Capstone Program


Launch Your Career

Duration: 4 - 7+ months

~ 800 - 1000 hours

Instructor-led, Team-based

The Capstone Program is an optional, admissions-based, and final phase for students who have completed the Core Curriculum. 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 7+ months of full-time focus, and possibly even longer. The first 16 weeks will be synchronous classroom instruction Monday-Friday all day; after that, there will be a 1-3+ month Career Search process. To participate in Capstone, students need to complete the Core Curriculum with high marks. 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 industry leading and rival those at top-tier universities. See the Results & Outcomes page for salaries and average duration to accepted offer.

The Capstone Program is a transition away from Mastery-Based Learning with the goal of applying already-mastered fundamentals to higher level concepts. We call this Just in Time Learning.

Capstone will cover all relevant topics that top employers demand, including the following (not a comprehensive list):

Advanced algorithmic problem solving Databases (nosql, rdbms) & Database Design
Full-stack Development and Frameworks Cloud Infrastructure
Agile Team-based Development Software Architecture & System Design
Distributed Systems Service Oriented Architectures

Capstone Project

Besides covering the above topics, we will spend a significant amount of time on the Capstone Project. The Capstone Project is modeled after a Master's thesis or a PhD dissertation. They are research projects meant to force participants to dive deeply into a narrow problem domain. There are no project templates from which to choose and every Capstone project will be a unique research project. It's common for participants to read books, watch videos, read whitepapers and published research, and even reach out to subject matter experts in the domain. The goal is to review all pertinent literature in a domain so that at the end of the process, Capstone participants themselves become subject matter experts in that domain. The role of the Capstone Instructor and Capstone Project Mentors is to provide guidance, but Capstone participants earn everything themselves based on their own work and research. Only when you have a superb team can this type of research-oriented project be undertaken, and this is why we are only able to do this after the Core Curriculum.

Capstone Project Mentors

During the Capstone Project phase, each team will be assigned working software engineers as mentors. These mentors work at industry-leading companies and will meet with you periodically to help provide guidance on the research and the project. All mentors were themselves Capstone graduates, so not only will they be able to offer guidance and insight based on their work experience, they will also be able to do so based on their own Capstone experience. The Capstone Project Mentors are an additional layer of support specifically for the Capstone Project phase on top of the normal Capstone Instructor(s). Below are some of our mentors (shown in random order).

Julius Zerwick Julius Zerwick

Software Engineer II


Golang, MySQL, gRPC, APIs, Distributed Systems

Dylan Barnard Dylan Barnard

Software Engineer


Platform Engineering, Golang, Microservices, CI/CD, Observability

Derick Gross Derick Gross

Product Engineer


Python, TypeScript, APIs, Domain-driven Design, Data Consistency

Catherine Emond Catherine Emond

Senior Developer


Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, TypeScript, React, Web Analytics

