Coding Confidential | Graduate Spotlight

Aug 1, 2017
Mandy Arola

Software development is a collaborative profession. This week we hear from two graduates that come from professions known for confidentiality, but enjoy the collaborative, open-source environment of development. Jordan Nelson was in information security for a major corporation and Josh Kilgore is an attorney. Both were interested in technology before pursuing bootcamp. After going through bootcamp, they have some pretty good advice for students.

Josh Kilgore

Nashville Software School graduate Josh KilgoreJosh Kilgore was an attorney for the State of Tennessee Regulatory Boards but was tired of pushing paper and was seeking a new challenge. His love for gaming steered him towards tech where he has been able to meld the logic aspects of the law with the creativity of coding.

Josh chose to apply for the part-time evening course so he could work full-time while attending NSS. He enjoyed collaborating with a diverse group of classmates and supporting each other on their coding journeys.

His biggest setback happened during capstone time for his front-end application. Due to a close, personal loss, Josh had to step away from the program. He rejoined with the next incoming evening cohort and repeated the front-end curriculum. While it delayed his completion, Josh described it as a “blessing in disguise” as it gave him a much better grasp of Angular and JavaScript.

Josh’s advice to students?

Enjoy the ride! It's a difficult road, but you have to enjoy it and just get fully immersed to learn as much as you can! You will have to code outside of class. There's no way around that!

For his front-end capstone Josh built a snowboard/ski trip planning app called Stoked! A user can save their favorite resorts, add different runs, and rate the resort and the runs. They can also get a 4-day weather report based on the zip code of the resort. To build the app, Josh used Angular, jQuery, Bootstrap, CSS, HTML, Firebase, Google Places API, and Weather API. As a fan of board sports like snowboarding and wakeboarding, he enjoyed showcasing his front-end skills by building an app that aligns with his interests.

Josh’s back-end capstone is for comic fans. As a comic collector, he wanted a better way to keep track of what was in his collection. ComicCollector allows users to save comics they have in their physical collection to their digital collection. He built the app with C#/.NET, Angular, and the Marvel API. He had to learn how to make the API call from the back-end based on Marvel API’s restrictions.

You’ll find Josh at several of the meetups around town. He’s working on a website for his fiance and one for his friend’s surgery practice. He’s also learning React Native and NativeScript for mobile app development and is working with a mentor to sharpen his skills.

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

Jordan Nelson

Nashville Software School graduate Jordan NelsonJordan Nelson was working as an information security intern in Europe . He always wanted to be a software developer but wasn’t sure where to start. He was doing online tutorials which kept his interest, but was ready to go deeper. He had read about NSS and liked the idea of a six-month program. He reached out to some alumni who highly recommended the bootcamp, so Jordan decided to return to Nashville and attend NSS.

Jordan loved bootcamp. When asked about his favorite part of the six-month bootcamp, he shared, “All of it. Seriously. Each day brought a new challenge or problem I needed to solve. I could spend an entire day on a small issue, late into the evening, but each problem solved brought me one step closer on the road to a software development career.”

The road was filled with roadblocks, potholes, everything and that's what made the program so enjoyable. There's no greater feeling than spending time on a coding problem and finding the solution.

Jordan advises prospective students to be prepared to put in effort. He explained, “this isn’t a school where you can go, come home and pick it up the next day. It takes consistent effort and the ability to spend the time needed to gain familiarity on subjects you find yourself struggling with.”

Jordan’s front-end capstone is a social network called Connect that allows friends to connect with each other and send photos and messages in real time. The app was built with AngularJS using the Firebase JavaScript library that allows asynchronous real-time action to take place.

For his back-end capstone Jordan built a social network for long distance relationships called Distant Lovers.The app allows couples to securely communicate and share events, contacts, photos, and messages. The app is built with Angular and connects to a Django REST API. Jordan enjoyed working on the back-end and seeing how the data is manipulated.

Jordan received a job offer on demo day after showcasing his back-end capstone!

Listen to Jordan’s interview with Clark Buckner about his capstones and check out Jordan’s profile.

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.

Check out all of the recent grads on Evening 4’s and Cohort 18’s class websites.

Listen to more graduate interviews:

Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?