Airris Williams decided to transition from a career in law enforcement to pursue web development after the pandemic in 2020 slowed him down. “My interest in technology was sparked from a prison program at San Quentin State Prison that taught inmates how to code,” he shares. “I believe programs like these are a great asset to rehabilitating inmates and society as a whole. I decided to learn software development for myself.” Airris was encouraged by his best friend, a Nashville Software School (NSS) Cohort 22 alumni, to apply for the web development bootcamp and he’s now a graduate from Full-time Web Development Cohort 54.
Software development allows me to continuously learn, while giving me the opportunity to put my problem-solving skills to work. I am excited to see where this new career path takes me.”
What was your favorite part of your NSS experience?
“My favorite part of NSS was the constant support and encouragement from the instructional team, as well as my classmates. I'm not sure if I've ever been in an environment when literally everyone around you is rooting for you to succeed. The group projects were very informative and challenging. I loved watching everyone's growth over the course of our 6 months together.”
What was your favorite capstone project and what about it made it your favorite?
“My favorite project was my front-end capstone, Veganashville. It is my favorite because three months prior I had no knowledge of coding at all. It was a milestone achievement for me. It is normal to have self doubt when learning something completely new. My front-end capstone allowed me to gain the confidence to believe that I am truly a software developer. The capstone highlights Vegan restaurants located throughout the Nashville area. Users can log in, view popular menu items, create a profile and add restaurants to their favorites list. Users can also leave reviews of restaurants and see other users' reviews.”
What roadblocks did you encounter along the way?
“My biggest roadblock was self doubt. I wish I would've been less hard on myself in the beginning of the cohort. It also took me a while to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. This led to me spending too much time trying to come up with solutions on my own. It was not until around week 6 that I became vulnerable and started to reach out for help. Asking for help made the learning experience much more enjoyable and I did not waste valuable time. Shout out to the pomodoro timer!”
What advice would you give to current or incoming NSS Students?
“Take it easy on yourself. Especially if you come from a non-technical background. This journey will not be easy but it is so rewarding in the end. Do not wait until week 6 or the halfway point to get comfortable reaching out for help from the instructors or your classmates. It is not an easy thing to get comfortable doing but trust me it will save you time and reduce any learning anxiety that may arise. I also recommend keeping a journal so that you can go back and reflect on previous journal entries to see how far you have come. Celebrate all of your victories, even the ones you may deem small and not important.”
Since graduating from his full-time web development bootcamp at NSS, Airris has accepted a Software Developer position with HCA Healthcare. Way to go, Airris! You can learn more about his NSS journey by listening to his podcast below:
Meet more of the graduates from Full-time Web Development Cohort 54 by visiting their class website!