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.
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Recent Posts

Hiring Junior Developers And Going From Bootcamp Skeptic To Advocate | Stories From The Hackery Ep. 6
Aug 8, 2017
In Episode 6 of Stories from The Hackery, Jim Siegienski, CTO at Groups360, speaks in depth with John Wark on the availability of junior and more senior software developers in Nashville, sparking a conversation on where Nashville is now, how we can improve it, and the way to create a new mindset for companies willing to hire developers based on their problem-solving skills rather than knowing any specific programming language. Read More

Topics: Hiring?

It’s All About The Opportunities | 500 In 5
Aug 3, 2017
I still remember like it was yesterday. Four years plus ago one of our recent grads came up to me at a local tech event and said, “Thank you for NSS - you’ve changed my life”. My first reaction was shock that someone had credited me and the school I had founded with something as profound as changing their life. The second reaction was some combination of happiness for them - that they had found something in terms of career and satisfaction from the investment they had made in learning - and some mix of pride and ego that I and my little experiment in vocational education had changed someone’s life. And quickly that second part of the reaction made me uncomfortable. Read More

Topics: Student Stories, Hiring?, 500 In 5

Why A Six Month Curriculum? | 500 In 5
Jul 20, 2017
Why, from the very beginning, in 2012 did NSS make a contrarian decision to have a six-month full-time bootcamp? When all the schools in all the cool, tech hot spot cities were launching with 9, and 10 and 12 week programs, were we just out of the loop down here in Nashville, or did we know/believe something they didn't? And why today do we continue, along with a handful of other programs across the country, to feature a significantly longer full-time residential program than the majority of bootcamps? Read More

Topics: Learning, Hiring?, 500 In 5

What’s Happening With Coding Bootcamp Programs Around The Country?
Jul 19, 2017
Course Report is an organization that tracks and analyzes the North American coding bootcamp industry. Today they published their 2017 North American Market Report and we’ve had a chance to take a quick spin through the stats. Since this is our thing, it’s of course endlessly fascinating to us to study what’s going on in our industry. But while some of the stats are “inside baseball” of interest mainly to us accelerated learning program nerds, we thought there were some interesting highlights. Read More

Topics: News

Why A Non-Profit? | 500 In 5
Jul 13, 2017
There are a lot of threads to the story of the first five years at NSS. One of those threads is our start-up story. It's an aspect of the NSS story that I often get asked about during our information sessions and during interviews with applicants: why did we decide to start the school and why did we decide to do it the way we did. Our fifth anniversary feels like a good time to go back and review some of those key decisions and see how they worked out in practice. Probably the single biggest decision that we made when we considered the business model for NSS, and the one that still seems to most shape how applicants, employers, and the community view NSS, was the decision to establish NSS as a non-profit. Read More

Topics: Community, 500 In 5

My How Things Have Changed | 500 In 5
Jul 6, 2017
One of the key "leaps of faith" in the initial business model for NSS was that there were an adequate number of employers in Nashville ready and willing to hire junior developers. This was definitely not self-evident back in late 2011, early 2012 when we were designing our business model. My, how things have changed over the past five years. Read More

Topics: Hiring?, Community, 500 In 5

NSS 5th Anniversary | 500 In 5
Jun 22, 2017
Five years ago this week our little experiment in non-profit vocational education launched in Nashville. Cohort 1 of the full-time Web Development Bootcamp started their first class on June 18, 2012. Fifteen students joined us that first Monday to see if we could help them learn to build websites and launch careers as software developers. So we're celebrating Cohort 1 and our fifth anniversary today at NSS with some cake before everyone goes back to slinging code. Read More

Topics: News, Community, 500 In 5

Want To Change Careers? You May Need A Mindshift.
Jun 1, 2017
Are you having trouble deciding if you want to shift to a new career? Not sure if you can learn to code? Do you believe you are bad at math or can't learn science? Maybe you are being blocked by your own mind. Maybe what you need before you can tackle anything new is a mindshift. Read More

Topics: Student Stories, Learning

Sneak Peek | Data Science Bootcamp And UI/UX Designer/Front-End Developer Bootcamp Coming Soon To NSS
May 10, 2017
We all know that software technology is constantly evolving. This evolution drives change in which technologies are used in Nashville, how technologies are leveraged by employers, and what skills and knowledge are needed in new tech talent. We try to monitor those changes in Nashville’s tech talent demand. We also try to collaborate with employers and working professionals to identify opportunities to help meet changing needs through training. Based on our conversations over the past two or three years we have identified two new programs that are planned for launch later this year. Read More

Topics: Hiring?, News, Community, UI/UX, Analytics + Data Science

Hardware Requirements For Bootcamp At NSS
Jan 30, 2017
These hardware requirements are out of date. Please visit our updated page. Read More

Topics: Student Stories, Technology Insights

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