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Launch Academy coding bootcamp review

Hi, I’m Brian, a former senior software engineer and now industry mentor at Pathrise. I have helped hundreds of software engineers land their dream jobs in tech. Check out my review of Launch Academy.

What does Launch Academy do?

Launch Academy is a coding bootcamp that teaches people the skills they need to start a career as a software engineer. They offer a 4-month program in Boston, with remote options available due to Covid-19.

Their flagship 18-week program is split into three phases: Ignite, Launch, and Fly. The virtual “ignition” phase is part-time and lasts 8 weeks. The pre-work curriculum teaches the fundamentals of Ruby, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Students learn through recorded lectures, hands-on projects, and a live chat to ask questions. This pre-work requires about 15-30 hours a week.

After finishing the pre-work, students start the 10 week, full-time “launch” program. Students participate in live lectures, hands-on projects, assignments, and group projects. The intensive pace requires 60-80 hours of work a week. The curriculum includes advanced HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, React, SQL, and more. Students learn by doing, graduating with a professional project portfolio to impress employers.

The bootcamp includes job support. Students participate in portfolio reviews, mock interviews, and guest speaker events. Graduates get lifetime access to the “flight” career services program, which helps people apply to jobs, practice their coding, and learn new in-demand tech skills.

Who is Launch Academy for?

People with little to no coding experience who are looking to launch a career as a software engineer could benefit from Launch Academy’s bootcamp. The program is especially helpful for people who are based in Boston. Because the program requires so much time per week, it is not likely a fit for people who need to work while participating in a bootcamp.

What does Launch Academy cost? How much work is involved?

Tuition for their flagship bootcamp is $17,500. Financing is available through Skills Fund loans with a $1,000 deposit. Rates and repayment plans depend on an applicant’s credit history. Launch Academy offers a $500 diversity scholarship to underrepresented groups in tech. A $500 discount is also available for military veterans.

The admissions process consists of a 1 hours Zoom interview. The first part of the interview is behavioral. Applicants explain their motivations and ask questions about the program. Next, applicants get 5 minutes to teach the interviewers something new. This gives them a chance to see the candidate’s communication skills. The interview ends with logic questions. No prior coding experience is necessary. However, applicants should prepare for the interview, 5 minute lesson, and logic puzzles.

Ratings and reviews

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Launch Academy has mostly positive reviews. They hold a 4.5/5 star rating on Switchup. Likewise, they have been on Course Report’s top 48 coding bootcamps list for over 3 years. Launch Academy’s students were impressed by the supportive instructors and hands-on curriculum. But, some graduates were disappointed by the job support and intense time commitment.

The program holds a 4.6/5 star review on Course Report. The top reviewer liked the instructors and collaborative environment. They explained that “Mentors are generally available during the day via Slack” and “fellow students are online, who you can chat with throughout the day.” However, they were frustrated by the demanding pace, having to “hammer away at challenges for periods longer than 2-4 hours at a time with greatly diminishing returns.” In fact, they reported that they “felt constant self-imposed pressure to keep at it.” Another top review was disappointed by the career services, commenting that “after you are out of the program they never help you get a job.”

A grad on Switchup was impressed that “the cohort and teachers are very nice and collaborative” and that the curriculum is “truly full-stack.” However, they warned that the course is “difficult, fast-paced” and brings “too few potential employers at career day.” Another graduate raved that “the whole staff is amazing, thoughtful” and that “Curriculum is well-designed and passionately taught.” However, the grad was less impressed by the job placement, warning “Does not place that many students with its hiring partners.” Overall grads were satisfied by the supportive program and tech skills they gained from the bootcamp, but some would have liked a less intense pace with more job support.

Alternatives to Launch Academy

If you decide not to enroll in Launch Academy, there are a number of alternative bootcamps and courses for aspiring software developers.

