Iron Yard coding school opening Indy office

The Iron Yard, one of the largest coding schools in the country, is opening an office in downtown Indianapolis.

Peter Barth, CEO of the for-profit school, said he's expects to sign a lease on 5,600 square feet of space at Artistry, 451 East Market St., in the coming days.

The Greenville, South Carolina-based academy has schools open in 10 cities and is in the process of adding four more. Indianapolis will be its first in the Midwest.

"Indy had been on our short list for a while," said Barth, 38. "I'm from here and know the tech scene."

The area already has places to get training in coding, including at Carmel-based Eleven Fifty. The school, which opened last year, has several offerings, but its bread-and-butter is fully immersing students in a coding track over the course of a week.

Barth said the Iron Yard shouldn't be a direct competitor to Eleven Fifty because it offers a 12-week, full-time model. Anyone–even those with no experience–are welcome. He said most Iron Yard students are looking for a career change with no desire to go back to college.

They'll choose either browser, server or mobile coding, he said, and come out ready for a job.

"It's an entry-level job; they're not coming out making six figures," he said. "They'll come out making $55,000 or $60,000."

Classes at the Indianapolis location start in May. Barth said he'll start with about five employees and between 36 and 45 students.Tuition starts at $12,000. Iron Yard offers free coding training for children ages 8 to 18.

Barth said the coding academy was born in 2013 out of his South Carolina accelerator. He said his tech advocacy work there led him to the conclusion that tech talent is often a bigger economic development problem than capital.

"This opportunity came out of necessity," he said. "Small companies and big companies in our ecosystem were saying they need it, and [traditional] schools just can't adopt fast enough."

Scott Dorsey, the former CEO of ExactTarget, said he met Barth through a mutual friend and visited an Iron Yard site during a recent trip to Atlanta. He called the operation “impressive.”

“I’m super excited about Iron Yard coming to Indy,” Dorsey said in an email. “Peter Barth has a great passion for Indy (having lived here previously) and helping to produce more qualified software developers to fuel our tech community.”

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