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Launch School

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Launch School

Avg Rating:5.0 ( 33 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 HTML, CSS, Ruby on Rails, and object oriented JavaScript, 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. 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 3 months full-time and employs an Income Sharing Agreement where students pay after they get a job offer.

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.

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  • Core Curriculum

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    JavaScript, SQL, Ruby
    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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    Data Structures, Algorithms
    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

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  • Chian Yee  User Photo
    Chian Yee • Graduate • Verified via LinkedIn
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    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.

    Conclusion

    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!

  • Adrian Carroll  User Photo
    Adrian Carroll • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Mastery 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.
  • Alex Henegar  User Photo
    Alex Henegar • Full Stack Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I learned a little programming while in school but I thought I was too far along in physics to make the switch to computer science. After getting my doctorate in physics, I still had an itch to learn programming so I started looking for a way to learn. After six months of researching my options: more school, boot camp, books & tutorials; I stumbled upon Launch School. While listening to the podcast Learn to Code with Me, by Laurence Bradford, she was interviewing a founder of Launch School. Their approach to learning by focusing on the fundamentals was the key strategy I was looking for to ensure I would be left without gaps in my education.
     
    Launch School's perfect blend of one-on-one attention and self-paced learning allowed me to learn while working full-time. Their flexible teaching style allowed me to seek guidance when I needed it and buckle down with my headphones on when I was going strong. I spent the first six months in the program studying the fundamentals of programming before touching advanced topics. This ingrained the core concepts of programming in me so that when it was time to learn advanced topics I didn't have to keep looking back to remember the basics. This kept my focus sharp and progress steady. At this point I couldn't show anyone the programs I built because there weren't any. Launch School isn't about building a portfolio, it's about building a career. The second six months were spent on advanced topics, building complex applications, and gradually taking control of each project from start to finish. Launch School gave me more freedom, i.e. responsibility, as courses progressed; by doing so I became a self-sufficient programmer capable of making meaningful contributions to real-world applications. Thanks to Launch School I landed a full-stack developer position at a fast-growing start-up in DC.
     
    Launch School uses mainly Ruby and JavaScript to teach but the most beneficial lessons were not about the languages. They taught me how to progress through a problem, from origination to completion, in a controlled yet flexible way. And this is exactly what I was tested on in the interview for my job. My employer cared about my ability to think through a problem more so than my knowledge of any language. Learning the language is a must, of course, but it is not the true skill of a programmer.
     
    Every day on the job I use the skills I learned in Launch School. My job consists of at least a little bit of everything I learned in Launch School. Because I was prepared so well for the tasks they had in mind for me, I was able to take on additional responsibilities, become proficient with Vue.js (which I had no experience using prior), and even become a valuable resource for other new developers. Three days into the job my boss said, "I have never seen a new hire contribute valuable work to a production application so quickly." Suffice to say, I'm excelling at my job and it's all thanks to a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication, and Launch School.
  • Tannr A  User Photo
    Tannr A • Software Engineer II • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    Soon after starting Launch School, I dropped out of college to study full-time with Launch School. I was a senior and close to graduation when I dropped out. Many people I knew called me crazy and doubt was thrown at me left and right. Despite this, I knew it was the right decision and I knew that if I persevered through Launch School's rigorous curriculum, I could prove to everyone else it was the right decision, too. Today, my life is proof that I made the right decision to trust Launch School. Launch School did nothing short of radically transforming my life and jump-starting my career.

    I began Launch School with no programming experience beyond writing simple programs that would print silly messages to the standard output of the terminal. Over the course of about a year and a half, I progressed through the curriculum, logging in total thousands of hours in study and practice time. I embraced the rigor of Launch School and took the concept of "Mastery" as far as I could. Launch School caters to the highly motivated person who cannot accept sub-par performance or understanding. I knew this was the place for me because my own personal standards were high and Launch School was able to hold me to them in times of struggle, fatigue, and motivational lulls.

    I received job offers for developer positions in my area before I had even finished the core curriculum. I was tempted to take them, but turned them down in order to participate in the Capstone Program and aim for the absolute best job I could get.

    Capstone changed my life. Launch School poured resources into my success and they made sure I had money to live so that financial stress didn't derail my focus. After finishing Capstone, they helped me move to New York City, where I presented my project at speaking events, resulting in referrals from other engineers who were impressed with my work. Within two weeks of sending out my first application, I was getting contacted so often that I had to start turning away opportunities for interviews. I had the freedom to choose where I would work and I ended up accepting an incredible offer for a Software Engineer II position from a tech startup in Manhattan (I didn't apply for any entry level positions). It came with a signing bonus, a well over 100K starting salary, the flexibility to work in the office or remotely, and the opportunity to work closely - and be mentored by - very talented veterans in the field.

