Evolving Demo Day | 500 in 5

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?

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The Emerging Role of the Front-end Designer/Developer

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.

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What We Mean When We Say Community | 500 in 5

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?

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Investing in Your Analytics & Data Science Capability

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.

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Developers Never Stop Learning | Carter Nelms - Cohort 5

In 2013, Carter Nelms was working as a project manager at his family’s heating and air business when he decided to change careers and go into software development. He distinctly remembers thinking, “Going back to school sounds miserable and wasteful. I wish there were a software school that would teach these things full time for a few months instead of spreading it out over a few years. I’d do that in a heartbeat.” Then he discovered NSS.

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Amy Henderson Joins Nashville Software School’s Board of Directors

We are pleased to announce the addition of Amy Henderson to the NSS Board of Directors. Henderson is the Vice President of Customer Success at LeanKit. Henderson’s ties to NSS began when her daughter attended one of NSS’s full-stack web development bootcamps.

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From Postdoc To Data Scientist

We recently spoke with Shruti Sharma, a NSS Cohort 6 Web Development Bootcamp grad, who will be returning to NSS this fall to attend our Data Science Bootcamp. We asked her all the tough questions, like why does a postdoc leave academia to become a software engineer? And why would they choose to attend a vocational school?

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Total Eclipse | Understanding JavaScript Functions

It was the weekend before the total solar eclipse and over 70 NSS alumni and students gathered at the school for the alumni’s first hackathon. One of the 12 apps built that weekend is called Total Eclipse and teaches JavaScript functions. Alumnus Chris Jarvis was a part of the team that built it and blogged about his experience and what he learned.

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Nashville Girl Geek Dinner | IN THE COMMUNITY

Nashville Girl Geek Dinner was started in 2013 by Kristin McKinney and NSS alumna Rachel Werner. Kristin and Rachel found that there was a lack of networking organizations in Nashville for young women who were interested in software development or already working in the industry. They brought together a community of women to provide mentorship, networking, and education. Learn more about their networking events and workshops and hear why attendees love it!

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NSS Alumni Hackathon - The Results Are In

This past weekend the NSS Alumni association hosted their very first Alumni/Student Hackathon. Over 70 participants were divided into 12 teams and given one parameter: create an application that pertains to the theme Skill++ (loosely translated to: "build something to help developers learn"). Each of the teams was comprised of NSS alumni and students with varying skill levels and given just 25.5 hours to complete their entire app. The results were "mind-blowing" (as put by one of the judges).

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Teaching The Full Data Science Process

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.

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Lessons Learned | Who Can Learn To Code? | 500 in 5

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.

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Are You Interested in UI/UX Design & Front-End Development?

In recent years we have seen quite a few of our graduates get hired into hybrid roles that combine front-end web development skills with UI/UX skills. Most of these grads either had prior design experience or took our UI & UX for Digital Product Design professional development course after completing one of our full-stack web development bootcamps. We have been talking with local employers about their need for hybrid positions like this and as a result are launching a full-time Front-End Web Designer/Developer Bootcamp.

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Data Science Bootcamp Has Launch Date

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.

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Practical Applications | Graduate Spotlight

When it comes time for students to decide what they are going to build for their capstone projects, we encourage them to build something useful that relates to their personal or professional experiences. Helana Nosrat and Jessica Younker from Cohort 18 leveraged the knowledge they built in their prior careers to build apps that would be useful on the job.

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It’s All About The Opportunities | 500 in 5

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.

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Coding Confidential | Graduate Spotlight

Software development is a collaborative profession. This week we hear from two graduates that come from professions known for confidentiality, but enjoy the collaborative, open-source environment of development. Jordan Nelson was in information security for a major corporation and Josh Kilgore is an attorney. Both were interested in technology before pursuing bootcamp. After going through bootcamp, they have some pretty good advice for students.

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Moms Who Code | Graduate Spotlight

A lot of parents come through both our full-time and part-time web developer bootcamps. This week we talk with two moms with young children who graduated with cohort Evening 4. While balancing a day job, bootcamp, and family is never easy, Debra Gordon and Sarah Ward relied on their families and fellow classmates to stay focused on their goal of becoming software developers.

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Why a Six Month Curriculum? | 500 in 5

So 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?

