Alumni Spotlight

3 Years Later: Was Flatiron School Worth It for Terry?

Jess Feldman

Written By Jess Feldman

Liz Eggleston

Edited By Liz Eggleston

Last updated on July 5, 2023

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After beginning his career in the sports and events industry, Terry Threatt was ready for a new challenge in software engineering. Needing a program that he could balance with his  full-time job and family commitments, Terry enrolled in the online Software Engineering Bootcamp at Flatiron School. Today, Terry is thriving as a Software Engineer at Colliers International. Find out more about the data visualization projects Terry is working on and his advice for making Flatiron School worth it for you!

What inspired you to get into tech in 2020?

Before Flatiron School, I was a sports administration major working in the sports and entertainment industry as a Director of Operations and Event Management. I had the opportunity to work for prominent organizations such as the Houston Astros, Houston Dynamo, and University of Houston Athletics, where my responsibilities included coordinating, staffing, and managing live events and games. 

I have always had a keen interest in technology. At the age of 14, I was introduced to HTML and JavaScript, which allowed me to start building small websites. By the time I turned 17, I had already begun taking on paid work designing MySpace pages. These experiences fueled my passion for technology and served as the foundation for my journey into the world of web design and development. 

There are so many coding bootcamps — Why did you choose Flatiron School?

I chose Flatiron School after conducting thorough research. I discovered that they were highly ranked on Course Report, a reliable source for bootcamp reviews. Additionally, I sought out feedback from individuals who had attended the school to gain insights into their experiences. One aspect that particularly caught my attention was Flatiron School's extensive network of partnerships with employers, which seemed to provide a greater likelihood of securing a job upon completion of the program. Based on these findings, I confidently decided that Flatiron School was the right choice for me. 

What was the Flatiron School application process like for you?

The application process for Flatiron School was an excellent experience for me. I started by applying online, and shortly after, I received an initial phone screening interview. During this interview, I had the opportunity to discuss my experience and journey in learning to code. The interview did not require any specific preparation, and I was then invited to complete some pre-bootcamp coursework. This coursework allowed me to further showcase my skills and commitment to learning. Overall, the application process was smooth and well-organized, setting the stage for a positive experience at Flatiron School. 

Did you have to complete any prework?

To ensure I was fully prepared for the bootcamp, I dedicated myself to completing all of the prework and prep course materials provided by Flatiron School. I recognized the importance of starting the program on a strong note and wanted to put my best foot forward from the very beginning. By diligently working through the prework, I aimed to solidify my foundational knowledge and skills, allowing me to make the most of the bootcamp experience. I believe this proactive approach helped me to build a solid foundation and set a positive tone for the rest of the program.

What was a typical day like in the bootcamp? 

I opted for the part-time online track*, my bootcamp experience involved attending afternoon virtual lectures on Zoom. These lectures were conducted with my cohort, consisting of around 30 individuals. The format included question and answer sessions, providing opportunities for clarification and deeper understanding of the material. Additionally, we had breakout sessions where we worked on curriculum problems, fostering collaboration and problem-solving skills through Slack. Despite being in an online setting, the bootcamp structure allowed for interactive learning and engagement with both the instructor and fellow students.\

How did you juggle the part-time bootcamp with working your warehouse supervisor job?

This was the very difficult part of the process — I was working my full-time job at Peloton, and my wife and I were expecting a baby! To juggle all of this, I had to prioritize what was most important to me: my career, my family, and things that kept up my mental health. I recommend others prioritize things if they sign up for the part-time bootcamp, too. You go into this program knowing that you’re going to have to sacrifice things, like watching TV or doing extracurricular activities, if you want to be successful. For me, I blocked out times to study and times to be with my wife. 

Note: This featured student attended a previous version of Flatiron School's part-time online Software Engineering program. For current pacing options offered, visit the Software Engineering program page.

What did you actually learn in the Software Engineering Bootcamp?

During the bootcamp, I gained proficiency in the entire technology stack, encompassing frontend technologies such as React and JavaScript, and backend technologies including Ruby and SQL. With these skills, I developed expertise in building dynamic and interactive user interfaces, as well as creating robust backend systems and effectively working with databases. This comprehensive knowledge of the technology stack equipped me to develop complete web applications from inception to deployment.

What kind of community did you find at Flatiron School? Since you did the online bootcamp, did you feel connected to your cohort?

The community was really awesome! We typically communicated through Slack and Zoom to tackle problems together. Everyone was so collaborative and helpful with every part of the curriculum and projects. It was really amazing that this kind of community was fostered at the bootcamp. 

I still keep up with just about everyone in my cohort, and it’s cool to see how they’re progressing in their careers and how I can help. There are also people from Flatiron School who helped me with recommendations when I was on the job hunt.  

What kinds of projects did you work on in the bootcamp?

Throughout the bootcamp, I had the opportunity to work on several significant projects that served as valuable additions to my portfolio:

  • I developed a Ruby Command Line Interface (CLI) tool designed to check stock prices, providing real-time information to users. 
  • I built an investment management tool that allowed users to track and analyze their investments efficiently. 
  • I created a project management application, empowering users to organize and track their tasks and deadlines effectively.
  • I participated in a group project to build a Twitter clone, collaborating with my peers to replicate the platform's essential features.
  • For my final capstone project, I independently developed a laptop rental application, providing users with a platform to rent laptops for various purposes. 