    It's the best decision of my life and I wholeheartedly recommend Launch School for the serious-minded and motivated student who want to learn things well and are not ok with just surface-level awareness.

  • Patrick B  User Photo
    Patrick B • president • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I came into Launch School previously as a "dabbler" & finally decided to get serious about learning web development & programming. I did a ton of research before choosing Launch School, and I'm so glad I found them. You can just take my word for it: if you want to learn programming or web development, there really is no better way! I believe it's because of their core philosophy that mastery-based learning & fundamentals are the foundation to a successful technical career, and I couldn't agree more. Their program is thorough & well-supported by TAs, and the online community is great. 

    Also, the world of programming is so deep that it's often difficult or overwhelming when trying to figure out a where to begin & what to study. They've distilled the core knowledge down in a logical progression of studies that will make you a well-rounded programmer when you're finished. I even believe I've learned how to learn better, and I've become a better problem-solver in general throughout the coursework. I personally wasn't looking to change careers, but I have highly recommended this course & their Capstone program to others that showed interest in that path. I've even met some new friends that were in the program locally & we still stay in touch. Overall the experience has been very rewarding.

  • Life-changing
    - 6/2/2018
    Steven Fischer  User Photo
    Steven Fischer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    I started Launch School with zero coding experience, and I am now gainfully employed as a programmer. I finished the core curriculum in just under a year. The transformation is long and certainly hard, but I don’t know of any curriculum – other than Launch School’s – that can teach web development fundamentals so well. Launch School is in a league of its own. I highly recommend it.

  • A solid foundation
    - 5/22/2018
    Kristen Wilde  User Photo
    Kristen Wilde • Student Verified via GitHub
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    I studied with Launch School for a year and a half (10/2016 to 4/2018) and completed the Core Curriculum. I chose LS largely for the convenience of being able to work at my own pace and on my own schedule, but I gradually came to appreciate this program even more for its content, depth, and community. I'm glad I'll be able to start my career with confidence in the strong foundation LS has given me.

    One of the first things I learned at Launch School is that programming is much more than learning a language. There are many concepts that are absolutely vital to understanding how any programming language works (variable scoping, referencing values in memory, etc). Equally important is having strategies for problem solving and debugging. Clear explanations and well-designed exercises throughout the program provide a ton of practice with all of the above (and develop language fluency at the same time).

    Another benefit of Launch School is the support provided by TA’s, instructors, and other students. I regularly used the discussion forums for asking lesson-specific questions, and the Slack workspace for coordinating study groups with other students. The dozen or so assessments, spaced throughout the program, were very helpful interactions. We are asked to provide succinct but accurate explanations of various concepts in our own words, or to demonstrate concepts with examples. The feedback I received from this process deepened my understanding significantly.

    It is clear that the Launch School team really cares about offering the best program they can. Their use of mastery based learning is an innovation that they believe in strongly, and they are continuously working to improve and update their materials.

    While the Core Curriculum stops short of covering any of the various frameworks developers typically use today, I can attest that knowing the fundamentals well makes learning new frameworks relatively simple. I wholeheartedly recommend the program to anyone who is serious about learning real web developing and is willing to put in the time and effort to learn.

  • Cristian Rennella  User Photo
    Cristian Rennella • CEO elMejorTrato.com • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    At the beginning of 2017, I started with the course. I had many doubts because there were several other programs on the Internet, but I was lucky to choose this one and I want to help other people who may be going through this situation.

    If you are looking for a course where they teach you the fundamentals on which to build your career, this is the course for you. But if you're looking for shortcuts or something quick, then this is not your best option.

    After having finished the course in 1 year and 4 months, I can say that today I feel with super powers because I have all the necessary knowledge to look for a job as a programmer or even start my own startup.

    I have a HUGE happiness because it was a dream come true and the possibilities that I add to my career are spectacular.

    If you sincerely want to be a professional programmer then I recommend what I did, spend a year and a few months of your life studying at Launch School, it will undoubtedly be your best decision.

  • Roy Huang  User Photo
    Roy Huang • Rails Develper • Student Verified via GitHub
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    I decided to start learning programming when I was 27. I tried many different resources on the Internet, either paid or free tutorials, but none of them really worked out. I mean, those are really great resources, however, I never felt I was able to achieve anything or build my own project after finishing the lessons. Then I came across Launch School.

