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Launch School

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Launch School

Avg Rating:4.96 ( 46 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, Ruby, SQL
    In PersonPart Time20 Hours/week64 Weeks
    Start Date Rolling Start Date
    Cost$199
    Class sizeN/A
    LocationOnline
    The Core Curriculum represents the "Study" phase of Our Pedagogy (https://launchschool.com/pedagogy) and is where we employ Mastery-based Learning (https://launchschool.com/mastery) and take a bottom-up teaching philosophy to help students build long-term mental representations of progressively more sophisticated and integrated concepts. Everything in the Core Curriculum is deemed fundamental and is mandatory.
    Financing
    DepositN/A
    Getting in
    Minimum Skill LevelMust be in "Study" phase of learning journey. See launchschool.com/pedagogy
    Prep WorkFree prep work at launchschool.com
    Placement TestNo
    InterviewNo
  • The Capstone Program

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    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
  • 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.
  • Tiffany Han • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    If you’re a Launch School student, you already know that the curriculum and instructors are top notch. As a Capstone student, you can expect the same level of pedagogy, rigor, and thoughtfulness. The only difference is that Capstone is several times over more intense, more interactive, and even more personalized.

    Before my cohort started, I had many worries. Would the remote nature of the program result in a diminished learning experience? Would very recent changes to the program result in worse outcomes for graduates? Were the promised outcomes simply “too good to be true”?

    During the first week of Capstone, these worries of mine quickly dissolved. Our cohort was distributed all over the US, but everyone was synchronized on the same schedule. Moreover, our twelve hour days were meticulously planned, even down to lunch and break times. Activities were optimally split between lectures with our mentor, cohort wide activities, team activities, and individual work. Time was precious, and we wasted none of it.

    We also made ample use of real time video chat. There were even a few occasions where my team spent the entire day on video chat, either discussing research and/or pair programming. The whole thing just felt very collaborative in general. I learned something new from each of my Capstone peers, and it was truly a delight to go through this crazy experience with them!

    By the time the job hunt phase rolled around, Capstone surpassed my already high expectations yet again. Yes, we were all on different schedules now. But there was never a time when I didn’t know what to do next. I was pushed so far beyond my comfort zone in the areas of networking, facing rejection, and even public speaking. I presented a talk about our Capstone project at various tech meetups in the Bay Area, and the feedback was nothing short of incredible.

    Was it all worth it in the end? Without a doubt, my answer is a resounding yes! After 10 weeks on the job hunt, I accepted an offer for a position where I’ll be making more than $100k/year. Moreover, this job is everything I wanted in terms of location, company size, product, and people. I’ll be using Python in my new job by the way, and I’m not worried at all about the change in language. I know that the fundamentals I learned at Launch School will be more than enough to carry me through.

    Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy. The Capstone schedule was so demanding that I dreamt about code at night. Besides that, it was really difficult to explain to my friends and family what I was doing. People discouraged me from moving to the super expensive Bay Area before I had a job offer. If you’re mentally prepared for all that though, then I would definitely encourage you to go for it. Capstone will propel you like a rocket ship to the moon.

  • Daniel Roth • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    It's hard to overestimate the role Launch School's Capstone and the Core Curriculum programs played in me getting my first full time tech job. No part of this was quick and easy - but it was absolutely worth it.

    If I had to summarize the experience in way too few words, I would say the Core Curriculum had taught me how to think as a developer, and Capstone taught me everything I might need to do well in the current job market. Now, I don't say 'everything' lightly. This really was nearly 'everything', and acquiring this knowledge was, again, not easy, but when you know the fundamentals well - it's doable. Without knowing them - probably not.

    And that is Launch School's real success - with the right selection of materials and with Launch School's mastery based program, a Launch School graduate can take on new challenges quickly and intelligently. This played a key role both while interviewing and learning new concepts and technologies on the fly, and on the job, where learning new things quickly is probably one of the most valued skills an employee can have.

    Launch School's core curriculum & capstone programs do this right. I really cannot stress this enough. When I had started I was worried that this might take too long - I am now shocked at how far I've come at such a relatively short time. My first full time tech job far exceeded my expectations in terms of salary and seniority level (even after reading about all the success stories). I could not have hoped for a better result, and I can say with great confidence that this is all thanks to Launch School.

