Capstone Program • Campus: Online • Verified via GitHubI 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.
- Worth every minute and every penny- 5/23/2020Sienna • Senior Software Engineer • Student • Course: The Capstone Program • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedInI attended Launch School from 2016-2018, first doing the self-paced full-stack core program and then the Capstone program. Both parts were fantastic - well worth every minute and every penny I put into them.
The core curriculum was self-paced, which gave me the flexibility to consume the material at my own speed (some things were easy and quick, and I needed more time to master others) and on my own schedule. The Capstone program was an opportunity to bring those skills into a collaborative project, learn collaborative tools (more advanced git, GitHub, project-management tools, etc.), get coaching around job searching and interviewing, and really prepare for the day-to-day work of a software engineer.
2 years later, I'm still at the great job that I found with the help of Launch School's curriculum and instructors. I highly recommend this program to anyone serious about becoming a software engineer!
However, after finishing the bootcamp in March 2017 I had a clear feeling that I wasn’t anywhere near the level that I needed to be for interviews and that my skills were built on unstable foundations. That feeling is what lead me to joining Launch School where the deep curriculum, fantastically supportive community, and mastery-based learning approach made me believe that I had found the answer to my search for successfully making a career change.
From the very beginning, I was blown away by the focus on learning the fundamentals and developing core engineering skills needed to land career-defining jobs. Within even the first few courses, I already felt more capable as a developer and more confident in my own abilities than I ever did in my bootcamp experience.
This extensive experience of building a rock-solid foundation of the fundamentals from the bottom-up proved essential once I joined the Capstone program. Where the Core Curriculum had built me into a strong developer, Capstone brought me to another level and polished my skills to the point that I could effectively learn complicated software topics and build with my team SpaceCraft: a real-time, collaborative REPL with a distributed architecture. In fact, our team has been contacted by several companies and teams who wanted our help to build their own REPL and it’s all because of how impressive our Capstone work has been.
And the end result? I’ve landed my dream job at DigitalOcean as a Software Engineer II for the Network Services team, skipping an entry level role and working on projects & technologies that I thought out of my reach just 2 years ago. And more than doubling my salary from my previous job!
Launch School has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who is willing to devote themselves to mastering the curriculum and trusting the process they have developed. There is simply no option among the competition that I’ve found to be better than Launch School.
- The Wisest Decision I Ever Made- 4/30/2020Sunny Beatteay • Software Engineer @ DigitalOcean • Graduate • Course: The Capstone Program • Campus: Online • Verified via GitHubIn August 2016, I had been exploring web development for 6 months but without any clarity. I knew I wanted to become a software developer but I did not know how. That is when I found Launch School and the answer became clear. While the pricing and pace drew me in, the mastery-based learning philosophy is why I excelled.
From first glance, it was apparent that Launch School had been founded by industry veterans. I have never encountered a curriculum more in-depth and rigorous. While other programs are teaching frameworks that last a year, Launch School is teaching the principles and skills that last a lifetime.
"Trust the process" is an inside joke among Launch School students, but it is a sentiment that perfectly captures the essence of the program. Over the span of a year, I invested well over a thousand hours into my studying. That dedication does not come without a fair share of impatience and self-doubt.
Many students encounter a "mid-life crisis" halfway through the curriculum. They have learned enough to get a job and are tempted to take the money and run. I learned that from experience and immediately regretted it.
While any half-decent developer can get a "job", Launch School is teaching its students how to build their careers. By the time someone finishes the Core Curriculum, they will be in the 90th percentile of job candidates. The Capstone program will take them the rest of the way.
Launch School's Capstone Program is fast-paced and demanding, but with a solid understanding of the fundamentals, I excelled. I worked with two other developers to build Conclave: a decentralized, collaborative editor. Very few engineers can say they have worked on decentralized systems to the degree that I have, and those engineers are Ph.D. candidates.
