Meet Our Grads

Graduate Spotlight

Before NewForce: Clothing Retail
After NewForce: Software Engineer I at Core10

Why did you decide to become a software developer?
I always wanted a career that would allow me to really use my brain. I wanted to be creative and solve problems.

Why did you choose NewForce?
I chose NewForce because it seemed like a great opportunity to break into a career field where I could really challenge myself.

What was your favorite part of going through this manic 6 months?
Coding! I actually truly just love the work itself.

What roadblocks did you encounter along the way?
The learning environment took some time to adjust to because it was very fast-paced and non-traditional, with a lot of self-learning. The biggest roadblock really was letting go of frustration over failure. Your code is going to fail a lot in software development and being frustrated gets you no closer to a solution.

What helped you get placed in your new job?
A solid grasp of programming fundamentals as well as the ability to communicate and work well in a team environment.

What advice do you have for current and future students?
Don’t be afraid of failure and ask for help when you need it!

Github: https://github.com/Cluttered04
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/sable-bowen

Before NewForce: Adjunct Instructor at Marshall University/Stay-at-Home-Mom
After NewForce: Software Engineer I at Core10

Why did you decide to become a software developer?
I wanted to add a skill set that would help me transition back into full-time employment.

Why did you choose NewForce?
NewForce seemed like an amazing opportunity to gain a new skill set in a relatively short amount of time. The fact that it was free was icing on the cake!

What was your favorite part of going through this manic 6 months?
Realizing just how much I could learn in 6 months, and gaining life-long friends and connections.

What roadblocks did you encounter along the way?
Juggling the demands of full-time school with being a full-time mom.

What helped you get placed in your new job?
Having a stellar capstone project.

What advice do you have for current and future students?
Don’t be afraid to learn new things.

Github: https://github.com/sydneywait
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sydneywait/

Before NewForce: Risk Management
After NewForce: Senior Application Systems Analyst/Programmer at Mountwest Community and Technical College

Why did you decide to become a software developer?
I needed the language(s) of technology to pursue resource optimization goals and amplify my freedom of thought.

Why did you choose NewForce?
NewForce offered in-person training, within a team-based environment, which is what I needed to succeed in the long term.

What was your favorite part of going through this manic 6 months?
Kim Preece (NewForce Junior Instructor)

What roadblocks did you encounter along the way?
Software Security

What advice do you have for current and future students?
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/roxette/listentoyourheart.html

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joeywellman/

Before NewForce: Student in software development at Bridgevalley
After NewForce: Software Intern at Green Bank Observatory

Why did you decide to become a software developer?
At first it was just because I enjoyed being on a computer. But, once I finally realized what software developers do, it was because I really enjoy getting stumped on something for a couple hours then finally figuring out the answer to the problem. I really enjoy the problem solving aspect of software development.

Why did you choose NewForce?
I was a college student who was already x amount of dollars in debt and was still x amount of dollars away from getting my degree. As soon as I heard about NewForce I knew I had to apply. There were jokes about it being a pyramid scheme but I knew from the beginning that it was going to be a great opportunity.

What was your favorite part of going through this manic 6 months?
My favorite part was building my front-end capstone. Working on a project for two weeks. Struggling with it and fixing bugs everyday then finally getting to see the end product of it, and being proud of it, was just so awesome.

What roadblocks did you encounter along the way?
My biggest roadblock was constantly thinking that I was behind everyone else in the class. I wouldn’t understand a concept and assumed that everyone else did understand it. It wasn’t until my front-end capstone that I really got over that roadblock and realized that everyone struggles learning new things in the beginning.

What helped you get placed in your new job?
I think what helped me get my job was that, before my in person interview, I really studied everything that was on my resume. That way when I gave my presentation at Green Bank I was able to answer every question that the software team asked me and I felt a lot more confident giving the presentation.

What advice do you have for current and future students?
My advice is, during your 6 months, don’t be afraid to reach out to the teachers or your mentors if you feel stuck or lost. You have an amazing support group who will do everything they can to make sure you know the information. Make sure you know the information on your resume. And, if you don’t get a job right after you graduate, work on some fun side projects! It will let employers know that you are actually passionate about software, and it’s really easy to fall out of the loop.

