Lifelong Learning with Web Development | Graduate Spotlight

Jul 16, 2020
Jessica Grande


Matthew Reeds of Cohort 38

After spending years as a manager in the service industry, Matthew Reeds of Web Development Cohort 38 decided it was time to apply his problem-solving skills elsewhere and started learning to write code. “The immense amount of patience and dedication required to reach an appropriate outcome is a true skill that takes time to master,” he reflects. “The thought of committing myself to lifelong learning sounded like exactly what I wanted for my life.”

Nashville Software School (NSS) came highly recommended to Matthew by his cousin Stephen Senft who graduated from Cohort 35. After much research, Matthew joined the Web Development Jumpstart. “After completing the 3-week program I knew NSS was for me,” he recalls. “From their inclusive culture to their genuine care in answering all ranges of questions, I felt as though it was a comfortable space to truly learn and thrive.”


During Matthew’s time at NSS, COVID-19 forced his cohort to shift to remote learning, which proved to be an unexpected challenge they had to face and overcome. "Thankfully we stayed positive and continued to work hard and remain engaged to make it to the end of our time at NSS,” he shares. 

However, even the unexpected move to remote classes didn’t deter Matthew from being encouraged and excited about his new career path in web development. “Tech is a big industry. It’s one of the most difficult industries to feel like you have a place in it all. NSS, helps to accomplish many things for people but one of the most important is the feeling of belonging they somehow instill in every student,” he shares. “From mock interviews with real employers from Nashville, to utilizing SCRUM workflow for projects in small teams (with the sole focus on learning.) NSS gets it right. The founder, John Wark, and the NSS staff are committed from start to finish, and even post-grad, to ensuring you are given every tool you need to succeed.” 

Matthew urges current and incoming NSS students to “find a passion in technology. Find whatever it may be that raises your excitement whenever you get the chance to speak about it.”

Listen to yourself as you talk to your friends and family about the things you are learning at school and if you can notice that you're excited to share with them the ins and outs, rest assured you have a place here.” 


Reassurance is Matthew’s front-end capstone he built using React, React hooks and JSON for interchanging data. Reassurance helps Bible readers keep track of verses that resonate with them by adding verses to the app with tags and detailed notes so that they can reference them later by filtering their saved verses. “I created this app to provide a simple software solution for a far too common issue among readers,” he explains. “I noticed that once I had read a verse that resonated with me I could apply it to a part of my life and feel better or continue to feel good about that circumstance. However, after some time had passed, if I would think back to find that verse again or remember what situation it applied to I just couldn't seem to recall.” Now with Reassurance, Matthew can quickly find verses that are meaningful to him. 

Matthew’s back-end capstone, Birdie, is an app inspired by the sport disc golf. It allows players to record personal disc specifications, flight ratings and fill a virtual bag with those disks. Once you have several variations of your disc bags saved in the app, you can record your game, what course you played, what bag was used, and your final score. “The best feature of Birdie is being able to direct message another user to brag about your awesome scores,” he laughs. “Birdie is a full stack Django application that uses SQLite for relational database management.” 


Now a full-stack developer, Matthew is ready for his first job in the tech industry. He’s interested in both back-end and front-end work and open to all programming languages. “Beginning down the lifelong road of learning code has truly been a gratifying endeavor thus far.” 

In his free time, Matthew is rebuilding his back-end capstone using React as the client-side and Django REST API for the server side. “I wanted to see if I could recreate my project with the flexibility of React, the ability to pass props around, and use the functionality of hooks,” he shares.

Learn more about Matthew 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