Launcher Stories: Alex Cameron
“It’s okay to change your major and do something you’re more passionate about.”
No one ever said those words to Alex Cameron when she was in college—but she wishes they had. A marketing major and data analytics minor, she enjoyed her college experience but didn’t have a firm grasp on her future plans.
Alex’s Journey: Opting into Coding Bootcamp
“I wanted to learn to code for real and become a software engineer,” said Alex. At the time, she worked for a SaaS company whose product served e-commerce brands on Amazon. “But I didn’t help build the software, and I wasn’t responsible for helping to make it better,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of bringing a software product to life!”
As COVID lockdowns ended, Alex found herself weighing new options. Would she be foolish to change careers? How would she even start?
Finally, she decided: “I had to trust my gut. And I’m very glad I did!”
Choosing Launch Academy
Alex knew she needed training, but she had one major requirement for her software engineering education: “I wanted to be in-person, with other students, collaborating with teachers,” she expressed. “Right away, I ruled out any virtual programs.”
Alex discovered that Launch Academy offered in-person training with an accelerated, top-tier program and small class sizes.
“Everything lined up, and the arrow was pointing directly at Launch!”
Alex’s Launch Academy Story
Alex joined Launch Academy’s Winter of 2022 cohort, and right away, she felt at ease asking questions and getting to know the other students and educators.
“We were all at different stages of learning, and it was cool to see people helping each other—learning from one another as well as from our instructors,” Alex explained. The welcoming environment and energized instructors starkly contrasted Alex’s undergrad experience, where “it almost feels like you have to be there.” At Launch Academy, the excitement and passion were palpable.
The welcoming environment and energized instructors starkly contrasted Alex’s undergrad experience, where “it almost feels like you have to be there.” At Launch Academy, the excitement and passion were palpable.
The biggest challenge
Alex felt particularly challenged by the work of contextualizing the sheer volume of information she was taking in every day.
“Everything we learned was related, and I had to learn to zoom out so I could see the bigger picture and connect all the dots,” Alex shared.
Group projects are a highlight of Launch Academy’s coding bootcamp, and Alex especially appreciated the opportunity to work in a five-person group of distinctly different developers.
“I loved working with a group and learning that there’s no single way to be a developer,” she expressed. “Everyone had a different idea of how something should be done, and combining those ideas together was really cool and exciting!”
Collectively, Alex’s group faced down “feature creep,” the tendency to stuff too many capabilities into a single project. “We learned to dial back our ideas so we could create a working website that did what we needed it to do,” she described.
With her group project lessons firmly in place, Alex embarked on her first solo project. Here, she discovered her preference for back-end development over front-end, implemented time management solutions, and learned to prioritize features.
These experiences proved incredibly valuable as Alex neared graduation and began interviewing for her first software engineering position.
“Students who were coming from an undergrad program didn’t have the level of experience I had as a Launch Academy grad,” said Alex. “Unlike most undergrads, I had built a full-stack web application; I did have the tactical experience of having an app in production. Those projects were a major differentiator for me when I started looking for a job. I had what companies are actually looking for!”
“Students who were coming from an undergrad program didn’t have the level of experience I had as a Launch Academy grad,” said Alex.
Alex’s Career after Coding Bootcamp
Today, Alex is establishing herself in her new job as a Data Scientist at Momentum Commerce, an opportunity she forged through previous work connections.
Best of all, Alex is finally doing the work she always craved: working with data, writing code, and actively building products for clients.
“This job is so perfect for me right now,” she raved. “I never could have gotten where I am today without Launch Academy!”
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