The admissions process for each program includes submitting a written application, a personal interview, and then a technical interview.
Throughout each Ironhack program, students will get help navigating career development through interview prep, enhancing digital brand presence, and networking opportunities. Students will have a chance to delve into the tech community with Ironhack events, workshops, and Meetups. With more than 1,000 graduates, Ironhack has an extensive global network of alumni and partner companies. Graduates of Ironhack will be well-positioned to find a job as a web developer or UX/UI designer upon graduation as all students have access to career services to prepare them for the job search and facilitating interviews in their city's local tech ecosystem.
Recent Ironhack Reviews: Rating 4.89
Recent Ironhack News
- New Year, New Career? Learning to Code in 2019!
- Webinar: Choosing a Part-Time Coding Bootcamp
- How Dafne Became a Developer in Barcelona after Ironhack
This course enables students to become a Full Fledged Data Analyst in 9 weeks. Students will develop practical skills useful in the data industry. Ramp-up pre-work and learn intermediate topics of data analytics using Pandas and data engineering to create a data application using real datasets. You'll also learn to use Python and Business Intelligence. Through the bootcamp you will learn by doing projects combining data analytics and programming. Ironhack's Data Analytics Bootcamp is meant to help you secure a spot in the data industry. However, the most important skill that students will take away from this course is the ability to learn. Technology is fast-moving and ever-changing.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- Madrid, Paris
- Minimum Skill Level
- Basic programming knowledge
- Prep Work
- 40-50 hours of online content that you'll have to complete in order to reach the required level at the next module.
- Placement Test
This 8 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.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City
- Minimum Skill Level
- Prep Work
- The Pre-work is a 40 hours self-guided content that will help you to understand basic UX/UI Design concepts and it will make you design your first works in Sketch and Flinto.
- Placement Test
The UX/UI Design Part-time course meets Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with additional online coursework over a period of 6 months. 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.
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Mexico City
- 750€ or 9,000$MXN
- Financing options available* with competitive interest rates. Skills Fund + Climb Credit
- Minimum Skill Level
- Basic programming skills, basic algorithms and notions of object oriented programming.
- Prep Work
- 40-50 hours of online content that you'll have to complete in order to reach the required level when the course begins/
- Placement Test
- In Person
- Start Date
- None scheduled
- Class size
- Amsterdam, Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City
- Monthly instalments available for 12, 24, 36 months (Quotanda)
- $1,000 Scholarship for women.
- Minimum Skill Level
- Basic programming knowledge
- Prep Work
- 40-50 hours of online content that you'll have to complete in order to reach the required level at the next module.
- Placement Test
In PersonFull Time13 Hours/week24 Weeks
- Start Date
- September 21, 2019
- Class size
- Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, Mexico City
- Minimum Skill Level
- Basic programming knowledge
- Prep Work
- Placement Test
More Start DatesSeptember 21, 2019 - ParisApply by August 21, 2019
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I couldn't be happier with my experience at Ironhack. From start to finish it was a truly awesome experience!
The workload is extreme and the material challenging but it is a highly rewarding experience were you are rewarded for pushing yourself. Thankfully the atmosphere is extremely friendly with amenities galore to make yourself more comfortable. I spent most of the course working outside on the beautiful rooftop astroturf patio.
My instructor Nico was a very committed teacher who would personally invest in any problems you were working on, help you realize your vision and work with you to find a solution. Anything answers he didn't have, he knew how to find them! In general Nico was great person who was easy talk to and made you feel comfortable throughout the learning process.
The curriculum itself is well thought-out and constantly changing. You really feel you are learning whatever technology is the most relevant. It was a frequent topic of conversation how many of us who went to college (even some Computer Science majors) couldn't believe how much more we were learning in such a short time compared to our drawn out struggles with traditional universities. Struggles that ultimately left us feeling unprepared for the real world...and robbed!
Ironhack attracts plenty of motivated people who are a pleasure to be in class with. The sense of camaraderie is strong and It feels good to be in deep with the your fellow classmates. We all worked hard together, helped each other out and bonded over struggling with the same difficult sections.
Thankfully Ironhack was good about making sure there are some unwinding opportunities. Lisa and Jess did an excellent job of keeping the energy up and organizing much needed stress relief moments that gave everyone an opportunity to unplug, eat some pizza and drink a little beer (or kombucha).
Finally Brito is there to make sure we stayed focused on the reason most of us joined the course: To get jobs! Brito helped us prioritize what's important in terms of our future careers. He has tons of extremely useful experience in terms of what companies are looking for when hiring talent. He makes us looks good and gives us pro tips on building out resumes and our Linkedins.
Brito also does an excellent job bringing in tech veterans to share their knowledge with us. We've had speakers talk to us about the hiring process, the tech world, problems we may face, and even set up mock technical and soft skill interviews. If you have a specific interest in something in particular Brito will connect you with someone from his MASSIVE and beautifully organized list of tech contacts and Ironhack alum. Brito works very hard and is constantly finding new opportunities for graduates to pursue.
Prior to Ironhack I was exhausting myself working as a cook and making next to nothing. As someone who is now happily working as a web developer, signing up for Ironhack was one of the smartest moves I've ever made. It feels great to finally have a career with independence, where my intelligence is rewarded and my employer can see the value I provide daily. For anyone on the fence, I really couldn't recommend Ironhack any stronger. It's worth it.
My experience at Ironhack was intense, with thankfully more ups then downs, and I leave confident that I'm ready to start as a Junior Web Developer in the market.
The first weeks were certainly very overwhelming for me, who never seen nothing regarding code until starting to study the "pre-work" that we had, weeks before the Bootcamp even started. The team informed us about the intensity and the challenges we would face, and they were very right! However, they were always following us to let us know we were not alone.
The idea to have projects at the end of every module is great to solidify our knowledge and give us confidence that we can built awesome stuff, as well as start working on our portfolio and have something to tell recruiters when the time comes.
The teachers were very supportive and pushed us a lot during classes, in a way we had to face every challenge ahead of us, but knowing that we would have great people to support us.
One of the main focus of the Bootcamp is to get us ready for the market. We had several different workshops about building our CVs and LinkedIn profiles, practising for regular and technical interviews and great opportunities to visit companies and see offices and developer teams in action. It is something really interesting that hyped us to get out there and start applying for jobs!
Overall, those were 10 weeks that changed my life. It changed my way of facing problems, working in teams, dealing with pressure, organise myself and gave me many tools to work as a web developer, with technologies and languages that are up to date with what the market asks.
I would definitively recommend this experience for those who are ready to invest time and effort to change their careers and get into this world.
The Ironhack Bootcamp was one of the wisest choices I have made. It was super intense and I was dead beat when it was over but it WAS worth it.
I recommend it to someone who is a career changer, just like me. Since Lisbon is a new Ironhack campus, they are learning by doing(as we are) and we were the first Bootcamp for Web Development.
We finished the Bootcamp with three projects we can show around to employers and after a hiring fair which I believe is one of the strongest points of Ironhack, compared to other Bootcamps I've heard about. THey are really committed and they stay on top of the students even after the Bootcamp is over to make sure everyone is already on the way t a life as a developer!
I recommend the staff, which is amazing and always worried about getting the most out of the students and the program. They are caring and listen to our worries. They really put their hearts into it.
For a more complete feedback of my experience I wrote a couple of medium articles, on how were the first weeks and some of the projects:
Being a former journalist, I made a long research before deciding to attend the first web dev bootcamp of Ironhack in Lisbon in March 2019. Making a career change is a complex move and I wanted to be sure that I was choosing the best course to help me get where I wanted professionally. Now that I have graduated, I can say with absolute certainty that Ironhack was the best choice I could've made. I had great teachers and amazing fellow students, awesome support from the Ironhack crew and the career services team, that is such an important part of the bootcamp that I cannot stress enough how important it was for me to know it existed before making my final choice to do this bootcamp with Ironhack. The curriculum they offer is definitely the best among the bootcamps in Portugal. If you're searching for a life-changing experience, learning by doing and entering the job market knowing that you have learned the best and most up-to-date technologies, I highly recommend investing your time and money in this bootcamp.
