Some people just know what they want to be when they “grow up.” Web Development Cohort 36 graduate Lauren Riddle always wanted to work in the tech industry, she just didn’t expect it to be coding. “[My love for technology] initially led me down the road of Computer Networking because it was a good mix of sitting behind a desk, while still being able to get my hands dirty with equipment,” she shares.
After graduating with an Associate's degree in Computer Information Technology - Networking, she knew it was time to make a decision on the direction she wanted her career path to take. “...That's when a friend told me about Nashville Software School (NSS),” Lauren explains. “After looking into it, I decided to apply and it has truly been one of the best decisions of my life.”
Coding is exactly where I need to be.”
During her time at NSS, Lauren shares that some of her favorite things were overcoming challenging code problems while collaborating with classmates to create web applications together and learning new concepts every day. “The more I learned about programming, the more I found myself being drawn towards it because of the abundant possibilities for career growth in the industry, the daily opportunity for practicing my problem-solving skills, and the satisfaction that comes from being able to write code and watch it come to life in the form of a working application.”
Lauren expresses the importance of leaning into your failures while learning how to code and why new students should “trust the process,”: “Failure is how you learn and if you don't ever let yourself fail, it's hard to learn new things! NSS is a place where you don't have to worry about anyone judging you for not knowing how to do something. Take advantage of that environment while you have it so that you can learn as much as possible and make the most of your time there.”
Hapi is Lauren’s front-end capstone project, created to help software developers sort and keep track of the technologies they are using in projects. “As a software developer, I spend a large amount of time navigating to the same URLs over and over again to find API and technology documentation, project GitHub accounts, wireframes, and entity relationship diagrams,” she explains. “Remembering exactly where the documentation that I looked at a week ago was found or trying to go back and find the URL to a specific resource can become a time-consuming process when working on a project.”
For her back-end capstone project, Lauren created Hive Mind, a social media app where NSS students and alumni can create and share interview "surveys" for interviews they have had with specific companies. “Each company has a different way of interviewing, different questions that they ask, and different code challenges and trying to guess the best way to prepare for these interviews can be nerve wracking,” she shares.
Lauren continues to foster her love for learning through independent study of C# and has plans to continue her learning even further. “NSS gave me so many tools for learning that I am now using to expand my knowledge while teaching myself new programming practices and concepts since graduating.” she shares.
While she prefers a full-stack web development role, she is open to any opportunities where she can collaborate, grow, and learn with a team.
Check out all the recent grads on Web Development Cohort 36's class website and hear the graduates share their journey into development and their experience at NSS in their podcasts below.