Ever wonder what kind of background the "typical" Launcher has? Do Launchers with a non-technical background find success in programming? We've combined student data from over 450 Launch grads to answer questions just like that.
Launch Academy is an immersive coding bootcamp offering courses in Boston, Philadelphia, and online. After course completion, aspiring programmers will graduate to Jr. web-developer status. Students gain experience in both frontend and backend development, and are prepared to jump into jobs in any part of the web development stack.
As a capstone to every course, students tap into everything they've learned during the program to build an app of their choosing (dubbed "Breakable Toy" in Launch nomenclature). By the end of the program, every Launcher ends up with a rich portfolio they can use to showcase their talent during the career search.
A highly structured career services department rounds out the experience by providing interview coaching, resume + cover letter prep, and acces...Read more
|Description||Launch Academy Online is a culmination of everything we've learned from the online program we've offered to our incoming bootcamp students. As one of the original programming academies, we have had a lot of time to evolve our curriculum based on feedback from our incoming students, and now we've released the program to the masses. So what's so different about this online program? We'll help you get unstuck. It you hit a wall ro need clarification on a concept, you can get support from our in-house development team.|
|Start Date||Rolling Dates|
|Commitment||20 hours in class/wk|
|Description||Launch Academy sets itself apart from other bootcamp-styled programs with its long-term focus on student successes after graduation from the program. A structured, post graduation support program in the form of in-person office hours and virtual consults ensures emotional and job-specific support during the initial phase of their new jobs. Hiring rates are important but we consider them to be vanity metrics. Instead, we judge our success on the successes of our graduates in their new positions.|
|Start Date||Rolling Dates|
|Class Size||40 students|
|Commitment||40 hours in class/wk|
Ever wonder what kind of background the "typical" Launcher has? Do Launchers with a non-technical background find success in programming? We've combined student data from over 450 Launch grads to answer questions just like that.
The process of building great software begins and ends with good communication. In this article, you’ll learn why communication is so important, along with five areas to focus on as you begin your software engineering career.
I wish I knew that the software development process begins and ends with good communication.
People use the software you build to either heal a pain or achieve a gain. Feeling that pain or getting to the core of what the user is trying to gain is really the first step in writing good code. You could say that good software engineering starts with empathy.
Ask yourself: what problem is the user trying to solve here? How can I make my user successful? Ask customers directly or through a product manager. This can dramatically improve your understanding. Putting yourself in the shoes of the end user will always allow you to make design decisions that benefit the group of people that you’re serving.
If you want to learn more about grasping the needs of the user, talk to a product manager that works at a tech startup. Ask them how they get perspective from the customers they serve. When you’re on the job, ask to shadow them for a few days. Great product managers ask questions that get to the core of what customers need. The better you are at getting to that core, the more effective you will be at building solutions that are in line with that need.
When you encounter an error in programming, most languages and frameworks will provide you with an error message. This error message is trying to tell you something. Usually, it will tell you what the error message was, and where the error was encountered. The creators of that language are trying to help you! They’re trying to share as much information as possible for you to resolve the issue you’re facing.
It can be easy to get distracted by other things in the code. I hear so many beginners say “Oh, I know what I did” and begin to fix an area of code that is totally unrelated to the error. Listen to the computer, I promise, it’s not lying to you.
If you want to learn more about understanding error messages, it’s really an exercise in mindfulness. When you encounter an error message when programming, it can be disheartening and frustrating. it’s important to have the presence to ask: what is the error message telling me? Where exactly in my code is this error coming from? When I started to ask these two questions every time I hit an error, it changed my professional life.
Sometimes, you and your computer may talk past each other, resulting in communication breakdown. Eventually, you’ll come upon a problem where you’ll have to ask a human for help. It was here that I learned that good communication requires good context.
If you want to learn how to get help more effectively, ask more effective questions frequently. Also, help your peers help you. Provide them with what your objective is, use a gist or a codepen to share the latest version of your code, and share any relevant error messages or unexpected behavior you’re encountering. Additionally, consider your peer’s context, and understand that under most circumstances, they’re under no obligation to help you. Be respectful of their time, patient, and courteous when it comes to asking, and show your gratitude when they help you overcome a difficult challenge or concept.
