Code school licensing: Why it matters

The Iron Yard is a licensed code school. We are held to the highest standards as a post-secondary educational institution in each state where we operate. Being a licensed code school matters – here’s why.

What does licensing mean?
When you’re ready to buy a car, you’re likely to review crash test ratings as you research the safety features different models offer. You may use those ratings as a deciding factor in choosing one car over another. Those ratings are set by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is dedicated to providing research, standards and enforcement activity for vehicle safety.

Similar governmental bodies provide standards and enforcement for code schools to keep students safe and ensure educational quality. Read More

Five reasons to learn to code during summer break

College summer semesters have been synonymous with make-up classes or squeezing in that course too difficult to tackle during the spring or fall.

Let’s flip the script a bit.

Summer can be about maximizing the weeks in between semesters. It can be about learning a new set of skills that will make students as prepared – even more prepared – for the future.

No matter the major, learning to code is a great option for college students on summer break.

Five reasons learning to code this summer is a smart idea:

Coding is the new literacy
Much in the same way as being fluent in another language is beneficial, so is learning the language of code. People all over the world use technology. The “language” of technology equips us with the ability to communicate across cultures and gives a global angle to our work.

Beef up your resume
Regardless of college major or work experience, the ability to code is attractive to employers in any field. Every line of work has an online presence. Having the ability further that presence is an attractive asset to future employers.

Coding requires new ways of thinking
Problem solving is at the heart of coding. Building a web project from scratch or learning to identify and fix problems requires creativity and loads of critical thinking – both great muscles to exercise heading into the next semester.

You will be more self-sufficient…
Ownership of the online previously lived solely in the hands of IT professionals. Coding know-how provides a new freedom to build and troubleshoot websites without calling in favors. Programming skills can also open up opportunities for freelance work, which may be beneficial in the murky world of post-graduation plans.

…And more collaborative
Projects in all disciplines are rarely created and executed in a vacuum. Learning to give and receive feedback are valuable skills in the marketplace. Coding classes are highly collaborative with participants sharing knowledge, reviewing work and offering advice.

The very nature of college is to prepare for the future. Many industries currently rely on online systems to operate and many more will in the coming years. As more systems become automated, knowing code is valuable in ensuring companies run as smoothly as possible, regardless of the field.

Let us help you make the most of your summer. Take a look at our courses or find a campus location near you.

Friday Q&A: Is starting to learn to code at age 21 too late to enter the corporate world?

In this week’s installment of Friday Q&A, we’ll address a recent question from Quora, Is starting to learn to code at age 21 too late to enter the corporate world?” 

This is a great question and the answer is simple: Absolutely not. It is never too late to start learning to code.

At The Iron Yard, we have had students ranging from 18 years old to over 65. Many are “career changers,” who are looking to learn to code so that they can begin rewarding careers in tech with huge opportunity for growth. The beauty of the code school model is that it allows students to learn the technical skills they need to be hired as junior level developers in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional university. And the model works (check out our post from last week about how immersive code schools help prepare students to start their career as a developer, including thoughts from employers who have hired bootcamp graduates.)

But bootcamp graduates – and particularly those who are career changers or learned to code later in life – have a lot more than just technical skills to bring to employers. Our Indianapolis campus director, Emily Trimble, said it best:

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A new kind of tech education program: corporate training

This week, the Wall Street Journal published an article, “A New Kind of Jobs Program for Middle America,” discussing how code schools are quickly teaching the software development skills employers across the U.S. desperately need.  

The article suggests that change is “coming for the ecosystem of employers, educational institutions and job-seekers who confront the increasingly software-driven nature of work,” and that “for code schools to have a meaningful impact on the overall labor market, they will have to continue their rapid pace of expansion.” While change is certainly coming for the American workforce – and indeed may already be here – it’s not just the number of code schools that will need to expand to make an impact on the market.

In most cases, in-person code boot camps immerse individual students who have little to no background in computer science in the programming language of their choice. The goal of these in-person immersive courses, like those offered at The Iron Yard, is to prepare graduates to join a company in entry-level software development positions. And that is a worthy goal; there is absolutely a need to provide training to individuals who want to change careers and join the booming tech industry.

But in order to equip enough people with coding skills to meet employer demand, individuals pursuing their own coding education are only half of the equation. For code schools to have the meaningful labor market impact the Wall Street Journal article describes, they also need to take training programs directly to employers and their current employees. Through a holistic approach that includes onboarding new developers, reskilling current employees to become developers and upskilling valuable senior-level talent with new technologies, companies across the U.S. have the opportunity to solve their own talent needs.   

