Mentors, Instructors, & Staff

Nashville Software School was created by the Nashville tech creative community and it exists to serve and grow that same community. All of our mentors, instructors and staff are committed to growing our tech community by helping our students learn the skills and gain the experience required to design, build and deliver software-based products, services and systems. We are grateful and humbled by the time, passion and knowledge that our community members provide to our students and through them to the broader Nashville community.

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    Chyld Medford

    Instructor | NSS

  • Matt Mueller

    Matt Mueller

    Co-Founder/CTO |

    I’ve been doing general web design and development for longer than I can remember. I began with old school WYSIWYG editors like Front Page, progressed to hand-written HTML/CSS/JS, moved on to PHP and WordPress, then finally discovered Ruby (and Rails) in 2007 when I began working at Change Healthcare. I’ve tried not to write anything else ever since. Along the way I’ve picked up other skills in the web stack like server configuration, deployment, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and more. As of the past few years I have a particular fondness for integrating with existing web APIs as well as building apps and services that have their own APIs.

    Despite the fact that I was always tinkering with and interested in web development it became the way I make my living almost by accident. I did not study Computer Science in college and have no formal training. My goal in mentoring students at the Nashville Software School is to help them overcome some of the frustrations and roadblocks I encountered as I self-taught myself a number of these skills. I was lucky enough to have a number of great mentors help me along the way, and I want to do the same for others.

    At the end of the day I’d love to see more developers in Nashville trying to build great new things, whether those be hobby projects, new businesses/services, or just great code inside the organization where they work.

  • jacques woodcock

    Jacques Woodcock

    President | Kite, Inc.

    I am a generalist– albeit one with pretty deep knowledge, but still a generalist of web technologies. I have done everything from UI/UX, front-end design, to back-end design. This covers HTML, CSS, JavaScript, ActionScript, Lingo, Cold Fusion, PHP, MySQL, SQL and others.

    I am currently focusing on technical strategy, helping companies with business models architecture technical solutions and execution plans.

    The reason for my interest in mentoring students from the Nashville Software School is purely selfish. I want Nashville to have one of the top technology communities in the nation and to have that, we need to be growing talent from within and not relying on importing it every time a company needs to hire. Please I love helping people learn.

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    Eliza Brock

    Instructor | NSS

    I’m a Software Engineer with a focus on web applications and entrepreneurship.

    I have written web applications that span from boutique e-commerce sites to web services that support hundreds of thousands of mobile devices.

    Two years ago, I started Eliza Brock Software, specializing in web applications and technical advice.

    I enjoy teaching and mentoring through a variety of venues, and I’m looking forward to meeting the new NSS group!

  • Rick Bradley

    Rick Bradley

    Developer | Github

    I’ve been a programmer for 28 years — from BASIC and 6502 assembly on the Commodore VIC-20 to C/C++ on Sun Sparcs to Ruby on Linux and Mac OSX. I’ve been doing my programming almost entirely in Ruby, Rails, Sinatra, etc., since 2005.

    I spent nearly 5 years working with businesses to rework, refactor, and redesign their complex ruby and rails applications (and teams). These days I work full time as a developer at GitHub to help make their awesomes even more so.

    I think the Nashville Software School is a great idea, and something the community really needs — a way for people who want to develop technical skills to develop them. I hope that I can assist in getting people over the humps of learning ruby-related technologies, and how to use testing to improve their software.

  • Ben Stucki

    Ben Stucki

    Founder | Daio, Inc.

    Ben Stucki is a Software Engineer, Interaction Designer and Founder of DAIO. He has more than 10 years of experience building complex client-side software and believes that good developers and great design are what make viable business models viable businesses.

  • Brendan Wovchko

    Brendan Wovchko

    Managing Director | HUGE I/O

    I am a product development executive specializing in the radical transformation of software development teams. I am an authority on leading engineering and creative professionals in implementing Agile/Scrum — coaching teams to become self-organizing, cross-disciplinary, and delivery-minded. I help companies recover from sub-par leadership and produce better software — with organization-wide transparency.

    In recent roles I have served as VP/Technology, VP/Product, and Chief Technology Officer. In each role I have overseen product development for multiple projects, in parity, each with budgets between $500K and $14MM.

    Aside from my organizational titles I have served as Scrum Master (certified), Product Owner (certified), and Architect in the Agile/Scrum management framework.

    I began developing for the web 15 years ago — in “simpler times”. In many cases I have held the role of each of the people I lead — from front-end to back-end. These personal experiences have produced perspective — allowing me to sniff-out inaccurate time estimates, facilitate expectations between management and teams, create an atmosphere where people feel both challenged and successful, and coach team members through frustration to find best-practice solutions.

    In May 2008 I was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as a “social networking expert”.

    I’m looking forward to making a contribution to the NSS community by helping evangelize the importance of “soft skills” in an industry where the majority of focus is on “hard skills”.

  • Brandon Valentine

    Brandon Valentine

    Development Manager | Centresource

    As Development Manager at Centresource I get to surround myself with some of the brightest, hardest working custom software developers in Nashville. As a team we’re a healthy mix of traditional computer scientists and totally self-taught geeks. I’m one of those self-taught geeks, owing my education and ultimately my career to the mentors in my life. I’m passionate about giving back and helping to create more of the kind of bright, hard working, self-taught developers I love to work with and around.

    My background in technology runs the gamut from hardcore UNIX systems administration to parallel computation work in High-Performance Computing and research, all the way up to present day custom web applications in Ruby and on Rails.