Often, when you’re working professionally as a software developer, you’ll work with a team member that serves as the customer’s proxy or representative. One day, I decided my most important job was to build a strong relationship with this person, and I learned a ton! It was at this moment where I learned that good communication comes from great relationships. While it may be tempting to reply to an email or send a note through your company’s bug tracker, the best thing you can do is get out of your chair and actually discuss issues customers are facing or may face with the introduction of new features. The better you get to know the customer’s representative and what they envision for the customer’s experience, the more you’ll be able to understand your customer.
If you want to learn more about working with stakeholders, set aside some time to actually get to know them. Buy them lunch, coffee, or a drink. They are your gateway to delivering business value. They will also be more likely to sing your praises at the next management meeting when you demonstrate interest in the customer’s perspective.
Learning to code, and really doing anything well, will have its low points. When you decide to learn to code, you’re committing to a lifetime of learning.
There will be bad days where you feel really dumb or out of your depth, and there will be days where you feel like you have a new superpower. Do your best not to listen to yourself on the bad days, and know that they will pass. It’s all a journey, and it can be a ton of fun provided you have the right attitude about it. One can only do great work when they have a positive mindset about it, so go ahead, make a mess, tinker away, have some fun, and keep at it! With such a mentality, there will be plenty of times to celebrate.
How are you currently learning to be a better communicator? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
For more knowledge around communication in software, check out Agile Estimating and Planning from Mike Cohn. For more learning, get out there in the community and start talking about the challenges you’re facing and the code you’re writing!
In the world of software engineering, your performance as a developer dramatically improves as you realize you will always continue learning!
There are some lesser discussed topics that aren’t always talked about in software. I thought it may be useful to share some of the things I have learned that I wish I had known when I first started my career as a software engineer. Before I dive in, let’s first discuss the difference between knowing and learning.
For example, I know I shouldn’t eat buffalo wings, but despite my doctor’s warnings, I order them almost every time I go to a restaurant. This is because I haven’t yet learned that eating buffalo wings in excess is hazardous to my health.
The acquired knowledge has not changed my behavior. I can read all kinds of books about the health problems that delicious fried, spicy goodness can bring, but my habit hasn’t changed.
When I was starting out as a software engineer, there were many lessons I knew, but it took me a while to actually learn them. I may have read these lessons in books or from one of my wonderful professors in my CS courses, but it took me a while to internalize them.
Much of the learning at Launch Academy is designed to be experiential, so that you can really feel some of these things prior to starting your career. Awareness must come first. My hope is that this article will help call attention to these areas, and to recognize their vital importance in the field of software development.
Majestic beard mastery aside, what can this dude teach us about Software Development?
Vilfredo Federico Damaso Pareto’s work in the 20th century led to what is now known as the Pareto Principle, which is a generalization that states you get 80% of results from 20% of the effort.
As developers, we learn to love patterns. We can stand on the shoulders of giants and apply the proven solutions of others to the problems we regularly face in our work. If we simplify and look at our workweek in the application of the Pareto Principle, the theory is that working 1 day out of a typical 5 day workweek provides us 80% of the results. Yeah, I totally know what you’re thinking, so when do we start having 6 day weekends?
When I was learning to become a software engineer, this principle fascinated me, because I saw it playing out everywhere.
As software engineers, our jobs are to deliver b usiness value. Imagine if all the software teams I’ve ever worked with spent 100% of their time on the features that made the most impact!
So, what is business value?
Effort that produces business value results in one or more of the following:
As a new developer, your job is to protect your time and ensure you’re doing all you can to deliver as much business value as possible. Below, you’ll find three traps all developers typically fall into at one point or another.
Imagine the product manager or CEO of your hip ringtone clipping app startup walks into your office. “I’ve got the coolest idea for a feature. We should build a drag n’ drop widget that allows for the uploading of songs, which we’ll embed in an iframe so that users can preview the song.” Either they’ve spent too much time reading buzzwords on TechCrunch this morning, or they have been thinking about this feature for a very long time.
The question to ask her is, 'will the business value of the feature warrant its technical complexity?’
As software engineers, it’s easy to spend our time building features that users do not want or need. Having a quick conversation around business value before writing any code can save a lot of unnecessary time and effort.
It can be even more tempting to build something technically complicated that uses the latest whizbang technology. There’s nothing more tragic than an elegantly built feature that no one uses.
