Recent Ironhack News
- Your 2017 #LearnToCode New Year’s Resolution
- December 2016 Coding Bootcamp News Roundup
- Instructor Spotlight: Jacqueline Pastore of Ironhack
Recent Ironhack Reviews: Rating 4.89
Web Development Part-Time
The Web Development Part-time course meets Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with additional online coursework over a period of 6 months. The course takes you from introductory programming concepts to clean coding principles, building interactive websites and using APIs. At the end you'll demo a final project, participate in coding challenges and meet prospective employers at hiring week.
- Financing options available* with competitive interest rates.
- Payment Plan
- 5.750€ if paid up front
- € 1,000 Scholarship for women.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Basic programming skills, basic algorithms and notions of object oriented programming.
- Prep Work
- 60 hours of online content that you'll have to complete in order to reach the required level at the next module.
This 9 week immersive course is catered to beginners with no previous design or technical experience. Students will be taught the fundamentals of User Centered Design and learn to validate ideas through user research, rapid prototyping & heuristic evaluation. The course will end with a capstone project where students will take a new product idea from validation to launch. By the end of the course, students will be ready to start a new career as a UX Designer, Freelance or turbo charge their current professional trajectory.
- 750 €
- Financing options available* with competitive interest rates.
- Payment Plan
- Discount if paid-in-full up front; payment plans available.
- $1,000 scholarship for women and veterans.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
Web Development Bootcamp (Full-time)
- $1,000 Scholarship for women, $1,000 Scholarship for Military vets
- Minimum Skill Level
- Very little
- Placement Test
- Prep Work
- 60 hours of online content that you'll have to complete in order to reach the required level at the next module.
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I recently graduated from Ironhack's first UX/UI cohort in Miami. It was a life-changing and wonderful experience, which has already helped me transition into the tech world as a UX research analyst and designer. They don't call this a bootcamp for nothing: a LOT of material is covered in the eight weeks of coursework! There is a tremendous amount of information to absorb, perhaps too much, but the material is accessible even to complete non-techies like myself as long as students are willing to commit the time to study and work hard outside of class. Here in Miami our course was taught by two main lecturers who are both seasoned in their work and inspiring. In my opinion, studying alongside these experts in the field and being able to ask them questions as we progressed through the course material was what made Ironhack such a valuable experience. Jacqueline Stetson Pastore and Marcelo Paiva were wonderful teachers and continue to be mentors who are available to all members of our cohort. In addition to the incredible instruction, I was blown away by Ironhack's staff: each person who I came into contact with at Ironhack is intelligent, helpful, trustworthy, and genuinely concerned with empowering their students to change their lives. Our UX/UI teaching assistant Alida Gagliuffi kept the group (and, when necessary, the teachers!) on track to ensure that we kept up with the demanding curriculum, and the Placements Manager Daniel Brito worked tirelessly to connect Ironhack students with employers in the community who had UX/UI needs. The final "career" week of the Ironhack bootcamp culminated in a job fair on campus where 7 students interviewed with 10 companies. To me, that alone was worth the bootcamp's expense! All in all, I had a great time at Ironhack. I am thrilled to be embarking on a career in web product research and design and I feel well prepared to begin that work after studying with Jacqueline and Marcelo. The only aspect of the course that I did not like was the pressure to participate in a public hackshow after the course had already ended. I felt that the public hackshow pitted students against each other and disrupted the supportive (almost family-like) dynamic that had been in existence up until that moment. Ending the bootcamp on that note seemed much more about Ironhack publicity in the community than it did about students' actual projects and work.
It was December 4, 2015, when I heard the bad news: the public relations agency where I was working at suddenly went into bankruptcy and hundreds of people, including me, were laid off. Yes, this kind of things happens very often and when people lose their jobs they simply look for a different one. However, my situation was a little different as working at this company had been my dream.
So, here I was on January 2016 looking for a “new dream”, one that could not be torn apart so easily and big enough to keep me motivated. I wanted to take this setback in my professional career and turn it into an opportunity to grow. I have always enjoyed solving problems as well as trying to understand how the technologies that have marked our lives nowadays work. It was at this moment that I realized that I could make an interesting mix with these two ingredients by learning how to code.
I started looking online for possible ways to get into coding and that’s how I found out about Ironhack. I read excellent reviews about their programs, instructors, staff members and facilities, which motivated me to visit their campus in Miami. I was welcomed by Alia (Admissions), who kindly explained me everything about their coding school. At some point, after being amazed by her charisma, I even thought that Ironhack was too good to be true — Was it possible to learn how to code and launch a web application after only 8 weeks? Were their graduates really landing cool jobs with competitive salaries in the tech industry? I honestly was skeptic about it.
That day I also met Ariel (Co-Founder), who shared with me his vision and explained how he, coming from a family of educators, wanted to change the world of education. It was something that I had never heard before.
My visit continued with a tour around the facility and then I spent a few minutes talking to some of the students. It caught my attention that there were many students from different backgrounds and even different countries, including India! Why would someone from the other side of the world come to Ironhack to learn how to code? Maybe the reviews were true, maybe they knew what they were doing.
And that’s when something inside me said that I should give this a try. I was already aware that as part of the admission process first I needed to do a general interview and then a technical interview. Of course, I spoke with Alia for more than an hour, enough to come to the conclusion that my personality was “ideal to handle the intensity of the bootcamp”. That only left me with the technical interview before I could be considered for a seat in the March 2016 cohort. We scheduled my technical interview with Nizar (Head Instructor) for the following week and then I left Ironhack with the feeling that I had done the right thing.
Nizar, who by the way is very fluent in English and Spanish, explained me the format of the technical interview: I had to solve a coding challenge with 5 iterations and I was allowed to use my notes, but there was a time cap (I don’t remember if it was 15 or 30 minutes). While I was working on the challenge, I realized that I knew more than what I thought. I was able to finish the first 4 iterations before I ran out of time. Yes, it was challenging, but it wasn’t that bad. Nizar reviewed my solution and gave me good feedback. I could felt right away that he had the vocation of teaching.
I finished the pre-work during Week 0 and then we kicked off the bootcamp with Week 1. I truly loved the layout of the program and most importantly I always felt that I was surrounded by great and smart people, always willing to help me and with such an incredible amount of patience, including my classmates. Learning how to code is not easy, but when you are in an environment like this one, it makes the process very enjoyable.
By Week 2, we weren’t a group of strangers anymore, we were more like a family immersed in this new cool world. When we were not coding, we were talking about coding and in some cases listening even more about coding from other experts as every week Ironhack brought in speakers (senior developers, CTOs and CEOs) to give us insightful information about the tech scene in Miami.
Our regular schedule was from 9 am to 6 pm, but I don’t remember spending less than 10 hours at Ironhack every day. I didn’t know I was going to love coding this much. At the beginning, I was skeptic about what Ironhack was capable of doing, and now I was experimenting it. In 8 weeks, I learned how to code and I also built my first web application, but most importantly, I learned how to learn. Being a developer means that you will never stop learning and Ironhack gave me the tools to keep doing this on my own.
We concluded our cohort with a Hackshow, where everyone presented their web applications in front of 180+ people. This was a great way to celebrate our efforts and achievements, and a perfect opportunity to network as in a few days we were going to be in the job market as Jr. Developers.
And when it comes to job market, Ironhack has another killer player: Daniel Brito (Placements Manager), who is not Romero Britto’s cousin but still does cool things. Daniel helped us with our resumes and online presence, he prepared us for our future interviews and introduced us to many employers. Some of my classmates got job offers right away, and some others, like me, took a little longer. Daniel always kept me accountable and motivated to never give up. His phone was available 24/7, I called him several times late at night and even weekends looking for feedback and he always picked up the phone. You can surely tell that he loves his job, which is helping others in their quest of success.