The Web Development bootcamp at Ironhack is a very challenging yet rewarding program. I had some professional experience with front-end development before Ironhack, but was completely unfamiliar with the MERN stack. Our instructor, Niko, did a great job during the 9 weeks; answering all of our questions and helping us when we got stuck. The course is very hands-on and project oriented. You start with basic HTML/CSS and then move on to Express.js and React.js. Students build a portfolio which they later showcase to potential employers.
Once you graduate, Ironhack helps you find a job with their Career Services program. Daniel Brito is the man and helps you with everything; from what to wear to the interview, to how to correctly format your resume. With his guidance and a portfolio the opportunities are endless!
If you are looking to transition into technology I recommend this program!
Ironhack has been a great experience for me. I am coming from Mechanical engineering background with no experience in coding at all. The program is definitely immersive and demanding, but when you have great "Front-End" (Instructor, TA's) , and amazing "Back-End" (Career manager, program manager and many more), your path to success as Full-Stack -Developer is guarantee.
The curriculum also includes career workshops which include technical interviews preparation, how to build a winning resume, how to update your Linkedin profile and many more valuable information and tips that are really important for your success in this market.
The staff was nice and the classroom environment was good for learning. Niko, our instructor, knows his stuff.
The real difference, however was in the Career Services. Our Career Services manager, Brito, was excellent! He setup and managed the hiring fair with 20+ companies, some large and some small.
Without the career services, I wouldn't be where I am today - a Front-End Web Developer at Carnival Cruise Line!
A big thanks to Niko, Brito, Alex, Jess, Lisa, and every Ironhacker that made this bootcamp possible!
I started Ironhack with very basic knowledge of web development and coding and left with a solid foundation on which I plan to continue building on. With the help of supportive staff and a well structured curriculum you will learn A LOT in two months, provided you put in the extra effort to really drill down the concepts during and after class.
The course covers the most up to date technologies to ensure we learn skillsets the job market is searching for. The Placements Manager, Brito, did an excellent job preparing us for the job search and puts a lot of effort into getting students that first job after Ironhack.
My story is similar to many Ironhackers. I had a decent career prior to taking a long sabbatical to travel. I taught myself the basics of coding but breaking into the development world, as a self-taught Jr Developer, can be difficult. My time at Ironhack taught me how to polish my portfolio, create a winning LinkedIn profile and how to approach finding a job in the “real world.” It worked great! I was busy getting my development environment set up for my new job as we were trying to finish our final projects. Needless to say it was rewarding. Tiring, but rewarding. My teacher was new to teaching so I will give him a lot of slack for understanding, teaching style, preparation and professionalism. Being able to self-teach and research documentation are both important skills so learning that is critical anyhow. I’m all about self improvement and learning new skills but when it comes down to it, it’s about getting work. Ironhack delivered. As a note: The hiring network tends to be local to the school so choose a location in a market that you want to work in. The career fair that Brito put together was unbelievable. There was a feeding-frenzy of local companies (20+) looking to hire in a well orchestrated event. The companies ranged the gamut from Citrix and Royal Caribbean to small startups. Ironhack campuses are all over the world so there is bound to be a place for you to enjoy, while you get your foot in the door of the dev world. Once you get your first dvelopment job it is much easier to find another position that is in another market. Bottom line, if you do your best, know how to learn and stay focused you will both enjoy your time and end up getting work. I want to thank the whole Ironhack team and also want to thank Brito personally. He was a pleasure to work with and a HUGE help!!!
Worked as a photo editor in medias for five years before switching to code.
Had a previous degree in Fine Arts and photography. Have no computer science degree, did online courses and tutorials for some months before going to Ironhack, out of curiosity and to be sure it's my thing.
I wanted to get some formal code teaching and carrieer advice to go pro so I was looking into bootcamps in Paris.
Since I am a rather skeptical person and tend not to believe comments etc.. I went to see a hackshow (student showcasing their final projects) and talked in person with graduated students who landed jobs, exceptions who didn't. Also did the same with other bootcamps and found Ironhack was the best fit for me.
Ironhack helped me through all the necessary steps to achieve my goal to land a fulltime job as a dev.
They helped me with financing the bootcamp, kept me on track during the prework and then put me with amazing students who all wanted to change their life like me. I met motivated and positive people to learn and work with.
The teaching and curriculum was amazing, very rich ! I never felt bore, always found class, ressources and exercises to go deeper and challenge myself with.
The difficulty raises progressively and teacher and assistants were very available thourgh the whole bootcamp. Pair programming garantee homogenous level between students, helped us to learn how to communicate about code and helped me to success further objectives than when coding on my own.
Also I believe the curriculum is understandable from different levels, every one learnt, from people with no coding experience to engineers with some obvious previous experience.
Solid carrier advice and coaching was given during all the bootcamp to assist us and get us ready to the job market which is a furnace. They made job dating sessions and put us in touch with tech job recruiters to help us with the first contacts.
Secured a fulltime job in less than 3 weeks after graduation, would do the bootcamp 2 times in a row for the fun and the impact it had on my life !
Ironhack helped me with 80% of the thing, 20% (or more!!) has to be self motivation and commitment to what you're doing.
I would recommeænd it to anyone who want to get serious education, a professionnal environment to grow and push limits 🎯.
As a designer, I wanted to boost my skills in UX design. The Bootcamp did it. It was an awesome experience. It was hard, really hard, but I learn A LOT!!! And found SUPER nice people. And the staff, Ta's and teachers are simply GREAT! Highly recommended.
I have a background in Software Industry. I needed to boost my career. So I wanted to have the time to work in projects to get really deep in UX-UI. The experience wasn't only successful. Ironhack also give me a really nice place, with really nice people to share during the 10 weeks of the bootcamp. I can say that's become like a home, where I could stay comfortable and grew as a professional.
My overall experience with Ironhack has been extremely rewarding. David fast is a wonderful teacher and mentor who is interested in his student's success past their graduation. Daniel Brito is another gem at Ironhack (one of many) who has helped me in placing me with a company post-graduation. The curriculum in general is focused on building a strong foundation in design thinking and execution. Because of the holiday season, our web-dev week was cut a bit short, this is something I was hoping we'd have the full week for. There was also no shortage of interesting and informative events hosted at Ironhack, this was great for having some extra informational sessions that gave insight into many different aspects of the creative community. Overall would recommend.
I have always wanted to start a career in tech but wasn't sure how to start until I found Ironhack. After months of research, I decided to do a 9-week bookcamp in UX design at Ironhack in Miami. This program gave me the tools I needed to go out there and start searching for a job as a designer. Coming from a hospitality background It wasn't easy, It was very challenging, to the point that I felt once or twice like walking out. However, I followed through the whole program and was totally worth it. The facility was amazing, open 24 hours for students with multiple different areas to work on projects and networking events. The staff was also always friendly and available to you at anytime. If you are looking for a career change or learn more about UX or even Web Development I highly suggest considering Ironhack as your first choice.
I worked in a tech company where I started to do basic coding (VBA). It peaked my interest, so I began learning on my own by taking courses online. I realized I loved it and needed to quit my job to learn and deep dive in it. I chose Ironhack because of the very up to date courses they have (React, Node.js).
It is very intense but also very fulfilling! You learn a lot from 9 to 7pm for 9 weeks and even more during project weeks. If you want to do it, be prepared to dedicate 100% in it.
