Launcher Stories: Tyler Brandt

Dan Pickett

By Dan Pickett


The pandemic changed lives all over the world, and Tyler Brandt’s was no exception. 

He was living in China in 2020, teaching English as a second language, when the lockdowns started. As countries began closing their borders, Tyler and other US citizens had little choice but to abandon their lives abroad and return to the States. 

The one bright spot in this chaotic time? Remote work. Leveraging his college minor in Information Technology and years as a hobbyist coder, Tyler took a job as a software engineering consultant for a company in Austin, Texas. Before long, he was thinking about stepping out of consulting and pursuing a career in software engineering. 

“It was a career I could see myself in,” Tyler recognized. But did he have the skills necessary to become a software developer?

“I didn’t really have a good way of gauging myself and how I stacked up in the industry,” Tyler explained. Hungry to expand his skill set and confidently identify himself as a professional software engineer, Tyler immediately thought of Launch Academy. Some of his friends were Launch Academy graduates, and they’d long encouraged him to turn his coding hobby into a full-time career; he’d even filled out an application in the past.

Was it finally the right time to take the leap?


Tyler’s Springboard: Coding Bootcamp in Boston, Massachusetts

Though he was living in Texas at the time, Boston, Massachusetts, was truly home to Tyler. His family and friends were there, and, as luck would have it, so was Launch Academy. 

Of course, there were other coding bootcamps to choose from, but “none of those experiences were vetted for me. It was all promotional material,” Tyler described. “With Launch Academy, I knew real people who had made real career switches. I was already getting introduced to Launch alumni who were willing to talk to me about what I was interested in. They were willing to encourage that curiosity and pursuit.”

This influential alumni network led Tyler to begin the interview process with Launch Academy, where the program’s administrators further validated his decision. He appreciated that everyone on the team had extensive technical knowledge—even those in non-teaching roles. 

He explained, “Some of the other bootcamps I looked at felt like a churn.” He’d also noted a distinct lack of community in other programs—an element he’d loved about Launch Academy. “Launch felt like a school—not a business,” Tyler shared.

“Launch felt like a school—not a business,” Tyler shared. 

Tyler’s Launch Academy Experience

And just like that, Tyler enrolled in Launch Academy’s coding bootcamp! He was excited to take the leap into a new career but understandably nervous. “It kind of felt like a big jump out into a void,” he said. 

He remembered thinking, “What if this doesn’t go anywhere? If this doesn't work out, can I step back into my old career?”

Tyler’s biggest worry, however, was that he’d be the “greenest” member of his Launch Academy class. Would the course be full of more experienced coders whose skills far exceeded his?

Fortunately, his worries were unfounded. He discovered that his coding skills were actually quite strong comparatively. But what struck him most was that everyone came to coding bootcamp with their own unique backgrounds and abilities. The more experienced coders were balanced by students more skilled in project management, for example.

From day one, Launch Academy’s coursework was rooted in teamwork, collaboration, and collectively navigating the real-life scenarios faced by software engineers. “It felt like real work,” Tyler explained, “and it taught me how to learn again. When you’re working with other people, growth is always possible. You just have to be open to it.

Launch Academy’s “final exam” is a team project, in fact. Students are divided into groups that mirror a corporate software development environment, and each group develops a program from start to finish. Tyler’s team project was called “Trip,” a travel destination tracker that he described as “a baby Google Maps.”

“The program was far better for having worked on it as a group,” Tyler said. “It was an opportunity for each of us to work on parts of the project that we didn’t know how to do. The natural instinct was to gravitate toward the parts of the project we were familiar with, but we pushed past that. The point was to grow and educate ourselves.”

By the end of coding bootcamp, Tyler had not only learned how to code but had also improved his graphic design, project management, and interpersonal skills.

By the end of coding bootcamp, Tyler had not only learned how to code but had also improved his graphic design, project management, and interpersonal skills.

“Launch Academy did a really good job of setting me up for my career,” Tyler confirms.


Tyler’s Start in Software Engineering

Tyler graduated from Launch Academy in June 2022, and only a month later, he received a job offer from Launch Academy hiring partner Level99

It didn’t take long for Tyler to push past his new-job jitters and realize, “I’m super ready for this.” Launch Academy had given him the skills to know where he sat on the team, what his role was, and what was expected of him. “I felt really prepared,” Tyler acknowledged. “I’d learned so much from being part of a community of people who were willing to grow and change.”

Today, when Tyler looks back on his decision to change careers and attend coding bootcamp, he has one piece of advice for others contemplating the same path:

“Take the leap. Take the risk. And don’t be afraid,” Tyler said. “Whatever you’re afraid of is probably not that bad—and there is endless potential to grow and learn!” 

Are you ready to conquer your fears and reimagine your career? Download the Launch Academy syllabus!