We believe that life is built around great people doing great things who ultimately create incredible stories that can be shared, collectively enjoyed, and that help us remember how far we’ve come and how exciting the future can be.
In many ways we are in the business of crafting compelling stories – the stories of our students who are being stretched (sometimes to the very breaking point) so that they can fundamentally shift not only their perspective and worldview but of their very future. If you could only be a literal fly-on-the-wall and hear the narratives that are being built it would be incredibly emotional, at the very least.
It’s with this in mind that we held a workshop in the first week of class to encourage the students to blog, to capture their thoughts and experiences as they are happening in real-time so that they might be able to look back at how far they’ve come.
But not only that – they are building a digital resume of sorts, another powerful signal that’ll help them find create new careers in software engineering and technology. They are crafting their own opinion and angle of approach that is unique to them and that’s attractive to any employer, company, and organization. We help facilitate critical and deep thinkers, not just your average code monkey.
I’d love to just sit with you and share some of the many stories that have already taken off but it would be relatively impossible to do that. Instead, I’d love to showcase some of our students and their writing so you can hear, first hand, what they are going through and perhaps more importantly the breakthroughs that they are encountering:
The really neat thing is to look up from your computer at 1am or 2am and see fellow classmates hacking at the same assignments and challenges. One person is standing at a desk – a couple more side by side at a table — and another with his feet up across a couch with the computer in his lap.
Also, look what Joshua has managed to put together!
It’s going to Change My Life:
Someone asked me the other day, ‘Do you like the program?’ My answer is a resounding yes. I made a very deliberate decision when choosing to come here. I traveled a thousand miles from home, away from my family, in a place I’m completely unfamiliar with to learn difficult material I’ve never done before for a very specific reason: I believe this is going to change my life (and that of my family’s) for the better.
Wait, a tour of the Iron Yard? Sweet!
Teeth? Who needs them?
I don’t remember the last time I brushed my teeth. Seriously. … The work load is enormous. If you don’t have time to commit, go somewhere else. If you want to spend all week brushing your teeth, this class isn’t for you. It could be that I simply haven’t had time for personal hygiene.
Making money is NOT my goal:
Making money is not my goal. Empowering myself, gaining confidence in my computer skills, and sharing it to others is what I live for.
There is still time to be second best:
Anecdotal evidence suggests that most programmers start young, or at least get a CS degree in order to become marginally proficient. I felt like I had missed my chance. The idea of going back to undergrad for CS and burdening myself with more debt and more wastedtime was appalling. For the last couple years, I’ve been telling myself that it was too late. “I should’ve done CS in college.” And “I should’ve been programming as a kid, not listening to Bon Jovi and nursing finger callouses.” Even if I did somehow learn programming, I’d be so far behind.
Well – those are stupid things to tell yourself.
I am Harry Potter:
I almost feel as if I have traded spaces with Harry Potter on his first week at Hogwarts. Not only did Harry not know that he possessed magical abilities, he had no idea that wizards even existed. Harry didn’t even know the realm of possibilities in which to use magic, or the rules or paramaters. I can very much relate at this point with Harry. I knew the basic concepts of “a website”. But learning the lingo, the rules, the exceptions, and manipulations has been a massive transformation story in not only my the person who I thought I was and the person who I now realize I can be. And this has happened all within one week, ladies and gentlemen.
Sometimes you really want to just punch the computer:
TIY has set the bar high in this first week. I’ve gone from wanting to punch my computer, to wanting to show everyone I know my first project. This experience is challenging me in ways I had almost forgotten I can be. The “Popular” decision and my decision may be on polar opposites but I am confident that my choice is allowing me to learn, grow, and improve.
I am amazed at how much I have already learned at The Iron Yard after just two weeks. I can’t remember the last time I spent 70-80 hours a week learning and working on one subject matter. I am confident I already have the ability to create a simple interactive website. I am extremely excited for what The Iron Yard brings next!
One of which being the amount of effort has gone into the culture that has been created at The Iron Yard. They have created this world, where students are on the same level as their teachers, not only in the sense of that have the same rights but in many areas.
Staying in the game and not quitting:
With effort comes confidence and fluency, and while my apprehension is still apparent to anyone watching me during class, the support and encouragement I’ve been given from the instructors at The Iron Yard is keeping me in the game.
In short, I quit my job and moved more than 800 miles away from home to spend the next 12 weeks learning(hopefully!) how to code.
Climbing Mt. Everest might actually be easier…:
Here is the skinny. After one week, learning to program/code at The IronYard is a cross between pulling eight wisdom teeth with no novocaine while at the same time sitting on the summit of Mt. Everest. Exhilarating. Frustrating. Amazingly fulfilling.