March 20, 2020

Student Spotlight: Mike Adamski's Journey Through Launch Academy

Mike Adamski is a recent graduate of Launch Academy's 16th Boston cohort. After working in a warehouse for over 7 years, he found himself craving change. What kind of change, exactly? In his own words, Mike explains how he arrived at a coding bootcamp, "I've been wanting to get out of my warehouse job for some time now, but was having a hard time deciding what to do. School? No, I don't have the time or the money to invest in 4 years of useless Math and English classes. Oh! How about Creative Design! Nope. I can't draw. How about Programming? Maybe."

In September of 2016, Mike applied to and was shortly thereafter accepted into the Boston 16 cohort. Prior to Ignition, Launch's 8-week long pre-learning course designed to help get students all on the same page prior to their first day on campus, Mike posted his first blog post and Next Door Developer was born.

Over the course of the next 4 months, Mike documented his journey through the cohort, from Ignition to his weekly experiences to the topics covered in the Launch program. He provides his first person insight on posts like "Busted! 5 Coding Bootcamp Myths Debunked" and "What Is a Coding Bootcamp?" for those looking to learn more about coding bootcamps.

In his most recent post, "My Review of Launch Academy," Mike reflects on the past 4 months and his time at Launch Academy. In an exclusive, Mike has shared excerpts of his blog with SwitchUp.

Curriculum

"When you are going through the program you often feel overloaded. Personally, I made it a goal to cover all the material, even optional – but this was, at times, very difficult. So, when you are in the thick of it you feel like you are being given to much but by Thursday everything begins to click for you, and this is something they told us day 1 – it's true. When looking back at what you learned, however, you feel like you could have handled more. To this extent, they strike a really good balance between pushing you and making sure you build and retain a foundational knowledge of the core concepts and methodologies."

Staff

"My mentor was Nick and I can't recommend him enough. Nick is very committed to making sure everyone understands a concept before moving on to the next one and he has a knack for explaining complex things in simple terms. If you have Nick you are in good hands – be thankful. This isn't to say the other mentors aren't good – because they're all awesome! I've personally had them all answer questions for me throughout the course of the program and they all spoke from a place of authority and confidence in their understanding of the material."

Culture

"As you can already imagine, the culture of Launch is one that is vibrant, enthusiastic and very inclusive. There is a distinct feeling from day one that you are being welcomed into a family."

"For my cohort, and I'm sure all others, there is an undeniable sense of unity and collaboration that is not only welcoming but critical to each and every student's success. I never felt like I would be turned away if I asked another Launcher a question and similarly I never turned anyone else away who asked me. We all help one another out and share information to the best of our abilities to help one another out."

Career Services

"This is probably the one area that Launch can improve – not in the service they provide but in their execution of it. As far as what they provide, it's really invaluable. They will walk you through a bunch of stuff:

  • Sanitizing your social media presence
  • Making your Linkedin stand out
  • Writing up a quality Resume and Cover Letters
  • Helping you practice with mock interviews:
  • 1st mock interview is a 1/2 hr
  • 2nd mock interview is a full hour and more in depth with technical questions
  • Salary negotiation advice etc"

Conclusion

"As to the heart of the review – should you go? Well, that depends. Can you even handle it? In my cohort, 1 person dropped out during ignition, another during on-campus and only 32 out of 40 ended up passing enough tests to graduate and make it to career kickoff – this program is not easy. If you think you are a suitable fit than you need to ask yourself, why a bootcamp? A bootcamp will push you and will make the transition rapid as all hell but you will be missing out on a conceptual understanding of programming. If you are ok with this, as are most employers these days, than by all means, apply."


To read more about Mike's in-depth reflection on his time at Launch Academy, head on over to his blog post, "My Review of Launch Academy".

You can follow Mike on his blog Next Door Developer, Github, and Twitter.

Find out more about Launch Academy, and read more alumni reviews on SwitchUp

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