Tips for Future Flatiron Students

Jasper Curry
3 min readAug 3, 2016


It’s been over three months since I was first accepted to the Flatiron School’s immersive web program. Now that I have officially completed my first week, here’s some background information, tips and resources that I think will be beneficial to all future Flatiron students that are getting ready to start their program.

What’s it like?

No two days are exactly the same, but we typically spend a few hours every day in lecture going over new topics or reviewing previous labs. The rest of the day is spent working on labs via the Learn platform (just like the prework), pair programming, or working on projects. From what I’ve experienced so far, there is a good mixture of solo and collaborative work.

From a social standpoint, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is you will not have much time for social activities outside of class and finishing labs. They seem to always assign more work than you can complete during the day. This means that even after class time is technically over, you’ll still be working. While this can be stressful, it has had the benefit of totally destroying my ability to procrastinate.

The good news is you’re about to meet ~30 amazing people that are all doing the exact same thing as you. If you’ve done any reading about the Flatiron program, you’ve probably seen that they talk about creating classes with people from all backgrounds — this is not just talk. My class has people who studied neurobiology, civil engineering, song writing, english, philosophy, etc. We’re such an eclectic group of people and I feel incredibly fortunate to be a member. This is a rare opportunity to be part of a group with such intelligent, kind, and driven people.

Get Prepared

Now that you know a little about what’s in store, make sure that you’re setting yourself up now to be in the best possible position once you start the program. Do the prework as early as possible and read the all of the resources sections found at the bottom of each lesson if you have time — these will be invaluable as you start building on your knowledge.

Depending on where you are with your coding skills, I recommend the mobile app Lrn — it provides a great introduction to many core programming concepts on your phone. Google also has an excellent page with many helpful resources for people wanting to become a developer: Technical Development Guide.

Improve Your Computer Skills

After spending 10+ hours a day on a computer, I’m starting to wish I had dedicated more time to becoming a ‘power user’ before I started the course. Touch typing is still a skill that I’ve yet to perfect — have you? Here are two great typing tools that I’ve found particularly helpful: &

Some other Mac programs that I’ve found to be incredibly helpful are Spectacle and Alfred. Spectacle allows you to easily arrange windows in different portions of your screen using shortcuts. Alfred can be thought of as a more powerful version of Spotlight. You can use it to launch apps, search specific websites, keep a clipboard history, and much more. If you haven't started using Sublime or Atom as your text editor yet — install one of them now. They have great features like color coding your code and autocomplete (with many more advanced features available).

Finally, get the native Slack app — you’ll soon learn that this is how you’ll be communicating with all your classmates and instructors. The website works. The app works better.

Get Excited!

When I was accepted I went through a variety of emotions — disbelieve, shock, anxiety just to name a few. These were all perfectly reasonable things to feel; I had figuratively just jumped off a cliff and was waiting to see what it was like at the bottom.

Now that I’m on the other side and have experienced what it is like to be a student at the Flatiron School, I can say with confidence — calm down. You are about to attend a fantastic program. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable, patient, and helpful. They all love what they do, and it shows. If you’re not understanding a topic, they’ll take the time out to help you get to where you need to be. If you’re willing to put the work in, so are they.

Good luck! The best is yet to come.



Jasper Curry

Product at The New York Times. Previously at Noom, Policygenius, and NBC News.