54 episodes

A podcast about coding, education, and mastery. We'll interview current Launch School students, employers in the tech sector, and industry veterans to talk about how to succeed on a journey to mastery and becoming a professional software engineer. Conversations will revolve around learning, programming, expertise, study habits and many other topics related to mastery based learning.

Launch School Podcast Launch School

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 62 Ratings

A podcast about coding, education, and mastery. We'll interview current Launch School students, employers in the tech sector, and industry veterans to talk about how to succeed on a journey to mastery and becoming a professional software engineer. Conversations will revolve around learning, programming, expertise, study habits and many other topics related to mastery based learning.

    S5E16: Student Spotlight - Battling Self-Doubt, A Student Transformation with Sherece

    S5E16: Student Spotlight - Battling Self-Doubt, A Student Transformation with Sherece

    In this episode, Brandi has a conversation with Sherece, a current student nearing the end of the core curriculum.


    They spend the first part of the conversation discussing how Sherece managed to overcome her extremely low confidence to not just progress through the core curriculum, but to even enroll amid self-doubt and fear of failure. Though she was an incredibly curious and eager-to-learn child, life circumstances meant that Sherece lost this part of herself for many years. After developing an interest in software and spending several years dabbling in the prep course, she finally took on Launch School.


    Sherece is approaching the end of a successful core curriculum experience with a transformed self-image and a renewed passion for learning and pushing her limits. She shares valuable insights into the initial difficulties of Launch School, as well as the challenges encountered along the way, like the personal development needed to confidently lead SPOT sessions and overcoming a 'Not Yet'.


    We hope you enjoy the episode!

    • 36 min
    S5E15: Daniel Nalesnik - Founder of HackChinese and Core Graduate

    S5E15: Daniel Nalesnik - Founder of HackChinese and Core Graduate

    In this episode, Chris interviews Daniel Nalesnik, the creator of Hack Chinese and a core curriculum graduate. Daniel used the fundamentals learned in the core program to build his own business.


    They spend the first part of the episode discussing Daniel's winding journey to Launch School in which he left a successful career behind. Daniel quit his job to pursue Launch School full-time, driven by a long-held vision to create an application that would later become Hack Chinese. Unlike many students who pursue Capstone, Daniel was focused on the mastery-based core curriculum to build a solid foundation, equipping himself with the skills necessary to bring his idea to life.


    During the rest of the episode, Daniel shares the process of developing Hack Chinese, a language-learning platform designed to help users master Chinese characters through spaced repetition. Daniel was determined to be the sole developer, choosing to forgo venture backing and take on the project independently, even though it meant several years of work before success. He explains his desire to maintain complete sole proprietary and the satisfaction he finds in personally crafting every aspect of Hack Chinese.


    We hope you enjoy the episode!

    • 1 hr 21 min
    S5E14: Student Spotlight - The Ups and Downs of the Core Curriculum with Patrick

    S5E14: Student Spotlight - The Ups and Downs of the Core Curriculum with Patrick

    In this episode, Brandi chats with current student Patrick about his journey thus far through the core curriculum. They discuss what it's like coming from a background of feeling completely incompetent with a computer to gaining the confidence to lead SPOT sessions and encourage other students to do the same.


    Patrick also shares some of the more difficult hurdles he's faced. His initial plan and schedule for moving through the core curriculum were too rigorous, resulting in burnout and ultimately a false start where he paused his subscription while adjusting his expectations. After successfully restarting, as with many students, life happens and he must pause his subscription again. While most students hope for a very linear journey through Launch School, it's not always possible and this episode gives great insight into being flexible and allowing yourself the grace to take breaks.


    We hope you enjoy the episode and also have a rest when you need it!

    • 58 min
    S5E13: Setting Students up for Success - Smooth Start Program with Karis

    S5E13: Setting Students up for Success - Smooth Start Program with Karis

    Sign-ups for Smooth Start 5 are open now! Read more and Apply here


    In this episode, Brandi has a conversation with Karis about Smooth Start. Karis is part of the Launch School staff and is largely responsible for creating Smooth Start, an introductory program to help students overcome common hurdles that are often faced at the early stages of Launch School.


