Questions By Topic

Full-time Bootcamp

What languages will we be learning?
All full-time bootcamps start with front-end engineering for the first three months. You’ll learn HTML, CSS, Javascript and AngularJS (and a whole lot of other related stuff). Depending on the Cohort you join, you will then go on to learn either Node.js and the MEAN stack, Ruby language and the Ruby on Rails framework, or C# and the .NET framework.
How long does the program last?
The program is six full months in duration. There are two twelve week classes plus a week long break between the first and second classes.
Why is your bootcamp six months long? It seems like most bootcamps are 3 months long.
We created our curriculum in partnership with a number of tech companies in Nashville by focusing on one question. What makes someone “job ready” for a junior developer position at your company? Once we got the input to that question it was clear that, at least in our job market, employers want junior developers to be full-stack knowledgeable, i.e. trained in both front-end development, language(s), stack and patterns as well as server-side language, stack and patterns. Given that our mission is to help our graduates accelerate the launch of a professional developer career and it was clear that we needed a six month curriculum. Some job markets may have sufficient employers willing to hire people into junior positions without the same extensive exposure to full stack development - I know from my own experience on the West Coast that the tech community there is generally willing to do so. But that has not been the case hereabouts. Also, some other bootcamps don’t have the same goals for their graduates. For example, if we were more focused on helping entrepreneurs get enough knowledge to build a working prototype or minimal viable product for a startup app, we’d definitely be able to cut back on our curriculum and fit into a 3 or 4 month window.
What are the hours and class schedule?
The class hours are from 9-4, Monday through Friday.
What is the homework load?
The homework load varies throughout the course, but you should plan to spend two hours per day studying outside of class.
When will mentors be assigned?
Mentors from the professional developer community are assigned during the second half of the course. Mentor assignments are subject to mentor schedules and availability.
Are the teachers accessible outside of class hours?
Teachers and Teaching Assistants are often available outside of class hours, however that is not guaranteed.
How much group vs. independent study takes place in class?
There is a mix of group and independent learning. About half of class time is spent in lecture/live coding/demonstration, with the rest of class taken up by a mix of group and individual projects.
What is the starting salary range for graduates of this program?
In 2014 the majority of our graduates received annual salaries between $45,000 to $55,000. In 2014 the average starting salary was slightly above $50,000 which is up from $45,000 in 2013. The full range of 2014 graduate salaries extended from the mid-$30,000s to $70,000. Salaries in the lower end of the range were most commonly from start-ups/early stage companies or smaller agencies. Salaries above $60,000 typically were driven both a combination of the training received at NSS and the graduate’s prior education and work experience.
What is the placement rate after graduation?
The placement rate for our full-time program graduates has been consistently between 85% and 95% with slight variations from class to class. We measure the placement rate starting at 90 days after graduation since job search times vary.
Am I required to work for a company in Nashville after graduation?
Not if you are a regular tuition student. If you are accepted under the terms of our apprentice tuition program you will agree to actively pursue a job in the Nashville area after graduation.

Part-Time Evening Bootcamp

What languages will we be learning?
All evening bootcamps start with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and AngularJS for the first six months. These are the standard languages of the web and the core of the front-end engineering technology stack. JavaScript is generally viewed as the most widely used programming language in the world. In the second half of the evening program, where we teach server-side software development, we are currently teaching the C# language and the .NET framework. These are the core of Microsoft’s technology stack. You’ll also learn the SQL language for database access.
How long does the part-time bootcamp last?
The part-time bootcamp lasts one year. There are four 12 week quarters with one week intersession breaks.
What are the hours and class schedule?
Monday and Wednesday from 6PM to 9:30PM and Saturdays from 9AM to 2PM.
What is the homework load?
This will vary from week to week however in general you should be prepared to spend 12 to 15 hours a week outside of class doing homework such as reading, taking online tutorials, and working on coding exercises. Many of our students also find it useful to meet once or twice a week with other students in study groups.
How much group vs. individual work takes place in class?
This varies quite a bit over the course. From week to week there can be significant variations in the mix of individual and group activity. However, every student will spend a meaningful percentage of their time in the full course working with other students doing pair programming and team projects.

