Iron Journeys: Chris’s path from factory floor to coding classroom

It’s been less than a year since we opened our campus in Detroit, and since then we’ve met and worked with tons of inspiring people in the Detroit tech industry. Today we’re introducing you to one of our current students, Chris Newby. Chris had dabbled in coding here and there, but he never considered it a career path. After high school, he took a few college classes, but never finished.

He landed a job at a parts plant and worked there for three years before finding The Iron Yard. It didn’t take long for Chris to make the decision to enroll. We recently sat down with him and talked a bit more about his journey, how class is going, and where he wants to go from here.

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

Meet the three women leading The Iron Yard’s campus in Detroit

Detroit is fast becoming the home base for companies and entrepreneurs in industries ranging from healthcare and defense to information technology and homeland security. For tech talent, opportunity in the Motor City is enormous. In fact, companies in the area posted nearly 800 junior-level programming jobs in the last 90 days alone.

In the tech world, it’s not everyday that you get to brag about having a full roster of female leaders, but that’s exactly who we have leading our Detroit campus. So who are the three women leading The Iron Yard in Detroit? We sat down with Emily Crisman, Campus Director; Emily Znamierowski, Campus Operations Manager and Ronda Bergman, .NET Instructor to learn more about their stories, passions and goals for the Detroit campus.

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From The Iron Yard to the White House: An #IronGrad presents Opportunity Project app

Last week, we shared the news that our very own #IronGrad Patrick Cooke had the honor of attending the Opportunity Project event at The White House.

Since its inception earlier this year, the Opportunity Project has yielded dozens of new digital tools that help meet community needs like finding affordable housing near jobs and transportation, advocating for broader access to opportunity in neighborhoods, and making data-driven investments to increase economic mobility. Many of The Iron Yard’s students have done just that and used the data to create civic-minded apps that benefit the communities where they live.

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Fund Worth Up To $100M Seeks to Increase Diversity in Tech Workforce →

A first-of-its-kind fund has launched with the mission to increase diversity in the tech industry by removing financial barriers and increasing access to tech education for anyone interested in pursuing it. The Tech Opportunity Fund is a partnership between the Iron Yard and Code Fellows, which offer tech training, and the financial literacy organization Operation HOPE.

Read the full Xconomy article, including an interview with The Iron Yard’s Jessica Mitsch, here.

How Girl Develop IT supports women in tech (and those who want to be) →

Girl Develop IT is a national organization that aims to provide education and networking opportunities for women in tech careers, or a starting point for those looking to venture into that world. The Ann Arbor chapter of Girl Develop IT recently celebrated its two-year anniversary, and its MeetUp page has 1,800 members (and counting) who receive info about the local chapter’s monthly professional panels/workshops, educational events, and networking gatherings (called Code & Coffee, or Beer & Bytes).

Read the full article on Southeast Michigan Startup including insights from The Iron Yard’s Detroit instructor, Ronda Bergman, who is also a co-founder and co-leader of the Girl Develop IT Ann Arbor chapter.

Mobile Michigan Musings: The Iron Yard Detroit – Talent Solution-Demo Day →

Melissa Birnie interviewed Tom Crawford, Mobile Engineering Instructor for The Iron Yard, to discuss the educational resources available for people pursuing the craft and lifelong adventure of technology and equip them with the skills they need to both get started and progress throughout their careers and to talk about, the upcoming “Demo Day” event being held on June 30 at Bamboo Detroit.

Listen to the podcast here.

Opportunity Project creates opportunities in the classroom

In March, The Iron Yard had the honor of collaborating with the White House to launch the Opportunity Project. This program makes community-specific data sets open and available to the public to help communities create solutions to their most pressing challenges like increasing access to jobs, housing, transportation, schools, neighborhood amenities and other critical resources.

When the Opportunity Project was announced, The Iron Yard committed to using the “Open Opportunity Data” in our curricula and student projects. Now, three months later, many of The Iron Yard’s students have had the chance to use the data and create civic-minded apps that benefit the communities where they live and work.

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Detroit has your attention. Now can it build a startup community for its future? →

One of the big themes of any entrepreneurship story in Detroit is one of access and motivation. This was the case at the Tomorrow Tour event held at TechTown Detroit, as part of the first multi-city event series produced with Comcast NBCUniversal.

Every startup hub needs academic anchors, and Detroit needs them to change its destiny. Like other cities, Detroit has its coding schools like homegrown Grand Circus, backed in part by Detroit Venture Partners and one of the more than a dozen Iron Yard campuses.

Read the full article about the future of Detroit’s tech and startup community here.