Inside The Flatiron School Of Coding, Where You Can Become A Developer With A $70,000 Salary

flatiron school job fairDanny Olinsky, a student at the Flatiron School.

The Flatiron School is a full-time, 12-week intensive coding program that teaches normal people how to code, no experience required.

At the end of the program, graduates are full fledged web developers.

In New York, the Flatiron School is known as the Harvard Business School of coding because of its very selective application process. Only 2% of applicants are admitted, but 100% of its students secured jobs after the inaugural semester. Flatiron School teaches coding like creative writing unlike traditional programs.

Click here to check out a behind the scenes look at the Flatiron School >

“We find great people and then team them how to code, not the other way around,” says Avi Flombaum, Flatiron School’s dean.

The Flatiron School costs $10,000 but graduates typically net starting salaries upwards of $70,000, after the intensive 12-week program.

If a student accepts a position through Flatiron School’s job placement program it will refund $4,000 of the tuition and there are also scholarships for underrepresented groups like females and minorities.

Kevin Smith/Business InsiderThe Flatiron School team (from L to R)

The Flatiron School was started in July 2012 by Avi Flombaum and Adam Enbar. Flombaum has a passion for teaching others to code. Before starting Flatiron School Enbar organised a ton of developer meet ups and held online classes in the New York City area. At just 20 years old he became the CTO of a hedge fund and his credentials go on and on from there.

“[Flatiron School is] totally bootstrapped,” Flombaum said. “I don’t think investment and education mix because investment is about scale the second you take money.” 

Flombaum’s goal for the Flatiron School is to create a talent pipeline of developers in New York City and he has already established a tight-knit community. Despite running a successful school, one of the biggest challenges facing the bootstrapped company is finding high-quality teaching talent. But this challenge is all right for now because Flombaum wants Flatiron School to grow slowly, “to ensure quality is tremendously better than all the other schools.” 

Last week the Flatiron School held its second ever job fair where students showed off the projects they have been working on for the past 8 weeks. 

To kick off the job fair, Flatiron School Dean, Avi Flombaum, gave a presentation on the school's mission and an overview of projects the students have been working on.

Here's Flombaum explaining his teaching philosophy.

Flatiron School curriculum is broken down into four sections: Pre work, which is about 80-100 hours of work outside the classroom, followed by three units of in class work on collaboration, applications, and specialisation.

The Flatiron School is run by (L to R) Professor Bob Whitney, Dean and Co-Founder Avi Flombaum, Campus Manager Kelly Allen, and President and Co-Founder Adam Enbar.

After the brief presentation, everyone was free to walk around and see what the students have been up to for the past 8 weeks.

Normally this space is full of desks and computers where the students are hard at work learning to code.

Besides showcasing coding talent, the Flatiron School laid out delicious snacks at the job fair.

Here's a project that was set up in the middle of the room.

The purpose of the job fair is for students to connect with potential employers and show off what they have been working on.

Each table positioned against the wall displayed two different projects from various students.

The first student we spoke with was Wallis Wilkinson Tsai. That's her in the blue. The former Goldman Sachs executive had never used a Mac before she joined Flatiron School. She's also 8 months pregnant.

For the past few weeks Wilkinson Tsai has been working on a recruitment app. It works to make the recruitment process easier between employers and candidates based on shared interests. Her app uses the CrunchBase API to populate a database of companies users may be interested in. Once there is mutual interest, a company and potential employee are matched.

The next student we ran into was Jesse La Russo, a former public school teacher. La Russo ran an after school robotics class, which got him interested in exploring coding.

La Russo created a game that uses Instagram. Users guess the location of their friend's pictures.

A map shows up and you can choose between several locations where you think the picture was taken. There are baked in features like a leader board to see how well you doing against your friends.

The site is made for mobile and can easily be scaled down, but La Russo still has to work out a few things like how the map will work on a smartphone or tablet.

Scattered throughout the Flatiron School office is art that pays homage to technology.

Next up we met Crystal Chang, a former Birchbox employee.

Crystal is working on Jane's Lunch, a group food ordering platform that makes it easy for everyone to pay separately.

Ana Becker used to be a graphic designer before she joined the Flatiron School. The New York native taught herself CSS in high school.

Her project is called [email protected] It's a way for programmers to show their work visually.

Danny Olinsky was a sales lead at a social media software startup before he became a coder. Olinsky started coding on the side and didn't have the skills he wanted to bring his ideas to life, so he pursued a more formal education.

His project is called Starboard. It's a modern take on the kindergarten gold star board.

Olinsky built Starboard as a way to celebrate coding achievements. He wanted himself and his fellow coders to be able to take a step back and appreciate the work they've done and see how they compare to fellow coders and their achievements.

Wallis Wilkinson Tsai isn't the only pregnant student learning to code. Ei-Lene Heng (standing on the right) used to work in mergers and acquisitions in the tech space before she joined Flatiron School.

Situated in the middle of the room is a huge photo of New York's Flatiron district. The photo is a monument to the neighbourhood where the Flatiron School is located and the school's name.

There are other signs and photos sprinkled throughout the office. This sign represents a inside developer joke. If coders aren't committing then they aren't working together to push out code.

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