Ido Moskovich Ido Moskovich

Senior Engineer


SQL, JavaScript, APIs

Melissa Manousos Melissa Manousos

Software Engineer


Full-stack Development, GraphQL, Ruby, JavaScript, Node, React

Sunny Beatteay Sunny Beatteay

Senior Software Engineer


Golang, Ruby, MySQL, Distributed Systems

Max Hawkins Max Hawkins

Software Engineer II


React, CSS-in-JS, Static Site Generation, Jamstack

Ian Evans Ian Evans

Product Engineer


AWS, APIs, Python

Jason Overby Jason Overby

Senior Software Engineer

Walmart Global Tech

Node, TypeScript, AWS, React

Jon Kulton Jon Kulton

Software Engineer


Node, Microservices, AWS, GraphQL, React Native

Rachel Minto Rachel Minto

Senior Software Engineer


JavaScript, Ruby, Incident Response, Videos

Sienna Wood Sienna Wood

Senior Software Engineer

Green Chef

JavaScript, React, UX, Graphql, Node, Rails

Bharat Agarwal Bharat Agarwal

Software Engineer


Chaos Engineering, AWS, Golang

Kelvin Wong Kelvin Wong

Backend Engineer

Thought Machine

Golang, Kafka, K8s, gRPC, Microservices

Daniel Rote Daniel Rote

Senior Software Engineer


TypeScript, GraphQL, PWA, Offline-first

No Upfront Cost

Other than a small down payment, we do not collect any fees upfront to participate in Capstone. The Capstone fee is calculated based on an Income Sharing Agreement (ISA), which as of this writing, is 18% of your first year salary or $18k, whichever is higher. Please note that while we do not foresee any upcoming changes, we reserve the right to change this number at any point (until you sign the ISA contract). We collect a small down payment that goes towards the total fee, and you pay us the remainder of the Capstone fee after you start collecting paychecks.

The Launch School ISA only looks at base salary and doesn't include bonuses or equity compensation. Raises, too, won't affect the total as we are only looking at base salary in the offer letter. This is the lowest cost ISA being offered by any company, which means we have the industry's best results at the lowest cost.


To participate in the Capstone program, you should understand that:

  • We're incentivized to help you compete for a top job at the best company possible, and your goal should be the same.
  • You must be able to learn full-time, often during evenings and weekends. Time commitment will be a minimum of 45 to 60 hours/week.
  • You must be prepared to work really, really hard.

Performance Requirements

  • You must have completed and mastered all the fundamental materials in the Launch School Core Curriculum, and you must have done well on all or vast majority of the assessments.
  • You must be available full-time for the entire duration of Capstone, including the Career Search phase. In its entirety, it could last 4-7+ months.
  • You must have passed all assessments within the last 18 months. If completion of an assessment has been over 18 months, then you have to retake that assessment.
  • You must have demonstrated excellence in technical proficiency throughout the Core Curriculum.
  • You must have demonstrated excellence in professionalism in all your interactions with everyone at Launch School.

Location Requirements

  • You must be legally able to work in the United States (US citizen or Permanent Resident).
  • You must reside in the United States.
  • We have preferences for certain cities, but we are also able to take on remote-only participants. Make sure to note the salary differences between city-specific and remote salaries in the Results and Outcomes page.

We would especially like to encourage residents of the following cities to apply to Capstone: NYC, SFBA (San Fran/Bay Area), Austin, Boston, Chicago, Portland, Denver, Los Angeles, and Seattle. If your city isn't listed above and you've done well on the assessments, we can work with you on a remote-only job hunt.

If you're not a resident of the US but would still like to participate in Capstone, see the FAQ questions at the bottom of this page.


There are three Capstone cohorts throughout the year: Spring, Summer, and Fall. The spring cohort typically starts in mid-January, summer in mid-May, and the fall cohort in early September. The cohort finalizes a couple of months before the official start date. Capstone participants must finish the Core Curriculum at least 6 weeks before the cohort start date in order to complete the Capstone preparatory work.

If you're seriously considering Capstone, it's imperative that you speak with an instructor when you're at approximately course 210-225 range (if you are beyond course 225 and are interested in Capstone but haven't spoken to an instructor, please do so now). Most applicants to Capstone are known to the admissions team many months in advance, and the cohort starts to form about 2 months prior to the cohort start date. You should be nearing the finish of the Core Curriculum about 1 to 2 months prior to the cohort start date to have a chance to participate in that cohort. This includes retaking any expired assessments.

The Capstone application is at the end of the Core Curriculum. For further inquiries regarding Capstone, please email (but please read the FAQ at the bottom of this page first).

Admission Preferences

In general, we're looking for the following attributes:

  • You have completed all of the Core Curriculum.
  • You have excelled on all the assessments.
  • You're actively looking for an engineering job.
  • You can make finding a job your top priority.
  • You can make Capstone a full-time activity (45-60 hours/week).
  • You must be legally able to work and reside in the US (see FAQ for exceptions).

Along with the above, we're also looking for people who:

  • ... have demonstrated extremely high work ethic.
  • ... are a pleasure to work with and be around.
  • ... have high character and integrity.
  • ... are professional and courteous.
  • ... know how to study and learn things deeply.
  • ... are well spoken and can communicate professionally.
  • ... have superior writing ability.
  • ... are extremely positive.

