Scott Silver has always looked for careers where he could learn and be challenged. His friends recommended software development as it fit his interests and would provide the workplace culture he’s seeking in his next job. As a middle school math teacher for six years, Scott worked on a process of continuous improvement for his students. The process involved asking questions like, “How are you going to get better,” learning to accept feedback, and creating an environment where students could make mistakes and learn from them. Scott found this process to be similar when learning to code.
I chose Nashville Software School because of friends that have gone through the program and attest to the NSS mission and the effort to realize a vision of supporting diversity in the tech community.
Even with his mindset of continuous improvement, he still faced hurdles at NSS. He shared, “Imposter syndrome is real in this field. As a former teacher, I am accustomed to daily failure and learning from that. Teaching in Metro Nashville Public Schools is and always will be the most difficult job I have ever done and humbling in more ways than I can count. Still, I have never felt more uncomfortable and like I didn't fit in than I did when I started NSS. As a person who has prided myself on a willingness to try things and fail, I was surprised to find myself avoiding work and running into mental hurdles that prevented me from asking questions and diving into problems. This was completely new for me and a bit of a shock.”
So what’s Scott’s advice for other students facing similar roadblocks? “Be vulnerable, ask questions, advocate for yourself, and trust the instructors, junior instructors, and NSS staff who all have your best interest in mind and will work tirelessly for you.”
For his front-end capstone, Scott built and app that allows users to share stories from their lives on a map. Geography can play a big role in a person’s journey, and My Story Map helps capture that impact. Users can select their location and add text and images to tell their stories. “One of my users told a story about growing up in White’s Creek and her transition to Belmont University and the culture shock she was surprised to experience in a place such a short distance from the place she grew up,” he shared. He built the app with React and used the ArcGIS API for developers. Scott plans to revisit this capstone and add a back-end so that users can add more data to their story map.
The idea for Scott’s back-end capstone, XC Coach, came from his time as a cross-country coach. The app allows cross-country coaches to keep track of the statistics for their teams, runners, and meets. Coaches can also see details on each runner, including parent contact information, details on the meets attended, and the runner’s pace. Scott built the app with Python, Django, and React.
Scott is currently working on a project with some of his classmates, fixing a few bugs on previous projects, and working on coding exercises. He enjoys working with the back-end most, but is getting more comfortable with React and the front-end with more practice. You can learn more about Scott on his podcast.
Check out all the recent grads on Cohort 33’s class website and hear the graduates share their journey into development and their experience at NSS in their podcasts below.