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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
  • 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!

  • Anonymous • Graduate
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    I participated in the Capstone Mentoring Program from January to April of 2016. It was a completely transformative experience and proved absolutely invaluable in my transition to a software engineer at a reputable and successful company in NYC. The fact of the matter is that I simply would not have been provided the top quality job opportunity that I ultimately accepted if it wasn't for the process that we followed and the mentoring that we were given.

    If you are thinking about whether this program is right for you, the most appropriate advice that I could provide is this: be absolutely certain that you are willing to be unconditionally dedicated to this process. Kevin and Chris are not lying when they tell you that it will be hard work and that you will have to make a significant sacrifice in order to be successful in this program. You are going to work very, very hard. You should be prepared to allocate at least 60 hours of your time per week to the program. Expect to have daily meetings with your capstone peer and mentor and to fully immerse yourself. You will come out of it a changed person.

    The program begins with a review and strengthening of your fundamentals - programming, problem solving, databases, algorithms, and general web development concepts. All of which is supplemented by an ongoing bookclub where you will have daily reading assignments and discuss/present your opinions on the assigned chapters each day. The books will introduce you to new concepts and importantly provide you with an opportunity to work on discussing your opinions across a range of material; excellent preparation for the interview process.

    Quickly, you will move into daily pair programming with a capstone peer where you will review and dissect major open source applications together. You will also take ownership of reviewing discrete pieces of those applications and present your work during your daily meetings. Throughout this entire process, your mentor will be giving you constant realtime feedback and insight, helping solidify concepts and pushing you in the appropriate direction to accelerate your development.

    Before you know it, you will be brainstorming with your peer and mentor regarding your capstone project. The process of coming up with ideas, settling on one, and then actually building something could be the whole program in-and-of-itself. You will pair program, work closely with your mentor, and put absolutely everything you have into it. You will live it and breathe it for several weeks. When it is ready, you will show it off. And it will blow people away. I cannot say enough about how well our capstone project was received by the community. It impressed even the most senior developers because it went so far beyond the typical “Yelp clone” project that would be expected of a bootcamp graduate and because it presented significant challenges at both the engineering and product management levels. It was our capstone project and presenting it at a meet up in NYC that raised the eyebrows of a senior developer at the company where I ultimately accepted a position.

    With your capstone project completed you will move into the final phase of the program - interview prep and interviewing. In addition to pursuing any opportunities arising from your capstone project, you will select the companies you want to apply to and work with your mentor to strategize on how best to apply and who to apply to first. In parallel, you will drill hard in preparation for your technical interviews. Mock interviews and whiteboard sessions, code challenges, anything that may present itself during your technical interviews will be discussed and drilled on a daily basis so that you can go into those interviews confident and ready to further impress. At the end of the program your mentor will help you negotiate salary/compensation and weigh the pros and cons of any competing offers.

    Throughout the process I attended several meet ups in the NYC area and had a chance to chat with several other students who were either currently taking courses with, or recent graduates of, other bootcamps. When I described LaunchSchool's curriculum and its Capstone Mentoring Program to them, the response was unanimous. They simply could not believe how much more in depth we go at every level. After being out in the community and speaking with several similarly-situated folks I can confidently say that this program is at the very top of the list. Make no mistake about it, this is where it’s at.

    Your mentor is with you the entire way, from program kickoff to the signed offer. It will be bittersweet when you sign off of that last google hangouts session — but everyone signs off with a big smile and a feeling of true accomplishment. If you are serious about your engineering career, willing and able to put everything you have into the process and setting yourself up for success at the onset, I cannot recommend this process any more highly. What happens is nothing short of amazing.

  • Eric • Student
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    I completed Launch School's Capstone Mentoring program with a job offer in hand last November. Launch School paved the way for me to save a significant amount of time in my education with software development. Before I go on to extoll the virtues of the program, let me tell you a little about me. I'm 30 years old and before Launch School my familiarization with computers was not much beyond Facebook and word processing. Launch School taught me everything from how to use the command line to OOP and far beyond. Launch School offers two main components: a supported self-paced online bootcamp, and a capstone mentoring arrangement (the Capstone Mentoring) where they help you bridge the gap to employment. It didn't take me long to appreciate the strength of their learning material and of their community (which includes very dedicated TAs who are easy to get a hold of).

