I attended Nashville Software School during cohort 3. I was looking to re-enter the workforce after years as a stay-at-home dad. I found the experience to be fun, challenging, and rewarding in various ways. After graduation, I worked at the school as a TA while picking up contracting work on the side. Now, just 17 months removed from being at home with my kids, I am employed full-time as a Software Engineer.
My experience with NSS has been a tremendously rewarding one. It took a lot of hard work on my part, but NSS afforded me the opportunity to get back in the workforce doing challenging work in the type of flexible environment I enjoy working in.
I am a graduate from the second cohort of NSS. I entered the program with a Bachelors Degree in Music and work history in Healthcare. I had zero development experience upon entering the program. Since graduation, I have been fortunate to obtain gainful employment with an agency and two start-up companies.
NSS was no walk in the park. It was immersive. It was challenging. It required a great deal of time and energy. But, as with many things worth doing in life, you get out of it what you put in. I was simply persistent, not a genius or even someone with a significant predisposition to excelling in tech.
NSS was pivotal in helping me find a career I enjoy greatly. I would certainly recommend this program. But keep in mind, you have to put in as much as NSS gives to you.
I attended the first class (cohort 1) with maxbeizer. I graduated from a 4 year college with a business degree and a marketing minor just 3 weeks before cohort-1 began. I chose to attend NSS because my bachelor's degree could not get the kind of career I wanted. Initially, I thought NSS would give me a few more skills to get in the door and then I would go back down the business marketing path. While at NSS I fell in love with coding.
Prior to NSS, I had no technical experience what so ever. After NSS, I can say I have a job that I enjoy, a community I am proud to call my peers, and a career I can be proud of. Class at NSS was strenuous, difficult, and taxing, but 100% worth it. My 4 year degree has probably helped me succeed once I got a job, however NSS got me the job. My payment plan was $1,000 upfront and my first employer covered the rest of it when they hired me.
Post NSS, I have mentored students from several other cohorts. All of my post-NSS employers have also hired other NSS students (none of which I mentored). As someone who has mentored and worked along side other NSS students, I can say that the quality of graduates, and NSS itself, keeps improving.
If you are considering attending NSS, I have the following advice. This is an immersive program, so immersive yourself. Attend class because it sounds exciting or interesting, not because you want another job that pays better. Software Development is a great field for people who love learning, problem solving, and challenging themselves. Do not fear what you do not know. And most importantly, have fun!
10/10 would NSS again.
I was in the first cohort of the school and things have changed since I went through, but the one important fact about NSS remains: as a non-profit, the school has a vested interest in you getting a job after you get out. The school survives primarily on the "recruiting fee" it asks for for its graduates from employers. The whole reason I went was to get a job in tech after I got out and that is exactly what I did.
I worked full-time in food service before attending NSS and I worked for most of my time in NSS. It was a challenge but I was determined to push through and I feel I am better for it. Knowing what I know now, I would have quit my other job sooner (gone hungrier) and devoted more of my time to networking and investing in the community I wanted to join. To that point, I cannot help but be a little offended by a previous reviewer's statement that students dare not contact mentors. I am only sorry that said reviewer thought that those of us volunteering our time were not sufficiently available.
My last piece of advice to anyone looking at NSS would be to use it as a platform and not as a lifeline. I am still actively involved in mentoring at the school and I see some students expect the job they want to be waiting for them at the end. Instead, I would suggest using the short time you have at NSS to focus on your fundamentals as a programmer and start your job search. It's cliché, but you will get more out of NSS with maximum commitment on your part.
We have a dual tuition model, with some students paying full price and a limited number of students paying $1000 up front and deferring further payment until after graduation. We prioritize the deferred payment plan for local students that would otherwise be unable to attend.
The school has a generous refund policy, with a full refund available in the first week and partial refunds available up to six weeks into the program.
Very detailed instruction by very knowledgeable instructors, who might or might not have good people skills and teaching ability. About a month before your cohort start date, students will be assigned dozens of hours of pre-work, which will be difficult to complete, if you have a job. Once the cohort begins, if you cannot keep up with the pace of the school (about 10-25% of the students), you will be asked to leave, albeit with the possibility of returning, but probably after cut off date for a tuition refund. The tuition (Cohort 6) was $10,500 with no refund unless you leave soon after training begins. This school is 24 weeks long. Other code schools are typically 9, 12, or 18 weeks long. 24 weeks is a long time to forego income. Mentors are listed on NSS web site, but don't you dare contact them unless you want a rude smack down (mentor contact information has since been removed, but don't worry: you will rarely see the mentors).