March 7, 2022

Flatiron School Coding Bootcamp Review (Should You Go There in 2022?)


I invited on 3 recent graduates of the coding bootcamp, Flatiron School, to share their experiences at the program. This review is meant to get past the marketing fluff and dive into 3 REAL student experiences. We dove into a LOT in this episode, from the curriculum to even things like questionable clauses with their contracts. Enjoy!

Guests:
Oscar Ore - https://www.linkedin.com/in/oscar-ore
Ron Sala - https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronsala
Rick Moore - https://www.linkedin.com/in/rick-moore-5b587a99

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Transcript
Don Hansen:

Welcome back to another podcast episode where we help aspiring developers get jobs and junior developers grow today. We're gonna be doing an honest review of flat iron. So like usual, I brought on three guests, three graduates. We're gonna dive into their stories and get the, get the real deal. So let's go ahead and start with our intros, Oscar, uh, a few questions for you. Um, when did you graduate, where you at in your job search and, um, what industry did you come from? Uh, yes.

Oscar Ore:

So a little bit about me Don, first foremost, thanks for most for having me on the podcast. Um, I, uh, graduated flat iron at the end of September, uh, 2021. Um, just in February. I recently accepted my, uh, job offer to be a solutions engineer as well. And, um, I previously came from, uh, a sales background as well.

Don Hansen:

Okay, cool. Thank you. How about you Ren? . Ron Sala: I graduated in, And, um, I just, uh, finished up last week, uh, a three month apprenticeship with, uh, consultancy. And so, uh, now I'm looking for a, a job again, I wanted that kind of, that, that bridge between, uh, the code school and, uh, and a regular job. So mission accomplished on that and, uh, that's, that's where I now. Okay, cool. How about you, Rick?

Rick Moore:

Hi, thanks again so much for having me done. I really, uh, happy to be here. Um, I graduated back in may of 2021 and I am, uh, I accepted my job offer in October of last. So I'm a few months into working for a company that's, uh, based out of New Jersey. That's, uh, sort of the technical side of, uh, of bigger company that does executive talent search. And I came from the, uh, as being a musician for many years and the better part of the last decade, working on cruise ships as a music manager and band leader.

Don Hansen:

Okay. I'm meeting more developers that used to be musicians

Rick Moore:

seems like there's a lot of crossover on the skill

Don Hansen:

sets. There might be. Um, what position did you say you had?

Rick Moore:

Oh, I am right now, a, um, software developer. One or junior developer. Okay.

Don Hansen:

All right. Cool. Let's dive into things. So, um, you know, like I said, we're gonna talk over each other a little bit, usually normalizes out, but why, so when you were doing your coding boot camp research, initially, why did you choose flat iron over all other coding boot camps?

Rick Moore:

That question for me, all of you,

Don Hansen:

whoever wants to answer,

Oscar Ore:

um, I can start off. Um, I, uh, pretty much started my whole, um, research through a program called career karma. Um, Don. So, um, was in that program. I, I believe it was a 21 day, um, stretch where you had to apply to various boot camps. Um, I also, um, attended some local boot camps in my area as well. I'm here in the Midwest and Columbus, Ohio. So I actually got to sit down with some, um, local boot camps in my area. Uh, but what really, uh, drew me to flat iron was the recommendation of career karma. Uh, first and foremost, and then just seeing a lot of, uh, alumni have success with flat iron on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. So that's one of the reasons why I chose flat iron. Okay.

Don Hansen:

I,

Ron Sala:

I heard about, uh, flat iron, uh, through some media reports that were very favorable. I also read through a lot of, uh, course report, uh, about a lot of different schools and I was looking for, uh, for something, um, you know, especially that would have the money back guarantee. Um, R and T um, and ultimately, uh, I decided to go with flat iron, even though my original plan was to go into iOS development. Uh, but I also needed to have a school that, um, had remote instruction. They didn't have at least at that time in iOS program. So that's why I switched over to, uh, the web development going to flat iron.

Rick Moore:

All right. My circumstances were a, a little bit unique, uh, in the way that I was not in the United States. When I decided to start looking for a bootcamp, I was actually in central Europe with my wife, where we spent most of the time during the pandemic. So, um, a big part of what I was looking for in a bootcamp was the number of hours that I would actually have to dedicate to being in class. And that's where flat iron actually came out on top. Uh, same as, as Oscar. I started with career karma and started looking through a lot of different programs and saw a lot of these that sort of had, you know, almost like full school day sort of schedules where I would be in class for eight hours. Now that would be normal like on the east coast, but where I was, it was, you know, I would be up until three, 4:00 AM every night, you know, kind of being with the cohort. So I had sort. Decided that I, I wanted to do a full-fledged bootcamp and, uh, I wasn't able to, to look at bootcamps in Europe because I would've had to actually look for work in those countries. So flat iron came, uh, up as a, you know, obviously a, a us bootcamp, uh, and it only had, uh, really one hour of like stand up class time, you know, per day,

which ended up at like 4:

00 PM for me. So I, it's kind of a strange thing to pick as the, as the top, uh, factor, but that really was one of the deciding factors for me, probably the most important one was just scheduling, but that makes sense. Everything else, you know, I liked the, the, the stack that was offered and I read a lot of really great reviews about it. So things just fell into place. Okay.

Don Hansen:

Why would you have had to look for employment in Europe if you went to coding bootcamp

Rick Moore:

in Europe, These were stipulations actually on those schools, I looked at Def uh, several schools and in Hungary where I was, and, uh, there's actually like a, um, a, a, a coding camp in, in, uh, Budapest, which was in English and it was much more affordable. But part of the stipulations of applying is that you would spend one year in Hungary looking for coding work in Hungary. And I didn't have any sort of work authorization to be able to search for work there. So I was sort of knocked out of that running right from the beginning, same thing with different boot camps in England, or, you know, other European boot camps that were in English that were even, you know, more affordable. But most of them said, you're not gonna be able to, to look for work in the us if you study at this bootcamp. So I needed to look for one base in the us.

Don Hansen:

That's interesting. I didn't know that. Okay. Let's jump into it. So let's keep it open ended initially. But what do you think about the program?

Ron Sala:

I really enjoyed my experience. Um, you know, people seemed, uh, friendly. I, I felt like I got to good instruction. Uh, it was a very diverse, uh, student body, um, you know, overall it was a very good experience for me and I, I, I feel like I have a good outcome. Uh, I think that it prepared me well for the, uh, the apprenticeship, uh, working at the consultancy.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Remind me again, when you went into it, did you want to become an iOS developer?

Ron Sala:

well, when I was first looking at, uh, doing a career change into coding, uh, my first thought was, was iOS. Uh, but, uh, I hadn't really done a lot on that in my own. I had taken some, uh, U to me courses, but hadn't gotten very far into it. So it wasn't like I had, uh, had invested a lot in, in iOS. That was just my, my initial idea.

Don Hansen:

Were you trying to become a software engineer then after that initial idea?

