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The Iron Yard

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The Iron Yard

Avg Rating:4.42 ( 173 reviews )

As of July 20, 2017, The Iron Yard is no longer accepting applications. The Iron Yard is a technology education company that offers software development courses both in person, and through corporate training programs across the US. The school offers full-time and part-time immersive programs in Web Development. Beginners can choose from Web Development Basics or Interactive Web Development courses. For career changers, The Iron Yard's flagship bootcamp is the Web Development Career Path, which takes students from zero to job ready. Graduates of the Web Development Career Path will be well-versed in front end and back end fundamentals, and participate in The Iron Yard's Career Support program. 

The Iron Yard team strives to create real, lasting change for people, companies, and communities by equipping a diverse workforce with 21st-century digital skills. Since it was launched in 2013, The Iron Yard has prepared thousands of students for careers in technology.

 

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  • Travis Hubbad  User Photo
    Travis Hubbad • Lead Instructor Verified via GitHub
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    I graduated from the Iron Yard in 2014, and was hired as an instructor in the fall of 2016. My experience as a student was mostly positive, though most in my cohort did not have positive outcomes. Two years later, I started working as an instructor, and I taught 2 cohorts. The company has undergone a lot of recent changes and thought it would be helpful to provide an insider's view.

    I'll begin with the positive:

    + Campuses I worked with are staffed with sincere and hard working individuals. Instructors are motivated and want their students to learn and succeed ( though this is not always the case -- there have been some dreadful instructors ). Campus directors and ops staff are mostly eyeing the bottom line and KPI's but are generally well intentioned.

    + The company is shifting toward activity-driven classes (as opposed to lectures) which seems to be a net benefit for the students. Watching a live coding demo for three hours can be very dry and is unproductive for most -- especially those students having trouble with the material.

    + Good instructional staff to student ratio. About 8-9 students to 1 instructor.

    On to the negative:

    + There are instructors teaching languages in which they have no professional experience and were asked to learn ( or 'upskill' in company-speak ) in a very brief period.  There are mobile developers and .NET instructors teaching Java, and UI Designers teaching. Javascript instructors teaching Ruby

    + The company "career support" is a joke. Basically consists of a trello board for establishing a workflow in following up with companies, reminders to organize your portfolio (with little instruction how), and circulating publicly available job listings on Slack. The campus director also provides references, but isn't really in a position to evaluate the caliber of the student.

    + High instructor turnover. Many talented instructors have left the company due to bad faith and lack of transparency from upper management. This has been an ongoing trend for the company over the last 3 years.

    + Low job placement rate. I don't know what numbers they are publishing or how they are massaging them, but a substantial number of students who enroll in the program and graduate do not ever end up employed as devs.

    + Everybody gets a trophy and instructors are tacitly pressured to graduate 100% of students no matter their standing in the course. The company is even willing to allow students to stay in the program if they cheat so long as the student keeps paying tuition ( though these students won't be awarded a graduation certificate ).

    + The new "Web Development Career Path" is tragicomical.  The academics team is a specatular mess and the newline platform is buggy and sloppy. Two weeks before launch, they were pleaing instructors for assignments in order to fill out content and as of week 3, they still didn't have the curriculums ready for the Backend Fundamentals or the Specializations

    + The content writers for the curriculum appear to have little experience, and frankly, don't seem to be very good devs -- based on their output and the activities they've created, I wouldn't contract them for a project. The slipshod activities are incomplete, cumbersome to distribute, and many recommended solutions are not best practices. 

    + There is minimal training for instructors or examples in running a flipped classroom for coding, so instructors don't know how to teach the material.  Lessons, activities, projects, and assessments are distributed through the newline platform and students are encouraged to fend for themselves in the name of learner autonomy and responsibility. 

    + For the Language Specialization in Java and Ruby, students have 4 weeks to learn an entirely new programming language (first 8 weeks are in Javascript). The academic team incredibly believes will make them "fully-qualified, junior-level, professional developers". 

