Peter went to Vanderbilt University and studied computer engineering, which naturally led to him becoming an options executive on Wall Street. After the financial markets had worn out their welcome, he packed his family up, moved to Indianapolis and returned to his hacker roots as a software developer and CTO for SinglePoint, Inc. After several other successful startup exits, he moved his family to Greenville, SC, where he helped start NEXT and build the NEXT Innovation Center and founded The Iron Yard. He currently serves as our CEO and is sometimes referred to as "The Iron Barth."
Eric was born and raised in Upstate SC, where he spent his early years hiking, mountain biking and dirt bike riding with his dad. Somehow he ended up at Clemson University, where he tutored calculus, studied marketing and matriculated summa cum laude. (We hear there was a lot of wake boarding, too.) After school Eric worked at a nationally renowned marketing shop, where he developed content, managed accounts and built strategies for companies like Best Buy and Doubleday. He crossed paths with Peter as The Iron Yard was being born and jumped ship to join as a partner and head of marketing.
Cory has had a life-long passion for helping others, starting with spending 7 years as a Firefighter and CPR Instructor. But technology really captured his interest, and since then Cory has had the pleasure of working and leading teams building software for some of the largest companies and organizations in the world - including Microsoft, MIT, Beats By Dre, Wachovia and many others. In the mid-2000s Cory began working to solve the problem of organizational change and agility in companies, and led to his work with the Scrum Alliance, and Lean-Kanban University. Cory has been a guest lecturer at several universities, including Notre Dame and Carnegie Mellon, and speaks at organizations and conferences around the globe. During his downtime, Cory spends time with his wife and two girls where they can be found fishing, building awesome things, or just hanging out near any body of water.
Jessica is a Raleigh native and a graduate of the College of Charleston where she majored in Religious Studies. She unexpectedly stumbled into a career in tech by working on the People Team at Red Hat, Inc. where she learned to love the exciting and innovative world of tech. She is extremely passionate about education and is excited to pair her passion for education with her experience in the tech space. She can be found moving in a studio somewhere - dancing or doing yoga. She loves to travel, just about anywhere she can go and is a bit of a health nut.
Mason was born and raised in Jackson, MS (better known as The Dirty South). He grew up in the woods and, as a result, likes animals, trees and beer. A hacker from the start, he began hacking on software in his early teens. Upon moving back to the USA after four years in Japan, at age 24 he ended a multi-year fast from programming and hit the ground running. Like any good college graduate with a degree in philosophy, he has worked for small, boutique web shops, startups in San Francisco and everywhere in between. Mason serves as our CTO and head of all things pedagogical.
Aubrey was born in Houston, TX, and raised in the Upstate of South Carolina, meaning she's a southern girl through and through. Before she was even halfway through with her degree at the University of South Carolina, she had already joined Peter to help run the first iteration of our Accelerator program when she wasn't in class. On campus she served as Philanthropy Chair then Recruitment Vice President for Alpha Delta Pi (largest chapter in the nation). She keeps us straight with her perfect organizational skills, type-A project management skills and her always-wonderful way with people.
Amy Burka is a Greenville native and a graduate of Clemson University and The Iron Yard Greenville's Front End Engineering course. Her roles in marketing and graphic design piqued her interest about doing more than just updating information on a website, so she found The Iron Yard, and the rest is history. Amy loves hiking, running and, most of all, dogs.
Not your average southern girl, Kimberly spent most of her life in the North Georgia mountains, but also spent a few of her formative years in New Jersey. As you can imagine, the opposite lifestyles built for an eclectic personality that rolled into an "adorkable" introvert. It was by a sheer twist of fate that Kimberly landed at The Iron Yard, but as she says nearly every day "Everything happens for a reason." Taking a leap of faith and seeing what was just around the river bend, she moved out completely on her own for the first time in her life (Adulting, FTW!) to the beautiful city of Greenville, SC. In the alone moments, you'll find Kimberly editing a YouTube vlog, cuddling with her cats on the couch, or daydreaming of the future.
Brent has been obsessed with creating things using a computer since the early days of Macromedia Flash, when he discovered that the actual use of linear algebra is to simulate a 2D bouncing ball under gravity. (Why his math teachers never mentioned this remains a mystery.) Self-taught and always learning, Brent started his career in tech as an ISP repair technician, where he honed his programming skills during lunch breaks and over weekends. He went on to design and develop software at large organizations and startups alike, and never looked back. When he isn't writing a MUD engine in some new programming language or paradigm, Brent spends his free time being quite bad at imitating Pink Floyd guitar solos, cooking and consuming delicious food with his wife, and hanging out with his dog in sunny Florida.
