Launch School Prepared Me Well!

I learned a little programming while in school but I thought I was too far along in physics to make the switch to computer science. After getting my doctorate in physics, I still had an itch to learn programming so I started looking for a way to learn. After six months of researching my options: more school, boot camp, books & tutorials; I stumbled upon Launch School. While listening to the podcast Learn to Code with Me, by Laurence Bradford, she was interviewing a founder of Launch School. Their approach to learning by focusing on the fundamentals was the key strategy I was looking for to ensure I would be left without gaps in my education.

The Benefits of Launch School's Teaching Style

Launch School's perfect blend of one-on-one attention and self-paced learning allowed me to learn while working full-time. Their flexible teaching style allowed me to seek guidance when I needed it and buckle down with my headphones on when I was going strong. I spent the first six months in the program studying the fundamentals of programming before touching advanced topics. This ingrained the core concepts of programming in me so that when it was time to learn advanced topics I didn't have to keep looking back to remember the basics. This kept my focus sharp and progress steady. At this point I couldn't show anyone the projects I built because there weren't any. Launch School isn't about building a portfolio, it's about building a career. The second six months were spent on advanced topics, building complex applications, and gradually taking control of each project from start to finish. Launch School gave me more freedom, i.e. responsibility, as courses progressed; by doing so I became a self-sufficient programmer capable of making meaningful contributions to real-world applications. Thanks to Launch School I landed a full-stack developer position at a fast-growing start-up in DC.

How Launch School Helped Me Get The Job

Launch School uses mainly Ruby and JavaScript to teach but the most beneficial lessons were not about the languages. They taught me how to progress through a problem, from origination to completion, in a controlled yet flexible way. And this is exactly what I was tested on in the interview for my job. My employer cared about my ability to think through a problem more so than my knowledge of any language. Learning the language is a must, of course, but it is not the true skill of a programmer.

How Launch School Has Helped Me Every Day On The Job

Every day on the job I use the skills I learned in Launch School. My job consists of at least a little bit of everything I learned in Launch School. Because I was prepared so well for the tasks they had in mind for me, I was able to take on additional responsibilities, become proficient with Vue.js (which I had no experience using prior), and even become a valuable resource for other new developers. Three days into the job my boss said, "I have never seen a new hire contribute valuable work to a production application so quickly." Suffice to say, I'm excelling at my job and it's all thanks to a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication, and Launch School.