    +  The cohorts are now overlapping, so you as a student will have instructors planning and organizing 2 cohorts at the same time for students of many different levels and with various specializations. These overlapping cohorts will allow each campus to target enrollment of ~100 students for the year ( as opposed to ~60 ), and will flood the local market with McDevs who have mostly identical portfolio pieces.

    Everything about the "Web Development Career Path" has been very poorly conceived and worse implemented. There are many ways to learn to code and if your instructor is good, your time might be productively spent here but it's a costly gamble for the aforementioned reasons.

  • Manpreet "Mannie" Singh  User Photo
    Manpreet "Mannie" Singh • Student Verified via GitHub
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    Let's begin by addressing a simple zen about front-end web development in this period of time: there is so much to learn and so little time. Which is why I am glad to have been a part of the Iron Yard's front-end engineering program, but we'll get to that in a moment.

    The Cincinnati branch of the Iron Yard is no longer operational. That to me is a truly sad fact... the instructors that I had the pleasure to work, learn, and grow with and even the staff and location will be truly missed. Note that all of the campuses previous employees already have kick-ass new jobs.

    Jake Boyles, our instructor, was a highly knowledgeable and capable developer who understood the current web development landscape by heart, and he did a great job teaching our cohort the underlying principles behind many web development paradigms, practices, and pitfalls, and how to apply them in day-to-day development to cut the fat from learning and creating beautiful applications that look great -- both on paper and under-the-hood.

    One of the biggest reasons why I loved the Iron Yard was due to their receptiveness to individual needs. I couldn't attend classes near the end of my cohort's academic period due to medical reasons, but our instructor and the staff ('sup Jeff, Alyssa, and Greg) were kind enough with timeline extensions and continued to provide support in the job market.

    The course material was truly rigorous, but Jake was always around to help catch you up on anything you missed or if you didn't understand parts of the course work or material.

    Overall, I would recommend the Iron Yard if you're already interested in a career in developing using technologies that are already changing the way we live our lives and interact with our friends, family, colleagues, and more. The Web is a powerful concept, and the Iron Yard can help you build a career creating it in an environment that prioritises the learner.

  • James Sewell  User Photo
    James Sewell • Student Verified via LinkedIn
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    Lectures are thorough and interactive, considerations are made for all skill levels to be engaged. Plenty of time to put theory into practice despite the fast pace. Assignments have basic requirements and creativity is encouraged. Plenty of opportunities to meet and learn from industry insiders. Considerate and helpful staff go above and beyond to help make the experience worthwhile.
  • Liz  User Photo
    Liz • Full Stack Web Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I recently completed the Front-End Engineering course at the St Pete/Tampa location and I cannot recommend The Iron Yard enough. Within 6 weeks of graduating I was employed, and honestly, in my opinion, that is the best way to judge a coding bootcamp. I think about half my cohort was employed within 2 months, and almost everyone within 3. I know my college didn't even have that kind of job placement success rate--and it was super tiny.

    That said, it is a lot of work, so you need to make sure that you are willing to work your butt off. I describe it to people like you are treading water and little by little bits of word float toward you. You hold on to one piece of wood, the another. You tie those bits of wood together into a makeshift raft. You keep adding to it, and by the end you have a boat. It won't be the best boat, probably a mess in reality, but it will work!

     This isn't like high school, or even some college courses, this is an intensive program to teach you things that take many others years to learn. If you expect things to be spoon fed to you, or to come away knowing everything, you will be sorely mistaken. While the instruction was language specific, it is also focused on teaching you how to teach yourself--a valuable skill that not everyone has naturally. Programming is constantly evolving, so even if you came out being a javascript and react expert, in a year the language would evolve and the frameworks would change. You will constantly need to learn new things, and that is what I liked about The Iron Yard, that it focuses on helping you to keep learning after the program. However, the instructors are on hand to help answer your questions and guide you through the process. You could learn programming on your own, but the major benefit of The Iron Yard is having top notch instructors available to help you. However, you must be willing to help yourself.

    If you are giving the program your all, the instructors and staff will go out of their way to help you during this stressful time--and it will be stressful. My background is in academia, so I have spent many sleepless months trying to get papers and dissertations finished. Stress wise, TIY is pretty similar, but completely manageable. It's about 12 weeks of tons of stress, but the relief of getting your first job and paycheck afterwards is totally worth it!