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What’s Happening With Coding Bootcamp Programs Around the Country?

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.

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Building On Hardware | Graduate Spotlight

When you look at the world of technology, you’ll find a wide variety of career paths. From computer technicians, to IT systems administrators, to software developers, and a lot in between. William Caldwell of Cohort 18 and Justin Leggett of Evening 4 began their careers in hardware related roles but were intrigued by software development. Here are their stories.

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Why A Non-profit? | 500 in 5

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.

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First Web Development Jumpstart A Success

Last month we launched our first Web Development Jumpstart course. It’s a three week, part-time class that gives students an introduction to web development. Our first session had 25 students eager to test the waters of web development. Hear about their experiences.

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My How Things Have Changed | 500 in 5

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.

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Focused On Solutions | Graduate Spotlight

Software developers are modern day builders. They do not use a hammer and nails; instead they use languages and frameworks. When Michael Watson and Luke Woodard see a problem, they want to build the solution.

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Customer-Focused Software Developers | Graduate Spotlight

Many of our graduates come to NSS to change their careers. When they start their first job as a junior software developer, not only do they bring problem-solving and coding skills, they also bring their prior work experiences with them. Jared Fuller and Jesse Waddell both come from customer-focused careers. Their experiences in serving customers' needs will help them work with both clients and end-users as developers.

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Cohorts 18 & Evening 4 Celebrate Successful Demo Day

On Friday we graduated 45 junior developers from Cohorts 18 and Evening 4. To showcase all that they’ve learned at NSS, the graduates presented their front-end and back-end capstones to prospective employers one-on-one. Get to know these 45 graduates.

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NSS 5th Anniversary | 500 in 5

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.

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Advanced Degrees Allowed | Graduate Spotlight

Is a bootcamp right for someone with a master’s degree? If you want to learn the craft of software development, absolutely. Everyone’s educational journey takes different paths. These two Cohort 17 graduates have master’s degrees, but when they decided to pursue software development, they opted for the accelerated, hands-on learning environment that our bootcamps provide.

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Learner Experience Design

Great teaching isn’t about knowledge transfer from the expert to the learner, it’s about clearing a path of discovery, and expertly guiding people down it. Head Instructor at Nashville Software School, Steve Brownlee, shares his research in & experience with Learner Experience Design (LxD).

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Coding Is For Creatives | Graduate Spotlight

There’s a common misconception that if you are creative, you will not like coding. The reality is that many of our students come from creative backgrounds. Whether you are a musician, writer, graphic designer, or express your creativity in other ways, you can bring your creativity into your role as a software developer. Today we meet Sorrel Brigman, an audio engineer, and Ashley Irwin, a writer, from Cohort 17 who both use their creativity to code.

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Find A Career That Challenges You | Graduate Spotlight

If there’s one thing guaranteed in life, it’s that life changes. Sometimes after being in the workforce for a few years, you discover that your job has no career path, doesn’t challenge your mind, or it’s lost the enjoyment it once had. When that happens, often something inside us pushes us to look at our options and we begin talking with our friends, family, and networks. That’s what these three graduates of Cohort 17 experienced. They each desired a new career that would give them the mental challenge that was missing in their jobs.

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Moving From The Valley To Higher Ground

In the beginning of my time at Nashville Software School, new concepts felt natural and syntax rules were easy to stomach. However, this season of bliss and clarity would be short lived. It is inevitable to spend some time in the valley during the learning process; it is also an integral stage; a necessary growing pain. In times of confusion or bewilderment, we become keenly aware of our areas of weaknesses and of gaps in our knowledge. If we truly aim to be lifelong learners, it would seem that these opportunities should be embraced and not avoided.

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Want To Change Careers? You May Need A Mindshift.

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.

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Cohort 17 Graduates With 21 New Developers

On Friday we graduated 21 junior developers from Cohort 17. To showcase all that they’ve learned in six months at NSS, the graduates presented their front-end and back-end capstones to prospective employers one-on-one. Get to know these 21 graduates.

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Code For Nashville | GET INVOLVED

There are meetups that focus on learning or networking opportunities and then there’s Code for Nashville, a group that seeks to make a difference. Code for Nashville leverages technology to improve access to government services and is changing lives in big and small ways. They lead the way through hackathons and community discussions with software developers, journalists, legal minds, designers, and you! Find out how to get involved.

