Finding Your Path After Military Service | Graduate Spotlight

Oct 23, 2018
Mandy Arola

2018_07_24_C25_0789The transition from military life to civilian life can be challenging. When Dillan Teagle left the military he was struggling with PTSD and was not happy. He was working at the VA Medical Center and set low expectations for himself. These low expectations did little to help his self-esteem. A series of life events motivated him to rediscover himself and find a job he would actually enjoy. His strength in critical thinking and interest in creating things led him to learn how to build websites. It didn’t take long for him to realize how much there was to learn and how little he understood about web development. He decided to take a course to learn the fundamentals of JavaScript.

He quickly discovered that a career in software development would require life-long learning and this excited him. As soon as he grasped one concept, he would come across another challenge. When he was ready to go beyond JavaScript, Dillan’s dad told him about Nashville Software School (NSS). His dad had hired an NSS graduate before and had a great experience. Another deciding factor for Dillan was NSS’s ability to accept the GI Bill®, something that is not common for non-traditional schools.

As a graduate of Cohort 25, Dillan shared that his favorite part of his six months at NSS was capstone season. He explained, “You’re able to take everything you have learned, put it into practice, and slowly create something beautiful, one day at a time.”

He encourages students to always be learning and coding. Dillan used tutorials on sites like Team Treehouse, Udemy, and YouTube to practice the skills he was learning in class.

He also recommends that students listen to guidance from their instructors to avoid unnecessary obstacles. One of Dillan’s obstacles was learning Firebase. He used it in his front-end capstone and while it gave him the opportunity to learn it, he expressed, “using a simple JSON API would have been a better solution (at the time).”

His front-end capstone, called NASM Trainer, is a workout app that allows the user to select exercises by their goal and customize a routine. He built it with React.js, Firebase, and Materialize.

Dillan’s back-end capstone is a social application, called The Spectrum, that allows users to watch video tutorials based on their membership level. Users can interact with each other through profiles, blogs, and friend requests. He built it with Python and Django and integrated it with the Stripe API for secure payments.

While searching for his first web development job, Dillan is learning Docker, Angular, Node.js, and TypeScript. He has definitely embraced the continuous learning of a developer.

Learn more about Dillan on his portfolio website.

Check out all of the recent grads on Cohort 25's class website.

Hear the graduates talk to our friend, Clark Buckner, about their journey into development and their experience at NSS.

Topics: Student Stories