Graduate Spotlight | Janelle, Sylvia & Yonatan

Mar 7, 2017
Mandy Arola

Last week we spoke with Jacob Keen, Dayne Wright, and Paul Williams. The decision to change your career is never an easy one. This week we hear from Janelle, Sylvia, and Yonatan who all decided to pursue development as a second career.

Be sure to listen to all of the graduates talk to our friend, Clark Buckner, about their journey into development and about their experience at NSS. And stay tuned for more Graduate Spotlights.

Check out all of the recent grads on the Cohort 15 class website and theCohort E3 class website.

Janelle Zorvan

After Janelle graduated from college, her desire to become an English professor dwindled. She spent a few years searching for a career that she could be passionate about. She met with potential mentors in a variety of fields and considered project management. But during her search a friend suggested she look into developer bootcamps as it suited her aptitude. She started to play around with online code challenges and tutorials. When she learned that NSS’s evening program would allow her to continue to work while learning to be a developer, Janelle lept at the opportunity and joined Evening Cohort 3. It was the “best and toughest thing I’ve ever done for myself,” shared Janelle.

Janelle’s biggest roadblock was time. Balancing school hours, independent study, and a full time job is no easy task. While it was challenging at times to keep a work-life-study balance, once Janelle realized how much she enjoyed working on apps, it was something she wanted to spend more time on.

Janelle loved the challenge and excitement of learning something new. She also enjoyed getting to know her classmates and instructors. She said, “There’s a certain amount of camaraderie that comes from spending a high pressure year together and it’s almost alarming how many inside jokes can form over that period of time.”

For her front-end capstone, Janelle built an app called Mean. Green. Good. to help organize and filter green smoothie recipes. User can save their favorite recipes, add their own, and filter by ingredient. The app was built with AngularJS, Materialize, and Firebase.

Janelle’s back-end capstone was inspired by her college minor in Linguistics. She utilized an IBM API that analyzes the tone of text. The app, called Tone Down For What, allows users to input text, get an analysis of that text, store the results, and track the results over time. The app was built with C#, .NET and ASP.NET for the back-end and AngularJS for the front-end.

Keep it fun and keep it forward. It’s a unique experience and a creative process, too, so it’s fun to put yourself into your practice projects, but always keep moving forward, especially in your free time to keep up the momentum.

Being a developer feeds on Janelle’s love of puzzles and problem solving. In her free time, Janelle is continuing to learn new technologies and practice daily. She is planning to build a garden management app this spring for her vegetable garden. Yum!

Listen to Janelle’s interview with Clark Buckner about her NSS experienceand check out Janelle’s profile.

Sylvia Ma

Sylvia is a business analyst within an IT department and has colleagues who are graduates of NSS. She wanted to expand her skills into development and felt NSS’s evening program fit her schedule best. While in Evening Cohort 3, Sylvia’s passion for coding drove her to find the time to code more.

Sylvia loved learning JavaScript and working on the front-end and she enjoys playing with the visual nature of front-end development. The back-end presented more of a challenge for her. The focus changed from developing pages and functions to understanding OOP concepts. It took her a few months to adjust from front-end to back-end. Sylvia offered the following advice for students, “Don’t completely use the front end learning perspective to study the back end. Adjust yourself quickly.”

Sylvia was motivated by instructors encouraging students and appreciated the opportunity to work in teams.

Running the same route or on a treadmill indoors can be boring. Sylvia’s front-end capstone is a running app that gives you beautiful visuals while you run so you can imagine yourself running in the Grand Canyon or other points of interest. She built the app with Google Maps API, Firebase, JavaScript, and AngularJS. She loved the ability to change colors and add characters to Google Maps API

For her back-end capstone, Sylvia built a photo gallery where you can buy and sell art. The app was built with C#/.NET, Visual Studio, Entity Framework, Linq, MSSQL, and the MVC framework.

In her free time, Sylvia is practicing algorithms on LeetCode and studying for the Microsoft C# programming certificate exam.

Listen to Sylvia’s interview with Clark Buckner about her capstone projectsand check out Sylvia’s profile.

Yonatan Molla

As a child Yonatan loved taking apart electronics and rebuilding them. This led him to an engineering degree in 2005. In 2011 he moved from Ethiopia to Nashville. He was working with programmers at his previous job and was influenced to make a career change. As part of Cohort 15, Yonatan was excited to take his skills to the next level in a place where he could work with like-minded people and learn best practices.

Be patient and keep practicing.

For his front-end capstone, Yonatan built an app called My Grey Auto Book. The app provides reliable scores and grades for vehicles, including safety, performance, value, interior, comfort, and dealership locations for car buyers. The app was built with AngularJS, Fusioncharts, Firebase, Bootstrap, Edmonds API, and Google API.

Yonatan’s back-end capstone is a online donation app for charities called ChariCare. He came up with the idea after hearing about a senior citizen charity closing it’s doors in Ethiopia. The user can donate clothes, goods, medical supplies, or money. The app is built with C#, ASP.NET MVS, Javascript, Fusionchart, Bootstrap, and Stripe and PayPal integration.

Currently, Yonatan is learning other programing languages through self study.

Listen to Yonatan’s interview with Clark Buckner about his journey and check out Yonatan’s profile.

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Topics: Student Stories