The bootcamp is seperated in 3 modules where you have 2 weeks of lessons+exercises and 1 week of project. It is crazy what you can achieve doing in some little time!
Our teacher (Nizar) was great on all aspects: very knowledgeable with great teaching skills. It was a pleasure to be in his class and he is key in the bootcamp's success.
How they help you find a job?
At the end of the course, there is one week of meeting with companies of all kind : startup, consulting, bigger companies,etc. It is a great first touch with people from HR and developers in the companies and a good opportunity to show your projects and settle for a next interview. Ironhack helps well to prepare for this exercise (pitch practice, CV, etc).
After the bootcamp
After Ironhack, finding a job is a full-time job. You need to code everyday to keep up with what you have learned and also apply to companies, take coding tests, etc. I applied to more than 10 companies and received 2 offers. I needed also to learn extra stuff we didn't have the time to learn in class (more related to general knowledge).
I got hired 1 month after. Now starts a new challenge...
If you want to become a developer, start a company or just learn how to code and build applications, I strongly recommend Ironhack. But it also means hardworking and putting in a lot of energy during 9 weeks. But it is worth it!
When I was looking for a way to change my career I remember reading something like "Ironhack is a life changing experience" in a review.
3 months later this apply to me. This experience changed my life the the way I wanted to. Every expectations I had were met and even more.
After 9 weeks you are able to code and build an app using the MERN stack (Mongo, Express, React and Node) and learn by yourself what will make you a good developer. And also to find a job and begin your new carreer.
Everything is put in place to help you to succeed: from the main teacher (a high skilled, always helping, pedagogue and friendly guy) to the carreer manager (a high skilled, always helping and friendly woman), the working environment (a 24/7 office with an astonishing rooftop including coffee, tea, drinks, comfortable working areas ...) ...
I've met a lot of interesting people, made good friends, created a large and solid network and on the top of it: found the job I dreamed about.
It's hard, it's intense (you will do nothing else but learn and code) but it is worth it. Do not hesitate to go there and meet people during an event they are organizing.
The staff in Ironhack is nice and very helpful. You'll have a good environment to work in and for the days you're struggling, there is always someone caring and to whom you can speak.
On top of it, during a bootcamp, you meet people in a very intense moment of your life. These people have the same interest than you, so you make lots of friends and you begin your professional new life with a good network.
If you hesitate to enroll in Ironhack, go to meet the team and the students during an event and you will be convinced! :)
Ironhack is something that changes you forever. I know it's hard to believe it but I'll do my best to explain my point of view.
I joined the web development bootcamp to make a career change and it was a complete success: I went from being an engineer in another country to being a web developer in France in a matter of months!
I already had some knowledge about the taught topics prior to the bootcamp - that helped a lot as the course is really intense - but I still needed to consolidate my skills, acquire new ones and focus full-time on coding.
Not only did the bootcamp match those expectations, it also allowed me to land my dream job in little more than a month since graduation and it was a great investment for my future.
If I had to highlight just one aspect of the bootcamp, it would be working on the 3 projects with other students: it really helped shaping us as developers and working with people with so diverse backgrounds - but with the same objective in life - was the greatest learning and working experience I've ever had.
Thanks to the topics covered during classes, which were always engaging and featuring what you really need to know, we were able to progress really quickly. The instructors and teaching assistants were extremely helpful and they always strove to make everything as smooth as possible for all the students.
Pair programming and exercises were a daily task and they allowed us to discover many topics and real life workflows in software development.
However a lot of effort is required to stay on track: only passion and commitment will drive you through the 9 weeks, so be sure about your objectives and dreams. If it checks for you, then you'll be a perfect match.
Also the career services were a great asset to me: I have learnt all you need in order to find the right job. We met several professionals in the sector during the whole course and the hiring fair was a blast! We met 14 companies (and some of us were hired by these very companies) in 2 days and it was the best training I could have asked for all the following interviews.
However I think that the course materials (written lessons and exercises) still need some improvement: as technologies evolve so quickly, it's hard to keep all the materials up to date. I don't think that this issue was a limiting factor for the bootcamp at all but I'd like to be honest about it. Also a major revision of the contents is in progress, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Moreover Ironhack keeps growing and evolving so it can only get better with time.
On a final note, the location and the people you meet there are amazing and you'll definitely want to stick around every day.
I hope this review can be useful to other people as I've tried to cover some of the topics that concerned me before joining the course. Finding out that such a short formation can bring so much value was the greatest surprise to me and I can't recommend it enough to people who are committed to changing their life.
I joined Ironhacks full-time web-development program because like most students - i was looking to make a career change and saw the great reviews that ironhack had received. The experience i had certainly lived up tot the expectations i had based on the reviews. The campus is very nice - they provide food/coffe and all the necessities in dedicating 9 hours of your day 5 days a week there. The entire staff is very helpful and friendly. They also host networking/social events for students and people within the industry.
Where Ironhack excels the most is the most important part of joining an extensive program - job assistance. Daniel Brito is responsible for assisting students in the job hunt after graduation, and he goes above and beyond in doing so. In my first week he held one on ones with every student and he mentioned that if you do everything that he tells you then you will be successful in finding a job. He lived up to that promise as i was able to find a job within 2 weeks of our hiring fair. He is extremely well connected when it comes to the tech space in south florida. Our hiring fair had many reputable companies who were actively hiring. He continues to communicate and help once the hiring fair is complete.
All in all - i had a fantastic experience at Ironhack, and if you are looking to be employed shortly after an extensive program, i highly recommend it.
I completed the UX/UI full-time program in Miami, FL in 2018.
I did a lot of research, soul-searching, and self-teaching prior to the program. In general, I had a positive experience with the program, but it has its share of pros and cons, and would benefit some more than others.
One of the best parts of the program is the classroom/workshop setting. It was challenging to make much progress learning on my own despite having several friends who are already experienced UX designers. The opportunity to connect with others who are also looking to break into the field, share ideas and learnings with them, and build a portfolio alongside them, was invaluable.
The other is the job placement support. At the end of the program, students are able to attend a hiring fair, which is like speed-dating with companies for jobs. That in itself is an amazing opportunity for new designers. Additionally, the outcomes manager, Brito, is a fantastic resource. He is well-connected in the industry within South Florida and readily available to provide guidance with your job search. That said, if you aren't looking for a job in South Florida, then I'm not so sure that Ironhack Miami would be the best program for you -- I would definitely recommend a program that is local to wherever you want to begin your career.
I also really appreciated the instructor, David Fast. He is super knowledgeable and a great mentor. I always got tons of insight whenever I had a 1:1 with him. However, even in my class of only 11 students, this was a rare and often rushed occurence. In one instance, I was scheduled to meet with David last, and then my meeting never happened. I wished the program were better structured to allow all students an equal opportunity to meet with their instructor regularly.
We also had a high churnover of TAs, and some were more helpful than others.
The curriculum could also be improved. It was very high-level and theoretical -- a lot of content that we could have easily read about on our own. Sometimes we just watched a YouTube video in class -- it boggles me that I am paying tuition, commuting to class, and spending classtime to watch something I could have streamed at home. I'd rather classtime be spent on learning "tricks of the trade", things that would boost our skills and portfolio, things that we could readily transfer to the workplace. Not things that I could easily Google or watch on YouTube.
The program manager, Jessica, is super personable and resourceful. I appreciated her effort to provide opportunities for us to work with real companies for our final project. Although I was very excited by the idea, ultimately I passed on the opportunity because the options available were limited and did not align with my learning or portfolio goals. I know that some of my classmates had less than positive experiences working with these companies as well. I think this is one area where, if improved, could make or break my recommendation of the program to others.