I now have a job where I use technology to solve problems, where I’m constantly learning, and which has allowed me to improve my quality of life.
Ironhack is not only a bootcamp, it’s a life-changing experience and a family that will always be there for you. It was through Ironhack that I discovered this passion and set a new dream for my professional career.
I will never forget that deep breath I took before my technical interview.
Personally, I had a great experience at Ironhack. The staff was always very kind and helpful. They provide a huge amount of high quality resources and guidance. I tried teaching my self programming over the Internet but honestly, there are so many tutorials and courses that take so many different approaches that it's really difficult to figure out which way is best. I think the instruction at Ironhack with their experienced devs was invaluable. Like anything in life, what you put in determines what you get out. Ironhack and bootcamps in general are no different. Ironhack prepared me to take the first step toward becoming a true developer. However, I think all prospective bootcamp students should understand that programming is really a skill that takes years upon years to master. Bootcamps will give you a foundation and prove to potential employers that you can learn the neccesary skills, but don't expect to come out of a bootcamp as a beast programmer. That will take time. If you are ready to put that time in and truly want to become a developer I think bootcamps are an essential first step! Ironhack taught many practical and useful skills that I was able to apply day 1 of my first job. I now have some friends who attended other bootcamps in the Miami area and in speaking with them about their experiemces, I have no doubt in my mind that Ironhack is the best bootcamp in South Florida bar none!
Every week during these period, we had a different lead teacher coming from the industry to teach us how companies use these technologies and how we should focus to use them. We learned version control git, basics of TDD and unit testing, responsive design, Bootstrap, and more.
The place is very friendly and you will feel comfortable since the first day. You have all the basics to stay there all there. During the afternoon, everyday, there are some exercises proposed, as well as pair programming. Here you can try to develop everything you learned in the morning.
Finally, the last 2 weeks of the course, you will have to focus on your final project. You will have to decide to make a web app and try to develop it fully on your own. TAs are there everyday to help you with any doubt you've got. All projects are rated by professional developers, and the best five are presented during a well known event in Barcelona.
But hey! Here's the best part: the hiring week. One of the attractive points of these course is to find a job later. Guess what? During the hiring week, the Ironhack staff helps you contact with companies and talk with people to get hired. Yeah, I was quite skeptical at first, but nowaday's I've got a job, so I am fully satisfied.
So, you just need to stay positive and work hard during these 8 weeks, and finding a job in Barcelona is almost 100% guarenteed.
I joined Ironhack only about a week after learning what a bootcamp even was. Call me rash, but I’d most likely not be a software engineer right now if I didn’t make such a decision. I’d only graduated college a couple months back with not much promise—no job, no real-world skills. I’d coded a bit before, taking a couple classes here and there in addition to prowling Code Academy, for it always had piqued my interest. It was only until after I left the Ivory Tower that I could see clearly and was determined to translate my passion for programming into a profession. For nearly 6 weeks I spent long hours teaching myself skills to meet requirements of relevant web-based positions, and finally started applying to jobs and sending resumes to black holes. With no luck, I stumbled upon Ironhack.
Ironhack is an 8-week (10 weeks including non-official curriculum) coding bootcamp that provides the necessary tools to get anyone started in the world of software development. By the nature of the curriculum, this is true. However, there is one thing that is implicitly required from you 100% of the time, all the time: commitment. If you commit to the process, you will be rewarded.
Now, the beauty of Ironhack is that the experience of making that commitment is fantastic. The staff are extremely pleasant, kind, and intelligent. Our teachers were extremely patient and were able to put complex topics into layman’s terms. Ironhack does a great job at making you feel like part of their family as well as connecting you to the Miami tech scene. Moreover, having a group to go through the process with you is extremely beneficial (“cohort” in bootcamp lingo). We had a small group that was able to create a strong bond and get along very well; you could always bounce an idea or ask for help from anyone in the cohort.
The Ironhack team was very supportive and influential in job support. We had at least 1-2 people per week guest lecture on their professional perspectives and experience, and were always invited to local meet-ups or tech events—there was always a large emphasis on networking and putting yourself out there. Between this, resume building, and an internal career fair, we were given a great jumpstart into job hunting and making ourselves marketable.
In the end, I had 3 job offers about a week after graduation. Now, everyone’s stories are different, but I can tell you one thing that will work. If you are willing to work your very hardest every single day and have a passion for what you’re doing, you will be rewarded. For instance, I made it my mission to do at least one coding challenge every day (starting a couple weeks into the program), listen to software engineering podcasts, read up on tech news, etc. If you wake up dreading going to class, it is probably not for you.
My advice to you before fully enrolling is to try out some programming on your own to see if you somewhat like it first due to how costly the camp is. With this in mind, it could only be beneficial to you if you have some familiarity with the concepts and terms—I found the redundancy and reiteration of topics I learned on my own and then subsequently in class to be enlightening. Overall, I was very happy with my experience at Ironhack—great people, working/learning environment, and support. I am excited to continue my career as a software engineer and will always be able to tip my hat at Ironhack for having a fantastic program.
My intention in coming to ironhack was to accelerate my capacity in understanding code - development procesess. I would definitely say that Ironhack has helped me accomplish that. What I like the most is that wether you are aware or not, the course has it's own pace that will naturally help you tacke each and one of the challenges at hand.
On top of that, add that you have a dedicated team of experts helping you everytime you're on class. Not just from the teachers in your course but from everyone in the building. Also, Ariel, founder of IH is in constant communication with everyone in the team which is great. All the staff is pretty attentive and willing to help.
This was definitely a challenge but it has definitely paid off, I've already applied most of my learnings in my day to day work / as well as generated some free-lance clients that have given me the opportunity to try put my new learned skills to the test.
Last but not least, Ironhack is truly a community, after graduation I still talk to my class members and from time to time to other Ironhack Members. It's up to you to keep communication and involvement in the scene but if you're up to it there is so much potential in networking and getting aid/support for anything.
Hello IronHackers is Unai Camino.
First of all thanks for the bootcamp, because is opening so many doors for me.
I would like to express how I felt during the bootcamp.
Also the material and the structure of the bootcamp in my opnion was perfect. To be honest it was the best course I’ve done.
The final project helped me to put into practice everything I’ve learnt. Alfonso and Alex were very willing to help even using Slack.
To be honest I am very pleased for being part of IronHack. Two weeks after finishing the bootcamp I got my first formal offer, now I am getting more opportunities and I can choose in which company I want to work.
I would like to explain and give a few advise to the next IronHacker generation:
I think is very important to do the prework with one month in advantge to get a solid knowledge of what you are going to study.
During the bootcamp I worked 12h/day weekend included and I would suggest study 14h/day. Seriously IronHack is just 8 weeks, and this is nothing, so it’s important to put in the hard work. The more you work the more you get it.
To make a good final project is very important to solid your knowledge, make a plan for it, ask teacher for advise and think about it before starting, think, think and think.
After bootcamp I came to London, I firmly recommended to go outside Spain, the good offers are here UK, Holland, Germany….
What I did to get a job, I download a list of all startup in London and I applied to them through emails to get interviews and test, didn’t stop until I got response. The same as the bootcamp 12h/ day sending emails, replying them, doing interviews…….
Get a plan and follow it through, if your planning doesn’t work change it, but continue with confidence in yourself until you get it.
My last point, companies know your level they don’t expect too much from you, what they want is motivation. show them your passion about programming and be very thankfull with them in every moment, that’s what worked for me and I think is the best approach.
