First Code School Launches in Durham, Securing the City’s Rise as a Southeastern Tech Leader

April 1, 2014

9:00 am

Coding school and startup accelerator The Iron Yard today announced a partnership with Durham-based development firm Smashing Boxes to launch an immersive code school that will meet the Triangle region’s growing demand for a skilled technology workforce.

Dubbed The Iron Yard Academy, the code school will be the first of its kind in Durham, NC, and the second in the greater Triangle region. The region’s tech sector has seen incredible growth over the past decade – growth that the workforce simply cannot keep up with. Launching in June of this year, The Academy will offer code intensive courses in high-demand software languages to provide non-developers with the skills to secure jobs in a prospering field.

“The need for technical talent is even more concentrated in high-tech regions such as the Triangle,” says Nick Jordan, Smashing Boxes’ CEO. “We’re hoping the school will solidify Durham as a training ground for skilled programmers and continue to attract high-tech businesses.”


The Iron Yard Classroom

This up-and-coming technology region is growing quickly, whether the workforce is ready or not. Dedication and hard work will be required to meet the demands of the burgeoning tech industry in the South, and while The Academy’s curriculum aims to help meet that demand, it’s not for the faint of heart.

The program is centered on practical application, with each 12-week course combining teaching, mentorship, collaboration, and real-world development work. All assignments are cumulative and ultimately lead up to a final project that will serve as a professional-grade component of each student’s portfolio.

“By the end, students emerge as professional, junior-level programmers,” says Eric Dodds of The Iron Yard.

Classes will be held in the American Underground, in close proximity to some of the Triangle’s most promising tech startups. Students will also benefit from an applied-learning relationship with Smashing Boxes, having access to real-time culture and collaboration in an entrepreneurial and technical environment.

“The Academy is unique among code schools,” says Dodds. “Students will rub shoulders with real businesses and programming teams from day one.”


Students at The Iron Yard


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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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