Are you seeking a career change? Have you been lured by promises of better compensation and opportunity? Don't be fooled by individuals from the placement-team who will tout falsified job placement percentages as evidence of better professional outcomes. The entire team at Flatiron School, from executive and management to placements and instructors, have absolutely no idea what's going on, and as long as they're getting your money by selling you on the hope of a new career, they don't care.
My experience with this bootcamp can be summed up as follows:
Attending Flatiron School was the single most disastrous professional and financial decision I've ever made.
For months prior to making the decision to attend a bootcamp, I spent time doing my due diligence and actually spoke with grads and the placements team before applying, and I was assured that job prospects were "good" and that "industry relationships" were abundant. This was the sole reason I was willing to pay an exorbitant fee for a skill I could have learned from books and videos online, however by all appearances myself and my entire class have been misled.
After an interval greater than most individual's job search, Flatiron's placement numbers have been inflated by hiring individuals from my class as instructors but other individuals in my class have received very little in the way of placement assistance.
Pros & Cons
1. Free coffee
2. Better Teaching of Standards of Practice/Third Party Libraries
3. "Cool" people (that is, until you start asking for help)
4. Happy hours/feelings sessions
5. If you're really lucky (or a sycophant) you might get a job as an instructor after graduating
We're provided with "interviews" during our second to last week for positions that don't actually exist at the companies that come in.
There is no proportionate representation of candidates in the placements process. Some of my classmates had received 4-5 interviews while others received none within months of "graduating."
We're told to accept whatever positions are available regardless of compensation, benefits, or opportunity for advancement.
Curriculum is disorganized: Many lessons depended on understanding principles or concepts that would only be taught later.
Instructors available for help are composed of the last cohort's lucky chosen placement rate inflaters and don't have any actual professional experience.
Remember, for every good review you see on here, there is a bias because students are threatened with retribution for criticism or bad reviews. For every bad review you see on here, there are probably a dozen other students who feel similarly but are unable to say so because they're desperate for any help after spending 3 months and 15k on a program.
Personally, I've been struggling for more than a reasonable interval to find consistent, well-paying work. The time and finacial investment required and subsequent failure to find work ended a long term relationship. Maintaining a flexible schedule for interviews that never seem to happen means I can't find consistent, steady-paying work in other fields.
My advice to those of you who are considering a switch to a programming vocation: buy some books (Big Nerd Ranch etc), watch videos (UDEMY, TeamTreeHouse, etc), and develop your own projects instead of making the mistake I made by trusting the paid representatives of a bootcamp.
Flatiron (9/29 - 12/19, iOS-003)
The course itself runs (at least) 40 hours a week. Though it was rare for anyone to leave at 6p as there was waaay more work than there were hours in the day. Fortunately the FIS campus is open 24 hours a day and you can come and go as you please, which basically meant that some of the students were there all the time during the course. And there is more than enough space for the staff, faculty, iOS course (~20) the Ruby course (~40) plus the high school program they host, plus the frequent Meetup guests they host (all meetups are free to the Flatiron students and are really great to attend).
There are two primary instructors, one for Ruby (Avi) and one for iOS (Joe Burgess, see below). Both have many years of experience in the field and are passionate about changing the CS teaching paradigm. They are incredibly enthusiastic and huuuge programming nerds. And, coming from that terrible NYU experience, I was made 100% at ease when they started talking about their favorite Linux dev's beards at the first group lecture -- no one does that unless they're really into the subject.
In addition to the instructors, there are multiple TA's that assist and answer questions as needed. I believe most, if not all of them, were students of prior FIS bootcamp sessions -- all incredibly bright and curious about their new chosen discipline.
I can't speak to the Ruby course, but the iOS course is incredibly rigorous for the first 6-8 weeks. The day is broken into a morning lecture, followed by labs, lunch, afternoon lecture (to recap morning lab and introduce 1-2 more evening labs) and lastly afternoon lab time. 2-3 labs per day don't sound like much.. but you'll just have to take it on faith that they usually take way more than a single day to complete. And this is why you'll rarely see anyone leave a 6p, the official close to the school day. Moreover, you'll frequently see students come in on Saturdays, Sundays, and any other holiday just to try to finish up and also start their own side projects.
