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Mike Vaughan

Mike Vaughan

Ruby on Rails Developer

Mike worked in a field he loved, but it didn't provide for his family in the way he wanted. He jumped into software development and is excited work in the world of technology. Here's Mike's story:

What were you doing before The Iron Yard?

I was a freelance theatrical lighting technician. I worked around Atlanta, hanging, maintaining, and programming lighting systems for theatrical productions and concerts.

I studied theatre in college, and spent half of a decade learning and honing my skills in theatrical lighting.

What made you ultimately decide on attending The Iron Yard?

Unfortunately, the entertainment industry is heavily contract based. Often, a show would load-in and that was the end of my contract until they took it down at the end of the production. This led to me only making $1000 in my six months back in Atlanta from an apprenticeship in Maryland.

As I was surfing Reddit, I came across this thing called the Iron Yard. With a cool name like that, I delved more into it and found out it was a coding school. I had no idea bootcamps even existed.

So, I looked at General Assembly (another coding bootcamp), and it looked okay. Something about the Iron Yard stuck in my mind. I found their Atlanta campus, and came in completely unannounced and out of curiosity. I met Laura Lindeman, and she listened to my story of struggle with the theatrical field. I expressed concerns with a place that guaranteed a real job.

But I was struggling, and I was a burden on my family and fiancee. That didn’t sit well with me, and so I took the leap. I thought long and hard about what this would mean, and the strain it might put on my relationships.

Still, I needed to do something with my life, and the Iron Yard seemed like the place to make it happen.

What are you doing now?

I really want to do two things. The first one is help others in any way possible. The Iron Yard has helped me realize the person I can be through programming and I want to help others. The other is I want a job with stability, and one that allows me to provide for and help my loved ones.

They’ve given me so much, and I’d love to give back to them.

Any final thoughts, things you’d like to share? 

The Iron Yard has helped me so much, and for the first time in a long time, I’m not afraid of what the future holds.

It has helped me realize what a wonderful world we have through technology, and what a bright future technology has. I’m excited to be an active part of that future.

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Mike 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.

Chelsea went from writing prose to writing code by attending The Iron Yard in Atlanta. Today, she has a great salary as a web designer for a startup company.

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Andrew co-founded a startup and realized he could reach his goals faster if he learned to code. He and his partner can now innovate to meet customer demand.

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Alex realized that his chosen career path wasn't right for him. After trying several others, he returned to his love of technology and found a career he's passionate about. Here's Alex's story:

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Wonman used to work for a Senator on Capitol Hill. After an election loss left him jobless, he attended The Iron Yard and now works as a back-end developer.

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Josh Daniels became a student in the midst of several significant life changes, being newly married with a new child and a startup. He now works as a developer at an agency.

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After working as an English teacher abroad, Michelle became enthralled with web design. She found a job as a UX Designer within weeks of graduation.

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