Github: https://github.com/havey3
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/havey3/

Before NewForce: Freelance Social Media Marketing
After NewForce: Application Developer Apprentice at IBM

Why did you decide to become a software developer?
I’ve always been interested in web design and it seemed like the next logical step for me.

Why did you choose NewForce?
I heard about it from one of the instructors and it seemed like exactly what I had been looking for.

What was your favorite part of going through this manic 6 months?
The amount of knowledge you gain in 6 months is actually crazy and amazing.

What roadblocks did you encounter along the way?
I’m overly independent and that hindered me a lot. You have to be open to getting help.

What helped you get placed in your new job?
A combination of my own efforts, determination, and those of Newforce and Generation WV.

What advice do you have for current and future students?
Work hard, take frequent breaks to avoid burnout, ask the questions you’re afraid to ask, and always get help when you need it.

Github: https://github.com/nikx1015
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikkiash/

Before NewForce: United States Postal Service Worker
After NewForce: Junior QA Engineer at Mountain Leverage

Why did you decide to become a software developer?
I had always loved anything tech related. I always admired coders and their abilities to use computers to solve problems, I just never knew how to code myself. I thought based on my love for tech and interest in seeing how coding works that it could possibly be a great career for me.

Why did you choose NewForce?
NewForce offered everything I needed. It offered education through a completely different process—by teaching theory and its application, while simultaneously providing structure. The assistance with tuition was great, too!

What was your favorite part of going through this manic 6 months?
The people. I was in class with and learning from some of the smartest people I know. They all were a blast to work with, and working with them allowed me to learn so much more.

What roadblocks did you encounter along the way?
Nothing that I can think of. I never felt completely stuck with something. I’m not saying it wasn’t a difficult process, it’s just the difficulties I faced were more like roadbumps. Once I was able to move past one, it really motivated me to accelerate a lot faster.

What helped you get placed in your new job?
I think the thing that helped me get a job was persistence. I had talked to and interviewed with a lot of different companies since I graduated and a lot of them didn’t pan out. However, by sticking with it, I was able to land a job at Mountain Leverage, which was the company I wanted to join from the beginning of my job search.

What advice do you have for current and future students?
Focus on your skills and making those 1% improvements. Just making those 1% percent improvements each day will really add up by the time you finish the program.

Github: https://github.com/CreativeFitz
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbyfitzpatrick3/

Cohort One

🌗

I’ve always liked designing basic websites in HTML and I love creating things, so it made sense to me to learn to code so I could create more things. My interest in coding really escalated after I graduated from Mountwest with an AAS in Web Design.

Knowing that, as a developer, I can create so many different things is very exciting to me. I truly enjoy solving problems and coming up with creative solutions to new and existing issues, and that is why I want to become a developer.

GitHub

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🏔

My first experience in developing was using BASIC and C+, but was a half-a-lifetime ago. I’ve always had a penchant for computers and technology, and finally decided to see if a middle-aged dog could learn some new tricks!

Why do I want to be a developer? Incessant curiosity, a hunger for new knowledge, and the desire to create something from nothingness.

GitHub

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🎇

Development was a hobby of mine back in the early 2000s. I went on with life and completely forgot about it until I went to Mountwest and met Kim Preece who reignited my interests in developing again.

I feel like I was born to do it. I spent most of my childhood playing computer games that required a lot of logical thinking and problem solving and those experiences translated over to developing. The push for the tech sector in Huntington also drives me. I was in Florida for near a decade and when I came back home it felt like it wasn’t the same home that I left. I want to make a difference.

GitHub

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📡

I took my first website development class in 8th grade. We learned the very basics of HTML and a little of CSS and I’ve enjoyed doing it ever since.

Being able to problem solve is one of the best feelings in the world. Don’t get me wrong, debugging can be extremely aggravating but there is nothing more satisfying than getting your code to compile.

GitHub

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⚔️

I learned about Bitcoin in 2010. It inspired me to learn code on my own. I took some online coding classes prior to joining NewForce.

I want to be a developer because of the endless learning opportunities and the fast pace at which this space moves.

✉️ Email me

🌏

I heard about development from a family friend and was interested in the fast paced, trial and error nature of coding.