The lectures themselves are presented in a very easy to understand manner, and you leave the lecture itself thinking "oh yea, I got this -- this is easy." And then you bang your head against a lab for 18 hours before you complete it's advance section and have all of your tests pass. But that just lends to how well Joe can explain and take you through a topic .. he makes it so effortless that it makes you think it's a simple concept. But then you try it, and you begin to understand the intricacy involved in coding elegance. The lectures also are a real example of live coding with a dash of active learning. Joe will take you (somehow), from File>New>Project to a completely working Github API manager in 20 minutes.
The materials, lectures and labs, are created by the instructors and are kept on a FIS github account that is shared with all of the students. They even have an internal system to track student lab progress based on forks, successful test runs and pull requests. Although it was still in beta during my time here, it was incredibly impressive what they had achieved with it (p.s. I've worked in the tech sector for 7 years now.. I'm not easily impressed by software). I'm a bit jealous that I won't be part of the future implementations of this product though.
As far as side projects, the instructors expect and encourage everyone to start their own projects as soon as they feel comfortable (but basically it's reinforced from like week 2). If you somehow have some time to start a side project, the instructors take you through your project and help where is necessary. But they will absolutely not hold your hand -- they will provide directive suggestions and then it's up to you to actually do the leg work. Whether this means asking other classmates for support through paired programming, or scouring stackoverflow for the right answer.
As a testament to these projects, every student is expected to give a talk during their semester during a Flatiron Presents! meet up. The topics of choice are left up to the students, but the instructors are there to provide guidance and feedback on the topics. Not only this, but the iOS course ends with a 4-week capstone project where you are paired with a local business and you develop an app for them. It's amazing -- you think you're completely unprepared for such a scenario (I mean, you only just started coding in the program 2 months ago..), but it's only that you haven't had the time to reflect on the last 2 months of work you did. In actuality, your skillset is more than capable of developing a really great app at that point.
Amazingly, there is also a human component to all of this.. the first few weeks are packed with non-coding activity. You get to learn your classmates through improv sessions, dance workshops, lockpicking workshops, knot-tieing.. Not only that, but multiple times per week, they will have guest speakers (anyone from startup CEO's, tech interviewing experts, senior devs, etc..) come in and talk to the class about tech life and their experiences. Many of the speakers have also employed FIS students.
And at first I really didn't really get on board with the activities and talks (I just want to code, dammit!), but I'm incredibly glad I went through it all. You get to mingle and meet everyone else in the program. Yea, most people suck at the dance workshop -- especially me -- but after feeling stupid about not being able to dance, it's a lot easier to feel less embarrassed about asking your partner about some code, or commiserating about the last lab, or the long hours. Hearing a CEO for a massively successful tech company say that he had no clue what he was doing at first, is a gentle reminder of the path you're on and where you're headed.
With everything going on, and spending all of your waking hours with the same people for 3 months straight, you develop some pretty strong bonds. I've found some of the most intelligent and passionate people ever in my time at FIS. I've gone out with them, had parties with them, went to hack-a-thons with them, struggled with them and eventually graduated with them. It was like a small-town, high school experience. It's incredibly sad to see us all part, but I'm glad to have known them all and I already know I'll be in close contact with many of them. Heck, I even met my doppelganger while at FIS (see: Flatiron Twinsies).
There were no dropouts in my class, and I believe they said that there had only been 2 or so ever, and those were due to some unforeseen circumstances, not that the students couldn't complete the work (in fact, I believe they were refunded money and invited to come another semester).
And now, I'm on my last leg of my FIS journey. I'm being supported by an incredibly active and talented job-placement team. They are constantly holding events to introduce students to employees, giving talks on how to send the perfect email, setting up mock technical interviews so that you can bomb it in an environment where it doesn't matter (and learn from it), always following up with you to make sure you've been reaching out to contacts, updating your resume and profiles.. etc. They are sooo invested in you getting a job, it's amazing.
