Kelly Kessler of Web Development Cohort 49 shares that her passion is well-crafted work, and her focus is full-stack development. When it was time for a career change she came to Nashville Software School to learn how to take her core values of continued learning and teamwork and turn them into a career in tech. “With a background in the music industry, visual arts, education and communications, I have soft skills the size of Wyoming,” she laughs.
Why did you choose to attend NSS?
“I chose this school because of its mission, [non-profit] status, engagement with the tech community, and commitment to training folks from underrepresented communities for careers in tech. I chose to become a developer because it's a path where I can flex my curiosity and creative thinking while collaborating with others to build something.”
What was your favorite capstone project and what about it made it your favorite?
“I found working on my back-end project, GoodCompany, satisfying on multiple levels. I felt I was designing to meet a genuine need. By creating a job search app that would give the user an intuitive experience tracking deadlines, contacts, applications, and companies, GoodCompany outshines the default option of a spreadsheet. I enjoyed working through the back-to-front architecture, starting with SQL scripts to create and seed my database and setting up Firebase authentication for app users. From there, it was a matter of building out the components that would route the user’s input from their browser to the controllers, repositories and database, returning views that rendered the response to their request. I also appreciated working with a strongly-typed language like C#: it helped me apprehend the data relationships more quickly as I moved from database to view model to repo to controller. In working solo, I found a new confidence: I was able to apply the concepts from our lessons and build an effective app. Now I want to build more!”
What advice would you give to current or incoming NSS Web Development students?
“If you're just starting, listen when your instructors urge you to take breaks. Unless you have coding experience, your brain needs to build new neural pathways. Work hard when you're working, but when you're not, give those grey cells a break! Also, find a way to take searchable notes. I didn't make that happen until the back-end and it made a HUGE difference. If you're currently a student and bogging down, ask for help, and do whatever attitude adjustment it takes to outgrow that self-reliant streak. It's the surest way to mess yourself up. Set a time limit for how long any one problem can stump you - say 20 minutes - and if you can't figure it out, ASK FOR HELP.”
Now a graduate of NSS, Kelly is on the hunt for her first job in web development! Listen to her podcast below to hear more about her capstone projects and her NSS experience! You can connect with Kelly on her LinkedIn Profile.
Meet more of the graduates from Web Development Cohort 49 by visiting their class website!