Steve Frost | Front-End Engineer

Long Day’s Journey Into Web Development

May 01, 2016

(Day 1)

After months (er, maybe years) of lurking, delaying, and excuses, today I began my trek toward becoming a full stack developer. As with everything, I exhausted all other options, free and paid, to only come full circle back to Flatiron School’s Learn.co program.

Reasons I picked Flatiron’s School’s Learn.co program

  • Flexible. Since I am working a full time job while working at this, it was important to find a program that was flexible and I could fit into my current schedule. I didn’t want to interrupt any work projects/tasks and have chosen to shelf some hobbies to make more time. The course totes 600-800 hours of lectures, labs, online quizzes, and more.
  • Thorough/Quality. If I am going to put down most of my social life for 4-10 months then I want to leave the endeavor knowing as much as possible and the highest quality information as possible. After looking at 10-15 different options, Flatiron was the best option here.
  • Help from real people. Quite a few schools have this now but Flatiron really benefits from the “try it before you buy it” mantra. You’re able to get in there and take the 30-hour Intro to Ruby class and see how the helpful the community is when you have a question or want to work through a problem. There are also instructors, live and recorded lectures, on-campus visitation, study groups, and meetups depending on where you live.

Reasons I didn’t start on my first day until 2pm

  • Pens. I had to have the right color pens. Black for normal notes, orange for vocabulary, and green for code. I’m not crazy. Notebooks. Again, not crazy. I went back and forth on having either all black covered notebooks & putting stickers on to delineate between HTML, CSS, JS, Ruby, and other languages or have colored covers for each language. I settled on buying both. After careful thought, and more procrastination er preparing, I went with the black covers & stickers option.

The course starts with some basic git, GitHub, HTML, and CSS. Since I’ve made several sites and do work with some form of each in my day job, the first day has been not too stressful. Even after years of using HTML/CSS, there were some lessons that taught me the naming conventions for CSS which I’ve just always made up. (“yeah, that’s the watchamacallit!”)

Reflecting back on my first day on this long, exciting path makes me hopeful and happy. If I’ve learned something new about languages I’ve used for 10+ years in the very first 6 hours of classwork, then there are heaps of knowledge waiting for me. The only person who can make it happen is me and the time to do it is now.


Steve Frost

Written by Steve Frost who lives in Minneapolis using technology to make an impact in the community and our environment. Follow on Twitter