From Front End Developer to Full Stack Developer

Prior to this program, I was a self-taught front-end developer for 8 years doing HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Throughout that time, I continuously felt like I knew only bits and pieces of the technology stack. While I had a general vague idea, I never really truly understood what phrases like "passing data from a form to the server" and "handling requests" meant. Ultimately, when front-end became boring, I realized the need to add more skills to my tool belt and took the opportunity to learn the back-end side of things, but there was only one problem: How long would it take to learn it to the point where either I can get a job with those skills, or front-end becomes appealing again? Short ramp up time and learning it fast were important to me, as I had some past programming experience but also no time to waste.

Cue Launch School. I came across this institution by pure accident through a Hacker News post. Though I was certainly skeptical that I could learn back-end web development at all when all other resources I've tried only led to code copying and no true understanding of the material, the choice was mine to either take a gamble, or continue down the same thorny path of learning on my own. There was no marketing, not many prior reviews, and certainly no coercion. Thinking back to it, there really was no good reason to give them a chance but I was desperate, made my decision within five minutes, and took the leap anyway. Here are the key points to my experience.

The courses in this program are very topical and includes topics such as Object-Oriented Programming in Ruby, relational databases, topics in front-end and backend development, automated testing, refactoring complex code with certain design patterns and much more, but it doesn't just emphasize the importance of understanding the conventions or the course material. It's great that the curriculum goes extremely deep but as the saying goes "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

The true value of this program is actually learning how to think like a developer, how to approach your problems, and how to seek out the answers.

The greatest value that I got out of the program was that the concepts transcended the boundaries of web frameworks. The things I learned about refactoring and the idea of design patterns helped me to think in a more advanced way and has helped immensely with my growth as a developer.

I can say with no hesitation that this program has gone above and beyond in fulfilling my expectations!

Chances are, if you're reading this, you're debating whether this program is right for you. Testimonials are sometimes difficult to relate to and to some, it might just look like a marketing idea, but here is what I always say to those looking at these programs: If it is natural for you to think of solutions to problems, or you constantly think about ways to improve something, you'll probably enjoy programming, and this program can drastically reduce the time it takes you to have a feeling of mastery of the fundamentals of programming and web development.