Ron Sala:

Uh, yeah, I was really just, uh, just exploring. And even before I applied to flat iron, I was taking the, uh, bootcamp prep that flat iron, uh, was offering. And so that kind of gave me a feel for it, and I felt comfortable, uh, going into web development and, you know, I never wanna be pigeon toed as a developer. I, you know, I, I, uh, wanna have options open and I'm sure my career is gonna cover a lot of different areas.

Don Hansen:

Okay. All right. What did you guys think of the program?

Oscar Ore:

Um, I, I thought it was okay at first. Um, so I, um, originally started out, um, with the part-time, um, online portion of the software, um, engineering bootcamp Fline iron on. So, um, pretty much my schedule was, um, you know, holding a full time job. And then at nights I would turn on the switch to be Oscar to developer pretty much. Um, and, uh, that schedule was a little bit brutal for me to be quite honest. Um, I wish I would've. Um, you know, now that the process is over, definitely one of the hardest things I've done, but, uh, I would say I wish they would've prepared us for the amount of hours that we're gonna have to put in. Ultimately, I, I, uh, had to switch over to self pace just to, you know, manage my responsibilities at home and then complete the course. Um, Overall, I thought the tech step was very relevant. Um, except for, um, at least when I, uh, took the course, it was, uh, first Ruby just diving into Ruby. And then there was a portion with Sinatra really haven't even touched Sinatra. Um, since that, uh, since that module and then it was sequel JavaScript, um, and then react. Um, I, I believe now the curriculum has changed where they flipped that to where it's react now. So they get introduced to that. Um, react is, is, you know, very complex. I don't know if it's appropriate to start them off with the framework if they don't know the fundamentals of JavaScript to be quite honest, but I just wished, uh, they, they would've touched on JavaScript a little bit more and just take out the Sinatra module all in all. Uh, but I would say overall, um, the instructors were really great. Some of them. I found that they recently graduated from flat iron too, which kind of drew a couple of red flags on my experience as well. Um, and just my going through the program, I really wish I would've done a, uh, in person bootcamp as well, just because you're immersed in that environment for eight hours. Unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury to do that. I only had, you know, that hour, um, of screen time with my instructor and, you know, they were really flexible with the office hours that they had to accommodate, but, you know, I was working a full-time job as well. So it was a little bit, um, I would, I would consider myself a self-taught developer at this point, um, to be quite honest with you, but that, that was just my experience overall with the, uh, course flat iron.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Um, no one ever. Learn Sinatra and thanks, man. I really am glad I learned Sinatra. I am really glad they put this in the curriculum and I often get like I've had instructors in the past. I wonder if it was flat iron cause it was a while ago, but I've had instructors say like I hated teaching it. Like we should have replaced it with something else. And I'm not saying flat iron instructor specifically, but, um, right. Usually you just never use it afterwards and you can replace it with something else. And if like they're diving into react very quickly. Um, a lot of developers that came to my meetup that were really struggling with react, dove into react too quickly. They didn't understand JavaScript fundamentals. That's huge. You really need those fundamentals down. And I would argue, right. I would actually argue 70%. I'm I'm just pulling this outta my butt right now. 70% of developers, I think, dive into react that aren't ready for it. It's a high percentage. It's a really high percentage. So that can be frustrating. Um, but I do, I do wanna ask, so your instructors, they had no real world experience. They just graduated and then were hired as instructors or TAs.

Oscar Ore:

Some of them were, um, so the way the, um, part-time, um, layout worked, uh, for the first two modules, I had a dedicated instructor. Um, however, he was hired to be, uh, a, uh, on campus instructor. So he went, um, and his career, he was also a flat ironing grad about three years of experience. Um, since he graduated from the school, uh, I really liked his, um, teaching style. Um, you know, he could walk us through the solutions and. He's been through the fire more or less, but the new instructor, um, came, came about midway through the program when we were at the, uh, JavaScript module. And she was only a couple of months, um, from that when, from the time that she graduated the program, actually. So this was her first cohort, her first time teaching. So it was really a learning experience for a lot of us, to be honest. And, uh, you, you, you got a lot of complaints from, you know, the rest of the core mates and saying, oh, I paid, you know, X amount of money and I'm being pretty much, um, taught by a peer of mine more or less were with no real experience. So that was a little bit frustrating. Um, but, um, from at least from my experience in reaching out to some other alumni, uh, the instructors really make your experience. There's some good ones, there's some O other instructors where I'm pretty much everybody on the call and say, you know what. Um, I just don't learn well from this person just cuz I feel like teaching is, um, an important skill to have you just once you learn code, you're not gonna be able to, you know, teach it to an individual who is a little bit greener than you. So I wish they would've um, had like a TA, um, or just put those instructors as TAs first, before they were, you know, in charge of our cohort more or less. So, um, that was what I had to say about that.

Don Hansen:

yeah. I mean that makes sense. I can empathize with that. Like you said, instructors are huge. They make or break your experience at a coding bootcamp. Um, let me ask you, uh, guys this, did you guys get a discount for doing remote versus in person?

Oscar Ore:

Not that I know of. not that I know of. I, I actually ended up doing, uh, the ISA, which I, I immediately, uh, regret. That's definitely, uh, you know, another conversation we can have, but, um, yeah. Uh, I ended up doing that ISA with that. Okay.

Ron Sala:

Yeah. Touch on it. I didn't even, I didn't even look at the, uh, the prices for the, uh, immersive program, cuz even though I would've liked to do that, I was in a very similar, uh, position, um, that I was working full time the, the whole time that I was going through flat iron. So I just looked at that.

Don Hansen:

Fair enough. Okay. Um, we'll touch on the ISA. Um, but Rick, how was your experience? Sure

Rick Moore:

