Starting Launch School

Well I am not much of a writer and this does not necessarily feel natural to me. But I have been given an assignment to start a blog and document my journey with Launch School. Launch School is an online program that teaches Web Development. Their teaching philosophy has been a breath of fresh air for me. I looked at 8 different online programs before deciding on one and their Mastery Based learning was one of the major factors in my decision.

I started Launch School at the beginning of April, 2017. I had almost no experience with Web Development and Programming, so I started with their Prep Course. They gave some really good resources, including their own materials, to help get a foundation in programming. I felt like I caught on fairly quickly to the material and finished the Prep by the end of April.

Since I’ve finished the Prep and moved into the program, it has been a little bit of a roller coaster. Even with this being the case, though, they do have you read the book “Mastery” by George Leonard, which mentally prepares you for the ups and downs of mastery. One of tough things for me has been the plateaus. And even sometimes taking two steps back before taking one step forward. I seem to making some good progress and getting a hang of something and then out of no where I will get hung up on something and spend hours in a pit. They have also given some advice on getting out of these pits, such as just walking away and letting your subconscious dissect the problem for you, or talking to someone about it to see if you can make sense of it verbally, or even talking to a rubber duck, which I have yet to try. But even though mastery has its frustrations, it is very fulfilling and satisfying. I have been in the program, including the Prep, for almost three months now and have came to enjoy the repetition and practice of fundamentals.

I feel like with programming and learning a new language, there are a lot of fundamentals. Not only did I need to learn the basics of programming in general, but then I needed to also learn everything specific to Ruby. The syntax, the different Classes, and methods available to those Classes, how a method will handle an argument and if it will mutate the object passed in or not. There is a lot, and it’s taken time and patience with myself to get over the learning curves.

One thing I have noticed about myself is I really REALLY enjoy the projects. Some of the programs I have built are Tic-Tac-Toe, Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock, and Twenty-one (black-jack). I do not necessarily feel like I always have the most efficient code, which I am hoping I’ll learn over time, but building larger programs is so much fun and is really satisfying to be able to put all of the skills I have learned to use on something more than just practice.

I am just about to finish the final Lesson in the first Course, then I will start preparing for my first Assessment. I am a little nervous for this as I am not sure what it will entail, but I am excited to find out and hope I will be able to pass. If not then I will be able to find out my weaknesses and have an opportunity to strengthen them. And I guess I will try to continue writing and blogging my Mastery Journey at Launch School.

’Til then.