Many people think you need to be a math person to learn coding. But Adam Enbar, co-founder of web development bootcamp Flatiron School, says web development is more art than science.
“There’s a misconception that programmers are employed to be quantitatively minded factory workers who churn out code,” he wrote on Quora. “It turns out, that it’s less assembly line work than it is art.”
That’s probably why students of the Flatiron School come from all different backgrounds. It’s not unusual for a class to be made up of entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, production assistants, and poker players.
Enbar, along with his co-founder, Avi Flombaum, invites anyone with a passion for coding to apply. With their money-back guarantee, they promise you a job within six months or a full refund of your tuition.
If you’re curious about starting a career in web development — a field that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will grow by 13 percent in the next few years — read on for our full review of the Flatiron School.
What the Flatiron School is all about
Since 2012, the Flatiron School has offered intensive programs in web and iOS development on its flagship campus in New York City. Students come together for up to 15 weeks to learn coding, work on projects, and build a community. Plus, they connect with industry professionals and mentors who help them jump-start their careers after graduation.
In 2015, the Flatiron School introduced its online learning platform, Learn.co. Now, you don’t have to live in NYC to learn web development at the Flatiron School. You can access the same resources and community while setting your own schedule from anywhere.
Although the Flatiron School comes with a high price tag, it does offer financing options and scholarships. Plus, most of its in-person and online bootcamps come with a job placement guarantee. The Flatiron School promises you’ll get hired within six months of graduating or it will refund your tuition.
According to its 2017 jobs report, 99 percent of job seekers from the immersive web development program were hired after graduation. Overall, the jobs they accepted had an average salary of $75,421.
This high rate perhaps isn’t surprising, considering that the admissions process is so selective. A few years ago, Enbar put the acceptance rate at around 6 percent, on par with Ivy League schools like Harvard.
The Flatiron School looks for driven, passionate people it expects to be successful. You have to have a foundation in code before you apply, which you can build with Flatiron School’s free online courses.
If you make it through the admissions process, you’ll join a diverse community of aspiring web developers. Although the Flatiron School is not accredited or recognized by traditional higher education standards, its job placement record speaks for itself. Before long, you could be working in a career you love with an annual salary of $75,000 or more.
Learning to code with the Flatiron School
In addition to its bootcamp prep program, Flatiron also offers three additional free online courses:
- Introduction to Ruby: A 30-hour online course to learn Ruby. Course topics include debugging, logic and conditionals, and object orientation. During the program, you’ll build a two-player game of tic-tac-toe with Ruby and jQuery.
- Swift: Building iOS apps: A 125-hour course for learning Swift and building iOS apps. You’ll build your portfolio with projects like a quiz game app, blackjack game app, and shopping cart app.
Although none of these courses are required, Flatiron recommends at least the bootcamp prep course before you apply to one of its full-time programs. Once you’re ready, you have a few different options to pursue as a student. There are three programs on the NYC campus:
- Software Engineering Immersive: This 15-week program teaches you how to be a software engineer. You’ll learn full-stack web development, as well as the fundamentals of product management and computer science. You can also choose a technical concentration, such as databases or front-end frameworks. Before starting the program, expect to complete 100 hours of prework. This program comes with Flatiron’s money-back guarantee.
- iOS Developer Program: This rigorous 12-week program will teach you to build mobile apps independently and in teams. This curriculum, which includes 100 hours of prework, will help you become a professional iOS developer. It comes with Flatiron’s money-back guarantee.
- Mobile Dev Corps: This scholarship-funded program is tuition free for accepted students. You must be an NYC resident earning less than $50,000 per year. If you get in, you’ll learn to build advanced mobile apps in this full-time, 16-week program.
Not everyone lives in NYC, and not everyone can commit to a full-time bootcamp. If you prefer to learn online, you can apply for one of these tracks:
- Online Web Developer Program: Like the flagship NYC program, this bootcamp teaches you the skills you need to work as a professional web developer. The only difference is this online version doesn’t offer the opportunity for a technical concentration.