To increase your chances of being admitted, produce artifacts that can convince us of the above attributes. We can determine a lot of this from your assessments since most people have been at Launch School for months or years by the time they apply. But if you have great writing samples or recordings of you speaking in public, we want to see them. We also look at well-received blog posts or threads/comments that you've contributed over the years in the Launch School community and in the courses.

Capstone Testimonials

These are students who have completed the entire Launch School curriculum, from the Core Curriculum through Capstone. The entire process typically lasts for 1-2+ years. Read their stories to get a feel for their journey and transformation.

To make a long story short, the process worked. The Core Curriculum taught me the fundamental concepts I needed, and at my own part-time pace. Capstone extended and integrated that knowledge by cultivating it in a dedicated, full-time, team-based environment. After finishing Capstone, I secured a job as a Senior Software Engineer within six weeks.

Andrew Jones

Completing Launch School's Core Curriculum and Capstone program was one of the best decisions I've made in my life.

Stephanie Cunnane

Launch School helped me switch careers and changed my life! After spending 1 year and 7 months going through the Core and Capstone program, I am now making more than 3 times my previous salary while working completely from home with tons of flexibility.

Adam Peterson

Launch School’s Core and Capstone programs are life-changing experiences. It’s difficult to overstate how much they already have and will continue to improve my life for the rest of my working years. Everyone has that dream of making six figures, but Launch School helped me achieve it.

Austin Miller

I’m 100% certain that absent Launch School, I never would have gotten from there, to here. Meaning a zombie GitHub account and no real knowledge or skill to a well-compensated engineer at exactly the type of company that an engineer wants to be at.

Ryan Schaul

Launch School is incredible. It's hard to overstate how effective it is at preparing you for a professional career as a software engineer.

Will Lotherington

I ended up accepting an offer in just under 6 weeks for a position I am overjoyed with, making a previously unbelievable-to-me salary, and having technical conversations daily that would've sounded like gibberish to me a year ago. I will never stop talking about LS to anyone who will listen!!

Sheila Babadi

I unfortunately found the options for my specific field of study limited, so I’ve spent the past 15 years of my professional life in a series of stable but largely unfulfilling jobs. Because of Launch School, I am now in a field that truly interests me, and I’m on an income trajectory that will allow me to give back, provide a stable base for my family, and accomplish many of the things that make life enjoyable to me.

Armando Mota

I had never seen a line of code in my life before Launch School, but the job I got out of the process came with an outrageously high salary (especially for Arizona), and I got the job in under two months after hitting the job market. Capstone was key to get the results I got, but I think Core was where the magic happened.

Juan Palma

I decided to enroll in Capstone because I wanted to take on a larger engineering project. I ended up getting a job as an SDE II with a great salary and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Launch School to anyone interested in software development as a career. It has been truly life changing.

Dorey Miller

For the past two years I've been singing Launch School's praises as a coding school. I knew I was learning valuable skills, but I had to trust the process and hope that my efforts would eventually pay off. Now that they have, I can recommend Launch School as a life-changing opportunity.

Ben Zelinski

Finding Launch School has been life changing. I got an amazing six-figure job offer that was above and beyond what I ever dreamed was possible.

Cody Stair

In my job hunt, which lasted exactly two weeks, there was never an interview that I walked into where I wasn't confident. This confidence and drive instilled in me by Launch School allowed me to go to multiple interviews, succeed in various interview formats, and join a company that I love as a senior engineer.

Gabriel De Almeida

Capstone has helped me secure, and perform strongly on, a Level 2 Software Engineer role, with no prior experience.

Kelvin Wong

I can't speak highly enough of the support of both the staff and student community fostered at Launch School. Those who commit to the Launch School path will find themselves surrounded by dedicated and encouraging fellow students and staff who will then comprise a strong network of top-notch Software Engineers.

