“I had to just suck it up […] and be a computer engineer.”

What’s it really like being a student at The Iron Yard? Amber’s taking the front end class in Charleston, and last week she felt like she was at Hogwarts!

This week truly made me feel like I was a witch in a world full of Muggles, and perhaps Hogwarts just misplaced my letter all these years. To say this week was busy/crazy would be an extreme understatement. Before writing this blog post, I had to go back over my notes from the previous week just to digest that I really just did all of that. Honestly though after reliving this past week it was an amazing ride that I can’t wait to have more in the future. Monday was a “magical” moment as we presented our app as a team in front of Calvin and the rest of the students. It was so crazy to see the app “come to life” and to go through the code behind it, revealing the magic. I was so impressed with the other team’s apps as well, it was empowering to see how far we all have come. I would love to see some of the apps actually be released and be downloadable as usable apps. Dumbledore and I are so proud of  you guys!

Read more about Amber’s code reviews, app presentations, startup site visits, and Women Who Code Hack Night!

Are you the best?

To claim you’re the best is a straight out lie 99% of the time. The development world is so immense, and there’s so much to be consumed, that no one singular person can hope to be the best at everything, or perhaps even one particular thing. Hubris is essential as you market yourself. Be open about your short-comings, the gaps in your knowledge, but then also inform potential clients how your mindset allows you to fill those gaps quickly to meet the needs of their project.

So it sounds cheesy, but just be your darn self. Skip the BS and get to what people will actually believe, and even more importantly, what is true.

Charleston front end student Devon Hicks is learning more than just how to code!

“Coding is like surfing.”

When I first tried surfing I spent the whole time paddling and missing waves. I did not actually stand up, I just kept struggling. That is how I feel when I start learning a new language, a whole lot of struggling with verily little results. There  have been days when I have paddled out into waves far to large for my ability. I have also had projects that have been to complex for my ability as a programmer. When this happens as a programmer it is as frustrating as when I can’t get outside the breaking waves.

Read more from Charleston Ruby on Rails student Rich Salvucci.

We’re All In This Together

We refer to each of our classes as a cohort. Atlanta Ruby on Rails student Nate Winn has some excellent thoughts on what that word means.

“cohort” is the only fitting term for my fellow coders at The Iron Yard. Over the past 8 weeks, we have done far more than sit in the same classroom. We have become family pressing toward a common goal, striving to reach an elusive prize—not individually racing to be the first to cross the finish line, but rather choosing to endure the marathon together. The Iron Yard is by far the most emotionally draining challenge of my life. Finishing would not be possible without having fellow comrades facing the same battle.

Mentoring & Learning How to Learn

I have a great group of people around me, constantly pushing me to achieve things I didn’t think possible and then pushing me a little bit further.  I am worried about getting a job and how my work will hold up in a professional environment, but I have to remind myself that this was how I felt before college.  It is intimidating and overwhelming at times, but I will get through it and there is only good things to come.

Charleston front end student Robert Hitt  hits the nail on the head: our intensive 3-month classes are designed to mentor each of our students into junior level software engineers. Programming is a lifelong study, so we place an emphasis on learning how to learn.

“My first week at The Iron Yard was a whirlwind…”

There were many tiresome moments, a few stressful ones, and more times than I can count that I couldn’t get certain codes to work, but I never once stopped and thought that I couldn’t do it. Persistence and passion kept me going this week. So I look forward to stumbling more in this coming week, because I know that I am learning, growing and climbing higher than I have before.

Read the full post from Lance Putnam, a front-end engineering student in Greenville, here.