By mid-March we knew the graduation of Web Development Cohort 36 would not look like any other graduation we’ve had before. With classes moving online and the need to social distance, we could not fill the Hackery with nearly 30 students and just as many (or more) employers. While our instructors and students were busy transitioning classes online, our career development team was working to find a new format for a virtual Demo Day.
John shared a bit about the lead up to Demo Day in his update last week. You can read that here.
Bright and early Friday morning, Cohort 36 was online and messaging each other with words of support and shared nervousness. Virtual demo day had begun. Caroline Brownlee, Cohort 36 graduate, shared “‘presenting my apps with a pot of Starbucks brewing in the kitchen and having really good chocolate on hand” helped get her ready. All developers need good coffee!
Being a part of the first ever virtual demo day for NSS was both exciting and nerve-wracking. None of us knew what to expect, and not being around others in our cohort in the Hackery made it even more so.” - John Long, Cohort 36 Graduate
Our career development team pre-scheduled 15 minute conversations between our students and employers. There were a few hiccups, which is to be expected when you change up the format for the first time, but everyone rolled with it and there were many great conversations.
The virtual format resulted in stronger, undivided conversations without the distractions of nearby conversations. Graduates were able to share their screens and walk through their applications. John Long explained, “the people who went through my apps were genuinely interested in talking to me and being one-on-one in that way seemed so much more personal.”
These students are AWESOME. [The virtual format] makes it easy for them to show off their stuff. If I could give $10k worth of resources to the student with the best demo to finish building it into a fully functional product, [I would].” Bryan Haddock, Quore Systems
Many of the employers who were able to attend expressed their excitement over the projects and students and enjoyed the virtual format. Thanks to our community of employers, we scheduled 4-5 conversations per student and some of those conversations will continue this week! We are grateful for all the employers that took the time to talk with our graduates during Demo Day.
The moment they’ve all been waiting for...graduation!
Even though we could not all gather in the same room, it was still important for us to mark the occasion with Cohort 36 and their families. So from our living rooms, kitchens, and home offices, we all came together to celebrate all of their hard work and accomplishments over the past six months.
What a wonderful experience! I’m so excited and proud not only for being a part of this great school and cohort but also for being a part of the first ever virtual graduation and demo day. NSS taught us well how to adapt to an ever-changing dynamic work environment. It almost felt like we were doing that for years! Congratulations, everyone. We made history!” Guy Cherkesky, Cohort 36 Graduate
Cohort 36 is a class of firsts. It’s our largest graduating class with 28 students. And it’s the first class to graduate remotely. In his remarks, John Wark, Founder and CEO, reminded the graduates that “this is a major milestone, but it is not the end of our support as you move down this career path. You’re embarking on a job search in an unprecedented time and we’re going to be helping you, as we always have.”
Cohort 36 instructor Joe Shepherd shared, “I am just amazed at how flexible, how adaptable, this entire group was over the last few weeks. They had every reason to go into a doubt spiral and to complain. I haven’t heard one complaint from them. It’s been really inspiring to be a part of that.”
Our job isn’t finished yet. Our commitment to our students from day one is to support them until they land that first job using the skills they developed at NSS.
Are you hiring? Did you miss Demo Day? There are a lot of ways to connect with Cohort 36.
- Visit their class website to find their portfolio sites, GitHub and LinkedIn links, and video demonstrations of their final capstone projects.
- Listen to their podcasts below.