    I learned Javascript at TIY, but my job is actually a full-stack position, involving ruby and C#. There was a big learning curve for this job, but I felt prepared and capable of tackling it because of TIY. I also have been able to reach out to the instructors when I've been completely stuck. I remember a former student visited during the cohort. He had just gotten a job in C# and the .Net instructor voluntarily worked with him for a day to teach him the language. That instructor hadn't even been in Florida when that graduate attended The Iron Yard, but he was just as invested in this graduate as he was his current students. That's something I feel that really sets TIY a part from a lot of other programs.

    I recommend TIY to all my friends who are interested and willing to work hard. Anyone can do it, even if you have no experience. Just do your prework, get some sleep, and (if you are in Tampa), listen to Toni (the campus director), she will be your biggest advocate and will help you get that job! Opt in to all career support counseling!

  • Danielle  User Photo
    Danielle • Graduate Verified via LinkedIn
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    The Iron Yard boot camp is a once in a life-time opportunity! The staff are incredible, the cirriculum challenging but undeniably valuable, and my overall experience was spectacular! It's not for the weak, if you're on the fence, GO FOR IT and don't look back! 

  • Gabe  User Photo
    Gabe • Front End Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    The Iron Yard was one of the greatest learning experiences I have ever had, but also one of the most challenging. The Iron Yard does an amazing job creating a team that has a ton of knowledge about what they are teaching but also a team that really cares about the students and their learning experience, which was equally important to me. Be prepared to spend long nights and weekends studying and collaborating with your classmates, the course is very intense and packs a LOT in a short time span. Overall, I have nothing but great things to say about The Iron Yards staff and curriculum. I believe what you put into this course is what you will get from it.

  • Peter  User Photo
    Peter • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    As with anything, there's a range of experiences that people have had with TIY, and I can only speak to my own. That said, I had a wonderful experience at the Greenville campus--it was all that it promised to be and (dare I say?) more. 

    I will echo other reviews in warning prospective students to not enter this program lightly. Do your research. (Ostensibly that's why you're reading this review, so good job!) Attend a crash course. Prepare your friends, family and finances. Expect to struggle and not have time for much else. I went to an academically rigorous liberal arts college and graduated with honors, yet this was the hardest academic or life experience I've had. 

    As difficult as the program was, the staff was there to support us at every step. I can't say enough about my Campus Director. She was a counselor, teacher, career coach and (when the job search came around) advocate. When things got stressful, she was always there to reassure me that I would make it and that things would be okay. Instructor wise, we had a great teacher with a decade's worth of experience programming. He seemed to know everything there was to know and used great analogies to explain programming concepts. My classmates were all wonderful, and I still keep in touch with many of them today. 

    When all is said and done, we're asking ourselves, But can I really get a job now? I'm very grateful that I can say yes to that question. A few weeks after graduating, my Campus Director connected me with some contract work with a company I had mentioned being interested in. I then got hired full-time with benefits for a job that another CD had posted about in a Slack channel. I've been able to use what I learned at TIY immediately at work and I've gotten good feedback on my skills. 

    Closing advice: Ask for help when you need it! Those that struggled the most in our cohort were reluctant to get in the queue for help and tried to go it alone. Some people can pull this off, but it can bite others in the butt. Don't let the shame of not knowing keep you from getting on the right track. Also, don't expect to leave at 5PM or be able to do part-time work on the side--it's just not realistic. 

    In all, I'm thankful for my experience and currently can't imagine doing anything other than programming. Our TA once said "I wouldn't trade my memories from TIY for anything but I'd never want to go through it again," and that's pretty much how I feel. Know what you're getting into and prepare to work hard--it can pay off!

    Note: The only reason I didn't give 5 stars on curriculum is because it would have been super helpful to learn some back-end programming/how to build an API. However, TIY has already remedied this with a major curriculum revamp that now makes the program full-stack. I'm really excited about that and applaud TIY for making that move. 

