Meet Our Instructors!

The Iron Yard DC/Arlington’s inaugural cohort launches January 26, and we’re excited to have two amazing instructors kick us off.  Here are introductions in their own words.  (Note: There is still time to APPLY. We’d love to have you join us!)

Front-End Engineering – Kyle Hill


Hey, y’all! 

My name is Kyle Hill, and I’m excited to be leading the Front End Engineering class at the Iron Yard in Washington, DC. I grew up on Long Island and went to college in Providence, but I’ve spent the past half dozen years in the District, where I live with my fiancée and our two adorable, very stupid cats. Beyond coding, you’ll usually find me obsessing over board games, coffee, and a bunch of obscure foreign sports.

I’ve been working as a developer for almost a decade, but I graduated from college with a liberal arts degree, so my programming skills are largely self-taught. Because of that, I’ve long been interested in the process of how a person learns to do this for a living — not just learning how to write code, but also learning how we can use code as a tool, and understand how to break down the problems it can solve into their component parts.

Right now’s a great time to be working in Javascript and the front end. Modern tools and frameworks like Angular and React are doing amazing things to extend the capabilities of web applications, and node.js is taking the beautiful simplicity of JS to the world beyond the confines of the browser. There’s a big, supportive (and delightfully weird) community of developers to learn from and bounce ideas off. And just like anywhere else in tech right now, the demand for engineers from great companies doing fascinating work is exploding.

Although my career’s taken me weird places (a healthcare company on a farm; an electronics manufacturer; the Department of Defense) for the past two years, I’ve been happily heading up front end product development at Jibe. I’ve also been fortunate enough to help both colleagues and members of the DC tech community learn to code, and I’m looking forward to continuing to do so with The Iron Yard’s support.

Rails Engineering – James Dabbs

I am thrilled to say that I’ll be joining you in January to teach the new Ruby / Rails class. I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a little background on me and the class and why I’m so excited to be teaching it. First, some history –

Ruby was originally written by this guy, Matz –

He gave the keynote at RubyConf ‘13 and talked about his motivation for writing Ruby. Ultimately, it comes down to happiness: writing Ruby should be pleasant, joyful even; programmers should feel empowered to express themselves. That philosophy shows through in the language (more than one right way to do things, open classes, powerful metaprogramming tools), and in the community around it (the gem ecosystem, “Matz is nice, and so we are nice”). By the end of this course, I hope that you all feel plugged in to the larger Ruby community, that you appreciate how those ideas play out in the technical details of the language, and that you experience the incomparable joy of building castles in the clouds.

Rails is the brainchild of DHH –

If Ruby is optimized for happiness, Rails is optimized for productivity. It has very strong opinions about how web applications should be structured. Rails believes in convention over configuration. Rails is omakase. You may not ultimately agree with all of those opinions (I’d hope not!), but by studying Rails, we’ll learn years of codified best practices, internalize proven design patterns, and build a solid foundation for understanding how a whole host of other frameworks are structured. If you have an idea, an app you want to build, few tools help you realize that goal as well as Rails.

And finally, this is me –


I taught the last Rails class at The Iron Yard – Atlanta, but leaving Atlanta in the very capable hands of my dear friend Brit Butler and coming up to join you for the January class.

I cut my teeth on Ruby / Rails working at Emcien, a big data analytics company in Atlanta, and in the Atlanta Ruby Group, where I’ve been organizing the Intermediate Ruby meetups. Before that, I had worked primarily with Python / Django, though I’m something of a language dilettante as my Github will attest. In the long long ago, before I learned to code, I was a mathematician – I still have a soft spot in my heart for pedagogy, monadstopology and abstraction of all sorts.

Teaching Ruby has been fantastic so far, and I can’t wait to meet all of you, share my experience, and help you take your first steps down a long and rewarding career path. You’re making a big leap, and putting a lot of trust in The Iron Yard and in me personally; I respect that immensely, and want to do everything I can to make this experience the best it can be.