You can choose to take the course part time over 10 months or full time over six months. Although the program is self paced, you won’t be alone — you can get technical support in real time, take part in interactive live lectures, set up mentorship sessions, and speak to your instructors during office hours. This course comes with the Flatiron School’s money-back guarantee.
- Community-Powered Bootcamp: This is Flatiron’s most flexible option for aspiring web developers. You can complete lessons at your own pace on a monthly basis. You’ll connect with the community and build your portfolio, but you won’t have access to the same career services as you would in the other programs.You can exit and re-enroll in this program at any time. Alternatively, you can choose to upgrade to the web developer program. The Community-Powered Bootcamp does not come with Flatiron’s job guarantee.
Through all these changes (including its recent acquisition by coworking space provider WeWork), Flatiron remains committed to helping its students become professional web developers. Alumni of the Flatiron School have gone on to work at Spotify, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, UNICEF, and other leading organizations.
Tuition costs, financing, and scholarship opportunities
Tuition costs for the Flatiron School are different for on-campus and online courses. Here are the total fees, along with your options for financing.
- NYC Software Engineering Immersive and iOS Developer courses: $15,000. You can pay upfront or put down a deposit of $3,000, followed by monthly payments of $380.
- Online Web Developer Program: $1,500 per month, up to $12,000. On average, full-time students graduate in four to eight months, and part-time students graduate in around 10 months.You can put down a deposit of $1,500 and finance the rest for a minimum of $330 per month for 36 months. Every month, the Flatiron School also offers 25 $1,500 merit-based scholarships to students who excel in its free online intro courses.
- Community-Powered Bootcamp: $149 per month. You can cancel at any time and save your progress, in case you ever decide to re-enroll. If you choose to upgrade to the web developer program, Flatiron will subtract any tuition you’ve paid from the cost of the web developer program.
- Mobile Dev Corps: 100 percent tuition free for accepted students. Plus, Flatiron provides MetroCards and other perks throughout the program.
If you’re looking for a student loan to pay tuition, the Flatiron School suggests Skills Fund. You can borrow between $2,000 and $12,000 from Skills Fund. Along with interest, each loan comes with a 4 percent origination fee.
Note that Skills Fund is not your only option for financing a coding bootcamp, nor does it appear to be your best one with its relatively high interest rates and origination fee. Shop around before choosing a lender to make sure you’re getting the best possible terms. If you don’t meet the underwriting requirements, you might need to apply for a loan with a cosigner.
As part of their efforts to increase the representation of women in tech, the Flatiron School also offers $1,000 scholarships to every woman admitted to its NYC Software Engineering Immersive program. You can learn more about these Women Take Tech scholarships by inquiring on the Flatiron website.
Applying for a program at the Flatiron School
The Flatiron School offers a challenging, immersive education in all things web development. Plus, its dedicated career counselors help you prepare for job interviews and land a high-paying job.
Part of the reason Flatiron has such a strong record with its graduation rate and job placement is how competitive its admissions process is. The admissions committee admits driven students it expects to succeed after the program.
Plus, it’s not looking for people who are completely new to coding. The school wants applicants who already have a passion for coding and want to take their skills to the next level.
To apply to Flatiron, you’ll submit a written application that explains your qualifications and why you want to join the Flatiron community. After the school reviews your application, your next step will be to interview with an admissions adviser.
Finally, you’ll write and submit some code on Learn.co. After discussing your work with a Flatiron professor, you’ll get an admissions decision within 48 hours.
Note that you don’t need any specific background or education to get into the Flatiron School. In fact, some Flatiron students don’t have a bachelor’s degree. What you do need to demonstrate, though, is motivation, aptitude, and passion for the work.
Flatiron School contact information
The Flatiron School’s NYC campus is located at 11 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10004.
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