Why I’m at Flatiron

Ethan Rodriguez
4 min readMay 2, 2021

The year was 2006 and I had accepted a position with Lowe’s Home Improvement as a Loss Prevention Manager. At that time, I had been married for 5 years to my wife and our son was 4 years old. By this time, I had already been in the Loss Prevention industry for 6 years, working at various types of retailers slowly moving up the corporate ladder. With that said, the opportunity to work as a Loss Prevention Manager in a big box home improvement store for a fortune 40 company was a big deal at the time. I gladly accepted the job and thus began my 15-year long career with Lowe’s Home Improvement Inc. While I was happy to have the opportunity to work a Lowe’s, it was never really part of my plan. I had gotten into this industry by chance when I walked into a hiring office for another company. At the time, it had only been a couple years since I got out of the United States Marine Corps. I Just graduated Police Academy and was only looking for a temporary job to hold me over until I got hired by Police Agency. My resume had somehow got forwarded to a regional manager who was at that location that day and hired me on the spot. Life moved on and seven months later my wife was pregnant with our now 18-year-old son. I can still remember where I was when she called me at work and told me she was pregnant. I knew at that point I had to take my career seriously. I had to be able to provide for my family. And so, I stood in retail for some time, eventually making my way up to Assistant Store Manager at Lowe’s.

This brings me to my next point, which is the reason why I am currently at Flatiron school. While I am certainly grateful to have had the opportunity to become a Manager at Lowe’s, I was never truly happy in that role. Like I stated above, it was never really part of my plan in life. I somehow just ended up there. As my responsibility as a Father, Husband, and overall responsible adult grew, it became harder and harder to change careers. I was feeling trapped and no longer in charge of my destiny. My responsibilities and stress at work grew exponentially when I accepted the role of Assistant Manager. I was in a high volume $60+ million-dollar store with over 200 employees under me. I was working minimum of 55 to 60 hours a week in a high stress environment. I felt like I was living to work instead of working to live.

So, I waited and waited…until the timing was right, and I was in a spot financially to be able to quit my long-time job of 15 years and fully commit 100% of my time to Flatiron school. I chose Flatiron base on a few different things.

1. In 2020 they were awarded best online bootcamp

2. They offered opportunity for a partial scholarship

3. They are one of the only schools that post the percentage of graduates that obtain jobs in the field that they went to Flatiron for. This was huge for me since finding a job after graduation is a priority.

4. Prior to COVID-19 you would have to attend one of their campuses across the country. Where I lived there was no campus and so I would not have the opportunity pre-covid.

The opportunity to break into a new career field is both exciting and scary at the same time. I’ve always been a cautious and calculated person in my life who does not like taking chances. But this year I was able to see something different and that is this. If you refuse to give up, then you have already defeated failure. The only time you fail at something is if you don’t get back up and stay in the fight! And while I know full time bootcamp at Flatiron will be tough, I refuse to ever give up! I will break into the tech field and kick start my new career!

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Ethan Rodriguez

Software Engineer | Full-Stack Web Developer | JavaScript | React | Ruby | Rails | Active Record | SQL | HTML | CSS