Finally, I don't think this program is for everyone. I think either the interview process or the pre-work or both could be a bit more rigorous to set the right expectations. If you ask the Web Dev students why they enrolled in their program, 99% of the time they would say it's because they love coding. But if you asked the UX students the same question, you rarely hear that it's because they love design or product. I think Ironhack could better screen prospective students and help them be sure that this is the right step for them.
I hope this review helps and provides some food for thought!
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After living all over the world and dipping her toes in graphic design, finance, and entrepreneurship, Dafne Olca was looking for a career where she would always keep learning. She eventually tried a free coding course, loved it, and decided to enroll in Ironhack’s web development bootcamp in Barcelona, Spain (taught in English). Dafne tells us how learning to code was both very difficult and very satisfying, how supportive Ironhack was (and still is) for her career, and how much she is enjoying being a Front End Developer in her new job at Everis, a European consulting firm!
What’s your career and education background? How did your path lead to a bootcamp?
My career path has been very diverse so far. I’m originally from Austria and I did a bachelor’s degree in multimedia in London and Honolulu, with the aim of working in graphic design and video production, but I found the job opportunities were not the kind of jobs I imagined them to be. Then I did an MBA in Vienna and San Diego to increase my career options and ended up in finance in Barcelona.
After three years, I got bored with finance and wanted to figure out what to do with my life. I had always been interested in technology and worked for a while on a family business focused on the Internet of Things. I enjoyed researching technologies, philosophical aspects of the business, and looking at the direction in which the world is heading.
I eventually came across Free Code Camp and enjoyed it a lot. My friends who work in web development told me if I became a web developer, I would be learning for the rest of my life. At first that sounded intimidating, but it made me realize that’s exactly what I want to do with my life – it’s a way to make sure I won’t get bored, I can keep learning, and getting better at what I do. It goes hand-in-hand with my personality because I love to learn and do new things. I think that’s why web development is the right choice for me.
You’ve traveled a lot – what made you choose Ironhack in Barcelona, rather than another bootcamp in a different city, going back to college, or teaching yourself?
I considered teaching myself, but going to university wasn’t an option – it was between teaching myself and going to the bootcamp. As a beginner, the best way to change careers was to go full-on, and be around professionals – the teachers at Ironhack are very talented, and are professionals who have been in the field for a long time.
Also, the course I did was taught in English. In Barcelona, Ironhack offers one full-time cohort in English, and one full-time cohort and one part-time cohort in Spanish.
What was the Ironhack application and interview process like for you?
The first part was a personality interview to see if you’re really genuinely interested in doing the course and pursuing a career in web development. After passing that first interview, I was given some very basic coding exercises. After those exercises, I had a technical interview with a teacher assistant, which I passed before getting accepted into Ironhack.
What was the learning experience like at Ironhack? What was the teaching style?
I have to be honest, it was very very tough for me. This was the first time I had done a course in web development. Ironhack was split into three modules. First we had the basic front end module, which was pretty doable. The second module was back end, which for me was very difficult, then the final module was back end with the Angular framework, which was also demanding.
The hours were very intense. Officially, the hours are 9am to 6pm, like a full-time job, but I don’t remember many days when we actually finished at 6. If you’re at Ironhack, then it’s in your best interest to get as much out of the program as you can.
The teaching was also quite intense. I’m 30 now so I had been out of school for many years, and going back to lectures was a lot more demanding than I thought it would be. But as intense as it was, it was also very satisfying. Your character really shows when you’re learning web development – you have to deal with daily frustrations and a lot of challenges, but overcoming those challenges is really rewarding.
What was your cohort like?
Ironhack was one of the most diverse experiences I’ve ever had. Some of my classmates were 18 and had come straight out of high school, and the oldest guy was in his late 40s. The average person was somebody who had decided to change their career.
We were very international. There were around 22 students in my class – four of those students were Spanish, and the rest of them were from all over the world, including Europeans and Latin Americans.
What was your favorite project that you built at Ironhack?
How did Ironhack prepare you for job hunting?
When I was researching bootcamps, it was really important for me to be able to land a job as soon as possible, and Ironhack pretty much guarantees that almost all alumni who want to find work will find work in the field. Right after bootcamp, we had a hiring day where more than 20 recruiters from tech companies came to the campus to see our work. It was a quick interview where we show them our project, they ask questions, they get to know us, and we get to know the companies.
Sonia, my Careers Adviser, was always getting in touch with companies, and getting my input about what I’d like to do. On top of that, I thought it was amazing that after I landed a job and needed some guidance, one of the TAs still gave me advice and input. Even now, I feel like I can go back to Ironhack and get support any time I need it. I try not to milk it, but they are just so helpful and so caring.
So you’ve been working at Everis for 7 months now! Congrats! How did you find the job?
Everis did come to Ironhack for the hiring day, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to them because there were so many companies there. So the next day, I contacted them and told them I had missed them, but I wanted to get to know them – I was quite active about reaching out to companies. They replied immediately, I went into the office that same day for an interview. Within two weeks, they called me in for a second interview, and shortly after that I received an offer. I was exhausted after graduating from Ironhack, so I took a month off over the holidays, but about a month into my job search, I was working at Everis.
Can you tell me about Everis and what you work on there?
Everis is a consultancy, so we work on projects with different clients. I’m a Junior Front End Developer, and I work with Angular and Typescript. It’s a purely front end job, which is what I wanted.
I’m on my second project since I started at Everis. The first project was a web app to help organizations apply for governmental loans. It was a very small, global team – two people in Barcelona, two people in Zaragoza, Spain, and the project manager was based in Brussels, Belgium. For my current project there are four of us and we’re all based in Barcelona, except for the project manager who is based in Zaragoza.
It’s a huge company, I think there are about 3000 people in Barcelona, and they have branches around the world. The company is very diverse, and the teams are very diverse as well. They have an emphasis on hiring very gender-balanced teams, which is nice; Everis is definitely more gender-balanced than other companies.
Are you using the technologies and programming languages at Everis that you learned at Ironhack?
I’m working in Angular, which is a framework we covered in the third module of Ironhack. There are always new things to learn in Angular, because Angular is quite complex and always evolving. So I haven’t learned any new languages or frameworks, but I had to learn more about Angular on the job.
Ironhack provided us with the tools to be able to teach ourselves new technologies more easily. In the future, I will inevitably need to learn more languages and frameworks. But now I have the right tools to be able to teach myself a lot more easily than before the bootcamp.
Since you joined Everis, how do you feel you’ve grown as a front-end developer?
In 6 months, I feel like I’ve become a lot more independent, and I’m less afraid of touching the code. In addition, I’ve developed a passion for problems! As weird as that sounds, I enjoy running into problems because I enjoy solving them. It’s very fulfilling. Honestly, I think Ironhack is the best decision I’ve made in my life in terms of academia and career development. I haven’t regretted it once.
How has your background in graphic design, finance, and entrepreneurship been useful in your new job as a Front End Developer?
Graphic design is very much about trends, and it’s been a long time since I studied it. While there are some aspects of design that still apply, a lot has changed. At Everis, when we get a new project, a lot of the design is given by the client – my job is more about implementing the logic and functions rather than the design itself.
My experience working in finance has definitely been useful at Everis. Having experience in a huge corporation definitely helps you work with other people and clients in a professional environment.
What’s been the biggest challenge or roadblock in your journey to becoming a Front End Developer?
Sometimes you can get stuck on a problem for a really long time, and you start having to deal with your own frustrations. The more you get frustrated, the more you block your brain and the less you can really think logically. That’s a challenge that I’ve had to learn to deal with, and I’m really learning how to be calm and patient. I wasn’t a patient person before, and I’m now really seeing the results of patience.
It sounds like Ironhack has stayed involved in your career – have you kept in touch with other alumni?
