When we last heard from Atlanta Front-End Engineering graduate Thomas McCracken, he was sharing his experience at The Iron Yard. Though coding, software development and technology weren’t foreign concepts to him with his background in geographic information systems, when his work started to more fully involve Python scripting, HTML and CSS, he was intrigued. “You could say I just kind of got the bug for it,” he said. Read More
People have many different life experiences that prepare them for the intense educational journey of The Iron Yard, but Gabriel Zarate had some preparation that was far different than most of our other students––on a salmon fishing boat in Alaska. “I needed to make some money before my wedding,” he said. So he went to Alaska and started working for a commercial salmon-fishing company.
While salmon fishing and computer programming might not seem relatable, Gabriel says that both of them require a tremendous work ethic. “It was the experience of a lifetime, but it was also grueling work that really prepared me for life during the course.”
An internship at a Charleston, S.C. marketing firm was the first step in Rachel Almeida ending up at The Iron Yard, but her path from an intern maintaining WordPress site for a marketing agency to Web Developer at MomentFeed had an unusual catalyst.
“It was actually my boss at the marketing firm who told me about The Iron Yard,” said Rachel. After working on WordPress during the internship, Rachel started investigating code schools, and made up her mind to attend a code school in New York. “My boss came up to me and said ‘I know you want to leave, but you don’t have to go all the way to New York. There’s a coding school here.’”
After waiting tables for two years and waiting for a the right career opportunity to present itself, 26 year-old Fabian Murillo found that the inspiration he’d been looking for was almost right in front of him.
“I was living in Charleston and my roommate and I were taking courses at the community college; I was doing Criminal Justice and Communications, and my roommate was doing IT,” Fabian said. “One evening I just picked up one his textbooks and started flipping through it. It hit me so quickly, ‘I’m on a computer all the time, why have I never looked at computers before?’”
Ryder Timberlake doesn’t speak like most people, but then again, Ryder Timberlake doesn’t do anything like most people. He doesn’t temper his enthusiasm, either in conversation or in his pursuit of things he enjoys.
As an undergraduate, he followed his enthusiasm for Linguistics and Spanish by double majoring in both, later, he’d also pick up a Masters degree in Spanish Linguistics. “I come from an academic family and I’m sure that played a role. Languages was just what I was interested in studying.”
Despite the connection between studying languages and programming, it was actually a fairly winding road that lead the 31 year old to the February 2016 Back-End Engineering Course at our Indianapolis campus.
Deems Wilson is a man who follows his interests. In fact, the most common response we got during our interview with him was “because it was interesting.”
After college, Deems started working in the hospitality industry. It was during his time as a fine dining waiter that he developed a particular interest in wine. “I started working with wine for fine dining, and became really interested in it. I was being exposed to lots of good wines, and getting my sommelier certification just seemed like an obvious way to level up.”
After two years simultaneously managing a wine bar and two pool halls, Deems realized that his opportunities to grow in the service industry were diminishing. “It didn’t feel like I could reach much higher and I was beginning to feel like I was losing some of the passion and enthusiasm that had driven me for so long. It was time for a change.”
When the company Kyle Holliday was working for saw enough business to start building their own internal software, Kyle saw an opportunity, “I was wearing a couple of different hats there, and as the company grew, they started to build out their own software. I talked to some of the developers to see if there was any way I could help out, and I ended up doing some internal testing.”
If you told Sean Calkins in high school that at 25 years old he’d be a professional iOS developer, he wouldn’t have believed you. “I took a development class in high school and dropped it after a week because I decided I didn’t like it,” he said.
No stranger to hard work, Sean (like a lot of The Iron Yard’s students) had a diverse work background before joining The Iron Yard. “I worked at a coffee shop, I did high rise window cleaning. The job I had right before I went to The Iron Yard was working for the post office as a data conversion operator.”
Before joining the June 2015 Mobile Engineering cohort at The Iron Yard’s Washington, DC Campus, Sonova Middleton’s career was already an unqualified success. Between earning a Computer Science degree from Howard University’s School of Engineering and spending more than a decade as both a web developer and a web designer (including a turn as a senior web developer), she had already established herself as a professional web developer. But despite her career achievements, Sonova found herself wanting to move in a different direction.
“I was trying to teach myself to code to make my life easier.”
Now a full-time web developer with Practice, Erik was first drawn to coding with the hope of gaining the knowledge he needed to build an application for his business. “I was a martial arts instructor full-time for the past 10 years or so of my life,” he said. “There was no web application or anything that did what I needed it to. I was spending two to three hours a day doing paperwork.” Read More