Melissa Manousos

Even after accepting a lead instructor position with a notable bootcamp, I was unsatisfied with my career trajectory. It was only once I joined Capstone that I saw the true power of "just-in-time" learning. I refined my understanding of higher level concepts, designed and built an amazing project with a distributed team, and landed an engineering role with a world-class organization led by a legendary tech entrepreneur.

Derick Gross

I had a mountain of student loan debt that I’d taken on to get an undergraduate and then graduate degree, and knew I’d never be able to pay off. I completed the core curriculum and joined Capstone which then got me a six-figure salary as a Software Engineer within 4 weeks of starting the job hunt.

Wendy Kuhn

I didn’t just want a job, I wanted a rewarding career where I could meaningfully contribute and grow for years to come. With the baseline knowledge and habits established in the core curriculum and the intensity of the Capstone program, I feel well prepared to stay relevant across an ever-changing industry.

William Mills

I had been working for ten years in a different industry and was ready for a career change. I was at the point where I needed something beyond self-study to prepare me for a career as a developer. Luckily, I found Launch School.

Jason Overby

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. My first full time tech job far exceeded my expectations in terms of salary and seniority level.

Daniel Rote

I believe that the Capstone program gave me the rare opportunity to get serious mentorship and team experience that would have taken years to receive on the job.

Jacob Coker-Dukowitz

Experts always return to fundamentals because they are the foundation on which everything else is built. Launch School’s core program embodies this principle by emphasizing mastery of fundamentals through purposeful individual study.

Sienna Wood

I would not hesitate to say that Launch School was the most well-structured and effective learning experience I’ve ever had the pleasure of participating in.

Nick Miller

I eventually landed an offer with DigitialOcean - which is beyond my imagination!

Ying Chyi Gooi

Anyone who aspires to push themselves to be the best that they can be should consider Capstone. Capstone really is a fantastic career-launching step.

Josh Nelson

The core curriculum provides a solid platform and jumping off point to go learn almost anything you could want to in programming

Max Appleton

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.

Tannr Allard

I never thought I’d be making 6 figures in my twenties but I just landed my number 1 choice company and in a mid-level Software Engineering role just two weeks after completing Capstone.

Steven Shen

And the end result? I’ve landed my dream job at DigitalOcean as a Software Engineer II for the Network Services team, skipping an entry level role and working on projects & technologies that I thought out of my reach just 2 years ago. And more than doubling my salary from my previous job!

Julius Zerwick

Your ultimate goal should be to get one of the top jobs out there. And trust me, the Launch School team and their curriculum are more than capable of helping you to achieve that.

Konstantin Minevskiy

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.

Tiffany Han
San Francisco Bay Area

Within 10 weeks of my first application, I had accepted a large salary and a small bonus at a company whose mission I was genuinely excited about.

Elise Olivares
San Francisco

From the first glance, it was apparent that Launch School had been founded by industry veterans. I have never encountered a curriculum more in-depth and rigorous

Sunny Beatteay
New York City

I often thought about making a career change into software development, but it wasn’t until I found Launch School that I felt confident that I could make that ambition a reality.

Walid Wahed
New York City

Had it not been for Launch School and Capstone, I would still be working a dead-end job with no real ambitions. Now that I am on the hiring side, I would not hesitate to hire Capstone graduates from Launch School, especially from personal experience that Capstone is the real deal.

Timmy Lee

Capstone - If I could sum it up in one phrase it’d be this: you will blow yourself away. Your foundational investment will payoff as you build something truly awesome.

Lukas Nimmo

I was able to join a company in a new domain with a new tech stack because Launch School doesn't focus on the hot topic of the day but the more important underlying ideas and concepts

Michael Mentele
San Francisco

I can say with confidence that there is simply no better way to launch a career in software engineering than with Launch School

Tyler Guillen

Thanks to Launch School's guidance, philosophy, curriculum and Capstone Program, I am now a Software Engineer working a job in NYC and earning well over $100k/year

Antoine LeClercq

I have not once regretted my decision to join Launch School and its Capstone program

Vincent DeVendra
Boston, MA, USA

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.

