Launcher Stories: John Zaremba

Dan Pickett

By Dan Pickett

May 17, 2023


Multi-talented and intrinsically curious, John Zaremba wasn’t content doing the same thing day in and day out. After obtaining his master's degree, he worked as a content writer, a paraprofessional in the public school system, and a volunteer pastor. 

Ready to develop a more focused career path, John contemplated a transition to full-time teaching, but he wasn’t interested in returning to college for his teaching certification. Tutoring seemed promising when the pandemic drove students to at-home learning; however, while deeply rewarding, private tutoring was not lucrative enough to support his future goals.

Uncertain of where to turn next, John began researching career possibilities that would provide the fulfillment he dreamed of—and wouldn’t require another degree.


John’s Motivation: Career Fulfillment via Coding Bootcamp

John didn’t have any experience working in technology, but many of his friends worked as software developers, and he’d watched them flourish. Opportunities seemed endless for coders, and opportunity was precisely what John was looking for.

Over and over, friends suggested that he look into Launch Academy. The fact that he could complete the coding bootcamp in only 18 weeks convinced him to dig deeper. 

“It was so energizing to enter into this process,” John said of his initial interactions with Launch Academy staff. Administrators agreed that if he threw himself wholeheartedly into the program, he could achieve career success while honoring his passions for learning, creating, and community.


John’s Launch Academy Experience

“For someone with no prior coding experience, I was surprised by how energizing it was,” John says of his introduction to Launch Academy. He especially appreciated the curriculum’s structure, a learning approach that felt infinitely rewarding with every new lesson.

“Launch Academy was gamified in a way that was fun for me,” John explained. “I was excited to come back every day!”


“Launch Academy was gamified in a way that was fun for me,” John explained. “I was excited to come back every day!”


Initially assuming the coding experience would be heavily weighted toward mathematics, John was surprised and pleased to find that software engineering was actually highly creative with a strong emphasis on problem-solving. 

The other surprise? Launch Academy classes were warm and welcoming, rooted in collaboration and teamwork. Not once did he find himself “sitting alone in a basement with a computer.”

“I got to work with so many people who each had their own story,” John revealed. “We all came from different places and had different past experiences.” The educators brought a similarly welcoming dynamic. “They aren’t just good teachers,” John explained. “They are invested in you as a person.” 

This supportive environment made an immediate and lasting impression on John, who’d worried that Launch Academy would feel like “a six-month grind.” Instead, the classes balanced technical teaching and soft skills in a way that felt like a real work environment—especially when his cohort began their group projects.

“We developed a really positive work culture of supportiveness and shared responsibilities,” expressed John.


John’s Fulfilling Work in Software Engineering

After graduating from Launch Academy in May of 2022, John landed a summer role as a coding instructor with one of the program’s hiring partners, STEAM Ahead, where he simultaneously enhanced his own coding knowledge by learning Python. This coding language proved especially valuable when his summer position ended, and he transitioned to a new job as a software developer at Miro Solutions LLC

“I was very happy with the level of preparation,” John said of his Launch Academy experience, noting how much he has benefited from having learned React during his Launch tenure. “React is one of the most valuable skills I brought to my current team. It’s been crucial to me being a valuable long-term member of the Miro Solutions team.”

Additionally, John credits the relationships he forged at Launch Academy with helping him land his jobs: first with STEAM Ahead and then with Miro Solutions. “I can’t underestimate the importance of getting to know people,” he said.

Today, John is thrilled to be working in a career he loves with a work-life balance that suits him and his family. “I’ve gotten everything that I hoped for out of my Launch Academy education,” expressed John. “It’s been a wonderful life transition!”

Are you thinking about transitioning into a new career yourself? Download the Launch Academy syllabus!