The Iron Yard Graduates Inaugural Coding Classes in Charleston

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Charleston's only intensive code school showcases final projects to hiring partners at Demo Day in Silicon Harbor.

Shawn Leberknight, a graduate of The Iron Yard Academy in Charleston, shows off his final project.

Shawn Leberknight shows off his final project.

The Iron Yard really did change my life. I landed a dream job the week after I graduated!

The Iron Yard Academy’s Charleston campus graduated their first cohort of Software Engineers on June 20th. Two classes, one studying Front End Engineering and the other Ruby on Rails Engineering, sprinted through intensive 12-week courses consisting of advanced lectures, lab time, one-on-one mentorship and lots of late nights coding.

With no coding experience required, though, how far can a three-month course take students? Far enough to launch a career, get a job, or start a company. Students spend the final two weeks of their project-based curriculum building a robust application for over 80 hours each week, tackling everything from concept to deployment. That capstone project serves as proof that they are ready to work as a professional and solve programming problems for companies and clients.

The recent graduates from The Iron Yard’s Charleston campus presented final projects ranging from a fitness competition tracker for multiple devices and people to a service that connects consumers and food trucks via maps and SMS notifications. The graduates are now pursuing jobs as developers, launching freelance careers and even starting their own companies, and they are ready. The class has learned the fundamentals of not only their chosen programming languages, but how to think like an engineer, plan and estimate projects, work in a team with other software developers, and learn new skills through research.

Many students are well into their job searches and have begun interviewing with a wide range of local software leaders, including Benefitfocus, BoomTown, and Blue Ion. Graduates are finding the job market very welcoming, and some have even received job offers within a few days of graduation. One student, Shawn Leberknight, accepted a position as a UI/UX Engineer with SPARC 5 days after the end of the program. Students and companies alike are excited about filling the talent gap and growing the already-strong tech community in Charleston.

Interested in learning to code or hiring development talent? Check out to find out more, and mingle with the graduates themselves at their next Demo Day.

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Sally Kingston
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