Launcher Stories: Nick Adams

Dan Pickett

By Dan Pickett


After obtaining his degree in elementary education, Nick Adams quickly realized teaching wasn’t a good fit for him. Looking to better balance his career and personal life, he dabbled briefly in corporate marketing before eventually opting for the flexibility of the food service industry. 

Working as a bartender and barista gave Nick plenty of free time to pursue his true passion: creating online game design modules.

Then the pandemic hit, and food service jobs became unbearably hectic almost overnight. Nick was covering shifts left and right and ended each day feeling too drained to do anything but sleep. 


Nick’s Revelation: The Decision to Attend Coding Bootcamp

Following a particularly rough day working in a cafe, Nick biked home, exhausted, cold, and miserable. His friend Joey had been pushing him to “quit [his] job and enroll in tech.” That night, Nick messaged Joey to learn more about his education—Launch Academy’s 18-week coding bootcamp.

Thanks to excellent grades and plenty of hard work, Nick had completed college debt-free. He was hesitant to invest in another education pathway. But the cost of living was increasing, and Nick knew from observing his father’s career in tech that the industry offered the potential for terrific pay and benefits.

The time had come to take the plunge and chase down the career he really wanted.


Nick’s Launch Academy Story

It was Launch Academy’s grad support that ultimately sold Nick on the program. He’d seen it in action for his friend Joey, and he wanted that kind of job-search guidance for himself.

To prepare for the start of his Launch Academy cohort, Nick began familiarizing himself with in-demand coding languages. Soon, any doubts that remained had disappeared. He knew without a doubt that he would enjoy a career in software development—and that he’d be good at it.


The Launch Academy experience

What Nick hadn’t anticipated was the all-encompassing nature of Launch Academy’s coding bootcamp structure. After his first week, Nick knew: “I'm going to be getting up at 7:00 a.m., leaving my house at 8:00 a.m., getting to class at 9:00 a.m., and staying in classes until 6:00 p.m.” He laughed, “I very quickly braced myself for, like, okay, it's a marathon?”

All the students in Nick’s cohort were navigating the same excitement and challenges, and they tackled each day as a team. “Being in the Launch Academy space was wonderful because you have a bunch of people who all want the same thing, who are eager to learn, who are committed to this. And we all fed off of each other’s energy.” 


The group project

Every Launch Academy cohort participates in a group project: building a review site. It’s this part of coding bootcamp that would prepare him most for real-life work as a software engineer. “The actual job is being able to learn, being able to adjust, and being able to communicate,” said Nick. “Those are the things that make for a good programmer.”


“The actual job is being able to learn, being able to adjust, and being able to communicate,” said Nick. “Those are the things that make for a good programmer.” 



After four and a half months, Nick’s Launch Academy education was complete.

“I was still a beginner, and I was still going to have to put in the work, but I was proud of myself for making it that far,” he shared. “I discovered that I’m able to learn, motivate myself, and hold myself accountable.”


“I discovered that I’m able to learn, motivate myself, and hold myself accountable.”


Working in Software Engineering

Only a month after his August 2022 graduation, Nick landed his first job with Launch Academy hiring partner Valor Performance. Upon completing a three-month internship, Nick advanced to a full-time position as a Junior Engineer.

“There was definitely a lot of imposter syndrome I had to work through,” he admitted. But that didn’t last long, due in large part to the biweekly chats with Alex, a Valor Performance leadership team member who also happened to be a Launch Academy graduate. Then Nick helped complete his first ticket.

But the real turning point occurred when he completed a ticket on his own. “I no longer felt like I’d somehow tricked these people into giving me a job as a computer programmer,” Nick said. “I’d worked my way there. I’d earned it.”

If you’re ready to experience that “I’ve earned it” feeling for yourself, download the syllabus and see what you can learn at Launch Academy!