    I was looking for lessons that are systematic and intense. After browsing the syllabus of Launch School, I found it offers plentiful contents, not to mention great preparatory lessons and quality digital books. At Launch School, it's not about languages themselves. It's all about fundamentals and concepts. One of the instructors of Launch School used to tell me that any languages and frameworks can be out of date, and only if you have the solid understanding of the concepts of programming, you would be able to adapt yourself to the web development world.

    After a few months learning at Launch School, I felt that I have a better command of Ruby and JavaScript, and I can start my own projects from scratch. At the moment, I had a chance to apply for an internship as a Rails developer, so I used the projects I built during I was at Launch School (some of them are assignments) as my portfolio. Guess what? I got the offer! I nailed every question I was asked during the interview, and I felt extremely confident. It's all because I have been practicing interview skills during the assessment at Launch School.

    I have been working as a Rails developer for almost 2 years. I might not be able to make this if I didn't choose Launch School. It's definitely one of the best decisions I have made in my life.

  • Sonia  User Photo
    Sonia • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    I’ve been with Launch School for over one year, and am happy to share that thanks to Launch School, I landed a Software Engineering Team Lead position at a multinational tech consultancy. Aside from being a good resource for beginners, Launch School has proven transformational to me as a prior startup founder with a few years of programming experiences and a MS in Software Engineering.

    My intention with this testimonial is simple: no matter what cool things one has done, knowing things from the ground up is THE way to go in the long run. I’m currently half way through the Launch School curriculum, so I’ll focus on how the methodology sets me apart even when I’m not through with the curriculum.

    Mastery-based learning

    Even a child can code. But does one know what’s going on under the hood? The zealous attention at Launch School to knowing “What does X mean?” or “What does this line of code do?” or “Why does it do X versus Y?” makes me more of a master than my Master’s degree has made me.

    Interviews

    Interviewing is a skill in its own right, and it takes practice for one’s interviewing skill to catch up with his or her competence level. The requirement to pass interviews at Launch School motivates me to make this extra layer of coordination into an integral part of my problem solving (a.k.a. thinking out loud), facilitated by the emphasis on correct use of terminology.

    Career-focused

    One reading assignment in the orientation course makes points about the types of companies there are for a software engineer to launch a career, and also the differentiation between being in a cost center versus a revenue center. This talk is immensely helpful for me to persue companies that are worth moving forward with among the many options out there.

    p.s. I gave a rating of n/a for job assitance because techincally they don't provide that in the core curriculum. I cannot speak for the Capstone program but I believe there's a lot more job search support in there.

  • Jamie  User Photo
    Jamie • Senior Developer • Student Verified via GitHub
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    LaunchSchool helped me to transform from Software Developer to Full Stack Developer.
     
    My background is C++/C# in enterprise software, but the city I am living in has more opportunities for Web Developer, after hours investigation and studies, I finally chose LaunchSchool to help me do the transformation, and it has been proven to be the best decision I made in recent years. I have experience in OOP and Web Services, what I miss is cool web stuff, so I directly jump to Front End to learn JS as a dynamic/prototypal language, JS MV* frameworks, Browser, HTML/CSS, etc. I am really into the way of learning by doing and mastery. The 1n1 interviews helped me to set up confidence, learn how to think loudly, express ideas/algorithms, split problems. 
     
    After 6 months of after work learning (20hrs/wk), I feel confident to work in web development and started my job hunting. I interviewed 2 companies and got 2 offers within a month or so...much better than I thought...never been that popular before. I want to thank Launch School for the wonderful curriculum and the assessments, because I would not have been as prepared if it weren't for that.
     
    I'd like to share my experience to new LaunchSchoolers, don't doubt, trust LS, follow the syllabus, make your efforts, your decision is 100% correct.
  • Steve  User Photo
    Steve • Senior Lead Frontend UI Developer • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    Launch School does a better job describing its curriculum and philosophy than I could, so I'll focus on the results in my life due to their focus on 'mastery-based learning'. Before starting Launch School I had done a small bit of HTML and CSS, I had a digital marketing background, and that's about it regarding my experience of websites. I was in a 'Web Specialist' role at a small, non-tech-savvy organization, that entailed digital marketing and basic frontend work, and I decided to commit to learning web development as a result of becoming more interested in the web development aspects of my job. Launch School seemed the way to go after reading reviews and because I wanted something that was rigorous but would allow me to continue working.
     