You will never, ever regret having gone to Flatiron. It's outstanding at every point. If you are completely serious about changing careers and becoming an iOS dev, then absolutely apply for FIS. I want to shake you by your face right now to make you realize how serious I am.
I applied to Flatiron's iOS program and received a message telling me to expect contact for an interview in a few weeks.
That contact never came. They seem to have lost the application. As the program was about to begin, I wrote to them and asked what happened — they apologized right away and acknowledged the administrative error.
Apart from the administrative sloppiness, which perhaps could happen anywhere, I have the feeling they are getting so many applications that they aren't experiencing much market pressure. Anyway, I had found other options by then and did not reapply.
tl;dr - Life changing, literally. Landed the greatest job at the greatest company (Greenhouse.io), all because of Flatiron School. Absolutely worth the investment.
Why Flatiron School
I'd spent a number of months teaching myself some programming, but after a while I just wasn't making the progress I wanted to. Without the proper direction, it was tough to know that I was taking the right move each step of the way. I had looked at a handful of programs similar to Flatiron School - but simply put, none convinced me that they actually cared about the students the way Flatiron School did. Most of the others just seemed like factories, churning out very junior developers. It was an easy decision.
The months of studying on my own lasted me maybe four weeks into my semester. Things pick up pretty quickly, but not in an overwhelming way. There's the right balance between individual and group work, lecture and projects, and instructor help and "try to figure it out on your own" responses. But its so much more than just the balance of the learning process. You're joining an actual community, and are surrounded by dozens of people that simply won't let you fail. That's something you just can't replace.
As is any job search process, finding the right position after graduation is stressful, but not terribly difficult. Throughout the semester you're told to resist any focus on finding a job and just continue to study. This may not seem like good advice at the time, but it's definitely the right move. You're there to learn, and finding a job will naturally come. Once the semester is over, the school definitely supports you with getting your foot in the door, preparing you for interviews, and helping you take the right steps throughout the process. That's exactly how I landed my job at Greenhouse.io, and I couldn't be happier with the end result.
So, I was in the Ruby 005 class of the Flatiron School (Summer of 2014), and not gonna lie, when I was accepted into the school and decided to go, a lot of my friends told me that Ruby was a terrible language, and learning Rails would be a waste of time. So I walked in a little apprehensive, but I read quite a few of Avi's posts about how the school teaches you how to think and learn, not just a single language and framework. So, I went in with an open mind, and I absolutely threw myself into the Ruby world.
I had an hour and a half commute during the program, so I would listen to Ruby Rogues podcasts while I was walking, and in the subway, I would read Ruby programming books, and when I got home, I would watch Ruby conference videos. It was absolutely addicting, and it was 100% because of the people and Avi (he's a person too, but he gets a special shout out). I would have never done any of those things on my own, but my classmates would kept talking about this Ruby Rogues episode or that Ruby paradigm or the next version of a Ruby gem, so I couldn't help but learn as much as I can with them. And Avi is the biggest Ruby fanatic I know. By far.
Now, it wasn't always rosy at the school. There is a lot of collaboration, and it can get frustrating to work with other people (as it does in literally almost every context). But the culture definitely supports you (Feelings Fridays every.single.week), and I came out learning a ton, so I am absolutely glad for the experience.
Flatiron was the best experience ever, period. I never expected to become a developer, never thought I would fall in love with it or be any good. I had absolutely no prior technical experience or exposure (I am originally from Brazil and a Business and Marketing Major) and now I am a full time developer. Flatiron not only taught me the basics to coding, but also most importantly gave me the ability and confidence to learn anything else I needed after the course on my own.
Flatiron has a very supportive community, not only during the program when we are all feeling down and stupid on daily basis (trust me it’s hard, you’ll get it during the first feelings Friday), but also during the job hunting process (trust me this is frustrating) but when everything is done you are left with amazing friends and people that are always cheering for you and want to know what amazing things you are up to.