My best wishes IronHackers
Work hard, Play hard
The admissions process was simple and practical, did a short informal coding challenge to prove I understood the basics of programming. The prework gave me a foundation to start the course. Loved the teaching style and the instructors are amazing, the TAs were also very helpful. After the bootcamp I received great guidance from career services in order to prepare my resume and linkedin profile. Kept coding and practicing on my own in order to prepare for the interviews. Then came the interviews, I felt prepared and confident. Landed a Jr. Full-stack developer job after 2.5 months of completing the bootcamp! The overall experience changed my life and helped me start a new career!!! Super happy with the whole thing.
I attended full-time web development bootcamp in Barcelona in the fall/winter of 2015. My original profession was not in technical field what so ever but I was always around computers and did few static websites.
Before I did the bootcamp I did studying on my own, becoming beginner at Python and trying out few other languages in my spare time, learning basics of databases.
I think this is what helped me a lot eventually and made the experience worth the expense and time.
Ironhack was a huge financial investment (the conversion rate from my currency to EU is not very favorable) so I was very worried if I would eventually find a job as developer - this was my goal from the beginning. TLDR - I succeeded so I'm very happy.
But also it was very challenging. There were few people in my cohort which I knew weren't very happy with the outcome. The truth is, you must really like problem solving and programming to make it work. Right now it seems like people think that "being a coder" makes you immediately cool and earns you a lot of money. I don't think it's the right attitude. Nothing is free and you will have to work very hard to do the bootcamp and once you start working as programmer profesionally, it's another challenge.
Do not underestimate the preparation period/pre-work for the course! Also, getting your feet wet at programming basics beforehand (I did it for about a year as a hobby, programmed simple program etc.) will help a TON! I feel like some people were really struggling because they underestimated this part.
I am writing this review, almost a year from starting the bootcamp. I am now full-time employee of mobile-focused company as part of their back-end Ruby on Rails team, but mostly I'm the front-end guy. I'm happy because I go to work every day to do what I want to do. Different people, different goals but for me it was definitely worth it.
If you think you'll come to bootcamp and leave as a fully-developed programmer, you're wrong. You will leave as junior developer at best. I'm not saying this as a negative thing. I'm just saying you have to be humble. I had a career before and I started out at junior position in new career. First months in my job were really, really hard. I had to make up for the lack of the experience, stayed late, did coding on the weekends. Now I feel like I reached junior level and feel more confident.
But the best part of the bootcamp? Apart from learning a lot and meeting interesting people, it gives you confidence. And in my case Ironhack team did a great job, especially in regards to job counseling. Ironhack helped me land my current job. And I'm not from Spain, they managed to secure job interview in my country thanks to their job advisor and I ended up working there.
Definitely worth the money and changed my life for better.
Before attending Ironhack Web Development Bootcamp, I was working at a law firm with the aspirations of becoming a lawyer. Right before deciding what law school to attend, I began doubting my decision to pursue law. I had a yearning for learning and creating that my chosen profession at the time could not provide. I had always dabbled with computers and very basic HTML/CSS but always thought that pursuing web development as a career, would require a bachelors in computer science. I started researching alternatives to the traditional route of web development education and found Ironhack. Right from the first interview, I knew that the program was right for me. What makes Ironhack distinct from many other bootcamps is that they gear you for success right from the first interview. Placement into a cohort is dependant on passing a technical interview. It is very important that a potential student meets the technical criteria before attending the bootcamp because the material and course is not easy! After placement, there is a very hefty load of pre-work which I believe is just as important as the 8-week course itself. Completion of the pre-work is essential! The 8-weeks that follow move fast but there is plenty of help and support along the way. Each topic is taught by building on what was previously learned. The the last 2 weeks, which are dedicated to the final project are when all the concepts are really ingrained into your memory. Overall, the experience is life changing to say the least. Ironhack really does care about their students and graduates. Upon graduation, you will have top-notch career support to get you working as a developer, and access to a HUGE network of Ironhack alumni.
It's difficult to explain what Ironhack is, you have to do it! They can tell you about the 6 weeks of classes and about the 2 weeks working 24/7 on your final project. But only by doing it you realize what it means and the opportunities that it will open for you. It's important to say that you need to work on it.
I came to Ironhack with some previous experience coding. Before that, I was working for a marketing agency as an intern creating web layouts, I was tired of always doing the same and because of the low salaries I decided to quit and explore other educational options. After much searching I found Ironhack. It sounded challenging but I decided to apply.
Ironhack is not an introductory course, but neither is a specialization one. It's kind of what you want it to be. I would have to say two very important things: you need to love what you're doing and you need to have some previous experience. Frustration moments are inevitable during the bootcamp, but it is important to overcome them and take it with humor (something that I certainly did during these 8 weeks).
Of course, this is not something to try to discourage prospective students. On the contrary, if you like this world, doing the Ironhack is probably one of the best decisions you can ever take.
Ironhack do not guarantee you a job, but definitely it will help you finding it. During the Hiring Week you will have many interviews with different companies. In my case I´m currently in three hiring process and I have already received one offer. It's important to say that it didn't came alone: you have to work a lot to achieve it.
"Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story" - Josh Shipp
Imagine what you can do with an entire company of caring adults at Ironhack!
First off coding isn't for everyone. I don't believe "everyone should learn to code". I knew I wanted to code for a living so a bootcamp was the right choice for me. College is also not for everyone, but if you want to learn to code (even if you are in college) a bootcamp should be mandatory!
Ironhack wasn't the only bootcamp I applied to, but it was the only one that I felt I was talking to people who weren't just clocking in like the other bootcamps. From my first interview I loved the staff at Ironhack. They were people who treated me like a person not a prospective client. They helped me through the decision of which bootcamp was right for me, knowing it might not be with them! Thankfully for me it was.
The downsides are:
- 8 weeks is a really short amount of time, and there are some topics I think should have been covered.
- Miami is still finding itself as a tech hub, so competition for true junior developer positions is tough.
That being said:
Ironhack has a process that works. All you have to do is trust it and put in the work.
Every person on the entire staff cares and does everything they can to assist. From the first interview to the job placement help they aren't just doing a job, they want to help you change your life.
I am part of the Ironhack family for life and couldn’t be more proud of it.
I always wanted to learn how to code when a friend of mine talked to me about Ironhack.
I had no idea what a bootcamp was so i decided to investigate a little bit.
When I saw all the good reviews it had I thought it was the perfect time to go through it, and I wasn´t dissapointed at all. Now I turn my head back and realize the amount of stuff learned is just huge.
I think enrolling Ironhack was one of the best choices I´ve made.
I would highly recommend Ironhack to anyone who wants to learn about programming, beginner or not.
I ended up at Ironhack sort of by coincidence, and I am glad I did.
I was considering many web development bootcamps and I hardly knew anyhting about the field at the time so I made an uninformed choice based on convenience and I chose Ironhack. Lucky for me, Ironhack turned out to be exactly what I hoped my web development bootcamp experience would be.
There are other Bootcamps with bigger reputations, more prolific presence on the internet, or more famous graduates, but none will provide the educaitonal experience that Ironhack will. Don't be seduced by bold statistics or sexy names. IMO, smaller organizations care more about teaching you.
Ironhack truly gives their students the opportunity to go 0-60. They do not expect or require students to come in with any knowledge of coding (which is why I went to a coding bootcamp in the first place, duh) and they don't let anyone fall behind. While other for-profit educational institutions allocate more of their resources to marketing, branding, and cultivating relationships with hiring partners, Ironhack focuses on giving their students the skills they need to succeed in their new career.
I'm not saying hiring partners aren't important. But hiring partners won't matter much if your coding bootcamp doesn't teach you how to code at a professional level.
Mine did. How about yours?
