Creative, Curious, and Coding | Graduate Spotlight

Sep 14, 2020
Mandy Arola


Connor Sullivan of Part-time Web Development Cohort Evening 10

As a digital marketer with a marketing agency in Florida, Connor Sullivan was able to dabble in some HTML and CSS, but was no longer excited about the work and the lack of potential growth opportunities. With his background in building landing pages and SEM analytics, Connor decided to shift his path to software development. After visiting a friend in Nashville, Connor knew it was time to leave the Sunshine State and head to Music City to pursue his new career path. He was considering returning to college to get a degree in Computer Science, but friends in the tech industry encouraged him to do a bootcamp where he could build a portfolio of work and get started in his new career faster.

Connor looked into several bootcamps, but Nashville Software School (NSS) rose to the top. “A lot of bootcamps try to sell themselves on how fast their programs are, but I appreciated NSS for their focus on building more solid development fundamentals over a longer period,” he shared. “Not to mention, their mission as a non-profit, ties to the Nashville tech industry, and part-time student options allowed me to attend night classes for the last year and build those solid coding fundamentals while I worked full-time.”


Going through NSS is not easy, particularly when you’re working a full-time job and going to NSS part-time. As a part of Web Development Cohort Evening 10, Connor faced many roadblocks, but remembering why he was making the career transition gave him the motivation to push through and conquer them. “There were quite a few times where I had doubts regarding a certain topic or assignment, learning how to troubleshoot and debug, refactor code, as well as deal with imposter syndrome,” he said. Connor was able to overcome these obstacles by asking questions and his instructors and classmates were able to guide him through. Each roadblock conquered added to his confidence level.

The community of classmates is what Connor loved most about NSS. “We inhabit a weird time in history, but through all the challenges of COVID-19, as well as those inherent in life, my classmates and peers have helped to not only pass on their knowledge and provide encouragement to me, but I've been amazed to see the tremendous adversity and life changes that they've been able to overcome as well.”

It lifts up my hopes for the human spirit, to meet so many amazing people from different backgrounds, yet share the same sense of resiliency to face whatever challenges come their way, and do it all in stride. Their impact is very much felt on a daily basis, and makes me so proud to be a part of this community.”


For his capstone projects, Connor tapped into his knowledge of guitars. guitArchive is his front-end capstone project that gives users a place to archive their vintage guitar collection. In addition to keeping track and sharing their guitars, users can learn about other vintage guitars and receive amp recommendations based on the guitar and style of music. guitArchive was built with React, jQuery, Webpack, Bootstrap and SCSS, and Axios calls to pull data from Firebase.

Inside Intervals is Connor’s back-end capstone project that teaches guitar intervals, an important topic to understand that is often overlooked in other online music education courses. He compared understanding intervals in music to being able to explain the code behind an application. Users can keep track of their learning progress and upload files they are working on. They can also get chord suggestions that might work best in the arrangement they’re working on.

Connor explained how he built Inside Intervals, “Similar to my front-end capstone, it incorporates React based class components and Webpack for component bundling, but [with] this project I was able to integrate Interval topic accordions with tabulated topic info built using Reactstrap and function components. I also was able to incorporate Reactstrap and Bulma for fast and responsive customized styling, as well as build an API to pull the bulk of the app's data from a database I built using SQL server. I used Axios calls to not only pull and modify data from my API with an MVC setup, but also pulled data from the external API of to allow for Chord Predictor and related song functionality, based on the chords of the User's selection.”


Connor likes working with databases and hopes to find a full stack or back-end web developer position. He is currently refactoring his personal website using React, sharpening his skills in SQL, C#, JavaScript, and React with CodeWars and Code Kata challenges, and working on stretch goals for Inside Intervals.

To learn more about Connor, visit his website and listen to his podcast.

Check out all the recent grads on Part-time Web Development Cohort Evening 10's  and hear the graduates share their experience at NSS and capstone projects in their podcasts below.

Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?, Web Development