The Iron Yard kicks off the new year with second coding academy

by Todd Jones ([email protected]) 250 views 

A classroom at The Iron Yard.

The Iron Yard will host Demo Day for the second cohort of the coding academy on Jan. 22, at the Clinton Presidential Center from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Students will show work from the twelve weeks of classes to an audience of engineers, local tech companies, and supporters of the tech community.

The Iron Yard recently announced a partnership with Innovate Arkansas, a program of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Winrock International to provide $30,000 in scholarships for students in the third cohort. The money will provide scholarships for 12 students in amounts of $6,000, $3,000 and $1,000. The scholarship helps students who are changing careers.

“The Iron Yard and Winrock scholarship made my career change possible,” Scott Ferguson said in a press release. “There were potential employers visiting with us regularly during the course, and now I have a great career as a software developer with one of those companies.”

Local companies who have hired students include DNT Media, PrivacyStar, Mass Enthusiasm, and

“The iron yard has helped us get connected with developers more efficiently than employment ads or recruiters,” said Mass Enthusiasm Technical Director and Lead Developer T.J. Mahaffey. “They have also helped ensure that those we interview are essentially pre-qualified with the basic skills we need.”

In addition, Mahaffey said Mass Enthusiasm is working beyond the hiring process by helping facilitate mock interviews for the students. Scholarship applications can be found at this link and are due by Feb. 5. The third cohort begins Feb. 15.

Talk Business & Politics recently asked The Iron Yard Campus Director Mary Dunlap a few questions about the past year.

TB&P: What have you learned in a year being with The Iron Yard?

Dunlap: With two cohorts at The Iron Yard now under my belt, I have witnessed the huge impact these courses have on our students’ lives and careers. It has also reaffirmed my passionate belief that technology education creates real, lasting change not just for our students, but for companies and the Little Rock community as a whole.

TB&P: How has each class been different?

Dunlap: Every class of students is unique in its own way. It’s really neat to see students create their own culture and bond through the highs and the lows of the course. They nurture new friendships with their classmates and our staff, and being part of their journey is humbling to say the least.

TB&P: What are you most looking forward to in 2016 at The Iron Yard?

Dunlap: Big things are in store for The Iron Yard’s Little Rock campus in 2016. I’m looking forward to a growing campus, welcoming new staff and new cohorts of students, and the launch of our Kid’s Classes. Stay tuned to for updates throughout the year.