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Friday Q&A: Is attending an online bootcamp sufficient for getting a job?

Asking tons questions is the most important thing you can do when deciding if code school is right for you. It’s a big decision – and one that requires a significant investment of time, energy and money – so we want to ensure that all of our students are comfortable, have the right expectations and are prepared to hit the ground running on day one of their course.

Starting this week, every Friday we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get from people who want to learn to code and start working in the tech industry. Have a question you want answered? Leave us a note in the comments section!

Today, we’ll answer a question someone recently posted on SwitchUp (a code school review website): Is attending an online bootcamp sufficient for getting a job? Or is an in-person course more likely to guarantee a job after completion? What kind of certificate can I expect to get from a school like Thinkful, and will employers recognize it?”

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There’s never been a better time to start a programming career

We’ve all seen headlines in the news that claim “tech is a hot field.” In fact, we’ve published articles with similar titles on this blog. But is it true? Is right now a great time to start a programming career?

Based on our first-hand experience over the last several years, we can say with confidence that there is overwhelming demand from employers and that thousands of our graduates have landed great jobs in technology—so yes, it’s a great time to start a programming career.

A recent report from Glassdoor confirms that our experience is part of a nation-wide trend.

Glassdoor is a site that “holds a growing database of millions of company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more.” But get this—they employ real economists who study their own data and data from public sources so they can identify major trends happening in the job market.

Their chief economist, Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, released a report called Looking Ahead: 5 Jobs Trends to Watch in 2017, and it had several pieces of valuable information for people who want to start a programming career.

Let’s take a look at what Dr. Chamberlain discovered. Read More

The developer’s reading list

The holidays are a time for relaxation and for many, a chance to catch up on their reading list. For developers – both novice and expert alike – there are a plethora of books and websites designed to help you sharpen your skills and explore interesting industry topics.

This holiday season we polled our instructors and staff, and put together recommendations for a ‘Developer’s Reading List.’ And for those of you who prefer to listen, we’ve included a few podcasts too.

Have suggestions? Let us know in the comments!

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Want a tech job in your city? Consider code school (but do your homework)

Last week I took time to read the Bloomberg article, “Want a Job in Silicon Valley? Keep Away From Coding Schools.” I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in the reckless way that it seems some schools have approached such a serious endeavor like education.

At the same time, I was struck by the broad brush the reporter used to paint the code school industry and the implications it could have on readers around the country—not just in Silicon Valley—who are considering or have already chosen a code school as their path to a new career in software development. I’ve personally been involved in helping literally thousands of people change their lives by launching new careers through learning to code, so I thought it would be helpful to take a look at these issues from another perspective.

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Back to the future: Apprenticeship in the modern era

At the end of the day, people come to The Iron Yard to learn the skills they need to both get started and progress throughout their careers in tech. We exist at the intersection between education and the workforce, and the relationship between the two is something we think about everyday.

Recently, our executive director of the code school, Jessica Mitsch, wrote an article for InfoWorld about how the apprenticeship model is adapting to fit the current realities of the workforce, education system and tech industry. Apprenticeships have served both employers and job seekers well for thousands of years, so she asks the question, “why have we moved away from this model, and why should employers take back ownership of their staff’s education?”

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Introducing cost of living loans

Attending The Iron Yard is a big commitment. Our graduates often tell us that the experience is life-changing, but also that it’s one of the hardest things they’ve ever done—and that difficulty extends beyond the classroom.

As we’ve said before, we believe that the best format for launching a programming career in a short amount of time is in an immersive environment where you can devote 100 percent of your focus on learning how to code. Even though our courses are only 12 weeks, the full-time schedule and long hours mean almost all of our students quit their jobs, foregoing the income they would have made during that time. This reality has meant some students simply haven’t been able to take our courses, even though they’ve been accepted into the program.

We’ve been working long and hard on a solution and are excited to announce that we now offer cost-of-living loans at almost all of our campuses.

Through our financing partner, Climb Credit, students will be able to finance up to $3,500 of living expenses incurred while they’re taking a course, giving them the freedom to focus their full attention on becoming a professional software developer.

Removing the cost-of-living barrier is a major step forward in helping even more people launch careers in programming. To learn more, reach out to your local campus or email our Student Success Team. (You can also call or text our Student Success Team anytime.)