My Flatiron Journey

natasha selvidge
3 min readMay 4, 2021

I am graduating from the Flatiron Software Engineer Full Time program in nine days! I just passed my final project review, and this feels like the perfect time to look back at my five-month journey learning to code. Our class was broken down into 5 phases that separated learning backend and front-end technologies. Our first three phases were a deep dive into Ruby, Sinatra, and Rails. Our last two phases were front-end focused where we learned JavaScript, React, and Redux.

In the beginning, we had to complete the first-mile to move on with our cohort. The first mile consisted of learning the basics of ruby and the language itself, and then we began to move into how to develop relationships in ruby. The end of Phase one is your CLI project and project review. This project is special because you get to take all you learned and bring something to life for the first time. For my first project, I named Doggo app, and it is a dog breed application. The application lists out all of the different dog breeds, and once the user enters the breed of dog, it will print out the dog’s breed, temperament, and life span. The first project review is very nerve-wracking but worth it in the end. Each reviewer you get has some new knowledge and way of coding you haven’t even thought of yet, and of Course as many students of Flatiron have found out, once you learn to do it one way, Flatiron teaches you the better and more efficient way on that note onto to phase two.

Phase two is where you learn SQL, ActiveRecord, Sinatra, and a bit of HTML/CSS. This project is unique because you finally get to see your project on the browser. This phase is where you also learn about sessions and cookies and how your password can be easily figured out on some websites. For this project, I made an application called Foodie where users can create an account, login in, and users can then add or review different restaurants in the area.

Phase three is next, and this is where we learn Ruby on Rails and what a game changer. We used rails to act as a backend or just the MC of the MVC paradigm. Quickly we added in ActiveRecord. Before I could blink my eye, I was able to use RESTful routes, create custom routes as I needed them, and make complicated relationship models in a snap. Something that took me so much longer to do on my Sinatra project. My Rails project was a Pinterest clone. I called it Pinteresting, it allows users to sign in with Facebook, which I found fascinating while learning exactly how to do that.

Phase 4 is where we learn front-end JavaScript. You take JS, learn how to select an element from the document, fetch information from a backend, and then display that information by creating new elements on the page dynamically. For this project, I tried to solve a problem in my life with my gym Orangetheory. Orange theory does not tell you the workout before you go to class. However, good old Reddit has a feed that lets you know what the workout for the next day will be. The issue is you have to dig through all of the other user’s comments on the gym itself or their new PR or some other nonsense I do not care to know. So for my app, the user can enter the workout for the next day and then view that workout without all the other noise. So it was pretty cool being able to solve a problem I had with code.

Phase 5 brings a whole new animal….React JS. It was the phase I was the most excited about. React did not disappoint. We learned how React uses JSX to integrate JS and HTML into one file and then turned that into using and storing state. State then allowed us to dynamically render changes to our webpage based on user input and interactions throughout the entire website. Passing and catching props and then how to get that information you gave to propagate back up to other pages. For my final project, I made an application called Pup Tinder. It is a sort of tinder clone but for finding a furry family member to bring home. Users can swipe the image of the dog right if they like the dog or left if they do not like the pup. React was my favorite language I learned in these past five months. I cannot wait to start my career and keep learning so much more.

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