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Sneak Peek | Data Science Bootcamp and UI/UX Designer/Front-End Developer Bootcamp Coming Soon To NSS

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.

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Coding Your Passions | Graduate Spotlight

Zoe LeBlanc loves history. Nathan Baker loves board games. While these two graduates have very different backgrounds and interests, they’re both combining their passion with a new love for coding. Zoe created apps that help academic researchers. Nathan created an app that shows you the most popular board games and was featured on a well-known board game podcast. Here are their stories.

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Capture + Build + Sell | Graduate Spotlight

What do a photographer, a welder, and a salesman have in common? They’re all NSS graduates! Our students’ prior work experience is as varied as a 120 count box of crayons. Abby was a wedding photographer who wanted to reclaim her weekends. Ben was a welder who was seeking a career with advancement opportunities. And Trent was afraid of becoming a tired, old salesman. Here are their stories.

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Do You Accept Cache? | Graduate Spotlight

While many of our grads come from similar fields, they all bring their own unique experience that enhances their development skills. This week we meet Drew Martin and Nick Chemsak, two guys who have experience in the financial service industry. Drew was a banker, but also has experience as an auto mechanic and graphic designer. Nick worked in IT for a credit union and was responsible for automating several processes. Here are their stories.

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Celebrating Women In Tech | IN THE COMMUNITY

Last Thursday night, the organizations that support women in technology came together for one giant event! The Nashville Entrepreneur Center was filled with old and new friends as we celebrated the impact women are making in the Nashville tech community. Women attended from Nashville Girl Geek Dinner, Women in Technology Tennessee (WiTT), Women Get IT, Tech Ladies, and Nashville Women Programmers. While each of these organizations offers different environments and programs, they all seek to empower women in tech.

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The Very First Sprint | Introducing Students to Agile Development

Planning can be one of the most difficult practices for students to embrace at the onset of a coding bootcamp. By slowly introducing sprint methodologies and an agile development environment, we can help students start planning and executing like seasoned software developers.

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Making the Leap from Music to Development | Graduate Spotlight

It’s no secret that Nashville is known as Music City. While dozens of people move here every day to pursue a career in music, some of those who have been in the industry for a while are ready for a new chapter in their life. This group of graduates all came from careers in music. They bring skills like teamwork, creativity, and problem solving under pressure...all great skills for software developers. Here are their stories.

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Living With Imposter Syndrome

Does Imposter Syndrome ever go away? Caitlin Stein, a junior instructor, shares how to use imposter syndrome to your advantage.

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I Can't Do This...

At some point during our childhood, we’ve all been told that we can be anything we want to be when we grow up. But you need to put in the work and push through obstacles to achieve greater things. Today we hear from Gilbert Diaz, a teaching assistant, about facing failure, taking responsibility for your own future, and overcoming challenges.

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Back To The Front | The First Week

My hope is that teaching best practices to novices cultivates an environment of innovation and ingenuity, and as we build increasingly more material on top of foundational principles, grants our newest software developers learning techniques that will aid them as they discover and hone their new craft.

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Web Development for Beginners | NSS Introduces a New Course

Are you intrigued by web development? Web Development Jumpstart is a short course that offers students an accelerated introduction to web development technologies and careers. By the end of this course, you will have a basic understanding of the core web technologies, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and be able to build and deploy your own website.

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Cohort 16 Wraps Up With Successful Demo Day

Last Friday, 23 graduates from Cohort 16 showcased their front-end and back-end capstone projects for prospective employers. The day started with the opportunity to present to their family and fellow students. By the time hiring managers started to arrive, Cohort 16 was energized and ready. Get to know these 23 graduates.

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Graduate Spotlight | Thom, Bernie, Jamie & Chris

Many of our students attend a bootcamp as a way to change their career. Some even do so after having been successful in another field for 10-20 years. Today we catch up with our final 4 graduates of Cohort 15 and Evening 3.

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Sharing Your Knowledge at Meetups | IN THE COMMUNITY

Have you thought about presenting at a meetup or conference? Matt Hamil, a Cohort 15 graduate, shares his experience of presenting at two Nashville meetups and offers practical advice on how to decide on a topic and prepare for the presentation.