I was just at Ironhack last week actually and I’m going again soon. A lot of people from my cohort have left, but I’ve gotten to know people from the cohorts before and after mine, and we’ve become quite tight. It’s a very strong community. Whenever Ironhack hosts events, I prioritize them – it’s a very good atmosphere and a great network, and every time I go there I feel like I’m at home.
What advice do you have for people making a career change through a coding bootcamp?
Just do it. My best advice is to stay calm and be aware that you’re going to reach your mental limits. You’re going to have a hard time, but it’s really worth it and it’s very rewarding. There are going to be times when you’ll want to feel very stupid – don’t! If you can be a master of your emotions, then you have a good path ahead.
Demand for UX and UI Designers is not just limited to Silicon Valley – companies all over the world are realizing the importance of solid UX Design. Cities like Barcelona, known for its architectural design, are becoming digital design hubs. Sofía Dalponte teaches UX/UI design at Ironhack bootcamp in Barcelona and has seen the demand for UX/UI Designers increase over the last 18 months. And as Ironhack’s Outcomes Manager, Joana Cahner makes sure Ironhack students are supported in finding the right career path after graduating. They tell us why the design market is hot in Spain right now, what sort of background and skills UX/UI Designers need, and tips for finding a UX/UI Design job!Continue Reading →
“Berlin is proving to be an incredible tech ecosystem.” With campuses in Miami, Madrid, Paris, Mexico and Barcelona, Ironhack is launching their web development bootcamp in Berlin, Germany in 2018 to take advantage of the growing tech scene. We spoke with Ironhack’s EMEA Expansion Lead, Alvaro Rojas, about the Berlin campus at a WeWork space, how Ironhack is recruiting lots of local hiring partners, and what sort of jobs Ironhack graduates can expect to get in Berlin. Plus, as an Ironhack grad himself, Alvaro gives advice on where to start as a new coder.
What's your background and how did you get involved with Ironhack?
My background is in strategy consulting. I studied business in London, and then I worked in strategic consulting for tech startups in Spain and California. I worked for the Embassy of Spain in Los Angeles for a little while, and then I launched my own venture there.
I'm actually an Ironhack graduate. Working in the tech industry, I had always been interested in learning how to code. So I did some research online and I found Ironhack. I graduated from Ironhack around a year and a half ago.
I fell in love with the company’s mission and the community they were creating. You hear some really incredible stories when you're working with people from such diverse backgrounds. After graduating, I kept in touch with Gonzalo Manrique, one of the co-founders, so when they decided to expand in Europe, he contacted me about the EMEA (Europe, Middle Eastern, and Africa) Expansion Lead position. It was a no-brainer for me.
Did you attend Ironhack to become a developer or did you just want to pick up coding skills?
I wanted to pick up coding skills. I think everybody in the future should become literate in some kind of coding language, even if you’re not planning on working as a developer. Most jobs in the future will require a basic knowledge of programming, and I wanted to stay ahead of the curve. If you work in tech, understanding how software is built is a must, regardless of your position. Eventually, machines will dominate the world and you’ll have to speak their language!
You have this unique perspective of actually being a student before working as staff at Ironhack.
Absolutely. It's easier for me to explain the benefits behind Ironhack because I've lived through the whole experience. It's really great when we do events and prospective students ask me about Ironhack. The first thing I tell them is, "Look, I'm an alum, I went through the whole experience. I can tell you everything you need to know, and everything you'll go through." It was definitely one of the most challenging and rewarding times in my life.
Tell us about your role at Ironhack.
The first step when I started was working with the co-founders and the VP of Ops & Expansion, Alex Berriche, to make a strategy plan for Europe. We had various cities in mind and decided to take a structured approach and rank them according to factors we know to be determinants for success. We finally decided Berlin was clearly the next step for us.
After deciding on a city, I move there to set everything up. There are two main areas I’m responsible for. The first is Operations & HR – setting up the legal entity for Ironhack’s new campus, securing financing for our students etc, and getting together a dream team to run the campus.
The second key area is marketing. We tailor our strategy to each market. It’s all about understanding the different customer segments and building brand awareness – once people understand our value proposition they’re always convinced. We focus strongly on partnering up with cool companies like N26 or MoBerries, and doing free workshops and events for prospective students. It’s all about getting people excited about learning new digital skills.
Our first cohort in Berlin launches May 21, 2018.
What stood out about Berlin, Germany? Why is this city a great place for Ironhack to have a campus?
Ironhack already has campuses in Europe – Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris – so we want to continue to be present in the strongest tech ecosystems, and Berlin is proving to be an incredible tech ecosystem. Berlin is home to the single largest software market in Europe – that's around a quarter of the European market by value, which is pretty crazy. There are around 2,000 to 2,500 active tech startups here, including some really disruptive companies. The tech ecosystem is booming, and the city has the ability to attract and retain talented people like no other place. People are flocking to Berlin because they like living here and there’s plenty of job opportunities.
Also, the IT jobs market in Germany has a growing digital skills gap. There are a lot of new startups that demand developers and designers, along with traditional older companies who are going through a digitalization process. McKinsey released a study saying there would be 100,000 digital jobs in Berlin by 2020, so that was big data point for us.
Since students can go to university for free in Berlin, why would they want to pay to go to Ironhack?
Companies are demanding more people with digital skills, and four-year universities just can't cater to that market. Ironhack believes universities, regardless of whether they are private or public, are failing to adapt to the digital revolution. The university approach hasn’t changed in 100 years, and getting a job in this day and age requires a different, updated approach.
Ironhack provides high-impact, condensed educational experiences with one objective in mind – getting students from zero to job ready in three months. Because of this, we believe there will always be a gap in the market where we can provide value. Regardless, we are working hard to make it easier for students to have access to our programs by providing financing options through both private and public channels.
What will make Ironhack stand out amongst the competition in Berlin?
We are laser-focused on one objective: enabling students to secure a job within three months after graduation.
So how do we achieve that? Well, first we make our students employable. We constantly update our curriculum to ensure we teach the latest technologies that employers actually demand, and we hire professional instructors with real-world experience to teach them. We provide career guidance and support throughout the whole program, and students are prepared for technical interviews, behavioral interviews, etc. We believe in learning by doing, so students come out with three projects to show to the world once they’ve graduated.
We also focus on giving our students access to those opportunities, by securing hiring partners and organizing a career week where students get to meet prospective employers at the end of each cohort.
What types of applicants are you looking to enroll in the Berlin campus?
We're looking for career changers. There are so many talented people in Berlin who have moved here looking for opportunities. Ironhack gives you the possibility to specialize and land a job in three months. We cater to anyone who realizes the importance of learning new digital skills and has a passion to learn.
How many students does Ironhack plan to accommodate at the Berlin campus?
We're going to have three cohorts in 2018. The first one starts in May, the second one in July and the third one in October. For the first cohort, we're looking at about 20 students. We don't like to have cohorts much bigger than that because we want to guarantee quality. Moving forward we will look to grow our team and number of cohorts, always ensuring students have the best possible experience.
How do you source new instructors? What will be the instructor: student ratio?
We hire real professionals who have worked in the tech industry. Our lead instructor for Berlin was working at the Ironhack Paris campus as the lead instructor for a year and he wanted to move to Berlin. He's one of those people who has been coding his whole life. He started his own company, and he's worked in the industry as a lead developer – he has a very impressive background. And he already knows the Ironhack bootcamp and our course, so that's always a plus.
At Ironhack, a lead instructor leads the whole program, and then we have teaching assistants, who are also coding professionals, for every eight students, to provide support and guide students through the course. For example, in the first cohort, if we have 20 students, we would have one lead instructor and two or three teaching assistants. Having gone through the bootcamp myself, I feel the teaching assistants play an incredibly important role because they provide valuable assistance throughout the whole bootcamp.
