Q&A With The Iron Yard’s Mary Dunlap

by Todd Jones (tejones1971@gmail.com) 107 views 

The Iron Yard kicked off last week in Little Rock with its first class. Several students have settled into their bootcamp learning a new skill in the world of coding.

The Iron Yard, a coding school with a national reputation, originated in Greenville, South Carolina, and specializes in advanced education in software application development, web design, coding and engineering. It partners with accelerators and co-working spaces to assist with people and their ideas.

In many cities, The Iron Yard helps train entry-level coders and helps them find employment with startups or existing tech companies in the area.

Earlier this year, Mary Dunlap was hired as the Campus Director for The Iron Yard’s Little Rock operations. She is a public relations graduate from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, and worked for a local PR firm before taking on the role of what she termed as part campus director, part “tech evangelista” for the new Little Rock coding school.

Talk Business & Politics contributor Todd Jones caught up with Dunlap to ask a few questions.

TB&P: What kind of events have you attended to promote The Iron Yard?

Mary Dunlap: I have been to all types of events around Central Arkansas. From meet-ups to large events like BarCamp LR to weekly events like 1 Million Cups, I’ve had the opportunity to spread the word about The Iron Yard to many different people.

TB&P: What are your observations in the first two months on the job?

Dunlap: I have learned a lot of about Little Rock in the past two months, but my biggest observation is the fact that we have an incredibly supportive and tight-knit tech community that welcomed me with open arms. The Iron Yard is another puzzle piece to this community, and the support I’ve felt from those I’ve come in contact with is unparalleled.

TB&P: What has you most excited about your new role and new employer?

Dunlap: I have really enjoyed getting to know all types of people. From my co-workers to students to the individuals from all around Arkansas, being able to meet and get to know those from all walks of life has been fascinating.

TB&P: What has the response been from the community to The Iron Yard?

Dunlap: We have had an unbelievable amount of support from Central Arkansas. We believe in investing in this community, but the investment the community made in us is having a huge impact. From technical to non-technical, people have reached out and been passionately involved in helping us succeed.

Read more about The Iron Yard at this link.