Speaking up, asking questions, leads to incredible opportunities: Katy’s Story

Katy Campen has accomplished a lot in her few years working in the technology industry.

She’s taught coding, developed curriculum, founded a coding camp for girls, planned events and a host of other things.

Despite her ambitious resume, Katy would not describe herself a naturally outgoing. She instead has built a career from asking questions and reaching out to the tech community.

After graduating college with a wide-ranging advertising degree with little job prospects, Katy landed an internship that required she have some experience in web programming. A friend told her about The Iron Yard and encouraged her to look into the courses.

“I just thought this sounded really different, an accelerated learning path. It was just something I had never heard of,” she said.

Katy moved from Tennessee to Greenville, SC to join classes at the campus.

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From ultramarathons to code school: Hannah’s Story

At the beginning of 2016, Hannah Swift set two New Year’s Resolutions for herself: Run an ultramarathon and become a professional software developer (neither of which are easy feats.)

In March 2016, Hannah completed a 55K run through Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border, and then in June she began the Front-End Engineering course at The Iron Yard in Nashville. By October, she landed a job as an Associate Interactive Developer at Nashville advertising agency, GS&F.

So how did she make it all happen?

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CODE Debugging the Gender Gap: Screenings coming to a campus near you

Supporting diversity in the tech industry is something we’re incredibly passionate about at The Iron Yard, and something we’re actively working to impact. We hope to inspire communities to have open and honest conversations about the issue of diversity in tech, and create an inclusive, safe environment for tech education.

To that end, we are working with local partners to offer screenings of the documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. Our goal is to bring together our students, staff and members of the local tech community to talk about how we can increase gender diversity in the field.

The CODE documentary exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap.  The film raises the question: what would society gain from having more women and minorities code?

Below is a list of upcoming screenings on our campuses. Want to learn more about CODE? Check out the trailer here.

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Hour of code: Inspiring the next generation of coders

At The Iron Yard, we believe that investing in the local tech economy for the long-run means impacting and inspiring the next generation of coders. Our instructors and alumni regularly volunteer their time to make sure kids in every community where we operate have a chance to be exposed to coding. Plus, our kids coding classes usually include fun topics like how to build games and feature popular characters from movies and TV shows.

Each year, Code.org organizes Hour of Code – a  global movement that introduces students around the globe to coding through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming. Teaching kids is in The Iron Yard’s DNA and we are proud participants in the Hour of Code.

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icitizen and The Iron Yard team up to host Hour of Code event for Nashville students →

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 17, 2016)The Iron Yard, the country’s largest immersive code school, and icitizen, an innovative polling tech company based in Nashville, announced the two organizations will collaborate in hosting a free Hour of Code event on Tues., Dec. 6 from 5-6 p.m as part of Computer Science Education Week. The event will be held on The Iron Yard’s campus at 613 Ewing Ave #200, Nashville, TN 37203. It will be open for students ages 7-18 to attend.

“Nashville has a vibrant tech culture and we are excited to share the opportunities STEM education can bring with local students,” said Josh Cournoyer, Campus Director at The Iron Yard in Nashville. “An important part of investing in the tech economy for the long-run is reaching out to the next generation and getting them excited about coding at an early age. We are thrilled to partner with icitizen to celebrate Computer Science Education Week in Nashville, and work with Nashville’s youth.”

Students and staff from The Iron Yard, as well as team members and engineers from icitizen, will teach a curriculum that covers computer science fundamentals and demystifies “code” to show that anyone can learn the basics. The workshops are designed for both children who are brand new to coding and aspiring developers. The event is a part of Computer Science Education Week, recognized worldwide from Dec. 5-11, and enables students to gain exposure to a range of coding languages that are in high demand in job markets like Nashville.

