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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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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Iron Journeys: Meet Jennifer Meier, Front-End Engineering in Austin

This week in our Iron Journeys video series, we meet Jennifer Meier, a Front-End Engineering student in Austin. Before starting her course at The Iron Yard, Jennifer was a court reporter. After a recommendation from a friend who took a course at The Iron Yard in Greenville and putting a lot of thought into what she wanted out of a career, Jennifer took the plunge and enrolled in the immersive Front-End Engineering course.

Check out our conversation with Jennifer below to see what it’s really like to be a student at The Iron Yard:

(full transcript below video)

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From solopreneur to developer: Francois’ story

Francois Carstens started his career in graphic design as a freelancer but ultimately found he wanted to be able to both build and design his ideas. After graduating from the Front-End Engineering course at The Iron Yard in Houston at the end of last year, he started a job as developer and never looked back.

Below is more of Francois’ story and you can follow along with his career and insights about working as as developer on his blog, I Learn Code.

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Jess Can Code: Employed!

Last Wednesday we celebrated International Women’s Day and the many social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We also celebrated the future of women in tech as one of our recent DC grads, Jess Dembe, signed an offer for her first job as a developer with Blackstone Technology Group! Jess shared her story on her blog, Jess Can Code. Read her post below: 

First and foremost, Happy International Women’s Day! This year, I celebrated by signing an offer sheet for my very first tech job!

This is in stark contrast International Women’s Day 2016 when I learned that I didn’t get into graduate school. Funny how life works, right?

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The creativity of coding: Christa’s story

Before coming to The Iron Yard, Christa attended the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg and earned a degree in political science. From there, she joined the college management training program at Wawa, working in retail management for the next year.

“I always wanted to be in tech, but I didn’t want to do it as a salesperson,” Christa explained. “I wanted to build a technical skill set.”

“One thing I love about tech is the creativity,” Christa said. “I had all of these visions in my head, but don’t have the hands for drawing or painting. Learning to code, I could design and build anything I could think of.”

After hearing about the fantastic experience one of her friends had with code school, Christa decided to look into it for herself. She did research on schools in the Bay area and New York, but ultimately decided that staying in Tampa/St. Petersburg was the best decision because she already had a strong network and connections in the area.

After visiting The Iron Yard and meeting with Toni (the campus director) and Jason (the Front-End instructor), she knew it was the perfect fit for her.

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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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From staff to student and back: Adam’s story

This article was written by Adam Jahr, our campus operations manager in Orlando.

Working for The Iron Yard since early 2015, I’ve witnessed students’ brains change, minds unlock, and futures open up. The level of motivation, focus, and discipline required to transform oneself into a junior-level developer in just 3 months’ time is monumental.

I have never taken my job lightly. I am responsible for ensuring our campus is admitting students we believe can succeed through our model of education, and I support them every step of the way during the program and beyond. We’re literally changing lives, and I am honored to be supporting these inspiring souls.

And, as I’ve found, inspiration tends to rub off on you. That’s why last November I took a leap of faith in myself and became an Iron Yard student.

So… how was it?

In a word: incredible.

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