The title of this story is, "All good things must come to an end. But not completely.(And why choosing a bootcamp-style school to learn code was the best decision I’ve made in a while.)"
It’s been 11 weeks since I started my journey in learning front end web development. I have one more week of the daily routine that includes driving to Underground in Atlanta, GA to laugh, get angry, joke and collaborate with my Iron Yard friends. I’m sad about it. It feels like an ending, but I know it’s not really. This entire 3 months was the beginning to something even more amazing- a career creating. A career in which the learning never ends. And for that, I’m happy!
It’s pretty crazy how we get very used to going to work day in and day out, going through the motions. In my previous career, a lot of my work was communicating with others to make sure everyone was on the same page as far as our overall plan, and people were at the right place when they needed to be. I still love communication, and obviously think it is key to any success, but it didn’t wake up my brain in the morning. I don’t want to demean that career, because it takes a special kind of organization and time consuming work, but it wasn’t the intense problem solving my personal brain was craving. In the past three months, my mind has woken up. I problem solve every single day, and it is so much fun. I’m solving puzzles with the significant tool box I’ve put together.
Teaching yourself how to code is amazing and I admire everyone that does it. But one of the most valuable aspects of learning at a bootcamp style school is the collaboration you get to experience. We were lucky to have two front end instructors around to talk through problems with and ask questions to when we hit a large, impenetrable wall. I still spent my fair share amount of time on Stack Overflow, MDN and countless other docs, but having someone readily available to help talk through the problems, and the best way to read the suggestions on Stack Overflow was invaluable. I didn’t just get answers from them, but learned how to read through docs and suggestions online and come up with the best solution for my specific problem.
Let’s be honest, I’m doing this all to pursue a new career, meaning to get a new job when this is all over. Looking for a job is hard. No matter what career path you’re taking. It’s exhausting and can be very disheartening. The Iron Yard offers career search help which is pretty cool. I think more than the resume help and interview tips though, it’s the connections with local tech companies that is really where the value lies. I have a better idea of the options, and I have a great connection to a lot of tech companies that partner with The Iron Yard.
Learning to code is awesome and all, but it is so important to have something to show for it. I couldn’t be happier that this program is project based. I’ve worked on a number of projects, using a variety of development tools, that I can include in my personal portfolio. I haven’t just learned to code, I’ve built things and can actually show them off.
Kelley followed the footsteps of hundreds and hundreds of students who have forged their own path by attending The Iron Yard. The graduates below have their own unique stories to tell as well. Whether you're looking to find a more fulfilling career or fulfill your love of technology, there are alumni who have walked your path.