    But I'd rather talk about the thing that made the difference from mildly experienced beginner to employed with a junior position. This was going through the mentoring sessions with Kevin. He was with me every step of the way and remained devoted to my success and was flexible enough to accommodate my learning style and pacing. The meat of what we worked on, after brushing up the fundamentals, was a more significant Ruby project.

    Throughout the process, Kevin showed incredible empathy, knowing when to kick my butt a little more and when to back off to give me a little space. At one point, he made the analogy to being a personal trainer. The image couldn't be more apt. After all, he spent relatively little time in the weeds with me, instead pointing me in the right direction to figure out technical details myself (isn't that was StackOverflow is for?) and kept a masterly handle on where I was, how I was progressing, and what should come next in the process. He knew when to dig in on a project and when to abandon ship and move on to something else. Let's face it, we're all human and fundamentally lazy so both a personal trainer and Kevin are there to keep us motivated. Working on code in a vacuum, alone in front of a computer, can be very lonely and indeed distressing. But when someone else is depending on you to get a job done, that extra bit of motivation helps with the worst moments of lethargy and resistance.

    I couldn't recommend Launch School more highly to someone who wants to learn to code (and get a job at it!) but cannot do an in-person bootcamp for whatever reason. For some, Launch School may even be a superior learning environment compared to an in-person bootcamp. For me, it was the perfect mix of hands-on vs. freedom and hard pushing vs. giving time to breathe and consolidate knowledge. Lastly, Kevin is an incredibly congenial mentor and serves as a secure anchor in an otherwise very bumpy and uncertain ocean.

  • Anonymous • developer • Graduate
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    I studied Law and Economics and got a job in administration. I soon found out that this job wasn't for me and I found out that writing code was a lot of fun. Before joining Launch School I was learning web development on my own for 2 years. I went through courses and videos on Youtube, CodeSchool, TeamTreehouse, Lynda.com, etc.

    I learned a lot but I lacked the fundamentals and problem solving skills that good employers are searching on the market. Launch School gave me a lot of knowledge on web development. We did a lot of coding challenges with the instructors and when I got my first job interview I was able to answer most of the technical questions and finish coding exercises they gave me.

    Launch School also provides weekly live sessions. This is basically pair programming with an awesome programmers such as Chris or Kevin and what I've learned is that programmers are stuck with coding problem a lot more that I imagined. But when I took other online courses this was not obvious. Teachers were writing code without any mistakes and without searching the documentation on the web. At Launch School you will see the reality and the instructors will tell you the truth about learning to program.

    If you would ask me what are the most important things to get from novice to job ready. I would say,

    1. Get great teachers
    2. Learn and practice on the fundamentals
    3. Read and write code every day

    There are a lot of resources on the web to learn and practise coding. But getting great teachers that would help and guide you on your learning journey is probably the hardest thing to get on your own. You can get everything listed above and more at Launch School. All you need to do is devote your time and energy and learn every day for few hours.

    I am grateful that Launch School exists. It helped a lot of people to get their dream jobs. I still can't believe that I went from a job that was basically shuffling papers to a job that lets me build an app for Olympic games.

     
  • Luke Tower • Software Engineer • Graduate
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    I attended Tealeaf Academy and finished the three courses they offer teaching web development with Ruby and Rails.

    When I started the course, I had no development experience. I wasn't even "technically savvy".  I was looking to transition from a career in education as an English teacher.  I am now a full-time software engineer.

    The curriculum and support that Tealeaf provides can level up a hungry student's abilities very quickly. The courses are not easy, but if you are willing to work hard and put in the time, you will learn the skills of a professional web developer.  

    Their pricing is competitive and delivers a lot of value. Since the course is 100% online, you can finish the course on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. 

    The instructors are kind, personable, and talented teachers. There is round-the-clock support from teaching assistants located all over the globe.

    If you're serious about learning web development with Ruby. I don't know of a better option than Tealeaf Academy.

  • Sean • Ruby developer • Graduate
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    My background: Computer Science degree, decent HTML knowledge, and had a little bit of experience learning Ruby and Rails on my own.

