NSS has been operating remotely since the pandemic began a year ago, moving all classes and career development events online. We’ve since graduated 17 cohorts virtually, 7 of which were fully online. We caught up with Full-time Data Analytics 2 graduates Dez Brooks and Mia Soza to ask what their online experience was like at Nashville Software School (NSS).
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL PROJECT/WEEK LOOK LIKE?
Mia Soza: Depending on the technology [we were learning that week] we would have a lecture about how you use it and do some exercises [for]t the first half of the day, and the last half [of the day] would be working on a project. Those projects would kind of ramp up in intensity and scope as we went through the program. And because they were ramping up in difficulty, they would extend in periods of time. You’ll go from a few days on a project to a few weeks on something. For the most part it was to learn about [the technology] and put it to use.
WHAT WAS YOUR INTERACTION WITH YOUR INSTRUCTORS AND CLASSMATES LIKE?
Dez Brooks: The interaction with the instructors was superb. They are completely understanding - it was almost like NSS had done this before. I would have never known this was only their second time teaching this course virtually.
WHAT WERE SOME ROADBLOCKS YOU ENCOUNTERED AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Mia Soza: Probably the difficulty carving out an educational and work space in your room. Trying to turn this part of my room into my school and also my work desk.
Dez Brooks: I would describe it as Tuckman's model. Working in groups of people, there is that. You might get placed with someone that you don’t particularly jive with, but that’s the real world. I liked how we were placed in different groups with different things.
WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR INITIAL CONCERNS WITH STARTING AN ONLINE BOOTCAMP?
Mia Soza: I took one class online in college and it was awful because I just watched YouTube videos and then would have to submit my projects. I was concerned that this was going to be like that. But it ended up being really nice. I have completely changed my tune about distance learning, and I credit NSS with that. If I would have had the option to have taken classes the way that I took my Data Analytics bootcamp I probably would have done so much better in college!
Dez Brooks: The online was a God-send. Since I live in Chattanooga, it was a great time for me to do the program. I didn’t have to bunk with people that live around Nashville and the time I would have spent on the road commuting every week I used to do my homework for class and spend more time with my kids when they got home from school.
WHAT WOULD WANT SOMEONE WHO WAS CONSIDERING ATTENDING NSS TO KNOW ABOUT THE ONLINE BOOTCAMP EXPERIENCE?
Mia Soza: If you are nervous about online learning, look at the types of online learning you were doing in the past and look at the time when you were doing online learning, because I feel like until very recently, we, as a people, didn’t know how to teach in an online environment, or how to foster discussion or conversation via screens and Zoom. I feel like they have figured out how to [learn online] in a way that really feels authentic. [NSS online] is every bit as intense and thorough as what you’d expect an in-person class to be, without having to commute every morning.
Dez Brooks: Research, research, research. First and foremost - this is a bootcamp - if you’ve never been to a bootcamp before, look it up. Also, come in with some knowledge of something - especially if you don’t know anything. Take the [Analytics] Jumpstart program. This is a fast-paced course.