Seek and you will find
- This sounds great, but what makes you different from other code schools?
- I don’t need to know how to code? Are you serious?
- What kind of sorcery do you use to make all of this happen?
- You’ll help me find a job?
- What kinds of companies do your graduates go to work for?
- How much does it cost?
- How much time and commitment will it really take?
- What do employers say about students they’ve hired?
- What do students say about your classes?
Didn’t see what you were looking for? Send us an email and we’d be happy to answer your question.
Great question. The answer depends on which school you compare us to, so we’ll talk through the most common options people ask about. If you want, set up a call with our team. We love talking about code schools and want to help you make the right choice (even if that means it’s not our school).
Let’s tackle what makes us unique by category.
We love telling people that you can find almost all of the raw information in our curriculum online, for free. It’s no secret: “Google University” has produced many a fine programmer. In almost every case, though, their skill was forged over years of experience, trial and error, and learning the hard way just how much horrible information and advice there is on the internet. With the ever-increasing technological advances in the world of programming, it’s getting even harder to sort the good from the bad and keep up with what new tools you should learn. Our course is designed to trim the fat you find online, compress learning time by showing you the right resources, dive far deeper than most internet tutorials take you, and, most importantly, teach you the intangible elements of great programming (collaborative coding, architecture, workflows, good communication, etc.)
Online code education programs
We’re huge fans of online education. In fact, we’re good friends with the people at Treehouse and encourage all of our students to sign up so they can expand their knowledge, learn new languages, and continue practicing the art of code. What’s more, most students who come to us have spent time in some sort of online code program and realized that becoming a professional developer in the near future is going to take more than a few hours of tutorials on nights and weekends. What many don’t realize is that most online schools fail to plumb the depths needed in order to be a top-notch developer. Instead of scripted, step-by-step assignments, our exercises focus first on problem solving, meaning students complete the same assignment in a variety of ways. This teaches them the real-world complexity of programming and gives our instructor live examples to teach from.
Offline code schools
There are offline code schools popping up all around the world, and from what we can tell, their quality varies widely. After talking with students and instructors from other schools, here are a few things that we know set our program apart:
- Dollar for dollar, we’re one of the most affordable programs out there for what you get. A new laptop and guaranteed job offers are hard to come by, and the total cost of getting both at The Iron Yard is more affordable than other programs. Also, the cost of living in our cities is far less than places like New York and San Francisco.
- We teach far more than code, bringing in guest-lecturers who talk about design fundamentals, how to work well with designers, back-end programmers, entrepreneurs, and more.
- We place a high value on soft skills, focusing on the qualitative aspects of being a successful programmer, whether that’s in a freelance career or at a company. We give students feedback on their interaction and contribution in group projects, their communication with us during the program and the strengths and weaknesses they’ll carry into their work. On top of this individualized attention, our team lectures throughout the semester on communication skills, freelance contracts, team dynamics and provides templated contracts and proposals they’ll need when they graduate.
- Our instructors are practicing professionals. We give our teachers one month off between each class, and that time is filled with working on real products, learning the latest technology, and incorporating their learnings into the curriculum to keep it bleeding-edge.
- Our job-placement is personalized. Our team works incredibly hard to get students where they want to be, whether that’s a startup or a large corporation. We have contacts all around the country and after the program we meet weekly with each student to execute a job-searching strategy with them. We also perform mock interviews so that there aren’t any surprises when you graduate.
- When appropriate, we give our students paid freelance work before they graduate. If students have extra bandwidth, we connect them with partner companies who pay cash for contract work, meaning real portfolio work and references when they graduate.
- We work on real projects. Whether it’s an internal tool for The Iron Yard or an actual product our team or one of our Accelerators is building, our students have the chance to work on real live stuff that actual customers will use.
- You get access to the entire Iron Yard family. Whether it’s working shoulder-to-shoulder with our accelerator teams, sitting in on mentor sessions, networking with our CoWorkers, or looking through our Rolodex and asking for introductions, we give you any resource we can to help you be successful. We partner with awesome sponsors. Our sponsors provide amazing resources to our students, from free accounts to web-design assets. Check them out at the bottom of the page.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But it’s true: we teach people who don’t have any prior coding skill. We do require people to dip their toe in the water by going through some basic online tutorials during the interview process, but that’s simply so they have a chance to actually write the language and be certain they want to dive into three heavy duty months of it.
Don’t get us wrong—you won’t be a CTO when you get done with the program, but you will be one of the top junior-level programmers available for hire and have the foundation upon which to pursue a CTO-like role.
Black magic. (Just kidding.)
First and foremost, we accomplish this through hiring the most talented people out there. Our employees are some of the most highly-paid people in their industry because they’re worth it.