Perry Carbone
New York, NY, USA

Capstone Projects

As part of the Capstone Program, students organize into teams to work on a Capstone Project. Below are some of the engineering projects that have come out of Capstone.

Fjord is an open-source framework that allows end users to receive Kafka streaming data in real-time.
Retrospect is an observability tool that allows you to record back-end activity in an easily searchable manner, replacing the process of pinging servers and searching logs.
Tapestry is an open source orchestration framework for the deployment of user entity data pipelines.
Guardrail is an open source tool that generates regression tests for microservices using captured HTTP traffic.
Pioneer is a self-hosted feature flag management tool, which lets users manage the rollout of new features in a deployed application.
Pilot is an open-source, multi-cloud framework that provisions an internal PaaS with a workflow-agnostic build, deploy, and release pipeline.
Gander is an open-source solution for deploying isolated, ephemeral apps based on your pull requests.
Tacklebox is an open-source serverless framework that offers webhooks as a service.
Jolt is a lightweight, open-source framework that builds and deploys JAMstack applications with serverless functions.
Ekko is an open-source framework allowing developers to easily add realtime infrastructure and in-transit message processing to web applications.
Dendro is an open-source, serverless monitoring framework for small, distributed applications.
Beekeeper is an open-source Backend as a Service (BaaS) built to handle traffic from one-off events. It is an NPM package that creates a CLI tool to spin up AWS services which make up a virtual waiting room.
Haven is an open-source developer tool for managing your application secrets. Built using Node.js and Amazon Web Services, it is easy to set up and integrate with your Node applications. It protects your secrets through encryption, access control, and injection at runtime.
Stagehand is a drop-in solution that provides review apps for modern frontend applications. Using AWS, GitHub Actions, and some Stagehand client-side code we set-up, deploy, manage, and teardown review apps for your frontend application.
Campion is a free, open-source tool to help protect your site or service from dependency failure. It is an edge-based circuit breaking middleware that utilizes an automatic fail fast mechanism when a dependency is down.
Satellite is an open-source GraphQL backend-as-a-service (BaaS). It lets teams easily deploy and manage GraphQL backends for web applications.
River is a drop-in real-time service for web applications. It provides an easy-to-deploy and ready-to-scale solution for existing applications with real-time needs.
Maestro is an open-source, easy-to-use framework for deploying serverless workflows using Node.js and AWS Step Functions. Using Maestro aids development not only in the initial phase of a project but throughout the ongoing maintenance as well.
Jade is a framework that makes it simple to deploy and maintain JAMstack applications. Jade abstracts away the time and complexity of provisioning services and writing backend code related to the underlying infrastructure so developers can focus on building their applications.
A blazing fast serverless video transcoding pipeline that can be easily deployed to Amazon Web Services (AWS)
API proxy for logging and controlling traffic between microservices.
An open-source Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) that exposes an API for common backend functionality like database persistence and user authentication.
An open-source framework for deploying and managing stream processing pipelines using Kafka for users who want to set up a streaming pipeline with minimal hassle.
An open source, Heroku-like, and self-hosted platform as a service built with a multi-tenant architecture using Docker and Docker Swarm.
A web-native computational notebook designed for sharing executable code alongside stylized notes. Supports multiple-languages, webhooks and API calls.
A centralized logging management framework that allows for easy setup, configuration, and deployment using Kafka and InfluxDB
A progressive web application (PWA) compliant offline-first database for web-based mobile-first applications
An open source easy-to-use data pipeline orchestration and monitoring framework for small applications that deploys to the GCP (Google Cloud Platform)
A serverless framework for consuming webhooks at scale that deploys on AWS (Amazon Web Services)
An open-source, browser-based REPL for Ruby, JavaScript and Python that enables real-time collaboration between users.
A highly scalable, query optimized, hosted prefix search service for building autocomplete suggestions
An easy-to-deploy event capturing framework built with NodeJS, Apache Kafka, TimescaleDB, and PipelineDB
A serverless framework that makes it quick and easy to get small applications up and running using Node.js and AWS
An open-source, real-time, collaborative text editor for the browser built from scratch in JavaScript
A decentralized (p2p) cloud storage system built atop Kademlia DHT that enforces data integrity, privacy, and availability through proofs of retrievability, redundancy, and encryption, with cryptocurrency-based incentive scheme
A JavaScript framework and in-browser database adapter for building offline-first, collaborative web apps
Xorro P2P
A BitTorrent-like peer-to-peer file sharing network
A lightweight and performant ruby background job processor
A lightweight and configurable Ruby HTTP proxy caching library
Open Source Watch
Open Source Watch gauges the activity of open-source projects on Github and finds out who the heroes of open-source are.