Will the curriculum at Ironhack Berlin be the same as other Ironhack campuses?
We're in contact with a lot of startups, so we make sure our curriculum is exactly what employers need and demand. We make a point to keep the curriculum consistent across all campuses. This allows us to have a feedback loop at every campus and ensure consistent quality. So we’re sticking with the same curriculum in every campus for now, but always looking to iterate and make it better.
Tell us about the Berlin campus. What is the classroom like?
As with most of our new campuses, we'll be located at a WeWork co-working space, a new building called Atrium Tower right on Potsdamer Platz. The space itself is a big room which holds around 40 students. When we visited the space about a month and a half ago, we fell in love with the facilities. The campus is accessible from anywhere in town because of its central location, and it has an incredible terrace at the top.
When you're going to be learning for three months in an incredibly intense program, being in a nice space with amenities – coffee, snacks, really nice views – is something really important.
What are some examples of the types of jobs you envision your Berlin graduates landing after bootcamp?
We have a very strong reputation worldwide, with a global community of alumni and partners. For example, we just signed up N26, a mobile bank to be our hiring partner. We’re in talks with several Berlin companies to sign them up as hiring partners too. At the end of each nine-week course, we prepare prospective employers to meet with the students. Like I said, we're very focused on career changers and ensuring our students get a job within three months after graduation.
In the past, we've had companies like Google, Twitter, Visa, Rocket Internet, and Magic Leap hire Ironhack graduates. So in Berlin we're looking for the same profiles. Those are global companies we already have partnerships with, so our students already have access to that pool of employers. Then locally, we are looking for the most disruptive companies that are ready to hire entry-level junior developers.
Do you envision Berlin grads staying in Berlin? Is your focus to get people hired in the city where they studied?
We have a big focus on having a global community. So we really like the idea that our students can access all the communities in all our cities. For example, I recently passed on the resumes of two graduates from the Madrid UX/UI course to Berlin-based N26. It’s up to each graduate to decide which city to work in.
A lot of people want to stay in their home city and others don't, so we cater to both. We try to give opportunities to go abroad, and options to work in the local market.
What would you recommend a complete beginner do to learn more about the tech scene in Berlin?
I would recommend going to as many meetups and events as you can. I always tell people that you never know what opportunities could arise if you put yourself out there, and start talking to people. We actually just wrote a blog post about How to Land the Tech Job in Berlin, and one piece of advice is to mingle. Just network.
Then, of course, I would recommend going to the Ironhack meetups. There are a bunch of workshops in Berlin and our informal network is huge. We're doing one free workshop every week and we'll do some bigger events as well.
What advice do you have for someone who's thinking about attending a coding bootcamp in Berlin and considering Ironhack?
Form my experience as an alum, I think it's all about the attitude. When you go into a coding bootcamp, there's always this feeling where you're a little bit scared because it is something really demanding. People have a natural tendency to be resistant to learn something so technical. But just start coding! It's not as difficult as it may seem, and having the right guidance is key. We’re actually launching a cool challenge in Berlin - a free online course to encourage people to get their feet wet with coding.
A lot more people than we believe have the aptitude for it, and actually become really good programmers. You just have to take a leap of faith and commit to three months of very intense work. We have a 90% placement rate and while we do have a rigorous admissions process, the majority of our students get hired. I recommend people to just go for it. I can guarantee that if you have the right attitude, you'll succeed.
Welcome to the first News Roundup of 2018! We’re already having a busy 2018 – we published our latest outcomes and demographics report, and we’re seeing a promising focus on diversity in tech! In January we saw a significant fundraising announcement from an online bootcamp, we saw journalists exploring why employers should hire bootcamp and apprenticeship graduates, we read about community colleges versus bootcamps and how bootcamps are helping to grow tech ecosystems. Plus, we’ll talk about the newest campuses and schools on the scene, and our favorite blog posts. Read below or listen to the podcast!Continue Reading →
Global Tech School Ironhack is launching a new campus in Mexico City on January 15, 2018. We spoke with Ironhack’s VP of Operations & Expansion, Alexandre Berriche, to learn about the Mexico City tech ecosystem and why there is a growing demand for developers in the area. This school uses feedback from their campuses around the world to continually improve the curriculum. Discover how Ironhack can connect you to a 1000+ network of alumni, help you with job placement, and get some tips for your application!
What's your background? What drew you to want to work with Ironhack?
After starting my career in Private Equity, I joined Jumia,a Rocket Internet company, also called the African Amazon. I was Head of Operations in North Africa and then Managing Director of Tunisia.I got in touch with Ariel and Gonzalo, the founders of Ironhack, and was really inspired by their vision. Also, since I actually attended a coding bootcamp myself, I was excited to come and work in this industry. I saw the great potential the bootcamp model had in Europe and also Latin America. I was keen to have an impact on people’s lives, so I was super receptive to our conversation and working with Ironhack. It was a great fit.
As the VP of Expansion, can you describe your role?
As VP of Expansion, I work with the founders to create a strategy and decide which markets make sense for us to open in next. Then I'm involved with the operations preparation where I actually launch the new markets.
There are three main areas to consider when launching in a new market. The first is human resources – we want to build an awesome team including a general manager. We were super excited to find a great GM for our Mexico campus. Marketing and brand awareness is number two. When you're launching in a new market, you want to increase the brand awareness and convince your first students of the benefits of the new campus. It can be difficult in a new market because we are starting from scratch, so we have to leverage the use of marketing channels such as public relations, events, and partnerships to integrate ourselves into the local ecosystem. The third area is legal – making sure the legal administration is completed. If you succeed in those three areas, you are ready to open in any market.
What stood out about Mexico City? Why did Ironhack choose to open a campus there?
We are one of the leaders in the coding bootcamp industry globally, and we’ve been thinking about opening in Latin America for quite some time. Latin America is a great market because there is so much demand for tech skills, but there is a limited number of established bootcamps in the area. In 2019 it is estimated there will be a deficit of 150,000 IT jobs in Mexico, so we can have a great impact on that. We want to train the new generation of technology professionals to join the industry. Not many, if any, bootcamps have campuses in the U.S., Europe, and in Latin America, so Latin America was very attractive to us.
Mexico City was the preferred choice because it has a booming tech ecosystem. It's one of the largest markets for startups. Mexico City is the entry for many tech companies moving to Latin America – Facebook, Amazon, and so on – so many tech multinationals are moving in. The ecosystem is not just booming, it's also maturing significantly well as there are plenty of VC’s, accelerators, and company builders.
Finally, it's a pretty friendly environment for internet technology and computer science. It's a big market to penetrate, but it's less difficult than some other markets because there are no global competitors. There are obviously some local competitors, whom we respect a lot, but we are going to give the Mexico City ecosystem access to Ironhack’s global community which is already present in Miami, Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid. We think building ties within those markets will excite students learning in Mexico City.
There are only a few bootcamps in Mexico City. How will Ironhack stand out once other bootcamps start to pop up?
Ironhack will stand out because we are global. We have already learned so much about running a bootcamp, because each market we operate in has different standards and different challenges. So by bringing this experience into the market, we are raising the coding bootcamp standards for Mexico City. Ironhack has graduated 1,000 students, so we have a large community. We have alumni working for Amazon, Google, and IBM, which is a big plus. We have great reviews on Course Report, and we have great student satisfaction for our curriculum. Over the four years we have been operating, we have continued to improve our teaching methods.
What is the Ironhack Mexico City campus like?
Our offices are at the WeWork Insurgentes coworking space, and it's amazing to work alongside different Mexico City startups and see how dynamic the space is. It’s super exciting. We’re in the Colonia Napoles, which is like a district of startups. At WeWork we take up two rooms of 20 x 30 feet each which hold between 15 to 20 students. We will start with one class, and then eventually have two classes rolling at the same time – one UX/UI design course, and one web development course.
