Program your future in Barcelona

We interviewed Marc Collado, Ironhack Campus Manager in Barcelona, and asked him why someone should learn to code. Marc is the founder of the app “iomando”, and is an expert in designed & crafted technology in Barcelona.

Marc, you’re originally from Barcelona right?

Yeah. I was born here on May 9 1987 and I’ve been here ever since.

Would you agree that Barcelona is becoming more worldly?

Definitely. We talk about this all the time, about how different the city was 10 years ago. Barcelona has attracted people from all over Europe and the world, giving it a variety of cultures that you wouldn’t be able to even imagine a few years ago.

Ironhack is a lot like Barcelona in that it’s filled with outsiders. Do they find housing easily?

We’re a lot like the city in that sense. Most of the students that join Ironhack are foreign. If they ask for our help with housing, we’ll send them the best options we find according to their budget and preferences.

Any website you recommend?

There are the classics, like AirBnb, which has been a success for many Ironhack students. But there are constantly other options showing up, like Spotahome, which we’ve partnered closely with for quick and reliable housing.

Why do you think it’s a good idea to learn to code?

The digital world is growing every day. As a society, we understand tangible things and how they’re made, but we don’t have this same competency for the intangible, the digital. As the digital economy grows, so will the demand for people who can be a part of it. Like all transitions, it won’t be an easy one, but those who get in ahead of time, will find themselves with a huge advantage in a world that is prominently digital.

Why in Barcelona?

Barcelona, like I mentioned before, is a city that’s been completely transformed by all things digital. The use and popularity of softwares are completely independent of the city where they’re created. Because of this, when technology and entrepreneurial companies are looking for a place to settle down, they consider factors like the weather, security, infrastructure, culture, cost and quality of living, etc. When taking these factors into consideration, Barcelona finds itself ahead of the curve in comparison to other cities.

Are you proud of the Campus? What are some of its strong points?

Of course I’m proud! Its first strong point is its location. The Campus is inside an old but beautiful cookie factory. Once inside, you’re greeted by tall ceiling, open space and a massive auditorium that reflects Ironhack’s culture. Everything is designed to embrace the community, promote collaboration within the tech ecosystem and connect our students with local companies from day one. We organize weekly talks, social events and workshops to make sure our classes are always in the loop with the Barcelona tech scene.  

Bootcamps can be really intense. What makes the Ironhack Campus feel like a second home?

There’s no doubt they are. We’re not here to waste anyone’s time, if we could transform our students to developers in 9 weeks it’d be better than 10. But programming is a skill you don’t learn by reading a book, you learn it with your hands on the keyboard. The sooner a graduate gets to work, the faster they can evolve and grow professionally. This is why our Campus is open 24/7. Students are constantly working and we want to make sure our facilities are available to them whenever they need them.

In regards to location, how tech-y is Poblenou?

Like I said, our building used to be a cookie factory. If you walk through the town you’ll notice old repair shops and all kinds of mainstay factories co-existing with new startups and tech companies. I find Poblenou fascinating because it perfectly depicts how the economy is transforming from industrial to digital.

Is it true you started a Running Club?

I had no choice! Running is a sport I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid, and now that it’s summer and we happen to be next to the water, I take the students out running every day during lunch time. They work tirelessly full-time, so going out for a short run is really good for them, they enjoy it.

We’ve been told you know a thing or two about food. What restaurant would you take Ironhackers to for dinner?

It’s true. Eating is one of my biggest weaknesses. Seeing as how the students have little time to waste, I’d recommend they go somewhere fast and close to Campus. A good option is KoKu Kitchen, one of the best ramen spots in Barcelona. But if they want to try something more authentic, we’re really close to a place called Can Recasens, we go there regularly. A dinner followed by a stroll through the Rambla del Poblenou is the itinerary for a perfect night.

And before we say goodbye, what’s are the latest developments in Ironhack Barcelona?

We started #TapUXTour this week! In collaboration with Daysk, an app for renting desks in local workplaces, we’re touring six local workplaces with eight UX designers from different companies who will be discussing UX design. Follow along for the upcoming locations and dates on our BCN Meetup!

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