Hannah Neal is passionate about science and thought her ideal career would be in a laboratory. After getting her foot in the door as a customer service representative she started working with data and was exposed to the development process. As she moved from customer service into the laboratory, she consistently saw a need for better software applications. “I began to see the world - not just science and healthcare - in terms of code that hadn’t been written yet. The idea of making software and applying it to existing needs was exciting for me,” shared Hannah.
Hannah's NSS Experience
The reputation that NSS has is incredible. Attending a "trade school" has a certain level of risk attached to it but traditional education has that risk, too. After devoting so much time and money to the traditional system I wanted to try something different rather than returning to the same system to get another degree.
The reputation that NSS has garnered in the tech community in Nashville and beyond speaks for itself and that was an important factor in my decision. The level of professional development provided one-on-one via NSS was also significant to me in my choice of NSS over other coding bootcamps.
As a part of Web Development Cohort 29, Hannah was challenged early on as she went through the process of discovering how she learned. Once she started asking more questions, letting herself explore, and learning in a manner that was best for her, she began to grasp new concepts more quickly.
We Aren’t Born With Abstract Concepts Like Math And Language
I thought some people were "gifted" in certain areas and the ones that had to work harder in the same areas weren't "gifted". Maybe that's true, maybe it's not but so what?
One of my instructors reminded me that we aren't born with abstract concepts like math and language. We learn those concepts. But once we reach a certain age we say things like, "Is s/he good at math? Good, s/he will make a great engineer," but we don't say, "S/he isn't good at math yet," and that is important at NSS. Exercise your whole brain, not just the parts you think are good already. You may discover an aptitude you didn't know you had and it may change your life.
Hannah loved the group projects with her cohort. Thriving on the collaboration, she explained, “sprints (group projects) provided nurturing environments in which to grow and respond to feedback from instructors and classmates about code or soft skills.” She also enjoyed planning and building her capstone projects which mark the two major milestones of the program.
Hannah and her husband love to have friends over to play board games. They have over 60 games stored in a tiny closet. When their friends come over they drag out all 60 games from the closet to find one that matches the number of players and type of game they want to play. Her front-end capstone, Game Closet, eliminates the hassle of taking out all 60 games. The app contains a list of games input by the user with helpful information like the number of players and type of game. The user can then decide on the game they want to play through the app and get that game out of the closet. She built the app using React.js with JSON Server for data collection and management and Reactstrap and Material Design for styling.
Her back-end capstone solves one of the problems she saw working for laboratories. With limited budgets, the laboratories she worked at lacked inventory systems that were easy-to-use. LabManager is an app that tracks chemicals, equipment, supplies, and instrumentation for laboratories. The app allows an employee, a registered and authenticated user, to create a chemical or laboratory item and add details like important dates, the manufacturer, and other notes. The employee can also choose an item category and identify the employee responsible for the item.
Once items have been added to the app, they are visible in tables that can be sorted by the user. For example, an employee can sort a list of chemicals by expiration date to see which chemicals are expiring soon. LabManager was built with C# and Microsoft ASP.NET Core 2.2 with Entity Framework and Identity Framework. Microsoft SQL Server is used for database storage and manipulation and Bootstrap was used for styling.
Hannah loves data and databases, so she gravitates towards back-end roles. While she searches for her first job in tech, she is reinforcing the concepts she learned at NSS and exploring Python and R. She is also adding additional features and improving the user experience for LabManager, which is allowing her to strengthen her C# and SQL skills.
Check out all of the recent grads on Cohort 29's class website and hear the graduates share their journey into development and their experience at NSS in their podcasts below.