Now that we know that you were hired to add business value it's time to learn a few things about business! Maybe you could learn a few things about management, marketing, sales, or the problem your software is trying to solve. The more context you have, the more attuned you’ll be to building what’s needed. For more on this idea, check out what Jeff Atwood has to say about it .
One of the things I love about Launch Academy is that our students take the experiences gained in their prior careers with them when they enter the wonderful world of software development. What unique background or perspective will you bring with you to your new career as a developer?
Like many engineers, I have a problem. I’m a perfectionist. I want my code to be pristine. I want my tests to be exhaustive. At a certain point, you have to be comfortable pressing the “ship” button.
If we go back to Pareto, is it really worth spending 80% more time to get the last 20% of the results? To quote another famous European, “perfection is the enemy of good”. As a developer, you’ll find that most software projects are never finished, and that the business value of a feature can never be realized unless it gets released.
As developers, our most precious resource is time. How will you use it to produce the most business value possible? Please email me at d email@example.com and let me know!
Congratulations! You worked hard, did your research, and found the perfect coding bootcamp. You applied, made it through the interview process, and got accepted. As the glow of accomplishment slowly starts to dim and you realize that you’ll be coding full-time for several months, you may ask yourself, “Now what?”
The weeks leading up to the first official day of your bootcamp can be nerve-wracking. Keep the anxiety to a minimum with these tips.
Coding bootcamps can be intimidating no matter how much experience you have. Get yourself in the right mindset by utilizing the wide variety of programming how-to's, tutorials, and resources available online. With its simple interface and variety of available languages, Codecademy is a great resource for programming beginners. If puzzles are your thing, check out Coderbyte's programming challenges to hone your code writing skills. Programming is a skill that builds on itself, so every bit you learn now will give you a head start when your bootcamp begins.
Whether you are attending a programming bootcamp to change career fields or to learn a new skillset, your online persona should reflect that. First things first, set up a Github account.
Github is the ultimate platform for programmers to showcase their coding portfolio for potential employers. Github users can also share code among friends, co-workers, and the wider programming community.
Next step: Clean up your social media profiles and hide anything you wouldn’t want your fellow bootcampers or potential employers to see. Drunk photos from your Super Bowl party on your Instagram? Delete. A string of profane tweets at the top of your Twitter profile? Delete. You don’t have to avoid silly posts entirely (they do show some personality, after all), but use your best judgment. It might seem trivial to scrub your online presence, but you never know what could be a deal breaker for a future employer.
While you’re working on your social media presence, don’t forget to update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your participation in a programming bootcamp. Not only will you connect with peers and mentors within your specific bootcamp network, but you’ll be on the map as a soon-to-be developer for hiring managers to contact.
There are tons of different career paths in the world of software development, so it’s important to do some research to determine what path you want to pursue after graduating. If you discover your dream developing job only to find out that the bootcamp you’re attending doesn’t teach the specific programming language you need, don’t panic! Programming bootcamps give you the skills to learn a multitude of languages, and give you confidence to teach yourself.
Again, congratulations on enrolling in a programming bootcamp. Soon you’ll be completely immersed in the world of programming, and hopefully these tips will help you prepare for your first day.
With programming courses and bootcamps popping up all over the country, there are more resources than ever to help you prepare for your own bootcamp experience. Treat your enrollment like a golden ticket to the plethora of resources available both online and in your community. Developers are a welcoming bunch, and everyone has been a coding rookie at some point. Reach out to veteran coders in your network and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re part of the coding community now, so utilize it!
As one of the first 10 bootcamps to open its doors in the United States, Launch Academy has been transforming careers longer than just about anybody. “Life is just way too short to hate what you do,” said co-founder Dan Pickett. “Our goal has always been to change lives by giving people the gift of code.” With more than three years and hundreds of job placements to its name, the company has changed the way the Boston tech scene thinks about hiring and training. This winter, Launch is set to do the same thing in Philadelphia.
As one of the few independent bootcamps still owned and operated by its co-founders, Launch Academy has always considered student experience to be the primary company focus.
“The competitive pressure to grow too quickly has always been there,” said Pickett, “but when the team would get together to talk about it, the conversation always came back to the tremendous outcomes we were seeing in Boston. If we saw even the tiniest risk that expanding might require us to compromise on student experience, it wasn’t worth it.”