Our objective at Ironhack is not quantitative, it's more qualitative so we are not going to accept students if they don't have the required technical level. We are selective with students and we don't accept everyone.
Could you describe the Ironhack application process? Is it the same across campuses?
Yes. We have two interviews – one personal interview and one technical interview. You can make it through the technical interview even if you don't have tons of knowledge, but you must be a hard worker. If you prepare your case, you can make it in, but we want to be selective.
Before the bootcamp starts we also have pre-work and the objective is to have everyone at the same knowledge level when we start the course. People are spending a lot of time and money to really improve, so the courses are very intensive for that reason.
Ironhack teaches UX/UI design and web development. Will you be teaching the same curriculum in Mexico City?
We collect feedback in each market, and with each piece of feedback we receive, we improve our curriculum little by little. We trust and use the same curriculum in every market. You can’t scale efficiently if you have each market doing different classes. The feedback loops in all the different markets allow us to have the best quality program. I don’t think we could have the best quality if we made too many specificities for the various cities.
How many instructors will you have at the Mexico City campus?
The number of instructors will grow as the number of students and the number of classes increase. For instance, at the Paris campus, four months after launching we had seven teachers. It will be the same for Mexico. So we’ll start with one instructor and then after a few months, seven, and after one year maybe 10 – we're going to see how fast it grows.
Since Ironhack is a global bootcamp, how do you help with the job search and placement? What sort of jobs do you expect graduates to get?
We are trying to build partnerships with Linio, TIP, and many Mexican startups where we can place our students. Companies will be invited to Hiring Week at the end of the bootcamp to see what type of talent we produce. We’ll start by targeting companies in Mexico City and then we’ll expand and make partnerships with companies in Guadalajara and Monterrey as a second step.
Most of our graduates become junior developers. We have less entrepreneurs and more junior developers. Ironhack focuses on career changers and trying to help them to achieve their ambitions so that’s why we are so focused on placement with Iron Week, and a placement manager in each market.
Is it pretty normal for graduates to stay in the city where they studied?
We are seeing graduates stay in the city where they studied, unless they’re coming from abroad. We have a few international students and currently, most of them go to the Barcelona and Paris campuses. We don't know about Mexico City graduates yet, but most of our applications so far are from Mexico – with some international applicants as well.
If someone is a beginner and thinking about attending a coding bootcamp in Mexico City like Ironhack, do you have any meetup or event suggestions?
Yes, Ironhack is doing a huge full-day event at WeWork on December 9th. Anyone can attend and it’s free. This is a great opportunity to learn about tech, discover the Mexico City ecosystem and decide if you want to apply to Ironhack.
What advice do you have for people thinking about attending a coding bootcamp like Ironhack?
The first thing is, it’s an amazing commitment, and if you are applying for good reasons and have the technical ability, you will be accepted and get the best experience. It's a once in a lifetime experience to spend nine weeks changing your career. You will learn so much, meet new companies, and get hired. If you want to learn more, go to the Ironhack website, download the application guide, and come to some events. We have a Meetup group and Facebook page. You can read plenty of reviews of the school on Course Report. If you are sure of your motivations, you are a hard worker, and you’re committed, I'm sure you will be accepted.
Do you have any additional comments about the Ironhack’s new Mexico City campus?
We are very excited about having an amazing team at WeWork in Mexico City. We are at the center of the startup ecosystem so I think it will be an amazing experience for our students.
Thanks to bootcamp graduates who entered our sweepstakes competition to win a $500 Amazon Gift Card by leaving a Verified Review of their bootcamp experience on Course Report! This time, our lucky winner was Luis, who graduated from Ironhack in Madrid this April. We caught up with him to find out a bit about his coding bootcamp experience and why he decided to attend Ironhack.
What were you up to before Ironhack?
Before doing the Ironhack’s UX/UI Bootcamp I had a long career working as a Marketing and Advertising Designer.
What's your job title today?
I’m a UX/UI Designer at Devialab, a UX/UI and software development consulting agency mainly focused on startups and based in Madrid. What makes Devialab special is that we launch every project like it were our own, and also work really close with the entrepreneur.
What's your advice to someone considering Ironhack or another coding bootcamp?
My advice to anyone considering Ironhack is DO IT! It is a great opportunity you are bringing yourself. It may be hard sometimes, but you will never regret it.
Before starting, free your mind and your agenda, and be ready for a great immersive experience. You will grow as much as you’re willing to, and you will not only learn, but you will also experience what your job is going to be. And also, you will meet amazing professionals – networking is one of the best opportunities offered by a bootcamp like Ironhack.
Want to be our next Reviews Sweepstakes Winner? Leave a verified review of your Coding Bootcamp experience here!
Need a summary of news about coding bootcamps from July 2017? Course Report has just what you need! We’ve put together the most important news and developments in this blog post and podcast. In July, we read about the closure of two major coding bootcamps, we dived into a number of new industry reports, we heard some student success stories, we read about new investments in bootcamps, and we were excited to hear about more diversity initiatives. Plus we round up all the new campuses and new coding bootcamps around the world.Continue Reading →
Ironhack is a global web development bootcamp with locations in Madrid, Miami, Barcelona, and now Paris! We spoke with Ironhack’s General Manager for France, François Fillette, to learn more about their new Paris campus, launching June 26th. France is the second largest tech ecosystem in Europe – learn why Ironhack chose to expand to the area, read how the bootcamp will stand out from the rest, and see what resources are available to become a successful bootcamp grad in Paris.
First, as the France General Manager, tell me how you’ve been involved with the new Ironhack campus.
Sure! As a General Manager, I have been involved in all the dimensions related to the new campus – finding an amazing place for our students, recruiting a team of A-players, setting up the docs and processes and so on. I have been working with Alex, our Head of International Expansion, who has been tremendously helpful. We have worked super hard over the last few weeks to make sure that our Paris campus will be on the same standards as the others.
What’s your background and how did you get involved with bootcamps? What drew you to want to work with Ironhack?
I was coming back from San Francisco, where I was working as VP of Strategy and Business Development for CodinGame. One of my VC friends told me that Ariel and Gonzalo (the cofounders) were looking for someone to launch Ironhack in France. I met the two of them and immediately embraced their vision, and got impressed by their ability to execute fast and well. I got super excited by the project and the team, so a couple of days later I was in Miami to work on the strategy and the launch plan for France! It’s been 3 months now and honestly, I’ve never been happier to wake up in the morning and start a new day!
Ironhack is launching their Paris campus on June 26th. Why is Paris a great place for a coding bootcamp? Could you explain Ironhack’s motivation to expand there?
In terms of funding, France is now the 2nd largest tech ecosystem in Europe, right after England. Over the last 5 years, it has grown exponentially and is now one of the key tech hubs in the world. Take Station F for instance – thanks to Xavier Niel (cofounder of Free), Paris will now have the biggest incubator in the world. That growth has fueled an increasing demand for new skills in the tech economy and the talent shortage is not filled by the traditional education players. There’s an amazing opportunity for us to expand here and we’ll do everything we can to reach our targets.
There are a few other coding bootcamps in Paris. What will make Ironhack stand out amongst the competition?
Let’s discuss the Paris campus. What is the classroom like? What neighborhood is it in?
The campus is located in the new space opened by WeWork. It is located in the 9th arrondissement, near the Paris Opera. It is accessible via 3 metro lines, 8 bus lines, 2 bike-sharing stations, and 2 car-sharing stations. It will be open 24/7 for our students.
The place is absolutely magnificent, both in terms of design and community. Students will enjoy a large classroom close to the patio, and meeting/working rooms to complete their projects and assignments.
