Web Development That Is Out Of This World | Graduate Spotlight

Aug 31, 2020
Jessica Grande


Maria Brock of Cohort Evening 10

After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design in 2008, Maria Brock found herself in the middle of a job search during a recession. She settled on a career in customer service while still working in graphic design on the side.

Upon moving to Nashville with her husband in 2018, she knew it was also time for a change in her career. “I found myself bored and wanting to make an impact in my career,” she recalls. She began researching Nashville Software School (NSS) after a friend recommended she check it out. After attending an info session, Maria knew NSS was the place for her. “I interviewed twice [at NSS], and those interviews resulted in me attending a Jumpstart, and starting almost immediately into [Cohort] E10.” 

Software Development gives me the opportunity to utilize my problem solving skills and fully engage in a career that can be a benefit to other people.


Looking back on her time in Part-time Web Development Cohort Evening 10, Maria shares that her favorite parts of her NSS experience were the people she met. “The instructors and classmates who [experienced] this journey along with me are a large part of why I made it through,” she smiles. “Every valley came with someone to help another through, and the highs were celebrated as a team.”

Every failure means you've learned something new. Failure is your next step to success. Fail as often as you can so that when you are successful you're standing on top of the mountain of your failures.



Imagine Out Loud is Maria’s front-end capstone project and inspired by her love of reading. Maria discovered that she enjoys reading out loud, so she built the app to allow readers to log how much they have read aloud while keeping track of the progress they’ve made in the books they are reading. The app also keeps track of books that the user wants to read or has read. Maria built Imagine Out Loud in React.js. 

For her back-end capstone, Maria’s inspiration came from her time as a space camp counselor at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, where she taught space history. Exploring Apollo, walks users through the Apollo 11 mission and introduces a new audience to space history. “With the resurgence of SpaceX, who put astronauts back into Earth’s orbit from American soil, I wanted to [help introduce people to] space history,” she explains.

Maria built Exploring Apollo using React.js, Materialize, C#, .NET, SQL, and Firebase. The imagery seen in the app is from the NASA Image and Video Library.


Since graduating, Maria is keeping her coding skills sharp by refactoring and expanding her capstone projects and looking for hackathons to participate in. 

She is searching for her first job in tech as either a front-end or full stack developer. “I think because of my design background, I’m a little more visual of a person, so [front-end] would be where I would like to explore more options,” she stated. “But front-end or full stack, I would be perfectly happy with either!” 

Learn more about Maria by visiting her website or listening to her podcast!

Check out all the recent grads on Web Development Cohort Evening 10’s class website and hear the graduates share their experience at NSS and capstone projects in their podcasts below.

Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?, Web Development