DiscoverStories from the Hackery
Stories from the Hackery

Stories from the Hackery

Author: Nashville Software School

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Find out what it takes to start a career in software development, data analytics, data science, or UI/UX design from those who made the leap. Hear from musicians, veterans, single-moms, teachers, bartenders, postdocs, warehouse workers, and more - all graduates of Nashville Software School (NSS) - as they discuss their transition to tech and their capstone projects presented at Demo Day. Founded in 2012, NSS is a flourishing community of over one thousand alumni, active students, and a team of dedicated instructors all working together to grow and learn their craft. As a non-profit, NSS is committed to growing diversity in tech by creating opportunities for under-represented groups in these fields. Learn more at nashvillesoftwareschool.com.
535 Episodes
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Kyle Yandow graduated with Part-Time Data Analytics Cohort 3. Through a career working in the performing arts industry, I have come to understand the power of a well-told story, be it in a darkened theater or across a conference table. My top moments have come when creating and honing analytical tools and creating original analysis to tell the stories that lead to strong business decisions. At Nashville Software School I've expanded both my perspective on how a coherent data story can look, and the technologies available to me to tell that story.
Kayla Melton graduated with Web Development Evening Cohort 11. I began working with code while I was studying graphic design at Austin Peay State University (APSU). I thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating websites, and after graduating, I took a job in print design while continuing teaching myself to code in my free time. A friend introduced me to the Nashville Software School a few months later and I began attending classes in January 2020.
John Fleming graduated with Web Development Evening Cohort 11. In my day job, I manage a client success team at marketing company in the tech industry, but I'm making the leap to software engineering so I can do more of the hands on work creating awesome user interfaces and solving problems through technology.
Luke Zvada graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. Previously working in the music industry as a tour manager, I learned how to solve issues on the go, organize a complicated schedule, and manage team morale. Through that hard work, I have found a new passion for software development. Having strong attributes such as problem solving, dependability, and efficiency, I have embraced this new opportunity in tech and continue to learn and grow as a software developer every day.
Colin Welshofer graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. I am an aspiring full-stack developer who has recently discovered my love of coding and am wanting to make a career of it.
Bryan Ford graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. Prior to starting at Nashville Software School, I spent six years working in corporate tax. During this time, I found myself becoming the go-to person in the department for leveraging technology to improve processes to provide quicker and more accurate numbers throughout multiple areas. This led me to become interested in the development side of the software I was using and, I have now found a new field that I believe utilizes my attention to detail and problem solving abilities that I have developed during the course of my previous career.
Monica Kay Provence graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. I am an extremely creative, solution-oriented software developer with a passion for helping others. Before pursuing a career in development, I worked in Education and Healthcare. During my last year of working in Healthcare, I became interested in software development. I immediately recognized that software development was the perfect combination of creative and strategic problem solving, and I was hooked! I love development because it allows me to be my natural self - curious, creative, and thoughtful. I look forward to starting my career as a developer.
Dylan Rowe graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. I am a full-stack developer with a background in the music industry, not only on the artist side but also in pro audio sales and installation. My interest in programming originally stemmed from the idea of doing something in life that combined both logical thinking and creativity. Through research and suggestions I set out on a life changing career path that I can keep growing with.
Michael Baumer graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. During my nearly 20 years in the retail industry, I had the opportunity to work in every role from associate to upper level management. While I love leading teams and developing talent, my true passion was always the problem solving aspects of my role. After supporting the corporate office with numerous tech projects and watching changing dynamics in the retail sector, I knew it was time to follow my heart and learn development so I could do what I love full-time.
Ardis Tilson graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. Inventive and tenacious full stack developer with a wide base of experience in team-oriented project implementation, data cataloging, numerical problem solving, and analysis of customer demands to maximize sales and productivity. I gravitate towards positions requiring problem-solving, lateral thinking, and careful attention to detail. Signal processing is my passion. I spend much of my free time studying and conducting experiments in analog-to-digital conversion with Arduino microcontrollers and visual DSP languages such as Max/MSP and Puredata. I capitalize on this experience by repairing, modifying, and selling sound modules. I am now searching for opportunities to apply my skills to problems in the realm of software rather than hardware in order to expand my knowledge of the digital side of signal processing and amass further coding experience in a workplace dedicated to application design.
