Yesterday, I had lunch with Rene, a student from The Iron Yard’s iOS class. I’m in the Rails class, so we pass each other in the hall, but this was the first chance we got to really talk.
Something Rene said really struck a chord with me:
“I have been teaching myself to code for a year, and I learned more in my first week at The Iron Yard than I learned in that entire year.”
Well said, Rene!
I also have a year of self-teaching under my belt, and the first week of class was equivalent to at least 6 months of that time.
Why? Here are a few of the reasons:
- My teacher (James Dabbs) is awesome. He knows what he’s talking about, and knows how to teach. Most internet resources are written by people who have (at most) one of those 2 skills.
- The class pushes you past what you THINK your limits are. Several times a week I get an assignment and think “There’s no way I’m going to be able to do this,” and then I DO IT.
- You don’t waste time fighting stupid issues. Without guidance, you can lose five hours fighting a stray comma. Here I have 12 other students who can look at my code and, because they haven’t written it and haven’t been staring at it for hours, can immediately see the problem.
- You are surrounded by smart, successful people every day, and if you have any sense you will realize that this is the best networking opportunity you will ever have in your life.
When I was trying to decide whether to go back and get a second Bachelors degree or attend a coding bootcamp, I wished I could find a real student’s opinion.
So here it is: I can’t speak for the other coding bootcamps, but if you’re looking at The Iron Yard:
Yes, absolutely, YES go to The Iron Yard.
Just make sure you’re prepared before you do. (But that is an entirely different blog post).