I would recommend the Flatiron School to anyone, even if you don’t want to be a full time developer (you might change your mind and fall in love with code), if you want to be a project manager, tech entrepreneur or just be around amazing ridiculously intelligent people (which you can only wish to absorb some of that through osmosis), Flatiron is the place to go.
For me, Flatiron School was a smart investment at a time when I was seeking to leave my job in finance. While anyone interested in the Flatiron School to look at themselves long and hard to figure out if they do want to be a software engineer, if you have already made that decision, then Flatiron is a great option and a tremendous opportunity if you get into the program.
Avi, the dean and lead instructor, is an inspired teacher and has an knack for distilling complex programming elements into easy-to-understand language. Avi and his teaching assistants build upon the curriculum iteratively, so subsequent lessons use concepts taught in earlier lessons, which serve to help consolidate knowledge and build coding muscle memory. And working alongside classmates that come from similar varied (and, often, non-technical) backgrounds helps to demystify coding and make software development more accessible.
If you're interested in getting involved in a start-up, but not necessarily as a developer, Flatiron School may not be for you. Flatiron is an intensive, 12-week programming course focusing on Ruby, at least for the web dev bootcamp (they also offer an iOS course and seem keen to add more technical classes in the near future). The intention is to prepare you for a job as a junior software developer, not as a product manager or a technical analyst or some other tech-adjacent role at a start-up. Prior to attending the Flatiron School, it's imperative that you consider what it means to be an engineer, even if you may not want to be an engineer for the rest of your life, since the skill set you'll be building is intended to help you get a software development job. There are many reasons for wanting to become a developer - a valuable skill set, the ability to execute on ideas in our modern, connected world, intellectual stimulation, job security, etc. - but you need to determine if these reasons are relevant to you in your life situation. There's also a lot of good reasons to go into oil exploration these days - high pay, good job security - but that doesn't mean everyone should change their job to become an oil miner. Software development isn't the easiest job in the world, but if you have a penchant for structured problem solving or an interest in finding creative solutions to data-related problems, then software engineering is probably a good path forward for you.
Although the Flatiron School's web development program teaches Ruby, don't let that fact turn you off if you're interested in other languages. Ruby is used simply as the means by which programming principles are taught. Learning your first language is always the hardest - once you know one language, its easier to learn your second since many of the underlying principles around data structures, control flow, object orientation, etc., are shared between multiple languages. After attending Flatiron, you should have the necessary skills to get a job as a backend developer and perform the tasks common to most web development jobs - creating and consuming APIs, interacting with databases and object mappers, testing code, creating user-facing forms, etc.
I can honestly say that I would not have found my current job without the Flatiron School. The current iteration of the Flatiron School has changed a lot (including moving out of the original location in the Flatiron District!) since I graduated back in early 2013. The school has expanded a good deal - both in terms of educational programming and class size - so take my 2-year-old experience of the program with a grain of salt since its been a while since I've been a student in the program. If you're interested in applying / attending Flatiron, I encourage you to reach out to current students or recent alumni to get a more holistic understanding of the program and curriculum and to figure out if Flatiron is the best option for you.
Being at the Flatiron School was truly a life changing experience. I come from a humble background without a computer in the house growing up and no friends or family in the tech field. I’m not the typical story of a programmer but the Flatiron School took a chance on me that I’m extremely grateful for.
I was given the opportunity to meet some of the most incredible people in my life, who I’m sure I wouldn’t have crossed paths with if it wasn’t for the school. I had amazing experiences that were terrifying at first but accelerated my growth and learning - like blogging and giving tech presentations.
The instructors pushed me to do things I never knew I was capable of. The whole thing was a fully immersive 180 degree experience. It not only helped me grow as a programmer, but also as a person.
Being in a visible minority group, I struggled most of my life to find my place and any mentors in the tech field. Flatiron taught me the skills to find my happy place with a fulfilling career in tech, and gave me the courage to find that mentor inside myself.