Pete Stewart graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. After managing to survive a declining music industry and maintain a successful career as a producer and engineer for several years, I made a life-changing decision to change paths and pursue software development. I've always been fascinated by technology and programming, having built computers and written countless workflow-improving macros during my career of constantly using audio software, so the switch in direction was a natural one. One of the most exciting aspects of my journey to becoming a developer has been discovering the many similarities in skillsets required to produce music and to write code. I love being able to use my creative and problem-solving abilities in the entire process of building, designing and improving software. Learning to program has given me a renewed sense of satisfaction and inspiration, as well as a strong desire to always continue acquiring more knowledge and skills.
Brett Derrington graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. I love learning new things, exploring new places, and getting better at the things I already do. This is certainly reflected in the hobbies I pursue on my own time: Tennis, reading, video games, and traveling. Software development and programming and fields that are always moving forward and changing, and that excites me to no end.
Sam Johnson graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. UX designer turned developer, I'm interested in user-centered design and learning new things.
Gib Jeffries graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. I have a passion for building things. There is a game-like satisfaction that I get from getting something to work. It's also an honest way to make a living. In the last five years of working with automated equipment and robots, I've become increasingly interested in web development. Why? Every time I would think about the best way to solve a problem in the manufacturing world, I found myself dreaming up a software solution. I've really enjoyed the Agile-SCRUM style group work at NSS. I often find myself focusing on the data flow, and I enjoy debugging code with my classmates.
Gavin Schriver graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. Hailing from Houston TX, home of everyone's favorite sports franchises. Flirted with the tech world ever since graduating as an English major, including stints at startups in Austin and Chicago, but it's getting pretty serious between us recently. Pastimes include faking jazz (will play for open bar tab) and going for long runs whenever my body isn't totally failing me.
Mark Skinner graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. After many years of working as a library manager serving in public-facing and managerial roles, I wanted a change. Working in that sector gave me valuable experience in problem-solving, team building, and goal-oriented work, whether individually or within a group. These lessons, combined with my lifelong love of technology and computing, have allowed me to combine my curiosity, problem-solving skills, and ability to work within a team in order to make tangible improvements to applications and websites. I am excited to begin this new career and see where the many opportunities in software development take me.
Jacob Eckert graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. My initial motivation for starting to learn about code came from a desire to see if programming languages were at all akin to spoken languages, as I have always been very interested in foreign languages. While I quickly found there to be quite large differences between the two, learning programming languages allowed me to access a part of me that I previously did not know existed - a part of me that loves thinking about complex problems, then using the language of code to communicate my solutions to those problems, and finally putting those solutions into action. Strengthening my programming knowledge and skills in college, in employment, and in personal projects has only served to cement my love of software development, and I know it is a passion I will carry with me throughout my whole life.
Mikayla Swinkels graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. From Zookeeper to Software Developer, I have always loved solving puzzles and creating new things that I can stand back and say "Ya I made that". When a friend of mine introduced me to Nashville Software School I realized that I can have the best of both worlds. I am able to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable and create amazing programs and designs that I can look back and be proud of. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow as a software developer.
Esther Sanders graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. I've worked as a violinist and teacher for over a decade and was drawn to software development because of the many similarities to music. I love learning, continually refining skills, problem solving, and attention to detail. I have many years of experience self starting, dissecting large problems into smaller parts, and communicating complex ideas.
Samantha Maas graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 42. Prior to starting my journey in software development, I was working in the education field as an elementary teacher. I am grateful for the experiences that being a teacher gave me, including the ability to mentor students, being able to solve problems on the spot, and collaborating with a team to achieve goals. After relocating to Nashville and being introduced to the software community, I felt that software development was the perfect career path for me to continue using some of the skills important to teaching, while also using the new passion that I found I have for coding. I'm excited to continue on this path that guarantees opportunities to learn and to grow in my abilities every single day.
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