Any possible doubt I might have had about Launch School was erased during the job search. My comprehension of core principles combined with the Capstone Project made me a top contender. In 8 weeks time, I received 7 offers. Not only did I accept an offer from my #1 choice company, DigitalOcean, but I also qualified as a Software Engineer II -- skipping the entry-level position.
Choosing the join Launch School was the wisest decision I have ever made and it will continue to pay dividends for the rest of my life.
- The Results Speak For Themselves- 4/29/2020Max • Software Engineer • Graduate • Course: The Capstone Program • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedInDissatisfied with my previous non-technical career, I started looking for online programs to learn web development and programming, and after several months trying out several programs, decided Launch School was the best fit for me.
For someone who is a life-long learner and is curious about understanding concepts at a foundational level, Launch School is the perfect curriculum. It does not promise quick, easy wins or make grandiose claims about transforming your life in 3 months. Instead it give you the direction and material you need to learn programming, while providing feedback and motivation along the way through assessments and TA support.
Over the course of the core curriculum and the Capstone program, I logged several thousand hours. It allows you to learn at your own pace. You have to bring your own discipline and effort, and at times the depth of the curriculum will challenge your patience. However, 2 years later, previously knowing very little about the fundamentals of programming, I just accepted a competitive software engineering job that is everything I could have hoped for in a new role and more. I can honestly say that Launch School has transformed my career and the trajectory of the rest of my life.
The core curriculum provides a solid platform and jumping off point to go learn almost anything you could want to in programming. The Capstone program is what really prepares you for the job market. It gives you hands on experience owning a highly technical project from the ground up, and working collaboratively with other intelligent, motivated engineers. The guidance we received throughout from experienced industry veterans was invaluable - I can’t imagine ending up where I am today without their support.
I would highly recommend Launch School and the Capstone program to anyone who is prepared to be dedicated and serious about transitioning into this exciting field. Their results so far speak for themselves!
- Landed a Job as Backend Software Engineer- 4/29/2020Nick Miller • Software Engineer • Graduate • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedInI got laid off from a startup that was on a sharp downward trajectory in early 2017. After looking in the market for jobs doing what I had been doing and coming up dissatisfied all around, my wife realized it was time for me to take a look at the bigger picture. We sat down and brainstormed a list of ideas of things I wanted to try doing, learning about software making the top of the list. It quickly became the only item on that list after getting a taste from an Intro to Computer Science MOOC I took that summer. Armed with a desire to learn more, I went online to see what options were out there for turning my curiosity into a new career.
I don't know if it was the overly-positive, almost saccharine marketing that turned me off of most bootcamps, or the utterly realistic "we're here for the long game" marketing of Launch School, but once I read through Launch School's novellas on mastery-based learning and their pedagogy (after learning what pedagogy meant), I was hooked.
It took me just under two years to work my way through the Core curriculum and Capstone. Just a few weeks after finishing Capstone, I accepted a job as a backend software engineer at Science 37, a medical technology company.
I'm constantly surprised at how what I've learned at Launch School is helpful and relevant at my job. My first assignment at work was to take over development of a partially-built feature and complete it. The problem was that the existing code is written in Go, a language I have no experience in.
Whereas other engineers might jump straight into coding, my time at Launch School taught me to first comprehend, then code. I spent a majority of my time reading and understanding the existing code line-by-line to find out what had already been accomplished and how. Being that this was a language that I've never coded in before, I leaned heavily on official documentation to understand the nuances of the language and understand exactly what it was doing, something Launch School also taught me to do (and appreciate).
Once I had a good mental model of the feature as it was written so far, I could use the PEDAC process to surgically add or edit code as needed, changing only what needed to be changed rather than mindlessly hacking and slashing in an attempt to stumble into a workable solution. Invariably I ran into problems both with the code as well as the underlying architecture that the code would use. Thanks to the Capstone program, when I bumped into holes in my knowledge, I knew enough to take a step back and flesh out my mental model of what should be happening and why.
