5 Days of JavaScript

Sophia Khan is in the first half of her Front-End Engineering course on our Indianapolis campus. She has been chronicling her experience learning to code on her blog, and detailing her challenges and triumphs as she works her way through the course. After her first week, she took some time to reflect on the process so far. 

“I can see why people find coding addicting. There’s something intoxicating about the process of struggling through an issue until you reach that ‘Aha’ moment in which everything comes together,” she said. “It’s frustrating and demoralizing — but then in the space of an instant, intensely gratifying. Having finished week one at The Iron Yard, I feel the addiction beginning. Each new project started has the potential for that ‘Aha’ moment where it all comes together.”

And after her first week learning JavaScript, she shared her day-to-day progress in the post, “5 Days of JavaScript.” Read her thoughts below:

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From motorcycle tech to the tech industry: Josiah’s story

Before attending The Iron Yard and landing a job as a full stack junior developer at Apex Systems working for AT&T, Josiah DuBose worked in another type of technical role – as a motorcycle technician.

In addition to his work, Josiah was also pursuing a computer science major in a joint program between Wake Tech Community College and North Carolina State University. But after a friend who worked in the tech industry introduced him to The Iron Yard, he decided to change course. “The Iron Yard seemed like a quicker track to get employed as a developer than a traditional four year degree,” Josiah said.

So he began to research The Iron Yard’s reputation online, talking to people he knew in the Durham tech industry and going to the campus to get to know the staff. Ultimately, Josiah decided this was the best option for him to get the education he needed to pursue the career he wanted. In October 2016, Josiah enrolled in the Back-End Engineering with Python course at The Iron Yard’s Durham campus.

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Aaron in Beta: My Coding Bootcamp Experience

During his Front-End Engineering course at The Iron Yard in Durham, Aaron Newcomer tracked his experience, successes and failures on his blog, Aaroninbeta. Now, more than six months after graduation and working full-time as a front-end developer, Aaron continues to document his progress in the industry and share his hard-won advice with others who are just beginning their journey learning to code.

In Aaron’s latest video on his YouTube channel, Aaron in Beta, he discusses some of the pros and cons he experienced learning to code in a code bootcamp setting. Check out “My Coding Bootcamp Experience” below and tune in to Aaron’s new videos every Tuesday and Thursday!

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Life before coding: 11 unexpected careers that led to code school

There are several common misconceptions about the type of people who are a good fit for code school. We’ve heard it all. Don’t you have to be good at math? What if I’m not a big gamer? Aren’t all programmers really into science and technology?

The truth is, you don’t have to have a background in math or science to become a great programmer. At The Iron Yard, we’ve had students from a huge range of career backgrounds succeed in going from complete beginner to junior developer through our courses. Our Indianapolis Campus Director Emily Trimble put it this way:

Honestly, the type of background or experience you bring to the table isn’t all that relevant. Sure, someone who has been doing coding tutorials at home may have a leg up during the first week, but overall, it’s about problem-solving. I tell people that it’s more about being able to look at a problem and break it down into pieces – which is a skill you have probably used in thousands of scenarios.”

Watson Mulkey talks to potential students every day as our Student Success Lead. He has followed along with hundreds of our students as they’ve gone from zero to career-ready developers, and he knows what it takes. “Perhaps most importantly, we’ve found that interest is far more important that aptitude,” he said. “If you’re motivated by the prospect of changing careers, and invested in learning a new skill – The Iron Yard is for you.”

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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