We had the opportunity to speak with Amber Atkins, a member of The Iron Yard's Advisory Board and Head of Global Recruitment for IBM Design in Austin. She answered our seven quick questions about what she looks for in hiring code school graduates.
1. Approximately how many coding school grads have you hired?
15 in 3 years and 5 specifically from The Iron Yard.
2. What are the positions to which coding school grads most often apply?
UX Designer + Front End Developer
3. What skills (both technical and non-technical) do you expect or want a grad to have?
We expect a grad to understand design thinking and user-centered design approaches and value that everything is a prototype. We also expect our developers to have a strong grasp of CSS, HTML5, and Java Script. Having an understanding of how to use GitHub or another code repo is important for project management and rapid collaboration. From a soft skills perspective we look for strong communications skills, an emphatic approach, and collaboration skills.
4. Are you involved in the interview process? If so, what can a grad do to impress you? On the other side of the coin, what are some things grads can do to turn you off during interviews?
I am involved with lead level hires but not grad hires. Either way I'd be wow-ed by a grad who knows what my company does, the challenges I am faced with in finding great talent, and/or who asks the right questions to understand what I need from a solid team member.
5. Once hired, how well do the grads fit in with current employees?
We hire for fit and coach-ability so I'd say they fit rather well!
6. And the all important question: Why do you hire coding school grads?
They think outside of the box and chose to pivot their careers. That choice says a lot and their commitment is obvious.
7. Anything else you want to add?
The Iron Yard is one of the best coding schools we recruit from and I'm excited to call myself someone who hires from their program and is honored to be on their Advisory Board!