I love to learn in order to make bigger and better things. So a field that is based on constant learning and growth is perfect for me.

GitHub

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💻

I’ve always been fascinated with technology and how things work. I wanted to start a career path where I could be creative and solve problems, so it seemed like a perfect fit. I began learning to code with online classes.

I really like the opportunity to think critically, solve problems, and be creative, as well as the logic behind it.

GitHub

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🌁

I really became interested in development when I was a kid. I began modding some of the games I played, but I was limited heavily by my skill. As such, I was always envious of the people who could mod and even develop their own games; to me, it was magic.

I want to be a developer because the field is always changing, meaning you’re always learning. It also allows you to both solve problems and create new things.

GitHub

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♟

I have always had a love for computers and had been around them ever since I was little. I always thought coding would be such a useful skill to learn with the way the world is evolving with computers. I had decided a few months back that I wanted to try and learn how and found NewForce accidentally when I was searching. I feel that this class has really been the factor in showing me that I really could see myself entering into this kind of field.

The three things that keep bringing me back are the critical thinking, the logical problem solving and the teamwork atmosphere. Each idea you have that you want to try comes with its own set of unique obstacles that you can figure out by looking at the symptoms of the problem/errors and figuring out why that is happening. Plus, I have always loved working on teams. I believe teams brings together all the strengths of each individual and when done right, teamwork can deliver solutions that are much better than that which could have been provided by each individual person.

GitHub

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🏞

Several of my former colleagues transitioned into software from education, and described the experience as challenging, interesting, and rewarding.

The field requires one to constantly learn and deploy new skills. It requires consistent research and problem solving, and successfully doing those activities is quite validating.

GitHub

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🖥

I was taking courses towards an animation and game design degree but I kept getting asked to help my friends create websites for their respective businesses. We started using template sites like Wix but my friends were never truly satisfied with how they turned out. This is when I first started thinking about web dev.

I like how everything works together; how frontend and backend systems work together to solve a particular problem set. I specifically like creating that solution vice utilizing a pre-existing solution that may not satisfy all requirements.

✉️ Email me

🏆

What really sparked my interest in becoming a developer is the opportunity to create content for others to use and enjoy. My first experience with development was trying to teach myself html for fun.

I want to be a developer because I enjoy creating new content. I get excited learning new things and being able to implement them in a project.

✉️ Email me

🥧

I learned C+ as an undergraduate engineering student in college ~20 years ago. In the intervening years I have written small, simple algorithms and functions to help with data manipulation, grading, and design analysis. There have been instances where I only needed to perform a computation a handful of times, but I wrote a program to do it because it was “more fun.” I’ve always enjoyed the logic and methodology of programming, and appreciate a field where self-motivation can be rewarded with additional independence.

I want to be a developer because I enjoy complex and challenging problems that allow me to utilize logic, reasoning, and a little finesse to get the job done. I’m excited to see projects evolve from conception to deployment, and I take great pride in doing difficult things and doing them well.

GitHub

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🐝

My interest in the field(s) of web and software development began in high school. Originally, projects were focused on personal website design, blogging features, game creations, and perfecting hacking devices. Later in life, project and learning content management reintroduced me to the need for much better software tools—across all industry sectors.

Why wouldn’t you want to become a developer? Data is the new oil. Efficient software saves entities a great deal of time, money, and effort. With imagination and a little know-how, you can build just about anything.

✉️ Email me

Cohort Two

🖥

I’ve always been interested in computer programming in the manufacturing environment and am excited to bring my engineering background combined with new skills in software development to new opportunities.

I am an experienced medical device quality and validation engineer with a green belt certificate in Lean Six Sigma. I am well versed in GaMP 5 (good automated manufacturing practices) for highly regulated GxP systems as well as process change control, document change control, risk management practices and am certified in ISO 13485 quality management system implementation and auditing.

 

☮️

In the past four years working in social services, I effectively worked with clients to identify their core challenges and help them find individualized solutions.

At NewForce, I’ve applied these problem solving skills in learning software development as well as in successfully interpreting project requirements. I’m excited to bring my past experience and new coding skills to successfully work with clients in the tech industry.

