The Art of Web Development | Graduate Spotlight

Jun 22, 2020
Jessica Grande



Jonathan May, known as Coffey to his friends and colleagues, desired a career where he could express his creativity. While working as a fine-dining server, he met coworkers who spoke highly of Nashville Software School (NSS) and decided to check it out for himself. 

“I was initially drawn to software development for the challenge of learning a new creative tool. The creative potential of working with and understanding data greatly interests me,” he shares. With a background in Art and Design, Coffey decided a career in tech was right for him and applied to join Web Development Cohort 37 at NSS. “I am interested in user-friendly application development that incorporates carefully considered design principles with ease of use,” he explains.


During his time at NSS, Coffey faced several major obstacles, including the loss of his job, the tornado that tore through Middle Tennessee in early March, and a global pandemic which moved classes online. He was able to push through by focusing on learning new skills and concepts, which was his favorite part of NSS. “Like learning anything, a lot of it is muscle memory, a lot of it is just putting in the time,” Coffey explains. 

[Web Development] is just like learning an instrument. You aren’t going to pick up a violin and be able to play Mozart on your first day. You just keep at it, and little by little you build up your skills.” 

Capstone Projects

Coffey’s front-end capstone is an e-commerce application named Dog-Nasium. The app is built for a fictional, indoor dog park that allows users to create their own monthly or yearly purchase plans and provides optional “add-ons” to their plan that gives discounts to pet stores, cafes, and other establishments. “There is also an [option] to make donations to a dog rescue as well,” Coffey adds. He created this app using JSON Server, React, JavaScript, and CSS.

Contemporary Realism and Other Works is Coffey’s back-end capstone project which showcases his oil paintings. This app acts as his personal artist e-commerce site and has two different user functionalities such as a Customer role and an Administrator role. The Administrator role allows the artist to add new paintings and assign them to galleries. The Customer role lets users purchase paintings in the app. Coffey built his back-end capstone with ASP.NET Core, MVC, Entity Framework, and Identity.


Since graduating, Coffey has been working on deploying his personal website. He is excited to use his full-stack capabilities in the tech field and ready for his first job as a full stack web developer.

Learn more about Coffey 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