my experience was, was overall favorable and to kind of, kind of piggyback off of, uh, what Oscar was saying. I think that's a, a pretty accurate assessment of there's a lot of instructors and, uh, to be honest, I'm not sure exactly how much representation there is from real world developer work outside of the, the flat iron bubble. So, uh, that's certainly something to consider. Um, my cohort lead, I, I really got along well with, I, I felt like he was, you know, uh, I really liked his personality. I liked his teaching style and he added a handle on the material, but I believe, um, he was a graduate and I think about four years, I think right now he's, he's been with the company about four years. So he got hired right out of the program and, and right into probably being a, a coach and then eventually a cohort. and, uh, he's worked with the company a lot, but, uh, I think the, the real value of the, the program to me found was found in, in spots that wasn't necessarily the classes and the coursework, the, the coursework itself, the way that you work through it, it felt like it was sort of self-paced no matter what you did, it was, it, you really never got graded on the labs that you would spend time on. And the times that we spent in class and in actually meeting with the cohort, we would sort of go through one of the labs. Where I was typically, I mean, I was dedicating literally all my time. I wasn't working. So I was very lucky that my wife was working and kind of supporting the household at the time. And I was able to dedicate literally a hundred percent of my time to just studying, studying, studying, studying. I was very lucky to, to be able to have that. And I don't think I would've been as successful in the program if I didn't have that opportunity. So thank you to my wife. but, uh, so I, I really felt like I would, I would finish a lab and. Even feel like maybe I, I found a clever solution to it to get the test to pass, but I never really got any day to day sort of feedback on my work. And we would maybe go through some stuff and I kind of felt like I was learning, but I sort of felt like I was learning on my own and then kind of coming to class and then going over a little bit of that, whether or not I had some trouble with certain parts of it. Um, and really, at least when I was in the program, you didn't necessarily have to do any of the labs that wasn't even part of your final grade. The only thing that was really graded was your project at the end of each unit. and even going to class itself, didn't you didn't really feel like you had to go, if you didn't really feel like you needed it, it was there and available, but it certainly wasn't necessarily necessary. And if you just didn't show up, it wasn't like you weren't gonna pass the program. So, um, I think that's kind of level of like, I guess traditional school engagement, I would've, you know, liked a little bit more of where I kind of still felt like I was just working on my own, but paying a whole bunch of money to do that. yeah. At the, at the same time, uh, the real value at, at the end of the program, the things that I think contributed most to my career and the things that, that I really felt like I paid for was having five really solid projects. That show, this is what I can do where I had been studying for maybe, you know, six to eight months before that, but I hadn't really created anything concrete. That was like a final with a splash page deployed to Heroku, ready to go, ready to, to, to demo to somebody. So the fact that you end this program with five really great production level projects, you get quote unquote production level. As much as you can get through as a student, um, was a huge value that I don't think I would've had sort of the discipline to get through without that program sort of in place to make that happen. and the second huge value I think was in the career coaching, which came after graduating the career coach was like one of my favorite people in the world. I actually found out that he worked for, uh, ran the, uh, career development department at the college that I went to, which was Berkeley college of music in Boston. and actually he was, he was there for 25 years, I think. And while I was a student there as well. So he helped me as a musician when I, you know, in the early two thousands, when I was graduating college and helped me again as a, as a developer later on in life. But we met weekly, he really worked on my behavioral interview skills. He really worked on looking at my resume and getting that cleaned up and, and ready to go out. And also just to have somebody that was really a hundred percent focused on me every week. And, and talking about the kind of things that recruiters are looking for and the kind of thing, like from sort of an insider standpoint, that was really information that I wouldn't have been able to, to get anywhere else. The coding skills you can make that happen anywhere. It was great to have that, but I think a huge value is the, this, I think it's six months of, of dedicated, um, career, uh, support and like interview support that you get after the, after the program. Yeah, I

Ron Sala:

would like to echo that myself, my career coach, uh, is just incredible. Uh, he has decades of experience, uh, in HR and, you know, really helped me to get my resume together. You know, my interview skills, all of that. And also the, uh, the partnerships, the flat iron has with companies, uh, the particular agency that I did my apprenticeship with, I had never heard of them. Uh, but I just got an email from the school saying, uh, such and such company, um, took a look at your resume and, uh, they wanna interview you. And I was just blown away and, uh, and, uh, managed to, to get it. And actually we had had three people who were apprentices at the same time. One was self taught. Uh, one was, um, university educated in computer science. And then there was me coming out of a bootcamp and, you know, I feel like our, our skills were, were fairly. Comparable between the different, uh, different branches, but just to have that exposure through the school was, was really valuable to me.

Don Hansen:

Ron, you have a podcast voice. Has anyone ever told you about, thank you.

Ron Sala:

I, I get that. I have a radio voice a lot. In fact, I almost went into to radio. I used to do that in college. Interesting.

Oscar Ore:

So maybe one these days.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, maybe one day. So overall it sounds like the career coaching, uh, was definitely a big highlight of the program and that's a pretty important piece. Right. And Oscar, I see you shake in your head as well. I feel like. I mean, I, I, so like you said, Rick, I mean, you can learn all this stuff. Like you guys are describing all this. To me, it sounds like, I mean, quite frankly, like it, if we're just looking at the curriculum and even take out the career coaching, it sounds like a very overpriced self-paced course. So you could probably get cheaper anywhere else. That's what it sounds like, because it, you know, you guys were surprised at how self-paced, it kind of became, um, I even had a DM about, um, someone she just shared kind of an experience, but again, like, um, it was very, very, self-paced kind of on your own, um, echoed some of the, like, um, the lack of reviews of like your actual code. Um, so it, it feels like actually, so first of all, my keyboard is broken for my Mac. Usually I'm looking up tons of stuff. I just have a few tabs open right now, but what is the price of flat iron? I forgot it.

Rick Moore:

I took out a loan. The, uh, tuition price was I think right around 15,000 and with the loan with interest, I end up paying around 19,000, over three years. Okay. That's a, yeah, it's not, you know, yeah. The pocket change no, that

Oscar Ore:

is, uh, I, I pretty much piggyback off that comment as well. That's pretty much what I, um, is my situation as well. Um, I would say though, when individuals go into, uh, that decision of going into a bootcamp, um, I would, I would pretty much just, you go into a boot bootcamp cuz you want structure, right? There's a ton of free resources out there, like, you know, free co camp Skiba, et cetera. Um, you can learn, uh, these frameworks or languages that flat iron taught you and more, but you know, I feel like what I paid for was a career coaching and to get me to that next level in my career. Um, and also what Ron had mentioned, uh, the employment partnerships were a huge plus. Um, to be honest, I feel like flat iron is one of the only coding bootcamps that, that offer that most of the folks that I've talked to, at least in my area that graduated from a boot camp, they had no support at all. Um, you know, post-graduation so, um, whenever individuals are considering boot camps, um, I would just really consider what does a career coaching look like and what does it look like? Post-graduation at the end of the.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Usually what I hear with, uh, coding boot camps. Um, sometimes you get like hiring days. Sometimes they a, they advertise that they're partnered with people in the local area with companies in the local area, and then usually coding boot camps fall short of that. It sounds like flat iron hasn't. It sounds like a pretty good part of flat iron. And it sounds like they, um, they have to actively work on their partnerships with the local companies. I think that's what coding bootcamp should do, especially around the 15,000, because like, I, I can tell you right now with the self-paced program, that's a very, very, very overpriced self-paced program. So they're really making it up with the career coaching. And that's a, you know, it's not a bad thing. That's a pretty good thing. Um, even sounds I've had some students tell me that it's almost all going to, like, self-paced where the live lectures are optional. Um, have you heard anything about that?

Oscar Ore:

I think Rick had, uh, mentioned that before and, uh, during his experience, there's no attendance that's taken at all. So if you miss, uh, a lecture, there's YouTube recordings where you can go ahead and watch these videos now, after being in the bootcamp, it definitely taught me a different way to learn. Right. Um, you know, coming out of a university, uh, I was taught specifically how to learn and learning how to code is definitely, you know, a 360 on that as well. So I know if I could go back, I would probably recommend to do a in person, um, coding bootcamp, just so you can really Immers yourself with, uh, your. Cohort members create that comradery. Um, you know, your instructor's one on one, they know your tendencies, they know, uh, how frustrating it is, cuz to be honest, uh, no one really talks about just, uh, the mental strength that you need to finish a boot camp. Uh, a lot of times, uh, you hear, um, bootcamp members saying, Hey, I didn't complete it cuz of XYZ reason. Um, it is tough to be honest, everyone has, you know, their own, uh, responsibilities in life and it's, it's not easy. Um, so I just always stress to folks when they ask me about flat iron. My experience is really just to understand what you're gonna go through. Um, even if you do sign up for part-time, but. I just feel like you're, you're, you're gonna get the most bang for your buck if you do an in person, uh, cohort, just cause I feel like the, the most positive experience that I've seen from any bootcamp come from an in person, um, session or cohort.