Dana was born and raised in southern Virginia but has been living in Washington DC long enough to consider herself a local. She studied Business at Old Dominion University and upon moving to DC, became enamored with the local tech scene. Prior to The Iron Yard, Dana was Head of Operations and Special Projects at Disruption Corporation (acquired by 1776) and deeply involved in Disruption's post-seed venture capital arm, Crystal Tech Fund. Previously, Dana spent some time at WeddingWire, American Funds and ran a successful photography business. When she's not working in tech, she devotes all her time to her sidekick (dog), Jack, and learning to master new culinary challenges.
Lauren was born and raised in Raleigh, NC until she moved north for college and law school. She spent time living in and traveling around northern Virginia, DC, New York, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. After graduating from New York Law School she worked for a stint with the Bronx County District Attorney's Office, and met Christopher Meloni from Law & Order on a street corner. Switching tempos, she moved back to Raleigh in 2012 and found a hub of awesome awaiting her. After working as a paralegal and attempting to win back some of her spirit with a non-profit job, she joined The Iron Yard team to combine all her random talents into a lean, mean, licensing machine.
A Michigan native and South Carolina transplant, Victoria has over a decade of marketing experience under her belt. Working from both the client and agency side of Fortune 500 brands, she understands the challenges of today's marketplace and internal processes. She has driven results in innovation, new business development, product development, marketing, branding and community management. When not behind an excel spreadsheet, you can find her enjoying a nice craft brew and finding new ridiculous food to try to cook to varying degrees of success.
Matt is an Oklahama-born, Texas-raised southerner with brief Australian and British residences. He learnt programming in high school but quickly branched into scientific computing, compilers, web development, and computer security. He finally settled with a Computer Science degree from the University of Texas and two security certifications from "the man". The remaining 90% of Matt's experience was filled with his involvement in two startups; one SXSW campaign; a healthy dose of freelance web development; an opportunity to author a few books; some speaking arrangements at large conferences; and a consulting position that helped to round out his eccentricity with soft-skills, management exposure, and a place in the Houston community. Here at The Iron Yard, Matt works to break down concepts into delicious bite-sized morsels, meant to be enjoyed with crafty beer, memorable memes, and sophisticated southern and British "humour".
Lelia left her Birmingham, Alabama hometown to attend The University of Georgia, where she fell in love with both Athens and with Matt, her now husband. She graduated from the Grady College of Journalism in 2006 began her career as a PR practitioner in Atlanta before branching out as a freelance writer and communications consultant. Following a move to Charlotte, N.C. with her husband, Lelia shifted into the nonprofit world, took on social media and earned her MA in Communication from The Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. As a member of The Iron Yard team, she applies her passion for all things communications, writing and content strategy to the marketing team.
Sarah Lodato is a self-professed crafty superstar, and can be spotted around town digging through piles of vintage treasures for the next DIY opportunity. Her love for all-things-Atlanta has driven her deep involvement with the crafter and maker communities, a sense of “togetherness” she’s excited to bring to The Iron Yard. She's keen on styling and graphic design, always keeping her feet on both sides of the fence when it comes to creative and technical abilities.Her passion for education will be a driving force in new markets, and she’s excited to grow the organization's impactful and welcoming community.
Originally from Newport News, Virginia, Watson attended college at Hampden-Sydney where he fell in love with conversation and decided to major in English. After graduation, an interesting set of circumstances led him to a series of misadventures; including working at a summer camp in North Carolina, building a hospital in Honduras, and working a Thai restaurant in Australia. It wasn’t too long before he ended up back at Hampden-Sydney, where he spent 5 years in working in the admissions office recruiting students as Assistant Dean of Admissions. When he’s not answering phones, manning the “chat with us” box, answering emails, or processing applications at The Iron Yard, you can find him talking about and or listening to music, asking people about their “Jeopardy story,” and losing at video games…though you’d probably do best to start your search at the dueling piano bar.
Nathan is a native to Upstate SC. He spent his childhood summers climbing trees and playing King's Quest while burning through VHS copies of The Neverending Story on rainier days. Skipping ahead so as not to bore the poor readers here, Nathan attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fl - bouncing between majors ranging from theatrical scene design to photography. Somehow in the end, he ended up with a degree in graphic design, a girlfriend that would become his wife, and (with her persuasion) an affinity for small dogs. After college, he returned to SC and began a career in design and advertising. The last 10 years Nathan has worked as a lead digital creative on brands like EDF, Intuit Turbo Tax and Ryobi Power Tools. Now he's happily leading the branding and creative efforts at The Iron Yard.
