Launcher Stories: Aaron Alexius
Aaron was an English teacher for 13 years in the Boston public school system, where he also enjoyed helping the engineering club.
He ended up working in a technical pathway program with students who were developing their own video games and realized just how much he loved it. One of those students asked Aaron repeatedly, “If you like doing this stuff, why don’t you make a career out of it?”
So, eventually, he did—although he wishes he’d done it much sooner.
“What would my life have been like if I had pursued software engineering the first time I thought of it?” Aaron wondered. “If you know yourself well enough to know this is the right career for you, then it’s accomplishable. You can do this; you can find success in it.”
Aaron’s Epiphany: The Decision to Attend Coding Bootcamp
Aaron's in-depth conversations with other software engineers gave him the push he needed to attend coding bootcamp.
“They told me that instead of trying to learn everything about programming, focus on learning how to learn. Figure out how you’re going to absorb that information,” Aaron said.
He asked other software engineers what they liked—and didn’t like—about their careers, ultimately concluding that the cost/benefit analysis worked in his favor.
And then, he jumped headlong into his new career as a software engineer.
After researching several different coding bootcamps, including some fully online programs, he found himself most attracted to Launch Academy. He liked that the program was taught in person and was conveniently located in Boston.
He also saw that attending Launch had long-term career benefits. “Not to mention, Launch has relationships with companies in Boston,” said Aaron, “so I knew I could rely on those partnerships to get my initial interviews.”
Aaron’s Launch Academy Experience
In the first few weeks of coding bootcamp, Aaron was excited and a little nervous, often thinking to himself, “Wow, I’m really doing this—but can I do it?”
While Aaron found the program challenging “in a good way” at times, he felt like he always had people he could count on for help. His instructors offered substantial support, and his coach was by his side to listen and give him plenty of encouragement.
But it was the relationships he formed with his fellow students that proved to be the most valuable part of his experience. “My classmates and I relied on each other a lot, and we still talk to this day. It’s why I chose Launch—to have those people there with me,” said Aaron.
Working on a large group project allowed Aaron to get a sense of what it’s like to work on a software engineering team where everyone offers different skills.
“We all contribute to the same story, but as we’re going through, we’re changing parts of the plot and need to make sure it’s all moving together in a seamless fashion. We made errors, but I learned a lot through that process,” he said.
Preparation for the Software Engineering Job Market
After graduating from Launch Academy in May 2022, Aaron worked as a contractor, finding and fixing website bugs. He then landed an interview with one of Launch Academy’s hiring partners, Level 99, in Natick, Massachusetts.
“It was exactly what I wanted to do: write software that interacts with hardware. I thought about how lucky I would be to do that right out of coding bootcamp,” said Aaron. Following three rounds of interviews, Level 99 extended a job offer.
From day one, Aaron felt well-prepared for his new role as a software engineer. He was able to rely on the strong foundation he built at Launch Academy. Although the software stack was different than he was used to, he had learned “how to learn,” which empowered him to get up to speed quickly. “I use many of the strategies I used at Launch at Level 99,” Aaron said.
For Aaron, the journey from “Can I really do this?” to “I did this” was deeply transformative. “What I’m doing now and how I feel about my work—it’s just a better fit for me,” Aaron reflected. “And I made this change.”
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