  • Ying Chyi Gooi • Engineer • Graduate
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    My college degree in Actuarial Science did not prepare me well enough to land a job in the field. I was stuck working in a role that required only a high school degree. That went on for a full year. I was able to pay my bills and have some savings, but I realized that I wasn't happy at my job - it lacked meaning. That's when I started looking elsewhere - into tech and into programming. I eventually found Launch School.

    Launch School is one of the best decisions that I made. The learning journey may be long, uncertain and at times, rough, but finishing the Core Curriculum and Capstone have been absolutely worth it. I want to point out a few tangible benefits having gone through this process with Launch School.

    Having mastered the fundamentals, it has improved my ability to learn new technologies quickly. I was able to pick up React/Redux in a short period of time and tackle take-home assignments with confidence. Even if there are unfamiliar requirements (such as handling 3rd party API calls), I was able to look up appropriate resources and learn how to build certain features quickly and implement best practices. This helped me passed interviews and often landed me into on-sites.

    Capstone is another level. Coming out of it, I gained a strong understanding of high-level systems architecture, data structures, algorithms and some CS fundamentals. On top of it, I built an impressive project, which employers find impressive. All that makes me an invaluable candidate to good companies. Capstone also provides zero-interest loans, which helped me to pursue my highest goals in finding my next job - despite receiving numerous rejections and not-so-great offers.

    I eventually landed an offer with DigitialOcean - which is beyond my imagination! I am so grateful to have the opportunity pursue my career with a company that supports long-term growth, a caring community and great work-life balance. Not to mention a great salary, excellent health benefits, free lunches everyday, and a long list of other perks. I would not have landed this opportunity without Launch School and Capstone.

    Besides landing a career-launching job, I also get to make life-long friends. Sunny and Julius are the alumni that not only inspired me to finish Capstone, but also gave their support throughout the long job hunt process. I am also happy to say that we all work in the same company now!

    Finally, I would like to thank the people behind Launch School - Chris, Kevin and the amazing TAs for providing us a path to achieve greatness. Not just in terms of salary numbers, but also in building confidence and the skills necessary to land great jobs.
  • Josh • Graduate
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    When I started my journey into programming I quickly realized that there was a million resources out there and very little structure. I was constantly battling the questions of "what should I focus on and to what depth?". In addition, I saw a lot of flashy quick-turnaround solutions flooding the marketplace. My intuition told me that programming was a difficult undertaking and that cramming all that I would need to know into a 3 - 6 month window seemed too good to be true. Fortunately, during my search I found Launch School. They confirmed my belief that becoming competent in programming is a long-term, fundamentals-focused journey. After having spent the past two years learning in Launch School, I can attest that the Launch School philosophy is the right path for long-term growth.

    The Core Curriculum does a fantastic job of laying a solid foundation. You'll need that foundation no matter what you decide to do and it is a natural ramp to the topics covered in Capstone. Capstone really is a fantastic career-launching step. It first covers valuable subject areas that are out of scope for the core curriculum and combines it with what you learn in the core curriculum to build challenging and impressive projects with your team members. By the time I finished Capstone I felt much more grounded and confident as an engineer then I would have otherwise.

    Aside from the obvious technical training, Launch School really pushed me to hold myself to a higher standard of learning. I now have a stronger drive to learn than when I started and I enjoy pushing my boundaries. I also learned how to really believe in myself and that I bring significant value to the table for employers. During my post-Capstone job hunt I turned down job offers that I would have been thrilled to have received before I started my journey with Launch School. I believed that, even while they were great offers, I was worth even more. This doesn't get talked about a lot, in regards to Capstone, but it was really drilled into us during the process to believe in our abilities and our value. That newfound confidence paid off with an amazing fullstack engineering job offer that pays almost double what I made as a manager in my prior career. I wouldn't have had the belief in myself to hold out and get job I did without the training I received at Launch School.

    Anyone who aspires to push themselves to be the best that they can be should consider Capstone. It will be hard. It will be daunting. But it will be well worth it once you are done.
  • Steven S • Senior Software Engineer • Graduate
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    When gyms advertise "Train here to get lean and jacked within 10 weeks!", most of us roll our eyes and are skeptical. But coding bootcamps do the exact same thing and people bite. 

    LaunchSchool is the "boring" coach that tells you to follow a longer path but you'll 100% get into the best shape of your life. And trust me, it works.

    If you want to land the best jobs in the tech industry without having to go through a 4 year computer science degree, LaunchSchool will help you do that. I recently landed multiple offers from FANG type companies and I couldn't have done it without LaunchSchool.