My name is Juan Luis and I have been involved in working with comics my whole life. I've worked in printing companies and as an old school graphic designer.
The world is changing really fast and design changes even faster. Nowadays most of it is oriented to web, and I want to be part of that change.
Among the existing options, I was searching for one that provides me an educational experience close to what the market is demanding, and I chose Ironhack.
Frustration and fatigue are two big issues that you have to deal with during the whole bootcamp. It was really challenging because I haven't wrote a line of code before and I came from a very visual world. In this world, you need other approach to face the problems you find.
Ironhack will not leave you indifferent. The immersion in the course is complete, there is a moment that you realize that your world moves only around Ironhack.For me, it has been a really enriching and powerful experience. I am very very satisfied and would not replace it with anything.
I felt great by doing something which involved a continuos challenge. It really motivates me. And also, it required -and it will be unfair to forget it- a lot of moral support from my friends and family.
Some good tips I'll recommend you to follow before the bootcamp: caffeine is your friend, get rid off past frustrations and preconceived ideas, add illusion and tons of patience.
From a designer point of view it had been a really enriching to learn everything that involves a web design.
I had no idea about programming, but a strong eager to learn it, so recommended by a friend I joined Ironhack, and was definitively a great idea. Now I am able to develop a full project using several different languages in both parts, back and front end. If you are thinking in learn programming from zero, like me, I highly recommend you join Ironhack!
Enrolling Ironhack had been one of the hardest decisions of my life. I left my job, my city, my family and my comfort zone to face something totally new for me.
Well, after finishing these 2 intense and crazy months, I can say it is an experience worth living. It takes you to the limit, both physically and mentally, but the level of satisfaction you reach is huge.
Without any doubt one of the best things are your classmates. It's amazing how in such a short period of time they became your friends, confidants... people you want to have by your side the rest of your life. Together we have cried, laughed, got frustrated, felt great, but always together and supporting each other.
It is specially good to discover how far you can go. Honestly, it is much further than you think at first. All of this thanks to the incredible teachers and the Ironhack team, who were always listening to our needs and tried to improve every day.
For all of this I can say without hesitation that I will repeat the experience of making a bootcamp at Ironhack.
Joining Ironhack Barcelona was one of the best decisions of my life. I coded 12-14 hours per day, weekends included, and loved every second of it. I learned more during 2 months than in 5 years in university. The people were a big part of the experience being so fantastic - I was lucky to be able to study with 13 motivated peers, very inspiring and engaging teachers and helpful teaching assistants.
As this is not always obvious in the male-dominated tech industry, it’s worth highlighting that during 2 months I didn’t think about my gender even once, since nobody ever gave me any weird comments or treated me differently for being female.
During/after the bootcamp I received several offers for jobs and interviews in Barcelona, and got a new job in my home country. As I work as UX designer, I feel like the bootcamp has greatly improved my career, since I have now the capabilities to implement my own designs (at least front-end-wise) and the readiness to start to work as junior developer as well. I have also formed a clearer picture about all the development technologies out there, and know what to start learning next. I can highly recommend Ironhack to anyone who wants to work as a developer, or who needs better understanding about development for other reasons.
Ironhack has been the most amazing educational experience. This was the best career decision I could have made. Ironhack was the best choice for entry and transition into the tech world. This comes from someone who graduated from college five months ago and didn’t have any background in programming. Like others I tried learning myself but it’s not as effective. I live in Virginia and could have chosen to attend General Assembly or Code Mojo, but the reviews and reputation were not nearly as good as Ironhack’s.
My journey began when I started reading all these reviews and I couldn’t understand why a company would have consistently five stars. After my extensive online trolling, I decided to submit my email via the Ironhack website. Once submitted, Alia (Admissions) scheduled an interview and we spoke for over an hour on the phone. I was sold. Her personality, charisma is rarely found. Once I was finished interviewing with her, I spoke to Ariel (Co-founder), who was also incredibly charismatic and genuinely interested in how Ironhack could help me accomplish my educational and career goals. The third part of the interview process is with the Jedi Master: Nizar. I cannot emphasize enough how patient and compassionate he is. Nizar wants you to not only learn, but he wants you to succeed. I saw that in our first interview because I was incredibly nervous.
Once accepted, I paid my deposit and was sent the pre-work. The pre-work is essential because if you have any questions or concerns, that is your time to ask. Ironhack will also do Google hangouts to help. You should also attend week 0 (before week 1 starts) to ask any questions. During the bootcamp, there were many times that took me longer to understand certain concepts. But Nizar, Josh (Assistant Instructor) and my classmates were always there to explain the concepts with such an incredible amount of patience. Most importantly, both Nizar and Josh never made me feel like I wasn’t good enough.
In career terms, Daniel is your man (placements manager). He knows many tech companies and has several connections. Daniel will help you with your resume, and most importantly build your own brand, trust him he’s awesome.
The way Ironhack has laid out the learning process is: weeks 1-6 is learning (go to the website to see the breakdown), 7 and 8 are to build your own web application, which to be honest: It was difficult, and stressful. But it was completely worth it. Everyone has to their web app during the Hackshow which was so much fun! We had over 180+ people that came to see what my fellow students and I had created (good networking).
Even after finishing the bootcamp, I know there is so much to learn. The good news is that Ironhack gave me the tools to learn things on my own.
Just remember to trust the Ironhack process. They know what they are doing, and it works.
I really hate school. I have always liked learning and making things but the way that I was taught at school really deterred me from pursuing any of my interests. I tried for around a year to teach myself to code from videos on different sites like Udacity and similar ones. I felt that although I had gained a lot of individual abilities and skills, I still felt uncomfortable building a deployable and usable application. Even worse I felt that I would never feel comfortable applying for an actual job with my set of knowledge. I decided to join Ironhack and it was the best decision I have ever made. The facility is awesome and was a fantastic place to both work as well as cool down during breaks. The rest of the students were all pretty cool and smart for the most part which also made the experience even better. The course does not only teach coding. It also actively ensures that you connect to members of the local tech community. Furthermore, they help you write your resume, make your linkedin, lecture you on interviews, and do countless other things to make you more easily hireable. I have never felt so confident in getting a job in my life. However, the absolute best part of Ironhack to me was the staff. It was a bit of a family and every single person in it was just on another level of nice. Even more than nice though we were always laughing and joking and getting genuinely enthusiastic about programming. The owner of Ironhack Ariel was around a lot of the time and he is one of the most genuine and respectable people I have met. The staff all around were just great people and great teachers. I learned so much and feel like I am picking a job now as opposed to finding one. Even further, I feel confident to run my own applications and sites all by myself. As I said, I hate school but love Ironhack. They teach you to actually create things instead of blind learning. It feels like more of an arts and crafts class than a science. If you are not passionate about what you are doing right now you should sign up.
About me . . .
Background: Customer Services, IT Support, Communications
Previous Courses: Udacity
All the TAs were dedicated and were willing to explain things multiple times. At times I thought that they were overworked. There was only 11 of us; it was one of the smallest class sizes that I have ever had. However, due to poor filtering and selection of candidates the bootcamp had candidates of mixed abilities.
At times this was a real positive, I was sat next to Ivy League graduates and very capable web designers and multimedia producers. However, I felt that this was unfair on those who were quicker as they did not receive the attention that they paid for. Everybody has their own pace and everybody was better at one part of the curriculum or another.
At the beginning and end of every week we answered surveys. These allowed us to communicate changes that we wanted and Ironhack was very professional, responsive and flexible in making those changes when we asked for them. I cannot fault their customer service during the bootcamp. It was very impressive.
