In today’s edition of Friday Q&A, we take a look at a day in the life of an Iron Yard student.
“One question we frequently get from prospective students is ‘what will my day look like as an Iron Yard student?'” our student success lead, Watson Mulkey says. “This is an incredibly important question – and one we love to answer – because it helps set expectations for the course. Knowing what your daily schedule will look like and how much time you’ll be committing to learning to code each day is the first step in preparing yourself for an immersive course.”
So what is the typical experience for students at The Iron Yard?
Many of our Campus Directors will tell prospective students that, if you enter our immersive programs, you will need to set an expectation with your friends and family that learning to code will be your main priority for the time you’re at The Iron Yard. That type of singular focus is required to succeed in becoming a software developer in such a short period of time. Our students spend time every day face-to-face with their instructors (who are full-time, experienced developers themselves). They spend time working with their classmates during lab hours and on group projects, and they spend nights and weekends working on homework that builds upon the knowledge and skills they gain on a daily basis. The result? Our Web Development Career Path is designed to take students from zero to job-ready in 12 weeks.
Th 12-week course is structured as an immersive experience, with expert instructors and mentors, with a combination at-home prep work and hands-on learning and lecture in the classroom. We have students work with each other in pairs and in groups, and we have a team of instructors who are always there to guide students through the learning process. Students spend time one-on-one with instructors and our campus teams as they work through the course and career support program.
We assign projects often so students can immediately apply the principles they learn, developing muscle memory every day. We also offer some open lab time to allow students to continue asking questions and working through the material, or to cover ‘soft skills’ topics like networking, interviewing and time management. Our students spend the first four weeks of the course learning about the technologies pertaining to front-end engineering, the second four weeks learning back-end engineering technologies, and then they focus on a specific programming language – so every student has a full-stack foundation to build on.
The immersive environment at The Iron Yard extends far beyond the classroom. In addition to spending time in class and on homework assignments, our students are exposed to the world of software development in their communities. Campus Directors, instructors and other team members introduce students to Meetup groups, take students on tours of local software development companies, and set up mock interviews and career talks. Advisory Board members—who are actively involved and ensure that we offer the curriculum that will prepare our students for real jobs as developers in that community—often offer to conduct guest lectures, setup Q&A sessions or help with resume writing and job search tips.