Don Hansen:

I think one of the,

Ron Sala:

one of the suggestions that I raised a number of times as I was going through was that it would be good to have.

Rick Moore:

Kind of more, more,

Ron Sala:

uh, socially oriented groups, you know, for students to get to know each other. Um, I, I had been, I, I entered the program probably a lot earlier than, uh, my other panelists and was going very. Parttime, uh, working at night for most of the time. And, uh, so, you know, I kind of took my time going through the program and that's, that's not an option anymore, but when I first started, they had, uh, a thing called, uh, willful Wednesdays where people would just, uh, commiserate and kinda gotta build each other up, uh, you know, kind of that, that mental kind. It was kind of like a support group for, for the students. And, uh, I really enjoyed that. And, and actually, um, we also had a group of students that, uh, we formed our own group for a while, which is one of the things that, uh, is, is mentioned occasionally is that, you know, formed your own study groups. You don't have to wait for the ones that, uh, that the school makes. And that was a big boost. And, uh, I'm still in, in contact with, uh, with some of those people and they've opened up some opportunities for me.

Rick Moore:

When I sort of look back at the curriculum and, and think about, you know, what, what kind of maybe smaller steps really could have, have made the program a lot better. Um, I look back at the social aspect hugely. Um, and in fact, I think from some of the videos that I've seen on LinkedIn and other students, I think they've actually made some, some progress towards this, but on when I took the survey at the end of each module, I would always say, we need more group projects. We need more time to work with other developers that was, um, you know, one of the big things that I, you know, I, I, I, I typically am the kind of the kind of student that'll sort of bite off more than I can chew and, uh, sort of kill myself to get, uh, a project done, but sort of be like, oh, I have two weeks. I'm gonna like, you know, create a whole team management system. Like, you know, like, um, Yeah, like Twilio or, or any of these that are, uh, um, that are, uh, used to sort of manage projects and manage a team and, and I'm, oh, I'm gonna do that in two weeks, both , you know, obviously I came out with something at the end, but it's like, okay, I'm gonna reinvent the wheel to, to do this, but I look back on it and I say, what if I had a team of five and one person could really focus on getting the rails back end killing and all the endpoints really, really doing great. And, uh, you know, a, another. Another working on the front end and someone doing graphic work and like sort of, and flat iron has lots of different schools also in, in, in different departments too. Like if they put together a team of a lot of different disciplines, like you would get projects coming out on the other end of that would, it would just be amazing. And that really wouldn't take that much effort. But, uh, I, I actually did see a Sinatra project just recently where it was presented by a student and the teammate. So it was like a group project at least between two students. And when I was there at least back last year, there wasn't any, any kind of projects like that, that were, uh, that were group projects. And I really wish there were, I guess maybe there's. Some value in having a project that's just completely you. But, uh, at the same time, I think you would've had a lot more really resume boosting projects that are, you know, full, you know, demoable projects that were made by a group. And you could show off the part that you worked on that would've, that would've really been significant, but, uh, I think flat iron is sort of moving in the right direction on that, on that front, at least I hope so. Cause that's something that in my day to day work, I, I wish like, and, uh, Oscar, you mentioned about like Sinatra, I sort of get why they do that. Why they sort of pick technologies in Sinatra, I just kind of precursor to rails. So kind, it sort of gives you, right. I don't know if it's quote unquote, like easier to get your head around. I mean, it probably would've made more sense just to go straight into rails because that is truly applicable knowledge that. You're gonna use in, in many workspaces that are still around. They say rails is a dying language, but , I ended up at a, at a rails house and I use rails literally every day. That's that's my job. Nice. So I got very lucky that I, I learned rails kind of, uh, at, at the food camp. Um, however, Sinatra's weird. I, I get that, but you kind of had to learn how to learn. That's sort of outdated, maybe less sophisticated, um, program. And that I, I think that ability to be able to learn these different packages comes in, you know, more, more often than not to be really useful. Um, in my day to day, for example, um, the front end is all built and react, but, uh, a lot of the code is, uh, six, seven years old. Like even like pre hooks or like just, just as start to show up. So there's technologies that are these weird outdated technologies, like recomposed that kind of works like Redux. And it's a lot of it is sort of a masterclass and like over engineering. And would any bootcamp ever teach recompose? It's just not, it's not technology that you would ever, you would ever teach brand new students. . But when I dive into the front end, I've gotta figure out what's going on with this sort of maze of, of code that I don't really know anything about. And then I need to kind of pull out those other skills. It's good that I know react and JavaScript, but you need to be able to learn. And that's sort of what the bootcamp does. It's not necessarily teaching you this technology and this technology that's gonna be useful every single day, but learning how to, to work in weird technologies and learn very complex code bases written with packages and technologies that you don't necessarily know is the skill that I think every developer needs to, to flex. And, uh, mm-hmm and practice on.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Um, real quick, cuz there's a lot to expand on with that. So, um, and then we'll run I'll I'll let you get to your comment, but just before I forget. actually, let me just ask this question. So you mentioned, um, do you feel like coding bootcamp should teach Redux or that

Rick Moore:

they do? Um, I, I, I Redux honestly, when we got to Redux, that was kind of the moment that I was like, wow, this is, this is wild. Like this is, you really have to like sit back. And I that's when I really, you know, took advantage of office hours with my cohort lead and really had my mind blown several times about, um, high order components and, and how sort of Redux kind of mixes together. And. And, uh, and, and how it really works kind of on the back end, because I found that really fascinating. Um, the work that I do every day also does, uh, use Redux. So that knowledge did come in handy. And, uh, I, I think it's, it's definitely one of those, I think, useful skills, if not just the, the, the process of learning it is, is useful, I think, to most developers. So, okay. I think, I think so. I think, yes. Okay.

Don Hansen:

A lot of it's something that trips up, a lot of people in coding bootcamps when they do teach it sure does. Usually, because quite frankly, coding bootcamps sometimes dive into react to quickly. They're not even ready for redox and just wrapping your head around react and itself can be difficult, but, so I think you did get lucky, Rick, um, Ruby is not taught in most coding boot camps for a reason. It's not very marketable are jobs out there a hundred percent. There are jobs out there, and sometimes you can even get higher paying jobs. Um, it, I would almost see Ruby as becoming more of like a specialist position than anything. Um, and you can negotiate your salary quite high for specialist focused positions. Um, but what do you think about the idea of taking Ruby out and focusing strictly on node? Do you think you would be more or less marketable or more, more, less prepared for your job search?