Hiring week and The Final Show was a disappointment. The people that had been assembled to view our projects were not in a position to hire. They were looking for Front End Web Developers with a lot more experience. They neither returned our emails or hired more than one person from the bootcamp (who eventually lost their job due to lack of funding). If Ironhack wants to improve it must offer solvent companies that actually have open positions.
Ultimately, I am glad that I have completed the course and learnt a great deal. The subsequent follow-up and job assistance was disappointing. I feel that an extended bootcamp with more focus on a portfolio or greater attention to career support would have helped. I got four interviews last year, three in Spain and one in London, England. Something definitely worked but I feel that this was not necessarily due to the career support that I was offered. I hope to continue my hunt later this Summer.
There are few things that can change your life completely; where you live, your significant other, your work, etc. For me, Ironhack was one of these things. Through all of the 20 hour days, hundreds of coffee’s and endless frustration, I became a programmer. The experience was one of the most difficult, but most rewarding of my life. I found a job the night of the Hackshow, and I am now working as a Growth Hacker for a consultancy based out of London, named Earlybird. I’m able to use the skills I’ve attained from Ironhack to code TwitterBots, and implement metric tracking tools. I’ve also been working with Dockbit, a deployment app built on rails, building the front-end for their metric displays.
The teachers in the program are incredibly knowledgable, and have a way of making you believe that you’re able to do everything. Along with them, the students, and outside network of companies and entrepreneurs available to Ironhack, make for an incredibly community that I am proud to be a part of.
Enrolling in Ironhack is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, and I hope it becomes yours too.
I've been a student in the Barcelona Bootcamp in October 2015.
This world is exciting but at the same time you understand how important to learn fast is.
This is why I joined this bootcamp. Unfortunately I missed the first two days, so I missed some basic concepts, that's why the begginning has been hard and sometimes overwhelming but in a week after I spent all my week-end studying and making exercises I've been able to catch up with the other guys.
The course is very intensive so in order not to loose track of the program you'll have to work hard and make a lot of exercises. One of the most important aspects of the learning process is that you'll acquire the method in order to face and solve the errors will be shown continuosly by your terminal.
The professors have been great and they were often available to help you also in extra hours.
All the staff was supporting but I think the greatest aspect has been to be all days in touch with my course-mates. Some of them became some of my dearest friends and we keep seeing each other every week and we keep talking also about codes as at the beginnings.
If before joining Ironhack I knowed nobody that was a coder now I can say that I'm constantly sarrounded by the coding world and I'm learning every day.
As an ex-student you are invited togheter to other people to meetup events and Ironhack also organize free events in the new campus such as workshops where you can be introduced to new technologies and where you can meet new people all time.
If you are looking for a new start in this field I suggest people to think seriously in engaging a course like this.
BTW, Barcelona is an incredible city, that's why I still here. The next course will be about catalan.
Four years ago I finished my architecture degree, with the luck of finishing just in time for the crisis, when it was impossible to find work. Since then I haven’t stopped working and studying: I enrolled at University again (law degree), studied German, I worked at Zara and I've been a teacher for a while. I've spent the last years lurching from one thing to another not finding my place. Six months ago, however, I heard about Ironhack by chance. During the course I haven’t just met amazing people, but also I learned more than what I thought it was possible in just two months.
I had never heard of anything related with programming, and today I work in Cabify developing their mobile application. Thanks to Ironhack Hiring Week I found a job that I enjoy and something that I love. It has not been easy but definitely worth it.
Our latest on Ironhack
It’s that time again! A time to reflect on the year that is coming to an end, and a time to plan for what the New Year has in store. While it may be easy to beat yourself up about certain unmet goals, one thing is for sure: you made it through another year! And we bet you accomplished more than you think. Maybe you finished your first Codecademy class, made a 30-day Github commit streak, or maybe you even took a bootcamp prep course – so let’s cheers to that! But if learning to code is still at the top of your Resolutions List, then taking the plunge into a coding bootcamp may be the best way to officially cross it off. We’ve compiled a list of stellar schools offering full-time, part-time, and online courses with start dates at the top of the year. Five of these bootcamps even have scholarship money ready to dish out to aspiring coders like you.Continue Reading →
Welcome to our last monthly coding bootcamp news roundup of 2016! Each month, we look at all the happenings from the coding bootcamp world from new bootcamps to fundraising announcements, to interesting trends we’re talking about in the office. This December, we heard about a bootcamp scholarship from Uber, employers who are happily hiring bootcamp grads, investments from New York State and a Tokyo-based staffing firm, diversity in tech, and as usual, new coding schools, courses, and campuses!Continue Reading →
Miami coding bootcamp Ironhack recently launched an intensive course in UX/UI Design, where students learn everything they need to know about user research, rapid prototyping, user testing, and front-end web development to land their first job in UX design. We sat down with instructor (and UX superstar) Jacqueline Pastore on their first day of class to find out what makes a great UX/UI Designer (think: listening skills, empathy and communication), how the school produces User Experience Unicorns by incorporating HTML/Bootstrap skills into the curriculum, and the teaching style that future students can expect at Ironhack Miami.
How did you become a successful UX Designer? Did you get a degree in “UX Design?”
I’m a career changer! My background was first in film and creative writing, and I worked in the film industry in Miami before I ended up in Boston, temping as a project manager for a venture capital company with an incubator focused on Harvard and MIT startups. I learned from really smart people about computers, software, graphic design, and project management; and IBM had their Lotus Notes usability labs next door, so I got to participate as a usability tester. I went back to grad school at Bentley University for my Masters in Human Factors in Information Design, and had a magical career doing ethnography and user research at Microsoft, Staples, Adidas, and Reebok, and UX design for Fidelity Investments, Staples, the Federal Reserve, JP Morgan Chase, H&R Block, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and Zumba Fitness.
Two years ago, I moved back to Miami and started my own product, UX Gofer, which is a UX research tool.
After spending years learning User Experience and even getting a Masters degree, why do you believe in the bootcamp model as an effective way to learn UX Design?
I went through my grad program very quickly (in one year), so I believe that you can learn this material very quickly and then continue learning on the job. That’s exactly why I’ve had a successful career, by specifically going after different verticals, technologies, and platforms. If I hadn’t used something before, I wanted to try it. I believe that you can learn the fundamentals quickly and then refine them throughout your career.
What made you excited to work at Ironhack in particular- what stands out about Ironhack to you as a professional UX Designer?
It was the people. I was referred to Ironhack by someone I’ve respected in the industry for years, and they were right. The people running Ironhack are what convinced me to work on this UX Bootcamp.
Did you have teaching experience prior to teaching at the bootcamp? What is different about teaching at a coding bootcamp?
I teach now at the University of Miami, at conferences, and bootcamps. At Ironhack, my personal teaching style is to lecture very little, and focus on hands-on work. It’s important to know the foundations and principles and science behind what we do, but at the end of the day, you have to deliver. So we spend the majority of our days doing activities, which means running surveys, doing interviews, running usability tests, designing products. I think it’s so important for students to create their portfolio pieces throughout the bootcamp, instead of just having one portfolio project at the end of the course. For someone breaking into the UX community, the portfolio is how students demonstrate their knowledge and how they approach projects.
This is Ironhack’s first foray into UX/UI design courses! Tell us about the curriculum.
Marcelo Paiva and I created the Ironhack curriculum based on what we would have wanted to learn in a bootcamp if we were to just get started in this field. We follow the user and product development lifecycles to make sure that our students have all the skills they need to be useful right now in the current marketplace.
We start with user research – how to talk to your target market, the methodology behind that research, what to do with that data, deliverables, and turning that data into concept design.
We move into information architecture and interaction design, with low-fidelity all the way into high-fidelity, and micro interaction models. We use Invision, Sketch, and Principal as the tools for that piece of the curriculum. Then we move into visual design for mobile and web, because they are two different beasts.
