From going by the book to the adventure of a lifetime: Nick’s story

Nick Pizzo followed the plan. He graduated from college with a degree in business and started his career in accounting doing financial statement audits and tax work.

“I had very much taken the ‘check the box’ route – go to this school, go to that college, get the job,” he said. “I was confident that with accounting, I would never be unemployed, but after a full 10 years, the monotony was setting in; I wasn’t being challenged intellectually.”

All of these factors began to add up for Nick, and he decided that it was time for him to change career paths. He always had an interest in tech, and is savvy with computers and all types of operating systems. As an added bonus, his group of friends from high school had all gone into the tech world, so choosing to explore a career in tech was a natural fit.

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Meet Mike Sweeney: Instructor at The Iron Yard Las Vegas →

Since The Iron Yard first announced their Las Vegas campus, the team has been hard at work contributing tremendous value to the #VegasTech community. From launching Iron Yard Ventures to impacting the lives of graduates, The Iron Yard is working directly with Zappos, the Downtown Project, VTF Capital, and The Mill Accelerator Program to bring tech education to the robust ecosystem thriving in Las Vegas.

Read the full article about Front-End Engineering Instructor Mike Sweeney on VegasTech.

Team Member Spotlight: Gabe Shepherd

To the tourist, Las Vegas is best known for its casinos, nightlife and entertainment. But to Vegas residents, the city – while sprawling – is tight-knit with a vibrant tech scene and boundless energy.

Gabe Shepherd joined The Iron Yard’s team as Las Vegas Campus Director earlier this year and hit the ground running. He has one cohort already under his belt and another in full swing. Gabe has worked hard to enhance the sense of community students, instructors and Iron Grads feel when they’re on campus and to make sure The Iron Yard is a trusted partner within the Vegas tech community.

Below is a little bit more about Gabe and what he brings to The Iron Yard, in his own words:

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Vegas IronGrad spotlight: Domingo

Domingo Rosa had been working in events and hospitality for several years when he found himself in a rut. His experience working in the Las Vegas casino scene – a place that was once exciting and fast-paced – was now mundane. He couldn’t see much of a future for his career. “Every day I would just go in, go through the motions, and head home,” he said. “I was watching PBS and they ran a story about code schools and the workforce of the future. I found myself relating more and more to the students who left their jobs to pursue a new career. A Google search later, I was reading up on The Iron Yard.” Read More

Meet Domingo Rosa: The Iron Yard Las Vegas Graduate

Las Vegas Iron Grad Domingo Rosa is a junior developer who says he worked hard to get there…Before applying to The Iron Yard, Rosa was working at a sports book and says he was ready for a change.

“Everyday I would just go in, go through the motions, and head home,” he said. “My lease was ending and I talked it over with my parents. They encouraged me to come home and take a chance. It’s something I’ll always thank them for.”

Read more of Domingo’s story and learn about how he got his start in tech on VegasTech.

From hotel bellman to front-end developer: Nick’s story

Nick Reynolds spent his early twenties working in the South Point casino hotel in Las Vegas. He started as a bellman, then worked as an extra-board for three years before he was promoted into a lead development position. He did everything from concierge services (booking tickets, setting up tours and rentals) to helping supervise the team and ensuring that guests had a great experience. On top of this demanding job, Nick was also enrolled at the College of Southern Nevada studying Criminal Justice.

“I thought it would be a good idea to have a degree – that piece of paper, pretty much,” he said. “I didn’t like it, I just thought I needed it. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just knew I should go to college and try to get a degree for something.” Read More

Helping kids learn programming for Hour of Code

One of the most rewarding parts of what we do at The Iron Yard is hosting kids coding classes. Our instructors volunteer their time on a regular basis to make sure kids in every community where we operate have a chance to be exposed to what it’s like to code. Plus, our kids coding classes usually feature fun topics like how to build games or recreate popular characters characters.

Teaching kids is something we’ve done since we launched, and it’s remained a big part of our DNA. Our CEO Peter Barth put it this way:

We believe in investing in the local tech economy for the long run, and that means impacting the next generation. Hosting these events is a great way to help kids take their first step down a path that could unlock a passion for technology.

We’re so passionate about exposing kids to technology and coding that we are hosting free kids coding events at every one of our locations during the week of Dec. 7-13 for the global “Hour of Code” effort created by Code.org. The goal of the effort is to introduce students to computer science – even one hour of learning to code might be the start of something great! Last year, every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as part of the campaign. Pretty cool. Read More