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After years of occasionally visiting to be a guest speaker, and getting to know all of the amazing students for the past three years, I finally have the opportunity to be an instructor at the Nashville Software School [NSS]. John Wark and I started talking about doing an evening class way back in the Spring of last year. We talked about making it a flipped classroom so that students master their skills at their own pace, and the instructor simply becomes a mentor and a guide, rather than a talking head.

As of last week, this grand experiment is off the ground. We've got 18 students signed up for the evening class and they're already working hard at building an HTML/CSS personal bio page. We're going to leverage FOSS as much as possible, but some things, such as a subscription to Treehouse, and a few books, need to be purchased.

Here's the list of technologies that exist today that allow us to provide a great environment for the students with no out-of-pocket costs.

  • Ubuntu
  • SublimeText (I'm one of the people who's actually paid for a license, but you can use on a trial basis for a very long time)
  • codepen.io
  • Slack
  • node.js
  • Chrome
  • Github
  • jsfiddle
  • koding.com
  • And, of course, the Internet

I'm honored to do my best to help people who want to enter the powerful (and lucrative) field of software development learn the fundamentals they will need to be employable, productive developers when they walk out the door at the end of the cohort. I simply hope that my experiences mentoring developers on the job have adequately prepared me for doing it in the classroom setting.

I'll let you know how it turns out in June, when the front end course ends, but I'm determined to make this the most competitive cohort that NSS has ever put out.

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Steve Brownlee

Head Coach at Nashville Software School. Evolving software development education.


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