A Return to What We Know and Love

As you will be glad to read, I have continued with Launch School, progressing at a healthy speed.

Since my last blog post – Learning About Ruby’s Super (OOP) – I have passed three assessments.

It’s astonishing to look back and see how far I’ve come.

It hasn’t been easy – by no means. But it has been worth it.

On my wall, I have a reminder of my beginnings.

It’s a contract to sign up for a local coding boot camp.

a contract

It is filled out and signed – and it serves as a reminder of the path I could have been on.

The particular cohort I was to join has come and gone.

The program started on April 3, 2017 and ended on August 18, 2017 – a full 20 weeks.

I look at it now wondering how lost I would have been trying to learn all these concepts in only 20 weeks – the first 6 weeks of which are called the “preload.”

These first 6 weeks are spent doing tutorials on Codeacademy.com and consist of 10 – 15 hours of work per week.

Unlike Launch School, this coding boot camp has no assessments, no quizzes, no code reviews and it sets no bar, meaning their graduates might or might not understand the one week spent on MongoDB.

In comparison, I spent over a month on PostgreSQL, learning relational databases.

This ties into Launch School’s philosophy, which is the Slow Path to Proficiency.

This mantra goes in stark contrast to what this local boot camp was selling.

And it showcases what is really the aim of Launch School: Mastery.

A book assigned in Launch School
George Leonard’s Mastery, an assigned book for Launch School’s prep course.

Mastery is not 16 weeks. It’s not a year. It’s constant dedication without a timeline. It’s pushing through the plateaus and never declaring an end.

This, as I see it, is the priceless gift of Launch School.

It is the return to what has been overshadowed by quick gains and flashy marketing: good, old hard work.

I’ve written about this before, when I was writing about learning Mandarin Chinese.

There are countless products that market themselves like this.

For example, “In-Flight Chinese: Learn Before You Land.”

Or my favorite, “Learn Chinese While You Sleep.”

As I continue on through Launch School, I am grateful I chose the longer, harder path: that is, The Slow Path to Proficiency.