2020 Year In Review: Milestones at NSS

Dec 21, 2020
Jessica Grande


There’s no denying that 2020 proved to be a challenging year. And while we all anticipate 2021 with bated breath, we don’t want to forget the many firsts and major milestones that 2020 brought along for NSS. Join us in reflecting on all the good that came out of this year.


  • 1,000th graduate. We started Valentine’s Day 2020 with 995 graduates and by 1 p.m. we were up to 1036 graduates. Two cohorts graduated on that day - full-time Web Development Cohort 35 and part-time Web Development Cohort E9. As of the end of the year, we’ve graduated a total of 1,249 students.
  • Best in Business. In the week between the tornado and the start of the pandemic, Nashville Software School was awarded the Best in Business Award by the Nashville Business Journal. This award acknowledges the hard work that our team at NSS has invested over the past 8 years in 1000+ graduates. At a deeper level, it’s about the fact that NSS, with the support of so many employers and individuals in the Nashville tech community, has been able to offer Opportunity to over 1000 graduates to acquire skills, to launch careers, to hopefully find a career they can be passionate about, and in lots of cases an opportunity to change their (and their family’s) life.
  • Fully Operational in Move to Online Classrooms. In less than two weeks, the instructors and operational staff worked hard to get the entire NSS operation online and functional in order to continue providing classes for students. It wasn’t an easy task by any means, but the resiliency and determination of the instructors, staff, and not to mention our students was unmatched as the year rolled on virtually. 
  • Launched our first-ever fundraising campaign, Mind The Gap, to support new programs for our Seekers, recent graduates who are searching for their first job in tech, while navigating the uncertainties during the global pandemic.
  • Created our first Community Impact Report which outlines our impact from the past 8 years as the first nonprofit coding bootcamp in the U.S. 

Bootcamps and New Programs

  • Launched our first Full-time Data Analytics cohort.
  • We graduated 14 cohorts and 307 students in 2020. That also means the community supported 14 mock interview events and 11 demo days!
    • 8 Full-time Web Development Cohorts
    • 2 Part-time Web Development Cohorts
    • 2 Part-time Data Analytics Cohorts
    • 1 Data Science Cohort
    • And the 1st Full-time Data Analytics Cohort 
  • Created and launched our new IT Infrastructure Foundations program. We are currently only offering this program in partnership with the Greater Nashville Technology Council’s Apprenti Tennessee program and GO-TECH program which also includes Volunteer State Community College. We graduated 2 IT Infrastructure cohorts totaling 18 students from this program in 2020.
  • Launched new initiatives to help support our Seekers during 2020’s hiring slow-down, including our newest professional development program, Mastering SQL for Developers, which is now open for community-wide enrollment.
  • Laid the groundwork to launch NSS’s Fellowship Program. We plan to have our first graduates placed in Q1.

The Growing NSS Team

We knew 2020 was going to be a year of growth for our full-time team and despite the pandemic we were still able to grow our team in areas of critical need and backfill positions.

  • In operations, we added four new team members: Jessica Grande (Community Advocate), Katie Kuhl (Student Services Representative/Bookkeeper), Marla Lamont (Director of Career Development), and Julie Heckler (Career Development Specialist). All four have already made a big impact at NSS.
  • On our learning team we added Rachel Werner as our Program Manager for Web Development and Deanna Vickers as the Program Manager for previously mentioned Fellowship Program. 

  • We added a couple of new junior instructors to our team: Mo Silvera (Web Development) and Cristina Attfield (Data Analytics).

In addition to our full-time staff, it takes a large team of part-time instructors and even some volunteers to help 307 students gain the skills they need to launch a new career in tech. Thanks to all of our part-time and volunteer instructors who helped us launch 307 graduates this year!


The forced pivot of 2020 taught us a lot and we’ve developed new capabilities that will serve NSS, our students, and graduates into the future. Check back next week to find out what we have in store for 2021! 

Topics: News