Stories from the Field – July 2017

We recently chatted with a few current students and grads from our Charlotte campus about their time at The Iron Yard and how code school equipped and challenged them and what they are doing now. 

Here is a taste of what they had to say. 

Abry

“I enrolled at The Iron Yard to broaden my skill set as a whole and make myself more attractive to the Charlotte market.”

“You’re really learning a whole new way to think.”

Jake

“Coding is probably one of the only things you can do that you’re making something everyday that hasn’t existed before.”

“The crash courses held by The Iron Yard are a phenomenal way to just kind of get your feet wet and see if it’s something that you want to do.”

“I think the biggest advice to people planning on coming to The Iron Yard is to plan on putting 150 percent in.”

Kelsey

“I knew coding was something that I really wanted to learn how to do. I stuck with it. Compared to college, it’s definitely more rigorous, it takes up a lot of time and effort, but it was worth it. “

“Our instructor is an experienced programmer. He’s worked in the field for a long time. Just having those resources available and working with people, being able to bounce ideas off my classmates, it was really invaluable.”

“The Iron Yard requires a lot of effort. It takes up a lot of time, but if you put in the effort, it makes a big difference.”

Interested in learning to code? We would love to chat.

Is code school worth it? This single mom of three says yes

Louise has a lifelong love of learning, so much so she became a college professor.

For ten years, Louise taught Latin American history in North Carolina. While she was teaching, she was learning a new skill by building WordPress websites as a side job and hobby.

As an adjunct professor, work was not always guaranteed and the pay and lack of benefits was not enough to support her family as a single parent, but the side project websites interested her. She wanted to dive deeper to understand how WordPress website templates were built.

“I hated working with themes that were limiting so I started learning how to inspect my sites and trying to access code. At that point I was like, ‘Oh, I need to learn how to code,’ because if I could spend hours looking at code that I don’t understand there must be something there,” Louise said.

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CODE Debugging the Gender Gap: Screenings coming to a campus near you

Supporting diversity in the tech industry is something we’re incredibly passionate about at The Iron Yard, and something we’re actively working to impact. We hope to inspire communities to have open and honest conversations about the issue of diversity in tech, and create an inclusive, safe environment for tech education.

To that end, we are working with local partners to offer screenings of the documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. Our goal is to bring together our students, staff and members of the local tech community to talk about how we can increase gender diversity in the field.

The CODE documentary exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap.  The film raises the question: what would society gain from having more women and minorities code?

Below is a list of upcoming screenings on our campuses. Want to learn more about CODE? Check out the trailer here.

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The Necessity of Failure

We first introduced you to Scott Endicott as he was preparing for his final project as a Front-End Engineering student on our Charlotte campus. Now, a couple months after graduation, Scott is working full-time as an associate front-end web developer at Red Ventures, a teamwork-driven technology and marketing company located just outside of Charlotte.

This week, Scott wrote a blog post about “The Necessity of Failure” in his development career. And while it may sound counterintuitive, ‘failure’ is a concept we introduce to our students from day one. “Failure is the gateway to learning,” says Jordan Kasper, Front-End Engineering instructor in Washington, DC. “In coding – as with most things in life – if we don’t try (and fail) we won’t learn. The trick is to not let those small failures overcome our passion to this craft. We have to embrace those failures, learn from them and get excited about the next try.”

Below is an excerpt from Scott’s post. You can read the full article on Red Ventures’ blog here.

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Filling your pockets with stones: A letter to future Iron Yard students

Aaron graduated from our immersive Front-End Engineering course in Charlotte, NC a couple of weeks ago. After it was all said and done, he wrote a LinkedIn post reflecting on his time at The Iron Yard and his career journey to date. In the post, he included a letter of encouragement (and a bit of a challenge) to the next cohort of students. Sometimes, it can be really refreshing to hear a student’s perspective directly, so today we’re bringing you the entirety of his post. Aaron is now part of our career support process, and is looking for a full-time front-end web design job in Charlotte. Read More

Iron Journeys: A chat with Charlotte student Scott Endicott

As our Charlotte students were preparing their final projects leading up to Demo Day a couple of weeks ago, we stopped by our new campus in downtown Charlotte to check out their progress. We sat down with Front-End Engineering student Scott Endicott, who shared a bit of his story with us.

Scott’s college degree was in English Literature and he dabbled in publishing for a few years while teaching himself to code a bit on the side. When he realized that he enjoyed building sites more than his “regular” job, he decided to make the change and become a software developer.

“You could teach yourself it [code] eventually, but why take all that time if you can jump start and get your foot in the door?” he said. “Suddenly I was moving much faster from the beginning of one week to the end of that same week, I could go as far as I had on my own in months.”

Check out the rest of our conversation with Scott below (transcript follows video).  Read More

#CSforAll – The White House Summit on Computer Science for All

Last week, we had the privilege of hearing Vice President Joe Biden include the launch of the Tech Opportunity Fund in a speech he gave in St. Louis about training Americans for jobs of the future. Today, we had the awesome opportunity to celebrate this announcement again at the White House Summit on #CSforAll and applaud the progress made toward the President’s historic call to action for Computer Science for All American students. All in all it’s been a pretty incredible week. 

We live in a world where technology is integrated into every part of our personal and professional lives; from how we communicate with friends and family, to how we share ideas, schedule meetings and book vacations. Diversity is one of the most pressing issues facing the tech industry today and we can’t wait to do our part in ensuring that the next generation of tech innovators are just as diverse as the people who use technology in their daily lives.

Want to learn more about how you can get involved with the Tech Opportunity Fund? Visit www.techopportunityfund.org.

Follow your interests: Deems’ story

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.”

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