| ||Brandon Williams || |
MY EXPERIENCE AT FLATIRON (JULY 2020) Full Time Software Engineering I would not recommend Flatiron to anyone, period. My Student/Admissions Rep had terrible communication skills (which is not acceptable) and would take days and days to answer 1 email after asking again after 2 or 3 days and then CC'ing the general info@flatiron email to try to get an answer. This went on the entire 3 months of correspondence leading up to the class and even after, when I tried to switch to Self-Paced (more on that later). I voiced this concern to the Senior Manager of Admissions and Enrollment, after my Student rep emailed me (for the first time to tell me) at 2 PM that my Enrollment Agreement had to be signed THAT NIGHT. I was literally in the middle of driving a 26' Uhaul truck full of my possessions with my car on a tow dolly on the back driving halfway across the country when I saw the email later that afternoon. Sr Mgr at first seemed interested in my concerns only to quickly brush them aside and just say sorry that I have concerns. (The great customer service continues) I feel for you if you get my rep as an Admissions/Student Rep, she seems unorganized and lacks responsiveness and the communication skills needed to be a Rep. They have what's called a First Mile, which is just your first 2 weeks of school, and it has requirements to complete before time is up or you fail and have to be placed in the next Cohort (if it's your 1st time failing). Unfortunately, due to my wife contracting the Coronavirus, that left me beginning my First Mile while taking care of her and our 3 kids. This caused me to get behind, so behind that I spent days on Iterations and had to ask a Teacher's Assistant (TA) for help on every lab. By the time I got it, I was out of time to complete the rest of the curriculum. The curriculum is a joke. I am not exaggerating when I say it is a few paragraphs, sometimes with a video, as the lesson. The videos are poor quality, it just shows a screen capture and the narration sounds like it was recorded on a laptop mic from 2008. To say it's poor quality is an understatement. The curriculum, more often than not, does not teach you how to do what they then ask you to do in their labs, which, as you can imagine, makes things very difficult. (Why did you guys wait until after iterations for ANY code-alongs??) You will either be Googling Ruby syntax to try to piece together the code yourself from Quora, or you'll be copying/pasting former student's code from repl.it, or asking a Teacher's Assistant to help walk you through it. Though others were offered help via screen share, this was not offered to me until 3 days before the First Mile ended. (I didn't even know it was an option) Most of the TAs are not great at teaching, they were not skilled at breaking things down in a simple-to-understand manner. This made (most of) them almost useless. My instructor was a former (2018) Flatiron student (her only coding education and experience, apparently), now teaching her first Cohort with absolutely (apparently) zero experience coding outside of Flatiron. This led to many confusing Lab demos where she would go 'chasing rabbits' that weren't helpful, having students correct her and ultimately made the videos of little help. Call me crazy, but I kind of want someone who has actually coded for companies outside of the Flatiron school bubble, teaching others how to code for the first time. She was a nice person. However, according to Flatiron instructors are supposed to assist students via Slack. The entire 2 weeks, she helped 0 students via Slack. She ONLY posted once a day in Slack, a morning update with how many assignments should be completed by the end of day and what they are called. That was the extent of the "Instruction" at Flatiron. I voiced this concern to someone at Flatiron (not sure what she does because her email signature doesn't say and neither did she), which disregarded my experience for a canned response about methods for getting help with curriculum. Again, see lack of customer service skills and poor communication. Upon not completing the First Mile, my instructor contacted me about whether I wanted to continue with the program and be put into another Cohort or withdraw and receive a full refund. I was confused as to why your instructor, especially a now former instructor, would be responsible for this part. It seems like the aforementioned lady or even the Admissions rep should be responsible for handling all of this. Regardless, I emailed aforementioned lady and asked her when the next Cohort would be, only to be told that she didn't know, but that it could be as early as mid-late August or early September, an entire month to 2 months later. Not being satisfied with this huge of a delay, I asked if I could switch to Self-Paced. That way I could pickup where I left off, I still got TA support, didn't have a useless Instructor, saved $6k versus Full Time and might could even still finish on time as the original Full Time program as I wanted. She said it was against policy to allow me to switch. I asked if I could withdraw and reapply for the Self-Paced one instead and she said yes, but it could take weeks to be accepted again (no kidding with my Rep), trying to force me into staying Full Time at the $15k. So I withdrew and reapplied 3 days later. I was told by a 'customer service' rep I would be contacted by "finance" to discuss the refund and everything. I withdrew July 22nd, it's been weeks now and I still have not heard anything from "finance." I had to email the aforementioned lady and ask about whether I would receive my $500 seat deposit back, whether they tell Climb Credit or I do, whether they refund Climb Credit or me for me to pay them back. (Again, see poor communication skills) I wrote her on Aug 5th asking for an update regarding finance or Climb and still haven't received a response after weeks now. Then I receive and correspond to my rep again as she (much to my utter disappointment) is assigned again as my Admissions Rep for my July 25th application, it went like this: "Jul 29 @ 12p, me to Flatiron: Hi, I applied last week (Jul 24) and haven't heard anything back. Jul 30 @ 9a, my rep: Did you previously withdraw from the program? <> Jul 30 @ 9a, me: Yes. Jul 31 @ 2p, me: Hoping to hear back about my application before the weekend. Aug 3 @ 10a, my rep: It is our understanding that you recently withdrew from the program. <> Aug 3 @ 10a, me: Yes, I withdrew from the full time program after not completing the curriculum within the First Mile allotted time. I am re-applying for the self-paced program since I was not permitted to switch to self-paced. Aug 5 @ 10a, me to my rep and info@flatiron since she wouldn't respond: Can I please hear back about this? It's been almost 2 weeks since I applied. Aug 7 (FRIDAY) @ 5:00p (she waited until close), my rep: Appreciate the follow up. At this time we have decided not to proceed with your enrollment in the self-paced program." Imagine my surprise. I guess they are doing well enough that they don't want $9,600 (they don't even refund it because it's self paced so they are literally just being petty because I didn't submit to their greedy Policy for preventing students from switching Paces based off of what the student needs). Flatiron is not interested in your success, they are not interested in your best interest, they don't care if you or your spouse have had the Coronavirus and needed to switch paces because of it. They just want your $15k+ and nothing less. Flatiron has switched to entirely online due to the COVID panic generated by the government and media. However, they have not provided an equivalent product to the Immersive experience and yet want to charge the exact same price. They have claimed to do just such a thing, which makes them dishonest and unethical. Having used Treehouse for a couple of years, Flatiron's curriculum is pathetic compared to Treehouse, leaps and bounds in terms of video production and instruction quality. They are equal in educational support. Treehouse is $25/month. TL;DR: my rep was horrible, as does the rest of the staff have poor communication and slow responsiveness and there is zero accountability for the staff, the instructor graduated Flatiron and started teaching others, they won't let you swap Full Time to Self Paced, curriculum is basically $15k to Google search to pass the Labs that they don't teach you how to do. How Flatiron can sleep at night charging $15,000 for this pile of junk that they call a school is beyond me. Terrible staff, horrible curriculum, overpriced Google searching for what they call an "education," and the worst part is they just literally don't care about the students.