Iron Journeys: Meet Christopher Vanderkolk, Austin code school grad

This week in our Iron Journeys video series, we meet Christopher Vanderkolk, an Iron Yard Austin code school grad. Before joining The Iron Yard, Chris worked in retail for over a decade. After realizing his career had become stagnant and craving a challenge, Chris turned to software development.

Check out our conversation with Chris below to see what it’s really like to be a student at The Iron Yard. (Transcript below video)

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How to hire great programmers

Hiring great programmers is no easy task. Rob Whelan knows exactly how hard it can be. As the VP of Technology for Rhinogram, a healthcare communication solution based in Charleston, South Carolina, he’s done his fair share of hiring and managing programmers.

We wanted to know the truth – how can employers get better at hiring the right programmers for their companies and projects? In the last two years, Rob has hired seven Iron Yard grads. So we went to him for advice. Read More

Real world developer: 6 code school skills I actually use

Iron Yard graduate Ashly LaMarr recently reflected on the code school skills she truly uses now that she’s six-plus weeks into her new job as a real-world developer. She decided to learn to code after more than a decade in accounting, and shares parts of her journey on her blog (read it here).

In her new position as a developer, there are six skills from code school she’s using every day. Her advice? Spend as much time focusing on the soft skills as you do on the actual code. It’ll pay off.

Read more – in Ashly’s own words – below.  Read More

The Iron Yard experience: Insight from current students

On any given day at any given time, you’ll find students on our campuses who are at varying stops along the journey to becoming programmers. Today, we wanted to give you a glimpse into the minds of some of our students at The Iron Yard Tampa Bay – St. Petersburg. These students have finished up four weeks of their cohort, and several of them have started blogging and sharing their reflections on the experience so far.

Below, meet a few of our students and hear more about what it’s really like to be a student at The Iron Yard.  Read More

From Amazon to The Iron Yard: Zach’s Story

Zach has always been a numbers guy. For the past four years, he worked at Amazon in southern California and opened a fulfillment center, working as a collator running the numbers for the opps team. It was his responsibility to look at headcount for the staff in the building, analyze the number of packages per category (S, M, L or XL) that had to be shipped that day, and run the numbers to put together a battle plan to get those packages out the door that day.

“What brought me into programming was that within a year of being a collator, I built three Excel macros that would basically do my job for me,” Zach said. “I thought maybe I should give programming a shot.”

For Zach, the tipping point came at the beginning of 2016 when he and his girlfriend started planning their future – getting married, buying a house – and he wanted a job that could support their life together. He began looking at online coding resources and thought, “I can do this,” and started putting a plan in motion.

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From therapist to software engineer: Elizabeth’s story

Elizabeth Evans had earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and worked in mental health for 10 years when she realized she was stuck. “I realized I can’t move up any more in this industry,” she said. So she started looking for a career change. That’s when she heard about The Iron Yard.

We recently caught up with Elizabeth, who enrolled in our immersive coding course in Charleston in 2016, and asked her to share her story. Read More

From bowling attendant to software developer: Doug’s story

We share stories of our students and graduates on this blog often, in hopes that they will inspire even one person as much as they inspire us. They are stories that remind us why we do what we do every day – to help people change their lives by learning to code and launching new careers.

While it’s one thing to hear accolades from those of us at The Iron Yard, it’s another to hear praise from the people who hire our graduates. One of our grads, Doug, recently received an award from his employer, Blackbaud, and his manager sent him the following in an email:

In my 18 years at Blackbaud, I haven’t seen a new hire ramp up so quickly and make the type of impact you have. I’ve been nothing but impressed with your work. Your success also shows how impactful programs like The Iron Yard can be, which is just awesome.

We caught up with Doug to find out more about his journey to a career in coding. Keep reading, and be inspired.

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The teacher becomes the student: Isaiah turns to code school for new career

Isaiah Fasoldt has a penchant for problem solving. For five years, he aimed to solve problems in education by working with Teach for America in one of the poorest districts in the country. When he decided to shift his career, he turned to programming so he could take on a new kind of problem solving with new skills. He enrolled in the Back-End Engineering program at The Iron Yard’s Indianapolis campus (you may remember his blog post from last summer), and today he’s a software developer. Read on for his story. Read More

Iron Journeys: A chat with UI Design student Betty Koshy

Next up in our Iron Journeys student story series, we’re talking with Betty Koshy, one of our UI Design students in Austin. Before beginning The Iron Yard, Betty was frustrated. As a customer support tech for an education site, she hated how her company’s database was so poorly developed. She soon realized, “I want to be in the beginning stages of those kind of things where I keep the end user in mind and kind of come at those problems beforehand so we’re not getting so many phone calls.”

She landed at The Iron Yard after doing tons of research because she really wanted to focus on UI design. We sat down with her during week six of her course – the halfway point – to hear more about how it’s going. Check out the conversation for more about what it’s really like to be a student at The Iron Yard. (full transcript below video) Read More