Skills To Get The Job | Graduate Spotlight

Mar 2, 2020
Mandy Arola

James-McClartyAfter graduating with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science, James McClarty was struggling to find a job. He dreamed of being an indie game developer and had worked on a couple of contract projects while working on building his own game, The Underworld’s Cello. Through this time, James realized that education alone doesn’t land you a job. “I needed connections, a GitHub page, everything that shows I’m a qualified programmer,” he explained. “I knew I had to find a way to get my foot in the door, so I [could] work in software development professionally.”

Then James was invited in for an internship interview. Unfortunately, the company was looking for undergraduates, but the hiring manager had some advice for him. “The manager pointed me towards NSS for a pathway towards a job. Taking his advice to heart, I put my best foot forward to see what I could accomplish.”

NSS Experience

James joined our full stack Web Development Cohort 35, where he built friendships that he hopes will last well after bootcamp. To conquer the roadblocks that came his way, he relied on his college experiences and appreciated when the instructors would give him just enough guidance and motivation and then send him on his way to work through the problem.

“Do not let the roadblocks overwhelm you. It's very easy (for me, at least) to look at the problem for hours and keep hitting your head on the proverbial wall. There are many ways to counter this. Stand up. Get some water. Walk around. Talk to people about your issue. Maybe someone has encountered the issue before. Last of all, do NOT be afraid to ask for help. Put your pride aside and seek assistance when necessary.”

Capstone Projects

For his front-end capstone, James built a voting app. Votepad is a “fun, intuitive voting platform where people can create and give feedback to ideas of a related subject.” A user can add a subject or pose a question for other users to answer, like “what’s the best burger place in Nashville?” Once users start leaving answers, individuals can vote the idea up or down. He built the app with React, JavaScript, and its own API.

James’ back-end capstone “allows users to create, attend, and organize projects to create all types of products. The [app] is specialized for smaller production, or independant, groups to arrange their tasks, workforce, and budget to meet their goals.” IndiePal separates users into two groups, Directors and Talents. Directors can create a project, e.g. book, movie, music, with a description and identify all of the talent they will need to complete this project. People with talents can create a profile in the app with a list of their talents. Directors can search the talent pool and reach out to people they are interested in. If the talent accepts, they’re booked on the project. He built the app with ASP.NET, Entity Framework, and Identity.

Hire James!

James is hoping to land a full stack or back-end development job. He’s a logic-driven thinker, but also likes to be creative, particularly in his game development. During his job search, he is keeping his skills sharp and is learning ASP.NET Core Blazor.

“I can’t wait to see where I go next. It’s going to be a lot of fun!”

You can learn more about James in his podcast or on his website.

Check out all the recent grads on Web Development Cohort 35'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