My road to Flatiron began near the end of 2019. I applied in September, but enrollment didn't happen until the middle of December. I waited three months and I am very glad I did. I needed time to consider my options. Plus there was the matter of money.
There was no doubt I wanted to learn to code. I had done web development classes at community college and really enjoyed them. Could I justify taking out a loan, and to not work for months? It was investing in my future, but could I afford it?
All of the deliberating and work I did between September and January (4 jobs, 6 days a week) brought me to a place where I could safely say "Yes, I am ready."
Ready for me meant being able to pay rent without full time employment, being sure that my next step was the right one, and that I was prepared for the hardships that come along with a condensed coding bootcamp.
My preparation process involved reaching out to alumni, researching other schools, and checking that it was what I really wanted to do.
Using LinkedIn, I searched out alumni from the Seattle campus. I met over drinks, and talked to people via email. They gave me critical feedback. Shortcomings of the program, things they wish they knew before and during, but most valuably that they enjoyed their time at Flatiron.
I met with alumni of other coding bootcamps in Seattle as well. I heard their experience and the perks of the different schools they went too. The most persuasive being that other schools offered more flexibility with scheduling, although the programs were significantly longer.
This was necessary to build confidence in the choice I was making. I felt confident in my choice to study software development. I have a genuine interest in it. A fifteen week program sounded better than a year long program. I wanted the intensity of learning as a full time job. I would lose steam, or interest if I had to split my time between school and a job. Flatiron also offers career services which was a big motivator for me. I have yet to meet my career coach but I'm looking forward to that relationship.
During the time I was researching, and working my chops off, I began to get excited for the opportunity. I started to talk about it with my friends. I was met with support and encouragement. Four weeks into the program I am very happy with my decision.