Why Our Coding Bootcamp Teaches You How to Learn

Dan Pickett

By Dan Pickett


At Launch Academy, we do more than teach you the most in-demand programming languages. We teach you how to learn.

Part of preparing coding bootcamp students for a successful future is helping them strengthen their metacognitive abilities—and that means discovering better ways to absorb ever-evolving technologies and programming paradigms.

Let’s look at some examples of “learning to learn” and examine why this approach is so valuable to today’s software engineers.


Learning to Learn with Deliberate Practice

The brainchild of internationally renowned psychologist and researcher K. Anders Ericsson, “deliberate practice” is the theory that mere repetition of a mastered skill won’t drive improvement

The brainchild of internationally renowned psychologist and researcher K. Anders Ericsson, “deliberate practice” is the theory that mere repetition of a mastered skill won’t drive improvement. 


Advancement can only be achieved when we push ourselves. Until his passing in 2020, Professor Ericsson shared his deliberate practice model with anyone and everyone seeking professional expertise. 

For new coders, the three steps of deliberate practice look something like this:

1. Structure. To grow from your learning, you need a plan and a purpose. You must be intentional about how you learn. 

2. Mentorship. Finding a mentor is an excellent way to keep yourself on track.

3. Feedback. It’s important to pursue and welcome feedback on the techniques you’re using and the code you’re writing. 


“But what about the 10,000-hour rule?”

Canadian journalist and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell developed his now-famous 10,000-hour rule based on Ericsson's deliberate practice theory. Nevertheless, Gladwell’s approach lacks the “deliberate” component. 

While Gladwell suggests that expertise results from 10,000 hours of practice, Ericsson would add that your practice must be deliberate, with structure, mentorship, and feedback in place as supporting structures.

In other words, you can’t just sit in front of your computer screen for 10,000 hours and magically become a software engineer. There are specific steps you must take to reach your goals. 


Learning to Learn at Coding Bootcamp

Launch Academy’s intentional learning practices and metacognitive strategies are useful to every professional software engineer every day—including me.

Before I attack any new problem, I develop an outline and a plan. What are the risks and potential unknowns? Who can I discuss this process with to make sure it looks right?

In the context of learning to code, Launch Academy’s approach to deliberate practice strategies looks something like this: 


Structured learning begins with a thoughtful curriculum

Self-guided learners who are interested in becoming software engineers tend to start strong, then wind up bouncing from course to course, dabbling in free lessons and following rabbit holes with no real timeframe or boundaries. 

At Launch Academy, you’ll follow an established plan to help you retain what you learn and effectively track your progress.


Structured mentorship enables growth

When you’re getting started on your new career path, mid-level or senior engineers are terrific resources to help refine your thinking and provide instant feedback on your work.

At Launch Academy, you have access to experienced instructors who will work alongside you to answer questions and provide mentorship as you learn how to code.


Structured feedback derives from a “pull request” workflow

Feedback is practically impossible to get in a self-study environment. You need a focused community around you so you can talk to others face-to-face, share your ideas and solutions, and hear input. 

At Launch Academy, we integrate a popular practice called pull request workflow. Here’s how this powerful approach serves to help our junior engineers learn and grow:

When a software engineer wants to add something new or change a section of code, they simply issue a change set. The change set allows other engineers to enter the project and leave line-by-line commentary on the syntax changes. This inline feedback lends an impactful perspective to new software engineers, and it’s where we see the most growth in Launch Academy students.


Step into the struggle

Comfort is integral to living a balanced life, but if you want to learn, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Any software engineer who settles in to rest on their laurels won’t be there long, if only because the industry will move ahead and they’ll be left behind.

At Launch Academy, we aim to keep coding bootcamp students in the zone of proximal development. That zone places you in proximity to skills that lie just outside your immediate reach, encouraging you to stretch a bit further, push yourself a little harder, and learn with intention.

When you step into the struggle, you’ll find that your learning sticks.


Why Learning to Learn Matters So Much in Software Engineering

All industries evolve, but software development is particularly dynamic. Coding languages change, new technologies make waves, and innovative trends trigger overhauls. There’s no one-and-done learning method in software engineering. Learning is never-ending—and the more effectively you learn, the more successful you’ll be.

That’s why learning to learn sits at the core of Launch Academy’s approach to teaching.

If you’re serious about deliberate practice, join the community that will give you the structure, mentorship, and feedback you need to build a successful future—fast.

Are you concerned that deliberate practice takes too much…deliberation? At Launch Academy, our proven strategy for success means that you don’t have to figure things out on your own. Instead, you can get right to learning. 

Ready to get started? Book your informational call here.