A transplant due to the textile industry, Joe was born in Los Angeles, CA, but his roots are planted in Greenville. His journey began as a drummer at age 10 and led him down a path stopping at Clemson University for a degree in business followed up with the completion of the second-ever Iron Yard course offered. Now a Harvard Fellow tasked with changing the field of Primary Care, Joe has come full circle and returns to The Iron Yard team marrying his business background with his technical skills developed right here.
Laura grew up in Augusta, GA and is a proud University of Georgia alumna (go dawgs!). Seeking adventure, she moved to Colorado within two weeks of graduating and never looked back. Laura has spent the past four years working in Human Resources for the largest ski company in the world, specializing in Benefits for over 26,000 employees. Ready for a new adventure closer to family, South Carolina will be the fifth state she will call home. You can find Laura outside of the office enjoying everything the outdoors has to offer and spending time with her dog, Dixie.
Faith Adedokun, was born in Georgia, but raised in the capital city of South Carolina in a loud and colorful Nigerian family. There she attended, and is the proud graduate of Columbia College, an esteemed private all girls school where the mascot is unironically, the "Fighting Koala" (true story). Graduating having studied studio art, education and French, it was during this time that her passion for all of the above was truly ignited. A Jane of many trades, she has since lent her skill set to classroom education, curriculum development, textile design, product development, and asset management. She is more than proud to now be a part of leading The Iron Yard Greenville team. Faith, in her free time, is a freelance artist, an aspiring cellist, an avid reader, a powerlifter, a lover of all things art and music, and a rabid South Carolina football fan.
Toni was born in South Carolina, raised in Virginia, and lives in Florida, where she learned to love the southeast, sunny weather, and chihuahuas. After receiving her MBA at the University of Tampa, she began to share the impact of how technology can help nonprofit organizations touch more people. Realizing the need for talented developers, she crossed paths with The Iron Yard who shares many of her same values. Her passion is people and believes technology can help people achieve better results, quicker. She is excited about the warm welcome from St. Petersburg/Tampa and looks forward to collaborating with the community to develop amazing developers who want to make awesome things.
Growing up as an Army Brat, Karly lived in and out of the country until she began college in Santa Barbara, California. Upon earning her degree in English, she worked at a local Women's Business Center to support aspiring business owners as they developed business plans, which fortified her belief in the necessary, transformative power of community and education. She has a background in creative and technical writing, equipping women to launch and grow their own businesses, leading African explorations, and operating a small international jewelry business. She enjoys poetry, R&B, and biking touring.
Dana grew up in Florida and fell in love with North Carolina while studying Sociology at Salem College. Prior to joining The Iron Yard, she spent more than eight years in educational sales and support. Dana loves exploring the Durham food scene with her wife and son, and has a recommendation for whatever cuisine you are craving. She is working on collecting race t-shirts from every running event in the area. Dana loves helping our students on their journey to becoming Junior Developers by providing career support and networking opportunities.
Gene is a designer with almost 2 decades of experience in the industry (Ugh!?!) and a degree in Graphic Design. He has overseen the design and architecture of hundreds of web sites and applications through his business at Period Three. An active member in the design community, he manages SOCO Columbia's Cowork , he's the editor & producer of Unmatched Style, organizer of Refresh Columbia and the Converge conferences, President of AIGA South Carolina and writes a monthly column for Net Magazine.
Joshua was born in Providence, Rhode Island and is a recent transplant to Nashville. After graduating from the Community College of Rhode Island he managed rock clubs in New England, sat on the board of directors for a music history museum, and worked as a project manager for a chain of alternative newspapers. After moving to Tennessee last year, he spent the summer touring the country as a hired musician, becoming inspired by the entrepreneurial rebirth he witnessed in each city where he performed. He started playing around with code when he returned to Nashville, while looking for a meaningful opportunity to help contribute to the tech community of his adopted home. A diehard football fan, music fanatic, and occasional yogi, Joshua aspires to make Nashville the loudest Iron Yard campus.
Courtney's journey to tech included a long layover in academic librarianship. She brings to The Iron Yard that particular profession's passion for connecting people with the resources they need in order to thrive as citizens, students, and professionals. Educated in Houston, London, and Virginia, she also earned a Master's of Information & Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2012). Since then, she has focused on front-end web development, bringing these skills to a San Antonio public school district. When not wrangling her two cats, Xabi and Brixton, Courtney enjoys reading, cooking, watching football (ahem, the REAL football), and traveling the world. She has logged over 150 hours in Animal Crossing and knows where all the fossils are buried. ¡Vamos, Team Texas!
Giovanni began his career as a fine artists, mostly painting and showing in the south-east. He taught two years of high school and two years at the collegiate level, but hated the politics of schools and decided to get into commercial art. He got picked up by a web firm in Columbia, SC called Period-Three and fell in love with all things web. He is editor for UnmatchedStyle.com, creative director for ConvergeSE and has written a book "The Web Designer's Roadmap" for SitePoint.