  • jeremy holland

    Jeremy Holland

    Senior Lead Developer | Centresource

    I’ve been working in software now for years, and have a genuine love for the craft. I’ve worked in PHP, Ruby, Javascript, C, Objective-C, Java, ActionScript, Erlang, and Clojure. I am a fanatic for test-driven development and its close cousin, BDD, as well as an unrepentant devotee of Domain-Driven Design. I currently hold the position of Senior Lead Developer and Training Manager at Centresource here in Nashville, and I adore my job. I also have experience with education, having taught Introduction to Programming at the Art Institute of Nashville for over a year, and can think of no greater joy than teaching other people who want to learn. Beyond the craft of software engineering itself, I’m also a math and CS nerd, and love the challenge of solving novel problems.

  • Cal

    Cal Evans

    Chief Marketing Officer | Blue Parabola

    I love helping developers. Whether it’s mentoring them in new technologies, introducing them to new contacts to help further their careers or just giving advice, I love helping developers. I’ve spent the better part of my career helping developers learn and grow and look forward to helping those involved in the Nashville School of Software as well.

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    Josh Crews


    Josh taught himself Rails in 2009 and has run a successful business as a Ruby on Rails freelancer in Nashville since.

    Josh also organizes the Nashville Ruby on Rails meetup group.

  • peter brumm

    Peter Brumm

    CTO | Kindful

    My background is in high volume websites. I developed and designed corporate configuration engines and shopping carts for fortune 100 companies. The most recent hit 1 billion page views a month.

    About half of my development experience was in java, but the release of Ruby on Rails drew me away from the complexity that had built up in the java world. After building a few internal corporate apps to improve coordination between teams, I was hooked. I have also picked up mongodb and backbone.js to round out a development environment that enables me instead of hindering me.

  • john-wark

    John Wark

    Founder Nashville Software School


    • Instructor/Staff

  • jason_oren

    Jason Orendorff

    Developer | Mozilla

  • scott clausing

    Scot Clausing

    Software Engineer | Digital Reasoning Systems, Inc.

    Bio coming soon!

  • susan

    Susan Culkin

    UX Interactive Designer

  • dale

    Dale Rogers

    Assistant Professor, Multimedia Design | Nashville State Community College

    I am currently an Assistant Professor at Nashville State Community College where I am beginning my eighth year as a full-time faculty member. At NSCC, I am the Program Coordinator for the Multimedia Design Concentration and am responsible for ensuring the curriculum meets the requirements for preparing students for a career in multimedia design. I teach HTML, CSS, basic Javascript, Adobe Flash, Pre-Production (flowcharting, storyboarding, and scripting), and the final Capstone class for both the Multimedia and Web Design concentrations.

    Ending in the Spring semester of 2012, I was the Co-PI (Co Principle Investigator) for a National Science Foundation grant that focused on bridging the chasm between the academic classroom and industry. The method developed by the grant is known as Problem-based Case Learning ( Using PBCL as my academic foundation, my capstone students function as a design team creating deliverables for local non-profits that partner with us. That is what caught my attention with the Nashville Software School.

    With a M.Ed. in eLearning Design and Technology, my professional interest is in using technology to teach. I’ve been teaching software applications professionally since 1989 when I became a corporate trainer for the Intergraph Corporation in Huntsville, AL. There I developed and taught a five-day class in CAD to engineers, architects, and project managers. The package, Project Engineer Pipe, was a commercial Piping Design Package that utilized 3-D CAD. The graphic elements also had user data that pointed to relational database records using Oracle and Informix. I was required to understand SQL to create reports and Bill of materials. The entire system was on high-end unix systems so I was introduced to the Unix OS, and dabbled a bit in Shell scripting. I learned that I have a passion and expertise in teaching highly technical concepts to new students.

    I moved to Nashville in the mid 90s and worked for a local corporate training firm teaching OS, Office Production, and Database Design (MSAccess). That’s when I began designing web sites.

    What I bring to the Nashville Software School is a long history in both corporate and academic instruction mixed with interspersed years of working in the field, a solid foundation in Web standards technology and design, and academic credentials to ensure good educational practice.

  • ben_gotow

    Ben Gotow

    Founder & Principal | Foundry376

    Ben has been developing software for iOS and Android since 2008. He has published more than 15 apps to the App Store independently and for clients around the world. His applications have been downloaded more than half a million times, and have been featured on Apple’s App Store, Google’s App Market, and the Amazon App Store. Ben studied at Vanderbilt from 2006-2010 and moved to Pittsburgh to do a masters in Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon. He returned to Nashville to work in warm weather with friendly people, and is looking forward to mentoring the next generation of software craftsmen. When not working on smartphones, Ben does work with Ruby on Rails, PHP, and Node.js.


Not only do our alumni leave the Nashville Software School with the skills to succeed in the Nashville software community and the drive to continue to expand upon the knowledge gained in the program, but they also leave understanding the importance of giving back to both the community and the program itself, now as mentors to future classes.

Partner Companies

Our Partner Companies support NSS and our students in multiple fashions. Most importantly, many of our partner companies support the program by hiring our graduates for entry-level software developer jobs. Our partner companies also provide financial support for the school through donations to our general operating fund, through sponsorship commitments that pre-fund students expenses, through donations of equipment and other resources, and through scholarships for economically disadvantages students. Many of our partner companies also encourage their technical staff to support the school through mentoring.

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If your company is interested in learning how you can support the Nashville Software School and hire our students, please inquire to John Wark at Nashville Software School via the Contact page.