At the turn of the 21st century, 2000, I discovered my love for poetry. I was enrolled in Ramaz Upper School, in 10th grade, and turning sixteen. I explored the universe with Walt Whitman and his Learned Astronomer. William Carlos William gave me an appreciation for the every day riding around his Red Wheelbarrow. Whenever I was sad, I flew on the wings of Emily Dickinson with a hope for the future. And I even visited Xanadu with Kubla Kahn and Sam Coleridge. …


Monday, June 8th, 2020, was Flatiron School’s eighth birthday. Starting Flatiron School with Adam has without a doubt been the most rewarding, challenging, and exciting endeavor of my life so far. With a heart full of love, I will be leaving full-time employment at Flatiron School at the end of the month.

The first and most important thing I can say is that I still fully believe in Flatiron’s mission. I am certain in the incredible team’s ability to continue changing people’s lives and paving a new path in education.

If you are an alumni, know that our community is…


Ruby may have a smaller place in the market. But that’s not why you should learn it.

This post originally appeared on Learn.Love.Code.

As the Co-Founder and Dean of Flatiron School I thought it important to write a response to the recent implication that because a school switched their curriculum focus from Ruby to Java that means the Ruby and Ruby on Rails job market is waning or the popularity and importance of Ruby and Ruby on Rails is diminishing.

During my career as a programmer I have worked primarily in ASP, Javascript, PHP, C#, and Ruby with a sprinkling of many other languages including Java. …


Given on 3/9/2018 for the binding.cry Graduating Class of Flatiron School

Good morning everyone. Hi, I’m Avi, I’m one of the co-founders of Flatiron School, Dean, and Chief Product Officer and it’s my privilege to welcome you all to your graduation.

I haven’t given one of these in a while. Every class at Flatiron is pretty amazing. I tend to think every class we have is the best class we’ve ever had. But I’ve kept on hearing that no, really, this class is the best class ever. I’ve heard it from our instructors, our coaches, and even from some of…


Ruby may have a smaller place in the market. But that’s not why you should learn it.

As the Co-Founder and Dean of Flatiron School I thought it important to write a response to the recent implication that because a school switched their curriculum focus from Ruby to Java that means the Ruby and Ruby on Rails job market is waning or the popularity and importance of Ruby and Ruby on Rails is diminishing.

During my career as a programmer I have worked primarily in ASP, Javascript, PHP, C#, and Ruby with a sprinkling of many other languages including Java. …


My mom was an elementary school teacher. Every day after school she’d tutor her students, and I’d have to wait around for her for two hours, playing with my school’s one computer (this was 1993) before she’d drive me home. My favorite game was Nibbles, a “snake” game written in QBasic — as you eat more, you get longer, and have to avoid hitting yourself or the walls around you.

Nibbles on DOS in QBasic

The problem was, I got so good at Nibbles that I could beat it every time. So I opened up the source code to try to make the game harder…


Flombaum.com circa 2002, archive.org

At the turn of the second millennium I was a sophomore in an NYC high school. I remember having a handful of interests: movies, fiction, gaming, computers, the internet, programming, and being cool. Trying to merge as many of these into one activity, and after being utterly rejected from my school’s creative writing journal, I decided to start publishing my writing on the web.

In 2000 Wordpress did not exist and Blogger had just come out and offered little in terms of customization. Launching your own website or “Web Log,” only recently coined “Blog,” was no easy feat. …


Me and my dad probably 8 years ago at a Designer Pages event at Heller

I wrote this letter to my dad on his birthday 3 years ago. I’m sharing it today to honor him on Fathers’ Day and put a bit of gratitude out in the world.

Hi Dad,

I’m writing you a letter. I know that we might equate writing a letter to some form of protest or complaint. I remember so many times where an injustice like a parking ticket, or poor customer service, or some nonsensical bureaucracy left you venting with the threat of “I’m going to write them a letter.” …


I started learning to code at 11 by reprogramming the computer game Nibbles… to make it harder.

These days, I get to teach people to program at Flatiron School, but I’m personally self-taught—I’ve been teaching myself teaching myself how to code since fifth grade. Along the way, I’ve found there’s no fairy dust to sprinkle on your code that will suddenly make learning easier. Learning to code can be really difficult. And most of the time, it takes some trying, failing, adjusting, and retrying to understand how you learn, how you work—and what you even need to know.

When I first started out, I knew I would have to put in the hours to get better, but…


I started teaching myself how to code in the fifth grade, reprogramming my computer games (to make them harder) and building websites on this new thing called the internet. By the time I was 16, during the first dot com boom, I started programming professionally and never looked back. I’ve had the opportunity to create my own startups over the years (Flatiron School, included), and there’s something I’ve noticed by wearing the hats of both a programmer and an entrepreneur: learning to code and founding a startup are similar in a number of ways.

Avi Flombaum

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