As of this writing, one year ago I couldn’t even tell you the difference between a break tag and a break statement, and now I write code that affects millions of people everyday - Very surreal.
I really enjoyed my Flatiron School experience (iOS-001) and would fully recommend the iOS Immersive Program to anyone who is serious about becoming an engineer.
For background, I was a late career changer who successfully transitioned to web development through evening courses. In my free time, I dabbled with a few iOS development classes and I absolutely loved it. I really wanted to become an iOS engineer but did not know how because it was really hard to learn by myself and part time. Even though I had a technical background as a Front-End Web Developer, I just was not good enough at programming where I could teach myself efficiently or effectively.
The Flatiron School iOS Immersive Program gave me the necessary foundation in Objective C to get a job as a mobile engineer at a rising startup with a strong tech team. I would not be where I am today without Flatiron School (and a LOT of my own hard work).
Before Flatiron School
After work, I would spend hours exploring every Stack Overflow solution (no matter how wrong). Often, I would not find an answer to my problem and spend many nights trying to resolve the same issue.
During Flatiron School
My iOS instructor(s) taught us new concepts in lecture and then we practiced them in labs. They spent time to answer questions and guide me in the right direction, saving me hours of frustration. I think I built a new "app" every day for homework or for classwork. We worked individually and in teams.
After Flatiron School
Now that I've googled hundreds if not thousands of questions by now, I can now weed out the bad or outdated Stack Overflow answers pretty quickly. After learning important and common Apple classes and design patterns in class, I am not afraid to pick up and learn any new framework by myself.
Can you learn iOS without Flatiron School?
Maybe, but it will take discipline and dedication. But try first. It all depends on how independently you work and how much you really want it. It's pretty hard to teach yourself. You don't know what you don't know. I tried and realized that (time == money).
All the instructors are knowledgeable, nice and helpful. The students are people you want to work with or be friends with. The alumni have a solid reputation in the tech community (so don't mess it up). The staff showed up at my events to support me after I graduated. And I see familiar faces often at Meetups!
What I Got From Flatiron School
What you put into it determines what you get out of it. There is no doubt in my mind that Flatiron School gave me the fundamentals and confidence to be able to learn and code independently --which in my opinion, is all that you can really ask for.
A letter to all prospective / admitted Flatiron School students,
I know you all worked (or will work) very hard for those admission seats but honestly the real hard work has only begun. Prepare yourself. This journey will tax you in every way possible. The first step to survival and ultimately success starts with making a personal decision to change your life. You want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to code none stop for the next three months Manhattan campus or five months Brooklyn campus. Now sure how? Let me tell you . . .
From day one, Monday through Friday, you will be programming. Classes officially start at 9am until 6pm. Thirty minutes of that morning goes into submitting a code challenge. Complete your challenge within that time frame. No luck? You have the rest of the day but really push yourself to complete the challenge before 930am.
The next thirty minutes goes into presenting your blog post about any technical topic. Please write your blogs ahead of time. You will be surprise by how much time it takes to write a decent blog. I encourage everyone to maintain a blog post during your time. If I did it so can you. Check mine out: BABES WHO CODE! Writing about code helps you cement your learning while also revealing the holes in your knowledge. It’s also a great way to give back to the tech community. 10am to 12pm is lecture, followed by lunch, and more lecture until about 2pm/3pm. Instructors will give you the rest of the afternoon to complete your labs together with your classmates. By 6pm most of the class clears out but if you can stick around till late, do it. You have labs and that challenge from this morning to finish, your blog to write, and tomorrow’s lesson to review. Create your own schedule where you code from 9am till 9pm.
