Not just the capital city of Texas, Austin earned the nickname “Silicon Hills” for the huge number of tech companies that have taken up residence in the metro area.
Today, we caught up with two of our amazing team members in Austin – Karly Borden, Campus Director, and Quincy Daniels, Campus Operations Manager. Below we talk about their backgrounds and what led them to The Iron Yard, what they love about the Austin tech community and their goals for The Iron Yard in Austin in 2017:
- Karly: After graduating from college with a degree in English, I joined a women’s business center in Santa Barbara, CA. As a Program Coordinator, I supported women as they created business plans to launch or grow their local businesses. On top of crafting marketing, operations and financial plans, my favorite role was working alongside individuals who had opted in for a self-selected life-change through entrepreneurship. Over the next several years, I launched a small safari tour business in East Africa, bike-toured through Europe, then moved to Austin. Seeing first-hand the benefits of more accessible training, I wanted to join a team with a mission to provide alternative forms of education, and The Iron Yard caught my eye. I joined the local campus in August 2015 and just celebrated being on the team for a year and a half.
- Quincy: I have worked in higher education for the past six years primarily in student recruitment and academic advising. I am now coming up on 9 months with The Iron Yard. Time flies when you’re having fun!
What has been your favorite moment at The Iron Yard so far?
- Karly: There are too many specific memories to pick a favorite, but I always enjoy and celebrate the typical victory moments a student goes through with us: the moment when they’ve been accepted into the program; the moment they leave their job to jump into a career change; the moment they feel a little lighter and nicer towards themselves after we cover “Imposter Syndrome” in our Huddle; the moment they start to realize “I’m really doing this” which usually sets in around our halfway celebration; the moments of their hilarity and exhaustion and endurance in final projects week; the moment of confidently talking about programming to engineers, hiring managers and employers during their Demo Day; and of course, the moment of receiving the call that a student had just received a job offer.
- Quincy: To date, my favorite moment at The Iron Yard has been at the end of final projects because I am amazed every time by just how much each student learns in our programs. To watch students go from 6 to 60 in learning, then getting their first junior developer role is so very special.
What is the number one thing you want people to know about The Iron Yard in Austin?
- Quincy: I want everyone to know the lengths The Iron Yard goes to make sure each individual student feels supported as they look to transition into this new career. The student support and our campus’ overall environment are two intangible things our Austin alumni always mention in the end of cohort survey. The Iron yard is a very special place!
What are the major factors people should consider when thinking about attending code school?
- Karly: Attending a code school is an investment in both time and money, so people considering enrollment should have a clear picture of their goals and how training like this will help them reach those goals. Our curriculum is designed to help complete beginners become job ready in just 12 weeks. If a person is checking out code schools, it’s generally because they’ve heard that boot camp training is a great option for a quick and thorough career change. It is! We just want to be sure that it’s a good fit for each individuals’ goals, so one of the roles I play during the early-stage conversations is “career coach”- can we expose you to more code in our online and in-person crash courses to help you decide that this is what you want to step into? Can we help you flesh out your understanding of what day-to-day work as an engineer looks like? How can your previous background benefit your future job search as a developer? These are all great, typical questions we get asked to help students arrive to a better understanding of what they want and why.
What excites you most about the Austin Tech Community?
- Karly: I have been so impressed with the different initiatives around town that are promoting diversity and inclusion in tech: from “LGBTQ Stories from the Field” and Diversity Hackathons, to programming workshops for high school girls and special scholarships opportunities to upcoming conferences. I feel really proud to be involved with the tech community that Austinites are thoughtfully creating for themselves and others.
- Quincy: I absolutely love how everyone in the Austin tech community is so involved with networking. Everyone is so friendly and inviting! One would have to try very hard not to make any connections in this city.
What are your goals for the Austin campus in 2017?
- Karly: As a campus team, we’re adamant about creating a more diverse tech scene, and therefore, a more diverse classroom. One initiative we have to support this is our Diversity Scholarship, reserved for individuals who identify with underrepresented groups in tech. One of our peer-campuses had a 50/50 women and men cohort recently — we’d love to reach that ratio this year, too!
- We’re also launching a Part-Time Immersive course at the end of March. This format will enable people to skill-up without having to leave their job. In 2017 we’d love to partner with several local businesses who want to support their employees’ professional development within their own company.
Want to learn more about The Iron Yard’s Austin campus or apply for an upcoming course? Visit us here or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.