Dear Flatiron Student

So you pulled the trigger and chose to enroll in a coding boot camp. You chose Flatiron because you read the audited reports and felt confident that this program would land you a job in the tech industry. Here’s the truth from a part time software engineering student at the end of the program.

You are going to bust your tail and put 20–30 hours per week into this. On project weeks you’re going to invest closer to 40 hours. You’re going to spend more time looking at errors than you will successful programs and you will feel behind, a lot. The process is grueling and you have to fight to stay afloat. The ones who made connections with their cohort mates and asked thousands of questions were the ones who succeeded.

But.

It is worth it.

I went from studying on Udemy to programming complex web applications in a matter of months. The hype is real and the school delivers as long as you invest on your end. I have scored a couple of interviews and I hope to land a job in technology soon. I chalk this up to the support structures provided at Flatiron, and I feel strongly that the coaches really care about the success of their students.

The truth of the matter is that not everyone at Flatiron made it through all five phases. I don’t know precisely, but I would guess that 40% of students in my cohort were either held back or dismissed. I think this is a reflection on preparation and less on ability. Many students underestimated the time commitment and lots of people just had life emergencies through no fault of their own. If you’re getting ready to jump in with both feet, make sure you have the time and space to commit. Further, I believe that some pre-work is required. I completed four Udemy courses on JavaScript and I attempted to build a Rails application before I began the boot camp. If I could go back, I would have completed four more Udemy courses on Ruby to help prepare myself for the back-end development portion of the course. The boot camp starts from square zero, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Go as far as possible on your own before your start date so you know where you will need to focus your energy. You don’t need a boot camp to teach you how to create a variable. You need a boot camp to show you how to migrate databases, create an API, and launch web applications. If you aren’t working ahead, then you aren’t in the right mindset...yet.

Do your homework, overprepare, make time for this commitment and build relationships with the people in your cohort. If you show up with this level of zeal, then you will walk away with an education of real value that employers are actively begging for.

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Full Stack Web Developer

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