Hour of code: Inspiring the next generation of coders

At The Iron Yard, we believe that investing in the local tech economy for the long-run means impacting and inspiring the next generation of coders. Our instructors and alumni regularly volunteer their time to make sure kids in every community where we operate have a chance to be exposed to coding. Plus, our kids coding classes usually include fun topics like how to build games and feature popular characters from movies and TV shows.

Each year, Code.org organizes Hour of Code – a  global movement that introduces students around the globe to coding through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. Teaching kids is in The Iron Yard’s DNA and we are proud participants in the Hour of Code.

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From layoff to international iOS developer: Donny’s story

Donny’s first taste of computer programming came from a course at a local technical college in the year 2000. At that point, he’d tried a few college courses that didn’t interest him, but something about his programming courses (in RPG and Java) clicked. In 2002, he accepted his first programming job – before graduation. He never finished his last two college courses.

“I was 23, I had a programming job, and I thought I was cool and didn’t need to finish,” he said. “I had this footloose, carefree mentality because I was a developer.” Read More

Let’s talk about ‘guys’

Recently, our executive director of the code school, Jessica Mitsch, wrote an article for InfoWorld about how the subtle ways we show our support for inclusivity—from our words to our daily habits—can help us increase the number of women in tech. In the piece, she talks about an eyeopening experience she had talking to an entrepreneur who was looking to hire junior developers, and the challenge she set herself to be intentional with her word choice, and to recognize unconscious bias in our day-to-day language

Below is an excerpt of Jessica’s article. You can read the full post on InfoWorld.com.

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Learning to learn: A graduate’s perspective

We often talk about how our courses go beyond the basics of programming languages and teach students to actually think like software developers. We help students learn how to learn, so they have the ability to continue studying and improving throughout their careers. But if you haven’t been through one of our courses, it might be hard to understand that concept. So we thought it might help to hear it from someone who has.

Four weeks into his first job as an iOS developer, one of our graduates reflected on the idea of learning to learn. Chris Myers recently graduated from our Mobile Engineering course in Salt Lake City and is now working for a research university in Atlanta. In his post, he talks about how he overcomes the daily challenge of not knowing how to do something he’s been asked to do.

I have been taught how to find an answer, to discern whether it’s useful to my situation, and 99% of the time, tailor it to my needs. Not knowing something is not the same as not being able to figure something out.

Chris’s full post is below. Want to read more about his journey? Check out his full blog here Read More

Financing now available in Indiana

Launching a completely new career is no easy task, especially when you have bills to pay, debt to deal with, family responsibilities and other stresses of life. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to prepare for a new career through our immersive courses. For some students, that transition is made easier with the help of financing. You can read about our current financing options here.

Due to regulation requirements, Indiana residents have been unable to secure financing to attend our courses in the past. Today, we’re thrilled to share that Indiana residents are now eligible for financing through one of our financing partners, Climb Credit. Read More

The Week in News

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you had a wonderful holiday and were able to spend time with friends and family.

In case you missed it, below are this week’s top headlines from The Iron Yard:

  • Fox Business – Coding boot camps replacing software engineering degrees? Jennifer Schonberger explores the burgeoning area of computer coding boot camps, which have become a popular alternative to software engineering graduate programs. But do they have successful results? Watch the full segment, including interviews with an Iron Grad and our executive director, Jessica Mitsch.
  • InfoWorld – Let’s talk about ‘guys’: It’s the subtle ways we show our support for inclusivity—from our words to our daily habits—that will help us increase the number of women in tech. Check out the latest article by our executive director, Jessica Mitsch.

Thankful.

We checked in with a few our team members from across the U.S. this week and asked them to share a little bit about what they are thankful for this year. As we reflected, we were each reminded of why we are so thankful for the opportunity to play a role in so many people’s lives. To our students, alumni, partners, Advisory Board members and friends – thank you.

Below, our Charleston team shares their Thanksgiving reflections. From all of us at The Iron Yard, happy Thanksgiving! Read More

You asked, we listened. Part-time programming courses are here.

A few weeks ago, we announced our very first in-person part-time “Foundations” courses. If you missed that announcement, click here to check it out. In the post, we said:

The ability to create or edit a website, understand the language developers use, or have a better handle on their company’s software programs can give professionals in all parts of the market a competitive advantage and make employees more valuable.

Today, we’re taking another step toward helping even more people enter the world of software development. We’re offering a part-time “Sprint” course designed to help professionals level-up by going beyond HTML and CSS and learning how to build basic front-end web apps using JavaScript. Read More

“You’re never too old to learn” – Joni’s Iron Journey

In our Iron Journeys video series, we’ve introduced you to a number of students who are in the midst of learning web development in an immersive course at The Iron Yard. Today we’re sitting down with Joni, one of our students in Salt Lake City, who is in week five of her course.

Joni had done a bit of programming during the course of her career, but she had never done web development professionally. She started learning JavaScript and HTML on her own, and eventually realized that if she wanted to learn to code, she needed help. “It just got to the point where there’s no substitute for in-class learning with people who are going through the same thing you are,” she said.

Check out the rest of our conversation with Joni for more on what her experience has been like so far, and why she thinks you’re never too old to learn. (full transcript follows video)

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