Iron Journeys: Meet Jennilyn, current Greenville student

Meet Jennilyn.

She’s a current student at our Greenville campus. Jennilyn has worked in journalism/design/account management but eventually gave in to the nagging feeling that there are more challenges to tackle, more to learn. With a knack for problem solving and troubleshooting, learning to code was a good next step.

Jennilyn has been documenting her code school journey on her blog and has agreed to let us follow along as she works her way through the 12-week class.

Here is a quick summary of her first two weeks:

Week 1


One day down, 80 to go at The Iron Yard. That time is going to fly.

The TIY team has “flipped” traditional classroom learning. We have nightly reading that introduces the next day’s topic, then our time and energy in class is spent applying and practicing the concepts. Grasping the material is done with the support of teachers and fellow students, not at home alone under the lonely weight of “What the heck did he say?”


We did a couple group projects with this language, including a critique+edit of an existing file. Then for our individual project we built three pages from scratch in just 90 minutes (whew). I felt confident by the afternoon, but the time constraint had me in a bit of a spin. It takes a lot of typing to build even a simple site (see screenshot below). Overall this material was not totally foreign; I’ve done a little bit of HTML in preparation for The Iron Yard. However, I know I have a long ways to go before this content is second-nature.


This first week is going great. All my classmates are really neat people and I sense we are meshing really well. Our instructors are engaging, funny, and patient. The Iron Yard has fostered a warm, welcoming environment and I already feel at home on campus. Pressing on with 11 1/2 weeks to go!


It’s pushing midnight and I just got done coding. We spent another day on CSS and, like yesterday, I rode the learning rollercoaster; sweeping several times from This is great! Wait, what? NO. Okay, I can do it! and back again. Tomorrow I’ll keep swimming, and practicing! We have some fun tools to work with over the weekend, and I plan to build a goofy website about my dog Luke for practice (he’s been keeping me company and serving as good stress-relief/laughter this week).

Week 2


One thing that has me excited about our work this week is it’s another step into UX. If I were forced to set my dev career path today I would pursue UX/UI. At my past job we worked with custom software that was both internal and client-facing. As a superuser, I found myself coming up with ideas to make things easier for both us and the clients…Aside from pipe dreams, I know we’re gearing up for JavaScript next week…but I’m excited for some more challenges.


Today I started my week two project and as I was writing the HTML for the calendar page, it occurred to me that another way of writing the code may work better. So I created a separate branch and saved that “plot” for later consideration and implementation in case it ends up being the best option.


I have learned so much already — it’s been a great ride so far. Not easy, but definitely fun and rewarding. On day 1 I was a little intimidated by the command line but now using it comes easily, even natural. Today I can put together a decent-looking website, but two weeks ago you’d think I was stuck in 1995.

Deliberate. That’s a loaded word that sums up my mantra these days. This is likely the last time in my life that I’ll enjoy 3 months of focused learning, so I’m keeping that end-goal in mind with almost every decision. Facebook isn’t on my phone anymore. A lot of my social media time is now dedicated to this journey in some way, whether it be blogging, tweeting about my day, or keeping an eye on LinkedIn. Sleeping, eating well, and working out are priorities; if I’m not well I can’t learn. I also can’t learn if I don’t have a little fun (see photo)! Also, I’m reminding myself to stay patient and curious. It’s about to get hard, but that’s okay. Patience, curiosity, and the right attitude can get me through almost anything.

We will check in with Jennilyn weekly to see the highs, lows and everything in between.

See Jennilyn’s sample projects and read more about her journey here.

1 Comment

  1. I’m so proud of my daughter! Its ‘father’s day’ every day with you. I can’t help you with your geekier stuff–but I can check on Luke if needed!

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