This is where I start spewing stuff in all the excitement of writing a review on my experience. It is in no particular order. Code nonstop during the weekdays and weekends. Also make time for breaks, game time, exercises, friends and family because you do not want to burn yourself out. Test your limits but do not go overboard. Get enough sleep. If you are single, stay single because these three or five months should be all about you. You know that cool website you’ve been thinking about for the past month or year? Well build it now. Build it for your first meet-up! Do not be afraid to test, break, fix, and refactor your code. Read those error messages carefully. Find a balance between asking for help and helping yourself first. Actually practice the code you find in tutorials. Yeah you skimmed it but you still don’t know the difference between an instance variable and a class variable. Ask the speakers tons of questions. This is the best time to channel your inner six-year-old brimming with courage, unbridled excitement and curiosity. Failure be damned!
My suggestions may sound crazy but I believe if you put in the time before, during, and after the Flatiron School, it’s all very possible. I was a Brooklyn fellow and I swallowed that same pill. Since graduating, I have moved to Silicon Valley for an awesome position as a Cloud Software Engineer – Front End at Intel.
My success story is one of many Flatiron School alums. Hopefully, you’ll soon join the ranks, but right now, you better work.
If your question is should I go to Flatiron School to learn programming or start a career as a programmer, the answer is yes. Definitely, definitely yes.
I saw a few people go through the program before I signed up myself, and they already went from little or no programming experience to working on really cool projects and in one case launching a successful tech startup.
Personally, I had been learning on my own for a couple of years using Codecademy and other mostly online programs. A particularly good one is Thinkful. But in my case I wanted to go faster and with work and other commitments could only make progress a few hours at a time. So the intensity of doing three months straight of programming full time catapults you to a higher level very quickly, and in my case enabled me to become the sole engineer at a startup building an iOS app from scratch. So far, there's nothing that my education didn't prepare me for, including learning additional skills as needed rapidly.
Basically it's an awesome environment, with committed teachers and students and a strong community, and you will definitely learn a ton about programming that you can translate into your own projects or professional work.
The Flatiron School Forever Changed My Life
Every person’s life contains turning points and life-changing moments, some of which are more apparent than others. Deciding to attend The Flatiron School was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that forever changed my life.
From Day 1, I knew my class was in for something special. I’ve literally never seen such a deep level of caring, anywhere. Everything we did at Flatiron was carefully crafted to ensure we got the most out of the program, and that we learned in the most optimal way possible. There was meticulously curated pre-work to prepare us before the semester even began, thorough (and fun!) labs to help us practice our newly acquired skills, in-semester tutoring by alumni, and even post-work to hone our skills after we graduated. I was particularly blown away by the selfless alumni who carved out time from their busy weekends to tutor us.
I’m also thrilled that I was able to meet 27 like-minded individuals. From the moment we first introduced ourselves on Piazza, it was clear that everyone had a fascinating story; it didn’t take long for all of us to become friends. Our class was so diverse and had so many different personalities! Over the course of the semester, we laughed together, we cried together, we learned from each other, we supported each other. Lifelong friendships were forged, undoubtedly we’ll cross paths with each other at future jobs, and I’m sure we’ll one day be starting companies together.
I’d also like to thank you for providing us with the greatest instructors we could have asked for. Our teachers imparted us with a great deal of knowledge, answered all of our questions, and were always available to assist and guide us. They understood that each of us had different methods and speeds of learning, and catered to the unique needs of each individual student.
But they were more than just our teachers; they were our friends. We had lunch with them, hung out after class, and had discussions that ranged from questions from a lecture, to the most mundane of topics. In addition to programming, the non-programming lessons that we learned from them were just as valuable. Our teachers led by example and showed us that being a caring, empathetic person is just as important as knowing the nuances of ActiveRecord or how to iterate through Nested Data Structures. Our teachers empowered us to not only become better developers, but to become better people. Blake, Steven, and Ian- you guys rock.
The Overall Stellar Flatiron Staff
I’d like to thank Avi and Adam for creating such a wonderful program, Rebecca and Jackie for tirelessly championing employers on our behalf, Elana and Carley for putting together all the wonderful meetups and events, and the rest of the incredible Flatiron staff for being awesome.
Thanks to The Flatiron School, the trajectory of my life has been forever altered. I never thought that I’d be capable of doing this. I never dreamed that becoming a software developer was an option, since I was never a “math or science” kid. Besides falling in love with programming and the unparalleled education, this program changed the way I think, reinvented my life, and shaped my brain differently.
