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
448 Episodes
Evan Reynolds graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. Before Nashville Software School, I spent the last few years working in the mortgage industry as a loan officer. Over the years, I realized that it wasn’t something I was passionate about and started to explore other career paths. The reason I enjoy software development is because I love building things, I love problem solving, and I love a challenge. I love everything about being a software developer and I’m excited to keep learning and improving my skills.
Davis Lindell graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. A semi-recent transplant to Nashville, by way of Louisville, I've spent the majority of my working career inside every aspect of the hospitality industry. Funnily enough I got my first introduction into coding just messing around on MySpace 15+ years ago. I always though it was so cool to manipulate my page to be, what I thought was, way cooler than everyone else's. Fast forward those 15 years, I hear about Nashville Software School through a good friend of mine and think this could be the career I've been looking for all along, right under my nose.
Ronald Lankford graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. Keeping up with the latest trends of technology is a passion of mine. My passion for technology has grown even more with my career change into software development. Previously, most of my jobs were maintenance focused. So my day to day tasks were trying to understand, build, and repair things. It's exciting to use my problem solving skills to tackle problems with code. Facing new problems and trying to learn how to tackle it is something that I love about software development. I look forward to seeing where I will go in the field of software development!
Zach Nicholson graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. Writer and musician now turned computer programmer. With years of creative experience and a fresh programming education, I'm here to build forward-thinking technologies and user-friendly interfaces. I'm in love with coding and can't wait to work with others who feel the same.
Kaleb Moran graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. After 8 years managing and collaborating with teams to solve customer problems and team-member roadblocks, I felt it was time to expand my problem-solving toolkit. I enrolled at Nashville Software School in April 2020, and my passion for software development has grown with each new solution I uncover.
Adrian Garmendia graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. My professional career began in broadcasting where I spent my days with other creative people editing videos, creating news shows, running cameras and finally moving on to being a quality control technician. After broadcasting I moved on to a 13 year career with FedEx Express. A twist in life gave me the opportunity to learn an entirely new career in software development that I found through Nashville Software School. It’s been a joy continuing my team oriented ways in a new passion and creating apps. I've thoroughly enjoyed taking apps from entity-relationship diagrams to fully functioning applications.
Leigha Robinson graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. After my ice hockey career ended, I took all the passion I had training to achieve an elite level in my sport and poured that energy into exploring my other interests. While attending the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, I took an introduction into computer programming class that opened my eyes to the power of programming. I knew when I moved back home to Nashville this past year I wanted to make the career change into tech and continue my programming education. I’m so excited to use the skills I’ve developed in this next chapter.
Elijah Lavoie graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. Coming from a technologically heavy background, I've been interested in and using computers since I could sit in the chair. As I grew older, I began to take interest in programming. Once I took my first university level computer science course, I realized that my interest was more than just a hobby, which led me to take the leap into pursuing computer science as a career.
Stephen Castaneda graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. I am an extremely passionate full stack developer. I became interested in development after my curiosity in coding led me to explore coding in Python. My interest would eventually lead me to Nashville Software School. I love development because I enjoy tackling real world problems using technical solutions. I am excited to be a part of the ever-changing diverse landscape that makes up our technical community.
Brian Cravens graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. I am a competitive athlete at my core, and that truth has absolutely shaped my professional career. I work well in a team environment, and I strive to be the best in everything I do. I have always loved technology, and after finishing college I knew I wanted to move in the direction of software development. Nashville Software School has given me the knowledge and confidence I needed to fully pursue a career in development. I love the constant challenges of being in software development and look forward to the continuous learning the field requires.
Tanner Brainard graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. After quitting university studies and then living in NYC for a few years, I started to explore life outside of the US. I traveled through various parts of the world for a few years and eventually landed in Shanghai, where I started a small bakery business. After three years of living in Shanghai and two years of entrepreneurship, I decided it was time to close shop and start a life back in the US. With personal time, I enjoy playing ultimate frisbee, making food, playing board games, partaking in discussions, taking photos, and reading.
Sarah Holder graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. Software development is consistently changing, but my passion and enthusiasm for it doesn’t. The constantly changing technological environment is exciting and the challenges to find ways to drive efficiency through streamlining processes and identifying opportunities for innovations and improvements is fun and invigorating. I am self-motivated and like to motivate others. Being part of a team and striving to make a positive impact in the workplace through communication, teamwork, encouragement and support is important in my future career goals and self-growth.
Michelle McLane Brownlee graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. After spending many years passionately working as a social worker and counselor to advocate and provide services for the most vulnerable populations in our society, I took time off to raise my children. Now that I am ready to return to the workforce, I am combining my creative skills with my people skills and problem solving skills. Waking up every morning to new challenges and continued learning is an exciting way to start my new career path while utilizing my skills both new and old.
Luke Esworthy graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. As a current student at Nashville Software School and a perpetual student of life, I greatly value any chance to learn and grow. After graduating with my B.S. in Business Administration from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, I continued working in the automotive industry, where my passion is. My decision to make the move into being a full-time student and a complete shift in industries came not from boredom but from a change in where I see my life going, and this is my first step in that direction.
David Everett graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. After completing the front-end section of the course in July of this year, I transferred to Cohort 40 as a full-time student and began taking a deep dive into Python / Django for my back-end studies. I find that web development allows me to thrive in the same way that music does: by allowing me to combine analytic, problem solving with creativity. At the end of the day, I hope to use my skills in both areas to enhance the lives of others.
Daniel Meza graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. Learning new languages and technologies has been a hobby for 10 years. Thoroughly enjoy finding solutions to complex problems. Extremely lucky to be in a field where I can be a lifelong learner and continue growing and creating new opportunities!
John Bain graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. Programming has always been an interest of mine. I was self-taught at first, then took classes at Tennessee Tech University that sparked my interest even more. It always feels great to get a project working no matter how big or small.
Felipe Moura Fonseca Cavalcanti graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. As a lawyer in Brazil I had to be trained to work with complex situations that required creativity and skilled solutions regarding the majority of issues within society, specifically those touching upon civil law. Once in the United States, I allowed myself the opportunity to explore my natural interest for computer programming and began the process to educate myself and join the information technology field. I appreciate and enjoy the logistics of problem solving and the endless opportunities for learning that are integral to programming.
Roxanne Nasraty graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. I've traveled to Japan to teach English and partnered with insurance brokers to make sure employees could elect health care online. These experiences lead me to discover that I wanted to both interact with a wide range of people and get hands on involvement in making and maintaining the software I use. I feel inspired by the constant challenge of keeping up with changing code norms, learning new languages, and knowing that you can always be better than you were the day before.
Kirk Sudduth graduated with Full-time Web Development Cohort 40. Most of my working life has been spent punching the clock at restaurants. Specifically, Burger Up and Burger Up East Nashville. The soft skills I have earned since I began working at restaurants are immeasurable. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working at restaurants, but I felt the need to shift careers because software development is incredibly exciting and a tornado on March 3 destroyed BU East. When I'm not wading through the murky water of opportunity disguised as obstacle, I'm really loving getting to spend all this extra time with my partner and our child! Self-improvement is my daily pursuit.
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