John Wark

John started programming professionally at age 19. After a long and multifarious career in technology, he founded NSS in 2012. He believed that Nashville's technology talent shortage would never be solved by trying to import experienced developers from other cities or by waiting for colleges and universities to start graduating enough students and/or appropriately trained students. He also had faith that Nashville had an ample supply of motivated adults with latent aptitude who, if offered a chance, would eagerly pursue a career in technology.
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Nashville Opportunity Tuition
Oct 12, 2017
We are rolling out a name change for what has been called the Nashville Tech Apprentice Tuition (or usually just “Apprentice Tuition”). This program has been an integral part of how we create opportunities to launch tech careers since our founding in 2012. The new name for the program is the Nashville Opportunity Tuition. It’s the same risk-sharing, joint investment plan; we just have a new name for the program as we prepare to move into 2018. Read More

Topics: News, Community

No Single Person Makes NSS Happen | 500 In 5
Oct 5, 2017
As we post this today, I am being honored by the Nashville Technology Council at their annual meeting and inducted into the NTC Hall of Fame. I’m very honored to be so recognized and even more proud to represent all of the NSS community in accepting this honor. I thank the NTC for honoring me and through me all of those that are part of the NSS story. No single individual makes something like NSS a success. And on this day when I and NSS are being recognized, I’d like to make sure a few people who were instrumental in supporting the launch of NSS are remembered and thanked for their help in getting NSS off the ground back in 2012. Read More

Topics: Community, 500 In 5

We Made It! 500th Graduate Milestone Passed With Cohort 19 | 500 In 5
Oct 4, 2017
When we started this series of posts celebrating and reflecting on our fifth anniversary I said that our goal was to graduate our 500th new junior developer during the six months of our anniversary period. And darned if we didn’t make it. This is a big milestone for us. In a job market the size of Nashville, 500 new junior developers makes a huge impact. Read More

Topics: News, 500 In 5

Evolving Demo Day | 500 In 5
Sep 21, 2017
Tomorrow is Demo Day for Cohort 19 at NSS. Demo Day is a big deal here - it marks the graduation of another cohort of students and it marks the formal kick-off of most grads’ job searches. It also gives us a chance to showcase to the community our newest grads, what they’ve learned, and what they can do with those skills. However, today’s Demo Day was not the way we originally released our grads into the wild. It’s something that evolved out of experience and trying other things. In that sense it’s like so much of what we do - it’s driven by experience, by feedback, and by trial and error. In other words, it’s driven by learning. Which seems somehow appropriate, right? Read More

Topics: Hiring?, Community, 500 In 5

The Emerging Role Of The Front-End Designer/Developer
Sep 19, 2017
One well known practitioner that has been talking and writing about the emergence of a “hybrid” UI/UX designer/front-end developer for several years is Brad Frost. Frost uses the term “Frontend Design” to refer to these hybrids who both handle UI/UX design as well as implement the design in front-end code. In a recent blog post, Frost speaks to the trend and the reasons for the trend. Read More

Topics: Learning, News, UI/UX

What We Mean When We Say Community | 500 In 5
Sep 14, 2017
When NSS started back in 2012, I identified Community as one of our five core beliefs/values. Of those five beliefs, Community is the one where my understanding, appreciation, and belief have most evolved and deepened. Based on what I’ve experienced at NSS over the past five years, I now believe that my initial understanding of community was valid but incomplete and, to a degree, superficial. So what does Community mean? Read More

Topics: Community, 500 In 5

Investing In Your Analytics & Data Science Capability
Sep 12, 2017
So, employers, how is your company planning to build its data engineering and data science capability? Planning on finding a data science unicorn to do it all? Good luck with that. What about the possibility of taking people already in your organization, people that know your business, people that you know fit into your culture, and invest in their future. Read More

Topics: Hiring?, Analytics + Data Science

Teaching The Full Data Science Process
Aug 22, 2017
When we were talking to working data scientists and data engineers here in Nashville about designing a data science program there were several things that people consistently identified as being important if we were going to familiarize students with what it is like to work in a real data analytics/data science job. One of the things we heard was that Data Science in the real world is messy because the real world is messy. Data in the real world is never clean and/or complete and/or consistent or any of the other things it needs to be for our modeling techniques or predictive techniques to work. Based on the input we received, we have designed into our curriculum and projects the idea that we need to teach the entire data science process, not just the fun/cool machine learning and statistical modeling pieces of the process. Read More

Topics: News, Analytics + Data Science

Lessons Learned | Who Can Learn To Code? | 500 In 5
Aug 17, 2017
After five years of teaching students with limited or no prior training and experience in programming we’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t work. And we’ve learned a few things about who can learn to code (and about who can but shouldn’t bother). Here are a few of our Lessons Learned relative to who can learn to code. Read More
Data Science Bootcamp Has Launch Date
Aug 9, 2017
We’re wrapping up two exciting days at the Nashville Analytics Summit where we had the opportunity to talk with several prospective students and community members about the launch of our Data Science Bootcamp in October. If you’re not on our Data Science newsletter, let’s catch you up on the latest. We received the final program approval from the TN Higher Education Commission on Thursday, 27 July. Now that we have approval, we can begin to actively market the program, take applications from interested students, and lock in the start dates for the program. Read More

Topics: Student Stories, News, Analytics + Data Science

1 2 3 4 5
... 8