Is code school worth it? This single mom of three says yes

Louise has a lifelong love of learning, so much so she became a college professor.

For ten years, Louise taught Latin American history in North Carolina. While she was teaching, she was learning a new skill by building WordPress websites as a side job and hobby.

As an adjunct professor, work was not always guaranteed and the pay and lack of benefits was not enough to support her family as a single parent, but the side project websites interested her. She wanted to dive deeper to understand how WordPress website templates were built.

“I hated working with themes that were limiting so I started learning how to inspect my sites and trying to access code. At that point I was like, ‘Oh, I need to learn how to code,’ because if I could spend hours looking at code that I don’t understand there must be something there,” Louise said.

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Let’s check in with Jennilyn, current Greenville student

We’ve been following along with current Iron Yard student Jennilyn as she makes her way through the 12-week immersive class at our Greenville campus.
Today, we check in to see how she is doing and what she is learning. 

Week 3

Tuesday
Well, here goes nothing! “Real programming” has begun and I’m anxious yet excited (as usual). And I coded something! Based on tonight’s reading, I have a sense tomorrow will be much more in-depth. I sort-of understand the [this] concept but it’s not quite there. Best I can explain it’s JavaScript’s pronoun.

Wednesday
This afternoon I left The Iron Yard feeling a little down. We had a great day of class and I was gaining confidence with the application of arrays and loops — and then:

But I remembered that telling myself “yes, you can” will eventually drown out the discouragement.

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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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Animator, toddler mom, finds good fit in coding

Jasmine’s plate is full but she would not have it any other way.

She is married, mom of two, working from home.

Then to add a little more to her life, Jasmine decided to learn to code.

Jasmine trained as a graphic designer and 3D animator working mostly with architects and contractors animating homes and buildings. She eventually joined a firm that specialized in golf course animations and was able to work from home. But after being in the industry for a while, Jasmine wanted to challenge herself.

“I needed some different outlet where I could be creative, but then also I wanted work where I could stay home,” she said.

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Iron Journeys: Meet Jennilyn, current Greenville student

Meet Jennilyn.

She’s a current student at our Greenville campus. Jennilyn has worked in journalism/design/account management but eventually gave in to the nagging feeling that there are more challenges to tackle, more to learn. With a knack for problem solving and troubleshooting, learning to code was a good next step.

Jennilyn has been documenting her code school journey on her blog and has agreed to let us follow along as she works her way through the 12-week class.

Here is a quick summary of her first two weeks:

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How to get the most out of a bootcamp – Catching up with Jessica

Jessica Dembe is a graduate of our DC campus. We heard from Jessica on International Women’s Day about her journey learning to program. In this interview with Code with Veni, Jessica gives advice on how to get the most out of immersive coding classes. 

Tell us about yourself

I work as an Associate Technical Consultant at Blackstone Technology Group (@BTGFed). I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Health from the University of Maryland, College Park and I recently graduated from the Front-End Engineering program at The Iron Yard.

My tech related projects include my iFeel app and trying to keep up to speed with JavaScript. In my free time, I like to cook, try peanut-free restaurants and recipes, and figuring out ways to stay active without being bored.

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Iron Journeys: Meet Shannon Riester, front-end developer

Shannon traveled Asia and Australia after realizing a museum-based career wasn’t for her. She heard about the benefits of programming from some friends, tried a few online classes and fell in love. But Shannon knew she needed more support if she was going to turn this into a career. She turned to The Iron Yard and found her path.

Check out our conversation with Shannon here, or read the transcript below.

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Healthcare to software: Jennifer’s story

Last summer, Jennifer told us how she came to The Iron Yard and what it is like to make a career transition. We followed up with Jennifer to get a bit more of her story and to see what life has been like after graduation.

Jennifer Graves started down a traditional, four-year college degree route but soon life took her in a different direction.

“I started working and ended up liking the jobs that I was doing for the most part, and decided to just hold back on college for a little while and focus on the career that I was building at that time,” she said.

Jennifer worked as an administrative assistant at a doctor’s office and later moved into customer service with a national healthcare company. She was soon promoted to a management position, but that transition made her consider what she really wanted to do. Read More

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