From Legal Consultancy to Developer at One of World's Largest MOOC Platforms
Before starting at Launch School, I would have accepted any software development position, but Launch School put me in the position that I could actually choose where I wanted to work.
Just one year ago I was an average guy in my mid 20s without a college degree or any special training. I was working for a local legal consultancy when I first began developing an interest in software development. After reading a few books in my own time and with the little programming knowledge I had, I quickly realized this approach was unsustainable. It was then I decided to seek out some guidance. I tried a number of online courses before I found my way to Launch School, most of which left me feeling either underwhelmed or overwhelmed.
The folks at Launch School aren’t just vastly experienced developers. They’re smart and well-rounded mentors with a wealth of life experience to share with their students, from balancing dedicated learning time with the commitments of every day life. They have developed a community of instructors, TAs and students within Launch School that encourages and respects learning at your own pace. The goal is to give students the support and knowledge to achieve their individual goals. Aside from the course being perfectly organised to teach the right concepts to the right depth at the right time, the instructors and the ever-present TAs are always there to support you, whether it's welcoming you back after a short (or long) break, or helping you to work through a particularly tough subject. Additionally, as career mentors, they went above and beyond in helping me navigate my way through the job search.
One of the things you’ll continually hear about Launch School (just as I did before I started) is the depth at which the curriculum goes into the fundamentals of programming, web development and professional practices. In fact, the first interview for a software developer position was with the CTO of a well funded startup in Berlin who specifically commented about how impressed he was with my depth of knowledge at such an early point in my programming career. With Launch School’s help, I found I was extremely well-placed to adapt to interview questions and formulate intelligent answers in the spur of the moment by having a genuine understanding of the technologies I'd learned. Having the depth of knowledge to talk through problems and demonstrate my understanding was invaluable during interviews for steering the conversation into topics that I, and the interviewer, found interesting.
I am now a Ruby developer at one of the largest MOOC learning platforms in the world with over 3.5 million users. I was offered 2 other positions in Europe but with guidance from Launch School teachers, I waited for the right opportunity for me and ended up with what I see as the ideal job for furthering my abilities as a developer. Before starting at Launch School, I would have accepted any software development position, but Launch School put me in the position that I could actually choose where I wanted to work. LaunchSchool has shaped me as a programmer and as a person, and in many ways signing up was a life-defining moment for me - who knows what I’d be getting up and doing tomorrow if I hadn’t taken that step! If you truly want a change of career and have the desire to work consistently for a number of months to reach your goal, join Launch School and good things will happen!
I still have to pinch myself now and again to make sure that the Launch School period of my life actually happened and I am where I am now. Believe me, I had my ups, downs, and a few personal road blocks along the way, and that's why I feel I can say that changing your career with LaunchSchool is well within your reach, and it will be one of the best decisions you ever make!