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
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.
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, monads, topology 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.