Brian Dorton is the Campus Director in Houston. He was born in Victoria, TX and moved to Houston soon after graduating from Texas A&M with a BS in Biomedical Science. He worked in education for 10 years with experience ranging from classroom teacher to campus administrator and everything in between. He received his Masters in Educational Management in 2010 from the University of Houston Clear Lake. He has had the unique opportunity to see learning take place in students as young as 5 all the way through retiring professionals. Being able to facilitate that learning, and seeing the same “ah ha” moments on the faces of students, regardless of age, is what ignites the fire in him to continue this endeavor. He is a father of two beautiful girls who take up all of his free time and he also firmly believes that that brisket is the only BBQ that should be considered BBQ.
Mary attended college at the University of Central Arkansas and got a degree that means absolutely nothing - but loved every minute of it. She comes from the world of advertising, directing content and making email magic. After a stint at the Boys and Girls Club, Mary caught the education bug and hasn't looked back since. Mary loves fresh flowers, lakes, and food, a product of growing up in Arkansas. You can usually find her running with her dog JD or eating cake. Mary is excited to be a part of the bustling tech community in Little Rock and can't wait to make incredible things with incredible people.
Betsy grew up in upstate SC where she lived until heading to Winthrop University. She majored in Education and got her first teaching job at Oakbrook Middle School in Ladson, SC. After 3 years of teaching, she and her husband moved to Buffalo, NY. One winter in the north was enough to send them back to Charleston. Betsy returned to Oakbrook as the Instructional Technology Specialist and was able to pursue her passion with incorporating technology and education. This passion (and community connections) helped her build the Girls in Tech after school program that is focused on inspiring young girls to get engaged with and excited about their tech future. She recently received her Masters in Educational Technology and due to that has more free time to spend with her husband and 2 dogs (Max and Sammi).
Kayt works on our admissions pipeline and onboarding new students. She joined us from Cisco where she was a Project Coordinator for their internal training programs. She's a life-long learner, as represented by her Masters Degrees in both History and Museum Studies. You can find her musical talents on display with the Raleigh Concert Band.
Adam grew up in Minnesota before moving to Florida, where he attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He began his career as a journalist before transitioning to the nonprofit world, overseeing programming at a Tampa Bay community center. His passion for education led him back to Orlando to join The Iron Yard to make an impact on the lives of its students and the local community. When he's not behind a laptop, Adam can be found at music festivals or taking in local parks.
After a nomadic existence through the South, Midwest, and overseas, Su is planting roots in northern Virginia. She comes to The Iron Yard after several years of advocating for sensible immigration policy. Su is excited to show the impact that technology can have through education and see the DC campus grow in influence and support of the region. A 'non-political' political junkie, she loves all things games and DC-related shows.
Wes Lawson has lived throughout the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland, but he is at heart a South Carolina native. Wes earned his BA in Spanish and in Political Science from Hampden-Sydney College, and his Master’s from The Curry School of Education at The University of Virginia. With more than a decade of higher education experience Wes has led students through jungles in Latin America, staff development workshops, leadership retreats, and the intricacies of conflict resolution. He has volunteer experiences has an EMT, international development group leader, and stand-in camp counselor. When he isn’t at work he is fighting for couch space with his three dogs, in the backyard with his wife, or building with Legos and Transformers with their son.
Christie was born in Houston, TX and was lucky enough to move to Nigeria when she was two weeks old. She spent the first few years of her life in Nigeria and Angola before moving to Boston, Tulsa and then back to Houston. Those early adventures sparked a lifelong love of travel and she has been all over the world and still has many places on her "list" to see one day. She graduated from The Art Institute of Houston with an AAS degree in Film Production and earned her BA in Communications/PR/Advertising with a minor in English from The University of Houston. At the Art Institute of Houston, Christie discovered her passion for helping others achieve their dreams through education. She is involved with a number of charities that help children, animals, veterans and others. In her spare time, she loves to travel the world, write films, spend time with friends and family and hanging out with her two dachshunds Ben and Betty Lou.
Susanna was raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and has also lived in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Virginia; she considers herself an extreme Southerner as a result. She moved to Orlando three years ago to do her MBA at Rollins, and came to The Iron Yard through her search for a way to use her business skills and passion for education to positively impact the lives of people in her community. She loves new stories and old books, and when she has free time, likes to experiment with crafting and sewing, as well as baking French pastries.