Today, Pickett says Launch Academy has reached the point where he’s confident the team is ready to take what they’ve built on the road. "Being patient and waiting for the right time to expand was the right call. We're in this perfect spot now where the long-term investments we've made in the student experience have grown to allow us to provide students in Philly with an educational experience that's equal to—if not better than—what they'd get in Boston.”
Although January 23, 2017, marks the first day students arrive on the Philadelphia campus, the course actually kicks off on November 21st with the start of Ignition, Launch Academy’s required pre-work program.
“We don’t make admissions decisions based on someone’s pre existing programming skills,” said Max Detmer, Launch Academy’s Director of Admissions, “so Ignition is our way of ensuring that everybody in the cohort is on exactly the same page from day one.”
With roughly 12 seats available for the inaugural cohort, Detmer says he’s expecting it to fill up quickly. “A lot of prospective students see a start date that’s months away and think they have plenty of time to get the ball rolling, but when you add up the time it takes to go through the interview process, sort out financing, and complete enrollment, the whole process can take a few weeks. Since all of that has to happen before Ignition starts, the application window is much smaller than most people realize.”
As Philadelphia’s tech boom continues, Launch Academy brings a much-needed opportunity for the city to develop local talent. More details on the expansion are available on the Launch Academy Blog, and interested students can apply here.
I graduated two years ago from Launch Academy, Boston. First of all I loved my experience there. I learned fast and was easily one of the top performing students. I was also 19 and spent all of my inheritance on the program and paying for rent/food during the program. When it was finished I accepted a job rather quickly as I was then living off of a credit card. The job was a contract for an extremely small start up(4 people). I was told that they had experience working with jr. developers, which was not true. The lead developer was a 19 year old German college student. Needless to say it was not a growth experience. After the contract ended I was really in need of another job but didn’t receive help from my boot camp. My computer started experiencing problems and I could no lon...
I loved my time at Launch Academy. The learning technique of trying to work through a problem yourself before getting taught the material worked very well with my personal learning style. The focus on practice and learning by doing was extremely effective, and the staff were helpful while also encouraging everyone to help each other and learn on our own. The personal and group projects really helped cement what I had learned and figure out more. I feel prepared to start work as a junior dev.
Also, I cannot say enough nice things about the career services team. I have never had a better resume or cover letter, and they clearly all care a lot about making us the best candidates we can be and getting us all good jobs.
The staff works very hard to make sure you learn material that's ...Read more
I was in a rather dead end career path and a friend and former Launcher convinced me to go to Launch. This was the best choice I have made in a long time.
The course work was challenging and relevant to the current work market. Mentorship was amazing with friendly and knowledgeable staff. The whole experience felt like a giant family working together to teach and learn together. I was challenged and encouraged to break out of comfort zones.
I would highly recommend Launch Academy to anyone who is looking for a bootcamp.
I attended the spring 2016 Launch Academy onsite intensive.
I don't regret attending the program, but I would never again spend $15k without guaranteed job placement.
1). The EEs/Mentors are good people.
2). Chinatown in Boston has good food and opportunities to hear and speak Mandarin.
3). Fellow cohort members were awesome. I now have a network of cool newbie Rubyists.
1). An unacceptable amount of typos and/or inaccuracies present in curriculum exercises.
2). Too often heard "Google is your friend!" when the answer bedeviled the EE on the Slack-based question queue; though my Google-fu is on point now from months of flexing ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ.
I should've paid closer attention to facts.
I've listed factual questions about the prog...Read more
It's crazy to think that 6 months ago I decided to quit my job to change careers and become a software engineer. I researched several other bootcamps, both online and onsite, and Launch was by far the most well-regarded, both from online reviews and personal success stories. As with anything in life, you get out of it what you put in. You really have to devote your entire life to learning while you're onsite, including most nights and weekends. Sometimes it's tough, but if you truly want to be a software engineer, it's easy to focus and remind yourself that it will be over in a maximum of 10 weeks. That said, those 10 weeks of intense work may very well be the most fun you've had in a long time, as was the case for me.
