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Angela Lam
Angela Lam

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My Journey through Bootcamp

For the past ten months, I have been enrolled in Flatiron's online part-time software engineering course. This blog post marks my completion of my final project in Flatiron and the beginning of my job hunt in the tech field. Throughout my time in bootcamp, I've been asked by many how my bootcamp experience was and some showed interest in joining a bootcamp as well. Today, I'm going to share my experience and honest opinion about the curriculum.

I want to note that I have very close people who have gone through the in-person flatiron curriculum that takes four months to complete, so there will be some comparing and contrasting to that curriculum.

The part-time program is essentially two one-hour lectures and one pod meeting (a small group of students solving problems or asking questions with the instructor) per week including a bunch of labs/modules to complete on Canvas. From my friend who graduated from the on-campus full-time course, they had to be in class from 8am to 5pm (not exactly sure about the exact time, but basically from waking up to late afternoon). When I first heard about her curriculum, I thought I was got the bad end of the stick. She was definitely going to have a better curriculum than my part-time curriculum. But that wasn't the case... I think. It's hard to exactly compare and contrast the full-time on-campus to the part-time online. Overall, I think I learned just as much as the full-time on-campus students in regards to the languages and coding. Although the curriculum should be similar, there are some pros and cons about each.

Full-time on-campus
-Pair-programming for projects
-Less requirements for projects

Part-time online
-Stricter on project
-Live code challenge for project
-No pair-programming

For the full-time on-campus, they must pass a code-challenge about the material they learned. After passing, they start on projects which are actually done in pairs, so they get to collaborate and learn how to merge branches and make pull requests. I hate to admit it, but I barely know anything about pair-programming. The part-time online course is all about you and yourself. The projects are solo projects, which forces you to learn everything and solve all your bugs on your own without a partner. This is great but also stressful. After completing your project, you have a review where you are asked general questions about the material and your project, then the reviewer gives you a live-coding challenge on the spot. When I discussed project requirements with my friend who was enrolled in the full-time on-campus (but technically online because covid), he had it way easier than I did. He had an easier rubric than the part-time online course. I honestly see this as a pro for me, since a stricter requirement for projects would force me to learn more and make a better application. Honestly, the only thing I'm salty about is the lack of pair-programming in the part-time online course. Unsure how the full-time online course runs.

Overall, my experience with Flatiron has been great. I've connected with some of my fellow cohort students and became friends. The curriculum is not lacking and learned a lot about Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Javascript, React, and Redux. The only negative thing I have to say is the lack of pair-programming. Learning how to code with a fellow programmer is so important in the real world. When you head into a job, you're not going to be building your own application from the ground up. I do recommend Flatiron, whether it's the full-time on-campus or the part-time online.

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