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Eleni Papanicolas
Eleni Papanicolas

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how to prepare for flatiron school // resources i used

Looking over the Flatiron School website and reading about the Software Engineering Live program, I felt a sense of excitement alongside a sense of dread. Questions swirled around my head for days as I pondered my decision to do this. Is it right for me? Is it wrong for me? Am I smart enough? Will I be able to absorb all of this information? But the one question that was above all other questions: Am I prepared enough?

I wouldn't be able to answer this question though, until I had begun the program. As I pored over the pre-work, I felt a sense of relief. I seemed to have a grasp on what was being asked of me. And as I power through Phase-1, that feeling, albeit unsteady, persists.

That being said, I wanted to share some of the resources I used in my journey towards Flatiron School.

Years ago, a friend had made a career change into tech by teaching herself and using Codecademy. So this year, when I decided myself to make a similar leap, this seemed like a natural starting point. After taking a few free lessons on the Codecademy website, I decided to upgrade to the Pro version. The options were simple: $40/month on a monthly subscription, or $20/month for a full year subscription. I immediately sprung for the yearly subscription and it was 100% worth the purchase. Codecademy has seemingly endless courses, ranging from Intro level, Skill Paths and even Career Paths.

The courses I dabbled in:

  • Build A Website with HTML, CSS, and Github Pages
  • Learn Javascript
  • Front-End Engineer Career Path

And these were only a few of the possibilities and options available. Subjects such as Data Science, Machine Learning, Game Development and Cyber Security are offered as Career and Skill Paths. Python, JavaScript, SQL, Ruby, PHP and Swift are among the many languages they also offer courses in. Learning on Codecademy certainly set me up for success in my continuing education and I plan to keep my subscription for further learning in the future.

As I got more and more into the development community, I began listening to a few coding podcasts to hear from others in the coding community and try and understand how to relate the information to my own path forward. The Code Newbie Podcast quickly became a favorite of mine. I loved listening to the host Saron interview her guests about their own journeys into tech, discuss the subject of the day, and then relate it to code newbies like myself. Listening to this podcast gave me different bits of information on various aspects of breaking into the tech world, and also led me to my next learning resource.

One guest on the Code Newbie podcast, was someone I had previously read about and heard talk on another podcast, so when Wes Bos was featured on my favorite podcast I knew it was time to check his stuff out. They discussed a popular free mini-course that he had released called JavaScript 30, a 30 day code challenge making projects using vanilla JavaScript. That seemed a little daunting to me, but then I discovered he had released a Beginner Javascript course on It seemed like a no brainer for me, as I was trying to find ways to level up. And I am so so glad I went for it. His course includes 88 video files or the option to stream the course, as well as a full Github repo containig starter files and solutions. The videos are separated by distinct subject for ease of use when re-watching or trying to find certain information. What I liked was the ability to pause the videos or code along with him. He is a fantastic teacher, and projects sprinkled in throughout the course really help show how much you are learning. I took the premium Beginner JavaScript course, but he also offers free courses on CSS Grid and Flexbox, CLI, Markdown and Redux. Some of his premium courses include Learn Node, React for Beginners, Advanced React and GraphQL, and Master Gatsby. This course left me hungry for even more learning. Which led me to... you guessed it! FLATIRON!

By this time in my personal journey, I was really feeling like I had a precarious grasp on the fundamentals, but no idea how to tie it all together. Upon a recommendation from a friend who had been through Flatiron's Software Engineering Live, I decided to pursue the Full Stack route, with hopes that I could utilize everything I'd learned and once again, level up.

Some other great resources that I have found helpful along the way:

I can't wait to share more with you about my Flatiron coding journey. Stay tuned.

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