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Taking Ironhack’s Part-Time Coding Bootcamp: Reflections of a Student Dropout

Ironhacker Web development

My name is Marisa and I am an ex-student of Ironhack’s part-time course. Less relevant, but just as important to share, I’m also the Program Manager at Ironhack’s Miami campus.

You see, one of the perks of working at Ironhack is that you get to take the courses for free. So, in January, I embarked on what I then thought would be my life-changing entrance into the world of code. As is probably obvious from the title, I didn’t last very long.

These are things that everyone on the Ironhack team will tell you, but that no one likes to believe:

  • The part-time course is HARD.
    The curriculum is by no means easy, but what’s 
    really hard is that for 6 months, you spend two nights a week and all of your Saturday coding! This means no more Saturday beach trips with friends, or Tuesday happy hours at Blackbird (at least for the next 6 months)
  • You have to do the homework.
    Seriously. The course alternates between lecture, pair programming exercises, and individual exercises. Most of the individual exercises are done at home. These assignments are your chance to find the gaps in your knowledge, review the material that challenged you, and perfect the skills you built in class.
  • The course will give you what you give it.
    I’ll explain: In my class of 20 students, we had 3 instructors (1 lead and 2 TAs) and the constant support of Ironhack alumni and students. The people and the expertise are some of the biggest perks of taking an in-person course, and it pays to take advantage of them.

Though I could cite a variety of factors that led me to dropping the course (I was distracted by moving into a new apartment, I had to miss class often to host Ironhack events, etc.), the reason I’m least likely to admit is this: I was not willing to put in the work.

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Though the part-time course is hard, I know now more than ever that if this is something you want and you’re willing to put in the work, it’s well worth it. I’ll put it in perspective:

  • Since I dropped the part-time course, I’ve spent 2 Saturdays at the beach, and 4 Saturdays meticulously cleaning my apartment. In the meantime, my ex-classmates have learned to build out games like this.
  • In another 3 months, I will have gone to the beach a few more times, and gone to a couple more happy hours. My ex-classmates will be building out things like an online wedding planner, the Uber for driveway parking, and an app to better monitor and control your mood (these are just a few examples of what past students have built).

Beyond not being able to code my own web apps, I’ve also missed opportunities to manage new tech projects. Because learning to code isn’t just about becoming a software developer; it’s about keeping up in this new world in which elementary school students are learning to code, and machines are replacing mundane human tasks. It’s about being a smarter entrepreneur and a better manager. (To learn more on this topic, read Ariel’s post in Entrepreneur Magazine.)

Needless to say, I regret dropping the course. So, May 30th, I’ll return to the course with renewed commitment to learning to code, and this time, I’m going to give it my all.

To read more student experiences from the part-time course, check out these testimonials here.

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