Samuel Hatfield

St. Louis, MO, USA | Age 28

I am 28 years old and hold a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. When I was laid off from my job at a bookstore, I was looking for a new direction in life.

I first learned about LaunchCode via Reddit, and heard about the edX CS50x course from family members who saw a report on the evening news.

CS50x was my first experience with an online course. I leveraged my work on my CS50x Final Project to get an apprenticeship with REI BlackBook. LaunchCode screened me to make sure that I was prepared, and contacted the Lead Developer at REI BlackBook to set things in motion. After three months as an apprentice, they offered me a full-time, salaried position as a Junior Developer.

At REI BlackBook, I’m a member of a three-person Development team. My responsibilities include basic tech support, code maintenance, and implementation of new features. Within my first month I’d been given a few different projects, both independent and team-based.

I’m interested in taking more edX courses, and when LaunchCode offers the CS50x course again I plan on being one of the mentors. I want to be a mentor because I enjoyed helping my fellow students even while taking the class myself, and because I want to give back to the community that has done so much for me. LaunchCode has created a new community of tech enthusiasts and professionals. Being a part of that community continues to be life-changing.