Mentors play a special role in the NSS experience and are key in fostering relationships that give students a fuller understanding of the true scope of a professional developer. The dialogue between mentors and mentees provides emotional and professional support in challenging situations and throughout the student's transition from the classroom to landing that highly-desired first job as a software engineer.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.