Preparing for The Iron Yard

June 24, 2015

After a year of self-teaching and experimenting with programming, I’m going to attend The Iron Yard to round out my skills and move into a professional development career. My cohort starts on June 29. As excited as I am to get started, I am glad I have these remaining weeks to prepare for a very busy three months. Here are some of my thoughts and plans as I transition to a very new lifestyle.


Leaving My Current Job

I recently quit my job at a local pizza chain called Chicago’s Pizza. And for reasons I could never properly convey, I’m deeply saddened to say goodbye. I’ve happily worked here for almost seven years. When I began I was a weird fifteen-year-old that washed dishes on Saturdays, and I slowly grew up around some great people and became a full-time manager. Chicago’s has been a home to me and I’ve met some of my closest friends through this job.

  It’s hard to explain why a job like this means so much to me. I imagine many of my coworkers have the same issue. There’s just something intrinsically different about this place. It might be how damn good the pizza is, but I doubt it. You’d be hard-pressed to find another restaurant with the level of support and care for each employee. There’s a reason so many people work here for years and often return after leaving for school or other jobs. It’s just a great place to work. I know in 10, 15, 20 years I’ll still be in contact with this place.


“Pre-work” for The Iron yard

While The Iron Yard doesn’t believe a huge amount of pre-work is necessary to do well, there are obviously some things that need to be researched beforehand. I have a list of resources I’ve compiled, as well as a list of things my instructor wants us to look through. It’s awesome that there is so much available for anyone wanting to learn, but it has caused some analysis paralysis for me. If you don’t know what that is, imagine renting 20 books from the library and not reading any of them because you have no idea which one to grab first. It’s a thing. And for people born after 2000, imagine buying 20 books on your kindle. Which one is kindle?


Most of my time now is spent working through various tutorials, some for my class, some to supplement my class, and trying to enjoy this little summer holiday I’ve been given. I know the best thing I can bring to TIY is an open mind and a can-do attitude. Working through the tuts is more just to remind myself how fun this stuff is. If you don’t love SQL on some level then you probably don’t belong here.


Other stuff

I recently returned from Bonnaroo. It was okay. If you don’t know what Bonnaroo is, it’s basically a music festival smashed with an arts festival and populated by about 100,000 campers. Yes, campers. Like in tents. It was pretty nasty. In a good way. And a bad way. I will not be returning next year.


Later this week I’m going to make a short trip to Chicago for some cliche tourist action. If anybody knows of any hidden gems around the city I’d love to hear some suggestions. Luckily it’s an overnight trip so maybe I’ll find something off the beaten path to explore.


Thanks for reading and if you’re interested in The Iron Yard, or code schools in general, I will be blogging throughout my class. Hopefully I’ll have something useful to share.