At the conclusion of every Demo Day, we hold a graduation “ceremony” for each class. There are no robes or tassels, but it’s meaningful time of reflection for the graduates. There are always a few inside jokes amongst the cohort and lots of smiles. While graduation signals the end of their time at NSS, it also signals the beginning of their career in tech. To close the ceremony, each student receives their certificate, an alumni pin, and an NSS t-shirt to remember their time here.
All of our recent t-shirts have been designed by our alumni, so when we needed a new t-shirt, we knew where to turn. With so many talented alumni and students, we held a little design contest. In March, we put out a call for a new design and provided creative direction. We received seven different designs to choose from.
Behind the Design
Our data science instructor, Mary van Valkenburg, explained, “As we approached graduation day for Nashville Software School’s first data science cohort, we decided to commemorate that event with a t-shirt designed by alum, Jackie Pasquale (Web Development Cohort 7), after she led a design sprint with the class. As graduation for Data Science Cohort 2 neared we began reflecting on a Data Science t-shirt that could be used to celebrate many cohorts to come.”
“We wanted it to parallel the iconic NSS shirt that bears an image of a light bulb and the famous Ward Cunningham quote: ‘It’s all talk until the code runs.’ But we wanted it to speak to the essence of data science work the way Ward Cunningham’s words get to the heart of what matters when writing code,” she said.
With so many great designs, it was a tough choice, but Austin Blade’s (Web Development Cohort 29) simple, clean design rose to the top.
“The new t-shirt bears an image of a simple neural network along with statistician George Box’s oft quoted observation: ‘All models are wrong, but some are useful,’” shared Mary. “We think it’s a reminder of something that is important for students to keep in mind as they are learning and practicing.”
Thank you to all the alumni and students who submitted their designs. We are grateful that so many of our alumni have shared their creative talents with us over the years.