     
  • Grayson  User Photo
    Grayson • Web Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    My plan was to self-teach programming until I was able to get programming a job.  I spent about 6 months studying in the evenings and weekends.  I certainly learned alot this way, but eventually I felt I was hitting a wall.  I had heard of bootcamps before, but thought 'no way I'm spending that kind of money.'  Trying to teach myself an MVC from scratch wasn't working, so I met with TIY, slept on it, and signed up.  After being given the curriculum, I continued to study until the course began, trying to give myself at least an awareness of the concepts being covered.

    The course turned out to be excellent, but as I have told everyone who has asked, in my opinion, it is 100% you get back what you put in!  I was completely satisfied, but could tell a handful of classmates were less so, mainly due to the overwhelming amount and pace of information.  The more prep you do yourself, the better, TIY will only reinforce and expand on anything you think you know.  Dan was an awesome instructor who made sure to make every project have different levels, so it was very rare that anyone was actually 'done'.  There was always an opportunity to push yourself and each project one step further.

    Most in the class spent hours late into the evening collaborating, coding, and taking breaks in between. If you expect to leave at 5pm everyday, you can, but don't expect to get as much out as those who stay until 10pm, and show up a few hours each weekend, which was common for our cohort.  The mindset was, this is only 12 weeks so squeeze all the information and resources you can from it.  The group was a ton of fun, so being there that many hours felt like reassuring rather that frustrating.

    I found a job within 3 weeks of graduation, in the city that I was looking it.  My TIY portfolio played a huge role in that, and the coding challenge they gave me felt much like one of our weekend assignments.  Faith did a great job reviewing portfolios, websites, resumes, and cover letters, and was such a source of positivity throughout the process.

    Overall, loved it and am grateful for it to this day.  Best advice:  if you can manage to prepare yourself using free/cheap online resources for a few months based on TIYs curriculum, I highly recommend it.  The class will provide 80% more knowledge, but that 20% foundation will prevent the basics from drowning you before you get to the heavy stuff.  

    Thanks TIY!

  • brain bootcamp
    - 5/11/2017
    Kelsey  User Photo
    Kelsey • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    I just completed a three month intensive bootcamp at the Iron Yard Indianapolis for Front End Development and it was....too many words there's no way I can describe without a painful runon sentence. The first word I would use is hard. It was very hard...the material and cirriculum are strenuous...if you're thinking about working/having a social life/not rocking your personal life boat, you need to reevaluate if this is the program for you. My life was upside down for basically the entire program. I did the prework and that helped...it did not make the program easy. I think the only people that were able to coast in the slightest were people that have had practical training or real world experience with coding prior to signing up.

    That being said, for me, it was a welcomed challenge because I WANT to be in the technology industry. If you do not have an idea at all of what you want to do after TIY or any bootcamp for that matter, it will be hard to self motivate. This is not to say you will not get help deciding how to direct yourself post grad. There are plenty of resources from the staff and otherwise for finding your first tech job. I think the best part of the job assistance is the insistance from the staff that you stay true to yourself and not try to become what looks like the ideal candidate. It has become clear that tech jobs are aplenty, The Iron Yard emphasizes that you should find the right one for you. 

    Other great things about my course were being surrounded by the smartest people I have ever met~ both my front end instructor and the back end instructor along with both TA's and bad ass female campus directors really made my experience excellent. No one ever made me feel bad for asking questions, there was never any shaming. I also made so many friends. You will learn a lot about yourself and these people that you will spend 3 months with and even if you find yourself to be an introvert, the common bond of why you are all there will bring you together. You all want to make a change and you all want to learn. It was my favorite thing that came from my time at TIY. 

    So TLDR: the good comes from how much you give to it. If you are able to give this program your life, fully, you will gain so much more than just the knowledge. Prepare for breakdowns, meltdowns, and late nights, cherish the sleep you can get and keep your coffee cup full, allow yourself to be vunerable and most of all, don't beat yourself up~ if you are trying your hardest, that is all you can do and The Iron Yard will never let someone who cares and perseveres fail.  

