Is code school worth it? This single mom of three says yes

Louise has a lifelong love of learning, so much so she became a college professor.

For ten years, Louise taught Latin American history in North Carolina. While she was teaching, she was learning a new skill by building WordPress websites as a side job and hobby.

As an adjunct professor, work was not always guaranteed and the pay and lack of benefits was not enough to support her family as a single parent, but the side project websites interested her. She wanted to dive deeper to understand how WordPress website templates were built.

“I hated working with themes that were limiting so I started learning how to inspect my sites and trying to access code. At that point I was like, ‘Oh, I need to learn how to code,’ because if I could spend hours looking at code that I don’t understand there must be something there,” Louise said.

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News & Observer stops by The Iron Yard, talks tech in the Research Triangle

The News & Observer stopped by our Raleigh campus to talk about how coding schools are providing a lane into the technology industry.

The article looks into the tech landscape in the Research Triangle and how coding schools are providing options for people who have an interest in learning web programming.

“The cost, flexibility and time frame of the boot camps are among the most appealing factors for people looking to get a piece of the tech pie. For those who have watched their friends struggle to find jobs after spending four years at a university, it’s a less risky investment.”

The Iron Yard campuses in both Raleigh and Durham have seen increased interest in coding education due to a growing tech industry in the area.

Read the full article here.

Corporate Training helps Charleston company move to automation

The company name lives up to the incredibly hot industry.

BoomTown, an online real estate marketing platform, is a tool agents use to manage leads and marketing for buying and selling homes. BoomTown started as a small start-up but has grown to around 250 employees. Business is, excuse the pun, booming.

Brian Baumgartner leads the quality assurance team at BoomTown. The team is responsible for testing all new features in the BoomTown platform, guaranteeing the product is the best it can be before going into market. In the early days of being a nimble start-up, all quality testing was manual with the QA team scrambling to get the products in market quickly. The company grew from the scrappiness of start-up culture to a more mature company and began to look at ways to streamline their processes.

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Five reasons to learn to code during summer break

College summer semesters have been synonymous with make-up classes or squeezing in that course too difficult to tackle during the spring or fall.

Let’s flip the script a bit.

Summer can be about maximizing the weeks in between semesters. It can be about learning a new set of skills that will make students as prepared – even more prepared – for the future.

No matter the major, learning to code is a great option for college students on summer break.

Five reasons learning to code this summer is a smart idea:

Coding is the new literacy
Much in the same way as being fluent in another language is beneficial, so is learning the language of code. People all over the world use technology. The “language” of technology equips us with the ability to communicate across cultures and gives a global angle to our work.

Beef up your resume
Regardless of college major or work experience, the ability to code is attractive to employers in any field. Every line of work has an online presence. Having the ability further that presence is an attractive asset to future employers.

Coding requires new ways of thinking
Problem solving is at the heart of coding. Building a web project from scratch or learning to identify and fix problems requires creativity and loads of critical thinking – both great muscles to exercise heading into the next semester.

You will be more self-sufficient…
Ownership of the online previously lived solely in the hands of IT professionals. Coding know-how provides a new freedom to build and troubleshoot websites without calling in favors. Programming skills can also open up opportunities for freelance work, which may be beneficial in the murky world of post-graduation plans.

…And more collaborative
Projects in all disciplines are rarely created and executed in a vacuum. Learning to give and receive feedback are valuable skills in the marketplace. Coding classes are highly collaborative with participants sharing knowledge, reviewing work and offering advice.

The very nature of college is to prepare for the future. Many industries currently rely on online systems to operate and many more will in the coming years. As more systems become automated, knowing code is valuable in ensuring companies run as smoothly as possible, regardless of the field.

Let us help you make the most of your summer. Take a look at our courses or find a campus location near you.

Corporate Training spotlight: Instructor Curtis Schlak

Recently we brought you the story of how we are helping business like Blackbaud and Spoonflower teach their employees coding skills needed in the workplace through our Corporate Training program.

Technology advancements are providing solutions for companies of all sizes. Employers want to be sure their current workforce is trained to leverage these tools to grow their business.

Today we talk with one of our Corporate Training instructors, Curtis Schlak, about his experience working with companies, the benefit of equipping employees and retro games of tic-tac-toe.

Tell us about your professional background.

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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

Is it possible to love your day job? This graduate says yes.

Jasper Furniss spent the first decade of his career in ministry as a worship leader. Though he’d already received both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in ministry-related fields, Jasper knew he wasn’t finished learning. When a friend mentioned The Iron Yard, he was intrigued. Though he’d dabbled in code before, he had never had any formal training. “I love to learn,” he said. “I feel like the opportunity to learn something so complex as programming so quickly and develop a passion for it is what really interested me and brought me here.” Read More

Thoughts on education: learning and comfort

We absolutely love teaching people how to wield the powers of technology. The side that most people see is an instructor in front of a classroom or helping individual students during lab time.

What many people don’t see is the learning that our staff does behind the scenes. We’re constantly evaluating new technologies for our curricula, but we’re also studying the craft of teaching. Educating is far more than knowing a lot about a subject and explaining it to someone else. Our instructors are students themselves, always refining the skills and knowledge they use to guide our student body. Read More

Thoughts on education: Thinking for the future

In 2013, the New York Times published an op-ed piece titled “Thinking for the Future.” Author David Brooks posits that we live in an, “era of mechanized intelligence, an age in which you’re probably going to find yourself in a workplace with diagnostic systems, different algorithms and computer-driven data analysis. If you want to thrive in this era, you probably want to be good at working with intelligent machines.”

He goes on to quote Tyler Cowen’s book, Average is Over:

If you and your skills are a complement to the computer, your wage and labor market prospects are likely to be cheery. If your skills do not complement the computer, you may want to address that mismatch.

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