I’d like to conclude with something we were told at our graduation ceremony:
“Tell the story that you have a family here forever. You have people here that love you and are rooting for you.”
Well, Flatiron School, the feeling is mutual. I’m proud to call myself a Flatiron alum, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.
(adapted from my Medium post "Thank You Flatiron School!") https://medium.com/@alicht/thank-you-flatiron-school-1d3fd8148521
Flatiron, quite simply, changed my life.
Recovering from a Past Career
In early 2013, I was still recovering from some scars I'd weathered after trying to make a decent living (failed) and name for myself (felt like I'd mostly failed) in the music biz. I felt like I had a lot left in me to offer the world, but had no idea how to do so.
After failing to get a job as an Executive Assistant at a music-tech startup, I knew it was time to seriously start reconsidering my skill set. The silver lining was that I'd stumbled into the world of tech and startups (not sure why I'd never considered this before, but probably because I thought it was reserved only for "computer genius types" and I was "an English major who loved music") and within the first 5 minutes of job-researching, I saw how much opportunity was out there for people with technical skills.
Learning a Whole New Skill (is Scary)
I wanted in. But first, of course, I had to learn how to code. After a few months of trying out Codecademy and the whole self-learning thing -- but mostly going in endless circles around "which language to learn first" -- I applied to the Flatiron School. They make that predicament easy, by the way: Flatiron starts with Ruby.
When I received my acceptance email, it felt like a mistake; surely they hadn't meant to accept me. And for the next 3 months, that feeling never fully went away. Why? Because the entire 3 months are about rapid learning, and by nature, if you're learning new things -- it's uncomfortable and difficult. You make a lot of mistakes. You're not good at the thing you're doing. And so you feel like you don't belong.
But could I go back to my old life? Absolutely not. In the moments that I was able to put aside my self pity and see the hard patches for what they were -- just hard patches, not impossibilities -- I could see that pushing through this would bring me somewhere infinitely better than where I'd started before setting afoot at Flatiron.
Your Classmates and Teachers Don't Let You Fail
Even if I'd seriously thought about giving up, my classmates and teachers wouldn't have let me. I discovered that many classmates were battling impostor syndrome just like I was; and we provided each other a safe environment to talk about it. This helped tremendously.
My teachers also acknowledged the legitimacy of the feeling and gladly reminded us for the 99th and 100th times why 'not being good at something now' is not tantamount to 'I will therefore never be good at it'. This, of course, on top of the usual things you might expect from good teachers (great instruction, willingness to stop and answer questions, availability outside lessons/lectures, etc).
One of the biggest surprises was realizing that the really really smart students I'd initially been intimidated by were actually incredibly nice people (because Flatiron checks for cultural fit in the admissions process and doesn't admit any a**holes), and being around them was like having extra teachers I hadn't even banked on having.
With so many smart people around me to answer literally any question I had, I would have to have straight up stopped showing up and stopped caring to fail to learn what I came there to learn.
You can't fail at Flatiron.
What Life Can be like After Flatiron
Approximately 3-4 weeks after graduating from Flatiron (including the Christmas and New Years' holidays), I landed a job as a front-end developer at a rapidly growing NY tech startup. Today, I'm a Product Manager at the same company. I like everyone I work with. Anyone reading this can probably appreciate how unusual that is.
A year prior to my first day at the job, I'd been wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life. I had zero coding skills. I didn't know what an HTML tag was. I'd recently been rejected by a music-tech startup for an Executive Assistant role.
And I can't thank them enough for that. I never would've found the Flatiron School otherwise.
I haven't attended the school. I'm writing this review based on a podcast I just listened to. Saron Yitbarek was on the ruby rouges where she mentioned attending this school. It stood out to me that she claimed this school gave her the permission to call her self a programmer. Might be wise to listen to the linked podcast if you are considering this school.
awesome experience. great teachers.