Rick Moore:

As, as far as the saturation in the market of node jobs, um, I, I would say that, uh, yeah, like having a, a strong base in node and SQL SQL databases, really knowing your sequel and really knowing, uh, node and JavaScript and react is probably I think, a, a baseline place to start for any developer who's, who's learning and starting to go that direction. I do. I do think that is, is probably true because there is a, is steadily declining Ruby positions out there. And it is, you know, it's like being a Cobal developer fact of the matter is if you know how to code in cobalt, you're never gonna have to look for work mm-hmm and those jobs are actually gonna be, cuz you have these very old code bases, you know, that are 20, 30 years old, um, that are written in this archaic language and nobody codes in it anymore. So, you know, learning a language like that you'll you'll, you know, you'll have work, but yeah, as, as far as boot camps sort of churning out the most prepared, I, I think the, the, uh, market is more saturated with, with node react jobs. Um, mm-hmm on for, for back end. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Okay. What do you guys think about that?

Ron Sala:

Well, I think that, um, Yeah. These days, the, the, the JavaScript, um, and, and node, you know, would really do you. Well, I, I was so glad that I got exposed to Redoc as I was going through flat iron cuz that's what I used, uh, when I got to the apprenticeship, um, you know, I was just in invaluable that I didn't have to learn it all, you know? Right, right there. Um, and, and actually, I, I, I'm hoping that they're also teaching, uh, react toolkit now because at least when I went through, they weren't teaching. That is something that I picked up on my own, on my final project, which is about killed me. I think that was the hardest part of the whole program for me. But, uh, I'm, I'm glad that, uh, I was exposed to that cause I was using both of those things, uh, uh, yeah, right out of, you know, my, my first, you know, real professional experience.

Don Hansen:

What

Rick Moore:

do you.

Don Hansen:

By the way. So talk, so does flat iron, um, have an apprenticeship program?

Oscar Ore:

I'm not too sure. Um, as far as, uh, the apprenticeship program, I, I do know that, um, once you graduate, uh, the career services team will, um, send you, uh, opportunities to become apprenticeships, you know, with, uh, large companies, um, startups as well. Um, so, um, most of them are, uh, I believe just sent out to every graduate as well. Um, so it's pretty much like first come first serve. Um, you know, you're, you're pretty much gonna be competing with, you know, your peers as well, so,

Don Hansen:

okay. Uh, that's what I thought it was like an external thing that they might be offering students. Um, Hmm.

Ron Sala:

Let me go ahead. I was just, just gonna say, we were talking earlier about a number of, uh, the instructors that people had, uh, being recent flat eye grads themselves. And I was, you know, going through the LinkedIn of some people who, uh, went through with me as students. And I, I noted that a number of them are teaching in, in one capacity or another at, at flat iron. So that's, you know, kind of a continuing, you know, internal jobs program that the flat iron has

Rick Moore:

for, for better or worse. Same here.

Don Hansen:

Yeah. Um, That's the thing. And I've talked about this before. It's a lot of these students are going to a coding bootcamp to become software engineers to code professionally. And when you offer, um, students that already now kind of like owe a debt to the coding bootcamp or had to like really dig into their savings, you offer them money, an option, guaranteed employment, uh, basically by hiring them as instructors or something like that. Um, I hope that they pay those instructors. Well, Because I know a lot of, a lot of students, when they do graduate a coding bootcamp, they can get a pretty high paying position. And sometimes it can come off as predatory trying to scoop up like students that are just coming out, offer like low balling them with an offer because you're not technically like a software engineer, you're a teacher or, and this is like really true for TA positions as well. Um, but I, I noticed that and then they'll like include it as a statistic, as a success statistic. Like they got the job. Right. And so right. Obviously that's completely dishonest and misleading. So there's, I, I would be curious how many students, they do recruit to become instructors. I would be curious why they choose previous students, um, to do that, especially if they lack any software engineering experience in the field experience. Um, I'm just trying to think, because I, I feel like those students already have the culture down. Um, And they already know the curriculum. Do you, do you know if they have instructors maybe manage the website, uh, actually push out features. Do you have like any internal platforms that maybe instructors might have contributed to? I don't expect you to know, but I'm just kind of curious maybe, um,

Oscar Ore:

maybe the admissions page to be honest, but I could be wrong. Um, I do know that at least, uh, some of the instructors that I had communication with, um, they had talked to their career coach and they were at the point of their job search where months months had gone by. And they were really, they had their backs against the wall. Right. You know, they had responsibilities. They had to, you know, pay the bills. It's like, you know what, let me just go back to flat iron and. And go from there still code, right? You're still coding, still working on your skills. And then eventually I would be able to move on to, you know, that junior, uh, web developer position.

Don Hansen:

And that could be, I mean, that could be an option if they're not forced to pay back a big chunk of what they're making. Um, and I wonder if they are, I don't know. Let me, let me think more about that with the answer. Cause I kind of just wanna sum things up. This is kind of the feeling I get from flat iron. Um, sounds like the career services at the end. Really good. Very supportive. Uh, sounds like a really good thing. And honestly, a lot of coding, boot camps, lack that a lot of coding boot camps dropped the ball. Some will even say you don't get a job within six months. We cut you off. You're on your own. It's like, wait, what? It's like, you were responsible, like helping them actually break into the industry. And now you're just cutting them off. So that's a really important piece and I'm happy that flat iron, um, has a quality program at the end. I do feel like I don't think it's a good idea to teach Ruby. I just don't. I don't think they're producing marketable students. I would be very curious why usually coding bootcamps will do that because it's easier to learn. It's easier to learn programming concepts versus JavaScript, really messy language. I get it. I get why people hate it. I, to me like you learn to love it once you get good with it. But in the beginning, it's just like CSS. Like both are very quirky things. They do things that you don't expect and it's, it's frustrating to learn coding. Diving in a JavaScript first. So, but if you're already teaching Redux, I mean, Redux is kind of like a lot of coding. Bootcamps don't even teach Redux. They just dive into react and Redux. I feel like you really have to make sure your JavaScript fundamentals are down to really understand it. It's it's tricky. Um, I really think they'd benefit from focusing more on node in JavaScript and really getting that down. Um, I'm just feel,

Rick Moore:

go ahead. Oh, I was gonna say I'm taking a while. Just a little bit of insight on that point. I'm, I'm taking a kind of a stab in just in, in my own sort of assumptions here, but the founder, I, he might have been a co-founder um, his name is Ari, I believe Avi and yeah, Avi. That's a aloone. Yeah. And, uh, yeah, Avi, Toba and, uh, or flu BU Abe plum bomb. so, uh, actually the videos that are from him teaching the first couple cohorts of flat iron school are absolutely S. Dunning and they're totally Ruby. You can tell that that dude was a Ruby guru. He knew he knew rails inside and out. It was just his thing. He, he, I mean, I think it was more of a first language than English. like he, the guy absolutely spoke Ruby and he flew through, you know, like teaching the code. You could tell he had a real passion for teaching it. Also, there was an incredible amount of passion there. And I think the, the, um, init, the inception of the program came from that passion for Ruby. I think he started flat iron school as strictly a Ruby school. And I think as the years continued on, he felt like there, there, uh, to make the school more marketable. And it would probably pressure from other executives in the school that, that pushed to, uh, to add, um, more technologies because you couldn't just teach Ruby, but I would be willing to bet that at the beginning that it was probably only a couple of units and it was like Ruby Sinatra rails, and then kick you out. And that kick you out, but , you know, get you out there and get you a job out to the real world. Yeah. But so I, I think that passion for Ruby was why Ruby was so ingrained. Mm-hmm and they've probably, he, he decided to leave, I think, around 2020. And, um, uh, I think just a couple of, couple of months, probably before I got there. to