    If you have a CS degree and want to be a Rails developer you will be a very legit developer if you make it through both Rails courses. The courses are not trivial. I worked about 3 hours a day on assignments 6 days a week for 6 and 8 week sessions.

    After completing the courses and continuing to study and build a couple projects on my own I got a 75k job as a Rails developer at a startup. Then I was offered a 100K+ job at a very large company as a Ruby developer. 

    I cannot possibly recommend this program enough. If you don't want to work 3 hours a day you will not REALLY learn Rails. If you do want to work 3 solid hours a day (or more if you do not come from a CS background) then don't take classes. 

    If you make it through there is a pot of gold at the end. Work hard. The instruction is incredible and well focused. Very professional. I owe them a lot for getting me on the correct track rather than me trying to read 10 Rails books and try to cobble out a strategy. These guys know what they are doing and are incredible teachers.

  • Zachariah Clay • Graduate
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    ** First of all, I just finished the second course out of three. I’ve learned more in those first two courses than everything I had learned on my own combined. It was the most rewarding educational experience I have ever had. Now the crazy thing is that as I am about to start the third course, I am not even half-way done with everything there is to learn at Tealeaf! If I learned that much in the first two courses, I can’t imagine what the third one is going to be like. ** I think my story is pretty similar to a lot of you that may be looking for a bootcamp. I’ve been messing with computers and “coding” since I was a kid. I thought I was cool because I could write some HTML and CSS. I could build some websites for people that looked pretty, but I couldn’t really add that much functionality to them. I needed to look for a plugin or script to do everything for me. None of them did exactly what I wanted them too, and there’s nothing I could really do about it except hope someone else did it and released it for free. I had a bunch of ideas for projects I wanted to make and I decided that I was going to teach myself how to program. I went through some basic free tutorials (codeacademy, etc.) and learned some JavaScript and PHP. I took a free MOOC on python and made some games. None of it went deep enough though, I didn’t really feel any different than when I taught myself HTML. I could do some little tricks, but I still could build a real, working application, and I certainly didn’t understand why or how any of what I was doing worked. So, at this point I started looking into bootcamps. I was really drawn to the bootcamp model because it was total immersion in the language and it took you from little knowledge to full-fledged developer. The first thing I noticed was the time and monetary commitment necessary to do one of these bootcamps. I work full-time, not as a programmer. I’m newly married. I don’t live in SF or NYC. I don’t have a house I can get a second mortgage on to afford one of these. I didn’t really fit the in-person bootcamp model. So I decided to look into online bootcamps because I didn’t need to quit my job, move half way across the country, or pay a crazy amount of money. I was really between Bloc and Tealeaf Academy. Both of them are great, but I think Tealeaf really fit my learning style and personality a lot better. Tealeaf, first of all, is the most reasonably priced bootcamp, IMHO. Second, the way they approach the subject matter is unique, but makes the most sense to me. Instead of introducing you to a very superficial level of a bunch of different web technologies, Tealeaf goes deep, VERY deep into Ruby on Rails. (Makes sense, since it’s a Rails course, doesn’t it?) Let me explain a little more about how they teach. Tealeaf doesn’t just teach you how to follow Rails conventions to make an application. They teach you how bend Rails to your will to make it do what you want. They teach you all the Ruby behind the way Rails does things. They teach how to build the functionality you want, instead of copy and pasting gems in. For example, we built our own authentication system and two-factor authentication for an application we built. Why is this important? One of the main reasons I wanted to do a bootcamp was to learn how to build anything I could dream up. That is exactly what Tealeaf is teaching me. Another key difference for Tealeaf is that they have a set curriculum of applications you build. A lot of other bootcamps, have you build a couple projects and then select a “Capstone” project to work on. I like the way Tealeaf does it because I trust the instructors to pick applications that will cover all the skills I am going to need much more than I trust myself. Also, since the instructors have done these projects a few times, they know all the “gotchas” that you are going to run into, making support much faster. Also, all the other students in you cohort are working on the same projects, so it makes for a much more lively community and shared experience, something you might expect to be missing in an online bootcamp. The final key point of Tealeaf that I love is that it is completely self-paced. Course 1 and course 2 are both split into 4 “lessons”, while course 3 is split into 8. Each of those lessons is self-contained. What I mean is that if you take 2 days to do one of those lessons, that’s completely fine. If you take 2 weeks, that’s fine too, the people in the discussion boards will be people working on the exact same thing you are, even if you “fall behind” some other people or “jump ahead” others. And the TAs and instructors are in all of them, waiting to pounce on any question you may have. Seriously, I don’t know if I’ve had a question that went unresolved for more than 30 minutes. And that’s not even including live sessions and office hours. Do yourself a favor, do a lot of research before committing to any one bootcamp. I did, and I think it paid off when I decided to do Tealeaf. I’m extremely confident in my ability to get hired once I finish the third course. ** UPDATE ** So just 1 month after finishing the courses at Tealeaf, I had 2 job offers. I am now working as a Web Engineer for a startup. I had a few interviews and tests and I felt very confident because of what I had learned at Tealeaf. The people I spoke to were usually very impressed with my knowledge, especially because we had covered testing so much. All in all, I can say doing Tealeaf Academy was just about the best decision I have ever made. I'm very excited to start my new career now :)

