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  2. Thomas McCracken's Story
Thomas McCracken

Thomas McCracken

UI Engineer

Thomas worked in technology, but wanted to move from doing anlysis to building products that people use. He now builds interfaces for digital products. Here's Thomas' story:

After working for six years as a Systems Analyst, I decided that what I really wanted to do is software development, and, more specifically, front-end development for web applications.

I looked at many options including costly and long graduate programs at college and online classes that are hard to commit time to, but ultimately The Iron Yard was the best place for me, and it has been one of the best decisions of my career and life.

Making a large commitment of your time and money is never easy. It was especially difficult for me as my girlfriend and I had just became new parents that spring, but after researching several options, looking at what the Iron Yard offered, and meeting with the Front-End instructor, Tim Whitacre, I knew that The Iron Yard was the perfect place for me and that I had to go into the program.

My time at The Iron Yard was amazing. I learned more in that 12 weeks than I knew I was capable of. It was a lot of work and required a huge commitment but the reward has really been worth it. The instructor was a JavaScript guru and was totally dedicated to helping the students succeed and understand programming. My classmates were all incredibly talented and from all sorts of backgrounds. I really cherish meeting them all and the little time we had together.

I had a little knowledge of programming and development before joining The Iron Yard but was never fully confident that I could do it for a career. After finishing the program, I was fully confident with my skills and that I could begin working as a front-end developer and learn whatever web technology I needed in order to succeed. The Iron Yard didn’t teach me everything there is to know—that’s clearly impossible to do in 12 weeks much less several years—but it gave me a starting point so that I could learn new languages, frameworks, or any other concept in software development.

After graduation, I started a great job here in Atlanta as a User Interface Engineer with SolTech, which I first became acquainted with at an Iron Yard Hackathon. SolTech offers technology solutions to businesses in the Atlanta area and has incredibly talented developers, project managers, and architects. The Iron Yard makes relationships with companies like SolTech that value and support their developers so that students who graduate from The Iron Yard have industry connections and are able to get into the workplace.

Without The Iron Yard, I know I not only could not have gotten this personal connection to be interviewed, but I also would not have the skills to succeed in the technical reviews.

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More Student Stories

Thomas 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.

Astrid was a data analyst working in oil and gas and decided to pursue her passion for building software. She now enjoys a successful freelance career.

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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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Andrew switched majors several times before finding programming. The Iron Yard helped him make a career out of building medical apps for people in Guatemala.

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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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Katie is a lover of all languages and taught English for many years. When it was time to switch careers, learning a programming language led to a career she loves.

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Matt Bertino left a great job in big finance to pursue his dream of building a company. Post graduation he joined our accelerator program.

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Becky already worked as a freelance web designer, but couldn't quite get a handle on JavaScript. Learning a new tool has made her an even more valuable consultant.

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