The curriculum in my cohort focused on Ruby(/Rails) and React. W...Read more
Deciding to go to Launch Academy has been one of the best decisions of my life. The instructors, and general atmosphere are wonderful, and supportive. There are times when they encourage you to push yourself, and you will, but always doing so knowing that there is a safety net if you need help. You will doubt yourself, and wonder if you can really do this. The staff is very supportive through those times of doubt. I did have some coding experience before coming to the program, and I feel that definitely made my experience easier than for other people, but I know a lot of people there who came in with no experience, and flourished. There is also a mini-job fair, and post-grad career support that is wonderful. The whole experience is very tailored to helping you realistically find a job.
Launch Academy was probably the best gamble I ever made. Yes, it's a lot of money. Yes, if you have a job, you leave it. You put all your eggs in one basket.
But it's a good basket. A really good basket.
The instructors are the bomb. The curriculum is cool. The exercises are fun.
The cultural environment of Launch Academy is so awesome, it's insane. This was one of the most stressful things I have ever done, and I still am sad to leave because being there was just that awesome.
If you want to make a career change into web development, this is how you do it.
Advice I wish I had taken more to heart:
If you have no computer science / programming / whathaveyou background, and maybe, even if you do, this is going to be really, really stressful. It's a lot of work. A LOT. Y...Read more
**This review is a work in progress as I'm currently going through the program**
I am part of the first cohort for Launch Academy's new Online bootcamp (which launched on 1/11/16). To date, I haven't found any reviews about this particular program (there are many for the On Campus bootcamp), so I wanted to share my experience thus far, in case you were considering this as an option.
If you have any questions or want to chat further about the program, send me an email at gerry[dot]aaron[at]gmail[dot]com.
As of 1/24/16:
TLDR: I highly recommend the course so far. I've found the guided material and gradual progression immensely helpful for learning, while having mentors and other students persistently "around" allows for more rapid problem solving, less frustration, and very litt...
I reviewed multiple bootcamps before attending and even sampled the FireHose project before ultimately deciding to attend Launch Academy. Overall, I am satisfied with the program and my experience there, with some hiccups and qualifications. Note that if I could have chosen a half star, I would have opted for 3.5 vs. 3.
First, let me know that the program bills itself as 10 weeks, but in reality it is longer than that as there is a part-time, 8 week online pre-work phase called "ignition", which serves to provide a foundation for you. I also believe it is an opportunity for the Launch staff to ensure that you are ready for the onsite portion, as there is a graded (or at least reviewed) assignment at the end of each phase that provides insight into your progress (or lack thereof)...Read more
6 Months After Graduating:
Everyday there is a reference back to something I learned at Launch Academy. The day to day workflow of working in a Ruby web stack is very similar to what I learned at LA. Our engineering team practices test driven development, another core competency of Launch. Even the environment of Mission Control(the physical space of Launch) mimics the open floor collaborative environment that I currently work in. In addition to the parallels between Launch Academy and career after Launch, I was fortunate enough to have been able to make enough mistakes in a learning environment of LA (dropping production databases, losing git branches, overwriting entire repos) where the cost was low that I didn't lose my company any money.
At Backupify I started as an Associate ...Read more
I want to preface everything by saying that I am still glad that I choose to do a bootcamp. The 2 stars is mostly a conglomerate of my experiences, the experiences of others in my cohort (the 2014 Summer cohort) as well as what I've heard from previous cohorts who have not posted on Quora. I'm overall pleased, but I think there were a lot of mismatched expectations, in terms of how much help Launch will give you in finding an internship/job. (which I will explain below)
I can't speak for the other bootcamps, how much you learn, etc. but at Launch I learned so much and received all the help I needed to excel. The experience engineers really make-or-break Launch, and they are really top notch. There is a good balance in experience levels (in terms of their past ba...
I joined Launch Academy in February 2014 after realizing that coding was something I wanted to do. While I had very little experience with coding and most programming languages I was familiar with Ruby by attending free workshops in Boston
I decided on Launch for a couple of reasons; it's located in Boston, they are active in the Ruby community, and I had met Launch Academy alum who had only good things to say about the boot camp model.
One of the greatest things about Launch Academy are the Experience Engineers who teach and mentor. It's an amazing support system that I don't think I would've gotten at other bootcamps in the city.
By the end of the 10-week program, I had built a couple of apps using Rails and Sinatra and was exposed to many of the methodologies and technologie...Read more
My experiences at Launch Academy were very positive - I'll talk a little about the curriculum, social atmosphere, and job placement prospects below. To give some background on me, I started the program with a History/English degree and a couple of Coursera courses' worth of programming knowledge under my belt.