Then we move into front-end development, where students learn how to implement the designs they’re creating. This is what the industry is looking for right now: the unicorns that can do the HTML and bootstrap to implement their own designs. That will make Ironhack students really effective and marketable.
Finally, we move into individual projects. Ironhack students are building portfolio pieces from Day One, but towards the end of the course, they work on more specific projects and breakouts for additional topics that we haven’t covered yet.
I’m so super excited about this bootcamp and I think it’s really valuable.
Is the push for designers to learn to code the biggest trend in the UX/UI field right now?
It depends on where our graduates choose to work. As part of a smaller team, a UX Designer will have to be more of a generalist, and need to do research, design, and development. If they’re working for a larger organization, they can specialize in a particular field within UX like ethnography, or mobile design, or design thinking. As a whole, I think careers in the UX community are becoming both broader and more specialized. The UX community is both coming together and breaking into niches.
How many instructors, TAs, and/or mentors do you have? Is there an ideal student:teacher ratio?
The student:teacher ratio for the UX/UI course is 10:1. Many of the required activities are tackled in groups among the students in groups of 3 or 4. As the principal instructor, I lead and teach the main flow of the course, and we have subject matter experts and mentors come in to teach sections of the curriculum that are more specialized e.g. design thinking, front-end development, etc.
Can you tell us a little bit about the ideal student for Ironhack’s UX/UI Design Bootcamp? What’s your class like right now? And how do the UX students differ from the coding bootcamp students?
The ideal student for the UX/UI Design Bootcamp is someone who possesses strong communication skills, can use empathy to jump into other people’s shoes, and has a passion for user-experience. The current class is a wonderful mix of many professional backgrounds: for example, some profiles include a former Marketing Manager for Sony Music, a Research Director from the non-profit space, and an MBA grad looking to use their previous Business Process skills to crack into the UX sector.
This is a full-time bootcamp, but how many hours a week do you expect your students to commit to Ironhack Miami?
In addition to the daily schedule of 9am to 6pm, we expect students to spend approximately 20 hours outside of class time to work on assignments and projects- so about ~65 hours/week.
In a UX bootcamp, is the style largely project based? Can you give us an example?
Yes, students will work on 2 projects during the first 6 weeks (one individual project and one group project). These projects are a sum of the individual units we cover on a week-by-week basis. The capstone of the course is a 2-week final project that each student completes individually, as they go through the entire user and product development lifecycles. The result at the end of the course is that each student has 3 prototypes that they can use as portfolio pieces moving forward.
What’s the goal for a student that graduates from Ironhack (in terms of career and ability)? For example, will they be prepared for a junior UX/UI role? A senior role?
The goal of this course is to provide students the skills to carry out a UX/UI design process from beginning to end in multiple circumstances with varying goals. As a result, students will be prepared for junior and entry-level roles in UX/UI fields, depending on which part of that process most interests them.
For our readers who are beginners, what resources or meetups do you recommend for aspiring bootcampers in Miami?
We also really love the free Hack Design course which is a fantastic resource for someone who wants to delve more into this world!
Is there anything else that you want to make sure our readers know about Ironhack’s new UX/UI Design Bootcamp?
If you have any more questions about the course, coding, or Ironhack in general, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to help you figure out what next steps might work best for your profile and individual goals!
If you're a college student, an incoming freshman, or a teacher with a summer break, you have tons of summer coding bootcamp options, as well as several code schools that continue their normal offerings in the summer months.
Wondering what a college student or a school teacher can do with coding skills?Continue Reading →
We’ve picked five cities which are up-and-coming in the tech scene and have a great range of coding bootcamp options. When you think of coding bootcamps you might first think of cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle and Austin. But those aren’t your only options. There are now bootcamps in almost 100 cities across the U.S.
Ironhack is an immersive iOS and Web Development bootcamp that started in Spain and has now expanded to Miami. With a hiring network and happy alumni, Ironhack is a great Florida bootcamp option. But what exactly does it take to get into Ironhack? We caught up with the Ironhack team to learn everything you need to know about the Ironhack application and interview process, including how long it will take, their current acceptance rate, and a sneak peek at the questions you'll hear in the interview.Continue Reading →
(updated August 2016)
Slide across the roof of the General Lee, we’re heading south of the Mason-Dixon to check out the best coding bootcamps in the southern United States. There are some fantastic code schools from the Carolinas to Georgia and all the way to Texas, and we’re covering them all. Talk about Southern Hospitality!Continue Reading →
In this Student Spotlight, we talk to IronHack graduate Gorka Magana about his experience at the bootcamp based in Spain. Read on to learn about his application process, the project he created during the course, and how IronHack helped him nail a job as an iOS developer at Rushmore.fm!
What were you doing before you started at IronHack?
I was a freelancer for a year, focused on web front-end development. I worked at an agency before, also for a year. In terms of education, I didn't study anything related to computer science before Ironhack.
Did you have a technical background before you applied?
I’ve been developing since I was 14, and all that I know is self-taught, and not in any concrete platform, but having projects of my own where the need of learning more every time drove me to get them done.
Why did you choose IronHack? Did you apply to any other bootcamps?
I chose IronHack basically because it took very good advantage of Google Adwords so I could not avoid reaching its website and getting interested on it. They offered me a merit scholarship so I finally made the decision. I have never applied to anything like IronHack.
What was the application process like?
The application process was good. The interviews were more of culture-fit and they were not much separated in time with each other, so it took less than a month to have it all approved.
What was your cohort like? Did you find diversity in age, gender etc?
It was quite good for me. There was clear diversity in age, but not in gender at all, as we were just men. About the level, it was not as fair is it should’ve been, but in general the class was able to follow the course’s process.
Who were your instructors? What was the teaching style like and how did it work with your learning style?
There were many instructors, so trying to give feedback about all of them would be endless. The teaching style was agile, asking for feedback continuously and adapting the course to it, so it made the experience really enriching. I’ve never had a teaching style like this before and it really fit with me.
Did you ever experience burnout? How did you push through it?
I did not really experience burnout, but there was a week, when we learned about using Core Data, that I got really tired because it was boring to me. It was the “ugly” side of iOS development, but the professor was so good that I got it all and learned a lot those 5 days.
Can you tell us about a time when you were challenged in the class? How did you succeed?
For me the challenge was not in a concrete situation, but in following the course’s speed. It was the first time for me to need to learn so fast and so much.
Tell us about a project you're proud of that you made during Ironhack.
I’m currently working on an app, which is the one I started at IronHack as the final project, but I didn’t have time enough to finish it, so I’m still developing it in collaboration with my partner, who is a Graphic Designer and the one who designed the app. I will provide links as soon as it is released. It is called Snapreminder. Stay tuned! ;)
What are you up to today? Where are you working and what does your job entail?
I’m working at Rushmore.fm as a Lead iOS developer, building the new application we’ll be releasing soon. I’m currently the only iOS developer, but I’ll lead the team when it grows. I got this job because they contacted me directly.
Did you feel like IronHack prepared you to get a job in the real world?
It totally prepared me for a real world job. It was worth the money for me. I don’t regret at all.
Have you continued your education after you graduated?
Not formally, but I keep learning every day and trying to enrich myself.
Looking for coding bootcamp exclusive scholarships, discounts and promo codes? Course Report has exclusive discounts to the top programming bootcamps!
Questions? Email email@example.com!Continue Reading →
After working at an IT company managing programmers, Jaime Munoz decided that he wanted to learn coding skills, so he enrolled in IronHack, a coding bootcamp in Madrid (with locations in Miami and Barcelona). Jaime tells us why he chose IronHack, the technical and soft skills he learned in his course and the mentors who have helped him along the way.