  • Dave McKinney  User Photo
    Dave McKinney • Jr. Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    They warn you upfront, this isn't a leisurely-paced class. You won't be learning from 9-5 and then closing your computer for the day (usually). You have to stay late sometimes. You'll need to ask questions to your classmates and instructors. Constantly. You will be lost (almost constantly), but every time you get lost, you'll dig your way out of it, often because someone shows you where you got lost, and often because you've gotten so accustomed to being lost that you've developed a system for finding the way out and back on track. If you want to treat this like a undergrad class at college, you're probably not giving it enough time and effort. In short, it's hard, but it's been the best decision I've made. 

    I came from several jobs where I was quickly promoted, given more responsibilities, and thought that moving up the ladder would give me more satisfaction in what I was doing, but the fact remained that most of these jobs don't challenge you to think outside the box. They don't give you the opportunity to create and build, looking for new ways to solve both old and new problems. This class often challenged me in ways that I've never been challenged before, and the jobs for which I am applying now will do the same. That's what I want, and hopefully that's what you want, too. 

    Don't take this class because you saw how much developers can make, and don't expect to walk out with a job without applying just as much effort to the job search as you did to the classwork. I'm comfortable saying that I was no where near the best in my class, and I've received plenty of feedback from companies in the area who would like to meet with me and informally talk about their companies, but it's on me to make sure I walk in prepared to sell myself as a developer, and a person who is willing to continue to learn in order to meet their needs. 

    Long story short: be prepared to work hard, ask as many questions as you can because it does you no good to sit and struggle when smart people are sitting there waiting to help you, and come out of the class swinging at every opportunity that presents itself. Loved the instructors, loved the support staff, great campus, great experience. 

  • Maxwell Krause  User Photo
    Maxwell Krause • Software Developer • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    The bottom line here is if you are serious about getting a foothold in this industry you are going to need to know some of the basics of programming before you are hired.  Programming is hard, very hard.  The Iron Yard provides the base you need in addition to hand-held instruction along the way.  This course is very challenging but no one is going to pressure you to finish all your assignments or fail you out of the course.  Everything is on you.  If you decide you are going to change your career - you can't just go to a school and expect to then have a job. This doesn't work in college either.  Your motivation and grit is what is going to drive you (maybe desperation, which isn't a bad thing).  When it comes to self-improvement you can't throw money at the problem, YOU have to work at making yourSELF better.  The Iron Yard will teach you the latest technologies, build your portfolio, teach you how to think like a developer, get you involved with the tech community by inviting you to networking events, and provide excellent instruction which all prepare you for your first Jr. Developer Job.  The curriculum is fantastic, the teachers are motivated, passionate, and experienced.  Please remember though: YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR IT!!!!  If you aren't willing to spend a minimum of 60-80 hours in class and on your projects (yes, every week) then don't waste your money or time on this course.  If you are willing to bust your ass it will change your life, it changed mine.

  • TIY Dallas
    - 4/25/2017
    Chad Buehrle  User Photo
    Chad Buehrle • Graduate Verified via GitHub
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    While not for the undedicated, the immersive program offered by TIY Dallas was everything I needed to kick start my career into web development. The instructors in Dallas were great and so were the rest of the staff. They provided me with everything I needed to be successful not only in the class, but also with the assurances and support to keep me hunting through the job search. 

    After graduating in February, it took me less than two months on the hunt to secure my first offer and I just got finished with my first week at the new job. I owe this success in large part to the instructor, Eric Sowell, for not only giving me a good base of knoweldge, but knowing the right directions to push me in when I had the desire to go further and learn more.

    I think every investment is worth the effort you will put into it, and this was certianly worth every dollar I spent. 

    Thanks TIY.

     

  • Haley • Graduate
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    I cannot say enough about my front end development instructor, Eric at the Dallas campus. Not only is he very smart and a great instructor, but you can tell that he genuinly cares about his students and will do what it takes to help them learn. I'm not going to lie, the front end program was one of the most challenging things I've ever done. But along the way I felt support from my classmates and from the entire TIY staff. They want their students to succeed, and it you can feel it.

    Not to mention, TIY Dallas offers many ways to network and meet others in your shoes. They host several meetups on campus and are a great way to branch out. 

    Moral of the story: This program kicked my butt, but it was absolutely worth it.