Investing in the Long Term

There are shorter and easier paths to getting a job in tech, but there are good reasons why I stuck on the slow path at Launch School. I didn’t just want a job, I wanted a rewarding career where I could meaningfully contribute and grow for years to come. With the baseline knowledge and habits established in the core curriculum and the intensity of the Capstone program, I feel well prepared to stay relevant across an ever-changing industry.

When I started Launch School’s mastery-based learning program, I had no software development experience. I was 31 years old and looking to make a 180° career change. It took me 21 months of full-time study (including time in the Capstone program) to get here, and along the way, I’ve changed a lot. I live in Toronto, Canada, where salaries are lower than in the US for software developers, but I’m still in a position of almost tripling my previous salary and doubling my vacation days.

Embracing a mastery based learning path is more difficult than it sounds. It’s been transformational for me, but it’s also not for everyone. You really need to trust in the process to succeed. Looking back on my time here, the instructors all have high expectations, but also genuinely want you to succeed and are amazing at providing useful feedback and pushing you to the limits of your ability and beyond.

The community is very active and supportive about responding to questions in a really well thought out way. The teaching materials are great at getting you to dig deeper into problems and force you to really understand and be able to communicate why a snippet of code does one thing or another.

While I was in my job search, I felt well prepared for the types of questions I was asked and wasn’t really surprised by anything about the process. I don’t recommend LS to everyone because it only works if you’re willing to put in the time and effort and commit to embracing the methodology -- but to the people who are capable of undertaking that kind of commitment, it really does work.

One of the great things about LS is that the free prep materials are in-depth and a good taste of what the curriculum is like, so if you get through those, I think you’ll know that the program is right for you before paying anything.