Lindsey is a Mercer University Stetson School of Business grad. Her professional experience has taken her on a tour through higher education at the University of Georgia, a small benefits brokerage startup in Alpharetta, and then to Bain & Company where she began her career recruiting in 2008. She landed in Denver in 2012 where she recruited for DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc., a Fortune 300 healthcare company. While in the Mile High city, she picked up a love for road cycling, microbreweries, snowboarding, and all things Colorado. Being closely tied to her family (i.e., her adorable nieces and nephews), Atlanta ultimately called her home. Lindsey enjoys any music she can sing or dance to, binging on Netflix and HBO, visiting her best friend in Maui, attempting handstands, and driving fast cars.
Caitlin was born and raised in Rhode Island, where she spent copious amounts of time eating seafood, swimming at the beach, and enjoying living in temperatures under 100 degrees. She is a graduate of Roger Williams University, where she earned degrees in both English Literature and Spanish. Following completion of her degrees, she made a cross-country trip down to Dallas where she has lived and worked since. Caitlin started her career as a claims adjuster, and later moved into tech as a staffing specialist with a local Dallas firm. In her free time you can find Caitlin biking White Rock Lake, trying out new restaurants, or enjoying a comedy show.
Lindsay lived in four different locations before high school, and after graduating from Bryan College in Dayton, TN, she taught English as a second language in Seoul, Korea for 16 months. Lindsay keeps the travel bug at bay by spending time with her husband and puppy and exploring the ethnic restaurants in Atlanta. Since laying down roots through community involvement and different dance classes, the city has become home. Discovering The Iron Yard's Atlanta campus and becoming a part of the team in 2015 was a catalyst for Lindsay to invest even more in the community while capitalizing on her penchants for organization and efficiency as the Campus Operations Manager. The excellent Vietnamese restaurant down the street just sweetened the deal.
Travis spent the last 16 years working as a programmer and designer with a focus on web and mobile development at levels ranging from staff engineer to lead developer to web architect. He also made a stop in the data journalism world as Director of Technology and News Apps and Data Editor at The Texas Tribune. Travis has a deep passion for learning and education. He’s active in the Austin tech community, where he helps organize a handful of local technology groups. He is the author of two books, Pragmatic Version Control using Git and Pragmatic Guide to Git, has spoken at dozens of conferences worldwide and helped run programming workshops. Any given morning you’re likely to find Travis running around Town Lake or swimming in Barton Springs Pool. Evenings, you’ll find the proud Austinite on a patio in the heart of the city with his wife, enjoying a craft beer — from Texas, preferably.
A life-long Hoosier, Emily is the Campus Director for Indianapolis. After attending Valparaiso University, she moved to Indianapolis to work as a social media account manager for a small agency. She then transitioned into creative staffing, where she learned her love for the local tech community; and saw the increasing need for talented developers in the area. She is excited to bring her passions for tech and continued learning together with her love for Indianapolis here at The Iron Yard. In her free time, you can find Emily at a Colts game, decorating her home with fresh flowers, or enjoying a nice cup of tea.
Bethany spent her childhood in Houston before hittin' the road for Nashville to study Entrepreneurship at Belmont University. Through various service learning projects and a semester spent studying in London, she discovered her passion for creating immersive community experiences. Before coming to The Iron Yard, Bethany spent 7 years in the nonprofit world running financial literacy and work-force readiness programs. She’s a DIY-er at heart, will try just about any type of food, and is always down for a rousing game of Scrabble. She loves traveling with her husband, camping, hiking and lounging on the couch with her great dane (who has confused himself with a lapdog).
Jo started as a designer while studying at the Creative Circus, which has cursed him with the need to critique any and all bad design implementation. After getting a taste of code as a web developer, he found his passion and constantly pushed himself to learn more. That journey led him his true love: building apps for mobile devices. After launching several top-notch iOS apps, he landed at startup HighFive, a mobile rewards platform that tracks user activities and chooses when to offer rewards. His passion for education has never left, though, so he joined our team as an iOS instructor to help others discover the beauty of Objective-C.
James hails from Michigan by way of Ohio, where he spent seven years teaching computer science at an independent girls high school. He's been involved with technology at many levels, from offering color commentary at Lego robotics tournaments to contract programming for web companies on both coasts. Besides being ridiculously passionate about learning and teaching, he enjoys playing video games, being a loving husband to his amazing wife, and sharing his passion for programming.
Brit taught himself programming in 2008 and never looked back. Though his professional background is web development with Ruby and Python, Brit's favorite hobby project is a Nintendo emulator written in Lisp. Brit is fascinated by the history of software, the interplay between academia and industry, and the unique challenges of legacy code. If he's not mumbling about macros or working on his open source projects, you can probably find him playing with his dogs, making cocktails, and trying to learn more about fighting games and sound synthesis.