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Graduate Spotlight | Sandy, Odigene & Matt

Our evening bootcamp students make big sacrifices to attend NSS. Working full time jobs during the day, they spend two evenings a week and Saturdays in the classroom. They also meet with study groups outside of class at least once a week. They give up fun and family time to pursue a new career in development, but they love the challenge of learning development and leave the program excited about their future.

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Cohort 16 Student's Website Featured in Board Game Podcast

Sometimes students take their capstones beyond the classroom. Today we look at Cohort 16 student Nathan Baker’s front-end capstone Tabletop Tracker. As an avid board gamer, Nathan understands firsthand how overwhelming it can be to know which new board games should get his attention. Tabletop Tracker shows you which games are climbing the BoardGameGeek, a leading website about board games, rankings the fastest.

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Graduate Spotlight | Janelle, Sylvia & Yonatan

The decision to change your career is never an easy one. This week we hear from Janelle, Sylvia, and Yonatan who all decided to pursue development as a second career.

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Graduate Spotlight | Jacob, Dayne & Paul

Many students who start to learn programming on their own soon realize that they would benefit from a structured learning environment. This week we hear from Jacob, Dayne, and Paul. All three wanted to deepen their understanding of programming and credit the collaborative learning environment for helping them do just that.

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An Intro to Contributing to Open Source

Contributing to an open source project can be daunting, especially for those that are just starting out or those that have lived their life contributing to proprietary software. Nick Lorenson & Max Shenfield put together a hands-on workshop to demonstrate both sides of the coin: how to contribute and how it feels to manage an open source project.

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Front-End Demo Day | Cohort 17

Cohort 17 wrapped up their first 3 months of intensive, hands-on learning today with a grand ceremony we refer to as: Front-End Demo Day. Picture a humid Hackery packed with active students and instructor staff...not a laptop stirring (not even a mouse). The entire NSS family was waiting to see what Cohort 17 had been frantically building over the last month.

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Graduate Spotlight | Matt & Ryan

For many of our students, finding a career they love is the driving force for applying to NSS. This week we hear from Matt and Ryan. They both started to learn development on their own and decided to fast track their learning at NSS.

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Graduate Spotlight | Delaine & Chris

Our students find their way into development in a variety of ways. Whether our students stumble into it or seek it out to make a career change, they all experience growth as they learn to overcome the obstacles in a bootcamp environment. By building apps for needs they see in their community, they become invested in creating and learning. This week we hear from Delaine and Chris.

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UI & UX for Digital Product Design Course is Back!

Nashville is a creative community. As you look around this vibrant city, you’ll find interactive digital in music, healthcare, transportation, education, entertainment, and publishing. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find an industry that does NOT have interactive digital products, environments, systems, or services. Three students share their experience with the UI & UX for Digital Product Design course.

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Graduate Spotlight | David, Dan & Elliott

One of the common threads that runs through these stories is the desire to learn and to have a career that is both challenging and fulfilling. The grads we feature in this week’s episode went to some extreme lengths to get there: leaving stable careers, putting in odd hours to make ends meet while in school, and working vigorously to learn new skills.

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NSS Students Attend Global Game Jam

In January, teams around the world gathered for the Global Game Jam, the world’s largest game jam (creation) event. The weekend allows developers, illustrators, musicians, voice actors, and creatives of all types to come together and create a game in just 48 hours.

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Graduate Spotlight | Zach & Edgar

It's been quite a journey getting to dive deeper into the various backgrounds of our graduates. As we continue through this series, we've seen overwhelming passion from these fresh software developers for their new careers, for specific technologies and for the opportunities to enhance the lives of others with their new skills. Today we meet Zach and Edgar.

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Hardware Requirements for Bootcamp at NSS

Students must provide their own laptops for classes at NSS. In light of Apple's recent release of the next gen Macbook Pro models, as well as the passage of time since our last review of hardware requirements, we have just updated our recommendations and guidelines for student hardware. Here are our recommendations for laptops to use during our full-time or part-time bootcamps.

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Graduate Spotlight | Casey, Debbie & David

One of the common themes for all of the graduates we have spoken to for these spotlights are that they wanted to challenge themselves. This next group has an especially unique set of challenges they faced, from newborns to reframing their psyches. Seriously, newborns. But they've all overcome the rigor of their tenure here and are on the other side as full-stack junior developers.

