A high school football coach becomes a software developer: Josiah’s story

Josiah was content with his life as a high school history teacher and football coach in Texas. But after about a decade, he realized that the demanding schedule was keeping him from spending time with his wife and new baby. “In general, I wasn’t very happy at work,” he said. So Josiah did what many people would do – he tried going back to school.

He took a few computer science courses at a Dallas-area community college to see if he had the aptitude and desire to get into technology. “I felt pretty good about it after the first few courses,” he said. So, he planned to get a second bachelor’s degree in computer science. But those plans changed after his wife accepted a new job in Austin. “I took it as an opportunity to quit teaching full-time,” he said. “I have a friend who’s a very accomplished developer who recommended looking into code schools, because he’d heard really good things about them.” Read More

Coding in the Capital City: Sophia’s Story

For many recent college graduates – particularly those in Washington, DC –  Sophia’s story will sound very familiar.

After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science and Government, Sophia began her post-grad career as an intern, first working for the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, then Singularity University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Office of U.S. Representative Jared Polis and the Marijuana Policy Project. Tired of being a “serial intern,” and more importantly, of not getting paid, Sophia looked into different options. “I had great experiences as an intern, but I decided to learn a new skill that would help me get hired.” Read More

Campus spotlight: The Iron Yard Austin

Our Austin campus location has been operating for nearly a year and a half, and it’s hard to ignore the fact that there’s something a bit unique about the students and team members who make up The Iron Yard Austin. There are a handful of code schools in the city, so Course Report recently checked in with our Campus Director, Karly Borden, to find out more about why The Iron Yard Austin stands out from the Texas-sized crowd.

Here’s an excerpt from Karly’s interview: Read More

Singer-songwriter learns to code: MaryEllen’s story

What would make someone leave a successful indie rock band to learn to code? We wondered the same thing when we met MaryEllen, who joined our Front-End Engineering cohort in Nashville late last fall. Her passion for learning languages, creating music and constantly learning made her an excellent student, but what’s really cool is how she stumbled upon a completely new passion for programming.

“She’s an incredible engineer who also is a really adept designer,” said Joshua Cournoyer, our Campus Director in Nashville. “She landed one of the most impressive positions we’ve had for a graduate here in Nashville, and her final project was also inquired after by a few companies in town.”

Read on for MaryEllen’s full story, in her own words:

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Advice from an IronGrad: In education, create your own path

Our graduates constantly amaze us with what they accomplish after they leave us for the wide open world of technology. Beyond landing great jobs, they do things like begin new Meetup groups, give back to their communities and win hackathons and contests. One of these amazing graduates is Anisha, who we introduced you to a few months ago. She graduated from our Austin campus and continues to wow us (and the tech community in Austin!).

Anisha recently wrote a guest blog post for the Getting Smart blog, which is all about innovation in learning and teaching. Her post is titled, “Take a risk and follow your own path,” and may be read in it’s entirety here. In the post, Anisha writes about her experience as an undergrad student at the University of Texas at Austin and feeling like she wasn’t quite “on track.” She knew she wanted something different, and explains why she made the decision to take a semester off and attend The Iron Yard.  Read More

From small-town college grad to legitimate developer: Jesse’s story

After graduating from a small liberal arts college in Jackson, Miss., Jesse stayed in the city to work for a couple of years before moving to Austin, Texas in search of new opportunities. “I couldn’t see myself making a career in office management, social media marketing or retail,” she said. “I was so lost and itching to find something I enjoy doing that I could turn into a career.”

Enter web design. Jesse was exposed to a bit of design and development during her time as an office manager, and was intrigued. “I started doing some online tutorials to get my feet wet, and I was hooked after the very first one,” she said. Read More

From grocery store supervisor to back-end engineer: Bob’s story

Confidence has never been an issue for Bob McCarthy. In his job as a supervisor at a major grocery chain, he was happy and felt good about the work he was doing. It wasn’t until his cousin told him about The Iron Yard that he considered the idea of changing careers.

“I was hesitant at first, but I realized you don’t have to keep doing something just because you are good at it,” he said. “My cousin enjoyed the thinking/reasoning/logic that coding offered. I’m glad I listened, because I enjoy coding so much more than what I was doing.”
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Team member spotlight: Meet Kelly Murray, Front-End Engineering Instructor

Kelly has been coding since she was 12, taught her first class on computers at 13, and is truly passionate about diversity and mentorship in the tech industry. We’re so lucky to have her as our Front-End Engineering instructor for our Durham campus. Kelly is focused on finding creative solutions to the world’s problems, and we can’t wait to introduce her to you.

Here’s a bit more about Kelly, in her own words:  Read More

From marketing manager to software engineer: Amy’s story

After graduating from Clemson University in 2011 with her undergraduate degree in Graphic Communications, Amy worked in Atlanta for a year before returning to her hometown of Greenville, S.C. to serve as Marketing & Communications Manager for the Clemson MBA program. She was responsible for social media, print production, design, content development and photography. “It was really enriching, because I got to help people through higher education, but after a couple of years I realized marketing wasn’t really my cup of tea,” she said. “So I started looking for something that was a bit more mentally engaging and allowed me to stretch myself.” Read More

Three months on the job: A real-world review from a junior developer

Last month, we introduced you to Mike – one of our IronGrads who went from teaching music in a high school to building a new career as a software engineer with Call-Em-All in Frisco, TX. After three months on the job, Mike wrote up a “State of the Job” post to make sense of (and share about) his experience in the “real world” of technology. We love his perspective on imposter syndrome, his thoughts on becoming more comfortable as a developer, what it’s like to organize a successful Meetup, and work-life balance. Read on for more! Read More