Applications for Smooth Start close May 10th, 2024

Smooth Start Program

A Free Introduction to Launch School's Core Curriculum, Community & Software Engineering

Whether you're new to Launch School or just trying it out, our 4-week program invites new students to meet peers, build study techniques & talk to graduate software engineers

Our Program Goals

We built Smooth Start with new students in mind. Our goal is to help individuals gain clarity and focus at the start of their Launch School journey. By participating in Smooth Start, students benefit from the following resources.

Live Instruction & Guidance from Experienced Leads

Our student leads organize helpful live sessions to answer Launch School questions and other new student concerns

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An Effective Way to Meet Peers & Form Study Buddies

Students are introduced to peers around the same level to share resources and learn from each other’s experiences

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Build Study Habits for Launch School’s Coursework

Leads provide gentle guidance and conduct interactive brainstorming sessions to help students with study approach

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Helpful Topics Presented Live Over 4 Weeks

Each week, our team of leads deliver practical topics live to budding Launch School students. Individual topics are carefully selected to support study habits and navigate Launch School’s self-paced Curriculum

Smooth Start Topic
Week 1
Orientation & Launch School Resources

This week, students get to know each other and are introduced to several helpful Launch School resources, including a live demonstration on how to use Gather Town. Students are also encouraged to brainstorm and share any questions and concerns they have to ensure they'll get the most out of the program moving forward.

Week 2
Forming Good Study Habits at Launch School

This week, students participate in a live Q&A with an experienced Core Curriculum student. This student will share the challenges they faced while learning to program and the study habits they use to stay on track. Students will also work to uncover what’s holding them back in their own personal study and learn effective study habits to use in their sessions.

Week 3
What to Expect— Core Curriculum & Assessments

This week, students are invited to a live Q&A with a Launch School TA to learn all about what to expect from the Core Curriculum and Launch School assessments, as well as how to make the most of support from TAs. Students will also have the opportunity to organize a study session in Gather Town.

Week 4
AMA with an Alumni Software Engineer

This week, we close Smooth Start with an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with a Capstone Graduate Software Engineer. Students will hear valuable perspectives about Launch School, Capstone, the Job Hunt process and what it's like working as a Software Engineer. Before Smooth Start ends, students will gain practical tools and advice on readiness to take their next steps at Launch School.

Gain insight from our graduate software engineers

In Week 4 of the Smooth Start Program, students will participate live in a Q and A with a graduate software engineer.  Guest alumni share their experiences of Launch School,  what it’s like on the job and advice for new students working through our courses

Ben Perrault
Software Engineer
Robbie AI
Audry Hsu
Software Engineer
Jason Overby
Senior Software Engineer
Ginni Pinckert
Software Engineer
Catherine Emond
Senior Developer
Callie Buruchara
Software Engineer
New Relic
Rodney Matambo
Senior Software Engineer
Ryan Schaul
Software Engineer Manager
Katherine Beck
Senior Software Engineer
Joey Guillaume
Software Engineer
Liberty Mutual
Stephanie Cunnane
Software Engineer

Why Smooth Start students love our program

It helps us get to know other people and realise we are all on the same page so it’s ok to have doubts and fears - we are here to share how to overcome them.

Michelle Pineda
Smooth Start Core

I appreciated learning about other students’ study habits. Walking through the LS study resources and then sharing our experiences pushed me to seek out help quicker than I would have on my own.

Sarah Dale
Smooth Start Core

All questions and concerns were openly welcomed. I found the guidance on how to approach the prep courses to assess our readiness for the Core to be particularly beneficial. This has provided me with a clear structure and focus on how to proceed with my studies.

Lionel Kanyowa
Smooth Start Prep

It was useful participating in these sessions as they are a great ice-breaker and allow you to start mingling and speaking with other students at the same level. The chance to ask questions about the core curriculum fits nicely with the ‘no entrapment’ policy that Launch School aspires to.

Medi Mehdikhani
Smooth Start Prep

I feel way more confident and better about continuing to learn and use launch school resources after being involved with this group. Just having some peers around me that are also working hard helps so much with feeling like this is something I can do. Thank you very much to LS.

