Hey, Dallas! Tech events, new instructors at The Iron Yard

It’s a busy day (actually, a busy month!) on our Dallas campus, as we’re hard at work prepping to welcome people for events, courses, info sessions, workshops and more.

First, we’re proud to be hosting several #DSW17 events, including the DSW17 Workshop: Google ‘Android Things’ Operating System Overview – this Friday at noon. In addition to several information sessions and free crash courses (check out our Meetup page here for the latest!), we’re also welcoming two new instructors to our campus – Ato Mensah and Douglas Hirsh.

Today, we want to introduce you to Ato and Douglas. They both have impressive resumes and experience, but they also each bring a unique energy to campus and we know that future students will benefit from learning with them. They also both want students to understand the value of learning how to learn. Below, meet Ato and Douglas.  Read More

Skilling up: How to approach your employer about professional development opportunities

You have a great job and love the company you’re with, but you’ve always been interested in software development. You want to find a way to learn to code and grow your technical skills, but do so without leaving your current company. Sound like you? This is a familiar scenario and one we have heard from tons of people over the years. That’s one of the reasons why we recently started offering part-time courses and in Texas, a 24-week part-time immersive program.

One trend we are starting to see among people who are interested in part-time courses is that they are working with their employer to fund and/or support them in a coding course. Asking for professional development opportunities at work can be nerve–racking, but in the tech industry, where trends and technologies change rapidly, it’s important to keep your skills up-to-date in order to progress in your career. The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to take your career into your own hands and simply ask for the professional development opportunities you think will benefit both you and your company.

Below are five steps you can take to make the case for professional development opportunities to your employer:

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Team member spotlight: Rodrick Blanton, back-end engineering instructor

Choosing to attend a full-time, in-person code school is a big commitment. Students put their lives on hold for three months to fully immerse themselves in the curriculum, so before signing up for a course, we encourage all prospective students to meet with their instructors and get to know the people who will be guiding them through this journey.

At The Iron Yard, we hire seasoned developers who are equal parts mentor, development expert and passionate educator — a combination that is a tall but worthy order for students who have put everything on the line to pursue a career in tech. We believe that instructors are one of the most important ingredients in a code school student’s success.

Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of our outstanding Iron Yard instructors – Rodrick Blanton, who teaches the .NET course in Dallas. Not only is Rodrick an industry veteran, he is a passionate advocate for diversity in tech and an unrelenting champion for his students’ success.

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Student story: Josh Matos

Josh was transitioning from the Army back into civilian life when his friend decided to attend a coding bootcamp. Inspired to challenge himself with a career change, Josh enrolled at The Iron Yard’s Houston campus. Today, he’s working full time as a software engineer working on a mobile and web app for Omnitracs. Below, he tells us about his journey and gives advice for future Iron Yard students.  Read More

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

The Iron Yard student experience: Introducing “Iron Journeys”

One of our favorite things to do is share the amazing stories of our students and graduates. Walking with students as they begin the code school adventure is a privilege we don’t take lightly, and when those students graduate and go on to successful careers…well, it’s hard to contain our pride. It never gets old.

Sometimes it’s easier to talk about a life-changing experience once it’s over and you can look back and reflect on the journey. That’s why it’s helpful to have the point-of-view of a graduate who has finished their 12 weeks at The Iron Yard and who has gone on to land a great job. But if you’ve never been a student in one of our courses, you might not really understand what the experience is all about. What is it like for people who are currently in the middle of their journey toward becoming a software developer? Read More