Dan Pickett is building an incredibly effective educational experience at Launch Academy. Their agile approach to curriculum design will outlast the competition and fulfill the needs of the market as the develop. There is no other bootcamp in Boston that I'd stake my money on.
As a graduate of the program at Launch Academy, I have been very satisfied with my experience both during and after the cohort. I'll assume you you're familiar with the bootcamp model if you're on this site, and will try to touch on some of the things that set Launch Academy apartment from other programs (that probably wouldn't fit on a comparison chart).
The staff and instructors are very receptive to feedback, and are willing and able to adapt quickly to the needs of students. During the cohort, the instructors did a good job of identifying areas where the group generally seemed to be struggling, as well as determining subjects that people were grasping quickly. The course teaches us to develop using agile methodologies, and uses those same principles to ensure that it is meeting t...Read more
I was one of their Winter 2013 student. Prior to Launch I had an Economics background and I was working as a Project Coordinator. I had no prior programming experience.
I learned a ton, but the moment I realized how amazing my experience has been at Launch was when I was helping someone at a Ruby meetup. I was able to help someone write test and clean code for a forum, written in php, that he wanted to build using Ruby on Rails. I'm very happy with the knowledge I came out with and I am excited to continue learning.
We had an event called Ship It Saturday where people started a new app and had to deploy it by the end of the day. You can check it out http://spacestation.herokuapp.com/. *There are projects that weren't built during the event.
*This review was reposted from Quora....Read more
Hey! So I was a student in the Summer 2013 Cohort of Launch Academy. I had absolutely ZERO experience going into the program, and was a bartender up until I moved to Boston to start the bootcamp.
I've always been a fast learner so I kind of thought that it wouldn't be as hard as it sounded. I was soooo wrong. It was super hard, probably THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE, and intense, and totally immersive - I was eating, breathing, sleeping code..literally, I dreamed about writing programs. I probably cried close to everyday (not to sound like a baby). I learned SO much and going to Launch Academy changed my life. I went from being a bartender not knowing a single thing about programming, to being a full time developer at a super cool web and mobile apps development ...Read more
I graduated with the Fall 2013 cohort. I completed all the prework. I made sure that I attended class every day. I took notes. I worked 12 hour days. As with anything, you get out of it what you put into it. My effort paid off, and now I'm employed as a software developer, at a company with an amazing culture, working on a product that I can be proud to tell others about.
The team at Launch Academy is constantly tweaking their curriculum to meet the needs of their students. Their goal is to teach you the most relevant skills to make you a successful web developer. It's like distilling all of the relevant information from a Computer Science program into 2 months of prework and 10 weeks of in-class instruction. Your return on investment will be very high if you are willing to put in ...Read more
A year ago I decided to leave my job in social services to pursue a career change, and landed on software development as my path. After looking into many bootcamps I chose to attend Launch Academy. I am originally from New York, but I decided to travel up to Boston for the program based on my initial experiences with the interview process and their overall curriculum. My biggest concerns in attending a bootcamp of this type were 1) Would I be the only woman in the cohort/ would I fit in? and 2) Would I be successful coming from a non-technical background? As soon as the cohort began (Winter 2013) I knew I had made the right decision and that none of my concerns would be an issue.
When I describe to others what made the difference at Launch Academy, I always say it was the peopl...Read more
I attended Launch Academy November 2013 to January 2014. As a former educator myself, I was very impressed by the way that Launch Academy approached pedagogy. They focused on educational best practices such as group work, higher level thinking, and self discovery. That said, what you put into it is what you will get out of it. The teachers and mentors were great - positive, clear, thoughtful. In terms of job prospects, Launch Academy has tons of great connections in the Boston metropolitan area. Outside of the Boston metropolitan area you are pretty much on your own in terms of finding a job. The good thing is that you leave Launch Academy prepared to do well on job interviews, its just you lack the warm introductions that Launch Academy can give you with Boston metropolitan area employ...Read more
Launch Academy is a very intense and hardcore immersive learning experience. The pace that myself and everyone was learning was incredible. Coming from a mostly frontend background, I had some experience in the background but not enough where I knew how everything tied in together in an application. Launch Academy has helped me fill those holes in my knowledge and thus increased my own confidence as a developer. Most of the students had absolutely no web development or programming background. The fact that the students have a working deployed app after 10 weeks as well as a plethora of completed coding challenges and projects says alot about the efficiency of Launch Academy
Launch Academy has grown to be a solid program in ruby on rails! I was part of the first cohort and many of the students got jobs afterwards, which is the key metric I use to evaluate bootcamps.