Epic Decisions

Enrollment stretch here in the DC/Arlington campus. (Spots still open for our January 26 launch, so check out our courses and APPLY!) Why The Iron Yard you may ask? Here are a few of the most-asked questions from the calls/emails I’ve received the last couple of weeks. 

What courses are offered in the DC/Arlington campus?

  • Front-end Engineering
    Get a solid foundation in Front End Engineering using HTML, CSS, a whole lot of JavaScript and some basic server-side tech. At the end of the class you’ll have the skills to create beautiful, fully functional websites and web applications.
  • Ruby on Rails Engineering 
    Learn the power of Ruby on Rails, one of the most popular server-side frameworks in the world. At the end of class you’ll know how to build fast, production-quality full-stack apps.
  • Mobile Engineering 
    You’ll get the ins-and-outs of iOS app development using Xcode, Objective-C and Apple’s new programming language, Swift. At the end of the class you’ll have the skills to create beautiful, fully functional iOS apps and the foundation to pursue building Mac apps as well.

Full-time is a little intense, isn’t it? 

Yes, but so is making a career shift or retraining the way you think. What you as a student are doing in the 12 weeks is learning for the best programmers in the industry, establishing a solid foundation of knowledge and habits in being a software engineer, retraining your brain to learn how to learn and problem-solve, building a network of peers and mentors within The Iron Yard family and local tech community, and much more. Attempting all this part-time would be a disservice. 

What sets The Iron Yard apart from online courses or similar training?

Giovanni, our Campus Director in Columbia, wrote a great response. As he recaps: 1) highly experienced teachers; 2) a focus on teamwork and production skills (i.e. real-world issues); and 3) adept career placement. Our awesome staff, passionate about people and code education, also have tons of fun doing it!

I don’t have big dreams of the next great startup or a cool app. Am I going to fit in?

Another version of this question is ‘am I techie enough?’ to take the class. There will be many things you all have in common: hard working, self-motivated, problem-solvers. The rest is icing on the cake: one of the greatest benefit to your learning is the diversity that your peers bring in terms of their background. We’re not looking for cookie-cutter students. But don’t be surprised when the joy of coding gets your creative juices flowing and you might graduate with an idea you’d like to develop. 

Why is community important in a code bootcamp?

We at The Iron Yard are about writing great code.  And writing great code is just easier when you’re in a great community. A community that is more than a bunch of people crammed into a space but one forged through shared passion and vision: an environment where individuals are accepted as they are while challenged daily to reach further. We value the goals that has led you to The Iron Yard; and the truth is, you can’t get there alone. 

Here We Go!


Hello, My name is Su Kim, and I’m the Campus Director at our new DC/Arlington campus. I’m coming to The Iron Yard after years of policy advocacy in human rights and immigration reform. My passions are people and removing barriers that stand in the way of people being the best they are. I’m excited to see how we at The Iron Yard can showcase the best of technology through passionate, driven, creative, and well-equipped individuals that go on to tackle the world’s problems or to realize an amazing idea. 

A little introduction to our space & neighbors:

The Iron Yard is so thrilled to be among brilliant and creative minds on the 10th floor of 2231 Crystal Drive. The space where The Iron Yard will occupy is still being built out, so I’ve being hanging out on the other side. Here is a bit of the awesomeness of every day at Disruption Corporation HQ. 




The 10th floor has an incredible view of the Ronald Reagan National Airport and is a short walking distance from Crystal City Metro Station and bus stops. 


And of course, great coffee is a must! 


The space is a great reminder that we are a part of something bigger, and I’m excited to see The Iron Yard and our students play a role in making DC and Crystal City an increasingly tech-friendly and tech-inspiring neighborhood. 

Stay tuned for more news as we get closer to launch of our inaugural cohort. And reminder, you can still apply for our January classes! We’re offering 3 courses in Mobile, Rails, and Front End Engineering.