At Flatiron School, our success is our students’ success — when students get jobs, we achieve our mission of enabling the pursuit of a better life through education. But, students’ stories don’t end after they graduate. In this series, we chat with Flatiron School’s alumni community about their journey into coding, and how that journey transformed their life.

Below, Carson, a Flatiron School immersive software engineering graduate, discusses how his life-changing bootcamp experience.

Carson C.’s last year attending in-person high school was the 10th grade. Due to a health condition, he completed high school from home. His school teachers came to his house and he eventually finished without really knowing what his next steps would be. “I finished high school and I really didn’t know what I wanted to do,” said Carson. “I actually really did not like school and, due to my health, the traditional college route  wasn’t really an option.”

There was one thing that Carson was interested in, and that was programming. Carson started learning to code when he was younger, helping out with his uncle, and building a website platform for his uncle’s charity. “That’s where it all started for me in terms of software engineering,” recalls Carson. “I made a game with robots playing soccer back in middle school. Other than that, that was all that I had in terms of familiarity to tech.”

A few months later, Carson’s dad saw a Flatiron School commercial on TV for the NYC Fellowship and encouraged Carson to apply. While enrolling in Flatiron School would require him to move to New York City from Virginia, Carson knew this was his only option if he wanted to continue his education past high school. He applied and was accepted to the immersive Software Engineering course at Flatiron School’s flagship NYC campus.

“I moved to the Bronx by the end of the week,” said Carson. “I started Flatiron School and was riding the train over an hour every day to get to class.”

Flatiron School gave him an education he thought he would never get. “It completely changed my life,” said Carson. “With college not being an option for me, I actually don’t know what I would be doing or where I would be if it weren’t for my dad seeing that TV commercial.”

Carson accepted his first job in New York City after he finished the program, He continued to work with Flatiron School as a tutor on Learn.co one day per week for three to four hours.

Carson continued to meet with his cohort professor who played a big role in Carson’s job search. His conversations would lead him to his next job and a new city. “I met up with Blake and he told me that he thought that I had a lot of potential and everyone that’s really good at engineering is in San Francisco,” said Carson. He decided to move to San Francisco after some consideration and landed a new job. “I found my current role at Carta through a Meetup group,” said Carson. He’s now a Software Engineer there and leads their internship program.

He encourages prospective student thinking of making a career change to think of it as a journey. There won’t be an “end” and you need to be a lifelong learner even if that means stumbling along the way.  “Being a software engineer is a continuous process,” said Carson. “If you really want to experiment, be creative, and aren’t scared to fail, then engineering is the field for you. Don’t be afraid of failure and you will do great here. Especially at Flatiron School.”

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