Practice Your Scales
Not only did I get to expand and refine my individual skills with more advanced content, I also got to work with a team to create something far beyond what I imagined we were capable of
My background is in music, and I have often heard it said that "beginners practice playing loud, amateurs practice playing fast, and professionals practice their scales." In other words, 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. I learned at my own pace - flying through the things I understood quickly and taking my time on material that challenged me - with the support of instructors, TAs, and other students ready whenever I needed it.
If the core curriculum is rigorous individual practice, the Capstone program is your opportunity to be part of an ensemble. Not only did I get to expand and refine my individual skills with more advanced content, I also got to work with a team to create something far beyond what I imagined we were capable of. We learned and practiced the collaborative tools that professional engineers use every day and we created a project that showcases our skills to other engineers and potential employers.
Not having had a full-time job for the 10 years prior (graduate school, parenthood), I was very uncertain about how to approach job searching and interviewing. But with my fundamentals solid, my Capstone project complete, and the encouragement and expert advice of the Launch School instructors, I've just accepted an amazing job at an amazing company with an amazing salary!
The whole experience was worth every minute and every penny I put into it. I absolutely recommend Launch School and the Capstone program to anyone looking to launch their career as a software engineer and willing to 'practice their scales' to do it.