Head of Marketing at The Iron Yard Eric Dodds on Developing Southeast Developers
Where Can a Southeast Developer Learn to Code?
Fortunately, head of marketing Eric Dodds found a few spare moments to speak with me at the 2014 Beyond the Desktop (BD) Conference in Nashville, TN. In our short interview, Dodds covered his company’s rapid growth, tech trends in the Southeast, and one of The Iron Yard’s newest offerings, The Iron Yard Academy. We both share a passion for the relationship between tech and entrepreneurship in our home here in the Southeast, so this was an interview that made me even more optimistic about the tremendous initiatives that shape our community and culture.
Since launching in Greenville, SC in 2012, The Iron Yard now has locations in Asheville, Atlanta, Austin, Charleston, Columbia, Houston, Orlando, Raleigh-Durham, Spartanburg, and Tampa-St. Petersburg. Such rapid expansion may be attributed to their knowledge and expertise of what works and what doesn’t—key factors for any startup. With that experience, they launched their startup accelerator in Greenville, NC in early 2013.
They later founded a code school, which has since expanded to six more cities. According to Dodds, The Iron Yard Academy develops developers at an astonishing rate, creating talented tech workers for the Southeast. Dodds is especially excited about the Academy’s newest course offerings on front-end web design, set to debut in the fall of 2014. To bring the interview full circle, those courses are in partnership with BD Conference creators Unmatched Style.
When I asked about the most difficult part of his job, Dobbs replied that it can be challenging to discover and hire qualified developers who also make excellent teachers.
I was also curious about The Iron Yard’s own conference, Grok. Dobbs differentiated it from most conferences by stressing that Grok focuses on intentional conversations between developers rather than keynote-heavy presentations and talking heads. For a company whose livelihood depends on collaboration, such a different conference carries out The Iron Yard’s mission quite well.
In closing, I asked Dodds a question that was itching me the entire time: What does the Southeast need in order to reach its full potential? To hear his answer, listen to the interview below.
The Interview was conducted by Clark Buckner from TechnologyAdvice.com (they provide coverage content on employee and staff engagement, gamification trends, enterprise loyalty platforms and much more). Also be sure to check out their Tech Conferences calendar for more great events like the BDconf series.