Alex Erlandsen
Smooth Start Prep

I loved the structure in that each week focused on a different topic. I enjoyed our fun weekly questions and gathering. It was great to meet new people who are starting out at the same time. Helpful to speak directly to people who have done it already, especially the session with the Capstone grad.

Jordan Able
Smooth Start Prep

I really loved hearing the experience of people who were further along or who had even graduated from the program. Also hearing about the struggles people who were running through the program with me faced helped me to feel much more confident overall!

Claire Happel
Smooth Start Prep

There are so many friendly people going through the curriculum and that Launch School is truly invested in helping its students succeed - I’m so impressed that Smooth Start Prep was completely free, before we even started the paid portion of the Curriculum

Elise Yang
Smooth Start Prep

A Supportive Program Designed to Get New Students Started

Smooth Start is a live, online course conducted over 4 weeks. Students have access to a small, private chat to gain advice from leads and connect to other students. Students are invited to participate in 1 hour in live weekly calls, including a Q and A session in week 4 with a guest Software Engineer.

Smooth Start Prep
4 week Program
Live Zoom calls, Gather Town
& Slack chat
Enrolled in LS95, or 100 courses
Free to participate
Smooth Start Core
4 week Program
Live Zoom calls, Gather Town
& Slack chat
Enrolled in 101, 109, 110 or 119
Free to participate*
Smooth Start signups are currently closed. To receive updates and information about the next Smooth Start intake please join our waitlist below.

*While smooth Start is offered as a free program, to participate in Smooth Start Core you will need an active subscription to Launch School's Core Curriculum ($199/mo)

New Smooth Start Cohort Commences May 20th, 2024

Applications are now open! Please fill out an application form to be considered for our upcoming cohort.
Applications close May 10th, 2024. Please see FAQs below for more information.

By filling in an application you will receive email updates and information about your application status and start dates. As we have limited seats not all applications will be successful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Smooth Start mandatory for new Launch School students?

Smooth Start is an *optional* program for new Launch School students. It's designed to help students who might be feeling a bit overwhelmed to connect with new peers and gain more focus and clarity at Launch School.

Do I have to participate in Smooth Start to do well at Launch School?

Not at all. If you are comfortable with the study involved, reaching out to others and exploring Launch School on your own, you probably don't need to attend a program like Smooth Start. However most students find they need additional support getting started.

Is there an application process for Smooth Start? How does it work?

All students are required to fill in an application form to be considered for Smooth Start. As there is a limited number of seats

and prerequisites for both groups, not all applications and signups will be successful.

Is Smooth Start free?

Smooth Start is a free program for Prep and Core Curriculum students. However if you'd like to participate in Smooth Start Core you will need an active subscription to Launch School's Core Curriculum ($199/mo)

Are there any prerequisites for joining Smooth Start?

To apply to Smooth Start Prep you must have:

To apply to Smooth Start Core you must have:

  • An active subscription to the Core Curriculum
  • Currently enrolled in 101-119 courses
  • A Launch School slack account create one here
What if I'm not able to attend all Smooth Start live sessions?

Because live sessions are where the main part of the program takes place, Smooth Start participants are required to attend. As the program is only 4 weeks long with a commitment of 1 hour per week, Smooth Start may not be the best fit for those that cannot meet this weekly schedule. If you are currently enrolled in a Smooth Start group and are unable to attend your next session, please contact your Lead.

When does the next Smooth Start begin?

Currently, Smooth Start cohorts do not run on set dates. Those who are interested in the next cohort can sign up to our waitlist to receive updates on when the next cohort becomes available.

How do I know if I was accepted into the Smooth Start program?

Applicants will receive an instruction email on how to check if they have been accepted into Smooth Start. Accepted students are added to their own private group in Launch School's Slack chat which they will need to login to participate in Smooth Start.

Do I need a Core Curriculum subscription to apply to Smooth Start Core?

Yes, you will need an active subscription to the Core Curriculum to be able to participate in Smooth Start Core ($199/mo). As Smooth Start Core content is suitable for Core Curriculum students, we want to make sure that students are working through the Core Curriculum courses. However, Smooth Start Prep is completely free and does not require a Core Curriculum subscription.