Launch School provided me with the skillset to systematically work through what would otherwise be an extremely daunting first assignment. I would not hesitate to say that Launch School was the most well-structured and effective learning experience I've ever had the pleasure of participating in. I would recommended it without a second thought to anyone wanting a career in software engineering.
- Investing in yourself- 4/29/2020Will M. • Software Developer • Graduate • Course: The Capstone Program • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedInThere are shorter and easier paths to getting a job in tech, but there are good reasons why I stuck on the slow path at Launch School. I didn’t just want a job, I wanted a rewarding career where I could meaningfully contribute and grow for years to come. With the baseline knowledge and habits established in the core curriculum and the intensity of the Capstone program, I feel well prepared to stay relevant across an ever-changing industry for decades to come.
When I started Launch School’s mastery-based core curriculum, I had no software development experience. I had just entered my thirties and was looking to make a 180° career change. It took me 21 months of full-time study (including time in the Capstone program) before I even started my job search. I live in Toronto, Canada, where salaries are lower than in the US for software developers, but I’m still in a position of almost tripling my previous best salary and doubling my vacation days.
Embracing a mastery based learning path is more difficult than it sounds. It’s been transformational for me, but it’s also not for everyone. You really need to trust in the process to succeed. Looking back on my time at Launch School, the instructors all have high expectations, but also genuinely want you to succeed and are amazing at providing useful feedback and pushing you to the limits of your ability and beyond.
The community is very active on Slack and supportive about responding to questions in a really well thought out way. The teaching materials are great at getting you to dig deeper into problems and force you to really understand and be able to communicate why a snippet of code does one thing or another.
While I was in my job search, I felt well prepared for the types of questions I was asked and wasn’t really surprised by anything about the process. I don’t recommend LS to everyone because it only works if you’re willing to put in the time and effort and commit to embracing the methodology -- but to the people who are capable of undertaking that kind of commitment, it really does work.
In my job I feel very well prepared to learn the things I don't know yet on the job, and most importantly to ask the right questions. LS drilled it into my head to take a procedural approach that focuses on understanding the problem before writing any code. That training is really paying off for me while solving problems in production code.
One of the great things about LS is that the free prep materials are in-depth and a good taste of what the curriculum is like, so if you get through those, I think you’ll know that the program is right for you before paying anything.
- Jacob C. • Software Engineer • Graduate • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedInI knew I wanted to be a software engineer, but before Launch School I never had a path to get there. I had tried various online courses but would inevitably hit a wall. I researched boot camps but I never felt like they could give me the depth I needed for the kind of engineering jobs I wanted.
Choosing Launch School was easy: the pedagogy of a slow path to mastery followed by the promise of in depth coaching through the Capstone program matched with what I thought it might take to make the transition to the career I wanted. Unlike other solutions out there, it felt like a sober approach to becoming a professional engineer.
I finished the Core Curriculum in roughly 2 years. Launch School’s focus on learning fundamentals enabled me to slowly build and integrate increasingly advanced software engineering concepts. In addition to this, the emphasis that Launch School placed not only on what I learned, but also on how I learned, enabled me to find a joy and practice in problem solving that I'll have for life.
After finishing the Core Curriculum I chose to participate in the Capstone program. I believe that the Capstone program gave me the rare opportunity to get serious mentorship and team experience that would have taken years to receive on the job. The results of the Capstone program speak for themselves: after graduating I found the job of my dreams. Not only do I get to work with a great team solving interesting problems everyday, but I'm also making a salary that is twice the amount of the ceiling of my former profession. I'll always remember the pride that I had when the interviewer for my current position told me that the reason I made it through the first screening of the interview process was because I did "the best job at solving the problem" that the interviewer had seen. The skill I displayed during that interview was the result of my hard work. But that hard work would not have been possible without the combination of a solid curriculum, intentional mentorship, and dedicated study guided by serious engineers. I don't think you can get that combination anywhere other than Launch School.
Launch School promises and delivers on a well thought out curriculum that consistently delivers on producing quality engineers. Ultimately, Launch School proved to be everything I hoped it would be.