    They discuss why Smooth Start was created and new students' struggles, whether they're in the prep course trying to gauge how to take the plunge into the core curriculum, or fresh into the core curriculum, nervous about taking their first assessment.


    Karis shares the week-to-week schedule that Smooth Start students get to participate in, along with how the agenda has changed over the various cohorts based on feedback from students and leads.


    Finally, we get a sneak peek at what's to come with Smooth Start 5. Karis explains what's new in this cohort and how you can get involved.

    • 56 min
    S5E12: Missy Lovegren - From Fine Arts to Software Engineering

    S5E12: Missy Lovegren - From Fine Arts to Software Engineering

    In this episode, Chris interviews Missy Lovegren, a Capstone grad and software engineer at New Relic. Missy was a TA at Launch School and part of a 2022 Capstone cohort.


    They spend the first part of the episode discussing Missy's transition into software. She comes from a background in fine arts and went through several difficult, low paying, and, as she described, dead-end jobs. Even so, the decision to leave fine arts and transition into software development was challenging. She gives a very candid and level-headed perspective on the ups and downs of the core curriculum, Capstone, and the job hunt.


    During the rest of the episode, Missy shares what it's like to work for New Relic, a massive company with over 500 engineers. She's part of a small team of 6 working on internal tools for the company, where she spends a lot of time debugging and relying on the fundamentals that she built at Launch School. She also gives insight into how she fits into the company as a Launch School grad and what her day to day is like.


    We hope you enjoy the episode!

    • 1 hr 20 min
    S5E11: Student Spotlight - From Coasting to Excelling, a Student Transformation with Nick

    S5E11: Student Spotlight - From Coasting to Excelling, a Student Transformation with Nick

    In this episode, Brandi has a conversation with Nick Perry, a current student and active member of the Launch School community. Nick shares his background and how he was never a 'good' student previously in high school and university. When he began Launch School, like many students, he wasn't sure if he could succeed and had to reevaluate his perception of his abilities both technically and as a dedicated student. He discusses reshaping his study habits, confidence, and dedication not just to succeed, but to become a leader in the community with a trusted network of support around him.


    He also gives insight into overcoming a 'Not Yet' on his first coding challenge interview, even though he was technically prepared. He cites the support that he received from peers as a critical component of his ability to persevere. Nick is a great example of someone who came in uncertain, with low confidence, and became a pillar in the Launch School community as a SPOT lead, a Smooth Start lead, and over two-thirds of the way through the core curriculum. He's an excellent example of the transformation that can happen at Launch School.


    We hope you'll have a listen!

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
62 Ratings

62 Ratings

Aryanb9 ,

Top Notch

Great opportunity to get to know more about the philosophy of Launch School and its community.

ethanweiner ,

Another excellent way to engage in the community

As so many others have pointed out, Launch School’s greatness comes from its community. What’s just as great is the variety of options to interact with the community. The podcast offers a compelling way to do so. When I was a prospective student, it gave me a taste for the sort of people present in the community and the principles the community focuses on, and I knew the school was a place meant for me, albeit virtual. The new style of the podcast in season 4 really helps me stay connected without needing to stay super active on Slack, since each episode outlines major happenings at the school, all while being led by charismatic hosts!

troy chance ,

A refreshing approach to learning

The Launch School Podcast was such a gem to stumble upon when I was looking around at coding programs. The focus is on mastery as opposed to just building up credits and squeezing by a subject with a passing grade, so it attracts a certain kind of student who appreciates taking the time to learn. If you suspect you’re not that kind of student or worry that you aren’t at a certain level, the personal interviews with students of varied backgrounds can help you through those doubts. The first steps in the curriculum (free of charge) are getting you excited about the process of learning and selling you on the advantages of mastery; had I not decided to become a student, that exploration alone would have changed my path no matter what I decided upon.

Like much of the study program itself, the podcast is student-directed. It doesn’t attempt to sell you on the school itself as much as the philosophy behind it and the students who form an incredibly supportive culture. My only regret is that I didn’t find this kind of program decades ago.

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