Switching from Part-Time to Full-Time at Flatiron

Back in October, I started out in a part-time cohort in the Software Engineering program. The rate that new coursework was released felt a little too slow paced for the amount of time I was investing. I have been very bad about tracking the exact amount of time I spend working. I would estimate it to be around 35 hours per week (5-6 hours after work, at least 5 hours on weekends). The time invested felt like overkill to keep pace with the part-time class, and I found myself wandering down rabbit holes looking for more topics to learn about.

The Transition

I guess the entire point of this post is for potential or future students that are feeling the same as I was. If you feel after a month or so into the program that the part-time cohort is too slowly paced while maintaining a full time job, you should consider moving to full-time. The switch has definitely been more intense than I expected, however. There is a LOT more coursework to complete per week to keep pace, so having nights and weekends dedicated to coding is a must. Overall it is more stressful but I am absorbing information and learning a lot faster than I was before.

This week’s coursework for full-time

As an example, on Monday I finished the week’s worth of coursework. Coursework is assigned each week and should be completed by Sunday. The next day I moved to full-time. Before the switch, I was about a week away from starting my first project, which is at the end of OO Ruby. I had already created a couple of CLI projects by the time we were reaching “project week” because I had free time. After switching to full-time I was able to submit my CLI project relatively quickly because I had already spent time working on it.

Since Monday I have been able to complete the SQL and ORM sections and am just beginning the Active Record portion. This week’s coursework for full-time is actually Active Record and Sinatra, so as you can see above, I am playing catchup because I waited a month and a half to switch (full-time is twice as fast as part-time). 

Takeaway

Don’t doubt yourself. Switch to the more intense program if you feel that you can invest the recommend amount of time. I already feel lightyears ahead of where I was on Monday. I (and you, if you planned to finish in 10 months instead of 5) will have an extra five months to continue self-learning, solidify a great portfolio and begin hunting for a great developer job.

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