    Outcomes - Pay
     
    Since one of the only ways to measure outcomes when comparing bootcamps, curriculums, etc. is via salary, I'll talk about that. Without getting too specific about pay, within 4 months of starting Launch School, I was able to leverage my experience as a 'web specialist' combined with my knowledge gained from Launch School to become a frontend developer, at a salary significantly higher than I had been making. The Frontend curriculum is not the first portion you learn, but I was able to take some of the concepts and overall knowledge and improve my frontend work as well. Before I even finished the whole program (it took me about 2 years, including a few months pause when I started a new role), I got a different role making significantly more than twice what I had been making as a 'web specialist', putting me firmly in six-figures. Money isn't particularly important to me, but having an in-demand skill set, with the ability to really dive in, analyze, and learn new technologies/frameworks/libraries, and deliver quality software, is important. And again, I know it is a common measure of outcomes.
     
    Outcomes - Knowledge / Growth
     
    One of the most significant stimulants for growth that you experience at Launch School is the assessments. These involve quizzes, projects, and mock interviews. I remember for the Frontend Assessment, that, when an instructor explained the project he said, 'this is going to be difficult, but I think you're going to really learn a lot', and he was 100% correct. I look at that project as one of the pivotal moments in my learning at Launch School. It pushed me to really drive beyond the specific tools we had learned to embrace the concepts and incorporate new libraries and APIs. I am avoiding getting too specific, but I definitely believe that is one of the most important factors in how I have grown through Launch School.
     
    To me, that project demonstrated more than anything else the difference between mastery based learning and just learning the hot new thing. I can pick up and learn the hot new framework, but I can also discern when to use it vs when to pass over it in favor of something that is less flashy, but better for the job at hand. Launch School teaches you not only how to engineer and build applications, but also to understand and solve the underlying problems / or make the right trade offs based upon the circumstances. The entire Launch School staff, from instructors to TAs, are excellent teachers who are relentless in their focus on producing knowledgeable programmers, and set high standards for learning. They don't let you take the easy route and it shows in how much you grow. I cannot recommend Launch School enough. I honestly would not be in the career I am today, or as passionate about it as I am today, without all of the hard work and dedication they put into designing the program and continuously improving it.
  • Florence • Back-end Engineer • Graduate
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    I would say Launch School helped me build my confidence in programming and helped transform me into a software engineer with my non-technical background.

    The self-paced course with a very low cost allowed me to learn to code with more flexibility while I also had a job at the time. Yes, it might take you a longer time to finish the core curriculum. If you aim to get a developer job within a very short period in 3 - 4 months, you might be hesitant to join Launch School. However, building a solid programming foundation really helps you to become a real Software Engineer in your career, and it is a key to differentiate yourself with a lot of "coders" in the market. If you are serious to build a career in the software field, and not just getting a job ASAP, you will not regret learning from Launch School.

    The instructors and TAs are also very helpful, supportive and they are always active in the learning platform as well as Slack channel, if you get stuck somewhere in the course content or need code review, they are always there for you.

    Finally, whether or not you are in LS's Capstone program, the instructors and alumni are willing to help if you need any job assistance. All you need is just to reach out and ask questions in the Slack channel, they are so easy to approach.

  • jevon d hayter • Systems Analyst • Student
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    I'm going to get to the point. Did Launch School prepare me for a job in the industry? 
     
    At my job as a Systems Analyst we use a reporting tool to make query's to our database. After taking the database course and learning SQL at Launch School I know everything the tool is doing and why. 
     
    The basic principles of programming that I learned at Launch School have been priceless. We code in a proprietary language for a enterprise application. I have been able to read the code of the coders before me and figure out how to make changes without having training in this language yet. I would say reading code from my classmates at Launch School was a good idea. I guess that's why my instructors at Launch School told me to do it. 
     
    I am in a room with the Server team, System Admins and a Web Developer. I not only understand the problems they face and discuss but can offer assistance and ideas. So Launch School teaches you more than just how to code in Ruby or JavaScript. It truly prepares you to be an asset on day one of a real job in the industry.
     
    I refer young adults to Launch School every time I get the chance, It's life changing!
     
