Is Tech Right For You?

Sep 24, 2021
Mandy Arola

Here at Nashville Software School (NSS), we get plenty of inquiries from folks that are trying to decide if tech will be a good fit for them. While we can give our insight as Nashville's non-profit software bootcamp and share the ways we’ve seen students from all walks of life succeed in their tech careers in our 9 years of experience, we thought that hearing it straight from the alumni would be more helpful in making the decision for yourself! 

Check out what our web development, data analytics, and data science alumni had to say about how they decided tech was the right career for them below! 

Try It Out!

One of the best ways to see if you will enjoy a career in tech, is to put your hand on the keyboard and write some code! In fact, it’s something we look for when interviewing applicants. We’re not expecting proficiency or that you’ve been coding since high school, but have you at least given it a try?

Chris Mulvey - Data Analytics Full-time Cohort 2

“Go on Codecademy or DataCamp and see what type of coding you enjoy. The coding focus can be different depending on what you are trying to do. You can do a lot of things in Python and Pandas without having to understand functions and control structures that are required in heavier coding.”

Derek Buckley - Web Development Full-time Cohort 39

“I had a little experience coding so I already knew I’d enjoy it some but the Web Development Jumpstart was the biggest confirmation for me. Definitely worth the time and money to have some exposure and know it was the right decision.”

Madi Peper - Web Development Full-time Cohort 27

“I took a Web Development Jumpstart and thought it was so much fun! It hit all the right spots in my brain for tinkering, creative thinking, and problem solving, and when I was finished with the Jumpstart program I signed up for the first Web Development Bootcamp I could. Working in retail motivated me to join a bootcamp so I could get out of retail, but the Jumpstart confirmed that this was definitely what I wanted to do as a career moving forward.”

Helana Nosratbakhsh - Web Development Full-time Cohort 18

“My advice to anyone wanting to see if this is the right field for you is to put fingers to keyboard and try out on as many different free learning programming tools as possible, read documentation to online tools you are already using to learn about how they are built, and talk to people you know who are already in the field. Most importantly, don't be afraid to fail hard and fail fast!”

Kimberly Bird - Web Development Full-time Cohort 22

“I'm so glad I did the Web Development Jumpstart course! Before that, I had never seen code, but I worked with a team of developers as a product owner. The Jumpstart gave me an idea of the NSS teaching style, as well as a chance to try writing code to see if I liked it. 

Do Your Research!

Whether you’re giving up your job to attend bootcamp full-time or attending bootcamp part-time while keeping your day job, choosing to attend a bootcamp is a big decision. Do your research. Explore the career path you are considering. Reach out to NSS alumni on LinkedIn who are working at your dream company or are in the type of job you’re curious about (most NSS alumni are happy to share their experience). Once you’ve settled on tech, research the schools you are interested in. Attend an info session (we have 2 every month: General Info Session and Analytics + Data Science Info Session). Ask about their graduation and placement rates (we share ours at every info session).

Mario Campopiano - Web Development Full-time Cohort 44

“Obviously investing all the time and money it takes to change careers into web development isn't something you want to do on a whim, so I did several things to help me decide if it was worth it. I started by reading blog posts and articles online from developers to see their perspective, along with speaking with friends of mine in the industry. Next, I started going through free YouTube tutorials that have you building a simple app in as little as 3-4 hours. I did this to be sure the actual work was something I'd enjoy. After that, I tried taking those simple skills and building an app of my own, just a very very simple game, but something to let me test the waters of going beyond the tutorials. 

After that, I spent a few months going through other free sites like and Again, I knew these free sites, while useful, would never be enough for me to transition careers; I just wanted to know that this wasn't a whim and that I'd still be enjoying it after months of learning. 

Once I was sure I enjoyed it enough, It was time for me to determine if Nashville Software School was the right place to go. Afraid to invest in the full-time bootcamp without being 100% sure, I decided to enroll in a three week Web Development Jumpstart program they offer. It was such a fantastic class! From my months of self-study I definitely already had a base of knowledge that made the first classes a little easier to take in, but the instructor and TA's were able to give new context, and by the end of the three weeks I was already doing things with code I couldn't manage after almost four months of self-study. 

I then applied and was accepted to a full-time bootcamp, which I would highly recommend to anyone interested in web development. For me, it was about more than just learning how to write code, but learning design principles, HOW to learn, and how to work on a team, which I found invaluable.”