Also, I wrote a more extensive review on PINH also and would like to link to it here, since it contains supplemental information - Launch Academy Review.
In the first cohort, many of the students got jobs.
I landed a decent job at an advertising startup downtown which I was very pleased with. Without Launch, I may not have been able to do that just learning on my own. While the curriculum was a little shaky at the start, understandable being the first class ever - I believe that they have since then improved their curriculum to address some of the issues!
The biggest issue in...Read more
Cop-out answer: it depends on your definition of worth-it. Less cop-out answer: I was in the..."
Cop-out answer: it depends on your definition of worth-it.
Less cop-out answer: I was in the "fall cohort". Launch Academy did a great job of preparing me for an entry-level Ruby-on-Rails engineering position. The staff is attentive and care about the students and their success post-graduation.
As Launch Academy grows, they'll have to make sure they have enough experience engineers to adequately cover student needs. There were times when there were meetings for the entire staff but at those times I think many students felt like they couldn't get the assistance in a timely manner.
Job placement for the first 2 cohorts has been excellent. The fall cohort ended almost 2 months ago and the majority of my cohort are employed and working as devs. I would say that the s...
As part of the first cohort, my experience was mixed. Some parts of the program were excellent,..."
As part of the first cohort, my experience was mixed. Some parts of the program were excellent, while other aspects fell short. Overall, there is room for improvement and I believe that the team at Launch Academy is dedicated to improving its curriculum and offerings. My recommendation is that you compare their curriculum with other bootcamps and ask lots of questions when you interview with them! Here are some pros and cons:
1) Rails: The instructor Dan Pickett is a Rails guru. This part of the curriculum is the most well taught. You will leave this course very comfortable with the Rails MVC framework and building simple apps.
2) Experience Engineers: Very helpful mentors will help you move up the learning curve quickly.
3) People: The people I met were very kind and hel...
Prior to attending Launch Academy, I was somewhat skeptical about the bootcamp education model. Bootcamps require a large upfront tuition payment, offer no certification and make no promises other than to provide you with the skills to develop web applications. Launch Academy was particularly appealing because they offered full-stack training which includes database, back-end and front-end development. After thoughtful consideration I decided to attend. I knew I wanted to be a web developer and attending a bootcamp seemed like the most efficient way to successfully transition into the industry.
The program is 10 weeks long. Our cohort, the first cohort at Launch Academy, got off to a slow start in the first week but quickly picked up momentum in the second week and continued at a fa...Read more
I'm planning to get a new computer - what's the best system to get? Any other suggested equipment/software?
Launch Academy students use Apple computers exclusively. As far as what kind, the majority of our students use MacBook Airs. Ruby files are typically small, so you don't absolutely need a large amount of processing power. Additionally, MacBook Airs are incredibly lightweight, which is nice when using Boston's public transporation system (affectionately known as "The T").
New Apple computers ship with Yosemite, which is fine for incoming students. Students have been known to work on older versions of Mac OSX.
For editors, we recommend students use either Atom or SublimeText. These are highly configurable editors with tons of options for optimizing your experience.
Hope this helps. If you have more questions, hit us up on twitter @LaunchA...Read more
Most web and mobile app developers develop on Macs these days, so any reasonably modern Mac (2012-2013 or later) would be preferred. A minimum of 4GB RAM is recommended, but 8GB (or even more) may be preferable if you will also be doing some graphic design work.
Since you will be spending lots of time on your computer every day, you may want to try to get a computer with an SSD drive. This will make even a computer with a slow processor feel surprisingly fast, perhaps even by a magnitude of as much as 2x-3x vs. a computer with a traditional hard drive -- especially if you are a programmer and will constantly start up servers, console sessions, etc.
If you don't have a Mac, then a PC w...Read more
$500 - Veteran, female...Read more
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Web Development (Full-stack:..