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 5.0
Recent Launch School News
- Alumni Spotlight: Sun-Li of Launch School
- Guide to Income Share Agreements and Deferred Tuition at Coding Bootcamps
- 3 Months vs 2 Years: How Long Should Your Coding Bootcamp Be?
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.
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- 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
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).
- Start Date
- Rolling Start Date
- Class size
- 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
- Placement Test
Launch School Reviews
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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It has been more than one year since I starting learning to program with Launch School.
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.
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.
This program is the real deal and I can't say enough good things about it.
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.
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!