Coasters, Credits, and Coding, Oh My! | Graduate Spotlight

Jul 8, 2020
Jessica Grande


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Having spent time in various career paths, Matt Crook of Web Development Cohort 38 was working as a Project Manager for a major music label in town where his responsibilities included redirection, live performance tracking, mechanical tracking, radio tracking, pipeline analysis, and forecasting. 

“I wrote scripts to fetch data using various APIs that the company had, and I worked directly with developers on projects,” Matt explains. “I always loved working on those projects and with the developers, so I started to teach myself [programming] and fell in love with it. I then met someone who told me about Nashville Software School (NSS), and that sealed the deal for me.”

I am a lifelong learner and will always consider myself 'junior' as there is always something new to learn, something to improve, and goals to be met.”


Matt shares that his NSS experience was exactly what he was looking for in a bootcamp environment. “I enjoy and thrive in high pressure, rapid environments, and in hearing stories of previous NSS grads, I was fully prepared and looking forward to the fast-paced curriculum.” He speaks fondly of the instructor's willingness to “deep dive” with him on any questions he had during his six month bootcamp. 

When asked what advice he would pass along to current or incoming NSS students, he said, “Prepare! Both mentally if you need to, and skills. The more you prepare, the better off you will be to soak in as much information as possible.” 


For his capstone projects, Matt wanted to “push the boundaries” of the skills he learned in NSS and experiment with new technologies to create applications inspired by his love for roller coasters and theme parks. 

His front-end capstone project, Quantum Coasters, is an interactive app that allows users to track “credits,” as it’s called by the coaster community; one ride equals one credit for that ride. The app features a message board where users can discuss their affinity for roller coasters and share their experiences and a live leaderboard based on credits earned. Users can also add rides to the app’s database, “so the information in the database is always being updated to include more rides around the world,” Matt explains. To create Quantum Coasters he placed the entire front-end and back-end in Auth0, used JWT tokens throughout the application for authorization, and applied several React technologies. For a full list of the technologies he used and the skills he applied to create the app, check out his readme. Since completing the front-end of Quantum Coasters, Matt has returned to the project to create a Django REST API.

Quantum Management is a theme park management and business analysis application that Matt built for his back-end project. This app allows HR and Management members of a theme park to keep track of employees, like where they work in the park from day-to-day. It also allows for adding, removing, or transitioning employees to different roles throughout the park by an admin user. On the business management side of this app, Matt built a dashboard of analytical, business intelligence information to help managers and business owners make educated business decisions, reporting and forecasting. Quantum Management was created with Python and Django.  


Since graduating, Matt continues to learn and build on his coding skills as he starts his job search for his first full stack position as a web developer. He is also interested in  opportunities with infrastructure, dev-ops, and cybersecurity. “Or React,” he laughs, “because I love React.” 

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

Check out all the recent grads on Web Development Cohort 38’s class website and hear the graduates share their experience at NSS and capstone projects in their podcasts below.


Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?, Web Development