Applications To Bring People Together | Graduate Spotlight

Feb 5, 2020
Sarah Weatherbee

Curtis-CrutchfieldIt didn’t take a classroom for Curtis Crutchfield to start learning software development. At 16, armed only with a computer and a book on game programming in Visual Basic, Curtis attempted to build his first video game. After high school, he obtained a Bachelor’s in Business Management and then worked as an Accounting Coordinator for Kroger’s Regional Accounting Service Center, but after three years, he was hungry for something new. And the call to programming was still there.

“I needed a challenge, a change a pace and I had a desire to do something that matters,” he said.

Outside of work, Curtis worked his way through web development courses on the Treehouse website. He also sought the guidance of his friend, a Senior Developer, who spoke of hiring Nashville Software School (NSS) graduates.

“From there, I decided to apply to NSS to see what could happen.”


Being a full-time student in the Web Development Bootcamp is a six-month commitment to learning front-end and back-end development at a rapid pace. For Curtis, who had spent considerable time learning independently, the bootcamp environment was appealing in that it gave him in-person mentorship and the chance to connect with like-minded people. As a student in Cohort 34, he learned to apply development concepts to group and individual projects, which progressed in difficulty.

The highlight of his experience? “Never knowing what to expect,” Curtis said, adding “but I knew I would learn something amazing every day.” He also looks back with fondness on the aphorisms of his instructor, Andy Collins, generously peppered throughout the course.

For incoming students, Curtis recommends holding on through the difficult times.

“Don't give up! It's going to be hard, but you chose to come to NSS for a reason. Remember why you came and keep working. The only thing standing in your way is you, you can do it!”


Musical-Dash, Curtis’ front-end capstone, allows users to create and chat about playlists together. After creating a playlist with hundreds of songs for a family barbeque, he wanted to build an application allowing others to contribute songs. Users can create, update, and delete playlists, add and remove songs, and play music through their connected Spotify device. Musical-Dash was built with React, Bootstrap, Node.js, and Spotify's Web API.

Book lovers will take quickly to Curtis’ back-end capstone, Readdit, a forum website devoted to readers. Readdit allows users to discuss books they are currently reading, or want to read, with others. Keeping track of the books you’ve read and own is easy with the bookshelf feature. Want to save a book for later? Add it to your wish list. Readdit was built with C#, .NET Core, Identity, Bootstrap, Bootswatch, SQL Server, and the Goodreads API.

HIRE Curtis

Curtis was thrilled to showcase his capstones on Demo Day, and is eager to keep learning. Now an NSS alum, he’s building his machine learning skills by learning the JavaScript library. “I would love a position that would allow me to grow my back-end skills with C# and the .NET stack or anything to do with [Machine Learning].”

Learn more about Curtis and his capstone projects on his podcast or website.

Check out all the recent grads on Web Development Cohort 34's class website and hear the graduates share their journey into development and their experience at NSS in their podcasts below.

Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?, Web Development