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Can you hear me now?

We've made some exciting new additions to the Hackery, our large co-working and event room at NSS. The additions are "functional art" (is that a real thing?) in the form of a dozen sound panels to help reduce the sound level in the room when we have an event or lots of students working together on projects.

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Graduate Spotlight | Matt, Meg & Scott

This week we look at 3 recent graduates and how they transitioned from their past lives into their new roles as junior developers. Meet Matt, Meg, and Scott.

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Graduate Spotlight | Liz, Fletcher & Tim

Last Tuesday, NSS graduated 43 full-stack C#/.NET developers. These graduates impressed the community on their Demo Day with their drive, aptitude, and creative portfolios. As much as they've gained in knowledge from NSS, they've given back to the school by bringing their unique backgrounds and experiences to the table. In our new series of blog posts, we'll help you get to know several of Nashville's newest developers.

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Demo Day Recap and Interviews with our Newest Graduates

This week Cohort 15 and Evening Cohort 3 graduated 43 full-stack developers, marking over 385 total graduates of NSS. We celebrated their graduation and introduced 32 of the graduates to the community at Demo Day. Get to know these 43 graduates.

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The Philosophy Behind The Mastery Learning Process | Stories from the Hackery Ep. 8

In Episode 8 of Stories from The Hackery, Steve Brownlee, Lead Instructor here at NSS, speaks with John Wark about the philosophy behind the Mastery Learning Process and fostering a learning environment that produces productive, inquisitive developers. Steve takes a deep-dive into how both students and local employers contribute to the continuous evolution of the core curriculum.

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Why It Makes Sense To Interview NSS Graduates | Stories from the Hackery Ep. 7

In Episode 7 of Stories from the Hackery we catch up with Daniel Green from VitalSource Technologies at Ingram Content Group. We chat with him about the products that VitalSource develops and why he felt it made sense to interview NSS graduates for his team. And we talk more broadly about the impact of the Nashville tech community on helping NSS become successful and how, in turn, NSS grads are impacting the community.

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Nashville Software School announces Data Science & Data Engineering Bootcamp

Today we're announcing our Data Analytics & Data Engineering Bootcamp, a new training program that NSS will roll out in 2017. Dramatic growth in analytics applications and the increased use of data science tools across industries, especially in Nashville's major industry of healthcare, has led to significant unmet demand for professionals trained in modern tools, techniques, and methods.

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Hiring Junior Developers and Going from Bootcamp Skeptic to Advocate | Stories from the Hackery Ep. 6

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.

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NSS Approved to Accept GI Bill

Nashville Software School (NSS) is proud to announce that our full-time Web Developer Bootcamp has been approved by the Tennessee State Approving Agency for Veterans Education and Training. We are the first coding bootcamp program in the Southeast U.S. approved to accept the GI Bill and one of the first five in the entire country.

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Melanie Hall Shares Her Journey from Design to Development | Stories from the Hackery Ep. 5

Melanie Hall came to Nashville in 2012 because she was passionately involved at a non-profit. She supported herself by applying her college training as a designer. Like many designers we have met, Melanie realized that her design training didn’t really prepare her to design for the web. She needed an understanding of how (at least) basic level coding worked. Melanie joined the second student cohort at NSS in January 2013 and today she is still passionate about her non-profit, still passionate about design, and she is a working full-stack software developer.

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The Evolution of Mobile Apps, iOS, and Swift | Stories from the Hackery Ep. 4

iOS and Swift continue to rapidly evolve. Van Simmons previews our upcoming iOS mobile development class and discusses how the changing nature of Swift is causing us to evolve our iOS class. Van also talks about the rapid emergence of idiomatic conventions for developing apps in Swift, his experience building multiple major iOS apps in Swift, and the potential for Swift as a language for server-side development.

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Demo Day Recap and Interviews with our Newest Graduates

Last week, Cohort 12 and Evening Cohort 2 graduated 37 full-stack developers, marking over 293 total graduates of NSS. We celebrated their graduation and introduced 32 of the graduates to the community at Demo Day on Friday, June 24. Get to know our graduates.

