We’re catching up with some of our alumni and sharing their advice for our students and recent graduates.
When Lindsay Mulhollen applied for Nashville Software School (NSS) in late 2017, she never imagined that she’d be working for her dream company, Local Projects NYC, less than four years later. She is now a React Developer and Creative Technologist for the company whose work motivated her to attend NSS.
Prior to attending NSS’s first Front-end Web Designer/Developer Bootcamp, Lindsay was doing a little bit of everything...as long as it played to her creative side. “My career was as a stage manager, lighting designer, and in video production, which was a direction I took in my undergraduate after injuring out of professional ballet,” she shares. “I also sewed for a menswear line, was a nanny, managed a salon, wrote for a pop culture blog, edited videos for a content house, and just about anything else to get by!”
Chasing A Goal
Lindsay continued to be inspired by the interactive technology created by Local Projects NYC for The ArtLens Gallery. This spring she checked the company’s website for any job openings. “...And there it was,” she remembers, ‘...a Full-Stack Developer listing!”
Creating A Strong Foundation To Chase Your Goal
After attending NSS for six month, Lindsay felt “prepared to join the development workforce.” “A big part of this was learning to ask the right questions,” she recalls, “learning to truly understand things by breaking and fixing them, and taking on challenges I didn't think I was prepared to take on. NSS also helped me to understand my worth as a developer. NSS helped me foster skills in interviewing, negotiating, and understanding what kind of position might be the best fit for me.”
She continued to strengthen her foundation on the job. “The biggest thing I have learned is that there is never a time where you feel like you'll know everything and it's okay to not have an answer or not know how to do something when you're assigned a task. Part of the job is constantly learning and being able to take a deep breath and know you can do it!”
She also learned the importance of advocating for yourself. “Development can be solitary work and the best way to let others know you need help or to have something cleared up is to start a conversation.”
If you want help and support from others, you need to be willing to give help and support!
Advice For Your First Tech Job Search
This past year has been a strange time to look for a first job so, first of all, be kind to yourself!
Lindsay stressed the importance of continuing to code and design during your job search. “Seeing resumes come in for first-job Front-end and UX/UI jobs, the best thing applicants can have is content and recent work,” she explains. “Showing you're actively doing work in the field, paid or not, makes a HUGE difference.”
“It can be discouraging to not immediately have a paying job but you want to make sure your skills are up to date. When I've met with recent grads I always suggest finding a group of your fellow-grads in the same boat and working on projects together. This will show you're able to work well with a team of others and you'll create a network of devs to help you stay motivated.”
When you land an interview, be confident in what you know but also be ready to learn! You will NEVER be done learning in this world.
Paying It Forward
When Lindsay’s not working at her dream job, she’s helping others make the leap to a career in software development. “I didn't feel ‘smart’ enough to be a developer when I first applied to NSS and I don't want anyone to feel the same! I love helping and teaching development, teaching negotiating principles, and taking on some pro-bono coding and UX work when I have the time. The biggest effect this has had on my career is keeping my network open - which I have found incredibly valuable!”
Learn Front-end Design and Development like Lindsay in our upcoming bootcamp starting Aug. 9, 2021! Applications close soon! Apply Today!