There are several common misconceptions about the type of people who are a good fit for code school. We’ve heard it all. Don’t you have to be good at math? What if I’m not a big gamer? Aren’t all programmers really into science and technology?
The truth is, you don’t have to have a background in math or science to become a great programmer. At The Iron Yard, we’ve had students from a huge range of career backgrounds succeed in going from complete beginner to junior developer through our courses. Our Indianapolis Campus Director Emily Trimble put it this way:
Honestly, the type of background or experience you bring to the table isn’t all that relevant. Sure, someone who has been doing coding tutorials at home may have a leg up during the first week, but overall, it’s about problem-solving. I tell people that it’s more about being able to look at a problem and break it down into pieces - which is a skill you have probably used in thousands of scenarios."
Watson Mulkey talks to potential students every day as our Student Success Lead. He has followed along with hundreds of our students as they’ve gone from zero to career-ready developers, and he knows what it takes. “Perhaps most importantly, we’ve found that interest is far more important that aptitude,” he said. “If you’re motivated by the prospect of changing careers, and invested in learning a new skill – The Iron Yard is for you.”
Since we launched in 2013, we’ve had teachers, mechanical engineers, musicians, rocket scientists, bakers and nannies (just to name a few) successfully complete our programs. Some have had a college degree, some a high school diploma, others may have a Master’s or Ph.D. in one field or another. Regardless the background, they all became developers.
Below are 11 unexpected careers our students have had before coming to The Iron Yard:
Tajaa began her career as a math specialist at a public elementary school in St. Louis. It was her students that got Tajaa thinking about learning how to code. Read Tajaaa's story.
Mike taught high school music and band for more than 10 years before deciding to take the leap into coding. He graduated from our front-end engineering course and now works as a front-end developer. Read Mike's story.
Isaiah aimed to solve problems in education by working with Teach for America in one of the poorest districts in the country. He turned to programming so he could take on a new kind of problem solving. Read Isiah's story.
What would make someone leave a successful indie rock band to learn to code? In her story, MaryEllen shares how she stumbled upon a completely new passion for programming. Read MaryEllen's story.
Hunter grew up playing instruments in his family’s music store, so it was no surprise that he was drawn to music programs in school and eventually became a musician himself. Read Hunter's story.
Caleb had spent seven years working in and managing a pizza restaurant when he decided to take the plunge and join our first immersive program in Indianapolis. Read Caleb's story.
Benjamin had been a server at a restaurant in Houston for years. An unfinished college degree kept him from moving forward. He wanted a real career, but didn’t know where to start. Read Benjamin's story.
Hailing from New Orleans, Julio spent the last few years working as a general manager for a local restaurant. About a year ago, he was laid off and began working as an Uber driver. Read Julio's story.
“It didn’t feel like I could reach much higher and I was beginning to feel like I was losing some of the passion and enthusiasm that had driven me for so long. It was time for a change.” Read Deems’ story.
Bernard was on the management fast-track with a major retailer for three years before he realized his desire for more was not going to disappear. Read Bernard's story.
Leslie studied aerospace engineering at MIT. After graduating, she worked as a systems engineer for a defense contractor, where she first started learning some code. Read Leslie's story.
John left a career as an Aerospace Engineer for something he found even more exciting: programming. He tried to learn to code on his own but turned to The Iron Yard for help. Read John's story.
Jordan was doing well in his career as an audio-visual technician. He was entering a new position and learning new skills, but there was one big problem: he knew it wasn’t what he was supposed to do. Read Jordan's story.
Doug was working at The Alley in Charleston as a bowling attendant/amateur bowling mechanic. He was tired of dealing with the day-to-day stresses of the food and bev industry, so he turned to coding. Read Doug's story.
When Naghmeh’s daughter was in kindergarten, she noticed that more boys were playing video games than girls. She decided to set an example for her daughter by going into technology herself. Read Naghmeh's story.
Ryder came from an academic family and was interested in studying everything from language to medicine. He traded stocks and options before landing at The Iron Yard. Read Ryder's story.
There are so many misconceptions about the type of people who are a good fit for code school, but the truth is that people from all walks of life can (and have) successfully learn to code. Check out The Iron Yard for more info today!