Never a Boring Moment | Graduate Spotlight

Oct 21, 2020
Jessica Grande


Tom Strother of Web Development Cohort 40

Tom Strother has worn a lot of hats in his career. He was the tech founder for two startups, a corporate audio visual project and production manager, and has toured with musicians across the country, but he was looking to spend more time with his family. “I was looking for something that didn't require me to travel and take me away from my family, but something that still had the same problem-solving and critical thinking skills I've developed as a project manager,” he explains. 

After a friend suggested he check out Nashville Software School (NSS), a new career in Web Development was a no-brainer for Tom. 


Tom Strother applied to Web Development Cohort 40 where he experienced the struggles and rewards of ‘drinking from a firehose’ at NSS. “I love to learn and it constantly taught me something new. There was never a boring moment,” he describes.

Software, in general, is a language with many dialects. [Learning a new language] isn’t easy and neither is learning how to speak software development.

Though Tom had founded two startup tech companies, he was completely new to software development. He encourages other students in similar situations to recognize where they are, accept it for what it is, and move forward from there.” It was very easy to compare myself and get down about what I knew....or didn't know,” he recalls. “Confidence grows and we all progress at the exact pace we are supposed to.”


Tom’s front-end capstone, MyListing360, creates and displays real estate listings in fully immersive VR. Tom originally had this application built 7 years ago by a development team that he hired, but became too costly to keep updated. “It was a huge benchmark for me to be able to re-create it and see it through,” he shares. “Now that I have the skills, I will be able to see that project through to what I envisioned years ago.” MyListing360 uses 360 images and navigation panning in every direction. It is designed for real estate agents and photographers to create virtual tours in less than 5 minutes and provide buyers a way to explore house shopping without having to visit in person. Tom built MyListing360 in React. 

MasterPlan is Tom’s project management application he built for his back-end capstone project, specifically for the entertainment and corporate audio/visual industry. “These projects can range from $15,000 to well into the hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions,” he speaks of his experience in the industry. “Getting the planning right is crucial.” Unlike other generic project management software, MasterPlan comes with pre-made templates that guides project managers in entering the information needed for the project.. MasterPlan is built with Python and Django.


Since graduating, Tom has started to explore his “long list of technologies that the current job market is looking for” and honing his skills through JavaScript courses. “I plan to do hackathons with some of my classmates to stay fresh on our skills,” he adds. 

As he starts to look for his first job in web development, Tom is most excited to work in front-end with JavaScript and UI/UX.” I would really like to get into web sockets and many of the side-projects I have in mind require instant updates based on user events.” 

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

Check out all the recent grads at Web Development Cohort 40'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