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    I just got hired as a junior software developer at an amazing company in LA making 20K more than I was making previously! This would have never happened had it not been for Launch School's amazing program. 
     
    I majored in psychology and had never coded before starting the program. I studied for 5-6 hours every night for a few months and acquired strong engineering skills that made me feel ready to start applying for jobs. After spending some time looking, I received a call from a local company inviting me for a three hour, in-person technical interview. And guess what? When the interview came along I was prepared and in the end, received an offer from the company. 
     
    If it wasn’t for the in depth material covered at Launch School, I don’t think I would have received the offer. The strong emphasis on fundamentals, exercises and code challenges (especially some of the data structures and algorithms problems) gave me a lot of confidence growing into a software engineer. But what I believe really tipped the scale in my favor is the portfolio of projects I built throughout the program. Some of them are major, production quality and fully tested apps that really impressed the lead engineers at the company. I believe anyone can build simple apps following a tutorial. One of the reasons Launch School is so unique is that you learn how to build production quality applications where you get to learn how to make engineering decisions and tradeoffs. This is how you differentiate yourself from graduates of most other bootcamps who spend a few weeks on one or two frameworks and build toy apps. At Launch School, we spend months to learn to bend frameworks to our will while implementing advanced engineering principles into our apps.
     
    In the end I truly believe that Launch School changed my life. For those of you who are working through the program - just have faith. Make sure you work through the curriculum, participate in code challenges, build projects and stay positive. Once you get to show what you have learned in your interviews I promise good things will happen!
  • Anonymous • Software Developer • Graduate
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    My background is not in computer science.  Before starting the Launch School curriculum, I had never even opened a text editor.  Less than a year later, I've accepted a job at a fantastic company, making quite a bit more than what's average for juniors in my city.  Do I think I could have learned web dev. on my own? Yes. Could I have been this succesful this quickly? Absolutely not.

    I took advantage both of LS's self-paced courses and the Captstone Mentoring Program.  The courses stress the fundamentals.  Although the curriculum is Ruby-heavy, the emphasis is not on "learning Ruby," but learning how to solve problems with code, not just "learning Rails," but learning the concepts behind it and the habits of mind necessary to tackle the challenges that web dev. throws at you.

    As happy as I was with the courses, the Capstone Program just blew me away.  The amount of face time I was given with a senior dev. was outrageous. This is not an hour-a-week deal--I was on a Hangout talking programming, getting impromptu lectures, or pair programming with my mentor nearly every evening. My learning was guided: there was never a time when I didn't know what to do next or what to focus on. And I was pushed, pushed far harder than I'm likely to have pushed myself.

    The result? I became not just someone who dabbled in code, but truly, a professional developer.  I acquired the knowledge and skill necessary to succeed in the field.  Companies agreed.  I got several full length interviews and received job offers from all of them. I have so much to learn, but LS has put me on some seriously firm footing.

    Don't get me wrong--the program is not magic.  It's a LOT of work, but if you've got the aptitude, the work ethic, and the appetite for success, you can go far, fast in this program.