Second, we all love what we do. The people we hire are passionate about changing people’s lives through code education, and they invest their heart and soul into making that happen. (Several have left huge companies and startups to join our team because they believe in our mission).
If you choose to enroll in the job placement program, we’ll do our darndest to put you where you want to be, and we’re putting our money where our mouth is.
We cannot guarantee the exact salary or location of the job, but if you don’t get an offer in six months, we’ll give you your tuition back. Contact us for more details.
If you choose to freelance, we help you get paid work and walk through your first several projects with you.
Our students pursue all types of programming careers when they leave The Iron Yard, from small web shops, venture-funded startups and marketing agencies to established product companies and design firms. Many of our students also choose to pursue freelance or contract work for the flexibility they provide.
Dollar for dollar, we’re one of the most affordable programs out there for what you get. A new laptop and guaranteed job offers are hard to come by, and the total cost of getting both at The Iron Yard is more affordable than other programs. Also, the cost of living in our cities is far less than places like New York and San Francisco.
Base tuition is $9,000, and we have significant discounts for enlisted military personnel and veterans, as well as scholarships.
If you pay the full cost of tuition up front, you’ll get a $250 discount. If you pay half up front, you’ll get a $125 discount. We also offer financing: Pay one-third of the tuition up front and the balance in even payments over six months afterwards.
Tuition with a laptop included is $10,000. This is the absolute cheapest way for our students to get their hands on a brand new MacBook Air. If you want to use your own machine it has to be a recent Apple laptop, with ample processing speed and hard drive space. Not sure if yours qualifies? Give us a shout.
Housing (Greenville, SC only)
Housing is only available for our Greenville, SC Front End Engineering course. It is $1500 for the three months. We have a block of really nice, fully-furnished apartments that are reserved for our Greenville Academy students year round. We’ve done our research and it’s almost impossible to find cheaper (nice) living if you don’t live in town.
We are very clear with our students about how difficult this program is. We train professional programmers, not casual enthusiasts. Our average student puts in 60 hours per week, many have to invest more than that.
What makes it so demanding? You learn a new subject almost every day and have homework associated with that topic due at 8:00am the next day (or Monday if it’s a weekend). The assignments are cumulative, so you incorporate things you’ve already learned into new ones so that by the end you have muscle memory across the spectrum of the subjects you’re studying.
Don’t get us wrong—we’re not workaholics and we don’t want you to be either, but building the foundation for a great, balanced career is no easy task. Our policy is “work hard during class so you don’t have to afterwards.”
Here are quotes from people who have hired our students:
“When I hired Andrew McIntee to overhaul a handful of our web properties, I was blown away at how much he had learned from The Iron Yard Academy. We couldn’t be happier.”
—Dan Waldschmidt, CEO of Waldschmidt Partners
“Tyler has been great. Each project he did had a unique layout and therefore needed a little more care than the templates for the rest of the site. The first week, I had him come in just to test the waters…and I hope to use him weekly/bi-weekly until they’re all live. He has a great personality, easy to talk to and work with. He takes direction well, and offers good solutions and alternative solutions. The markup that he produces is top notch—it was extremely easy for me to go in and make tweaks when I was stitching files together for launch. Overall, I’m really impressed. Can’t wait to see more guys like him come out of the program. Thanks for the recommendation.” —Nathan Spainhour, Digital Guru at Brains on Fire
“Our latest programmer is an Iron Yard graduate and we’re impressed. She comes to us in learning mode from the academy and is picking up the languages that we need her to use quickly. She’s already added a lot of value and enthusiasm to the development team.”
—William Haynes, CEO of Sabai Technology
Want to talk about adding our grads to your team? Give us a shout.
We’re so glad you asked. We’ll let them tell you themselves:
“The Iron Yard has taught me a new way to think, given me confidence to move forward, and opened numerous doors on a path to a fulfilling programming career. Thinking about it? Stop, and just do it.”
—Daniel Jeffords, Class of April, 2013
“I came into the class as a small-time, self-taught web developer, the Iron Yard Academy helped me re-learn how to develop the right way. I can now write production-level code with confidence and collaborate effectively with other programmers. Going to this class taught me how to be a true craftsman of the web, dramatically increased my industry value, and opened up tons of doors for work.”
—Andrew McIntee, Class of April, 2013
“The staff is cool, easily approachable and encourages questions. The workspace and classroom are awesome. Aside from comfy furniture, they have a pool table, an open source video game console but best of all, you can draw on almost every wall in the building.”
—Ari Picker, Class of August, 2013
Want to talk to a graduate? Give us a shout and we’ll connect you.