What were you up to before deciding to enroll in IronHack? Did you have a technical background before applying?
Before being a programmer I was Project Manager in a big IT company. I hired programmers, and managed their work. After some time I began to be more and more interested in the work those programmers were doing. So much that I decided to quit my job and learn to code. I did a Master's degree of 400 hours in CICE (a IT school in Madrid) with the great luck to have an amazing teacher called Devta Singh. I learned much more than just coding from him. He showed me how to face the problem, find the better solution, and how to succeed on it. It was a personal revelation, and since this moment I knew that I wanted to be a programmer.
Was IronHack the only bootcamp you applied to? What about IronHack convinced you to go there (the languages they taught, instructors, price etc)?
IronHack was my first and last choice. Honestly, I didn't knew many bootcamps, but the main reason were the instructors and the great professionals they talked very good about the course. Many of the coders I admire like Keyvan Akbary or Carlos Blé were involved and interested on the bootcamp. This was enough to make the choice.
Can you talk about a time when you got stuck in the class and how you pushed through?
Fortunately I did not got stuck a lot in class, but when I did not understood something I asked for more explanations and I received it immediately and solved the problem.
What were your classmates and instructors like?
They were all amazing. I guess I was very very very lucky on that point, because all my classmates were amazing. Not only because they were friendly (they really were), but because they were skilled and interested to push like I was.
It's amazing when you share such experience with people they think and like the same thinks like you, because it pushed the level very high.
The instructors were also great. Very friendly and open to discuss or try whatever we asked for. I think they can't imagine how thankful I am. But not only with the teachers or students. Also with Ironhack's staff. They did everything possible to make us receive what we needed.
Tell us about your final project! What does it do, what technologies did you use, how long did it take, etc?
What are you working on now? Do you have a job as a developer? What does it entail?
Would you have been able to learn what you now know without IronHack?
Maybe I could be able to learn the technical part, but there is no way to learn it in 2 months without a bootcamp. It's just too much information to handle it alone. Besides, there is much more than the technical knowledge that you receive in IronHack. You also get a lot of contacts, friends, experience, knowhow and the most important thing: a perspective of what you don't know yet.
Marta Fonda needed to improve her web development skills in order to compete for jobs at her dream companies, so she enrolled in IronHack, an 8-week intensive programming course for developers and entrepreneurs. We talk to Marta about how she succeeded in the class and got a job as a front-end engineer at floqq.com!
What were you up to before deciding to enroll in IronHack? Did you have a technical background before applying?
When I decided to enroll in IronHack I had just finished my degrees in Software Engineering and Business Administration. When I finished my studies I realized that my background in mobile and web development was not enough, so I was looking for an opportunity in a company that would bet on me.
I'm a very motivated person and, in fact, I interviewed with companies like Google and IBM but I did not have enough experience. It was around that time that I found Ironhack bootcamp and I decided to try it.
I had technical background as a software engineer but most of my experience programming was based on languages such C, Java or SQL. I needed to improve my skills in order to become a better developer.
Was IronHack the only bootcamp you applied to? What about IronHack convinced you to go there?
This was the only bootcamp I applied to and the main reason was that they were looking for people like me. Motivated people who had the drive to become a great professional and were only lacking the opportunity to show their potential. They train people in modern languages like Ruby.
This was not only an awesome opportunity to learn Rails, but also to be in an environment that is difficult to find in other places. I was learning from the very best professionals and from an incredibly talented group of students.
Can you talk about a time when you got stuck in the class and how you pushed through?
IronHack is an intensive bootcamp, you must be sure that you are able to push through any problem you have and my classmates were an important point to lean on. On one of my very first days at IronHack I was having trouble understanding one of the concepts that we were covering and it was through teamwork with my other classmates that we were all able to understand it.
My classmates were as motivated as me so it was easy to find people to continue programming on weekends or after the class. It was great for me.
What were your classmates and instructors like?
In this bootcamp I was surrounded by the very best professionals from all over the country, so I can only say that it was a pleasure to convert their knowledge into mine. Being able to share this experience with my classmates was awesome. If I could have the opportunity to do another Ironhack bootcamp it would be amazing. They are the fastest two months I've ever lived.
Tell us about your final project! What does it do, what technologies did you use, how long did it take, etc?
At the end of those two weeks I had a huge frontend project, which was more than I'd ever expected. Thanks to my hard work and efforts in this project I was one of the finalists in the Hackshow (the IronHack final show where the finalists can show what they have made in two weeks) and I could show my project to more than a hundred people.
What are you working on now? Do you have a job as a developer? What does it entail?
Thanks to the Hackshow two days after the end of IronHack I was working at Floqq.com, the biggest online education marketplace in spanish all over the world. Nowadays, I'm frontend developer and product manager at Floqq.com and I'm working doing what I love to do.
IronHack gave me the opportunity that other companies didn't give me. I had no experience and nobody wanted to hire me and now I'm still learning and improving my skills in the best place I could ever find.
Would you have been able to learn what you now know without IronHack?
It would be impossible to learn what I've learned in IronHack in two months on my own. But it's not only about the development skills that I've improved in those two months, it´s also about the personal skills that I´ve been able to develop and the opportunity to meet the best IT professionals from all around Spain. IronHack was just a 180º experience that changed my whole life, and that allowed me to do what I believe I was born to do.
IronHack is an 8-week coding bootcamp with campuses in Madrid, Barcelona, and soon, Miami! We talked with cofounder Ariel Quinones about their Rails curriculum, how they attract American students to "study abroad" in Spain, and what sets Ironhack apart.
Tell us about how IronHack started.
I come from a finance background- I’m originally from Puerto Rico, but spent 5 years in New York. My cofounder Gonzalo comes from the construction industry; he’s a civil engineer and he built all sorts of major infrastructure projects in Europe. Having said that, I come from a household of educators. Both of my parents were teachers when I was growing up and my father actually started a private university in Puerto Rico 20 years ago that started with 15 students and now they have 6 campuses and over 10,000 students enrolled.
I think education was always a part of my DNA and I wanted to do something after completing my education. I met Gonzalo during our MBA; we were both at Wharton. He also wanted to do something in education in Europe and possibly in ed-tech as well. During those 2 years of the MBA we were iterating ideas, constantly and I think had the same issue that most non-technical founders have in the U.S., which is having brilliant “ideas” but once you get to the point where you need to execute them and produce an MVP, you’re not able to do it. It’s incredibly challenging to find a cofounder and it’s incredibly challenging from a cost and also from an operational perspective to outsource the development.
Gonzalo and I took a 2-day course at Wharton where they taught us to do very basic Rails. Even though we didn’t acquire the skills necessary to build our MVP, we were excited about the possibility of teaching both technical and non-technical people these skills through a highly intensive and compressed time period. After that experience, we started looking at the boot camp model. At that point, the earlier ones were starting to get a little bit of traction. We thought it would be interesting to do this somewhere abroad. I’d done a lot of business in Latin America so I had some ties to the region. Gonzalo, my partner is Spanish, so our first bet was Spain.
Would you say that IronHack is more geared towards makers or technical cofounders as opposed to people who want to get a job at an established company as a junior developer?
We’ve had both profiles. We’ve been selective in the people we admit from a technical background. We’ve been hesitant so far to say “go from total newbie to professional web developer in X weeks.” Our approach is appealing to folks that are maybe already in close touch with technology and code. Developers that want to professionalize their skills and take them to the next level, or people that are very smart, analytical and are looking for a hardcore experience that will allow them to learn from these types of people.
When was the first cohort?
The first cohort was in October of 2013. Each course is 8 weeks long.
What was the biggest lesson that you learned after running your first cohort?
