From Afghanistan to The Iron Yard

Less than a year ago, LeRoy Gardner was working 12-hour shifts seven days a week in Afghanistan as an HR Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Throughout his 10-month deployment, LeRoy’s main job was to advise the General of the Afghan National Police on recruiting, retention, training and strategy. During the handful of hours when he wasn’t donning body armor, magazines, weapons and a helmet, LeRoy was glued to his Macbook, trying to teach himself to code using online tutorials. Read More

The Iron Yard takes on strategic investment from Apollo Education Group

When we first started The Iron Yard, we ran a startup accelerator, a co-working space, and events. From the beginning, everything we’ve done has focused on people; whether we’re selecting startups, recruiting mentors, creating workspace for freelancers or running conferences for designers and developers. When companies we worked with told us about their difficulty hiring developers, we found another exciting opportunity to focus on people through code education.

The Iron Yard exists to create exceptional growth and mentorship for people and their ideas through tech-focused education.

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Areas of study at The Iron Yard

The first language we ever taught at The Iron Yard was JavaScript. Early in 2014, our founders were discussing the addition of a second course in Ruby as well as additions to our JavaScript curriculum. Thinking about the implications of those critical decisions, Mason Stewart said:

I believe our curriculum must become an expression of our best intentions towards our students, rather than an expression of our personal preferences.

Since that day, our approach toward The Iron Yard’s course curriculum has followed Mason’s words. Our curriculum is very carefully crafted and it’s under a state of constant refinement. We are very intentional about tailoring our courses to prepare our students for the best opportunities in each location, while at the same time maintaining the core principles that we’ve found to be central to learning the foundations of programming. Read More

Meet Cory Foy, Director of Corporate Training

A big part of what we do at The Iron Yard is get to know employers who hire software programmers. We want to understand their needs and ensure our courses prepare students with the right skills for the job. Our team has become a trusted partner for many of these employers as we learn design and tweak our courses with their feedback. As a result of that trust, we’re now exploring a corporate training program that will take our learnings from the immersive code school model from into organizations across the globe to help them stay ahead of the latest technologies and grow their internal teams. Read More

Meet Jessica Mitsch, Director of Global Campus Operations

As we continue to open doors in new cities across the globe, our executive team is expanding (in number, in depth and in experience) as well. Today, we want to introduce you to Jessica Mitsch. She’s been with The Iron Yard for more than a year as our Durham campus director, and recently transitioned into an expanded role overseeing operations for all of our campuses. Jessica is a creative problem solver and master of process who understands how each moving part of The Iron Yard works together to provide an amazing experience for our students. She’s an inspiring leader and we are thrilled to have her on our executive team.

Here is a bit more about Jessica, in her own words. Read More

Thinking for the future

At The Iron Yard we think constantly about education. We read, analyze and discuss to make sure that we’re critically considering what we do and challenge ourselves to become better educators every day. Most of our discussion happens through internal communication tools, but in the spirit of being open-sourced, we’re going to begin publishing thoughts from our conversations.

The New York Times featured an op-ed titled Thinking for the Future, which discussed a future in which an increasing number of jobs are handled by machines. There’s a significant amount of debate around technology eating jobs, but one statement in the article caught our attention:

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Thank you, John

The first time I met John Saddington, I was a guest observing the very first cohort of startups Peter had recruited to Greenville in 2012. At that time, I was still working in an agency and The Iron Yard wasn’t even born yet—the accelerator was still called “The Next Big Thing.” Seeing John mentor startups was fascinating. He’d experienced multiple exits as an entrepreneur, was fluent in multiple programming languages (in almost all of which he’d built successful apps) and somehow managed to have blogged every day for more than a decade, establishing him as an authority in all types of online publishing. Needless to say, I felt privileged to spend some time with him on that day. If you’d told me that I’d one day build a company with John, I’d have called you crazy. Read More

The Iron Yard’s Atlanta campus hackathon

This weekend, The Iron Yard’s Atlanta campus is going to be in full on hackathon mode. Our internal hackathon is one of the three group projects to which our students are assigned, and it’s the one I look forward to the most. From Friday through Sunday, our students work hard and strong to make our hackathon partner’s ideas a reality. All day and all night, these people who were complete novices just eight weeks ago will be building real-life products.

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Meet Watson Mulkey, Admissions Specialist

Computerworld’s 2015 Forecast survey says programming/app development is the #1 most in-demand skill set for the next year. This comes as no surprise to us – employers tell us the same thing every day. Right now, The Iron Yard has 14 campuses across the U.S. and one in London. We’re expanding quickly and working to open more campuses to meet this demand.

Watson-HeadshotAs we continue to grow, we need someone who can focus 100 percent on helping match potential students with the right courses and campuses. Meet Watson Mulkey, The Iron Yard’s new Admissions Specialist! Watson came to us from Hampden-Sydney College, where he spent the last five years in admissions. He’s a bearded coffee connoisseur from Virginia who loves music, craft coffee and talking with students about The Iron Yard.  He sat down this week to tell us a little more.

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Stories from the field

We often share some of the amazing stories that we get to hear about from our students as they struggle (and succeed) at becoming software developers. The Iron Yard student stories are their own, in their own words, and usually raw and uncut.

But they are real and authentic, just as they should be.

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