Curd nerd Alert | Graduate Spotlight

Apr 9, 2019
Mandy Arola

Andrew-HerringAndrew Herring is no stranger to new experiences. Four years ago he bought a one-way plane ticket to Prague to become an English teacher. “It was the adventure of a lifetime and I saw and met people I will never forget,” he shared. After a few years abroad, Andrew was ready for the next adventure. He returned home to Nashville and his friends told him all about their experiences at Nashville Software School (NSS). “From the very beginning, I knew what I would always love about software development, infinite learning potential and the satisfying feeling one gets from creating something with their hands,” he explained.

I’ve always been a nerd and am thrilled I get to make a career out of it!

The NSS Experience

As a part of Cohort 28, Andrew was challenged by every new lesson. Nothing came easily for him. He shared, “I had to work at everything I know.” While overcoming each lesson was an accomplishment, it was the people that made the experience great for Andrew. “It’s satisfying to get code to run or to figure out how to get past a roadblock, but, above all, the people make NSS,” he said. “I will never forget the friends I made there and I am so grateful to have had such patient people around me to help me through the course.”

He encourages all students to get to know their classmates and not be afraid to ask for help. “The first thing you need to do when you get to NSS is to make friends. It’s awkward and everyone is nervous, but your cohort is your new life and will help you just as much, if not more than your [instructors]. Also, be honest when you don’t know something. Leave your pride at the door and admit to your [instructors] or your classmates when you don’t understand something.”

Capstone Projects

Andrew was inspired by his work experiences for both of his capstones. His front-end capstone was inspired by his time as a cheesemonger while he was saving money to attend NSS. With his knowledge of cheese, he helped customers find the right assortment of cheeses for their guests and now he's created a cheese plate app so you too can pick the right cheese. Curd Nurd allows users to learn more about cheese and build a plate of complementary cheeses. Andrew was not able to find an existing database for his project, so he wrote his own JSON server database with over 50 varieties of cheese. While building the database was a little time consuming, he was able to pull together the exact data he needed for the app. He built Curd Nurd with JavaScript and React and used Semantic UI for most of the styling.

His back-end capstone was inspired by his time teaching abroad. (Check out his podcast for more on this experience.) As a teacher, Andrew had to keep up with the level his classes and students were at in reading, writing, and speaking English. He created his own lesson plans and was held accountable for each student’s growth. His app, Teacher’s Pet, allows users (English teachers abroad) to keep track of their students’ skill levels and courses and see a snapshot of a class’ progress. The app was built using Python and Django and was styled with Bootstrap.

Hire Andrew

As he searches for his first job in tech, Andrew is continuing to grow his network and attend meetups. He’s also adding features to Curd Nurd. He shared, “it was a lot of fun to build and with some extra work, I think it could be very fun and helpful to some people.” He also plans to start learning C#. His ideal place to work is one that offers him a place to grow.

Learn more about Andrew on his website.

Check out all of the recent grads on Cohort 28's class website.

Hear the graduates share their journey into development and their experience at NSS.

Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?, Web Development