The Learning Doesn't Stop When You Graduate | Seth Dorris - Cohort 10

We’re catching up with some of our alumni and they’re sharing advice for our students and recent graduates.

Seth Dorris, software developer

Seth Dorris was an Army Captain prior to joining Cohort 10 at NSS. He’s now is a full-stack developer for Sierra Trading Post.

Seth shared, “NSS prepared me for my first job as a junior developer, not by just teaching me the basics of programming in JavaScript and C#, but more importantly how to go about solving problems when your code or a teammate’s code fails. This ultimately leads to the ability to solve larger and more complex problems through the development of software.”

Seth has kept up his learning after NSS. “I have worked in databases such as PostgreSQL, SQLServer, MySQL, and MongoDB,” he revealed. “I have built applications with technologies such as Node.JS and ASP.NET as well as front-end libraries/frameworks such as Angular 1/2, React, Vue, and I have even worked with websockets and Xamarin.”

He has learned more than just new languages and frameworks. At his first job as a developer he learned to translate non-technical requirements into the technical requirements need to build the functionality requested by the client.

Seth’s advice for recent grads looking for their first developer job?

Define your career objective(s) and know what makes you happy.

“If you aspire to work on the Microsoft .NET Core team, then start thinking about applying to the jobs that will prepare you for that type of work,” advised Seth. “If you are someone who aspires to be a manager of software development somewhere, look for roles that will expose you to the devops process or project management on top of development. If you are someone who aspires to be a software architect, then look for roles that have seniors developers there that can teach you wide range of development patterns, share their experiences with you, and will expose you to new projects. You may be able to find that consulting jobs or start ups would be a better fit as you are more likely to build new applications rather than working in an already mature code base.”

Also, find out what’s important to you and ask questions about it during your interview. One thing Seth has learned to ask about is what value the company places on testing and what their testing process is.

Since graduating, Seth has worked on several projects on upwork. He has optimized the ticket sales process for the Staples Center, built a 3D Print Settings analyzer, and is currently working on the first Fantasy Supercross application to have a live stat tracker during the race. He has also taught an intro to JavaScript and web concepts to the local chapter of Girl Develop It.

I feel doing extra work outside the job is a HUGE plus for your career. Not only does it help you grow your skills at a much faster rate, but it also shows employers that you're not just someone who is going to come in and punch the clock and leave. It shows them that you are passionate about the work you do, and that you take pride in the quality of work you produce.

If you’re a veteran considering a bootcamp, Seth encourages you to get to know NSS’s VA liaison so that your GI Bill benefits are up to date and ready when class begins. He added, “Check out additional benefits that the state of Tennessee is providing veterans, such as tax breaks on vehicle registration, if you’re in a full-time cohort these benefits can be a great help while your time is dedicated to your beginning a new career field.”

For all incoming students, Seth advised, “Be prepared to learn at a fast pace, don’t get discouraged, be confident, and most of all HAVE FUN!”

Connect with Seth on Twitter or GitHub.

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