The Iron Yard: My Turn

I’m starting the front end development program at The Iron Yard on 9/26/16, and I’m excited. Not in a new puppy being petted that pees a little on the floor excited, but not too far off from it either. I’m excited in an ecstatic yet nervous and anxious sort of way. I think that my excitement might be a little different from other students who are also enrolled into the program. The reason for the difference is I have witnessed first-hand the trials and challenges that awaits me with joining The Iron Yard. My wife has just completed the last TIY course for back end development. So…now it’s my turn.

The journey I’m now about to embark on is a dream come true. What started this dream was podcasts. I was introduced to podcasts in 2009. A friend of mine explained to me what podcasts were, and since we were allowed to listen to music at work this seemed like a cheap way to keep from listening to the same things over and over. I asked him if he had any suggestions, and he told me that one show he listened to was “This Week in Tech” with Leo Laporte. I was hooked instantly, and was soon seeking out other tech podcasts. I’ve been an amateur artist most of my life but I had not put together that websites could be considered an art form, and podcast started help me to understand that this was true and my interest was piqued. With getting my first iPhone in 2012 I now saw the potential with mobile applications and slowly started to realize that this was something I was interested in. In 2014 I actively started to figure out how best to acquire the training I would need to get into development. I looked into going back to IUPUI where I already have a bachelor’s degree. But after speaking with several people in the Indy tech scene I soon decided that was not the best route for me. The expense and the opportunity cost seemed high and I felt there had to be a better way. So I looked into alternative schools. While there was one in Indianapolis and after taking their introductory course I decided they were not quite what I was looking for. Then in 2016 my wife and I discovered The Iron Yard via Twitter. I had heard about TIY in other locations, but had no idea there was one in Indianapolis. We went to an open house. We knew immediately this was for us, my wife was also looking for a career change and the chance to be able to work with big data again was something she relished. We signed up that night. Marie, my wife, would go first because she would not have to quit her current job to be able to attend class and I would. I would go after she completed her course. Last week on 9/8/16 was her Demo Day, so I’m on deck.

Through the last 3 months I’ve seen a roller coaster of emotions. The Iron Yard is intense and is something that needs to be taken seriously and respected. Watching Marie struggle through the program at times and knowing that I would have to do that soon myself could be tough. I felt as though I was standing at the edge of a pool on a hot summer day. I know the pool is super cold, but I’m getting in anyway. I would prefer to jump in feet first and get started with swimming. But instead I’m walking into the pool slowly and just getting colder with every step and not quite being ready to start swimming yet. Will my experiences be like Marie’s? Will I have the same problems? I talked with Jessica and TIY and she gave me great advice at the exact time I needed to hear it. Jessica told me that this is your experience, and you need to make it your own. This is exactly what I’m going to do, I’m making this experience my own and going to do the very best that I can. Here is where I currently am. I have just quit my job of 11 years. I’m doing the pre-work for my class because it seems to be the thing past students agree is the best thing for an intro student to do. I’m not freaking out, I’m controlling what I can and letting what I can’t roll off of me. I’m clearing the decks and making TIY my priority for the next 3 months. I’m ready to get started and I’m excited, but I assure you not in a puppy peeing on the floor type of way.

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