Veronica Ikeshoji-Orlati - Data Science Cohort 4

“For anybody considering if a data or technical career is right for them, I would suggest three things: taking a step back to think about why the work might appeal to you, reflecting on how you like to work with others, and assessing your own tolerance for frustration when things just won't work. Understanding how AI and ML algorithms function - and how they impact real people - served as my guiding light when I would hit a wall with a particular piece of code; the collaborative, dialectical nature of technical data professions appealed to my desire to always be challenged and always be learning new things.” 

Madi Peper - Web Development Full-time Cohort 27

“My advice to those who aren't sure that this would be the right career for them would be: Find time to research as much as possible! Research how developers actually work in their fields. Going into this, I definitely didn't think that this career would be super collaborative, engaging, and way more challenging than I initially thought. Find time to try out some JavaScript tutorials, and maybe some basic HTML and CSS tutorials too. Codecademy, Khan Academy, and Interneting Is Hard, have some good basic introductions to HTML, CSS, & JavaScript. If you

have the time and money to do a Jumpstart at NSS, DO IT! Doing all or some of this will not only increase your interest in the career, but it can only benefit you moving forward. You'll either gain some early, very basic, programming knowledge for the bootcamp (or your new career), or you'll end up finding out that maybe spending anywhere between 10 minutes to 5 hours on a problem might not be for you (and that 5 hours is GENEROUS, by the way).

This career can be VERY challenging, but overcoming those challenges and getting the sweet, sweet, victory of solving that problem I spent a week on is something that I enjoy (most) days! It'll be hard in the moment, but once that first problem is solved, it can be addicting to keep going until it's all built, fixed, solved, etc!”

You Might Love Tech If You Love…

Do you love problem-solving? Do you like to build things? Are you a lifelong learner? Are you a musician? Do you love working towards a goal with a team? These are just a few things we’ve seen as indicators of success in tech. But everyone can be successful.

Samantha Sitarek - Data Analytics Part-time Cohort 4

“I love solving puzzles (especially logic puzzles). I love color-coding, organization, and making sense of something that may appear to have no pattern. I enjoy providing easier to understand examples for complicated information.”

Helana Nosratbakhsh - Web Development Full-time Cohort 18

“I knew web development would be the right fit for me because I always had a desire to build things in a team setting. Whether it was building with tinker toys when I was little, building a sales team at a startup, or building web applications for an enterprise, I've always loved to build and create.  While working for a local email marketing platform, I received advice from a coworker of mine to apply to NSS because he knew how interested I was in coding and problem-solving. He had attended NSS and was a successful front-end developer for the company we were at, so I knew NSS would be a good place for me as well.”

Lindsay Mulhollen - Front-end Web Designer/Developer Full-time Cohort 24

“I didn't know development was going to be the right choice for me prior to applying! What I did know is that I wanted a stable career where I could work from anywhere, a lot of individual work, and a job I wouldn't have to worry about injuring out of it like I did ballet and live events. What I would tell someone nervous about transitioning to the industry are the things I love about my work: I love that my work is written down clearly in tasks; I love that the things I build work or they don't; I love that my work is challenging and engaging; I love that I am able to work individually, but I also have the support of my team; and I love that building the front-end of a website feels like putting together a puzzle. The work I've done in my development career is creative and captivating and I would recommend it to most anyone feeling unmotivated with their day-to-day.”

Daniel Eaton - Data Science Cohort 4

“I have always found a home in questions and in thought. In work and in life, there have always been whispers of the world behind things, of the ways they interact. Teaching sparked new interest in the sciences, math, technology and in our evolving world. These converged for me when I found this program, these instructors and the family that is NSS.” 

Kimberly Bird - Web Development Full-time Cohort 22

“I think the reality of being a developer is hard to gauge until you're at your first dev job, but if you like problem-solving and you're ok with asking for help when you're confused (even the most senior devs ask lots of questions), then development could be a good fit. 

Coding is a team sport! The cliche of working alone in a dark room while coding up a storm isn't reality - there is lots of back and forth, planning, and clarification. It's not an easy job - it's incredibly difficult, but anyone can do it, as long as you put the effort in and ask lots of questions.”


Try it out. Do your research. Do you enjoy problem-solving? Are you a lifelong learner? These are all ways you can explore if tech is the right path for you. We hope to meet you at an upcoming info session or Jumpstart class!

Topics: Analytics + Data Science, Web Development