Singer-songwriter learns to code: MaryEllen’s story

What would make someone leave a successful indie rock band to learn to code? We wondered the same thing when we met MaryEllen, who joined our Front-End Engineering cohort in Nashville late last fall. Her passion for learning languages, creating music and constantly learning made her an excellent student, but what’s really cool is how she stumbled upon a completely new passion for programming.

“She’s an incredible engineer who also is a really adept designer,” said Joshua Cournoyer, our Campus Director in Nashville. “She landed one of the most impressive positions we’ve had for a graduate here in Nashville, and her final project was also inquired after by a few companies in town.”

Read on for MaryEllen’s full story, in her own words:

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From publishing to programming: Julie’s story

Fourteen years into her career in the publishing industry, Julie was stuck. Stuck in a pattern of working 60-plus-hours every week, stuck to being constantly “plugged in,” and stuck in a cycle of meetings, meetings and more meetings. Though Julie was managing a team of people and continued to move into more challenging roles, when she reflected on her life she didn’t like where her own career was headed. “I didn’t really love what I was doing, and I knew I needed to find something else,” she said.
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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 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

Meet Joshua Cournoyer, Nashville Campus Director

Our Nashville campus has been busy this summer. Our very first cohorts in both Front-End Engineering and Back-End Engineering launched June 29. As interest in the code bootcamp space has continued to climb in Nashville, we can’t wait to see our first cohort graduate and present at Demo Day on Sept. 18. In the meantime, we’re thrilled to introduce Joshua Cournoyer, who helped jump-start our Nashville location as Campus Director. Joshua recently reflected on his journey to The Iron Yard. 

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