TL;DR — Hope.
I had always regretted selecting Marketing as my field of study. I didn’t even know what it was when I enrolled, but now I’m holding a degree with ‘Marketing’ plastered on it, and I don’t know why.
After a couple of years of working in ad operations, I realized that what I actually enjoyed was building tools and solutions for people in Excel. Like, I really, really enjoyed it. I also learned that this is basically what software engineers do, but with programming languages! Who knew?
I ran through a couple of Codecademy tracks, and paid for a few Python courses on Udemy, but at the end… I realized that I didn’t actually learn how to do anything. Later on, I would realize that this is because those were solely the surface level of what programming was all about. I knew all of the information I needed was out there, but how do I know where to start? To avoid flopping from one unrelated topic to the next, I needed structure.
How I wished I could go back to school and major in Computer Science. But school is a commitment, both in terms of time and money, and as a working adult, that wasn’t really an option. I then started researching bootcamps which, although expensive, were short enough that I would be able to go without working for a bit.
I was quite absorbed in my search for a bootcamp, but then started coming across opinion pieces about how bootcamps teach the bare minimum and cut corners just to get you the most basic entry-level software engineering role (not my own opinions — just what I’ve read). Doubt was cast in my mind, so I stopped looking for a while. But I didn’t stop regretting.
The pandemic happened, and with more time at home, people started exploring hobbies and education. After faffing around with game development for a spell, I decided to get the old search started again. I somehow came across Launch School’s pedagogy page, a beacon of light.
Launch School was the middle ground that I had been searching for this entire time. The thoroughness of a university curriculum (probably even more thorough), but the flexibility of studying on your own time. I decided to try out the prep course to see what it was all about. The course structure, the involved community, the depth of the content — it was a perfect match.
Before all of this, I felt hopeless. A voice in my head telling me, “You chose the wrong path, and that’s it — good luck with the rest of your life.”
But Launch School represents hope.
Hope for those of us who don’t have the time to dedicate to full-time studies.
Hope for those of us who can’t afford to pay for upfront costs.
Hope for those of us who thought that there was no way out of the hole we’ve dug ourselves into.
8 months later, and I’m still chugging along the paved road to mastery. With no more regret.