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The Launch Academy Experience

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Back in 2013, we looked very similar to the other 4 bootcamps in the world at the time and we’ve been growing and changing ever since.  Some things we try happen to work and others go down in flames.  This agility thing is now what makes us different than the 200+ bootcamps in the world today.

Our Utter Failures:

Bring Your Dog to Launch Day

We really should have put more restrictions on this.

Code in a Cab

We still think this can work—we just need to get leveled up from the local circus’ clowns.

Potato Sack Pair Programming Races

This is harder than you’d think.

Our Smashing Successes:

Ignition: Pre-Work on Steroids

Our interactive pre-learning program is more than you and a start button on a series of videos.  Get ready to talk to real people in your cohort and real developers who will teach you on-campus.  People learning with people from people just has a nice ring to it.  We know it’s not as profitable as automated learning but we warned you we are unique.

The Best Software Developers are Skilled Collaborators.  

Software is primarily about people: the people that need it, the people that pay for it, and the people that build it. As a builder, it’s important to understand the importance of a collaborative mindset. As a skilled communicator and team player, you’ll be better at: gathering requirements, gaining architectural perspective from your peers, and sharing progress with your supervisors and users.

Test-driven Development

TDD is a methodology where you write an automated, failing test first, prior to writing any implementation code. It allows you to continuously seek early and rapid feedback from the software that you’re building. It guides architecture and tells us when our brain disagrees with our computer. As a learner, TDD provides an automated means to get feedback about your development approach in small chunks. It creates a safety net for you while you’re learning new concepts, and it can verify your understanding of how code should work.

Two Minds are Better than One

Pair programming results in better software. It is a practice where two developers work on a single machine—in our case with two obnoxiously large Apple displays—to produce working software. Having two minds focused on a single problem results in a higher level of quality and maintainability. It just so happens that pair programming also results in better learning as well. It is one thing to assimilate a new concept, but it takes far more skill and practice to teach someone about that concept.  We always say, to teach is to learn, and you often have to teach in small morsels while pair programming.  

Community Involvement Is Not a Nice-to-Have

When you surround yourself with a community, you are increasing your Zone of Proximal Development. When you engage a group of peers, and those that have more experience than you, you’re learning. When you’re active in diverse communities, you gain diverse perspectives and opinions. Therefore, being active in the community makes you a more effective and knowledgeable developer. Not to mention, forming connections and bonds through community can have a profound impact on your career.

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