We’re catching up with some of our alumni and they’re sharing advice for our students and recent graduates.
Ryan Tanay was working in desktop support, small business IT, and networking before he attended NSS. Ryan shared, “NSS gave me technical skills in modern web development, but more importantly got me in the mindset of a developer. Specifically that of constant learning and expansion of my skillset. Not being afraid to try and fail, to say ‘I have no idea, but I can find out,’ and to just try things instead of worrying if they’ll work perfectly first try.”
After graduation, Ryan was a junior instructor for a year and now works in DevOps with the full-stack and learned all of his DevOps skills post NSS.
The skills from NSS in constant learning and exploration have served me well in adapting to a completely new skillset and tech stack for continuous deployment, automated testing & log aggregation analysis, metrics & reporting.
Ryan’s advice for recent graduates? “Never stop learning, seek out things that interest you and hack on them, even if it seems like it’s not a ‘marketable’ skill. Your enthusiasm and desire to learn and tweak will come through and that desire and drive is what lets you integrate with a team and thrive in a dev job of any type.”
Outside of work, Ryan is learning more about the inner workings of Linux writ. “I personally enjoy playing around with bleeding edge Linux distros on esoteric hardware,” he stated. He recommends getting plenty of sleep and finding ways to clear your mind when you’re not working. He prefers hiking or target shooting and shared that problems seem to have a way of working themselves out when you focus on something that relaxes your mind.
Ryan encourages graduates to keep networking at meetups, with your classmates, and current NSS students. He stated, “The people you meet will be the teammates you rely on in your new career.”
Your life experiences from your previous career are invaluable. Having differing perspectives on your work makes you an invaluable asset to the development community. Don't feel hobbled by not having a "traditional" background in computer science, the heavy theory you may be missing can be learned on the job, and your unique perspective can lead to novel perspectives and solutions to the problems at hand that devs from a more traditional background may not reach.