Life-changing experience

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.

However, as Chris and everyone at Launch School will happily tell you, the program is no easy feat! Over the course of about a year and a half and around two thousand five hundred hours, I worked my way through the Core and Capstone program. Before even starting the Core program, Launch School shared strategies for learning efficiently, and started pushing me to think of mastery as this metaphorical road on which I should just keep making my way.

In Core, I routinely employed many of those strategies to learn and solidify the fundamentals of programming through Launch School’s rigorous, in-depth, meticulously curated materials. I supplemented all the readings, documentation, lessons, videos, modules, exercises, study guides, written assessments, live coding assessments, and projects with thousands of flash cards, countless impromptu study groups with peers, and of course, lots and lots of coding. With Launch School and support from the warm, welcoming, international community of students, I learned the basic principles of software engineering, so much so that I was able to turn down an offer for a Software QA position paying $60k halfway through the Core program and never regret doing so.

The Core program teaches the fundamental concepts of software engineering and instills a way of thinking and approaching problems unmatched by any other program. Rather than a four-year degree that focuses on esoteric theorems, low-level constructs, and classic data structures and algorithms, Launch School offers a much more focused, pragmatic education. Rather than all the bootcamps, Launch School has no interest in getting you in and out as fast as possible knowing some React and Rails so you can get a $60k entry level web developer job. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort and strive to constantly ask and find the answer to “What’s happening and why? How about when I tweak this?”, you will master the material.

If you decide to continue with Capstone, you will encounter a completely new kind of learning, where you instead practice reading documentation for what you need to know, prototyping and getting some code working, and continue iterating from there. This kind of just-in-time (JIT) learning would not have been possible for me without the solid foundation and understanding of core software engineering concepts that I gained through the Core program. In Capstone, you’re given a lot of free rein to continually explore unfamiliar, exciting problem domains and spend hours or days researching any number of topics, from triggering AWS lambdas, to how to connect two running Docker containers using a Docker network, to determining what problems Kafka addresses, and much more.

After a couple months at my first position post-Capstone, I feel competent and comfortable. I know that what I work on next week could very well involve a tool I’ve never heard of and that I will most certainly be asked to solve problems I have not yet solved. I am confident that with a deep knowledge of the fundamentals and the ability to learn what I need to when I need to, I’ll be able to solve these problems. I’m so excited and so grateful that Launch School has helped me embark on what I know will be a challenging, meaningful career.