Tom has been involved with technology almost as long as he can remember. He's seen technologies (and computer languages) come and go from mainframes to mobile and from COBOL punch cards to Swift. While he has worked on mobile since the early days of Windows CE, he currently spends most of his time on iOS (and a little Android) with over 20 apps on the app stores for companies both large and small. He combines the technology experience with a background in business, design, and education to help his students get a well-rounded experience, not just learn to code. When he's not thinking about technology, he is an avid traveler having been to all 50 states, half of the Canadian provinces, and more than a dozen and half countries, and enjoys cooking and a nice glass of wine.
Trained as a mathematician, James heard the siren call of software development while working on his PhD, jumped ship, and never looked back. Most recently, he's been crunching numbers as a senior engineer at Emcien in Atlanta. He's very excited to be back teaching and able to share his zeal for software and development. When not thinking about code or mumbling things about monads, James is also an enthusiastic drummer - mostly math rock, naturally.
Ben grew up in Orlando, Florida and has been a tech nerd of one type or another his whole life. After teaching himself Linux administration and shell scripting, he tackled desktop Java development on several different projects, including one for the Department of Defense. Following some more Java development in the private sector and a dabble in Windows .NET programming for the now defunct Windows Mobile platform, he got hooked on the unique challenge presented by the limiting constraints of mobile programming. Upon the iPhone release, Ben began a 5 year exploration of Cocoa and Objective-C. Recently discovering The Iron Yard, he changed course once again to become the iOS instructor for TIY's Orlando campus. Ben is ready to dive in head first and do his best to serve The Iron Yard and its students well. Oh, and occasionally he likes to actually dive for real, mostly in the spectacular reefs and shipwrecks off the coast of Florida.
Nathan Hall is an Assistant Instructor of front end engineering with The Iron Yard. Before seeing the beauty of web development, Nathan worked in Capital Markets Advisory for PwC as a CPA. He loves combining his finance and accounting background with React and Rails. In his spare time, he loves playing fantasy baseball, quick games of speed chess, and Speyside Scotch.
JD Isaacks was born in Texas, grew up in the Arizona desert, and then moved all around before finally landing in Atlanta. He loves programming and open source. Having contributed to many major projects including React, D3.js, Backbone, Chef Server, Bundler and many others including being a member of the Bower and Moment.js teams, sometimes it's easier for him to tell you which open source projects he is not a part of. He is also the creator of GitGutter, one of the most popular sublime text packages out there. Seriously, ask him about the vim port! It's only natural with such a love of code that he enjoys talking about all things related to code with his students. When he isn't busy hacking away or teaching new hackers, he loves video games (mostly just the souls series), netflix, and of course spending time with family.
Sam Kapila is a designer from the Dutch island of Curaçao, who lives in Austin, TX. For six years, Sam taught Communication Design at Texas State University, where she helped build web design curriculum, including developing an upper-level course on Responsive Web Design and web typography. Her previous design work is recognized by Good50x70, Poster4Tomorrow, CMYK Magazine, Art Director's Club of Houston, and the American Advertising Federation. When she's not designing and coding, she's recording podcasts or chasing food trucks around Austin and eating.
Aaron is a passionate software developer and recovering Nutella addict. He co-founded 900dpi.com, a content management and web hosting platform for web designers. Before starting 900dpi, Aaron was the Chief Technology Officer at The Art Commission, a global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks. When he's not working on a new Node.js project, Aaron enjoys rock climbing, cooking and exploring Austin.
Abby Larner graduated from the University of Virginia iwith a degree in Environmental Science, but a passion for design. A self-taught UI/UX designer and front-end developer, Abby focuses on creating experiences that balance the intricacies of form and function. In her free time, Abby works to build stronger communities through her nonprofit startup, Design Like Mad. Design Like Mad brings together student and professional designers for 12 hours to work on projects for local nonprofits. Since its first event in Madison, Wisconsin 2013, Design Like Mad held events in 3 more cities including Portland, OR, Milwaukee, WI, and San Diego, CA.
Alex is a native South Carolinian with family ties stretching from Michigan to Florida. He started hacking on hardware & software (literally and figuratively) early in life and has never really stopped since. He’s worked as a movie rental guru, a system admin, an animal control specialist, a software engineer, and even had a 12 year stint as an autopsy technician. After deciding the medical field wasn’t the right place for him to stay, Alex redirected his energy towards his passion for programming, helping others, and solving problems with code. He currently resides in Newberry, SC with his wife, one dog, and three cats. In rare moments away from a keyboard, he enjoys vintage guitars & amps, travelling, live comedy, and trying desperately to keep up with the latest rap lyrics.