  • The full-time tech bootcamp Kenzie Academy offers in-person and online courses in full-stack software engineering & UX design and front-end engineering. They offer an ISA so students don’t pay until they land a tech job with a salary above $40k. Learn more about Kenzie Academy in our review.
  • Similarly, Prime Digital Academy has full-time and part-time courses in UX design and software engineering.
  • Aspiring software developers and software engineers can check out CodeX Academy, a self-paced coding bootcamp with mentorship opportunities. Learn more about CodeX Academy in our review. 
  • The popular bootcamp BrainStation offers programs in full stack web development, web design, data science, marketing, and product management. Like Launch Academy, BrainStation emphasizes project-based learning and 1-on-1 support. Their hiring partners include Facebook, Google, and more.
  • Similarly, Lambda School, Zip Code Wilmington, One Month, and Byte Academy are online bootcamps with courses on web dev, data science, and more.
  • Actualize, Tech Talent South, Redwood Code Academy, and Pluralsight are intensive, full-time bootcamps with courses in software engineering and other topics.
  • Another popular bootcamp, Fullstack Academy offers part-time and full-time software programs for aspiring software engineers. Like Launch Academy, Fullstack Academy is known for its fast pace and very intense curriculum.
  • Similarly, Coding Dojo is a bootcamp with full-time, part-time, and even self-paced courses in software development, data science, and product management.
  • Another option is Grand Circus, which teaches courses on Java, front-end, and C# .NET. Their campuses are in Michigan, but they also offer online options.
  • Likewise, Tech Elevator is a software engineering bootcamp with online and on-campus options.
  • Or, consider Kal Academy, which works with women and underrepresented groups on software engineering, web dev, and data.
More alternatives
  • General Assembly is a bootcamp with full-time, part-time, and 1-day courses on software engineering, data science, UX design, digital marketing, product management, and more. Read more about General Assembly in our review.
  • Students on a budget can consider Udemy, an online program that hosts thousands of self-paced video courses on web dev, cybersecurity, data analysis, and much more. Classes cost about $10 each.
  • In the same vein, Codecademy is one of the most popular coding programs online. They provide free courses on many different programming languages. They also offer membership options ranging from $20 to $40 per month for more course options and greater support. Learn more about Codecademy in our review.
  • Students interested in self-paced learning can also check out Springboard, an online educational resource that helps people launch a career in tech. Students in their program build over 14 portfolio projects with weekly mentorship meetings. If graduates don’t land a great job within 6 months, they get a full refund. Learn more about Springboard in our review.
  • People seeking affordable software education can also check out Udacity. Their intro courses are free, but students can upgrade to paid “nanodegree” programs for greater course options. Students get a 1-on-1 industry mentoring and a career coach to prepare them for the job search. Learn more about Udacity in our reviews.
  • Finally, edX is one of the most popular online learning platforms. They have courses from top universities like Harvard and MIT as well as big tech companies like Microsoft. Learn more about edX in our review.

How does Launch Academy compare to Pathrise?

Launch Academy is a bootcamp for people interested in starting a career as a software developer. While an interest in tech is recommended, many of their students start with no coding experience. Pathrise job-seekers should already have a background in their chosen field so they can get the most out of our technical interview training. 

Pathrise is a career accelerator that helps people find their dream in tech. Our mentors help fellows with all phases of the job search including resume and portfolio optimization, reverse recruiting, cold emailing, technical and behavioral interviewing, and salary negotiation. The curriculum is tailored to the individual needs of each fellow.

Launch Academy is a full-time plus program, requiring up to 80 hours a week. Our program is flexible. There are just 4 hours of group sessions per week and fellows can schedule 1-on-1 sessions as needed. Our program offers an income share agreement (ISA) so it is free until you land a great tech job. We never require deposits or upfront payments.

Pathrise optimizes the job search through 1-on-1 mentorship and personalized training. Fellows in our program see their interview scores double and their application responses triple. If you are interested in working with our mentors to land your dream job faster, join Pathrise.

Apply today.

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