Over the last 4 years, the Iron Yard has led the code school industry in preparing students for careers as software developers. The industry as a whole is still young and its leaders face the challenge of a nascent market, as well as the demands facing all institutions in the higher education marketplace.

In considering the current environment, the board of The Iron Yard has made the difficult decision to cease operations at all campuses after teaching out remaining summer cohorts. We will finish out summer classes completely, including career support.

While our journey is coming to an end, we will always take pride in the thousands of people our staff helped to launch new careers.

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  1. Stories & Reviews
  2. Mike Vaughan's Story
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.

More Student Stories

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.

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