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Hiring and Growing Junior Developers | Stories from the Hackery Ep. 3

Many of our graduates come to NSS to change their careers. When they start their first job as a junior software developer, not only do they bring problem-solving and coding skills, they also bring their prior work experiences with them. Jared Fuller and Jesse Waddell both come from customer-focused careers. Their experiences in serving customers' needs will help them work with both clients and end-users as developers.

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It’s Our 4th Birthday!

NSS started our first bootcamp on June 18, 2012. The idea behind NSS was pretty simple - we felt that we could help address the shortage of local software developers by home-growing talent. In other words, we felt that there were plenty of people living in Nashville who had the aptitude to be good software developers. Those folks just needed an opportunity to tap into their latent potential.

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Kelley Stephens Finds Improved Quality of Life as Software Engineer | Stories from the Hackery Ep. 2

Kelley Stephens, a Software Engineer from Cohort Five discusses the importance of changing careers, finding Nashville Software School, and using her knowledge and new network to land a job at Ingram Content Group. Listen to her journey as told to Clark Buckner in episode two of our latest segment of Stories From The Hackery.

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Nashville, Beautiful City, Needs Your Help

Nashville is a wonderful city, but it needs our help to reach its full potential. It’s strikingly diverse. The city is wonderful that way. But that diversity is still immature. Our community, the community of software developers and related disciplines, embodies this problem. Code for Nashville is investing into diversity and growth in our craft by organizing our volunteer membership around a civic ethos.

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From College Dropout to Software Developer | Stories from the Hackery Ep. 1

Stories from the Hackery provides an opportunity for our graduates to tell the story of their journeys from "not a software developer" to "am a software developer." It's also a channel that allows our hiring partners to communicate why they hire junior developers, lessons they've learned on how to onboard junior developers, and suggestions for the best ways to help junior developers grow. Finally, the podcast gives us a way to share lessons we've learned about how to develop promising new talent, share opinions about tech education and the local talent market, and otherwise help the community learn about what goes on here at NSS.

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Our First UI/UX Class

Last week nine students completed our first UI/UX class. NSS programs up until this class have been primarily focused on front-end and back-end development. As we start to expand our training beyond software development, we decided it was a priority to add a program especially for user interface and user experience design. Three students share their experience with our UI/UX class.

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Our First Python & Django Bootcamp

We are pleased to announce Python & Django as a new server-side technology option in our full-time Web Developer Bootcamp. Full-time cohort 13, which launched on April 4, 2016, will be our first class to learn the Python language, the Django MVC framework and other supporting Python technologies.

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You're Invited to our UI/UX Open House

Did you think NSS was all code, no color? Not true! Come meet the graduates of the first UI and UX for Digital Product Design course.

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Mentor Meetup for June's Graduating Classes

If you are a software developer, even if you've only got a few months of experience, you can help our current students make their transition from student to working developer. What does being a mentor entail? Our students have questions and need support in two broad areas - technical mentoring and career mentoring.

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NSS Students Make Applications At IBM Watson Workshop

Last week, a group of 40 NSS students, instructors and recent graduates participated in the IBM Watson Workshop, held at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. The workshop presented 100 and 200 level sessions to teach and practice different ways to utilize Watson’s API tools. The 200 level class was a hands-on developer lab designed for NSS students to build and complete an application using the tools in the API by the end of the session.

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Thank You Nashville, For Another Successful NSS Demo Day

Last week, we graduated 28 new full-stack developers at NSS Demo Day. They are the 11th full-time class to graduate from our intensive accelerated learning program. Over 100 people visited Demo Day, including potential employers seeking developers, and other members of the developer community. Get to know these graduates.

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Nashville Software School Sponsors Craft Content 2016

This year, Nashville Software School is once again proudly sponsoring Craft Content Nashville. The event is presented annually as an “unconference” for creative writers, podcasters, publishers and others who enjoy and work with content.

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NSS Adds Laura Buchanan to lead Operations Team

We are pleased to announce another new team member at Nashville Software School. Laura Buchanan has joined NSS as Director of Operations. Laura has spent most of her 15 year career working with non-profit community organizations such as NSS.

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NSS Hires Tech Industry Veteran for Business Development

We're excited to announce that Kristin McKinney, co-founder of the Nashville Girl Geek Dinner, has joined our team and will lead our efforts to partner with local employers. Kristin's role will be to grow the number of employers hiring NSS graduates, increase the number of Employer Partners, and strengthen the relationships with current partner companies.

