The first thing I want to say is LAUNCHCODE WORKS. When I first looked at the LaunchCode website a year ago, I was skeptical. I wanted to know – is it actually possible to go from zero experience to being a developer? So first off, let me clarify. I, myself, had no previous experience in coding. I was able to become a developer in less than one year.
Tech is an industry that you don't need a degree in to make a really decent living. There is a ton of demand since nearly every business is connected to the internet. LaunchCode has a brilliant model for helping people leverage this, and start a career in technology. They have and can recommend great free resources that will introduce you to the fundamentals of programming.
I chose Harvard's incredible free online course, CS50x. This course is not "a walk in the park," but it is designed to get you to learn for yourself. Plus there will be help and support available online and elsewhere. With hard work, determination and good time management, you can finish CS50x and build a great foundation for your career in coding.
I built a web application with Angular.js and LaunchCode started lining me up with interviews at their partner companies.
After completing the course, I decided to pursue front-end web development. The team at LaunchCode guided me to the right technologies to learn. I built a web application with Angular.js and LaunchCode started lining me up with interviews at their partner companies.
I was able to find the perfect fit on my third interview. BizLibrary is a leading provider of online employee training and eLearning solutions. I work on the app that serves the videos to our clients. I love the work and my team. At first, I was a little nervous about proving my worth, but with LaunchCode's help, my company gave me what I needed to grow. They understood that I would not know all the answers at first, but that the apprenticeship would be my chance to learn everything I needed to learn to become a valuable team member.
One of the first things they asked me to do was to take user experience notes on their app from the perspective of a new user. I noticed bugs and other issues that were hard to see from the developers’ perspective. I was even able to fix some of these bugs and user experience issues. Now I'm being given important projects that are going to be used by our customers. I study and do extra work on nights and weekends, and my hard work is recognized by my team.
Now, life is so much better than when I was grinding it out in in sales or multimedia.
Now, life is so much better than when I was grinding it out in in sales or multimedia, as I was doing before my "epic power move career switch!" (that's what I call it). It's exciting and it makes me proud! My wife and I were able to move into a great apartment in a beautiful area of St Louis, I was offered a permanent position and BizLibrary I have exceeded all my expectations.
It's a great feeling to be making a quality living with a great job and coworkers. This is much better than what I expected only one year ago. The only thing I would do differently now is take advantage of LaunchCode's Mentor Center since it wasn't created until after I finished CS50x. I had help with CS50x's huge online groups but actually being able to work with people will make the learning experience even more efficient.
I have such strong feelings about the real opportunities that are available in technology because of programs like LaunchCode. I want to give back to the community and help spread the word to others, just as others did for me. I will do everything I can to help anyone else to realize that same awesome feeling of achievement and fulfillment. Becoming a developer is more doable now than ever before. Go for it. You can do it!