    ~ Jevon D. Hayter
       Systems Analyst, HTC Global Services
     
  • Tommy Caruso • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I was starting my final year of a CS degree and I had been diligently learning to code outside of school for the past year.  I would work through a new tutorial or follow along with the code examples in the latest book that I bought and feel pretty good about what I thought I knew.  Unfortunately, when I would open a new text editor and try to create a new project from scratch I would just sit there frozen.  I just could not get to a point where I could apply what I was learning in a meaningful way.  On top of that, I was getting distracted by all the new/latest languages/frameworks/libraries that were popping up every day.  I was trying to learn everything at once and I really did not have any idea what was relevant.  I needed to be job ready when I graduated from college.
     
    I was considering attending a bootcamp after I finished school.  This was not a very desirable option for me.  I have a family and going away for a few months would have been hard, not to mention the financial burden would have been hard to bear.  In my search for bootcamps I came across Launch School. I had not considered an online school up to this point, but reading through the materials about what they were offering really piqued my attention.  It was clear (from their literature) that it was going to be a long and slow path to success.  You were not going to jump right into a Rails project; you would start at the beginning learning the foundations of Ruby.  Here is where I almost moved on.  I felt like I knew the basics and I was ready for something more substantial.  I ended up deciding to "try" Launch School for a month or two.  I convinced my wife that I could do both college and Launch School concurrently and that If it worked out I would be job ready about the time I graduated.  Plus, I thought that I would just breeze through Ruby fundamentals and be working in Rails in no time.  As an aside, I spent 20 years in the US Military.  Going to college full-time, taking care of my family and working through Launch School ranks high in my list of hardest things I have done.
     
    Within the first couple of days of starting Launch School I realized what I really did not know.  College taught me a lot of valuable theory and learning on my own allowed me to learn the basic syntax of the language, but I really did not truly grasp what it meant to be a software engineer until Launch School started to teach me to decompose the Ruby programming language.  Within a couple of weeks I was starting to program with purpose.  I realized that previously, I was getting lucky a lot.  I was surprised that I made anything work before without understanding concepts like variable scoping rules, pass by reference vs. pass by value and mutation of the caller.  The best part was that although the language we are using was Ruby, I knew now how to decompose a programming  language.  I even attribute some of my success in school, where I was using Java and Python, to these skills and first principals.  Launch School also placed an emphasis on being exact in how you talk about code as well as problem solving, both of which were instrumental in me landing my first developer job.
     
    My first job was not as a Ruby on Rails developer or even Ruby.  I was primarily using Node and React and they were transitioning towards Elixir.  The training I received at Launch School gave me a common ground when it came to talking about code with my potential employer.  Being exact and explicit gave us a shared understanding of the problems we were discussing.  My ability to quickly discuss how I would set about learning a new language or framework quickly set their minds at ease about hiring someone with little experience in the stack they were using.
     
    The biggest take away that I got from Launch School was confidence.  I solve software engineering problems for a living and every day I reach back to the patterns that I learned here and still marvel at how relevant they are and how neatly they fit.  As I continue to learn, I focus a majority of my attention on the things that don't change.  When something is hard, I lean into it instead of backing away.  
  • Ryan • Graduate
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    My experience with Launch School was very positive. Learning to code can be extremely difficult, and with a seemingly endless array of computer science techniques and tools out there, it's not always apparent which direction one should go in. The LS curriculum's heavy focus on fundamentals is less about teaching you the newest parlor tricks, and more about building yourself into a person who can navigate the ever-changing landscape of web development with confidence and understanding. The old adage, "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime", would appropriately describe their philosophy.

    Prior to signing up for the program I found it very difficult to comprehend the official documentation for anything (Rails or Express, for example), which left me at an impasse. Oftentimes a great way to learn a new technology is by studying its documentation and going through some tutorials and practice projects, but a lot of that stuff assumes a certain base level of knowledge that can be hard to acquire on your own. The Launch School courses are clearly written and well-ordered, and they help you to gain that very knowledge without frustration. They delved deeply into the idiosyncrasies of Ruby and JavaScript in order to teach me how to build apps with the raw languages themselves, and without using frameworks as a crutch. Because of that, and because of the knowledge that I gained in the more advanced courses, I was able to learn a wide variety of commonly used frameworks and tools on my own, and integrate them all together. I can now confidently say that, because of what I learned in the Launch School courses, I've been able to add the following skills to my resume: Ruby, Python, JavaScript (ES5 & ES6), HTML, CSS, Rails, Sinatra, Express, Backbone, Ember, and React. I've also been able to start delving into audio programming languages like Csound and SuperCollider, which have come in handy for my current job as an Audio Engineer.