🦆

After my Honorable Discharge from The Army, I struggled trying to find my place in the workplace world, bouncing from job to job, from career path to career path. That was when a friend of mine told me about NewForce.  

I looked at the curriculum and was really interested in the streamlined course idea, it seemed like it was designed around “The Adult Learner”. No fluff classes, just subject oriented learning. After the first week I knew this was a program I would enjoy because it hit my interest points: I love being challenged, learning new skills, and problem solving. NewForce is a game changer for anyone looking to switch careers or just starting out.

🚗

I’ve always been someone who wonders why something does what it does. One of my hobbies is disassembling cars or computers to better understand how they function. That’s why I love software development. It allows me to put pieces together like a puzzle to create a bigger picture.

 

✨

I have always enjoyed thinking critically and creatively to solve problems I am faced with. After seeing my brother go through schooling for Software Engineering and then Network Engineering, I became very intrigued with the whole process and helping him with problem solving. When I found out about the NewForce program I knew Software Development was something I wanted to make a career out of.

✍️

Like many people, I have a great need and respect for technology. Technology can allow its users to explore new worlds, meet new people, make life easier, and form a strong sense of community. NewForce has empowered me with the knowledge to create applications that can do all of these things to make life a little easier and more enjoyable. Continuing this journey of software development with a tech company would be a great honor.

🍎

I have been fascinated by computers and coding since I built my first e-commerce site as a small business owner. My interest in computer programming grew as I entered into blogging. While studying Biostatistics, I was introduced to statistics programming languages, where I discovered my love of logic and problem solving. After graduating from NewForce, I am eager to bring my background in business development, statistics, and now software development to a technology company.

 

☕️

As a previous employee of both Amazon and Apple, I understand the importance of learning software development and the trajectory in which it is heading. Through my six years in the customer service side of technology, I’ve had the opportunity to see the processes and speed at which technology advances.

While with Amazon, I was able to work with new technologies and help developers “break” it so we could build a better product. I grew to really enjoy the problem solving that came with those jobs and pushed me to want to further understand all sides of the tech industry. Now as I start my career in software development, I look forward to the new challenges ahead.

🚀

My love of learning everything about technology all began with an old Commodore 64. Over the years, with the help of numerous Google searches, I have become a self-taught individual, always teaching myself something new. I have discovered that the way that I learn best is to be challenged with projects that require me to work outside of my comfort zone and knowledge set. Software development includes its share of challenges, and I look forward to growing and learning with an innovative tech company.

🏓

Being accepted into NewForce ignited my passion for coding. During my training, I learned the ins and outs of some front end web development which I hope will lead me to become a seasoned software developer.

 

🏀

For years, I’ve been increasingly interested in technology and web development. I had to jump on the opportunity to learn the skills of full-stack development at NewForce. Ultimately, I will grow into a strong developer and build a career on the back of a booming industry. I am excited to enter into a field where creativity, growth, and continual learning are encouraged. I look forward to bringing my skills in logistics, customer service, teamwork, leadership, planning, and training into the world of software development.

🐶

I’ve been interested in technology for the majority of my life. I’m someone that loves learning new things and the ever changing nature of the tech field peaked my interest. I started online coding classes on my own and loved it, leading me now to starting my software development career through NewForce. After working on teams for the majority of my working career, overcoming a challenge through teamwork and dedication is what drives me to succeed in any project and I look forward to applying that motivation to the tech field.

🏃‍♂️

I took my first web development class in high school and since then I’ve wanted to keep learning skills in software development. My favorite part of coding is how it combines both logical problem solving and creativity. After graduating from NewForce, I’m excited to work with teams to build technology solutions that make things easier for people.

 

🎸

Ever since I was young, I was drawn to all aspects of computers. While hardware was very compelling, my main interest is computer software. I’ve always wanted to know what makes a computer think and how it turns that into data.

I look forward to helping people with my new software development skills.

🚜

For as long as I can remember, I have had a passionate connection with nature. As the owner and operator of my own farm, I learned that you have to work with nature and not against it. This practice taught me how to quickly adapt, constantly learn, problem-solve, and focus on the greater good of a project. Software development requires many of the same skills which explains why it has become my new passion. Through coding, I am able to take all that I’ve learned from nature and apply it to technology.