The Countdown Begins

In less than eight weeks I will begin my time at Launch Academy, a 10-week immersive Ruby on Rails bootcamp. I’m leaving the comfort and safety (and headache) of my current job and venturing into new territory. It’s risky and terrifying but it feels right!

I guess it has been a long time comin’… I was lucky to be born into a home with a computer, years before it was common. I was naturally comfortable with technology from an early age. Once I outgrew KidPix, I started creating websites on Geocities and Angelfire with HTML. They were hideous and terrible (kind of like this) but I had so much fun. It was a way for me to express my creativity, take on and overcome challenges, and connect with others.

I learned the basics of programming with JavaScript as a freshman in high school and enjoyed it. Sophomore year? I lost my passion. We were being taught (not learning) Java. Why Java? The AP Computer Science test is in Java. Turns out, learning just to ace an exam is a bad way to keep students motivated. The pressure was too much. The fun challenge I enjoyed before had vanished. Until recently…

About a year ago, one of my co-workers inspired me to learn coding. He mentioned some free resources I could use. I got online, started coding and LOVED IT. I rediscovered my passion. Suddenly I could make things work. The challenge and good-frustration from my early years was back!

It wasn’t long before I seriously considered web development as a potential career. Traditional college was too long and too expensive so I looked into efficient alternatives. The stars aligned. An awesome bootcamp was in my area! I stalked Launch Academy online for months and visited on several occasions. The staff and students were beyond amazing at answering all my questions and helping me decided if Launch would be a good next step for me.

Launch lets you learn by doing- the learning style that has always been most effective for me. Additionally, they have help to get you ‘un-stuck.’ I could truly feel the supportive environment in the air on one of my visits. It’s not just from their ‘Experience Engineers,’ but also the support the students provide one-another. I can’t wait to be a part of, and immersed in Launch! Our cohort has just begun communicating online and I can already see our helpful community come alive!

It’s been quite a journey to this point. I plan on making excellent use of the next several weeks so I can really dive in once our cohort starts IRL on November 10th! Have advice? Tweet @lizvdk

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Liz Vanderkloot’s story.