Iron Journeys: Meet Maira Luna-Flores, Back-End Engineering in Austin

This week in our Iron Journeys video series, we sit down with Maira Luna-Flores – Mira for short – one of our Back-End students in Austin. Before starting at The Iron Yard, right out of college, Mira worked as a bank teller. After a year, she decided it was time to find something that she was passionate about and something she wanted to do long-term.

We sat down with Mira just three days into her Java cohort to see how she was adjusting to the course and what her plans are for the future. Check out the conversation below to see what it’s really like to be a student at The Iron Yard.

(full transcript below video)

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The Necessity of Failure

We first introduced you to Scott Endicott as he was preparing for his final project as a Front-End Engineering student on our Charlotte campus. Now, a couple months after graduation, Scott is working full-time as an associate front-end web developer at Red Ventures, a teamwork-driven technology and marketing company located just outside of Charlotte.

This week, Scott wrote a blog post about “The Necessity of Failure” in his development career. And while it may sound counterintuitive, ‘failure’ is a concept we introduce to our students from day one. “Failure is the gateway to learning,” says Jordan Kasper, Front-End Engineering instructor in Washington, DC. “In coding – as with most things in life – if we don’t try (and fail) we won’t learn. The trick is to not let those small failures overcome our passion to this craft. We have to embrace those failures, learn from them and get excited about the next try.”

Below is an excerpt from Scott’s post. You can read the full article on Red Ventures’ blog here.

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From kinesiology to coding: Jenessa’s story

Jenessa White was first exposed to coding in high school through an intro to web development course. There, she learned the basics of HTML/CSS and built her first website which “was terrible but at least the font was awesome.” Jenessa loved the course and couldn’t wait to register for the next level, but soon found out that there was no next course.

A few years later, she found programming again mid-way through her junior year in college. “I thought to myself, ‘I should have been a computer science major,’ but at that point it was too late and what I really liked was actually building things more than I liked the theory,” Jenessa explained.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a degree in Kinesiology and Sport Science, Jenessa started work at SportsEngine, a local Minneapolis startup, as a registration consultant, a role that primarily focused on customer service. “They built software so I was still getting a little bit of exposure, but not a significant amount. Since it was an interest of mine, I paid attention and was always like ‘this is broken, this is broken, how can we fix it?’ I was always the really interested person.”

Next, Jenessa worked in customer service at DirecTV, before deciding she wanted to pursue new opportunities. As she was planning to leave her job, her best friend sat her down and said, “You don’t actually want to do customer service work, do you? You want to be a developer, so why don’t you do it?”

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Iron Grads team up for 2017 Super Bowl: Meet the ParqU team

One of the great benefits of learning to code in an in-person, immersive environment is the connections you make with your instructor, campus team and classmates. The immersive experience can be tough, and we hear time and time again that the support systems our students develop with each other in the classroom is integral to their success. At the end of the day, The Iron Yard is a family. Once you join it, you remain part of our ever-growing network throughout your career.

One of the most rewarding things for us to see is when a group of Iron Grads team up and work together after graduation. And that’s exactly what happened with the ParqU team in Houston.

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What I have learned since graduating from The Iron Yard: Katherine’s story

Katherine Trammell graduated from The Iron Yard’s Front-End Engineering course in Tampa Bay in 2015. Previously working as a project coordinator/ executive assistant, attending The Iron Yard’s immersive course was her first step into a completely new professional world and, in her words, was “definitely outside my comfort zone.”

Now, more than a year since her journey in tech began, Katherine took a look back at everything she has learned about the world of coding and what she learned about herself along the way:

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From gaming shop manager to analyst – Jared’s story

Jared Knueven, a graduate of our first Front-End Engineering cohort in Cincinnati, transitioned from an Assistant Manager at a local gaming shop to a full-time Integration Analyst at The Health Collaborative. Shortly into his professional career, Jared realized he didn’t love the job he was getting out of bed for every morning, and his college degree wasn’t opening up as many opportunities as anticipated. 

That realization isn’t uncommon today. The difference? Jared didn’t just accept his fate. He took charge of his career path. After receiving some advice from a few family members who work in the tech industry, he knew that his drive/determination paired with the expertise and support of The Iron Yard was exactly what he needed to launch the path to a new fulfilling career. 

Here is some of Jared’s story, in his own words: Read More

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