How a scholarship helped this self-taught Miami coder level up his skills

Coding schools have become fairly common around the world, and there are plenty of them right here in the 305. One of the most intensive biggest bootcamps, Ironhack, built its campus here in Miami in 2013 and it continues to grow and gain financial support.

Now the school wants to help future developers and designers by offering an income share agreement program. In short, students can apply for an ISA and attend Ironhack’s bootcamp with no money down. They only pay if they end up getting a full-time job after graduation. 

The first class of ISA students is underway so we decided to talk to Carlos Arevalo, an alum who got a different scholarship. Carlos graduated in June 2018 and now works for a company called 8base as a product designer.  He told us about his experience and what it meant to have that financial burden off his shoulders as he built his skills. 

How did you decide to enroll?

I’m originally from Colombia and I came here when I was five years old. I’ve been living in Miami since. My interest in design started with photo and architecture and I was enrolled in FIU’s master’s program in architecture. 

But I was taking care of my mom and I wasn’t able to receive financial aid because I’m a “Dreamer” so I put that on hold.

I got interested in web development and UX and UI and I was doing some graphic design work to earn some extra money. As I was trying to learn to code I saw there was a Uber scholarship for UX/UI and web design through Ironhack.

What it was like when you got the scholarship?

It was unreal, it felt like I was dreaming. I remember going through the process and every step it just seemed like it was working out, and I was doing something I really wanted — and it happened. 

I was just working really hard, and trying to take care of my mom and I feel better with my life now. It feels like the hard work paid off.

What did you learn?

They taught me everything I needed to get started. Those people from my class I still talk with them and we’re still close friends.

It’s a very challenging course, you have to immerse yourself to succeed. And the professors and teaching assistants were always there for me. The program really opens up doors.

Want to learn more about Ironhack’s ISA program? Head here for more info and check out their open house on Aug. 13 at the Brickell campus.