    The Launch School curriculum is not easy and can sometimes seem very daunting, but if you are dedicated and are prone to self-study then you can gain a ton of invaluable knowledge and skills. It took me about 9 months of mostly full-time studying to complete the coursework. My brain got fried a few times along the way, but it was worth it! The instructors are really cool, and they are quite helpful at guiding you along the often difficult path. I also never felt that they were trying to sell me any BS, which is nice. This could be the program for you if you're looking for something that's more on the hardcore end of the spectrum.

  • Conrad Beach • Software Developer • Graduate
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    I finished my time as a student at Launch School in the summer of 2017 and went on to become a full-time web developer at a really great web development consultancy in my area. My time at Launch School was a fantastic experience that gave me an awesome foundation as a developer. If you're interested in becoming a professional web developer, I'd strongly recommend checking out Launch School's program. I learned so much about quality web development, and I gained the skills and knowledge I needed for a solid start in my career as a developer.
     
    I was with Launch School for about 1.5 years. Prior to that, I studied web development for a couple of years using various online resources such as Treehouse, Code School, The Odin Project and others. Those resources were really valuable and I learned a lot from them, but I feel like my growth and learning as a developer accelerated dramatically when I joined Launch School.
     
    One of Launch School's maxims is "fundamentals first, fundamentals throughout." Another is "learn to understand problems, not solutions". These principles, along with the other elements of their teaching philosophy, are very powerful. Their goal is not for you to learn a particular tech stack or set of tools (though you will certainly pick up those things), but, instead, to help you gain a bedrock of timeless, universal skills that you will continually apply throughout your career to do great development work. They strive to teach you skills needed to dissect problems and craft quality solutions to those problems. Their goal is to make sure you have what you need to prepare you for a long, successful career in development. And they definitely deliver on these goals.
     
    The team behind Launch School has crafted a high quality, well thought out curriculum that teaches you what you need to know to become a great developer. Their focus on fundamental skills that don’t change and their emphasis on taking the time to learn deeply is really effective. Their approach can be slow and time-consuming, but that’s a big part of why it works so well. As I look back, I'm impressed at how much my experience at Launch School has taught me.
     
    Because Launch School helped me become so solid on the fundamentals, I'm able to analyze and understand problems, business requirements, feature requests, etc. and effectively build out solutions for those things. When I hit a roadblock, I know I can work through it.
     
    I've gained the attitude of constantly looking for better ways to do things, understanding my tools more deeply and working to become a better developer.
     
    Furthermore, learning new tools doesn't indimidate me much at all. There's always a learning curve to picking up something new, but I feel confident that I can apply the skills I've learned and apply them to a new language or framework in order to get up to speed quickly.
     
    Launch School isn’t for everybody, of course, and there are certainly things to be improved. But overall, it’s a fantastic way to learn development. It worked exceptionally well for me, and I’m incredibly grateful for the time I spent there.
     
    For those considering joining the program, I hope you give it a serious look. It’s an exceptional place to become a professional developer.
  • Alex Dzwonchyk • Frontend developer • Student
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    I just started a new job as a frontend developer at a marketing agency that I'm really excited about, and I definitely credit my Launch School experience with giving me the confidence to get hired. 
     
    While my new position isn't the Launch School "ideal" that's often talking about of a great junior position on an engineering team, for me it's an excellent stepping stone to my goal of a more engineering-centric position in a few years while I get some more real world experience as a developer in the meantime, and also keep working through the rest of Launch School (I'm in course 210 right now).
     
    While I had originally planned to finish all of Launch School's core curriculum before seeking a job as a junior software engineer at a great company, circumstances intervened and I found myself in need of a job shortly after finishing course 201, so I decided to go for it. I already had some frontend development experience here and there in the past, but prior to Launch School I wouldn't have been able to do things like pass coding challenges in JavaScript, develop a custom Wordpress theme completely from scratch, or handily complete some test projects using a company's codebase in a mostly unfamiliar language (PHP). Nor could I sell myself confidently as a skilled frontend developer able to learn new technologies quickly - but that's exactly what I did to land this job. 
     
    The bottom line is that after my first 8 months of studying, Launch School has already given me not only the ability to create full stack web applications from scratch - it's also given me the confidence to get a new job writing code and solving problems, that represents a 30% increase over my last salary, and a path forward in my career.
     
    I couldn't be more grateful for the awesome curriculum and instructors at Launch School, as well as the amazing community of passionate and helpful fellow students - my Launch School experience has already had a hugely positive impact on my life!
     
