LaunchCoder Q & A with Brad

Dec 20, 2016 10:32:45 PM

BradSalter-WPheader-square-1024x932What motivated you to sign up for LaunchCode's Summer of Code?

I attended LaunchCode’s first CS50x class in January of 2014, but life threw a wrench into my plans so I never completed it and didn’t keep coding consistently. I tried to pick it back up more than a few times since, but progressing at a snail’s pace. I heard about Summer of Code via social media and, when I saw the chance, I jumped. So, I guess you could say I was already motivated.

Tell us about your background.

Most of my work history has been in restaurants with a smattering of call centers and office customer service positions thrown into the mix. I’ve taken a handful of college classes over the years, but not enough to add up to a degree. I’m a dog lover and have had a pack of my own for most of my adult life. I also love building things, so coding is right up my alley. During the past few years I’ve worked on cars, remodeled my house, taken a 5-day blacksmithing course, and built furniture. Having varied interests has led me to a few interesting experiences. Last summer, a friend convinced me to work for the circus where I got a chance to juggle, tight-rope walk and hang from the static trapeze. In my off time, I was learning Italian-style fencing. For the past two years, I’ve been an avid rock climber. Through the years, though, I’ve always had a penchant for gadgets & technology and have tried on numerous occasions to teach myself to code with varying degrees of success.

How did the reality of class differ from your expectations?

My previous experience with LaunchCode had familiarized me with the environment, but took place during LaunchCode’s infancy. What I didn’t expect was how the organization has grown and refined their processes to include myriad levels of support. The course material is varied and the teaching staff is an amazing resource! I worked with at least 10 different knowledgeable and helpful people during this course, and that’s only a fraction of the team.


If you are ready to put forth the effort to change your life, LaunchCode will provide you with resources and people who want to help you succeed.


Tell us about a highlight or two from class.

Getting to talk over the code and coursework with other people is always a highlight. Debugging code can be inherently stressful. It feels great to chat with other students about it and share in that feeling of accomplishment and achievement and know they have the same feeling. Another highlight on the same note is when the programmer next to you who’s been hammering away at the keyboard suddenly lets slip a hushed, “Yes!” accompanied by a subtle victorious fist pump, then looks around sheepishly and you can’t help but smile, ‘cause you know exactly how he feels.

What are your plans after class?

I plan on writing software and turning that into a career. (Yay!) I’m looking for an entry-level Java programming position with a larger environment utilizing the Agile methodology.

What have you learned about yourself by taking this course?

One of the best things to have learned was that I possess the ability to prioritize my goals over life’s distractions. Better yet, it was great to see how supportive friends and family have been about my missing out on things with them for the past few months. And on the occasions I have spent with them they have shown just how much support and respect they have for my efforts, leading to more deeply connected time together.

What would be your advice for someone considering signing up for LaunchCode's next class cohort?

Think about how serious you are about this decision and figure out what your motivations are. Then write them down and hang them somewhere. After that, sign up. This is a fantastic opportunity, but it requires work. If you are ready put forth the effort to change your life, LaunchCode will provide you with resources and people who want to help you succeed.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know?

Yeah…you guys rock!