Comfort Zone Redefined | Graduate Spotlight

Jul 9, 2019
Mandy Arola

Brian NealBrian Neal and his wife Hannah were both looking for a career change. Brian had spent ten years in retail, most recently as store manager, and knew it was time to move on. He had been interested in pursuing a career in development for years but was afraid to step out of his comfort zone and pursue it. They took the leap together and quit their jobs on the same day. Hannah had already been admitted to Nashville Software School (NSS) as a part of Cohort 29, but Brian was on the waitlist. Fortunately, he was accepted two weeks later for Cohort 30. 

[NSS] was the obvious choice. Once you take time to learn about NSS, it becomes apparent that they are invested in the success of their students, and that's not something you can find anywhere else.

Brian’s NSS Experience

Brian loves learning, but NSS was more than just an opportunity to learn to code for him. While here, he redefined his comfort zone and how he views himself. He also made a lot of new friends, grew his network, and continues to foster those relationships after graduation. He encourages students to “take care of yourself, pay attention to your mental and emotional needs as you go through the course, but after taking note of those things, make sure to push yourself constantly.”

Capstone Projects

Brian’s love of gardening inspired his front-end capstone. His app Garden Minder allows gardeners to track activity and keep notes that they can reference each week or even next year to make their garden better. He built the app with React and JSON Server.

For his back-end capstone, Brian built an app called Fitness Tracker. After being hunched over his laptop for six months in bootcamp, Brian was looking for motivation to step away from the computer and get moving. With Fitness Tracker, users can set goals and monitor their progress by logging their physical activity. He built the app with C#, .NET, Entity Framework, and Identity Framework.

Hire Brian!

Brian loves both front-end and back-end development, though he’s a little more partial to back-end at the moment after building Fitness Tracker. As he searches for his first development job, he is working on stretch goals for his capstone projects and brainstorming ideas for new projects. 

Learn more about Brian’s experience at NSS and his capstones in his podcast and on Github.

Check out all the recent grads on Cohort 30’s class website and hear the graduates share their journey into development and their experience at NSS in their podcasts below.

Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?, Web Development