These projects demonstrated my ability to apply my skills and knowledge to practical, real-world scenarios and showcased my capabilities as a developer. The projects incorporated my skills in front end and back end development, database management, and user experience design, underscoring my ability to create functional and practical web applications. 

How did Flatiron School prepare you for the tech job hunt

I was fortunate to be paired with a dedicated career coach who provided invaluable support throughout my journey. My career coach offered interview preparation sessions, imparted career tips, and consistently challenged me to expand my professional network for career advancement. Their guidance was instrumental in enhancing my interview skills, refining my career goals, and developing a proactive approach to networking. With the assistance of my career coach, I felt empowered and well-prepared to navigate the job market and pursue opportunities in the tech industry. 

Which tech roles did you feel qualified to apply for after graduating?

Upon completing the bootcamp, I felt highly qualified for JavaScript-based roles due to the comprehensive education I received at Flatiron School. The emphasis on the entire technology stack during the program equipped me with the necessary skills to pursue full-stack developer positions immediately. I had a solid foundation in front end technologies like JavaScript and React, as well as back end technologies such as Ruby and SQL. This well-rounded preparation allowed me to confidently apply for and excel in roles that required expertise in both frontend and backend development, positioning me as a strong candidate for full-stack developer positions. 

What was your first tech job after graduating from Flatiron School?

After completing the bootcamp, I secured my first and current role as a Software Engineer at Colliers International, a prominent commercial real estate company. Being part of a public company like Colliers International has provided me with valuable industry experience and the opportunity to contribute to impactful projects within the commercial real estate sector.

What was the interview process like at Colliers? Did you feel prepared for the technical interview?

Flatiron School played a crucial role in preparing me for the interview process by offering both behavior and technical interview preparation. Through their comprehensive training, I gained a deep understanding of how interviews typically unfold and what to expect. This preparation gave me a significant boost of confidence when facing interviews, as I felt well-prepared and knowledgeable about the process. I was equipped with the skills and strategies to effectively communicate my experiences, showcase my technical abilities, and tackle challenging interview questions.

Was Colliers interested in your coding bootcamp experience?

The companies I interviewed with including Colliers were interested in my Flatiron School experience. They wanted someone with enough experience that could hit-the-ground-running but also be open to learning. 

What kinds of projects are you working on now? 

In my role on the CRE data visualization team at Colliers International, I contribute to building a range of valuable software and projects tailored for real estate brokers and researchers. One of my main responsibilities involves developing interactive dashboards, widgets, and interactive maps that provide comprehensive data visualization tools. These tools enable brokers and researchers to analyze and interpret real estate data more effectively, ultimately enhancing their decision-making processes. By creating user-friendly and visually appealing software solutions, I contribute to empowering professionals in the real estate industry with the tools they need to succeed in their work.

Are you using what you learned at Flatiron School now on the job? 

I am fully leveraging the knowledge and skills I gained during bootcamp to ensure success in my current role at Colliers International. By applying the concepts and techniques I learned, I am able to contribute effectively to the projects and responsibilities assigned to me. Additionally, I have taken the initiative to further expand my skillset by working on personal projects outside of work. These projects have allowed me to explore new technologies, refine my coding abilities, and broaden my expertise in specific areas relevant to my role. 

What are your career goals now that you’ve landed your first tech role? Are you working towards a specific title or path? 

I’m definitely trying to upskill so that I can work as a senior software engineer or a tech lead. This requires me to learn new technologies and work on my soft skills like how to collaborate and manage teams. 

You’ve been working in tech for two years! Do you feel less like a beginner software engineer now?

I do feel less imposter syndrome. Technology is one of those industries that is always changing, so you are always feeling new. But that said, my experience working as a software engineer the past two years has given me more confidence knowing that I can do anything I put my mind to.

At this point in your tech career, was Flatiron School worth it for you? 

Without a doubt, I highly recommend Flatiron School to individuals seeking to enter the tech industry and accelerate their career growth. Flatiron School provides a comprehensive and immersive learning experience, equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the tech field. The bootcamp's focus on hands-on projects, mentorship, and career support prepares students for real-world challenges and facilitates a smooth transition into the industry. Whether someone is a career changer like me or a recent graduate, Flatiron School offers an efficient pathway to acquire the skills and connections needed for success in the tech industry.

What is your advice for making the most out of the Flatiron School experience?

Success in the bootcamp and beyond at Flatiron School requires a proactive and dedicated approach. It is essential to come prepared with a mindset of continuous learning and a willingness to put in the necessary work. The bootcamp process is designed to provide the knowledge and skills needed, but it is up to you to show up consistently and remain committed to your personal growth. By investing time and effort, you can expect to see the desired outcome. Your results from the bootcamp directly correlate with the level of dedication and effort you put into it.

Find out more and read Flatiron School reviews on Course Report. This article was produced by the Course Report team in partnership with Flatiron School.

About The Author

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman

Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps. With a background in writing, teaching, and social media management, Jess plays a pivotal role in helping Course Report readers make informed decisions about their educational journey.

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