Capstone FAQ

For the job hunt, Capstone participants must reside in and be legally able to work in the United States. We have preferences for certain cities, but we are also able to take on remote-only participants. Make sure to note the salary differences between city-specific and remote salaries in the Results and Outcomes page.

We would especially like to encourage residents of the following cities to apply to Capstone: NYC, SFBA (San Fran/Bay Area), Austin, Boston, Chicago, Portland, Denver, Los Angeles, and Seattle. If your city isn't listed above and you've done well on the assessments, we can work with you on a remote-only job hunt.

"I'll go where the best offer is"
Sometimes, instead of choosing a specific city or remote opportunities, some folks will say that they're open to a number of different cities provided the offer is strong. We've seen bad results from taking this path. City-specific companies prefer local candidates, and unless you have caught their eye, will not prioritize a non-local candidate. Therefore, it's very difficult to procure a high offer if you aren't considered "local". Note that you do not necessarily have to reside in a city to be "local", you only have to target it. For example, if you reside in Denver but are targeting either Denver, remote, or NYC opportunities. You could do that by listing "Denver / NYC" on your resume. What doesn't work well is if you start applying to openings in cities that, on paper, is unrelated to you.

The summary here is that we really want to encourage people to pick a location to target. We have seen a lot of success with remote-only job hunts, too, so don't feel pressured to pick a city for the sake of Capstone. And it's completely ok to target a city or remote.

For the Core Curriculum, there is no location restriction.

For Capstone, we have a strong preference for US-based residents. That said, we have made exceptions for Capstone participants from Canada, UK, Australia, China, and India. Whether we can make an exception for you will heavily depend on how you perform in the Core Curriculum. If you do well, there's a strong likelihood that we can make an exception for you in Capstone. In general, we're inclined to work with people who have performed highly in Core no matter where they live.

That said, the Capstone fee remains the same (minimum fee of $18k USD). Non-US salaries are much lower than US software engineering salaries, so you'll have to decide if it's worth the Capstone fee. Further, Capstone is synchronous and we expect people to be available approximately 8am - 5pm US Pacific time. This requirement can result in very odd hours over a 4 month period.

Further, we have less data to share with you and therefore, the expected results can vary more wildly. We've had several Capstone graduates in Toronto and London, but other than those two cities, we do not have a lot of data for anywhere else. If you choose to participate in Capstone and you're not in Toronto or London, it's likely that we will not have a good idea of what type of salary you can expect post-Capstone. As general guidance, Capstone graduates are able to get offers that approximate offers you'd see from good undergraduate CS programs in your locale. But again, without concrete data from Capstone graduates, there will always be risk.

What We Can't Do

  • We won't be able to work with US/Canadian residents who wish to travel the world or live elsewhere as companies are not going to accept that. Even remote roles have boundaries, especially when it comes to intellectual property issues.
  • We can't help with visa issues. You must only job hunt in the country in which you can legally work. For example, if you are not a US citizen, you cannot use Capstone to try to get a job in the US.
  • We can't target US companies with remote jobs. You must job hunt in the country where you can legally work and target local companies.