Don Hansen:

be honest, but that's an interesting history. Yeah. I'm glad you mentioned that. That could explain yeah. Why it's still ingrained, but if he's gone might be a serious consideration to replace it with something else. Um, I mean, they probably have a lot of the data as they changed the curriculum. I'm sure they pair with the measurement of like placement rates, but, um, yeah, I'm just trying to think, like, just compared to a lot of other coding, boot camps, flat iron $15,000, it's expensive. Um, It feels like with the curriculum. Um, you're better off just you. There are so many self-paced curriculums, um, that you can learn outside of any coding bootcamp, um, that are a little bit focused on purely marketable skills. I think the no JS, uh, ecosystem is really good. So maybe, I don't know. I'm I'm just trying to think like maybe. The self pay. So I don't like the, okay, here, here are my thoughts. I don't like the direction they're moving with the self pace. It feels like they're moving further and further away from what students like kind of crave in what, like Oscar you were mentioning and I've, I've heard this from other students you were mentioning, like in person we wanna be in person. We want to do, um, other things with students. We want, um, even if it's like just hopping, like organizing events, like hopping on among us just to connect students. Because when you have like, you're paying this Mon, which can actually divides students, but that's another story. But when you right, have, um, when you're paying this amount of money to kind of just sit at home and not even like have a strong social program, Within the coding bootcamp to connect students and build group projects and step on each other's toes and figure out how to navigate through that. And like, just work with other developers. Like those are huge skills that a lot of people, that's what they're paying for. That that's part of what they're paying for. Right. Like I think all of us can agree. Like these curriculums, you can find 'em for free online. You can even find structured curriculums. Um, but like bringing more of that social aspect, I would love for them to build that up and build more of that into the program. But it sounds like they kind of are moving in that direction. So I'm pretty happy about that. I just don't think it's worth $15,000 yet. um, yeah, I don't know. Those are my thoughts.

Rick Moore:

Yeah. I think, um, I, I would've really, really liked to just have, um, a little bit more of the social aspect of 2020 was a very strange year for everybody. And to be honest, my entire coding career has been through zoom meetings or Microsoft teams. , that's been a very interesting kind of like, I, I felt like I was with, uh, you know, a number of these cohort cohort mates that I would spend time with every day, but I didn't feel like I knew any of them. I didn't feel like I was generating any real networking or real friendships with save one or two that we would sort of meet up and have, have little chats, uh, here and there, but it all felt very. Professional sterile, I guess, was a way to put it where I didn't really feel like that. Um, that those sort of friendships, uh, deep friendships kind of building kind of going through a tough process together, that sort of sense of comradery, um, felt lacking. Now that might have certainly been my. You know, my downfall as well, just finding it difficult to be social in that sort of environment and learning to do that has obviously been a challenge for all of us through the last couple of years. Okay. But I think, I think that was significant. I mean, I will say that. Um, flat iron does put on, uh, some events that are totally optional. But after I graduated, I participated in a, um, flat iron sponsored hackathon. And I did work with a group of five people, and we basically had a weekend to put together a, to come up with an idea for an application that the, the actual idea behind it was work together. And I'll tell you what, that, that weekend. I learned more about working on a shared repository, um, working with a group of people with differing ideas, reviewing others code, uh, you know, wor uh, working on a really intense deadline and needing to delegate different work to make sure that the project actually gets done on time. And that the project is, is viable in the end. Like that one weekend was more than any single unit from the entire actual coursework. And I think taught me skills, especially in the, like the get world, the shared repository world that they don't even cover at all in, in the actual program. Um, oh, they don't go over. Get. Barely. I mean, you do, you submit, you, you, you submit your work and you know, you, you pass tests that they've written. So there is some sort of like test suite integration there and you learn a li I mean, you don't really learn our spec, but you have to pass our spec tests. I think that's another big shortcoming in the program is they don't teach you any kind of test writing. Which for me, I, I mean, when I work on a project, I'll write three lines of code and then I have to. 200 lines of tests to, to cover the three lines of code. Um, so I think that would, would've been really important, but, uh, those are the things that every developer needs to use and needs to know. Uh, you know, you can say what you want about Sinatra. You can say what you want about Ruby or rails, but if you're not really covering, like what's a rebate, how do I cherry pick comments? Uh, if I've pushed my, like what happens when someone else is contributing to the same branch and how does that eventually get merged? And what's a development and a production and all of this, again, they teach you the syntax. Uh, in the, in the classroom, but a lot of that is stuff that you would learn anyway. Um, but, uh, that if they, if they taught that sort of thing, it would be much more applicable, applicable into real world situations. You know, things I do every day, I fight with get more than anything. everything you

Oscar Ore:

just said. Yeah. Put that on module one, for sure. Yeah. Right. yeah.

Don Hansen:

well, and so, Hmm. I'll say this really quickly, cuz it's not really, I guess, part of the program, but I almost feel like you could dive into get too early as well, where you don't really have context of why you're even. Committing anything. And like, until your projects start getting larger, until you start working with other teammates, like, it's definitely good to teach it fairly early in the program, but, um, you could really incorporate get more with group projects and it sounds like people want those. And, um, yeah, I didn't learn about cherry picking until like two years into my career, Rick. And like, we didn't learn about it in the coding bootcamp. And sometimes things like that do kind of get rushed past. It's not prioritized for better or worse, and it's really hard to prioritize a lot of this stuff. Um, okay. I feel like I have a good feel of it. I did wanna ask one more question, Oscar, you had mentioned you regret the ISA. Why is that?

Oscar Ore:

Um, uh, well, I would say, um, and you know, this is, um, me looking back at the program and my situation overall. I really wish I would've just, um, saved up the money and done, uh, in person bootcamp and just paid for it up front, just because I'm, I'm ending, um, in an, um, ended up paying more with the ISA as well. And, uh, also, um, I didn't know this, but, um, the six, the six month, um, you know, money back guarantee. I was offered several positions before I took this, uh, this role. And, um, my career coach told me, oh, since you've had multiple offers, you're you now, um, do not qualify for the money back guaranteed program. So I had to really just. You know, take that into consideration. Um, so that it was, uh, really regretful. Um, and the roles itself were sort of, um, you touched on them a little bit more Don, um, low pain. Hey, um, you know, come, come into this program, we'll teach you, you know, um, uh, Python, PHP, um, a little bit of, uh, AWS, all of these other languages that weren't a part of, uh, flat iron, and then we'll place you, um, in the city without, you know, my choice. So I appreciated the offer, but I feel like if other developers who were not in my shoes, they would just, you know, take it and run with it and say, Hey, you know, I got my first Webb up career, but I feel like that they're just leaving so much money on the table and they're really just selling for, for a low salary at that point. So. Just a little FYI for folks who, who are in the program right now. And don't know about that in the ISA. So that's something I wanted to, to mention on the podcast as well, just to get the word out. Yeah.

