Before coming to The Iron Yard, Christa attended the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg and earned a degree in political science. From there, she joined the college management training program at Wawa, working in retail management for the next year.
“I always wanted to be in tech, but I didn’t want to do it as a salesperson,” Christa explained. “I wanted to build a technical skill set.”
“One thing I love about tech is the creativity,” Christa said. “I had all of these visions in my head, but don’t have the hands for drawing or painting. Learning to code, I could design and build anything I could think of.”
After hearing about the fantastic experience one of her friends had with code school, Christa decided to look into it for herself. She did research on schools in the Bay area and New York, but ultimately decided that staying in Tampa/St. Petersburg was the best decision because she already had a strong network and connections in the area.
After visiting The Iron Yard and meeting with Toni (the campus director) and Jason (the Front-End instructor), she knew it was the perfect fit for her.
“Jason really modeled his curriculum to fit the way our cohort learned,” Christa said. “It’s not like a typical university setting where you’re weeded out if you’re not succeeding. At The Iron Yard, they’ll do anything to help make you successful and think like an engineer – but that doesn’t mean they’ll spoon feed you either. It’s challenging but Jason taught us to be resourceful.”
After graduating in February, Christa accepted a job at Ultimate Medical Academy as an applications developer – and she just started this week!
And this is just the beginning; Christa has big plans for her future. “I can see my career path going in a couple different directions,” she said. “I’d love to stay with a company to become a project manager and senior developer, and help groom other junior developers by sharing my knowledge. I could also see myself becoming a freelancer and taking advantage of the flexibility being a developer can afford. I’d love to travel the world and work for my own clients.”
For others who are looking into code school, Christa recommends dabbling in some Front-End and Back-End pre-work before deciding which course to take. “Are you more vision-driven or more data-driven? Always think about how you operate best in class and what you need to do to understand a problem.”
“The Iron Yard is a big family,” Christa said. “I made great, great friends and the team was so wonderful. If I could repeat it I would, it was just that fun and amazing!”