Monumental, Barcelona

A guide to attending Ironhack: Part 2, the course

I had such an amazing time at the Ironhack Web Development Bootcamp in Barcelona in 2014; it was an invaluable experience for me and for my career. I’ve had loads of enquiries from prospective students regarding my thoughts on the application process, the interviews and of course the course itself.

This post will focus on attending and completing the course itself. The next post will be about returning to the ‘real world’ after completing Ironhack. You can read all posts tagged Ironhack here.

What is your general opinion of the Ironhack Web Development Bootcamp?

The course was great; really fun, fantastic teachers, helpful teaching assistants and a very motivated group of students. After completing the bootcamp I now have a strong base of skills that can be built on in any direction (front-end, back-end, specialising in a single technology or library). I would highly recommend the course if you want to become a web developer – it’s very intense, but the team is also extremely supportive and adaptive to the needs of the group.

What were the main difficulties you faced while attending Ironhack?

This is a great question. There were actually lots of challenges in addition to simply attending the course! First and foremost was living away from my home and partner for two months and living with strangers (I rented an apartment with four other students) for the first time in many years. As a person who is generally fairly introverted, this arrangement took some time to get used to but in the end was really worthwhile.

Other challenges mainly revolved around simply finding enough time in the day to complete things (finishing coding tasks from the day, revising concepts that I didn’t understand the first time and even just finding or preparing something to eat!).

Most of the faculty during my course were Spanish as were most of the students so there was a fair amount of Spanish spoken during the course (at least in the first couple of weeks while we adjusted to things). However, saying that, the classes were all conducted in English and the teachers were very approachable and open to questions or explaining a concept further.

During the course, we used a really cool platform called Slack to communicate with our teachers, the staff and all the students – this was an absolutely invaluable tool for keeping us informed about upcoming events like the evening speakers or for asking questions to anyone involved.

Having done the course, would you recommend it to others? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much would you rate the course?

I would give the course a 9 out of 10. I had a fantastic time – some topics I found more stressful than others, of course. I made a bunch of great friends, I made a lot of useful contacts, and I have a great job and career prospects ahead! I appreciated that the class size was quite small – only about 15 people and for each topic we had one specialist teacher. In addition, there were two teaching assistants who were able to provide ongoing assistance to all the students for the duration of the course.

What was it like, day-to-day?

We started class at 9am every weekday. Our classes were held in a huge area at Makers of Barcelona, a co-working space. Each topic lasted between 2 and 5 days and was coordinated by a teacher who specialised in that topic. The teachers were all experienced developers with interesting, international backgrounds.

After a morning break, we usually started small assignments from the teacher – going over the concepts we had learned in the morning by applying them practically. Lunch was Spanish-style (late and long!) and we usually headed out to eat in groups. After lunch we resumed class with some more theory and more practical exercises. The afternoons were usually a good time to ask questions of the teacher or teaching aides and to really get to grips with the things we’d learned.

Around 6 or 7 most evenings a speaker would come in and talk to us on a topic related to technology. Often these speakers came from startups who were looking for new developers, so these ‘talks’ became a good place to network a bit and find out what the market was looking for in terms of hiring.

We also had talks on subjects like Creativity and Design Theory among many others. The talks weren’t mandatory, but attendance was always really high because they were usually really interesting. Then, after the talks we’d all split off to find dinner and go home for the night… unless it was Friday which usually meant heading out to a bar for a couple of beers, tapas and relaxing!


Still have questions?

Fantastic! If you still have questions about applying to or attending Ironhack, keep an eye out here for the next post in this series or contact me directly.

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