Recognize Your Own Potential | Graduate Spotlight

Jun 15, 2020
Jessica Grande


MEET Jansen

Jansen van der Spuy of Web Development Cohort 37 felt he was ready for a change in his life. “I didn't really have a clear-cut career path in front of me,” he explains. “I had a day job to make ends meet and would play drums in a band in my free time, but I felt kind of stagnant and needed a change.” He was first introduced to the world of coding by the web development team at work. He admired the culture of their team and was drawn to the potential of a career path. That’s when he decided to look into a career in coding for himself. 

After attending an info session at Nashville Software School (NSS), Jansen describes being inspired by Founder and CEO John Wark to recognize his own potential. “Growing up, I had always loved learning and solving challenging problems. In the past few years, I've discovered that the best way for me to make a difference is [in] the field of technology and software development.” 


In the middle of Jansen’s six-month journey to becoming a full-stack developer, classes quickly transitioned online due to COVID-19. Jansen shares how his cohort helped him through. “I really loved group projects and bonding with my classmates. It was devastating when they announced we were going remote, but I was so inspired how everyone took it in stride and just kept going.”

I spent so long trying to convince myself I wasn't smart enough for this program, and when I finally enrolled it was like ‘wow, I should have started doing this years ago.’”

Capstone Projects

For his front-end capstone, Jansen’s cohort inspired him to create Codehub. “[Cohort 37 was] known for how often we would share and teach each other before we asked for help. So I made a mini-Github where people could upload small features/achievements that they built and paste in the code that was necessary,” he explains. He built CodeHub using React, Coudinary, and JSON. 

FeedTN, his back-end capstone, is a meal delivery system for children that no longer have access to school lunches due to the pandemic. “Parents can register with a school, order menu items, edit their cart, and create issue tickets. The app contains functionality for both [the] end-user and administrator privileges, and uses Twilio to incorporate text message confirmations for users who register a phone number,” he explains. FeedTN is a .NET MVC application.

HIRE Jansen

While on the job search for his first full-stack or back-end position, Jansen is staying active by practicing code through self-study books and online courses. He is most interested in jobs that use .NET, Python, JavaScript, or SQL, but is willing to learn another tech stack. 

Learn more about Jansen by visiting his website or listening to his podcast

Check out all the recent grads on Web Development Cohort 37'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