LaunchCode Review

LaunchCode's free coding bootcamps offer a debt-free education and direct pipeline to paid tech apprenticeships that often lead to permanent jobs. Co-founder Jim McKelvey opened this nonprofit in 2013 to train tech talent to meet the industry's growing demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13% growth rate for computer and information technology jobs between 2020-2030, leading to 667,000 new positions.

Students can choose between several coding bootcamps offered by LaunchCode, such as LC101, CoderGirl, and CodeCamp.These programs are offered for free thanks to donors and funds raised through work placement and apprenticeships. Bootcamps train learners in web development and programming languages such as JavaScript, Java, and C#. Bootcamps range from 14-45 weeks.

Are you interested in learning to code for free? This LaunchCode review explains how students can start a career in tech without the burden of college debt.

LaunchCode Overview

Locations: Kansas City, Northwest Arkansas, Philadelphia, Saint Louis

Technical Disciplines: Web Development

Payment Options: Free

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LaunchCode Courses

Discovery true
  • Cost: Free
  • Learning Format: In Person
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time
  • Length: 4-8 weeks

This LaunchCode bootcamp offers free accessible computer programming lessons in a self-paced format. Beginners with no prior coding experience can apply by registering and taking an online test. Lessons cover coding basics, computer fundamentals, problem solving, and basic math. Students will gain the foundational skills needed to take LaunchCode's LC101 and CodeCamp bootcamps.

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LC101 true
  • Cost: Free
  • Learning Format: In Person
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time
  • Length: 20 weeks

The LC101 bootcamp meets twice a week for three-hour classes in Kansas City, northwest Arkansas, Philadelphia, and Saint Louis. The bootcamp features two units in which students study front-end programming using JavaScript and web application development using C# and Java. Learners complete in-class work, graded assignments, and pre-work. This LaunchCode bootcamp employs a pass/fail model.

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CoderGirl true
  • Cost: Free
  • Learning Format: In Person
  • Time Commitment: Part Time
  • Length: 24-48 weeks

CoderGirl bootcamp aims to get more women in tech, accepting self-identifying women and non-binary applicants into the program. The bootcamp requires students to attend a weekly three-hour class in the evenings. Instructors do not grade projects, but students must complete assignments to graduate bootcamp. Students choose from specialized tracks, including Java, C#/.NET, data analysis, and SQL servers and databases. Students need their own laptops for the bootcamp.

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CodeCamp true
  • Cost: Free
  • Learning Format: In Person
  • Time Commitment: Full Time
  • Length: 14 weeks

This free bootcamp prepares students for paid apprenticeships by covering web development fundamentals. Learners engage in team projects and exercises as well as individual work. The bootcamp covers front-end programming using JavaScript and web application development using C# and Java. The bootcamp also offers career workshops and panel talks with employers. These career sessions allow students to get their resumes reviewed and participate in mock interviews.

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LaunchCode Admissions Process

Admission specifications differ for each bootcamp. Applicants for LaunchCode bootcamps — aside from the Discovery bootcamp that serves beginners — must complete an aptitude test in problem solving and logical reasoning. LaunchCode seeks students from diverse backgrounds who have a passion for tech and the nonprofit's mission.

Applicants will receive a decision by the date listed for each bootcamp. If accepted into the program, candidates will need to complete pre-work.

Prospective students can subscribe to the LaunchCode newsletter to receive information about upcoming enrollment dates.

LaunchCode Payment Options

Support from donors such as AT&T, Spectrum, and the Walton Family Foundation allows LaunchCode to offer bootcamp at no cost to students. Bootcamp learners do not pay for tuition, but they must bring their own laptops.

LaunchCode Student Outcomes

Career services remain an important selling point for all coding bootcamps, but LaunchCode offers a direct pipeline for graduates to secure local tech positions, beginning with paid apprenticeships. Most apprentices live near LaunchCode's offices in Saint Louis, Kansas City, and Philadelphia.

Career modules in bootcamp prepare students for work experiences. Students also spend up to 150 hours outside of bootcamp, which breaks down to about eight weeks, completing a project for their portfolio. Within a median of 12 weeks, more than four out of five graduates leverage their apprenticeship into a permanent position.

Graduates work as software developers, front-end developers, mobile app developers, and quality assurance analysts. LaunchCode reports some of its student outcomes on its website.

While LaunchCode does not report student graduation rate, employment rate, or starting salary, it does report that LaunchCode graduates earn an average of $78,000 after two to three years working in tech.

Frequently Asked Questions About LaunchCode Coding Bootcamp

What is LaunchCode? true

LaunchCode is a nonprofit coding bootcamp that provides training for careers in web development. The bootcamp offers several free bootcamps for those without previous tech experience.

Is LaunchCode worth it? true

Yes. LaunchCode offers tech training for free. Its programs include career support services, including a paid apprenticeship program that can help you launch a new career in tech.

Is LaunchCode hard to get into?

Applicants must complete an aptitude test during the application process. Those with the highest scores have the best chance of acceptance. Because LaunchCode offers a tuition-free education, the bootcamp may be competitive to get into.

Is LaunchCode free?

Yes. LaunchCode provides a tuition-free bootcamp. Grants and donations allow LaunchCode to offer free training to all students.