Don Hansen:

Um, do you, so if you're given, like if you're offered like $60,000 for a development position and you turn that down, I think you owe the coding bootcamp money. But if you are, if you have offers that are like 30,000, you know, and they might not even be web development positions and you turn it down or you're gonna have to move across the entire country, um, that's something that shouldn't trigger, you know, that, that refund policy, you shouldn't be forced into, uh, something that's gonna put you in a really uncomfortable financial situation or, you know, a non-coding position. So with the ISA, right. Um, do they have like a minimum salary requirement?

Oscar Ore:

I think it was. 40,000. And, um, this goes into the statistics as well that they report, it could be any job. It could be, you know, Hey, I go back into my sales role or, you know, I'm a recruiter or what have you. Um, I don't have to do any coding as long as I make above that salary, then, um, I have to pay that money back.

Don Hansen:

Well, let me ask you this. Um, So if you choose to go through an educational program and then you choose to go back to your old job, I think you owe that coding bootcamp, money. Maybe some people disagree, but like you still are getting taught something. They're still offering a service and you are accepting that service. But do, does that ISA trigger or does a refund get voided? If, uh, for example, you're only receiving one offer for like a, a design position or a QA position. If you refuse to take that because you went to a coding bootcamp, does anything trigger where you start owing them a lot of money or from that ISA or you just don't get that refund?

Oscar Ore:

Um, I believe, uh, and there, there was a ton of, um, checkpoints that you had to do to even be considered for the money back guarantee program. I think there's ton of bullet points do so they did not make it easy for you. Um, Uh, I would say if it hits over that 40 K mark, and then if it's anything that, uh, they had helped you with as well. That's also another key point. Um, if it was through flat iron, um, whether it's a part of their, um, apprenticeship programs, et cetera, then if you refuse that offer, then you would be responsible for the ISA as well. But if you had received, uh, an offer that you, um, solely, uh, pursued yourself, then that would not be the issue as well.

Don Hansen:

So if they bring that offer to you and it's apprenticeship program, it might even pay very low. You're screwed if you refused that.

Oscar Ore:

Right. Cause I feel like the career, at least a gentleman on the called, um, my career coach told me, Hey, just go in as many interviews as you can. Right. Cause uh, you wanna get that practice? Um, I, I remember being super nervous for my first interview. Um, and. That was my recommendation from the career coach just, Hey, no matter what happens, go on this interview, you can go ahead and practice. So I feel like they were being a little bit, um, dishonest with that, knowing, Hey, if you get this offer, which, you know, to be caught honest, I feel like they would offer anybody that graduated from flat iron. Then, you know, we're not, you're not gonna be liable or you will be li for this. I say, you do not meet the requirements for the money back guaranteed at the end of the day. So

Don Hansen:

yeah, that feels kind of disgusting.

Oscar Ore:

Yeah's a little bit, uh, pissed off to be, to be honest, but, um, at the end of the day, um, I just wish folks would do a little bit more research when it comes to the ISA mm-hmm, , there's a ton of YouTube, um, videos and, and programs out there that talk about, um, what the ISA has done for. Developers. I still know some folks who are paying that off, um, to this day. So it's definitely something that, um, is a, is a burden and wish they would be a little bit more transparent as well in the beginning. Um, at least maybe talk to an admissions coach, a person say, Hey, if you do decide to do this ISA program, here are some of the pros and cons and give you all of the bullet points that you need to do in order to, um, honor that money back guarantee. At the end of the six

Don Hansen:

months, they don't even say that up front. They just let you read the legalese and figure that

Oscar Ore:

out. Yeah. As far as, um, whenever I signed up for my eyes say they pretty much sent me the documents I looked over 'em, um, and pretty much signed it from there. There was, it was really, uh, that simple. It made it seem like, you know, you trust in us. Uh, will get you the education that, that you paid for. Um, but you know, take this, uh, ISA, go ahead and complete this program. Check out the statistics that back up this ISA as well, right? 97, I think it's 97 or 96% placement in a, they don't even say software engineer, they say tech role. Right? So that's something that they, I think they've changed, uh, in the later years, but, uh, ultimately that's why I regret the ISA to be quite honest with you.

Rick Moore:

Okay. It's, uh, I think probably a little bit foolish for, even from the beginning to, to put any clout in the, in the whole money back guarantee. They, they love to throw that out as a, as a market ploy, they talk about the money back G all the time they call MBG like you read it. And when you're going through the, the agreement that you sign at the beginning, there's a lot of bullet points. Um, as Oscar said, um, They, they make it a, an incredible amount of work. As far as the blog posts that you need to write, you know, one blog post per week about a technical, you know, uh, some technical knowledge or whatever you're working on at the time. Um, X you know, having time for X number of interviews and, uh, these, you know, X number of meetings and you just, you have to be able to complete all of this sort of like post curriculum work, post-graduation work. And there's even a clause, uh, that I found, which sort of like put the nail in the coffin for me, uh, which basically says at the discretion of a career coach, um, or the career, the career department at, at their discretion, if it was found that you didn't make a good faith effort to a job search in the tech world, then they're, you know, then you're ineligible for the, for the MBG and that's, it's totally open that they can, that can be anything that's, you know, that's. Planting weed in the car. Like that's any kind of probable cause. Like they, they can literally say anything. They feel like to disqualify you from that. If they feel like they don't wanna pay that out. And to be fair, I, I don't know of the actual statistic, but I think the number of people who have actually applied for that money back guarantee and qualified for it and actually got any money back is incredibly low. Like probably. Less than what I can count on my fingers. Right. right. I just don't think it happens. You just ride it off at the beginning. It's like, you're not getting any of that money back. Like you just, you know, it's you are where you're at and you, you gotta find the work cuz yeah, they'll, they'll throw it out. But it's, you can tell from the beginning of the program, it's really important for them to attract more people into the program. And you had mentioned this earlier, Don that's you hear it from boot camps all over the place. And I think flat iron in a way is getting a little bit big for its britches. On, on that aspect. When I started my first day of my cohort, there were like 55 60 people in that first class. Which made me think, okay. There, the, the bar for entry is relatively low, and I think people are sort of jumping into this program. And now, if, if you drop out of the program, at some point you are entitled to some of that money back, you know, as, as you go you up up to halfway, I think through the program, you can get some of that money back, but the graduating class, by the end of that six months, full time was about 12 people. Whoa. So it's, it's obvious to me that they care a little bit more about the wordage of getting people in the door and getting those, getting those agreements signed and getting people into that first class that they make more money on that end than the actual attention you get kind of at graduation , which I had several experiences where I felt like their attention to me, just like dove off a cliff. It, I, I was, you know, for example, I was waiting to hear back if I passed my final project code review. And, uh, I wasn't told that I passed on the call with the instructor and a week I am, I still hadn't heard. And I'm emailing him. I'm E I'm emailing career services, and I'm just getting nothing back. Like they just forgot I existed and I'm losing it. Wasn't just me then. Yeah.