Mason grew up in Raleigh, NC, and started coding in Pascal and FoxPro at the age of 13. He has always been a software developer on the inside, but has served in many roles over the years. He received a Master's in computer vision and machine learning, taught at the North Carolina School of Science and Math, and ran SciMed Solutions (a local Rails development shop) as its President for five years. Mason loves being surprised by new things, sharing his love of small feedback loops, and identifying assumptions so that he can break them apart and build something better.
Eric is a University of South Carolina grad and Soda City native. While working on a Biology degree, he took up a job at the USC Electron Microscopy Center, where he took pictures at nanometer resolutions and routinely handled super-toxic chemicals. With a curiosity for understanding complex systems and a passion for tech, it's no surprise that the hunt for a job led him to his lifelong muse: programming. He enjoys working on open source projects, building learning tools, and hopes to one day attain unlimited insight into the Web; a state he refers to as "full-stack enlightenment".
Kelly recently returned from a stint in San Francisco’s tech scene to become Durham’s Assistant Instructor. She’s passionate about tech, education, and coding literacy, and believes all three can make the world a better place. When she’s not bathed in the glow of a monitor, she’s spending too much time gaming, blogging, or deciding what her superhero name would be just in case she ever wakes up with super strength.
Kurt has been programming for the web since he bought his first domain name in middle school. Professionally he splits his time behind writing backend APIs, Android apps, and browser-based interfaces. Most of his time has been spent in consulting and helping startups launch software to production. When he isn't working on projects for work, he can be found sticking sensors everywhere around his house, wearing Google Glass or getting a robot to make him drinks. Outside of the digital world he eats as much good food as he can and burns it off by walking everywhere possible.
Jeff is one of the few Las Vegas natives who resides in the Las Vegas area. He left for a time with his family to Texas and subsequently Colorado before returning to Sin City. After working to build and stabilize the Zappos search system he started a technical training department which helped people learn programming. The past 18 months Jeff ran the development of a full ride share system. Now he is excited to get back to teaching. Currently, Python is his favorite language with Java bringing up a close second. When he isn't developing he enjoys photography, Doctor Who and video games.
Zach started his programming career at the National Security Agency, where he learned about big software systems and the enduring value of privacy. After spending time in the private sector, he took a prolonged sabbatical to work on open source projects and tutor people for basically negative money. His primary technical focus is Java and Clojure, but he often teaches other things, regardless of his familiarity with the subject or the willingness of his audience.
Robert Pearce is an English major turned software writer from Charleston, SC who has spent the last 4 years living the digital nomad life throughout various European countries and the US. Tech industries in which he has worked range from healthcare to transportation to education. He is the CTO of RidePost, teaches aspiring coders, mentors startups and attempts to surf.
Jason is a native Floridian who started building for the web as a teen in the mid-'90s. He's been a Rubyist for about as long as anybody, founding the Tampa Ruby Brigade in 2006 and taking great pride in being an active leader in the local tech community. After stints in academia, startups, and as a consulting freelancer, he has found great joy in mentoring and sharing the knowledge gained over his career. He's also a game development enthusiast with a love for 3D modeling and animation. Jason is a father, a skeptic, entirely too opinionated, and prefers a word count with a power of two. When the world gets heavy you can find him either building LEGO® as catharsis or harnessing his power animal -- the panda bear.
Though born and raised in Arkansas, Daniel unfortunately does not have the southern accent gifted to other Arkansans. Having been exposed to coding at a young age, he started by dabbling in BASIC on the family computer, then moving on to Pascal and eventually C/C++ as an adult. After being introduced to C#, he fell in love with the language and has been developing on the .NET stack for over a decade. Whether teaching his kids the joys and pains of 8-bit gaming or speaking at a .NET user group, Daniel is passionate about sharing his knowledge with those around him. He has served as president of the Little Rock .NET user group and chairs the Little Rock Tech Fest. Daniel has a special interest in building the local tech community and educating future developers. He is excited to share his expertise and love of programming at The Iron Yard.
Justin spent the first 29 years of his life living in Massachusetts, Florida and New York. His move to Texas to teach for The Iron Yard was like a journey into the past. Exactly one hour into the past. Things just move a little more slowly here in the Central Time Zone, and we like it that way. Back in the future, Justin started out as a journalist. After spending a few years indulging his muse as a writer he moved on to study Natural Language Processing, the branch of computer science that deals with understanding and using human language. Essentially he's Joaquim Phoenix from the movie Her. He brings his love for language and his curiosity about AI (or the semblance thereof) to his Iron Yard curriculum on Front End Engineering and Python/Data Science.
