Healthcare to software: Jennifer’s story

Last summer, Jennifer told us how she came to The Iron Yard and what it is like to make a career transition. We followed up with Jennifer to get a bit more of her story and to see what life has been like after graduation.

Jennifer Graves started down a traditional, four-year college degree route but soon life took her in a different direction.

“I started working and ended up liking the jobs that I was doing for the most part, and decided to just hold back on college for a little while and focus on the career that I was building at that time,” she said.

Jennifer worked as an administrative assistant at a doctor’s office and later moved into customer service with a national healthcare company. She was soon promoted to a management position, but that transition made her consider what she really wanted to do. Read More

Five reasons to learn to code during summer break

College summer semesters have been synonymous with make-up classes or squeezing in that course too difficult to tackle during the spring or fall.

Let’s flip the script a bit.

Summer can be about maximizing the weeks in between semesters. It can be about learning a new set of skills that will make students as prepared – even more prepared – for the future.

No matter the major, learning to code is a great option for college students on summer break.

Five reasons learning to code this summer is a smart idea:

Coding is the new literacy
Much in the same way as being fluent in another language is beneficial, so is learning the language of code. People all over the world use technology. The “language” of technology equips us with the ability to communicate across cultures and gives a global angle to our work.

Beef up your resume
Regardless of college major or work experience, the ability to code is attractive to employers in any field. Every line of work has an online presence. Having the ability further that presence is an attractive asset to future employers.

Coding requires new ways of thinking
Problem solving is at the heart of coding. Building a web project from scratch or learning to identify and fix problems requires creativity and loads of critical thinking – both great muscles to exercise heading into the next semester.

You will be more self-sufficient…
Ownership of the online previously lived solely in the hands of IT professionals. Coding know-how provides a new freedom to build and troubleshoot websites without calling in favors. Programming skills can also open up opportunities for freelance work, which may be beneficial in the murky world of post-graduation plans.

…And more collaborative
Projects in all disciplines are rarely created and executed in a vacuum. Learning to give and receive feedback are valuable skills in the marketplace. Coding classes are highly collaborative with participants sharing knowledge, reviewing work and offering advice.

The very nature of college is to prepare for the future. Many industries currently rely on online systems to operate and many more will in the coming years. As more systems become automated, knowing code is valuable in ensuring companies run as smoothly as possible, regardless of the field.

Let us help you make the most of your summer. Take a look at our courses or find a campus location near you.

Corporate Training spotlight: Instructor Curtis Schlak

Recently we brought you the story of how we are helping business like Blackbaud and Spoonflower teach their employees coding skills needed in the workplace through our Corporate Training program.

Technology advancements are providing solutions for companies of all sizes. Employers want to be sure their current workforce is trained to leverage these tools to grow their business.

Today we talk with one of our Corporate Training instructors, Curtis Schlak, about his experience working with companies, the benefit of equipping employees and retro games of tic-tac-toe.

Tell us about your professional background.

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The Power and Importance of Goal Setting

15 months ago I sat down in a classy coffee shop on S. Main Street in downtown Greenville and had coffee with a gentleman who I had had the pleasure of mentoring through the very first cohort @ Iron Yard Ventures (it was called “The Iron Yard” at the time, before our 12-week education program was born).

Marty Bauer, when I first met him, was the CEO of a promising startup that we had funded and run through the paces and who had grown tremendously over the years as a leader.

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