By Tim Whitacre, Front End Engineering Instructor
I love the human mind. I love how much information we can cram into it and I love that when you put your heart and soul into something, anything is possible. I love that in 12 short weeks students at The Iron Yard can learn to program. Friday marked the end of the first Front End Engineering class in Atlanta. The students presented their final projects to a group of family, friends and the local community. After the presentation, we celebrated.
As I was getting ready for this last week, I had a few thoughts on what made this class a success. First off, programming is hard. No programmer I know will tell you otherwise. It requires determination, passion and humility.
In order to learn anything new, from programming to woodworking, you have to be determined to learn it. If you go into something half-heartedly, you will usually quit before you get too far.
You also need to be passionate about it or the entire experience will be horrible. So far, I’ve not met a single Iron Yard student who wasn’t passionate about what they were learning. Sure, there are certain parts of the curriculum some enjoy over others, but any time I engage in a conversation with a student, I can see the passion in their eyes as they discuss what they are learning and building. This is what helps keep them driving forward.
Lastly, you need to be humble during any learning process. If you are unwilling to ask others for help, you generally will not get very far. It’s those times in life when I have asked others to show me how they did something that I’ve learned the most. Google is great, but I would much rather talk to an air-breathing human about their experience before hitting the search bar and reading an article.
When a student applies to The Iron Yard, these are the qualities that we look for, and this class is no exception. It’s been a privilege to witness the determination, passion and humility these students have shown and I am excited to hear where it takes them.