It’s no secret that attending an immersive code school is tough. The format for our full-time courses has been designed (and constantly refined) for people who want to take their first step toward a completely new career in technology. But that change in direction is more than just collecting new information. Along with a significant investment of time, focus and perseverance, becoming a professional programmer requires developing a new way of thinking—a mental skill set focused on constant problem-solving. To ensure our students have a foundation that will last them for the rest of their career, one of our instructors’ primary goals is to help students “learn how to learn.”
That means that for our instructors, the immersive course format goes far deeper than just explaining a programming language or teaching basic coding skills. They must mentor students (according to individual learning styles) as they experience a fundamental shift in their approach to problem solving. In short, we believe that instructors are one of the most important ingredients in a code school student’s success.
So what makes The Iron Yard’s instructors different?
This is probably one of the best questions prospective students can ask and a question we love to answer. At The Iron Yard, we hire veteran developers who are equal parts mentor, development expert and passionate educator — a combination that is a tall but worthy order for students who have put everything on the line to pursue a career in tech.
So let’s break those characteristics down a bit further:
- Mentors – Succeeding as a student at The Iron Yard is not easy. As we’ve already mentioned here, it takes a unique level of commitment from both the student and the instructor. Our instructors truly are mentors for our students. They empathize with the students, because they know how difficult the demands are. But they also know that demanding much will result in real change for these students. Every single student will struggle at some point during their cohort, and our instructors will be there for each student when that time comes. The truth is, there is nothing better than to be there to witness each student’s “a-ha!” moment. Those moments make this way more than just a job for our instructors. It truly is a passion.
- Development experts – Our instructors are experienced industry professionals. They’ve worked in the industry, they’ve hired junior developers, and they know what our students need to know to get hired and succeed at becoming software developers and designers. The cool thing is, they also continue to develop their expert skills, even while they are with us full-time. We don’t view teaching as some end-goal, but a step on the path towards greater mastery of our craft. That’s why our instructors have time off between each cohort—they can work on building their own projects, research and stay sharp on the latest development trends, and remain challenged as developers. We invest that extra time into our instructors so they will remain at the top of their game and serve as the very best teachers for our students.
- Passionate educators – We choose to hire full-time instructors because it ensures we can offer an unmatched quality and consistency for our students. The instructors who are in our classrooms today aren’t teaching these topics for the first time. They have the support of an incredible, global network of other talented and driven instructors – a group of people who push each other every day to improve at the craft of educating developers. They also work together to evolve and update curriculum and corroborate best practices on a regular basis. Giving our instructors access to such a strong network of top developers means every student will learn from the incredible expertise not only of their own instructor, but from our entire network of instructors.
At The Iron Yard, we are only as strong as our instructors and we are proud to work alongside passionate, driven individuals who all truly believe tech education has to the power to change lives and empower communities around the world.