  • Chris Theodoridis • Graduate
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    Launch School was an incredible experience for me that completely changed my life.  I was a practicing lawyer when I decided that I needed to get back in touch with my passion for technology, so I found an online program and began relearning web development (I was exposed to coding in high school and college).  Unfortunately, the first program I came across was not a mastery-based program and it completely glossed over a variety of details.  Within 2 months, it was very evident that I was fooling myself about my level of understanding.  I was not able to bend the code to my will, and I ended up becoming incredibly frustrated with my progress and understanding. 
     
    So I knew something needed to change.  I started researching online and came across Launch School.  After taking the free introductory courses, I was immediately convinced that Launch School was the right program for me.  I was relearning how to code in order to achieve an intimate knowledge of web development, and Launch School was the obvious choice for accomplishing that goal.  Now that I have finished the program, it is funny to look back and reflect on how little I understood about web development while taking the original online course.  There were definitely times during the Launch School journey when I felt as though I was not progressing quickly, but that was only because the program dives into such detail about every aspect of web development.  There was never a moment when I felt as though I was glossing over a key detail and that aspect of the program gave me the confidence to tackle increasingly difficult problems as the months went by.
     
    Now that the program is over, I can relate to and communicate with all the web developers on my team in a much more productive fashion.  I am not a full-time developer now, but the program has helped me infinitely to understand what is going on behind the scenes and what goals are realistic when projecting the future.  I am so grateful to have taken the Launch School journey.  I highly recommend the course to anybody who is passionate about web development and who enjoys learning at their own pace.  Thank you Launch School!
  • Hsuan-Cheng Chen • Graduate
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    It has been more than one year since I starting learning to program with Launch School.

    Writing code to solve my problems has been kind of a dream of mine. I wanted to use programming skills to do some research in my own field (use ruby to do web scraping, analyze data). The thought was that with the fundamentals in place, I could learn the more advanced concepts and other languages by myself (Haskell, Elixir, Lisp, working on Emacs, Python, machine learning, and modern javascript frameworks). 
     
    Before I found Launch School, I tried to learn to program by myself through various free online resources including MOOCs. I thought I could write some basic programs to solve my problems. Then I found Launch School.
     
    I soon realized that I had a lot of gaps in my knowledge about the fundamentals of programming. I remember that I did not pass the first written test at launch school. I particularly found it difficult to explain the concepts and techniques of ruby and programming fundamentals asked about in the test. It was frankly a little embarrassing considering that I had already spent some time learning ruby before enrolling in the program. 
     
    I opted to retake the test according to Launch School’s retake policy. I felt a little annoyed and thought that I probably didn’t need to be able to write about coding. But then I thought if I couldn’t communicate my thoughts with others, I probably didn’t have a solid understanding of the underlying concepts. So I started working harder to improve my understanding. I reviewed the Launch School lessons, consulted the documentation and starting taking notes. I wrote a blog-post just for myself in which I tried to write down and communicate what I had learned. All these things helped immensely.
     
    Launch School doesn’t just teach you the fundamentals of programming and web development, but it also gives you the tools and context to learn anything you want to learn on your own.
     
    An important part of the program is the Launch School community. I gained a lot from interacting with other students in the program. Even though there are time zone differences involved, I try to communicate with other students through the LS forums and slack channels. I try to visit the channels every week if I can. This helps a lot as students come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives that you can learn from. These channels are important also in that they make me feel like I’m not alone. Then there are teach & talk presentations where members of the Launch School community talk about interesting topics. In short, Launch School has built a great community where you can freely ask questions without the fear that you’ll look bad.
     
    Another great thing about launch school is the phone interviews and the written tests at the end of courses. Writing in front of others can be difficult for some and it’s sometimes painful to have to admit that you have blind spots, but we all do. The tests and interviews help you see that and improve as a result.

    Last but not the least, another thing that I like about the LS community is the writing and sharing of articles by students. You’ll see students do some wonderful things and go through a great learning experience and then write about that. Others might have a question and by asking and getting an answer, other students may also learn something in the process. Some former and current students have spoken at various conferences worldwide. Things like that inspire you to do something similar. I’m happy to announce that I’ll be one of the speakers at the Ruby Conference in Taiwan later this year. Although it’s probably not as prestigious as the American version and my topic is the Elixir language, I have to say thank you Launch School! Thank you for creating this wonderful learning experience.
  • Charlie R. • Software Developer • Graduate
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    I couldn't be happier that I chose Launch School for my programming journey! I was introduced to the program by a friend who completed it previously and gave it glowing recommendations. I began learning with Launch School in February 2017 and completed the core curriculum in August 2018.
     