What web development and UX/UI design tracks or languages are you teaching at this campus and why? Are the ones you’ve chosen particularly popular or relevant in Paris?
How many instructors and/or mentors will you have in Paris?
We’ll have a lead instructor, who is a professional developer and highly involved in the open source community. He has several years of experience in startups and IT services agencies. He’ll be assisted by a TA, who is a bit more junior, but passionate about education and teaching students. Plus, we’ll have a network of 15-20 mentors to help and coach students, for coding as well as for management. Mentors will be chosen based on the projects of the students. Also, the students of the first Web Development session will be sponsored by Florian Jourda. Florian was the 1st engineer at Box and scaled their dev team from 2 to 300 people. He spent 8 years in the Silicon Valley and is now Chief Product Officer at Bayes Impact, an NGO funded by Google that uses machine learning to solve social problems like unemployment.
How many students do you usually have in a cohort? How many can you accommodate?
For that first cohort, we plan to have 20 students maximum because we want to make sure we provide the best experience. That will ensure a strong monitoring of students, as well as a perfect operational execution on our side. For the next cohorts, we’ll increase the number of students, but we won’t go above 30 and we’ll recruit 1 or 2 more TAs to keep the same quality.
What kind of hours will students need to put in to be successful?
Students often ask that question and it’s always hard to answer. Everything depends on their learning curve. On average, students work between 50 to 70 hours a week, mainly on projects and assignments. But we’re fully transparent on this – you can’t learn real hard skills and get a job in 3 months without fully dedicating yourself. We make sure that the atmosphere is as good as it can be so that students won’t see time passing by!
How is your campus similar or different to the other Ironhack campuses?
I think that our campus is pretty similar to Miami’s. We are located in an amazing coworking space, in a very nice neighborhood and with lots of startups around. The main difference would be our rooftop on the 8th floor of the building, where we regularly organize events and lunches.
How are you approaching job placement in a new city? Does Ironhack have an employer network already?
Job placement is one of the elements we tailor to the local realities and needs. We have already partnered with +20 tech companies, such as Drivy (world leader in peer-to-peer car rental), Jumia (the equivalent of Amazon in Africa and Middle East), Stootie (Europe leader in peer-to-peer services), Kima Ventures (VC fund of Xavier Niel, with +400 portfolio companies), etc. Usually, they are large startups (from Series A to Series D) looking to hire web developers. As a GM, it will be part of my job to support and help students accomplish their professional projects with our employer partners.
What types of companies are hiring developers in Paris and why types of companies do you expect to hire from Ironhack’s Paris campus?
I think there are 3 types of companies that could hire web developers who graduated from Ironhack – corporations in Telecom/Media/Technology, startups (from Series A to series D) and IT services companies. The demand is really intense for the last two options, as they’re looking for people mastering the latest technologies, in high volumes. Based on the enthusiasm they’ve expressed when talking with Ironhack, we know they’ll be great recruiting partners.
What sort of jobs have you seen graduates get at other Ironhack campuses and what do you expect for Ironhack Paris graduates? Do they usually stay in the city after graduation?
Based on the metrics of other campuses, usually, 50-60% of people join a startup as an employee (a Junior Web Developer, Project Manager or Growth Hacker). 20-30% create their own startup after the course, while 20-30% become freelancers, usually in Web Development, and work on a remote basis. We’ll have a good share of students who are not from France originally, so we think some of them might leave Paris after the course. But we’ll help them find the right opportunity abroad and we’ll keep constant interaction with those students.
What meetups or resources would you recommend for a complete beginner in Paris who wants to get started?
Any final thoughts that you’d like our readers to know about Ironhack Paris?
We want to build something that is nothing like what exists in Paris. In 3 months, you’ll be operational in Web Development, you’ll meet awesome people (students, mentors, entrepreneurs) and you’ll accomplish your professional project. Send us an email to know more at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a few seats left for the session starting on June 26th. Next session will start on September 4th. If you want to apply, just send us your application through this typeform.
Missed out on coding bootcamp news in April? Never fear, Course Report is here! We’ve collected everything in this handy blog post and podcast. This month, we read about why outcomes reporting is useful for students, how a number of schools are working to boost their diversity with scholarships, we heard about student experiences at bootcamp, plus we added a bunch of interesting new schools to the Course Report school directory! Read below or listen to our latest Coding Bootcamp News Roundup Podcast.Continue Reading →
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 email@example.com. 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.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.
How much do coding bootcamps cost? From students looking for free coding bootcamps to those wondering if an $18,000 bootcamp is worth it, we understand that cost is important to future bootcampers! While the average full-time programming bootcamp in the US costs $11,906, bootcamp tuition can range from $9,000 to $21,000, and some coding bootcamps have deferred tuition. So how do you decide what to budget for? Here, we break down the costs of coding bootcamps from around the USA.
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.
How long does the Ironhack application typically take?
The Ironhack application process falls into 3 stages (the written application, first interview, and second technical interview) and takes on average, 10-15 days to complete in entirety.
What goes into the written application? Does Ironhack require a video submission?
The written application is a chance for students to give a quick summary of their background and motivations for wanting to attend. It’s their opportunity to tell us about themselves in a nutshell and peak the admission committee’s interest.
What types of backgrounds have successful Ironhack students had? Does everyone come from a technical background?
We are impressed and inspired by the diversity of students that Ironhack attracts. We’ve had former flight attendants, world-travelling yoginis, and CS grads from Ivy Leagues all attend Ironhack. We’ve been amazed at how coding is so democratic and attracts all sorts of people, regardless of educational background or pedigree. Those who tend to perform the best at Ironhack are those who have committed to doing so, not necessarily those with a technical background.
Can you give us a sample question from the “first interview?”
“What motivates you on a day-to-day basis and what do you love to do?”
Can you give us a sample question from the “technical interview?”
“What happens when you put a function inside a loop?”
What are a few resources that you suggest applicants use to really ace the technical interview?
How do you evaluate an applicant’s future potential? What qualities are you looking for?
Ironhack’s application process reveals a lot of qualities in potential candidates because it is a bit longer than most coding schools. The advantage of this is, it allows us to see how candidates and applicants respond to learning material in a short amount of time, and how dedicated they are to their goals. If they can’t even complete the interview process, it’s an indicator that they might not have the passion or drive to get through 8 weeks of a coding bootcamp! We look for curiosity, passion, and drive. Drive is probably the most important quality to succeed at Ironhack.
Is there a technical coding challenge in the Ironhack Application?
How long should it take? Is there a time limit?
We give our students exactly 7 days to prepare for the technical interview after the 1st interview and provide the materials they need to prep for it. The technical interview is led by one of our Miami instructors and consists of a coding challenge that the applicant has 30 minutes to solve.
Can an applicant complete the coding challenge in any programming language?
The applicant can complete the challenge in whatever programming language they feel most comfortable in as long as that language can solve a breadth of problems. That means that something like CSS is out.
What is the current acceptance rate at Ironhack?
As of now, our current acceptance rate is ~20% (23.5%, to be exact!)
Are students accepted on a rolling basis?
Yes. Spots fill up quickly, so the sooner the applicant gets started, the better.
Does Ironhack Miami have a lot of international students since your roots are in Spain? Do international students get student visas/tourist visas to do the program?
Yes! We have more than 25 countries represented in our bootcamps globally (e.g. Thailand, Pakistan, Germany, France, Brazil, etc.) The majority of our students who travel to Miami from abroad use a tourist visa to visit the US and attend our program. We love the melting pot of Miami combined with Ironhack’s reputation globally. It’s really a fun place to learn and study!
Want to learn more about Ironhack? Check out their website!
Have questions about the Ironhack application that weren't answered in this article? Let us know in the comments!
(updated April 2018)
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.
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Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!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.