Experience Level

How much experience should I have before applying?
No prior technical training or web development experience is required for our full-time and evening bootcamps. However, our professional development courses do have technical pre-requisites, which are noted on the individual course pages.
I have no programming experience, is that okay?
Of course! Our bootcamp programs would be perfect for you! We do recommend that you spend some time personally studying web development on your own time so that you can get a sense of whether you enjoy building things with code. This self-study or dabbling stage of learning is often very helpful in helping you decide if you want to pursue a bootcamp program. You can pursue self-study online using sites such as codecademy.com, teamtreehouse.com, codeschool.com, lynda.com, and the like.
I have a strong background in programming, is this for me?
Yep! Our professional development programs will help you hone your skills. And, our bootcamps can help you to transition into web application development if you’re trying to transition into that realm.
What are the backgrounds of previous students?
Our students have come from a wide range of backgrounds. A small sampling of backgrounds include: stocker at Walmart, award-winning journalist, recording engineer, bartender, graphic designer, mechanical engineer, biochemist, photographer, and more. Oh, and also bass player, guitar player, drummer, keyboard player, saxophone player, etc. - it is Nashville after all.
What are some learning resources you recommend using before starting class?
We often refer potential students to Treehouse and Code Academy

Finances

How much is this going to cost?
Cost varies depending on the program. Please see the program page for the specific program you are interested in joining for complete details.
Where can I get a loan to attend school?
We have a partnership with Climb Credit to provide student loans to our regular tuition students and part-time program students.
Will I be able to defer my student loan payments?
Not at this time.
Does NSS offer any payment plans?
We do have payment plans available. Our payment plans require that students pay their tuition prior to graduation. If you need to finance your training over a longer period of time then you may need a third-party financing option, such as is offered by our partner Climb Credit or other third parties.
Will I incur any additional expenses while in class?
There will be some additional expenses while in class. For example, purchasing a personal domain name and hosting for your portfolio projects. You may also choose to acquire supplementary technical books or reference material. However, we do strive to keep the amount of required outside spending to a minimum. The details of any outside spending required for your particular class are outlined in our offer package.
Is it realistic to have a job while attending full-time classes?
We have certainly had successful students that worked evenings and weekends. However, for the average student, having an outside job does tend to limit their learning. If a student must work then part-time work is preferable.
Do you provide housing assistance?
No

Other

What is the most important thing I can come to class with?
A good attitude, a full night’s sleep, and a working laptop.
What kind of computer do I need?
Personal laptop meeting our hardware requirements. See this blog post for full details of our laptop specs.
Where is the school located?
500 Interstate Blvd. S., Suite 300 Nashville, TN 37210
How will I know if you have received my application?
You should receive a confirmation email within a few days after submitting your application.
Is the school certified?
We are currently pending approval from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. We are not pursuing accreditation at this time.
What is the parking situation?
We have plenty of free parking.
Do you have a kitchen? Refrigerator? Coffee maker?
We have a break room with refrigerator/freezer, microwaves, and coffee makers. Coffee is free - coders need caffeine.
Are the facilities handicapped accessible?
Yes
What hours is the building open?
From 8:30AM to 5:00PM every Monday through Friday. On nights when evening classes are in session, building hours are extended to 9:30PM. The building is also open during Saturday class sessions from 9AM to 2PM. Unless there is a public event scheduled the evening and weekend hours are for current students only.
Is there security on nights and weekends?
Yes. There is security provided by our landlord.
What are the nearby lunch options?
Taco Lopez #2, Horus, Joey’s House of Pizza, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s.
What is the tech scene like in Nashville?
In a word: Fantastic! It’s a wonderful, supportive community with technical meetups every night of the week.

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