How to hire great programmers

Hiring great programmers is no easy task. Rob Whelan knows exactly how hard it can be. As the VP of Technology for Rhinogram, a healthcare communication solution based in Charleston, South Carolina, he’s done his fair share of hiring and managing programmers.

We wanted to know the truth – how can employers get better at hiring the right programmers for their companies and projects? In the last two years, Rob has hired seven Iron Yard grads. So we went to him for advice. Read More

Advisory Board Member Spotlight: Launchpeer

Historically known for welcoming ships carrying goods that would make their way across the country, Charleston, South Carolina has long been a hub of commerce. Now, staying true to its roots, the city has transformed itself into “Silicon Harbor,” a modern-day port for technology companies that build products used all around the world. And as demand for tech talent and tech products increases across the globe, Charleston has plans to stay on top with the South Carolina Department of Commerce releasing a 2017 innovation plan earlier this month.

Since The Iron Yard first opened its doors in Charleston in 2014, we have graduated more than 200 students from eight cohorts and 16 courses. We have also built an outstanding advisory board of local companies both large and small that help us keep our finger on the pulse of the city’s thriving tech economy and hiring needs.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of those amazing advisory board members: Launchpeer, a development agency that helps entrepreneurs around the world build, launch and scale tech startups.  

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From therapist to software engineer: Elizabeth’s story

Elizabeth Evans had earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and worked in mental health for 10 years when she realized she was stuck. “I realized I can’t move up any more in this industry,” she said. So she started looking for a career change. That’s when she heard about The Iron Yard.

We recently caught up with Elizabeth, who enrolled in our immersive coding course in Charleston in 2016, and asked her to share her story. Read More

From bowling attendant to software developer: Doug’s story

We share stories of our students and graduates on this blog often, in hopes that they will inspire even one person as much as they inspire us. They are stories that remind us why we do what we do every day – to help people change their lives by learning to code and launching new careers.

While it’s one thing to hear accolades from those of us at The Iron Yard, it’s another to hear praise from the people who hire our graduates. One of our grads, Doug, recently received an award from his employer, Blackbaud, and his manager sent him the following in an email:

In my 18 years at Blackbaud, I haven’t seen a new hire ramp up so quickly and make the type of impact you have. I’ve been nothing but impressed with your work. Your success also shows how impactful programs like The Iron Yard can be, which is just awesome.

We caught up with Doug to find out more about his journey to a career in coding. Keep reading, and be inspired.

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Hour of code: Inspiring the next generation of coders

At The Iron Yard, we believe that investing in the local tech economy for the long-run means impacting and inspiring the next generation of coders. Our instructors and alumni regularly volunteer their time to make sure kids in every community where we operate have a chance to be exposed to coding. Plus, our kids coding classes usually include fun topics like how to build games and feature popular characters from movies and TV shows.

Each year, Code.org organizes Hour of Code – a  global movement that introduces students around the globe to coding through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. Teaching kids is in The Iron Yard’s DNA and we are proud participants in the Hour of Code.

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Iron Journeys: A chat with Chris McCandlish, front-end engineer

Next up in our Iron Journeys student story series, we’re talking with Chris McCandlish, one of our graduates who works as a developer in Dallas for a company called Vinli. Chris actually took our Front-End Engineering course in Charleston – he was an editor at a newspaper and after reading tons of articles about The Iron Yard, he was intrigued. So he took a couple of coding classes to see whether he liked it, and he was hooked. “It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “It’s just a whole different way of thinking, and for me, it was hard to wrap my head around at first, but I just kept doing it. It was definitely difficult but totally worth it.” Read More

A Parent’s Perspective with Carolyn Wilson

“Mom, how would you feel if I went back to school?”

A simple enough question on its face, that’s exactly what Kate Wilson asked her mom Carolyn when she was considering enrolling in Charleston’s October 15th Front-End Engineering Course. Carolyn remembers the rest of the conversation quite clearly as well. She remembers Kate saying “It would be all day, from 9 to 5. It’d be full-time, every day, Monday through Friday.”
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The Iron Yard code school to offer iOS development classes in Charleston →

The Iron Yard figures that Charleston has a shortage of mobile developers, so the code school is looking to fill the gap.

The Greenville-based school is adding a mobile engineering class this summer to its downtown Charleston campus. The 12-week course, which starts July 11, will teach students how to build apps for Apple’s iOS operating system.

Read the full article in The Post and Courier here.