- Launch School- a life changing experience !- 7/10/2019Chian Yee • Graduate • Course: Core Curriculum • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedIn
Hello there. My name is Chian Yee and completed the course at Launch School from 2016 to 2018. Recently I went for 5 programming interviews and got 5 job offers, even one from IBM Hong Kong. I even got admitted into the University of Pennsylvania Master in Computer and Information Technology program. I really want to thank Launch School for the life-changing experience and education they gave me.
A Unique Approach
LS has a unique approach to teaching software engineering. You don’t just learn Ruby on Rails here. You learn fundamentals of programming like object-oriented programming, abstraction, encapsulation, polymorphism etc. These concepts are easily transferable to other programming languages. One of the core skills emphasized by LS is problem-solving. The whole course is peppered with plenty of programming exercises. Students are encouraged to find answers on their own first, guidance will come later. Even today, when I go for technical interviews, concepts learn from LS comes to me naturally because it is imbued in my mind after so many exercises.
LS used a mastery-based approach to learning. They make sure that students understand the basics before going to more advanced topics. This is so important because it prevents confusion and frustration later down the road. It also means that there is no time-limit (I personally took 1 year and 8 months to finish LS) and instructors/TA take the time to assess you. At the end of each subject, TAs/instructors will assess and interview you and if you pass the assessment, it means you really understand the subject.
A Place with Heart
Although it is an online learning environment, LS is placed filled with care and friendliness. I remember the first day I join the course, Chris, the instructor and co-founder personally greeted me to welcome me to the course. A special thanks to him also for writing me a letter of recommendation to the University of Pennsylvania.
TA are very friendly and helpful to me throughout my journey. They genuinely wanted to help you with your learning. Never had I had to wait for longer than a day to get a reply in the forum from them. Specifically, I want to thank Victor Paolo Reyes, Brandon Conway, Pete Hanson and Naveed Fida for all the help you extended me throughout the course.
There is an understanding that you don’t stop learning after you leave LS. LS provides a solid foundation for serious learners to learn on their own in the future. So if you are a serious learner and are willing to put in the effort and time to learn software engineering, LS can change your life!
- A better way to learn- 10/21/2018Adrian Carroll • Graduate • Course: Core Curriculum • Campus: Online • Verified via LinkedInMastery Based learning is a concept that is easy to understand, accept and even embrace but I think it is only after experiencing its true power can you learn to fully trust it.When I began my Launch school journey I read all the MBL related literature that Launch School throw your way. I accepted it at face value. I understood the logic and was ready to apply it. And i did... to an exent. I remember working through the back end and still having a slight feeling of anxiety that the target day I had in the back of my mind was slipping further and further away. It was only when I reached the half way point that I was able to look back at what I had learned and know that this approach to learning really was different. From this point on I slowed down, really taking the time to soak up the material.Launch school seems like one of the best kept secrets in the software education sector. I stumbled across it by accident one day listening to a podcast. Other students have similar stories. Even after the podcast I wasted another four months trying to learn on my own before signing up to the program. When I signed up and tried the prep course I realised the full extent of the quality of the material.You might have read some of Chris Lee's medium articles on his philosophies around education and MBL but what you probably haven't heard him talk about is the sheer quality of the materials that have been put together by Launch School team. They have done an outstanding job of engineering an effective, cohesive and interesting curriculum. The attention to detail is second to none and this attention to detail inevitably gets imparted on students.The team of Launch school TAs and instructors are an extremely helpful and friendly bunch. They seem to be available no matter what time of the day or night you need help. Between code reviews, forum discussions and chat room inquiries they are always willing to go the extra mile and give you more time than you could have hoped for.After completing the core curriculum I feel like Launch School will always be part of me. I genuinely believe I could not have gotten to where I am now without it. Launch School has given me the ability to see problems that can be solved with software and see how these problems can be broken down and managed. Overall it has given me the belief that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to, perhaps the most valuable lesson of all.