While also a long-time freelancer and full-stack developer, David really loves teaching. He helped design and teach the Web Development AS program for Valencia College, authored the 'Shaping Up with Angular JS' course for Code School, and is writing additional curriculum for more advanced students. Originally from Charleston, SC, he attended Clemson University and spent several years in Greenville, although long before The Iron Yard emerged. He may be an Orlando transplant, but -- like many other invasive species -- has become deeply rooted since being introduced. He leads monthly user groups, speaks at local tech conferences, and mentors others in his spare time. You can find him online by his unique pseudonym 'AL the X' and IRL by his penchant for haberdashery.
Jess is an avid maker of things. As a child, she could be found on the side of the road making mountains out of road side runoff. Now, she’s most often found in front of her computer or sewing machine, making things slightly more practical. A graduate of The Iron Yard Front End Engineering course in 2014, she has finally found a way to combine her love of making things with her love of problem solving. She also loves dancing, and cannot sit like a normal human.
Originally from South Carolina, Luke is returning to the east coast after three years as a product manager at Google in order to find the intersection of his two favorite topics: teaching and building things. He spent a long time in school, earning both his bachelors and masters in computer science, but has also been an avid side project enthusiast since graduating. During grad school he taught a course for budding computer scientists and realized how accessible and fun coding could be for others and has been excited about it ever since. While not at work, Luke can usually be found overcommitting himself to various shenanigans, including but certainly not limited to scuba diving, video games, writing, and improv.
Gavin is a native of Florida and currently resides in St. Petersburg. Fearful he would someday melt under the Florida sun, Gavin took a break from the Sunshine State and studied mathematics and computer science in Rochester, New York and Management Information Systems in Tucson, Arizona. Gavin has been writing software since programs were saved on tape and source code was printed in magazines. When not programming, he can be found wondering if he will ever finish book four of the 'A Song of Fire and Ice' series, promoting a future of electric cars, convincing his girlfriend that PopTarts should go in the shopping cart since they are healthy because they contain seven minerals, and recently trying his hand at improv comedy.
Ryan is an avid polyglot in all things tech and digital media. Starting out playing with Java and .NET building games and terminal programs, he went through a long route to find his love for the web. As a short break from full time coding, Ryan studied audio engineering at Belmont University and was able to record some of his favorite artists including Run Kid Run. Looking for more freedom, Ryan came back to coding with force joining a creative agency in Nashville, TN and started building his open source chops. Since then Ryan has worked in fast paced startups including a few of his own maniacal creations, while also creating learning resources via his blog and screencasts. If he's not coding, Ryan is probably off enjoying video games, chilling with his dog, finding gifs or trying to mix all three.
Graduating from Full Sail University in Orlando, FL Jason quickly started paving his way to be an impactful member of the tech community. His role with Articulate laid a foundation of experience allowing him to create his own company, Film Hubble. It remains his product of passion, destined for creating an easier workload for the filmmaker. He truly believes that learning starts with understanding an individual and all they have to offer. In his free time he works, runs and enjoys copious amounts of family time with his wife April and newborn son Han.
A native of West Virginia and former English major, Chris Vannoy took a circuitous route to both Indiana and web development. He first transitioned from the sports desk to web development at a newspaper in the New York City suburbs before transferring to The Indianapolis Star. While there, he developed news applications on Rails 1.x - including a photo and gallery management application that handled millions of views (and thousands of photos) per month. Since getting out of journalism while the getting was good, Chris has worked in development and development management everywhere from Angie's List to an advertising agency while trying to build Rails-based small businesses on the side. He tends to think entirely too much about WVU football, self-funded businesses and managing a career as a developer.
Calvin was born in Hawaii but eventually landed in Charleston by way of the Outer Banks. Tempered by hurricanes and big waves, Calvin has a passion for coastal life that is only rivaled by his passion to learn and teach. Calvin has taught web development classes to college students and environmental education to K-12 students. As a developer Calvin has worked with a huge range of companies, from The Charleston Museum to the Veterans Administration and Cummins Marine. He has also contributed to the Modernizr project as well as Adobe Brackets.
Tim comes to Atlanta after living in Scranton, PA, for the past 12 years. He is just as excited to leave behind the long-wintered north as he is to be a part of The Iron Yard. As a developer he has had a wide range of experiences from roles in small startups to large, publicly traded companies. He is also the co-founder of an agency that has worked alongside Fortune 500 companies. When not programming, he can be found playing music or catching up on one of the many documentaries found on Netflix.
Phil has been programming since the age of 12. He has worked for companies from WordPerfect to eBay. When the AppStore was announced in July 2008 he jumped at the opportunity to start building Apps. He flew to Denver and learned from two of the best Mac Developers at Pragmatic Studio. He never looked back and has since developed Apps for clients big and small as a freelance App developer. Phil has a passion for teaching and mentoring students and is excited to continue his coding journey at The Iron Yard.