“We’re excited to partner with The Iron Yard for this event,” said Brian Kuhn, Chief Product Officer of icitizen. “Nashville has done a tremendous job supporting and promoting STEM education. This is an amazing opportunity to further that cause by joining forces with IronYard and showing more students how technology will influence their futures. Soon enough, basic coding skills will be a must-have to enter the job market, and making it fun at an early age is a great way to encourage students to dive in.”

You can RSVP for the Hour of Code event on Dec. 6 and learn more about the event here.

Can’t make the event? The Hour of Code is a global movement that includes tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries. Anyone can host an event or participate. Learn more here.

About icitizen:

icitizen connects citizens to the information, organizations and elected representatives most relevant to them. Through icitizen, citizens easily promote and stay informed on important issues and vote in polls to create meaningful change. Anonymous poll results and public opinion data are shared with representatives, organizations, companies and other stakeholders to inform policy. Using representative sampling based on U.S. Census and voter file targets, icitizen’s polling services help policymakers drive sound, data-driven decisions.

icitizen is based in Nashville, Tenn., and was featured on the 2016 IDC Innovator’s report as one of the top platforms for political engagement. The company’s polls are regularly featured in Fivethirtyeight, the New York Times and Huffington Post. For more information, visit icitizen.com.

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 more than 20 campuses in the U.S. For more information, visit theironyard.com.


Iron Journeys: Emily learns to code in Nashville

Last week, we introduced our new series of student stories that we’re calling Iron Journeys. These interviews are unaltered, raw and real – they will show you what it’s really like to be a student at The Iron Yard. Today we’re introducing you to Emily Znamierowski, who took our Front-End Engineering course in Nashville this summer after moving to the Music City from Hawaii. Our co-founder Eric Dodds sat down with Emily during her last week of the course.

During the conversation, you’ll hear about how Emily quit learning to code online because she didn’t feel like she had support, how she found her place at The Iron Yard, and how she’s preparing to enter the world of technology after Demo Day. Enjoy (and watch for the high five)!
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Help wanted: The one thing Nashville needs to grow its tech talent pool →

Nashville’s corporate giants and plucky technology startups aren’t the only people in need of talented developers. In a twist that Alanis Morisette might call ironic, the very organizations aiming to pump up the supply of tech workers have their own growing demand to satisfy.

Read the full article, including insights from Nashville Campus Director Josh Cournoyer, in the Nashville Business Journal

Diversity in tech: How code schools can make an impact

USA Today recently reported that women represent 26 percent of computing professionals and only 12 percent of professional engineers. Another study found that top universities graduate black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering students at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them.

The diversity gap in the tech field is well-documented. Now, the industry is challenged to do something about it. We are beginning to see initiatives by companies – including tech giants like Pinterest and Intel – working to address this issue and raise the bar for the industry.

While these internal efforts are a strong step in the right direction for making changes to the current tech workforce, code schools have the unique opportunity to help shape the diverse workforce of the future.

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From building apartments to building apps: Luke’s story

Construction isn’t a new skill for 19-year-old Luke Settle. As a Web Developer for Metova, his job is to build things. However, like numerous graduates of The Iron Yard, his journey to building web apps begin much more tangibly–building houses and apartments in his hometown of Hopkinsville, Kentucky while attending his local community college.

“I had always planned on going to college,” he said. “They had a program where you studied two years at the community college before transferring in to a full university.” A fondness for computers prompted Luke to enroll in two programming classes that were offered at the community college. “What we were learning was very outdated, but I still enjoyed the process of coding and my coding classes…more so than math or science courses.” Read More

Jessica Mitsch & Joshua Cournoyer at TechUP Nashville 2016 →

Jessica Mitsch and Joshua Cournoyer of The Iron Yard attended TechUP to recruit students to the code and design school and to talk about their diversity efforts in tech. Jessica shared what’s next for The Iron Yard nationally while Joshua discussed developments at the local Nashville campus, including leveraging diversity scholarships and modeling inclusivity in the workplace.

Listen to the full interview here.

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