Now that I've moved back to Greenville from Pittsburgh, many people have been asking me "what brought you down here", "what are you doing now?", etc. To which I answer "I'm doing a three month development bootcamp for front end engineering at The Iron Yard..."
<insert blank, confused stares here>
Often, a further series of questions continues from there:
Bootcamp? It's something for the military?
What kind of engineering is that?
What's an iron yard?
Or my personal favorite - "oh...ok?"
So, I thought I'd do a post to take anyone who's interested through what all of that translates to.
This is where I arrive to in the morning. This is the NEXT Innovation Center - the building where The Iron Yard is located (correct, it's a company, not some sort of metal/sod hybrid - but more on them in a second). NEXT is a very neat space in Greenville geared towards housing tech-minded, innovative, and entrepreneurial companies in the area. Check them out here.
Then the festivities at The Iron Yard begin. The Iron Yard is a rapidly expanding company who specializes in a few things:
- Running an academy (i.e. bootcamp) for training in web development and mobile development.
- Operating a co-working space, which is essentially a shared office environment that multiple people who aren't necessarily associated with the same company can use (think self-employed, small startup, home business, etc.)
- Running a startup accelerator that provides working space, mentorship, seed money, etc. for entrepreneurs looking to take their ideas from zero to Fortune 500.
Enter The Iron Yard:
Every Monday through Thursday morning, this is where you'll find me. From 9am to noon-ish, we are in this room for lecture from Mason Stewart, the CTO/head instructor here. In this room, we learn (pretty simple). But more importantly, in this room we learn HOW TO LEARN. Knowing how to expand on our knowledge, discover new information, and deepen our skillset after we're outside these walls is much more important than anything we'll learn in them.
The rest of my time is spent in this room - Monday through Friday from noon-ish to sometime in the evening, and Saturday and Sunday as needed. This is where we work on our assignments for the day, night, and the time that we used to use for a silly thing called "sleep". It's awesome being able to work in a big, open, collaborative space. Questions fly, people help each other, and spontaneous conversations and inspiration are a constant. Plus, there's a gigantic, mustachioed Stormtrooper on the wall - so, there's that.
This is my desk - where the magic happens (translation: this is the epoch of significant frustrations, triumphs, and ah-ha moments). In case you're wondering, no, that's not a television on the corner. It is actually a monitor - 28 inches, 1920x1200 resolution, it's fantastic. If I had the money when I first got it 5 years ago, I would have bought 4 of them - and unfortunately, they don't produce them anymore #SadFace.
Hopefully, this gives a better idea of what I'm doing during the day/night/weekend. It's a tremendous privilege and blessing that I get to be in this space every day, doing what I get to do for the next three months!