Ron Sala:

I, the same

Oscar Ore:

experience as going nuts took a while. It took a while very very nerve-wracking year. I mean, you're sweating bullets. Um, absolutely. And, and something that I always, uh, wanted to. To mention here, um, the admissions program. I know they gave me, uh, prep work, but whenever I enrolled, um, I didn't even have to take anything. It was pretty much call with the admissions office. Hey, um, you know, I'm part of career karma,

Rick Moore:

you like coding you're right? Yeah.

Oscar Ore:

You have a computer. Awesome. Here are some of the courses that you can get into. Um, and then they that's, when they start mentioning the is say like, Hey, you know what, just jump in the program. It's basically free. Mm-hmm right. You don't have to worry about putting any money down. Um, here's this thing that we have, it's called the ISA. And then you go into that? Um, whole whirlwind there, but I that's something that I wish, uh, Cody bootcamps just across, um, the market really enforced, just having a higher quality admission rate or, or just, uh, The ability to, to fairly judge the, the person who is applying for this bootcamp, cuz you know, we've all had careers before this and being a career changer. It's, you know, a 180, right? There's so many responsibilities that you have to consider. And uh, I mentioned it earlier in the call as well. Uh, it's a it's it took a stress, uh, a lot of, uh, you know, of my mental health to be quite honest with you. It wasn't easy. Um, that's something that the career coach really helped me with as well. Um, just giving me that positivity. Um, so they set out to my career coach, but um, it's taxing at the end of the day and I, I really, uh, hope for folks that watch this to, to really consider all these factors that we mention. Right. Like flat iron. Uh, it's not all, you know, daisies and the grasses. Isn't always greener at the end of the, at the day here. But, um, that's just something I, I wanted to mention as well.

Don Hansen:

um, usually at this point, I'll go off on a rant. I'm not gonna do that this time. I feel like um, I feel like, no, I, I feel like you summed it up very well that I don't really have to dig into this. Um, and I'm I, okay, fine. I'll sum it up real quick. Like, first of all, um, I, I did have one question, but admissions, so they don't do any hard technical assessment to let you in.

Rick Moore:

I think, um, previously I think they, they actually had a much lower acceptance rate when it was only when they, I think they only had one or two locations and it was only in, in person programs. I, I read that the acceptance rate was, was much lower, you know, like 30%, 25, 30%, something like that. Um, now with the online program, I, I just, I can't really imagine who they would turn away if you're willing to sign those agreements. If you're willing to sign an ISA or willing to sign, sign up alone, like they'll take you. Right.

Don Hansen:

Okay. Mm-hmm , that's, that's scary. That's predatory. Um, so it sounds like profit education.

Rick Moore:

That's that's, you know, you see it in every, every for-profit college it's when, when that bottom line becomes more important than a, a really great educational program.

Don Hansen:

Yeah, that's unfortunate. And that has spread among many programs during the pandemic. And that's the thing it's like the pandemic hit. Yeah. And this is an opportunity, like big, great resignation. Everyone's changing careers. Everyone's rethinking what they wanna do in life. And it's a huge opportunity to get a big chunk of students in the door. And, you know, if you wanna make more money, you lower that admissions rate, you just do, uh, you get people to sign those ISAs, which are gonna make more off of what they charge. If you didn't sign it, it sounds like they have a really hard list to meet each week to be able to, you know, um, just adhere to all those conditions that they require. And that clause, Rick, that you mentioned, um, that's bullshit. There's no reason for a clause to be in there. Like you, you want, you wanna make sure that the student is actually putting in a good faith effort, but you need to be more specific at what that looks like in the contract that needs to be spelled out, not ambiguous to give them the option, to just, you know, decide you're not meeting our requirements. You're not making a good faith effort in, so. It feels, um, and with their focus on like really trying to make this, like, self-paced, um, probably trying to reduce the amount of live lectures. Maybe, maybe you're not, but if they, if it's a big option, if it's a big convention to do all these self place, pace classes, these pre-recorded classes, everything that they're doing shows me that they're just trying to make as much money as possible. That's what it seems like. And that's what it feels like. And then you'll get like career success. Um, you'll get like instructors career success that do wanna genuinely help you, but that you have to take a look at like what the executives are doing and how they're trying to grow and scale that business. Right? So you can get instructors, you can get career success that will try to help you along the way. But, um, man, it, 60 people that signed up and only 12 graduated that is purely for profit. That's gross. Like I, I'm not a huge fan of that at all, but the reason why I didn't even wanna say anything about it, because I feel like I'm just constantly saying that about each coding bootcamp. Now it's like each coding bootcamp continues to turn into, um, just this profit making machine it's like it started out with, um, you know, the founder had a passion for Ruby. He wanted to create a lot of Ruby developers. That's, you know, that's a story that he was probably, um, you know, that inspired him to create a coding bootcamp and just create a whole bunch of software engineers. And that's really cool. And then it turns into something that's less focused on the quality of the education, more focused on making more money. So I don't know. I feel like I just ranted about this a thousand times. If you want to hear like me go off the walls, just watch other coding, bootcamp videos, but, um, I guess just be aware of this and all these things that we brought up. Challenge admissions. If they start dodging your questions, if they, um, and you know, if you have a question, if you're a good fit for it, like admissions should, should walk you through like the pros and the cons and consider your specific situation, does it apply to flat iron? Um, they should be open up front and be willing to have that conversation if they shy away from any of these questions and they push back or get defensive, like that should be a red flag in your eye because flat iron still could be a great fit for a lot of students, but go into it, just aware of everything that you guys shared. So, yeah, no, that was, um, I'm glad we touched on that last topic, but we are just about out of time. I think we touched on a lot of good material for this episode, but, um, of course, if you're watching on YouTube, definitely let me know when the comments blow what you thought of all this, but let's go ahead and jump into our outros Oscar. If people wanted to reach out to you, where could they reach. Uh,

Oscar Ore:

feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. Um, I'm open to have, uh, any conversation, whether it's, you know, with flat iron, um, software development and tech, anything, um, always willing to help, um, anybody on their journey, uh, but feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn that's Oscar O

Don Hansen:

sounds good. How about you, Ron? Mm-hmm

Ron Sala:

uh, same with me. LinkedIn is really my, uh, my base for, uh, getting a contact with me. Just, uh, just my name, Ron Salla.

Don Hansen:

All right. How about Erik?

Rick Moore:

Yep, same here. Um, I also have a portfolio@rickmooredev.com. So you can check that out, but yeah, um, again, I'm happy to always have conversations and I, I live in Austin. I'm happy to meet my, uh, sort of local developer people here. So yeah. Anybody who wants to reach out on LinkedIn? Rick Moore you'll find me there.

Don Hansen:

All right. Sounds good. Well, like I said, stick around for a couple minutes, but Oscar, Ron, Rick, thanks so much for coming on and sharing

Rick Moore:

your experiences. Now we just see everything. I believe we.