We’re thrilled to announce that Launch Academy is a top-rated code school of 2016! Here at SwitchUp, we’ve released our list of best coding bootcamps worldwide based on alumni reviews and other factors like price, job support, and instructor quality. Launch Academy has enjoyed a lot of great feedback from alumni, and boasts 27 alumni reviews at 4.5 stars.
Launch Academy takes student feedback seriously, and it was exciting to see that reviewers were especially impressed by Launch Academy’s teaching methods, challenging environment, and job preparation. Here’s the breakdown of what students have to say:
Alumni agree that the most valuable aspect of Launch Academy is that it teaches students to solve problems through hands-on, project-based work. Projects include a 2-week Group Project, typically including groups of four, which allows for two pairs at a time (pair-programming is a big aspect of the pedagogy at Launch) and an individual capstone project dubbed a ‘Breakable Toy’ which is an app that is displayed to hiring companies at the program’s demo day they call ‘Career Kickoff’. Additional side projects are highly encouraged and supported throughout the program. Students tackle challenges both on their own and in groups, so they’ll be prepared to work as part of a professional development team. Alumni felt that this approach set them up to succeed after graduation. As one reviewer explains:
“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.”
The instructors at Launch Academy are there to push you, and reviewers all agreed that the program was challenging. However, reviewers also felt that the support systems at Launch Academy gave them the confidence to take on a variety of projects. Instructors know that switching into tech is not easy, so they’ve built an environment that is equally challenging and supportive. Instructors are careful not to over support students as they want to foster independent problem solving habits that carryover into the workplace after graduation. One reviewer breaks it down:
“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, originally coining the phrase ‘Agile Curriculum, continually updates their curriculum every cohort by up to 25% based on feedback from hiring partners. This ensures that graduates are entering the workforce with current, in demand skills sought by hiring managers at tech companies. Their developer teachers, known as ‘Experience Engineers, take 3-weeks off between cohorts to also update their teaching practices and ensure their own development skills are sharpened to new technologies so that students are as prepared as possible to land a software development job. Many reviewers wrote about how the methods taught at Launch Academy were invaluable at their new jobs, even several months down the line. One reviewer details his first job experience after Launch Academy:
“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.
At Backupify I started as an Associate Software Engineer, where I worked on several projects (upgrading API's/rails, refactoring code, making systems improvements, rewriting tests, customer bugs/requests) which were very manageable tasks for a young developer. After 2 months, (I) started getting mentoring opportunities to bring brand new engineers up to speed on our technology. I was able to leverage my experience with mentoring my peers at Launch to help bring these new teams members up to speed quickly. After 6 months with this team, I was promoted to Software Engineer and Team Lead managing 3 engineers.”