From amateur tech enthusiast to professional software engineer: Joshua’s story

It’s a story that has been told over and over again. With diploma in hand, a college graduate closes one chapter of his or her life, and for the first time doesn’t know how to open the next. Having a major is one thing, but putting that major to work in the real world can be an entirely different experience.

Joshua moved from New York to South Carolina to attend college. He received a bachelor of science in electronic and computer technology. He’d always been interested in technology, but even after receiving his degree he faced that ever-present question: What next? Read More

Michelle Child: Two years after graduating from The Iron Yard

Michelle graduated from The Iron Yard nearly two years ago. When we last checked in with her, she had just accepted a job in Columbia, S.C. and was ready to start her career as a web designer. Michelle had previously taught English in a small town in France, so she was familiar with the immersive educational model and was excited to jump into a completely new career. Today, she’s a professional designer working for a software company.

We recently showed Michelle her video interview from 2014, and asked her to reflect on her journey since graduating.  Read More

Learning code and harnessing confidence: Gabriel’s Story

People have many different life experiences that prepare them for the intense educational journey of The Iron Yard, but Gabriel Zarate had some preparation that was far different than most of our other students––on a salmon fishing boat in Alaska. “I needed to make some money before my wedding,” he said. So he went to Alaska and started working for a commercial salmon-fishing company.

While salmon fishing and computer programming might not seem relatable, Gabriel says that both of them require a tremendous work ethic. “It was the experience of a lifetime, but it was also grueling work that really prepared me for life during the course.”

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Is it possible to love your day job? This graduate says yes.

Jasper Furniss spent the first decade of his career in ministry as a worship leader. Though he’d already received both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in ministry-related fields, Jasper knew he wasn’t finished learning. When a friend mentioned The Iron Yard, he was intrigued. Though he’d dabbled in code before, he had never had any formal training. “I love to learn,” he said. “I feel like the opportunity to learn something so complex as programming so quickly and develop a passion for it is what really interested me and brought me here.” Read More

Sara Kennedy Offers Valuable Insights to Women in Tech →

As an individual not in the trenches of the tech world, but still highly dependent on capable IT professionals for the Midlands Anchor’s success, I discovered a deepened respect for this important industry following Sara’s story. Sara Kennedy is an IT professional from Unum/Colonial Life and Chair of Columbia’s 100 Girls of Code Chapter. She was also a presenter at the first Midlands-based Women in Tech networking seminar on August 30th.

Read more about the event, hosted by SOCO and The Iron Yard, as well as Sara’s experience at The Iron Yard, in Midlands Anchor.

The Iron Yard launches $45M fund to boost diversity in tech industry →

Greenville-based coding school The Iron Yard announced Friday that it has partnered with Code Fellows and Operation HOPE to launch the Tech Opportunity Fund – an attempt to boost diversity in the technology industry, which employs a low number of African-American and Hispanic workers and suffers from a wide gender gap.

Read the full coverage of the Tech Opportunity Fund in the Upstate Business Journal.