Part-time courses at The Iron Yard

Last fall, we announced two new part-time programming course options: Foundations courses and Sprint courses. A quick reminder:

  • Our Foundations courses are for coding beginners who want to go beyond online tutorials. These classes will take place in the evenings over a two-week period, and will teach people how to build an interactive website from scratch. Students will gain a functional, foundational understanding of how the web works from a professional, in-person instructor.
  • Sprint Courses are for people with a bit of coding experience who want to level up by going beyond HTML and CSS and learning how to build basic front-end web apps using JavaScript. The course will consist of 16 evening classes over the course of four weeks.

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The Iron Yard in 2017: Strong, ambitious and focused

With 2016 at a close, I’ve taken the time to reflect on The Iron Yard and the amazing journey we’ve been on with so many incredible students. It’s been a rewarding process and I want to share my thoughts with you as we dive into an exciting new year.

First, in 2017, the code school industry will turn 5 years old. In that time the market has grown from a handful of players to over 90 full-time schools and tens-of-thousands of graduates. At The Iron Yard, we will enter our fourth year of operating as one of the first national code schools. Our mission remains to create real lasting change for people, communities and companies through technology education, and we consider it a privilege to be a part of a growing movement that is changing so many people’s lives. Read More

What company leadership can learn from coders about communication

In her latest InfoWorld column, our executive director of the code school Jessica Mitsch, takes a look at the intersection between company culture and communication, and asserts that there is a lot the c-suite can learn from coders.

Developers, particularly those who contribute to open source projects, know that having a structure that enables others to easily understand the code and contribute to it is important. There is agreed-upon language and documentation with the goal of removing ambiguity to align all parties involved. This principle can — and should — be applied to all parts of a business to lower barriers and increase opportunities for collaboration.

Below is an excerpt from Jessica’s article. You can read the full post on

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The developer’s reading list

The holidays are a time for relaxation and for many, a chance to catch up on their reading list. For developers – both novice and expert alike – there are a plethora of books and websites designed to help you sharpen your skills and explore interesting industry topics.

This holiday season we polled our instructors and staff, and put together recommendations for a ‘Developer’s Reading List.’ And for those of you who prefer to listen, we’ve included a few podcasts too.

Have suggestions? Let us know in the comments!

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Understanding how to build better projects: InVision in the Iron Yard classroom

One of the most common observations our alumni share with us is that the soft skills they gained during their time at The Iron Yard were just as important – if not more important – as the technical skills they learned. Ryder, one of our grads in Indianapolis who now works as a software engineer at Salesforce, put it this way:

I feel like the people who succeed have a whole lot of interpersonal skills and ability to put themselves in the shoes of the user. The ability to think empathically about the other members of their team requires some pretty hardcore interpersonal and EQ skills. That is both more important than the technical aptitude and also is a better predictor of success. As long as the basic technical aptitude is there, I think the most important things are persistence, tenacity, enjoying problem solving and having the soft skills.

So how do you teach those soft skills during such an accelerated, immersive learning experience? We give our students as much real-world exposure and experience as possible during our 12-week courses. They meet with Advisory Board members, tour local companies and go through mock interviews with hiring partners. They create projects with teams and present those projects in a public setting. Read More

Want a tech job in your city? Consider code school (but do your homework)

Last week I took time to read the Bloomberg article, “Want a Job in Silicon Valley? Keep Away From Coding Schools.” I couldn’t help but feel disappointed in the reckless way that it seems some schools have approached such a serious endeavor like education.

At the same time, I was struck by the broad brush the reporter used to paint the code school industry and the implications it could have on readers around the country—not just in Silicon Valley—who are considering or have already chosen a code school as their path to a new career in software development. I’ve personally been involved in helping literally thousands of people change their lives by launching new careers through learning to code, so I thought it would be helpful to take a look at these issues from another perspective.

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How to land your first job in tech

Landing your first job can be tough. It takes hard work, persistence and patience. But rest assured, the time you spend perfecting your resume, talking to people at networking events and scouring the Internet for job postings, can – and will – pay off.

Last week, two of our amazing team members, Sam Kapila, Director of Instruction, and Emily Trimble, Campus Director in Indianapolis, shared their tips on how to land your first job in tech. Below are a few of their top pieces of advice: Read More

Let’s talk about ‘guys’

Recently, our executive director of the code school, Jessica Mitsch, wrote an article for InfoWorld about how the subtle ways we show our support for inclusivity—from our words to our daily habits—can help us increase the number of women in tech. In the piece, she talks about an eyeopening experience she had talking to an entrepreneur who was looking to hire junior developers, and the challenge she set herself to be intentional with her word choice, and to recognize unconscious bias in our day-to-day language

Below is an excerpt of Jessica’s article. You can read the full post on

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Back to the future: Apprenticeship in the modern era

At the end of the day, people come to The Iron Yard to learn the skills they need to both get started and progress throughout their careers in tech. We exist at the intersection between education and the workforce, and the relationship between the two is something we think about everyday.

Recently, our executive director of the code school, Jessica Mitsch, wrote an article for InfoWorld about how the apprenticeship model is adapting to fit the current realities of the workforce, education system and tech industry. Apprenticeships have served both employers and job seekers well for thousands of years, so she asks the question, “why have we moved away from this model, and why should employers take back ownership of their staff’s education?”

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Our favorite Election Day apps

It’s Election Day in the U.S., when millions of American citizens will cast their votes for everything from local issues to the office of President. Many people will use election-focused mobile apps or websites as part of the voting process – either to help register voters, find polling places, understand the issues, or track election results. We did our own internal poll here at The Iron Yard to discover our team’s favorite election-related sites and apps. Here are the results: Read More