You probably don't need Capstone to get just any programming job, but it depends on a lot of factors, such as your location, your prior work history, your charisma level, your compensation demands, etc. However, the goal of the Capstone program is to maximize your time and energy so that you'll get the best job possible, and land not just any job. The goal is to get a great position for the start of your software engineering career. See this talk on How to Navigate a Recession for Software Engineers for some context about what Capstone's goal is.

The scheduled Capstone coursework is 16 weeks. We also would like for people to expect a 1-3+ month career search process after the coursework. The total Capstone duration is 5 to 7+ months. It could also take longer, so you do have to prepare for that.

The Capstone Program is drastically different from even the best coding bootcamps in several dramatic ways.

First, most coding bootcamps spend instructor and lecture time covering fundamental topics that we cover in our Mastery-based courses; that is, coding bootcamps teach topics we treat as pre-requisites to Capstone. That means Capstone is able to cover much more advanced concepts and we're able to have much more engineering-centric discussions. Capstone projects are far and beyond any projects that even the top bootcamps are producing. We get these results because we force people to learn the fundamentals first before entering Capstone. In fact, it's not uncommon to see projects that we cover in the courses before Capstone to be on par with some final projects from other bootcamps. That is, projects that Launch School students do before entering Capstone are about the same level of complexity as the final projects of some bootcamps. Now imagine how the final Capstone project compares.

Second, Capstone is modeled after a university-level Master's program, with intense discussions and research-oriented projects. On the other hand, coding bootcamps are modeled after traditional factory-style education and are built to mass produce high quantities of graduates as quickly as possible.

Last, the goals are very different. Coding bootcamps aim to get people into their first programming job. Capstone's goal is to launch careers at the top companies. We do this by only admitting students who have mastered fundamentals and we then put them into an intense, intimate, and focused environment that pushes the boundaries of their capability. This type of program only makes sense for the most studious of students who have long-term ambitions of building long-lasting careers as Software Engineers.

Because of the dramatic difference in the students and in the topics covered and program goals, the salaries coming out of Capstone are significantly higher than the top bootcamps, and rival that of top universities. That's the Capstone difference.

We will cover a lot of topics and skills, including:

  • Advanced algorithmic problem solving
  • Software architecture and system design
  • Classic software and engineering literature
  • Technical communication
  • Intermediate and advanced algorithms
  • Design, research and build your capstone project
  • Job research, interview preparation, and practice

In most other one-on-one mentoring programs, you're assigned a mentor who will work with you one on one through fundamentals. This is great, but we believe that walking you through the fundamentals is not the best use of a mentor's time - this is what we call "the plateau", which is a lengthy, circular and oftentimes repetitive phase that's best spread out in months or years. If money is no object, then hiring a mentor may be a valid choice, but for most people, there's a much better way. While learning fundamentals, effort and practice are more important than high-level guidance. Most other programs tend to either skip the fundamentals and have mentors work with you on projects too early, in which case your knowledge will stay on the surface and tied to a language / framework. Or, they don't go deep enough and don't quite take you far enough, because an experienced developer's time is very expensive. Our courses are staffed and supported by TAs, who help you get unstuck when you need it. We save instructor time until Capstone because that's where we believe the most impact can be made.

No. It's really, really important to have solid fundamentals before you start the Capstone program. We've been teaching people programming since 2012, and the number one mistake that beginners make is attempting to learn more advanced topics without a solid understanding of the basics. Our curriculum is designed so that you'll have well-rounded skills when you finish, then if you want to take the Capstone program, you'll really fly. If you've been self-learning and feel you are ready, you may be able to go through our courses fast, and all you have to do to qualify for Capstone is excel in the assessments.

We will work with you on a payment schedule that fits your situation. For example, we can do payment plans up to 24 months and we won’t charge interest or any additional fees. For example, you could pay back a $18,000 Capstone fee with a $750/month payment for 24 months after you start collecting paychecks.

To participate in Capstone, you'll sign an Income Sharing Agreement (ISA) that is legally binding. But besides the legal consequences, it's our hope that after spending so much time with us and seeing the investment that we make in you, you'll treat us fairly. If you're accepted into Capstone, that means we believe in you and put our trust in you.

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us at