Speaking up, asking questions, leads to incredible opportunities: Katy’s Story

Katy Campen has accomplished a lot in her few years working in the technology industry.

She’s taught coding, developed curriculum, founded a coding camp for girls, planned events and a host of other things.

Despite her ambitious resume, Katy would not describe herself a naturally outgoing. She instead has built a career from asking questions and reaching out to the tech community.

After graduating college with a wide-ranging advertising degree with little job prospects, Katy landed an internship that required she have some experience in web programming. A friend told her about The Iron Yard and encouraged her to look into the courses.

“I just thought this sounded really different, an accelerated learning path. It was just something I had never heard of,” she said.

Katy moved from Tennessee to Greenville, SC to join classes at the campus.

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Animator, toddler mom, finds good fit in coding

Jasmine’s plate is full but she would not have it any other way.

She is married, mom of two, working from home.

Then to add a little more to her life, Jasmine decided to learn to code.

Jasmine trained as a graphic designer and 3D animator working mostly with architects and contractors animating homes and buildings. She eventually joined a firm that specialized in golf course animations and was able to work from home. But after being in the industry for a while, Jasmine wanted to challenge herself.

“I needed some different outlet where I could be creative, but then also I wanted work where I could stay home,” she said.

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Iron Journeys: Meet Jennilyn, current Greenville student

Meet Jennilyn.

She’s a current student at our Greenville campus. Jennilyn has worked in journalism/design/account management but eventually gave in to the nagging feeling that there are more challenges to tackle, more to learn. With a knack for problem solving and troubleshooting, learning to code was a good next step.

Jennilyn has been documenting her code school journey on her blog and has agreed to let us follow along as she works her way through the 12-week class.

Here is a quick summary of her first two weeks:

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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.

Is learning to program right for me?

Much has been said on the importance of learning to program. In order to improve efficiency, industries from healthcare to marketing to the financial sector are adding automated, web-based systems to their business model. With these new systems, employees with website coding know-how are in demand. Currently employed individuals and job seekers alike are considering their resumes and asking if adding website development would be a valuable and marketable skill.

Web programming is a combination of many different “languages.” And just like learning a foreign language, learning the syntax of code can be difficult. Regardless of the method – online courses, bootcamps, higher education – it will take practice and effort in order to do it well.

Despite the level of work required, there are plenty of reasons to learn to program. Here are a few: Read More

Healthcare to software: Jennifer’s story

Last summer, Jennifer told us how she came to The Iron Yard and what it is like to make a career transition. We followed up with Jennifer to get a bit more of her story and to see what life has been like after graduation.

Jennifer Graves started down a traditional, four-year college degree route but soon life took her in a different direction.

“I started working and ended up liking the jobs that I was doing for the most part, and decided to just hold back on college for a little while and focus on the career that I was building at that time,” she said.

Jennifer worked as an administrative assistant at a doctor’s office and later moved into customer service with a national healthcare company. She was soon promoted to a management position, but that transition made her consider what she really wanted to do. Read More

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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Announcing the Tech Opportunity Fund

Today, we are excited to announce the launch of the Tech Opportunity Fund, a partnership of organizations committed to providing $100 million in diversity scholarships to deserving students who want to enter the tech industry. We’ve joined with Code Fellows and OperationHOPE to lead this effort, and this morning, Vice President Joe Biden included the Fund in a speech he gave in St. Louis!

At The Iron Yard, we’ve committed to $40 million in full-tuition scholarships over the next five years. Code Fellows has committed to $5 million in scholarships and Operation HOPE will serve as the Fund’s financial literacy and entrepreneur training partner. To reach our goal of $100 million in scholarships, we’ll need even more employers, code schools and civic organizations to join us.

Click here for the full press release.

Click here to read the White House blog post including the Tech Opportunity Fund.

Want to join us? Visit http://www.techopportunityfund.org/.


How code school can help you expand your skills and change your career

We all want to start out on the right foot and make the best impression possible when starting a new career. In many cases, that may mean not only having job experience, but also being able to present a unique and specific skill set aimed at your target field. If your dream job is in the technology field, these skills can be learned at code schools that are designed to either expand your skills in your current field, or provide you a new set of skills to aid in the search for a new career. Attending a code school is a great way to add to your competitive edge. Read More

Diversity in tech: How code schools can make an impact

USA Today recently reported that women represent 26 percent of computing professionals and only 12 percent of professional engineers. Another study found that top universities graduate black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering students at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them.

The diversity gap in the tech field is well-documented. Now, the industry is challenged to do something about it. We are beginning to see initiatives by companies – including tech giants like Pinterest and Intel – working to address this issue and raise the bar for the industry.

While these internal efforts are a strong step in the right direction for making changes to the current tech workforce, code schools have the unique opportunity to help shape the diverse workforce of the future.

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