January 5th of this year I started Nashville Software School and I can honestly say it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I worked a lot, learned even more, and met a lot of amazing people.

The instruction consists of two sections: front end and back end. Each section is three months long and the second section changes languages every cohort. My cohort, Cohort 8, learned Ruby for our back end section and I couldn’t have been happier with that. I had gone through Ruby Monk the year before and loved it! It was easy to write and read like english. I purposefully chose this cohort for the Ruby back end section.

Before I applied I looked in to the qualifications of the teachers and what I read about Eliza Brock Marcum sealed the deal on NSS.

Front End

The front end section began with html and css. We recreated websites on our own, and then moved on to css frameworks. We were split into groups with different css frameworks, like gumby and foundation, and told to make a website based off of mock ups we were give. Looking back it was super easy, but we were all intimidated at the time.

After that we were finally introduced to JavaScript. For a couple of weeks we made little JavaScript apps that consumed api’s, such as a weather app and a stock trading app. Then Scott (our front end instructor) introduced to DOM fragments, JQuery, and Firebase; which we used to make dating sites and battleship games.

Then came Angular. Most of us had a love/hate relationship with it, but that changed due to Stockholme Syndrom. over time.

Finally came the final project for front end. We had two weeks to create a project from scratch. There were a lot of games and some CRM type applications. All in all the presentations were good.

Back End

After a week break my cohort started our back end section, the part I had been most excited about. We started out making a small ruby command line app called cheers that would cheer the name of whoever you entered. It was also the only app we made without using Test Driven Development. We then made linked lists in Ruby. This was to help us understand the concept of objects and as a logic exercise. We later went back and remade cheers with tests and added more functionality to it.

At this point we started to learn SQL and needed to understand data structures. Our co-instructor Jurnell Cockhren taught us about databases and how they were used by web applications. We then were faced with making our mid-way capstone, a command line app.

We had several group projects as well. Stepoff was our first rails app. We built it as a class and it would track how many laps you made on a list of courses. Then we had Median which was a Tumblr and Medium hybrid blogging app. With Median we all split into different teams to work on different features. I worked on pagination with my friend Bryan and used the Ruby Gem kaminari. It was easy to do and it helped me with my Rspec and Capybara testing.

Finally it was time for our back end capstone. Again we had two weeks to build an app, but this time with Ruby on Rails. We could build the app with just RoR or use Rails to make an API and build a front end with JavaScript. On June 26th we had our presentation day, which was open to the public, and had a great turn out.


Nearly all of us made it out alive, a couple of people even had jobs before graduation, and I have to say I loved my time there. If you are debating on whether to go to a code bootcamp feel free to reach out. I’ll answer any questions I can.