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About Launch Academy

Location: Boston

Launch Academy is an 18-week immersive JavaScript coding bootcamp offering only four selective on-campus programs in Boston each year.

Launch Academy's web development course equips aspiring software developers with what they need to succeed as professionals... Read More

Launch Academy believes that deliberate practice is the most effective way to learn software development. That means the course is entirely structured around a learn-by-doing approach. Students graduate the program with a portfolio of projects, experiences, and code examples which will help set them apart in the job market.

The program is broken into two phases and provides structured lifetime alumni support. Phase I of the program features an 8-week part -time, virtual 'ignition' phase, which you complete with your fellow cohort students and your full-time engineering instructors. Instructors are available via live chat throughout the ignition process, and students are connected to classmates in the cohort.

Phase II features a 10-week, full-time on-campus phase which culminates in the recruiting event. Once students have established strong programming foundations in Ignition, it's time to take your learning to the professional level. Post graduation, students receive 4 weeks of structured support, as well as lifetime alumni support which includes access to career services and technical support as well as access to the Launch Academy space after 2pm for use to work on projects, continuous curriculum updates as they occur quarterly.

Courses

18-Week On-Campus JavaScript Immersive Bootcamp

Cost: $17,500
Duration: 18 weeks
Locations: Boston
In-person Only
Course Description:

Graduates of this course will be able to:

-> Architect object oriented systems using Ruby and modern JavaScript
-> Develop full-stack web applications using Ruby, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, and ReactJS
-> Design, model, and populate relational database schema with PostgreSQL and Structured Query Language (SQL)
-> Incorporate Application Programming Interfaces (API)’s into their applications
-> Incorporate Open Source Software (OSS) into their applications
-> Implement automated acceptance and unit tests on both the client and server side with a Test Driven Development (TDD) methodology
-> Deploy web applications to cloud-based hosts like Heroku
-> Collaborate as a participant of a software engineering team through:
-> Empathic and consistent communication
-> Pair Programming
-> GitHub Pull Request Workflow
-> Continuous Integration
-> Release management

The program is split into two phases: Ignition and the On Campus Immersive:

[Phase 1: Ignition]
8 Weeks, Part-time, Virtual
Eight weeks before the On Campus learning experience begins, you’ll be assigned weekly articles, videos, and challenges that we’ve written and produced. They will walk you through developing strong foundations in Ruby, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

Unlike other programs, you aren’t expected to complete this prerequisite program alone! Instructors will be available via live chat throughout the Ignition process if you get stuck. You’ll also be connected to everyone else in the cohort, allowing you to get help virtually any time. If you get stuck, your fellow students are only a message away. We also hold regular, virtual clinics, to reinforce the concepts you’re learning. These will be recorded and available to you throughout your coursework in the event you aren’t able to make the live sessions.

[Phase 2: On Campus Immersive]
10 Weeks, Full time+, On Campus
Once you’ve established strong programming foundations in Ignition, it’s time to take your learning to the professional level. During your 10 weeks on campus, you’ll eat, sleep, and breathe code. Most students devote somewhere between 60 and 80 hours per week to the program. It’s a grueling pace, but once you don the Green Shirt awarded at graduation, you’re ready to take on a career in web development.

Subjects:
CSS, Git, HTML, jQuery, PostgreSQL, Sinatra, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, SQL, Algorithms, JavaScript

Launch Academy Reviews

Average Ratings (All Programs)

Launch Academy logo

4.52/5 (64 reviews)

Jonathan Lau
Founder of www.programmingisnothard.com |

6/15/2014

Overall

Curriculum

Job Support

"Launch Academy has grown to be a solid program in ruby on rails!"

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... Read More

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 the first cohort was the lack of teachers and too many students, but they have since hired more staff to address this issue. They also ironed out kinks in some of the projects and homework assignments.
From my experience that staff at Launch are all there to help you succeed

In summary, I think Launch is a decent program, so it's definitely worth checking them out! Good luck with your search!

Anonymous
Graduated: 2013

12/19/2013

Overall

Curriculum

Job Support

"NULL"

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... Read More

Anonymous
Graduated: 2013

11/26/2013

Overall

Curriculum

Job Support

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... Read More

Pros:
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 helpful. I enjoyed the group dynamics and overall it is a fun (and stressful) learning environment.
4) Talks: Awesome lecture series from guest speakers provide a great insight into the industry.
5) Hiring Companies: They did a good job bringing in over 25 companies to the career fair. However, not all companies were looking to hire.

Cons:
1) Javascript: They did not cover Javascript very well. Most students left the course knowing very little Javascript. The curriculum for Javascript was not well designed. You’re better off reading Professional Javascript for Web Developers by Nicholoas Zakas.
2) Lack of support: There were only 2-3 experience engineers available to help the 30 students. There were not enough mentors around for us and we had to scramble for help. Also, one of the mentors had to leave halfway through the course and it became a bit disorganized. However, I do trust that the team at Launch Academy will improve on this aspect and I know they just hired a new experience engineer to add help.
3) Curriculum: Some of the online curriculum that they provided was not very well written and the assignments had flaws in it which wasted a bit of our time. Given that this was their first cohort, I expect that they will improve upon this next time.
4) Lack of assessment: They did not assess students at all and provided very little code review feedback, partly because they were so understaffed. Some students were falling way behind in the curriculum but they did not notice soon enough.

Conclusion: It’s worth considering this program if you’re on the East Coast and want a Rails focused course. If you have a good technical mindset, willingness to work extremely hard, and good interview/networking skills, you should be able to land a job in Boston as a rails developer. There is definitely a shortage for good rails devs at this moment (Nov 2013). I also think that the second, third, and later cohort experiences will be much better than the first.

Overall my experience was mixed but at the end of the day, the experience is what you make of it! If you work hard, Launch Academy will provide a good enough foundation for you to explore other areas of programming. I ended up with a great job after an intense search, so I can’t complain.

Dave Porier
Graduated: 2013

8/11/2013

Overall

Curriculum

Job Support

"NULL"

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.... Read More

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 fast pace right through the remainder of the course. The curriculum offered a good balance of depth and breadth. However, I do feel that future groups would benefit from an additional instructor (which they have recently added). Throughout the course Launch Academy invites local developers, CTOs, CEOs and active members of the tech community to speak to the class. This was a great addition to the course; I gleaned a ton of valuable information from them.

There were some points where Launch Academy fell short on staffing resources and students were not being helped in a timely manner. However, I give them credit for listening to student feedback and making adjustments on the fly to address shortcomings. I believe these issues were due to the fact that we were the first cohort and the entire process was new to everyone.

Overall, I had a good experience. I learned more than expected, worked with an incredible group of people in the cohort and had a blast developing cool things for 10 weeks.

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