Liftoff Overview

Liftoff is an 8 week class with two objectives:

  1. Complete a significant amount of work towards a project.
  2. Be prepared for the job interview process.

Class time will be similar to LC101. You will complete prep work before each class. During class there will be a lecture or discussion, and small-group activities. You will be required to work on assignments outside of class, including working on your project.

This class varies from LC101 in that you will be required to perform a lot of independent work on your project. No one is going to tell you what to build and you will not be given a list of requirements. It will be up to you to make many decisions as you build your project. We will support and guide you along the way, but ultimately the success of your project rests on you.

Liftoff Expectations

  • Class attendance and participation
  • Completion of all assignments
  • Visible progress on your project every week

Making a project, especially your first independent project, can be a daunting task. You will have to work on your project multiple times a week outside of class, in addition to the prep work and assignments. We estimate that you will need to work at least 20 hours each week to make it through this course successfully.

Project Overview

The capstone project is one of the most important pieces of landing the perfect LaunchCode apprenticeship. Your project is one of the primary ways that LaunchCode and potential employers will verify that you are job-ready, and it should be something that you’re proud to show off. So don’t skimp on the time, energy, and thought that you put into this!

Be unique, innovative and creative. Your project should demonstrate meaningful thought and planning, and that you can build software from the ground up.

Your project should:

  1. Demonstrate marketable skills: You have a strong foundation in at least one language that is widely used by professional developers, and the related tools and best practices. You can apply your programming skills within a professional-grade framework or tools like ASP.NET MVC or Spring Boot.
  2. Demonstrate your ability to learn new things: In your project, you will go beyond your initial learning to teach yourself something new. Maybe you learned Angular.js for your front-end web project, or connected to an API in your back-end Java application.
  3. Solve a problem: When employed as a programmer, you’ll be asked to implement solutions to problems. Your capstone project should demonstrate that you are capable of identifying a problem and coming up with a software-based solution to the problem. For example, creating an app that allows a nonprofit to organize and communicate with volunteers solves a meaningful problem. Creating a Sudoku app doesn’t.

You will put your project up in GitHub. This will make it accessible for others to view, and will show off all of the hard work you put into it as you rack up commits!

Regardless of the project you tackle, you should:

  • Build an application entirely yourself, or nearly so. If you use starter code, you need to go well beyond what was provided or worked on by others. You should be able to clearly articulate what you built yourself versus what was built by others.
  • Include 3-5 significant features. Each feature should add a new component to your project but not be so small as to be trivial. It’s difficult to define what a significant feature is, but we’ll help you understand as you go. Adding a new button to your web project? Probably not significant enough. Creating a discussion forum? That’s too big. Adding user authentication? Yep, that’s great!

Tip

To give you an idea of what a good project idea looks like, check out our Demo Projects, as well as project demo videos made by previous students