One thing we learned is that the 8 weeks just fly by. When you plan for people to be coding 10 to 12 hours a day- that seems like a lot but every day goes by so quickly.
The other thing we learned was that no matter how much you filter to make sure you don’t have disparate levels prior to arriving, people just learn differently, at different velocities with different learning styles. So within the structure of 8 weeks we needed different exercises and flexibility to give people the chance to learn right at their own pace, while ensuring that everyone’s learning fundamentals.
Do you have students do pre-work before they get to IronHack?
Yeah, they do 100 hours of pre-work.
What cities are you live in now?
We’re live in Madrid and Barcelona and we’re launching in Miami in September.
Could you tell us about the tech scenes in the locations that you’re live in- Madrid and Barcelona?
People love to come to Spain and study abroad. It’s a country that has a lot to offer from the lifestyle perspective; you know, you have great food, the parties… study abroad in Spain has been an integral part of Spanish society for many years, within the traditional higher education arena. In our case, we’re trying to position Spain in a similar fashion. In the first cohorts we trained a lot of people from Spain, but going forward we want to make it attractive for foreigners to come over and enjoy everything that Spain has to offer and at the same time, learn how to code.
Barcelona is very exciting because you have people from all over the world that are launching startups there. Obviously within the EU there’s a lot of mobility; if you’re a European Union citizen, you can go anywhere without any sort of visa requirements. And I think a lot of northern Europeans and people from Germany for instance, love Barcelona for weather reasons, the great beaches, the lifestyle… so a lot of them are coming over to Barcelona to launch their own ventures here. In Barcelona, the tech ecosystem is thriving and it’s very international. There’s a lot of mobile startups that are getting traction over there.
Madrid is still very much a cosmopolitan city and we’re seeing a lot of traction in the startup space. It’s obviously an emerging ecosystem, nowhere near Silicon Valley, but we’re seeing early stage companies get either acquired or go for substantial rounds of financing here in Madrid, which is ultimately a driver for our type of business. Companies need funding to employ engineers and we’re seeing that capital flow to early stage projects.
Do you get interest from people in the U.S.?
Yes; right now we’re getting a lot of interest from people all over the world, including the U.S. I interviewed a few candidates from the Northeast, we have another student from California who’s enrolling in our June course.
Is it possible for someone from the U.S. to complete IronHack and then work in Spain or in the EU?
Yes, it’s definitely possible. It’s not as challenging as someone from Europe to go to the U.S. For sure, there’s still costs that the employer has to incur but it has nowhere near the costs and all the red tape that you have to deal with in the U.S.
Has IronHack raised any money?
No, right now we’re bootstrapped and we want to keep it that way as long as possible.
So tell us what programming languages students are mastering at IronHack; tell us about the teaching style.
We have two courses that are live right now: Web and Mobile.
I’d say 90% of our content is practical. We’re big believers in the flipped classroom model, so we want to make sure that we reduce the amount of theory time to the extent possible. We get them all the resources, videos and exercises to complete at home prior to arriving here. While they’re here we give them homework and assignments for the weekend so we can reduce that theory time.
The technology demands in Spain are very fragmented. It’s not like San Francisco where you can produce a gazillion Ruby on Rails grads every year and they’ll be hired by Rails startups. Here, we’re seeing some demand for Rails startups – but also Python, PHP, etc.
Do you expect that after completing your course, a graduate would be able to learn Python or PHP on their own?
A hundred percent, and we’re seeing that. Even though love the technologies we work with, we’re not obsessed with them either. To us they’re an instrument to teach good development practices. I think one thing that differentiates us from boot camps is our focus and obsession with good coding practices. We’re obsessed with testing, clean code and good design patterns. We’ve done our job if the student get a good background in technology but more importantly, take away those good coding practices that they apply to whatever language or framework they use.
Is the mobile class structured the same way?
Same format, exact same structure; slightly higher requirements to be accepted. In order to be accepted into the mobile course, you already have to program with another object-oriented language. Our first course is focused on IOS development.
Do you think you’ll ever do an Android course?
We’ll probably do Android in the near future.
How many students do you have in each cohort?
Right now we’ve capped at 20. We can probably go a bit more than that but we don’t want to do more than that.
How many instructors do you have per class?
We always like to have a ratio of at least 6 students per teacher. So when we have 15 students, we have one main professor and two teaching assistants. Our view is that if we’re going to teach you one technology, we want to make sure that the person that is instructing you is the best, most capable person and is highly specialized in that language.
How have you found instructors?
We went to the best companies here in Spain and other parts of Europe and basically found the best people there. They work part time for us. It’s very different to have someone who’s fulltime boot camp professor versus someone who is a developer and is teaching at a boot camp for 2 weeks.
And also from a recruiting perspective, a lot of our students have been hired by their teachers. Also, our students have a network that goes beyond their peers and the Ironhack staff; they have a network that connects to all these companies that these professors are coming from.
You said that potential students should have some vested interest in programming and should have some background and be able to prove that they can really handle the material. What’s the application process?
We have a 3-step application process. The first part is a written form that we screen and then we do two 30-minute Skype interviews. The first 30-minute Skype interview is to get a sense of who you are, why you want to do this, and get a sense of is you fit within our culture, and if you have that intrinsic motivation to make the most out of the 400 hours that you have here.
We say “Listen; you’re going to be coding Monday through Friday, 10 hours a day and then you’re going to have work every day on Saturday/Sunday…” When I tell them that, we want someone who beams energy and positivity. If they make it through that interview, we have a second round, which is basically to assess technical skills. We’ve actually accepted a bunch of people that have never programmed before, but we want to make sure that you have the motivation and the analytical skill set to be able to catch up prior to arriving to our camp.
In some cases, we have people that we think are very smart and incredibly motivated but have never coded in their lives, have never even worked with HTML. We admit them subject to another valuation post that second interview. So we’ll get them to complete 60 hours of pre-work and then see where they are.
How does IronHack prepare your graduates to find jobs?
The demo day is a great way to showcase our talent to our employers, and you have all sorts of employers there from the founding stage where they haven’t raised any money or are still pre-product, to tech employers who have technical teams and more than 30, 40 employees
On top of the core curriculum we have speakers like employers come in during the 8 weeks to present their products and also it serves as an opportunity for them to get in touch with their students and identify potential hiring leads.
We also bring in leading HR people from some of our top tech employers here to offer workshops on how to set up your CV, how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, SEO and all these things. And we coach them on how to conduct an interview. Right now we’ve had the luxury of being small so we’re all very involved in the process.
Are those companies paying a fee to get into the demo day or are they paying a recruiting fee once they’ve hired someone?
Right now we’re not charging employers. We’re focused on placing 100% of our graduates and giving access to great companies (even those that wouldn’t be interested in paying a recruiting fee!).
Have you been successful in placing your graduates?
We’re starting to place a second cohort but in our first cohort, we placed nearly 100% percent of our graduates. I think in the first cohort we placed 60% of the people 3 week after the first course, and then the rest over the next 2 months.
Is the accreditation buzz that’s happening in California anywhere on your radar? Do you get any pressure from the government in Spain or are you thinking about going through the accreditation process when you expand to Miami?
We’re definitely going to pay attention to this in Miami. We’re all for it if it helps the student, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the model and doesn’t limit the ability of these institutions to offer education that’s agile and that can adapt to the times and the technologies.
Are you planning on expanding beyond Miami anytime soon?
I think for the next year or even beyond that, we’re going to focus on Miami and Spain. However, we’re going to use Miami and Spain as hubs for other regions. We’re getting a lot of interest from Latin American Students to come to Spain, so for those who would rather come to Miami because it’s closer, we can offer that as well.