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NSS Hires Career Development Specialist

Former technology recruiter Jessica Brawner joins the Nashville Software School team as the school's first Career Development Specialist. Jessica's primary roles at NSS will be to help current students plan their careers, and to provide personalized support for their job search once they graduate.

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NSS Featured in Forward Beat

Nashville Software School alumni were recently featured in Forward Beat, an online publication covering the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of Nashville. In a story published this week, Updating Your Personal UX: Dispatches from the Nashville Software School, writer Valerie Hoke profiles four alumni: Chad Cates, Rebecca Cronin-Dixon, Evan Roane, and Sonda Sengupta.

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iOS Course to Be Rescheduled

The iOS Development Fast Track course scheduled for Jan. 19 to April 14, 2016 will be rescheduled for March 2016. The course will be held at the new facility, 500 Interstate Blvd. S., Nashville, which is nearing completion.

A new start date for the iOS course will be announced in a couple of weeks.

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Demo Day Stories from Cohort 10 / Evening 1

Nearly 100 recruiters, alumni, and community partners met graduates from Cohort 10 and Evening Cohort 1 at Tuesday's Demo Day, which culminates the six-month day program and yearlong evening program. Get to know these graduates.

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Just a few seats left for UX and UI course

Don't miss out on our UI and UX professional development course.

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Day Cohort 10 / Night Cohort 1 Demo Day

You're invited to meet Nashville's newest software developers. Need to hire a developer? Whether you need a front-end engineer, server-side developer or full-stack engineer, come meet 35+ great candidates.

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Year In Review

Nashville Software School’s mission is to expand the technology workforce in middle Tennessee by providing motivated individuals with access to a career in software development through training, mentorship and apprenticeship. As the only registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit coding camp in the Southeast, Nashville Software School has delivered on its promise to create a pipeline of software engineering talent into a tech community that greatly needs it.

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NSS Co-Sponsors Youth Hackathon

Help us show some 4th, 5th and 6th graders what code is all about! Nashville Software School is a co-sponsor of a free Youth Hack-a-thon with RePublic Schools.

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Cohort 8 Demo Day

You're invited to meet Nashville's newest software developers. Need to hire a developer? Whether you need a front-end engineer, server-side developer or full-stack engineer, come meet twenty-two great candidates.

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NSS in the News

We love what we do — helping people build their skills for a career in technology. And we’re glad to do it in a city with a rapidly-growing technology market that, according to The Tennessean, is the 12th-best for STEM workers. Read the articles from The Tennessean and Washington Post that mention NSS.

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Cohort 6 Demo Day

On Tuesday, graduates from our 6th cohort demonstrated their capstone projects to potential employers. Bryan Finlayson, a student from our newest cohort, shared what he learned as he visited with each student, as well as what employers are looking for from graduates.

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Only 3 seats left in our iOS class!

Learn Swift and Objective-C while working alone, in pairs, and on teams to build real apps starting from day one, and leave with a completed capstone project. From mobile design to submitting to the App Store, you’ll learn everything you need to know to build and launch iOS applications.

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Cohort 6 Demo Day Scheduled for Tuesday, January 13

Nashville Software School will introduce its most recent graduates to the Nashville technology community on Tuesday, January 13. Students will present their capstone projects in a “science fair” format that allows attendees to meet with new developers.

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Introducing iOS Development Course

Beginning in January, we will offer an iOS Development class as the first installment in the new Professional Development Series aimed at those who are already working as software developers. iOS development is a great first class to kick off our series – almost all developers need to learn to build and deploy mobile apps and with Jamin Guy and Van Simmons we have the opportunity to work with two of the most knowledgeable and experienced developers on the Apple platform anywhere, not just in Nashville.

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Evening Bootcamp starts in January

We are excited to announce the launch of the first session of our Evening Developer Bootcamp. Some of you have been waiting for this for a long time. There has always been demand from the community here to provide a way for people that can’t quit their day jobs to have access to the training required to switch careers and become a web developer. Now there is a part-time, evening pathway to that career change.

