Launcher Stories: Owen Snyder
Owen Snyder felt bored and unaccomplished in his career. He’d been in sales for four years, and during that time he had switched from business development to a more customer-focused role. Neither position brought him the professional fulfillment he was craving.
Though Owen had no coding experience, he had worked with software engineers in his role as a customer success manager, collaborating to solve customers’ technical issues. He quickly realized that creative problem-solving and technical work interested him far more than contracts and negotiations.
While working remotely during the beginning of the pandemic, Owen began researching coding bootcamps. Launch Academy was his number one choice; he had a friend who had attended Launch and had a great experience. Owen spent several months learning coding basics, then decided to take the plunge and change careers.
Owen’s Epiphany: The Decision to Attend Coding Bootcamp
“Knowing someone who was similar to me who took the same risk made me think, ‘Okay, this person did it. . . I think I could, too,’” Owen said. He was living in Boston at the time and was encouraged by the number of success stories he had heard from Launch Academy graduates, including his close friend, who got a software development job quickly after graduation.
Owen also appreciated that Launch Academy’s coding bootcamp would give him a chance to spend some time on campus. “Other courses were fully remote, but with Launch, I could go in and meet some of the students and teachers there,” he said.
Still, he had some hesitations. “This is something I’ve never done before, a skillset I’ve never learned. . . I definitely considered that I could keep my job and keep doing what I was doing, or I could take that risk,” he said.
Ultimately, Owen decided that learning a technical skill like coding would be incredibly valuable. When he saw the number of open roles on LinkedIn and other job boards, he knew he would have plenty of opportunities available.
Owen’s Launch Academy Experience
“My initial reaction [to the program] was that it didn’t seem as daunting on the first day as I thought it might have been. They were very good at walking you through the process and having resources available,” he said.
Owen was impressed by how much support he got from his teachers and classmates. Between a Slack channel where students could interact with their cohort members and the right amount of “hand holding” from the teachers, he felt well-equipped to become a full-stack web developer.
But even with the immense support Launch Academy offers students, the program still had its challenges. Owen struggled with imposter syndrome at different points in the curriculum and almost felt too discouraged to reach out for help. He wanted to prove to himself that he could learn independently. Knowing when to ask for that support and when to do his own research wasn’t easy.
Luckily, Launch Academy anticipates that students will face these kinds of challenges. “They tell you that everyone gets imposter syndrome, even professional software developers. So it’s a normal feeling to have,” he said.
As he got further into his coding bootcamp experience, Owen solidified his skills through Launch Academy’s group projects and pair programming. “The group project was a great way to learn from other students who might have a little more experience or a different style of coding than you,” he said. He and his cohort could blend their knowledge base when they worked in groups, making each of them stronger software developers.
Preparation for the Software Engineering Job Market
Following the group and capstone projects Owen completed at Launch, he felt confident in his front-end and back-end coding skills. Now, it was time to find a job—a task that Launch Academy made sure he was prepared to take on.
Owen applied for an open role at America’s Test Kitchen, even though it required five years of experience. He worked with Launch Academy’s staff to fine-tune his resume, set up his GitHub, and practice for his technical interview.
He got the job thanks to his dedicated interview prep—and because one of the projects he completed at Launch was a basic version of an app that America’s Test Kitchen uses. The hiring manager was impressed that he already had some experience with the application.
Today, Owen is thrilled to be working in a field that suits him much better than sales. If his story resonates with you, know that you, too, can successfully switch to a career in software engineering. Download Launch Academy’s syllabus today to learn more.