From solopreneur to developer: Francois’ story

Francois Carstens started his career in graphic design as a freelancer but ultimately found he wanted to be able to both build and design his ideas. After graduating from the Front-End Engineering course at The Iron Yard in Houston at the end of last year, he started a job as developer and never looked back.

Below is more of Francois’ story and you can follow along with his career and insights about working as as developer on his blog, I Learn Code.

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Skilling up: How to approach your employer about professional development opportunities

You have a great job and love the company you’re with, but you’ve always been interested in software development. You want to find a way to learn to code and grow your technical skills, but do so without leaving your current company. Sound like you? This is a familiar scenario and one we have heard from tons of people over the years. That’s one of the reasons why we recently started offering part-time courses and in Texas, a 24-week part-time immersive program.

One trend we are starting to see among people who are interested in part-time courses is that they are working with their employer to fund and/or support them in a coding course. Asking for professional development opportunities at work can be nerve–racking, but in the tech industry, where trends and technologies change rapidly, it’s important to keep your skills up-to-date in order to progress in your career. The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to take your career into your own hands and simply ask for the professional development opportunities you think will benefit both you and your company.

Below are five steps you can take to make the case for professional development opportunities to your employer:

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Iron Grads team up for 2017 Super Bowl: Meet the ParqU team

One of the great benefits of learning to code in an in-person, immersive environment is the connections you make with your instructor, campus team and classmates. The immersive experience can be tough, and we hear time and time again that the support systems our students develop with each other in the classroom is integral to their success. At the end of the day, The Iron Yard is a family. Once you join it, you remain part of our ever-growing network throughout your career.

One of the most rewarding things for us to see is when a group of Iron Grads team up and work together after graduation. And that’s exactly what happened with the ParqU team in Houston.

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Student story: Josh Matos

Josh was transitioning from the Army back into civilian life when his friend decided to attend a coding bootcamp. Inspired to challenge himself with a career change, Josh enrolled at The Iron Yard’s Houston campus. Today, he’s working full time as a software engineer working on a mobile and web app for Omnitracs. Below, he tells us about his journey and gives advice for future Iron Yard students.  Read More

Our IOS instructor weighs in on Apple software for CNBC, The Register

Both CNBC and The Register have recently published articles discussing the current state of Apple software. In both cases, our own Mobile Engineering instructor Mohammad Azam (who’s based on our Houston campus) was quoted as a top source on the quality of Apple software based on his experience both as a developer and as an instructor. Mohammad also writes about all things iOS on his blog, and is a frequent speaker at mobile development conferences around the world.  Read More

New 24-week course coming to Houston in 2017

Increasing access to tech education is at the core of what we do. It’s why we offer scholarships, crash courses and work to help each individual achieve their career and education objectives. And it’s our goal to help clear the path so that everyone who has the passion and desire to learn to code has the opportunity to learn to code.

It is that philosophy that led us to launch a new 24-week course offering on our Houston campus. This course format is designed for students who want to learn programming and launch a career in technology, but are unable to quit their jobs to attend an immersive course.

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The Iron Yard Opens Enrollment for New 24-Week Coding Course in Houston →

HOUSTON — (Dec. 15, 2016) — The Iron Yard, the country’s largest immersive code school, today announced a new Front-End Engineering software development course that will be offered in a 24-week format on the Houston campus. The course, Front-End Engineering with JavaScript and MVC Frameworks, will begin in February 2017 and enrollment is now open.

The Iron Yard’s new course will be offered in the evenings and on weekends. Classes will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and on Saturdays. This course format is designed for students who want to learn programming and launch a career in technology, but who are unable to quit their jobs to attend an immersive course.

“Houston is one of the top markets in the country for tech jobs and employers are looking to tap into the local talent pool to quickly fill the hundreds of open positions,” said Brian Dorton, campus director for The Iron Yard in Houston. “Over the past two and a half years, we have had the privilege to work with nearly 200 students in Houston and help them launch their careers in tech. By offering our Front-End Engineering course in a 24-week format, we are able to open the door for even more students to begin their journey learning how to code.”

The 24-week course follows the same curriculum as The Iron Yard’s full-time, 12-week immersive class, but is spread out over a longer period of time and held during non-working hours. By the end of the course, students will be able to problem solve programming tasks using JavaScript, and have the ability to create dynamic websites and applications that function like Twitter, Spotify and others. With a working knowledge of modern JavaScript frameworks, graduates will have a deep understanding of what it takes to be a successful front-end programmer in the industry today.

The 24-week Front-End Engineering course will begin in February and prospective students can learn more and apply here:

For more information about The Iron Yard, please visit: To attend a free community crash course on the Houston campus and try your hand at coding, visit:

About The Iron Yard

The Iron Yard is one of the world’s largest code schools and exists to create real, lasting change for people, companies and communities through technology education. The school offers full-time programs in Back-End Engineering, Front-End Engineering, Mobile Engineering and Design. The Iron Yard operates 20 campuses in the U.S. For more information, visit

As Apple massively reinvents its software, it faces growing pains →

Apple has laid out an ambitious software vision that has both presented massive opportunities and garnered criticism over the past couple of years. But the stakes are swelling, as investors increasingly count on software as a growing share of Apple’s business. Some developers say there’s a long way to go.

Read the full article, which includes insights from The Iron Yard’s Mohammad Azam, mobile engineering instructor in Houston, on

Stories from the field: Houston alumni roundtable

As companies grow and change, it’s not uncommon for the people at the ‘top’ (like executives) to lose touch with the people on the ground—the customer, and in our case, the students. Over the last few years, The Iron Yard has grown into a national school with more than 20 campuses, but I know first hand that the people leading this company work hard to stay in touch and involved with the students we serve each day. 

One way we do that is through roundtables, which are informal discussions where we gather students and alumni to hear their stories and listen to their feedback on The Iron Yard experience. I look forward to these chats with students more than almost any part of my job. Recently, I sat down with several alumni in Houston to eat pizza and hear their stories. Below I’ve compiled some of the highlights from our discussion.

Interested in hearing more? Let us know in the comments and we’ll be happy to connect you with a graduate.

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