John Keith

Hi, I'm a developer that loves Ruby, Rails, Angular, and iOS.

How I've Learned in Five Short Weeks at Launch

We are now officially halfway through our ten weeks at Launch. What I’m still marveling at after five weeks is how Launch Academy is transforming me as a learner.

Pre-Launch, back in high school and college, I was a very learn-by-the-book kind of guy. I would read cover to cover any text put in front of me, but asking me to jump into a topic or domain without much preparation beforehand was always a struggle.

One great part about learning web development is that the read first, execute later approach I relied on in the past does not work. I’ve felt myself constantly challenged the past few weeks to dive into projects knowing only enough to get started and then to seek out only the knowledge I need to complete to reach the goal.

Fundamentally, I guess this is what makes project-based learning powerful: the fact that the knowledge you acquire is all acquired in a specific context of doing or creating. Even as I’ve started to head off on tangents of my own, like diving deeply into Javascript prototypes last week, this learning is done to serve a purpose, to bring some piece of functionality into existence.

If you want to take the metaphor perhaps a little too far (which is always a fun exercise), it is almost like the project-based curriculum of Launch is OOP for your brain. Sure, you can gather knowledge together in your mind about a certain object, but these little tarballs of information are worthless until you start defining behaviors and passing messages between them. Knowledge as an object in and of itself does nothing – it is only once it starts to interact with other bits of information that the effect is meaningful.