After 5 Years - What’s The Road Ahead? | 500 In 5
Nov 9, 2017
Five years of sustained success and 500+ graduates is wildly gratifying for all of us at NSS. We’ve talked in this series mostly about what has happened over the past five years and why we made some of the crucial decisions that contributed to where we are today. But the energy of our team is actually focused on the future, not the past. Read More

Topics: 500 In 5

No Single Person Makes NSS Happen | 500 In 5
Oct 5, 2017
As we post this today, I am being honored by the Nashville Technology Council at their annual meeting and inducted into the NTC Hall of Fame. I’m very honored to be so recognized and even more proud to represent all of the NSS community in accepting this honor. I thank the NTC for honoring me and through me all of those that are part of the NSS story. No single individual makes something like NSS a success. And on this day when I and NSS are being recognized, I’d like to make sure a few people who were instrumental in supporting the launch of NSS are remembered and thanked for their help in getting NSS off the ground back in 2012. Read More

Topics: Community, 500 In 5

We Made It! 500th Graduate Milestone Passed With Cohort 19 | 500 In 5
Oct 4, 2017
When we started this series of posts celebrating and reflecting on our fifth anniversary I said that our goal was to graduate our 500th new junior developer during the six months of our anniversary period. And darned if we didn’t make it. This is a big milestone for us. In a job market the size of Nashville, 500 new junior developers makes a huge impact. Read More

Topics: News, 500 In 5

Evolving Demo Day | 500 In 5
Sep 21, 2017
Tomorrow is Demo Day for Cohort 19 at NSS. Demo Day is a big deal here - it marks the graduation of another cohort of students and it marks the formal kick-off of most grads’ job searches. It also gives us a chance to showcase to the community our newest grads, what they’ve learned, and what they can do with those skills. However, today’s Demo Day was not the way we originally released our grads into the wild. It’s something that evolved out of experience and trying other things. In that sense it’s like so much of what we do - it’s driven by experience, by feedback, and by trial and error. In other words, it’s driven by learning. Which seems somehow appropriate, right? Read More

Topics: Hiring?, Community, 500 In 5

What We Mean When We Say Community | 500 In 5
Sep 14, 2017
When NSS started back in 2012, I identified Community as one of our five core beliefs/values. Of those five beliefs, Community is the one where my understanding, appreciation, and belief have most evolved and deepened. Based on what I’ve experienced at NSS over the past five years, I now believe that my initial understanding of community was valid but incomplete and, to a degree, superficial. So what does Community mean? Read More

Topics: Community, 500 In 5

It’s All About The Opportunities | 500 In 5
Aug 3, 2017
I still remember like it was yesterday. Four years plus ago one of our recent grads came up to me at a local tech event and said, “Thank you for NSS - you’ve changed my life”. My first reaction was shock that someone had credited me and the school I had founded with something as profound as changing their life. The second reaction was some combination of happiness for them - that they had found something in terms of career and satisfaction from the investment they had made in learning - and some mix of pride and ego that I and my little experiment in vocational education had changed someone’s life. And quickly that second part of the reaction made me uncomfortable. Read More

Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?, 500 In 5

Why A Six Month Curriculum? | 500 In 5
Jul 20, 2017
Why, from the very beginning, in 2012 did NSS make a contrarian decision to have a six-month full-time bootcamp? When all the schools in all the cool, tech hot spot cities were launching with 9, and 10 and 12 week programs, were we just out of the loop down here in Nashville, or did we know/believe something they didn't? And why today do we continue, along with a handful of other programs across the country, to feature a significantly longer full-time residential program than the majority of bootcamps? Read More

Topics: Learning, Hiring?, 500 In 5

Why A Non-Profit? | 500 In 5
Jul 13, 2017
There are a lot of threads to the story of the first five years at NSS. One of those threads is our start-up story. It's an aspect of the NSS story that I often get asked about during our information sessions and during interviews with applicants: why did we decide to start the school and why did we decide to do it the way we did. Our fifth anniversary feels like a good time to go back and review some of those key decisions and see how they worked out in practice. Probably the single biggest decision that we made when we considered the business model for NSS, and the one that still seems to most shape how applicants, employers, and the community view NSS, was the decision to establish NSS as a non-profit. Read More

Topics: Community, 500 In 5

My How Things Have Changed | 500 In 5
Jul 6, 2017
One of the key "leaps of faith" in the initial business model for NSS was that there were an adequate number of employers in Nashville ready and willing to hire junior developers. This was definitely not self-evident back in late 2011, early 2012 when we were designing our business model. My, how things have changed over the past five years. Read More

Topics: Hiring?, Community, 500 In 5

NSS 5th Anniversary | 500 In 5
Jun 22, 2017
Five years ago this week our little experiment in non-profit vocational education launched in Nashville. Cohort 1 of the full-time Web Development Bootcamp started their first class on June 18, 2012. Fifteen students joined us that first Monday to see if we could help them learn to build websites and launch careers as software developers. So we're celebrating Cohort 1 and our fifth anniversary today at NSS with some cake before everyone goes back to slinging code. Read More

Topics: News, Community, 500 In 5

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