    What I feel sets Launch School apart from a programming boot camp is that Launch School focuses both on fundamentals and on mastery. Further, there is no 12-week rush to squeeze everything in; mastering programming fundamentals takes longer than 12 weeks. At Launch School, you continue to learn and practice a topic of study until you can demonstrate a strong understanding (they test you and interview you to test for this). Because of Launch School's bottom-up, mastery-based teaching style, I have found it very easy to pick up new languages / frameworks on my own. Further, coding challenges / interviews became a lot less scary (Launch School tests / interviews you to gauge your understanding).
     
    Since completing the Launch School Core Curriculum, I have taken some of their advanced electives, learned various frameworks and languages (e.g. React, Express, PHP), taken on contract work, created my own startup (a pilot project with my first clients is underway), studied computer science theory, and found an amazing job at an innovative retail startup in Toronto (where I live).
     
    Launch School gave me all of the core tools I needed to start building meaningful, useful software applications. If you are serious about learning how to program and can put the time in over a sustained period of time, this program is for you!
  • Lee Chian Yee • Student
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     You'll never regret taking this course  ! Launch School emphasize on mastery based learning is the real deal. After you have finished the course, you will be a very good web developer. 

  • Letladi • Full-stack Developer • Student
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    Before joining Launch School I had worked 4 months as a programmer but never really felt confident in my skills as a developer, so after reading the rave reviews from past students I decided to join so I could pick up solid software engineering skills (like TDD, BDD and others). Launch School takes you all the way to the beginning, teaching you programming fundamentals from scratch. Because I had programmed before, it started out easy for me, but quickly picked up steam.

    You can read my full experience through-out the program here. Every step of the way through-out Launch School, you will be getting delightful 'aha' moments, and there is also a very supportive community that is available if you need to ask a question or want to help someone else.

    The whole curriculum is amazingly well-thought-out and slowly builds your skills and your confidence.

    My initial thought was that I would spend 3 months on the program, I ended up doing well over 10 months, so expect to invest a lot of time and hard work in this program, but I can tell you that it is truly worth it, and because you pay in monthly instalments instead of one big lump sum, I think the program is very affordable.

    One final thing; I worked with JavaScript before joining Launch School, and I work mostly with JavaScript after Launch School, so don't let the fact that the program is focused on Ruby bother you. You will learn principles that apply in any language or framework.

    This program is the real deal and I can't say enough good things about it.

  • Tyler V • Software Developer • Student
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    I have been taking Launch School's courses for about 8-months now and I'm going out of my way to write a review because of how well I have enjoyed their courses. I have taken all of their beginning back-end courses, some of the advanced back-end courses and am just starting their front-end courses.

    It took me a long time to find online programming courses this good - I've tried almost every other online one out there and Launch School is the best for a number of reasons. First, their content is by far the best you will find online. Everything is enjoyable to learn, accurately taught, and you will complete each course with a wholesome understanding of the subjects. Second, they teach mastery based learning. This is one part of Launch School that took me a few months to really accept as the best way to learn. As long as you take the time to do all of the assignments (and they all are important) you will really master the subjects they are teaching and you will have a very good idea about where you stand with the material. After almost every class they mandate a "interview" with them to be sure that you're really grasping everything they teach. This is a crucial part about why I think their graduates will be more successful than other online schools.

    I think there is a ton of awful online material and competition in this space right now but I could not say enough good things about Launch School. I have recommended Launch School to tons of other people and I cannot say enough good things about it.

  • Changed my life...
    - 6/23/2016
    Liam • Software Developer • Student
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    Thanks to the thorough curriculum at Launch School and the boundless effort and support of the instructors and TAs, I am now working as a software developer for one of the largest MOOC platforms in the world.

    I can honestly say that a couple of years ago, even in my wildest dreams, I wouldn't have believed I would be working as a professional software developer at the age of 26 (with no college degree in Computer Science either!).

    I tried many, many online programs and courses over the past couple of years, but the big difference with Launch School is that the curriculum is designed to allow anyone to gradually work up to the level of a professional junior software developer at their own pace. No other course out there goes into as much depth as Launch School. I can personally testify to this - in the first month of my job my mentor was extremely surprised how wide my knowledge base was, especially in topics such as Object-Oriented Design, Continuous Intregration and TDD.

    Take one of the preparatory courses for free and get your foot in the door - you've got nothing to lose!