Looking for a new job is often stressful, especially if you’re in the process of switching careers. Job-seeking graduates tend to highlight their newly-gained technical skills. However, what sets an applicant apart from the competition is not the technical skills they possess but their soft skills.
A recent Forbes article revealed the top five traits or ideal characteristics that hiring managers look for in applicants during interviews: passion, fit, preparation, resourcefulness, and willingness to learn. Although the ranking may vary depending on the industry, employer, and specific position, these traits are generally considered essential in all employees.
These vital skills are embedded in Flatiron School’s values, which urge students to “pursue mastery”, “be resourceful”, and “make no little plans”. Since 2012, hundreds of companies have hired over 5,000 Flatiron School graduates.
So, what makes them stand out?
Flatiron School’s rigorous training programs and comprehensive career services have helped over 5,000 graduates launch a career in tech.Enroll in Flatiron School today.
How Flatiron School Opens Career Opportunities for Graduates
Flatiron School works with hundreds of companies to match their graduates with available roles or positions. One of these partner companies is Whiplash, a third-party logistics company in the e-commerce space whose entire tech support engineering team is 100 percent powered by Flatiron School graduates.
Whiplash is a Ruby on Rails shop and Flatiron School’s program has a solid Ruby on Rails program. “We start them [Flatiron graduates] out as tech support engineers. This is our customer support and warehouse operations, where they need deeper technical information. [We need] people who can look at code and read through logs,” Mark Dickson, VP of E-commerce Technology at Whiplash said.
Members of their tech support engineers team are typically promoted to a developer position within a year and a half of starting the position. Mark commented that Whiplash recently promoted two Flatiron School graduates. One of them took on a developer role while the other moved into management as the manager of the tech support team.
The current arrangement with Flatiron School began about a year and a half ago when Whiplash was having trouble filling the position of Tech Support Engineer. Given that the function of tech support engineers was highly technical, it required people with engineering experience.
However, the work of handling support tickets kept falling on Whiplash developers instead. The management felt that this was not a good use of the developers’ time, but no one else in the company knew how to do the required work. That’s when Flatiron School graduates came onto their radar.
An Employer’s Review of Flatiron School Graduates
Whiplash’s first bootcamp grad hire was someone who had Rails experience. According to Mark, he excelled at the role in a way that no one else had previously. “It crystallized for us that someone right out of a bootcamp has the technical skills and the desire to learn. Most of these folks come at it from an outsider’s perspective,” Mark said.
“They’re [either] switching careers or doing something else. Doing a year on the frontlines feels fine to them because they’re actually still learning. It’s almost like an extension of the bootcamp in a way,” he added.
As the person with a bootcamp background was promoted, Whiplash looked for someone else to fill that position. During the hiring process, Whiplash ended up with two candidates for the role, and by chance, both were Flatiron School grads. This is how their relationship with Flatiron School took off.
“We liked them both so much [that] I went to the leadership [and said], ‘I really want both of them, please.’ Those are [the] two folks who just recently got promoted [and] that’s how we got started,” Mark recalled.
Six months later and with another job opening, Whiplash approached Flatiron School. Once again, the graduate they picked made for a great hire.
At that time, Mark explained that their company was doubling in size every year, leading to a growing need to hire more tech support engineers. Based on the performance of their previous hires from Flatiron School, they were certain of the quality of the graduates.
“We had four openings at once. I reached out directly to Flatiron and said, ‘We have three of your grads. They’re awesome. We love working with them. Can you send [more] candidates our way?’ They understood what we were looking for. We didn’t even post the position.”
“Flatiron School gave us a stack of curated resumes. We interviewed every single one of them and hired four. We picked up two more last week in the same way. We just reach out to our contact [in Flatiron School], and she gives us resumes, and they’re always good,” Mark explained.
What Makes Flatiron School Graduates Stand Out?
From Day 1 of the program, Flatiron School students don’t just develop technical skills but also the habit of lifelong learning. They are challenged to build, build, and build solutions and encouraged to work with others to gain fresh perspectives. Students leave the program with the mindset that they need to keep learning to continue growing in their chosen careers.
“The number one thing I always look for, in a way, is curiosity. I like to see that folks have been working on things that aren’t their class assignments. All the people [Flatiron School graduates] that we’ve talked to have generally seemed pretty passionate,” Mark said.
Most Flatiron School graduates also boast skills that are unique in the tech industry. Since a significant part of the student body are career switchers, they carry with them previous experience in other fields along with a strong sense of motivation to excel. This fits well with Whiplash’s preference for self-motivated employees who can work well on their own.
Their unique backgrounds also allow them to offer unique insights to the team. “I think that makes them more comfortable in conversations with end-users, customers, and warehouse staff. Someone directly out of university may not have had [similar] opportunities to [gain] those types of interactions,” said Mark.
Thanks to Flatiron School’s selective application process and rigorous training, hundreds of companies have benefited. Mark said that Whiplash is fortunate to benefit from this as well. He remains confident that they don’t need to worry about the technical skills of future Flatiron School graduates because of the consistent quality of its software engineering course.
“We get more room to hire for cultural fit and relevant life experience. Because everyone comes through with generally the same level of skill, it allows us to be selective about fit outside of just tech skills, which I think is also helpful,” he continued.
It’s for these reasons that Whiplash remains a steadfast hiring partner to Flatiron School. “That’s the only [hiring] list right now. Every time we post, they have qualified candidates. At the rate we’re both growing. I don’t see a dearth of candidates. I think they’re always going to have qualified people,” said Mark.
The track record of Flatiron School graduates helps fellow students land a job in tech and make their way into the industry. Through employer partnerships, like this one with Whiplash, students have access to career-launching opportunities and a great chance at landing tech roles.
The Future of a Flatiron School Graduate
Whiplash is just one among hundreds of partners Flatiron School works with to produce win-win situations between employers and graduates. This is down to its tried-and-tested curricula, committed career coaching, and vast employer network. Built upon this, Flatiron School ensures that its graduates possess the necessary skills required to be hired and become successful in their chosen careers.
If you want to join the ranks of thousands of students who have graduated from Flatiron School and launched careers in tech, start by browsing Flatiron School’s courses here. Or, you can learn more about this coding bootcamp by checking the Career Karma Flatiron School review.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.