Trying something new – now on TV!

That is a nervous smile. Very nervous.

I’ve been telling people that every day at The Iron Yard, I do something I’ve never done before.  It’s pretty much my dream work experience, constantly experimenting, learning, growing, and reaching outside my comfort zone.  Sometimes, it’s FAR outside that zone.

Calvin and I really stretched our extrovert muscles last week when we got the chance to appear on Lowcountry Live, Charleston’s morning tv talk show.  I’ve had the opportunity to do this twice before, but everytime I artfully dodged, having to appear on camera.  This time, there was no dodging. Read More

Our advisory board kickoff!

Socializing at our Advisory Board Kickoff

Surrounded by leadership, wisdom, and the drive to emancipate our ideas and mission to reality, it seemed fitting that we held our Charleston Academy Advisory Board Kickoff on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

One of the honors that comes with bringing The Iron Yard to Charleston is being part of the community. In our community we have invited companies and individuals that have vision for not only bridging the growing talent gap needed to support our thriving tech community, but to help give opportunities to passionate people with a true love for our craft and make a real difference in their lives. Read More

The best first day ever

Eric and Sally getting work done at Blue Ion in Downtown Charleston.

You remember that scene from Saved by the Bell where Jessie has been taking caffeine pills and freaks out? “I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so scared!” That has been me for the past 48 hours, minus the substance abuse and big hair.  I’m halfway through my second day at The Iron Yard academy, and I am having all the feelings at once.  Excited, confident, scared, overwhelmed, enthusiastic, tired, hungry – you name it, I’ve felt it.

If you’ve ever started a new job before, you know the usual drill.  Fill out some forms, sit in some onboarding meetings where people talk at you, fill out more forms, find your empty desk and stare at the wall for a while, wonder when you’re going to get a computer, maybe start some online training modules.

Yesterday was nothing like that.

We started with a breakfast meeting talking marketing strategy, reviewing student applications, planning our advisory board kickoff, and discussing potential spaces for the new campus.  All before lunch.  By the end of the day, I’d kicked off a Facebook ad campaign, talked to a couple of reporters, stopped by the Apple store for a laptop, helped run a kickoff meeting introducing the Iron Yard to Charleston’s tech community, emailed potential students, toured a prospective space, taken a ride in an awesome little sports car, and eaten the best BBQ in Charleston (Home Team, obviously).

I’ve never done any of those things before, with the exception of the BBQ, but I loved every one of them.  Several hours into day two, and I’m checking off even more firsts.  I’m learning faster than I’ve ever learned on the job before and, with the support of the awesome Iron Yard team, I feel like I’m succeeding faster, too.

I’ve never worked with such an excited, dedicated, and genuine group of people before.  I’ve had some awesome co-workers in the past, and worked with some great teams, and I’m having the absolute best time building this team in Charleston.  I can’t wait to find a space, fill it with awesome students, and start changing some lives.

Why I decided to join The Iron Yard

Leaving an amazing job is hard.  Period.

I was a valuable member of my team and got to help steer the direction of both the implementation and user experience of a very high profile government application.

Not only was this professionally gratifying, but I felt like I was helping a lot of people, both on the technical side and the user side.  Technically I was able to help establish standards that scale and our users would be able to accomplish their goals as efficiently and pleasantly as possible. Read More