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NSS featured on CourseReport

The folks at Course Report have posted an interview with us about Nashville Software School. Course Report is a new site that is compiling information about coding bootcamps and related learning resources for code-learning movement. They were interested in what we were doing to attract under-represented groups to coding and why we had started as a non-profit.

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Back to School From Student to TA

One year ago I began one of the hardest, but most enjoyable 6 months of my life. I began the NSS Software Development Bootcamp and put myself on the path to a new career as a coder. I went from a forty-something guy with an increasingly outdated set of professional tools to having the skills I needed to enter the cutting-edge field of software development.

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New Tuition Option - Out-of-area Students Now Welcome!

We have introduced a new tuition option at Nashville Software School. For the first time, students have the option to fully pay in advance for our Web Developer Bootcamp. We have noticed significant demand from outside the Nashville area to attend our bootcamp; however, our original tuition option was tailored for local residents only.

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Evening Program Update (Redux)

An update on our upcoming evening program.

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Now Taking Applications - January and April 2014 Bootcamps

We have opened applications for two new Web Developer Bootcamps, one starting January 2014 and one starting April 2014. We plan to continue to start Bootcamps every 3 months, which means that we will have 2 active six-month programs running at any given point in time and that we will be graduating new developers every 3 months.

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Evening Program Update

An update on our upcoming evening program.

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Applications Closed for September Bootcamp 2013

We have closed applications for our third student cohort. This is the cohort which will start class in September. Applications received through Monday, 10 June are being processed. We are actively interviewing candidates but we have approximately 200 applications to process so it’s going to take us a few more weeks to complete the process. We anticipate finalizing the membership in the cohort by mid-July.

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New Start Date for Next Bootcamp

Nashville Software School announces a change in the start date for its next Web Developer Bootcamp training program. Our third student cohort will start classes on Monday, September 9, 2013. This is the class that was originally planned to start on July 8, 2013. In other words, we are delaying the start of our next Bootcamp by 2 months.

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Now Taking Applications - July Bootcamp 2013

We have started taking applications for the next Web Developer Bootcamp. We plan to start the next Bootcamp in early July. If you've been waiting for the announcement of the next Bootcamp before applying this is your wake-up call.

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Great Article on NSS in The Tennessean

The Tennessean ran a very nice story about Nashville Software School in this morning's edition in the business section. Solid overview of what we do at the school.

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Share your experience!

Give a talk at Nashville Software School and share your experience with our students.

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Ruby/Rails Unit 2 Capstone Projects

The students presented their capstone projects last week and it was fantastic seeing how much progress they've made in such a short period of time! Check out the projects in this post.

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Now Taking Applications - January 2013 Bootcamp

We will be launching our second Web Development Bootcamp in January 2013. We are now accepting applications for the January class.

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Ruby on Rails 4 Weeks In

An update on the progress of Cohort 1. 4 weeks into Ruby on Rails.

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Week 2 of Cohort 1

We have finished week two in the maiden voyage of the Nashville Software School Bootcamp. The first student cohort has completed their introductions to HTML and CSS, and have demonstrated their understanding of the fundamentals by completing 11 exercises.

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Classes are well under way with Cohort 1

It's day 5 of the Nashville Software School's bootcamp maiden voyage. We've already covered HTML5 markup and CSS syntax and basic formatting in M-Thursday. We've had a couple of great guest mentors come by with stories of their personal journeys into web development.

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Location for Summer 2012

We're thrilled to finally be able to announce our location for the Summer 2012 Web Development Bootcamp. Our friends at the Nashville Business Incubation Center (NBIC) have offered to host us for the summer in their large conference/training room.

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New Start Date for Summer Program - Monday, June 18

Just wanted to let everyone know that we have changed the first day of classes for the summer Web Development Bootcamp class. The new start date is one week later than originally planned. We will start on Monday, 18 June.

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Public Information Session - Wednesday, May 16

Interested in attending the Nashville Software School this summer? Want to learn more about the program? Great - we have scheduled a public information session to answer your questions about the program.

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Hello World, NSS is Launching!

Coming over the next few days: the announcement of the Nashville Software School. Do you live in Middle Tennessee? Interested in learning to build great websites, software applications or mobile apps? Looking for a way to get both the technical knowledge as well as the real-world professional experience required to qualify for an entry-level position as a software developer? Then you will want to learn more about our program.

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