My Answer: Is The Iron Yard Academy Worth The Investment?

Yesterday I wrote about a potential customer asking a question about our business on Quora1:

Is The Iron Yard Academy worth the investment?

I thought it would be interesting to publish my response—they way I tried to express what our customers receive when they give us money. (One of our graduates also responded, which provided an interesting and incredibly encouraging perspective2.)

Here’s what I wrote:

Great question. For context, I’m a partner at The Iron Yard (and helped found the company).

I’ll give a broad overview of what joining The Iron Yard means (and why it’s worth the investment).

As with all investments, determining value ultimately depends on what you desire as an outcome (i.e., your return on investment).

The Iron Yard is built for people who want to launch careers in technologyfrom the best possible foundation. We’ve designed our courses to prepare students as true professionals for a variety of jobs (not teaching them ‘just enough’ for a specific type of industry).

Learning to become a professional programmer in a short amount of time takes an incredible amount of focus and investment—both on the part of our students and on the part of our staff. Some people want to learn more about programming, develop a cursory knowledge of coding, or learn on the side while they work. There are lots of great part-time programs and online resources for them, but we’ve seen over and over again that becoming a highly-qualified professional is almost impossible without 100% focus and guidance from a qualified, experienced educator.

So, to answer your question more specifically, if you’re looking to learn from the best programming instructors in the industry, build a rock-solid foundation as a software engineer, learn how to learn (so you can teach yourself), participate in a best-in-class, holistic career support program and access The Iron Yard’s deep, international network of companies, graduates, accelerators, and more, then yes: The Iron Yard is absolutely worth the investment.

An analogy we often use is the process of learning a foreign language. There are thousands of options available for learning a new language, from mobile apps like Duolingo to more robust programs like Rosetta Stone or even night classes at a local college. Anyone who’s tried learning a foreign language, though, knows that for most people those resources only go so far. That becomes readily apparent if you visit a country of native speakers. Local dialects, slang and culture are hard to pick up from digital products or part-time classes.

The best way to learn a foreign language is to have a native tutor you and teach you the foundations—the why questions that underpin the culture and the way people view life that seeps into the language they speak. That understanding provides context for sentence structure, conjugation, etc. Syntax comes in time, but without a foundation, syntax alone isn’t enough to make you fluent.

The Iron Yard serves you as that guide, giving you the mindset, skills and tools you need to thrive as a native in the world of programming.

1. You can read the original post about the customer question here.2. You can read all of the responses on Quora’s site.

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