Why is this blog here?
I’m writing this to keep a record of the things I learn on my journey through life. More specifically, this blog is being started now because I am attending the Ruby on Rails course at The Iron Yard in Durham, NC. For those that are unfamiliar, The Iron Yard is a code boot camp that offers 12 week intensive courses that takes students of any skill level and turns them into job-ready junior developers. This site will contain my experiences, thoughts, lessons, and frustrations.
I started programming in 2004. I attended college for 4 years, but didn’t graduate. I spent quite a few years in the limbo of knowing the basics of object-oriented programming but not being quite good enough to be considered job-ready. In this time gap, I hardly wrote any code and worked in completely unrelated jobs. I ran a scrap metal recycling facility for a while, then moved to North Carolina where I was unemployed for 3 months and ended up working in a factory on an assembly line.
How I Ended Up at The Iron Yard
After moving to NC, I was really trying to find a way back into coding, but college was too expensive, and I couldn’t get financing because of my already overwhelming student loan debt. A couple years drifted by, and every day presented more debt, more soul-crushing work, and more hopelessness. Finally, my wife’s family (my mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law) had mentioned The Iron Yard to me and asked if it was something I’d be interested in. As soon as I got on their site, I was already hooked. For once, my hopes raised and it felt like the future could bring a better life. Until I saw the price tag. Tuition for an intensive course is $12,000. Yes, twelve thousand.
My heart sunk, and I explained to them that while I would absolutely love to attend, there was no way I could come close to getting that much money. At the time, I was skipping meals and eating no more than once per day because I simply couldn’t afford it. They graciously offered to finance the class for me, and I was floored. My application was turned in the next day, and the next few weeks I spent nervously waiting, going for meetings and interviews until finally I was accepted in June.
So, this is how I got to today. We are currently on week 5 of the 12-week course. I’ve learned a ton already, and I know there’s a lot more coming. I’m going to add some posts to try to summarize the past few weeks. If anyone has any suggestions for topics, things they’d like to hear about, or questions about anything, my email is in the menu on the left under ‘about’. If you attend TIY with me, hit me up on slack. Disqus comments should also be getting added soon. Finally, if you’d like to see what projects I’m working on, my Github account is in the sidebar as well.
Thanks for reading!